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Bebop Spoken There

Tineke Postma: “ I had a huge crush on him [Sting] when I was a teenager ". Jazzwise, June 2024.

The Things They Say!

Hudson Music: Lance's "Bebop Spoken Here" is one of the heaviest and most influential jazz blogs in the UK.

Rupert Burley (Dynamic Agency): "BSH just goes from strength to strength".

'606' Club: "A toast to Lance Liddle of the terrific jazz blog 'Bebop Spoken Here'"

The Strictly Smokin' Big Band included Be Bop Spoken Here (sic) in their 5 Favourite Jazz Blogs.

Ann Braithwaite (Braithwaite & Katz Communications) You’re the BEST!

Holly Cooper, Mouthpiece Music: "Lance writes pull quotes like no one else!"

Simon Spillett: A lovely review from the dean of jazz bloggers, Lance Liddle...

Josh Weir: I love the writing on bebop spoken here... I think the work you are doing is amazing.

Postage

16527 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 407 of them this year alone and, so far, 29 this month (June 12).

From This Moment On ...

June

Thu 13: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 13: Indigo Jazz Voices @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:45pm. £5.00. Upstairs.
Thu 13: Musicians Unlimited @ Dorman’s, Middlesbrough. 8:00pm.
Thu 13: Jazz Guys @ Tynedale Beer & Cider Festival, Corbridge. 8:00pm.
Thu 13: Merlin Roxby @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. Ragtime piano. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Thu 13: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. Guest band: Musicians Unlimited

Fri 14: Mark Williams Trio @ The Old Library, Auckland Castle, Bishop Auckland. 1:00pm. £8.00.
Fri 14: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 14: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 14: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 14: Strictly Smokin’ Big Band @ Queen’s Hall, Hexham. ‘Ella & Ellington’. 7:30pm. £18.00.
Fri 14: Customs House Big Band @ Customs House, South Shields. 7:30pm. Donations (online, min. £3.00.).

Sat 15: Keith Barrett & Andrew Porritt @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 12 noon. Free. A Cullercoats Festival event.
Sat 15: NUJO Jazz Jam @ Cobalt Studios, Newcastle. 7:00pm.
Sat 15: James Birkett & Emma Fisk @ Sunderland Minster. 7:30pm. £15.00., £8.00. (u16s free). ‘The Great American Songbook’. A Bishopwearmouth Choral Society event, conductor David Murray.
Sat 15: Jude Murphy & Dan Stanley @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.

Sun 16: Jason Isaacs @ Stack, Seaburn SR6 8AA. 1:00-2:45pm. Free.
Sun 16: Paul Skerritt @ Hibou Blanc, Newcastle. 2:00pm.
Sun 16: Gaz Hughes Trio @ Queen’s Hall, Hexham. 3:00pm. £10.00.
Sun 16: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 16: Gaz Hughes Trio @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Sun 16: Jazz Jam @ Fabio’s Bar, Saddler St., Durham. 8:00pm. Free. A Durham University Jazz Society event. All welcome.

Mon 17: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Mon 17: ‘Tower of Power’ @ The Library Bar, Saddler St., Durham . 7:30pm.Free. A Durham University Jazz Society event. All welcome.

Tue 18: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Victoria & Albert Inn, Seaton Delaval. 12:30pm. £13.00. ‘Jazz, Sausage ‘n’ Mash’…’with Onion Gravy’!
Tue 18: Jam Session @ The Black Swan, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free. House trio: Stu Collingwood, Paul Grainger, Tim Johnston.
Tue 18: Libby Goodridge & Ben Davies @ The Lost Wanderer, Leazes Park Road, Newcastle. 8:00pm. £6.00. Triple bill, inc. Goodridge & Davies (jazz).

Wed 19: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 19: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 19: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

THE RIVER CITY JAZZMEN-- REPRINTED FROM JUST JAZZ INTERNATIONAL MAGAZINE. Part one.

