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Bebop Spoken There

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11,740 (and counting) posts since we started blogging just over 12 years ago. 880 of them this year alone and, so far, 17 this month (August 4).

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August

Thursday 6: Vieux Carre Jazzmen - The Holystone, Whitley Road, Holystone, North Tyneside NE27 0DA. Tel: 0191 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free. OUTDOOR gig.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Remembering Kay Rouselle

Drummer/Bandleader Ian Lawrence (Stocks) sent me this photo of the late Kay Rouselle singing with his big band and remarking that he rarely hears mention of her these days which is a pity as, at one time, not only was she winning beauty contests but also went on to become possibly the best vocalist to sing with the Don Smith Band at Newcastle’s famous ballroom, the Oxford Galleries.*
Ian believes Kay’s last big band gig was with his band. She sang with the band for a number of years playing gigs in both England and Scotland.
Although the band included many top local musicians such as Ray Harley and Arthur Mowatt, it didn’t, says Ian, stop Kay speaking her mind if she thought something wasn’t being played right.
The Mayfair Ballroom and the Gosforth Park Hotel were among the many local venues they played. Ian remembers an occasion, after a riverboat trip down the Tyne and back, the bass player packing his instrument then looking over the side of the boat and Kay yelling at him, “Are you going to f…ing help with the gear?”
That, says Ian, was Kay!**
Sadly, Kay Rouselle’s life ended tragically in June 2003, when she died from head injuries received after falling downstairs at her home in Gosforth. She was 63.
Lance.

* The Don Smith line-up in 1962: Brian Whittle (lead alto), Andy Colquhoun (2nd alto), Gary Cox (1st tenor), Joe Patterson (2nd tenor), Gerry Gerke (baritone); Charlie Rowlands (lead trumpet), Terry Noonan (2nd trumpet arranger), Terry Morgan (3rd trumpet), Tony Bishop (4th trumpet); Derek Pilkington (1st trombone), Tommy Weatherley (2nd trombone arranger); Alan Blomerley (piano arranger), John O’Carroll (bass), Johnny Butts (drums). Vocalists: Kay Rouselle and Terry Milligan.
(Crescendo - August 1962).

** Ian goes on to tell about a gig with Arthur Mowatt on keys and Herbie Hudson on trombone. They were doing a Glenn Miller set and Arthur’s music began to slide off the stand. Kay rushed to try and help and, in the process, accidentally hit one of the buttons on the keyboard resulting in an array of bird sounds! Herbie, to his credit, just as Glenn did when the Doodlebugs were overhead (or so Hollywood would have us believe), kept on playing without missing a beat…

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