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Bebop Spoken There

Michael Dease: "Slide [Hampton] is also one of the people to expand the range of the horn, so he's popping out high Fs like they're breakfast cereals." - (JazzTimes Oct. 2019).


Daily: July 6 - October 27

Precarity John Akomfrah’s film (2017, 46 mins) about Buddy Bolden - Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead Quays, South Shore Road, Gateshead NE8 3BA. Tel: 0191 478 1810. Screenings at intervals during the day. Part of Akomfrah's exhibition Ballasts of Memory. Exhibition (daily) July 6 - October 27. 10:00am-6:00pm. Free.

Today Friday October 18



Precarity John Akomfrah’s film (2017, 46 mins) about Buddy Bolden (see above).

Classic Swing - Jesmond Royal British Legion Club, West Jesmond Avenue, Jesmond, Newcastle NE2 3EX. Tel: 0191 281 0736. 1:00pm. Free.

Rendezvous Jazz - Monkseaton Arms, Front Street, Monkseaton NE25 8DP. Tel: 0191 251 3928. 1:00pm. Free.


Ella Fitzgerald: Just One of Those Things - Forum Cinema, Market Place, Hexham NE46 1XF. Tel: 01434 601144. 7:00pm. £8.30. - £5.80. Film (2019, 89 mins) directed by Leslie Woodhead. Swing Bridge Trio in Café Bar following screening.

Dave O’Higgins & Colin Oxley - Great Broughton Village Hall, Ingleby Road, Great Broughton TS9 7ER. 7:30pm. £20.00. ‘O’Higgins & Oxley Play Monk & ‘Trane’. Oxley replaces Rob Luft.

Paul Taylor - Ushaw College, Durham DH7 7DW. Tel: 0191 334 5119. 7:30pm. Free (donations). An Ushaw Piano Festival event.

Jazz Lads - Saltburn Cricket Club, Marske Mill Lane, Saltburn TS12 1HJ. Tel: 01287 622761. 8:00pm. £5.00.

Guisborough Big Band - Saltburn Golf Club, Guisborough Road, Saltburn TS12 1NJ. Tel: 01287 622812. Time TBC.

Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool - Tyneside Cinema, Pilgrim Street, Newcastle NE1 6QG. Tel: 0191 227 5500. Time 8:30pm. Screening of Stanley Nelson's documentary film (2019, cert. 15, 1hr 55mins).

Blues/Soul etc.

Ray Stubbs R & B All Stars - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9pm. Free.

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

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Peter Fielding and his Band - Oxford Galleries 1936

Our man in Hong Kong - the intrepid Colin Aitchison - sent me this rare poster of Peter Fielding and his Band who, many years ago, were resident at Newcastle's Oxford Galleries. Colin tells me the poster dates from around 1936. I thought Fielding's tenure at Newcastle's once most famous ballroom began a little later although the uniform of the lounge lizards pictured tallies with the era.
I wonder if anyone can put names to the faces? Also, did Peter Fielding's Band record?
Sounds like a case for John Carstairs Hallam.
(Photo below from J.C.Hallam)


steve Andrews said...

John Hallam will no doubt be able to give you chapter and verse, but according to what he has told me, Peter Fielding was resident during the winter season at the Oxford galleries between 1934 and 1948, after which George Evans replaced him. (Query? - did Don Smith do a stint BEFORE George - I know he came in later on? I thought George went in in 1951 - he was still recording vocals with Geraldo in 1948, e.g. "So tired"). One of Fielding's band members in the 1930's was Max Cresswell, who was the original owner of my beautiful Pierret "Vibrator" tenor. Peter Fielding's real name was Antonio Volpe, and I think, although I'm not sure, that he may have been an ancestor of a very talented young trumpet player called Pete Volpe who, 40 years ago, used to play alongside the equally talented Cormac Loane at the Gosforth Hotel. Colin Aitcheson was also there and will remember how they used to blow the rest of us out of the room even as teenagers!

Mal Maddock said...

Great bits of nostalgia....... I had the pleasure of working with Peter Fielding's son Mike when I was around 14..... what a lot I learnt from him... & what a gentleman... & swung like crazy....... Happy Evenings
Mal Maddock

Colin Aitchison said...

Fascinating information on Peter Fielding, my father remembers seeing the band, and he told me it was a very good band,and then it was George Evans, and of course Don Smith, and Steve, yes I remember those sessions, while the big band was on holiday, and it was my first shot at putting something together, I think I was around 17 or 18, I also have 3 tracks from one of those sessions,on tape, Sting & Kevin Elliot are also on them, I think there was only around 4 sessions that we did at the Gosforth, and I do remember you chaps blowing like hell on those sessions, fond memories of days gone by....