This is a copy of a 2005 article from Just Jazz International magazine by trombonist and leader of the River City Jazzmen, Gordon Solomon. It is re-printed here as a tribute to the band which called it a day earlier this year.
Lance.
The RCJ was formed in 1955, making this year, 2005, the 50°’ anniversary for the band. To the best of my knowledge only two other bands have played together continuously for this length of time - the Chris Barber band, of course, - and the Merseysippi band from Liverpool. The story actually began in 1953 at Max Share's music shop in Percy Street, Newcastle-upon-Tyne. In an effort to interest young people in music, (if only it would happen today!) Max had formed a weekly harmonica club in a room above his shop. It was here that three youngsters, Ray Shenton, Herbie Hudson and Harry Stevenson met up and decided to set up a harmonica trio which they called the Harmonica Hoodlums! The boys got quite a lot of work, and in 1954 they were invited down to the Lime Grove Television Studios in London to appear on an early talent show called “All Your Own” which was presented by Huw Weldon. Following this they did regular radio broadcasts in the North of England until, with the addition of three more keen friends, they decided to form a traditional jazz band, hence the River City Jazzmen were born. The band was an immediate success with the quickly growing number of jazz followers. The personnel changed slightly at this time but soon settled down to a stable unit made up of John Potts - Trumpet, Herbie Hudson - Trombone, Harry Stevenson - Clarinet, Colin Hopper – Banjo, Ray Shenton - Tuba, Brian Sanson - Drums. Shortly after this Ray Shenton’s brother Joe joined on washboard giving the band a very distinctive sound. Joe also took over as band manager and later proved himself to be an ideal front man for the band. This group became very popular and usually played 5 to 6 nights a week at venues all over the North, -- there were many thriving clubs in the area at that time such as the Royal Arcade , the New Orleans Club and the Downbeat in Newcastle, and the likes of the Coatham Hotel in Redcar and Baileys in South Shields. Obviously there have been personnel changes over the years, and the sound of the band has changed , but it is still going strong and is fortunate to still have a good number of loyal followers. During 1980 clarinetist Bruce Bakewell joined, and his lovely New Orleans style was much appreciated. Bruce later played and recorded with Ken Colyer. Also, at this time, trumpeter Joe Errington, now with Papa Bue in Denmark, was with the group and stayed for many years. Probably the most famous musician to play with us was a certain Gordon Sumner, known nowadays as Sting. Sting had played bass with trombone player Gordon Solomon for 12 months in 1973 in two earlier bands, the Phoenix Jazzmen and the Newcastle Big Band, and when Gordon left to join the RCJ Sting followed and helped out for a few gigs. Gordon Solomon 2005 (to be continued...)

5 comments :

Ray Shenton said...

Hello It is Ray Shenton here. How nice to read your article on the formation of the River City Jazzmen. It certainly brought back memories. My tuba has more leaks than Wales so I now play the piano and harmonica with some of the boys about twice a year. Come to Great Whittington Jazz picnic on 8th August 2010 from noon to 3pm for a trip down memory lane

Joe Shenton said...

This is Joe Shenton here and I will be specially flying in from America for that gig! My agent will contact you for further details. Good luck for the day!

Ray Shenton said...

hello Joe, If you are flying in to Bardon Mill watch for a winedy runway with potholes. You might be better off on the one near the Roman Wall as it's a bit straighter. Looking forward to seeing you at Great Whittington on 8th August for what is promising to be a gig to remember

Brian Hopper said...

Hi I am Colin Hopper's(Banjo) son Brian who sadly passed away in 2007. Its good to see that Ray continues to have the gig's at Great Whittington. I know my dad really enjoyed them. Since he passed away I have been looking into history of the band. I have found the site very informative and interesting. To see that the band continues after 50 years is great testiment to the orginal members!!!!

Dawn mcdougal stephenson said...

Hi this is Harry stephensons daughter dawn my dad showed me his photos of the band and I think they are amazing he still loves playing his clarinet and guitar and his mouth organ �� ���� what he first started with he is 84 now and to see this and read this is truly amazing, yous have all done brilliant and done the north east town proud �� it’s just so awesome to see this and all them years ago, I’ve showed my 2 daughters and my grandson, my dad gave his great grandson a harmonica of his he’s 9 yrs old so may be he might follow in the footsteps off his great grandfather ! And a great jazz band ����

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