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Bebop Spoken There

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As we all know there are no live gigs taking place in the immediate future. However, any links to jazz streaming that are deemed suitable - i.e. with a professional approach - will be considered for posting.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

More Local Jazz History.

(By Robert "Archie" Forster).
I happened on your website while searching re the recent death of Joe Young, (a real gentleman), who I knew from the old days and played with a couple of times. It raised many memories for me of the Tyneside trad jazz scene of the 50's and later. I was at school with Peter Gascoigne and played piano in an early band featuring him and Ronnie Robinson (about 1952). Before long Peter G left to join Peter Deuchar's Vieux Carré Jazzmen group. Since Deuchar felt that "pure" New Orleans style was derived from marching bands, piano players were a non-requirement so I then joined Eric Miller's Castle Jazz Band in about 1953 , playing piano to support Eric (a fine trumpet/cornet player), Ronnie Robinson clarinet and John Wheatley (tuba) - We played a number of gigs at the Royal Arcade and elsewhere. (The style leaned in the direction of Louis Armstrong and King Oliver). After Ronnie Robinson left to join the Vieux Carre, the Castle Jazz band had difficulty fielding a full team (the VC/Ken Colyer style having more support).
In 1956 I left Newcastle to start work in the South, where I played with a mainstream quartet in pubs in Reading - thereafter in the 60's I worked in New Jersey , USA where musical standards were astronomically high and the only jazz was modern. (I haunted the clubs but knew I wasn't remotely up to the standard needed to play in public). Thereafter, I worked in Venezuela for some years and in my spare time played with a small Dixieland group mainly in a singles bar in Caracas. Now peacefully retired (living in Longframlington) I have many good recollections of 50's Newcastle and the jazz scene in general (and "The Golden Tiger" in particular).
Robert "Archie" Forster.
P.S. I hadn't spotted your website before and found many fragments of interest re the past Tyneside scene. Interesting things keep popping up which still surprise me about that era - e.g. I met Peter Deuchar again briefly in London in about 1964 and he mentioned that he had a new band (Big Pete Duker and his Professors of Ragtime) and have since realised that the guitar player in that band was John McLaughlin (top world class musician!!)

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