Anne DeVere said...

Saw this item on Peter Fielding and out of interest I thought I'd mention that my father worked with his band pre-war--he was a pianist and his name was Bunny Young. I never knew him as he left my mother during the war and went off with a 'modull' in London. I was a miracle baby, as my mum was told she could never have children, however 6 years into the marriage out I popped much to her surprise!--and his dismay!
My father worked in London and recorded with many bands of the day--he also backed Sophie Tucker et al. I inherited his height, his poor eyesight and his fair hair and his great love of music--my mum was no slouch as a singer too! She warned me in my late teens NEVER to marry a musician, which is understandable and guess what--yes 3 of the so and so's!!! But I saved the best till last.
Best Wishes and keep up the good work

Desmond Jones said...

I had the pleasure of knowing Peter Fielding (and his son, Michael) when he 'depped' for the Syd Dean Orchestra at the Regent Ballroom, Brighton. This would have been around the mid fifties. Peter helped give we Southerners a chance to hear just how good the bands were 'North of Watford Junction'! At that time Peter was based at the Sherwood Rooms, Nottingham.
For me Peter's claim to fame was his amazing arrangement of the Perry Como hit 'Til The End Of Time' (Based on Chopin's Polonaise in A flat minor) It was the only time I'd ever seen dancers just stop and listen to the band!
In Peter's line up was a young guitarist by the name of Judd Proctor, who went on to become one of our leading jazzmen.
Your photos of Peter's Orchestra certainly are from the mid Thirties. I notice that the drummer was one George Sumner, who I later knew at the Scala Ballroom, Leeds.
I have some sheet music of 'Little Lady Make Believe' published 1936(price 6d), featuring Peter's photograph on the front and crediting the Oxford Galleries.
I'd like to thank you for the opportunity of taking me back through time and to a special part of my life!

NB: I thought Barbara Jay's comments on the Astoria, Charing Cross Road (alas, no longer)a little unfair. When I was there, it was a great place to be - with many fine bands, including Harry Leader, who gave Matt Monro his first job when he returned from the Far East.

roberta blair said...

peter fielding was my god father my family lived next door to his on heaton road im 65 now and remember fond memorys

John Carstairs Hallam said...

Perhaps to be kept a secret........ According to one of my early Melody Makers Peter Fielding was originally a banjo player!
Around 1934 there were several photos taken of Fielding at the Oxford. Sadly, I lent the one showing the band on the stand (with all their doubling instruments) to the Evening Chronicle. FOOL! Of course it was never returned. An original was owned by a widow of one of the band members - and I believe she tore it up along with other photos when she became poorly.
Has anyone got any copies?

Dorothy Cheesmur said...

Peter Fielding (Antonio Levio Volpe 1902-1966) was my uncle, known as Tony in our family. His parents (my grandparents) came from Castelforte, Latina, south of Rome. He played many instruments, mandolin, banjo, guitar etc. His sons were all musically talented and three of them played in his band in Newcastle - Tony, Peter and Mike - the Peter Volpe in the comments above was not 'an ancestor' but his son. And a grandson, Peter Volpe, now living and running a jazz band in Paris is his grandson.
In the 1950s, when big bands began to go out of fashion, Uncle Tony formed a trio and took them on cruise ships, they also played at The Dorchester Hotel, London. He was often on BBC Radio, sometimes appearing by himself and playing mandolin.
During the early 1960s Uncle Tony developed cancer. He died in 1966 at my aunt's house (his sister Esterina) in Pimlico, London. He was my mother's favourite brother and she often went to Newcastle to help look after his children when the band toured. My grandfather, Salvatore Volpe, took him to his home in Italy often when he was a young boy.

Steve Andrews said...

I was actually referring to Peter Fielding as being an "ancestor" of Pete Volpe, with whom I played in the early '70's, which, of course, he (PF) was, as confirmed by Dorothy above.

Anonymous said...

My name is Davina Brown and I have just discovered that Antonio Volpe was my great uncle! My mother and uncle are Joy Brown and Michael Harnetty. So Dorothy I would assume that they are your first cousins. My Grandmother was Gilda Volpe, so she must of been Antonio's sister. We
live in Australia and have lost contact with
the Italian side, although my Uncle Mike has been researching and making contact ovet the last few years. I'm truly fascinated by this connection and have always had a deep love of Jazz...perhaps it is just in my blood! I also would love to get my hands on any recordings if anybody manages to
track any down!

