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Bebop Spoken There

Jeremy Pelt: "In my experience, the hottest player on the scene is almost always the most annoying motherfucker on the scene because they know that they're hot." - (DownBeat June 2019).

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2019 Parliamentary Jazz Awards

The voting is open between now and May 31 to enable site visitors to nominate their choices in the various categories of this year's APPJAG awards which can be done here.
BSH was very proud to be nominated and to win the 2018 Media Award and hope we can have your support again this year.

Today Monday May 20

Afternoon

Jazz

Jazz in the Afternoon - Cullercoats Crescent Club, 1 Hudleston, Cullercoats NE30 4QS. Tel: 0191 253 0242. 1:00pm. Free.

Evening

?????

To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Friday, February 11, 2011

A History of Jazz in Newcastle by John Pearce.

Alan Rudd sent me this article by the late John Pearce detailing Jazz in Newcastle up to about 1962. It's from The Journal Weekend Magazine.
A History of Jazz in Newcastle by John Pearce. 
Newcastle in the flapper era was like any other large city. The cloche hat, the Oxford bags, the Charleston, were rampant, and all were symptoms of a country attempting to throw off the mantle of wartime austerity and gloom. When the Original Dixieland Jazz Band appeared in London in 1921, they were a symbol of the Gay Twenties. The O.D.J.B. travelled North for a month's stay at the Oxford Galleries, and so jazz came to Newcastle. The year 1934 is important in New­castle's jazz history. Dick Kelly and a friend, students at King's College, per­suaded the management of the Oxford Galleries to let them hire a room. Thus was founded the Newcastle Rhythm Club, official number 57. After the war, the N.R.C. took up the reins again in premises in Ridley Place. The N.R.C. had several meeting places., the Bridge End Hotel; the Roma Cafe, in the Bigg Market (1949), where Stan Wilde and his Wildcats were resident; and the Crow's Nest Hotel (1952). Stan Wilde's band split up, and the Panama Jazzmen were formed by pianist Norman Rudd. He recruited Stan Martin (clarinet) and Ronnie MacLean (trombone) from the Wildcats, and added Joe McMullen (cornet) and Teddy Hutchinson (drums). At the same time, Hughie Aitchison formed his Benecia Jazz Band, which later became the Cellarmen. Early 1954 saw the opening of two new jazz clubs, the Alexandra, in Heaton, with the Clem Avery Jazzmen in residence, and the Pelican Club, in the News Theatre. In 1954, the N.R.C. moved first into King's Restaurant, in Northumberland Street, then to the Mahogany Hall, in the Royal Arcade. where it also changed its name to the Newcastle Jazz Club. The featured bands were the Panama, the Cellarmen, and the Clem Avery Jazzmen. When Clem left the band, it was taken over by the banjoist John Young, who, at the same time, assumed the name "Mighty Joe." It was about this time that King's College made its mark on the Newcastle jazz scene. In 1955, some good modern jazz was being played by a college group which included Don Armstrong (clarinet and tenor) and the Carr brothers, Mike and Ian (of whom more later). The next year saw the formation of the Quaysiders by clarinetist Peter Smailes; in 1957, the College Kings were launched by P e t e r McLoughlin (clarinet) and in 1958, Bill Croft formed his Blue Star Jazzmen. Later, the Wednesday night was opened by the Clem Avery Jazzmen, and eventually a third night, Thursday, was taken up by the College Kings. The College Kings evolved into the Commodore Jazzmen, led by myself (trumpet), with John Crone at the piano. In early 1955, banjoist Peter Deuchar formed the Vieux Carre Jazzmen, with Peter Gascoigne (trumpet), John Saxelby (clarinet), and Jim Stewart (drums). They were resident at the Club Martinique, also in the Royal Arcade. After about 18 months, the club moved to premises in St. James Street, and eventually to Melbourne Street, where it was renamed the New Orleans Club, with the Vieux Carre Jazzmen resident on Fridays and Sundays. The Mighty Joe Young Jazzmen, who later changed from New Orleans to Mainstream, started a Saturday night residency at the club. Gradually, every night of the week was taken up by different bands. For once, the vagaries of Services' postings benefited jazz. In 1959, L.A.C. Malcolm Cecil was posted to the North­-East, where he met Mike Carr. With Mike Jeffrey and two associates, they opened the Downbeat Jazz Club, where the now famous EmCee 5 first played. Early 1960 found the River City Jazz­men playing Saturday nights at the Downbeat. This band included Jack "Dad" Potts (trumpet) and Ray Shenton (tuba). Later that year, Bill Croft's Blue Star Jazzmen, with John Walters (trumpet) and Jeff Robinson (drums), began the Thursday night session, changing later to Friday night, to share the bill with the Kansas City 5, with Eric Burdon. John Pearce circa 1960.

10 comments :

Ian Huntly said...

I was a regular at The Newcastle Jazz Club in the 50s and 60s and was a great fan of Ronnie Robinson (Clarinet) - When I used to walk in he would play Sweet Lorraine.

The Club closed down and the area was razed to the ground. We had a "funeral" parade across the city to commemorate the loss of the club and it was a memorable day since I played my clarinet next to Ronnie.

The club was excellent.

Anonymous said...

Ronny was my Dad

Nick Telfer said...

I would be very interested to hear any recording of John Saxelby. I have a theory which at present I'm keeping to myself. I was a frequent visitor to Melbourne Street when Ronnie was playing there. Incidentally somewhere or other I have a recording of Eric Burdon singing "In The Evening" with the Mike Carr Five recorded in Blyth by Morton Sounds

Ian Huntly said...

Has there ever been a special commemoration of the Melbourne Street Jazz Club......I am at an age now that I sit and reminisce about days gone by....One of my happiest memories was being a regular at the club.-------Happy days...

Lance said...

Melbourne St., Nelson St., Royal Arcade, Forth Banks, Carliol Square - so many venues all worthy of Blue(s) Plaques. Someone needs to write the definitive study of Jazz in Newcastle. The late Chris Yates did a fantastic job with his Blue Horizons but it still left work to be done from earlier years and, as the vines drop from the trees, it needs to be sooner than later and, before you say how about you? this site takes up 24/7 of my time - I do know a man...

Anonymous said...

try and find a copy of sex, brown ale and rhythm and blues (the life that gave birth to the animals
) by george pearson. also remake remodel, roxy music 52 to 72 talks indepth at the start about jazz in newcastle in the late 50s. both great reads. stu, forest hall

Lance said...

I've got the Pearson book which is a really good read - an interesting mix of fact and fiction. I'm unfamiliar with the Roxy Music book but will look out for it. Another good one is Eric Burdon's "I Used to be an Animal But I'm Alright Now"

Russell said...

A new book is about to be published on the life and times of Eric Burdon covering his early years to his long-time exile in California. . Philip J Payne's 'Eric Burdon: Rebel Without a Pause' (Tyne Bridge Publishing) will be available in Newcastle City libraries and other selected outlets from November 1.. £7.50., 52 pages with 40 images.

Unknown said...

My dad, Joe Shepherd, played jazz trombone at the Newcastle New Orleans Jazz Club around 1960. Does anyone remember hearing about him?

Anonymous said...

Hi all. My name is Mark I run Walden Records in Saffron Walden 2nd hand Record shop. I recently discovered a photograph album of Jazz musicians, bands playing live which are from the Newcastle area, I would say 1950s, King'c College Jazz Club etc. Please contact my via email koolkatz1@btinternet.com or search for walden records on Facebook. Many thanks. Mark.

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