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Bebop Spoken There

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Friday, June 10, 2011

R.I.P Johnny Heenan.

Rather belatedly I'm afraid the death of Johnny Heenan has come to my attention. I don't know the exact date but the funeral is on Tuesday June 14 at the West Road Crematoreum, Newcastle at 2:00pm. Afterwards there will be a musical send off with Colin Haikney and friends at the Three Mile Inn Gosforth.
Johnny was such a larger than life 'Pal Joey' type character that I'm sure there will be many anecdotes rolled out. One that I heard was of Johnny and some friends on their way to a race meeting somewhere in Scotland which involved a ferry crossing. It was a bank holiday and there was a long queue and they realised that if they waited their turn to board the small ferry the race meeting would be half over. Bold as brass, Johnny drove to the front of the queue oblivious to the tooting horns and told the ferryman he was a surgeon on his way to perform a life-saving operation at the local hospital. The ferryman allowed him on board but, unknown to Johnny, he'd also phoned the police who insisted on escorting him to the hospital!
He was also a great singer and in later years did a lot of charity work for the Variety Club of Great Britain and other worthy causes. As recently as earlier this year he was involved in such an event at Gosforth Park Hotel.
He will be sadly missed and life will be just that little bit duller in the entertainment world.
I'm grateful to Ian Stocks for passing on the sad news.
Lance.

2 comments :

Anonymous said...

Johnny was such a great character...... & a singer that connected with the songs he sung...Which is sadly often missing in the young guys singing Swing music today !... I learnt a lot from him, The many times i worked with him....... I did my first gig in London with him & that led to making the contacts that enabled me to settle here.... A funny man aswell .... Sleep well Johnny

Anonymous said...

I worked with John in the sixties.
I met up with him again in 2005 and he was a wonderful friend to me.
He was very brave during his illness and always positive.
If there is a heaven there are some wonderful musicians waiting for him.
Keep on singing!!!

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