Louise and Paula said...

We are two of Antonio Levio Volpe's grand daughters-Louise and Paula from a family of the eight children(6 girls and 2 boys)of Peter Volpe and wife Anne.
Our father changed our surnames to Fielding by deed poll many years ago.
It is fascinating to read this blog and we are actually in Sora,Italy on holiday at this time visiting the family of Peter's youngest son Richard who by chance met his wife Emilia in Newcastle and moved to Sora where her family lives.They have 2 sons,Luca and William Fielding.
Sora is only 80km from Castelforte where our grandfather originates from!!.
We are planning to visit Castelforte in the next 2 days and it will be great to make contact with any of the Volpe family connected to our grandfather if possible.
Please get in touch via this blog ASAP and look forward to hearing more!!!.

Katrina Heywood said...

So fascinating to read these posts about my great-grandfather Peter Fielding (aka Antonio Volpe). I am the grand-daughter of his eldest son Tony Volpe, who sadly passed away 4 years ago. We were very close and he is missed greatly, he had a great love of music like his father before him and was always playing away on his piano-keyboard. I remember taking him to see a Glenn Miller tribute band when he was in his 80's which he loved. It was so lovely recently to see many of the Volpe descendants at Gloria's 80th birthday last weekend (Peter Fielding's only daughter). Only four of his six children are still alive, with his son Peter still a practicing musician in Ireland in his late 80s! Looking forward to seeing my uncle the younger Peter Volpe when he comes over from Paris this Christmas. Talented family I'm proud to be part of it!
Katrina Heywood

carstairs said...

If you're anywhere near Cullercoats on a Monday afternoon, I'd love to meet you. We have a quartet which plays from 1 to 3. Do you have any family photos? The best one I had, with PF at the Oxford, was lost by the Evening Chronicle and the original was destroyed by the widow of one of PFs prewar musicians when she was clearing up!
John Carstairs Hallam

Evie Mundy said...

It's so amazing to hear all these stories and connections to Peter Fielding, I am his daughter Gloria's grand daughter, so it appears I am distantly related to a few of you! I am a photography student in my final year at Southampton Solent, and for my final major project doing a research project into my Italian Heritage. I am planning a trip to Castelforte next month and will hopefully be meeting up with some Volpes still living in the area. It's amazing to be part of such an interesting and talented family and I am excited to see how the project will unfold.

Anonymous said...

Hello Evie,
How did your trip to Castleforte go?
I'm Antonio Volpe's grandson - Stephen - and son of Roy Victor Emanuel Volpe (and Norma).
I'm on holiday in Mexico and tonight my friends were asking about my surname so I googled this blog and saw your post.
It would be great if you could let me know more about your trip to Castleforte.

carstairs said...

I still haven't located any more photos of Peter Fielding. A few years ago I traced one through a 1960s Chronicle. However, they did not have a copy in the archives and when I traced the source he had disposed of it!

Miki Volpe said...

I am the son of Mike Fielding,(Mike Volpe, the son of Antonio Levio Volpe, (Peter Fielding). 'Carstairs', if you send me your email address I will email you some photographs of both Peter and my father Mike!

carstairs said...

Thank you Miki. My email address is
Did you live in Belsay Avenue? I still do!

Blog Archive

About this blog - contact details.

Bebop Spoken Here -- Here, being the north-east of England -- centred in the blues heartland of Newcastle and reaching down to the Tees Delta and looking upwards to the Land of the Kilt.
Not a very original title, I know; not even an accurate one as my taste, whilst centred around the music of Bird and Diz, extends in many directions and I listen to everything from King Oliver to Chick Corea and beyond. Not forgetting the Great American Songbook the contents of which has provided the inspiration for much great jazz and quality popular singing for round about a century.
The idea of this blog is for you to share your thoughts and pass on your comments on discs, gigs, jazz - music in general. If you've been to a gig/concert or heard a CD that knocked you sideways please share your views with us. Tell us about your favourites, your memories, your dislikes.
Lance (Who wishes it to be known that he is not responsible for postings other than his own and that he's not always responsible for them.)
Contact: I look forward to hearing from you.

Submissions for review

Whilst we appreciate the many emails, texts, messages and other communications we receive requesting album/gig reviews on BSH, regrettably, we are unable to reply to all of them other than those we are able to answer with a positive response.
Similarly, CDs received by post will only be considered if accompanied by sufficient background material.
Finally, bear in mind that this is a jazz-based site when submitting your album.