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Bebop Spoken There

Pat Metheny: "The best guitar player I've heard in maybe my entire life is floating around now, Pasquale Grasso." - (Vintage Guitar Magazine February 2016)

Archive quotes.

The Things They Say!

Hudson Music: Lance's "Bebop Spoken Here" is one of the heaviest and most influential jazz blogs in the UK.

Rupert Burley (Dynamic Agency): "BSH just goes from strength to strength".

'606' Club: "A toast to Lance Liddle of the terrific jazz blog 'Bebop Spoken Here'"

The Strictly Smokin' Big Band included Be Bop Spoken Here (sic) in their 5 Favourite Jazz Blogs.

Postage

13,359 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 13 years ago. 777 of them this year alone and, so far, 51 this month (June 13).

From This Moment On

JUNE

Wed 16: Washboard Resonators @ Punch Bowl Hotel, Jesmond, Newcastle (8:00pm). SOLD OUT!

Thu 17: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, North Tyneside (1:00pm).

Thu 17: Maine Street Jazzmen @ Sunniside Social Club, Gateshead (8:30pm).

Fri 18: Jazz Jamaica @ Sage Gateshead (8:00pm).

Sat 19: Jude Murphy @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle (8:00pm).

Sun 20 Knats @ The Globe, Newcastle (8:00pm). Advance booking essential: www.jazz.coop. SOLD OUT. Livestream available from £7.50.

Mon 21: Jazz in the Afternoon @ Cullercoats Crescent Club (1:00pm). POSTPONED!

Wed 23: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club (1:00pm). POSTPONED!

Friday, December 18, 2020

How I Became Addicted to Jazz. Miles Watson reflects ...

How did I get into jazz? I didn’t, it somehow got into me. Growing up in the '40s and '50s in a house where the wireless (radio) was always on, the popular music of the day was infiltrating my brain with the dance bands and record request programmes. I first heard Muggsy Spanier, Bunny Berigan and Fats Waller on Forces Requests, the word jazz was never mentioned it was all part of the pop culture.

At the end of the war my eldest brother bought a self-changing radiogram with his demob gratuity and every week would come back from town with an eclectic selection of 78s everything from grand opera to Spike Jones. My favourite pastime was playing the B side of the popular records, Fats Wallers Moppin’ & Boppin’Shortnin’ Bread and Dinah and Pee Wee Hunt’s Somebody Else Not Me, are still fondly remembered.

Saturday evenings in the Men’s Institute listening to the football results followed by Jazz Club with the likes of Harry Parry and Freddy Randall and later in the week listening at home with ear pressed up against the speaker to catch Kenny Baker’s Dozen on Let’s Settle for Music. By then I thought I knew what jazz was all about after buying Rex Harris’ Penguin book on jazz but really the eye opener came on a visit to the Oxford Galleries to hear Freddy Randall who’s 7 piece band just about blew the roof off with not a piece of music in sight.

The direction of my interest was now set for life, listening to local and national bands and record buying. Then the highlight of my life, the appearance of Louis Armstrong at the City Hall. Like a lot of others there that night the hairs stood up on the back of my neck and the 25 bob for the ticket was the best spend of my life. The succeeding concerts by the legends and the newer stars of jazz just embedded the music that far into my soul that even marriage, family, mortgage, work and other interests could never dispel. In my 85th year and as Duke said “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore” my love for the music is still as much alive in me as it was 70 years ago.

Miles Watson

4 comments :

Lance said...

Great stuff Miles and how similar are my own early memories. Louis at the City Hall, Kenny Baker and, like yourself, most of all, Freddy Randall. I was 15 or so and heard the band at Seaburn Hall. I remember Betty Smith on tenor, leaning back on her high heels and blowing some great Bud Freeman/Eddie Miller tenor. Strangely, Betty is rarely given her due when the current in theme - women in jazz - is brought up.

I digress. When I floated out of Seaburn Hall the last buses and trains had gone and I had to get a taxi home which didn't please my parents who had to fork out!

For me the Randall band was the best of the lot. Far more exciting than Humph or the trad/pop bands that followed. Only Alex Welsh compared and his personnel were mainly ex-Randall.

Russell said...

Miles, what's a 'self-changing' radiogram?

Hugh said...

Perhaps one that drops the records sequentially one on top of the other when the previous one has finished playing?

Lance said...

They were popular in the 78rpm era just after the war when electrically powered turntables replaced the old wind-up ones. You could stack 8-10 discs giving you 30+ minutes of music - in theory. In practice it wasn't all that simple. The first record played fine as the turntable had a material surface that prevented the discs from slipping. After that when it was shellac upon shellac the discs did tend to slip. Plus the weight of 7 records on 1 probably caused the turntable to slow down. The advent of the vinyl LP was welcomed by all except those who didn't want to have to buy 8 or 12 tracks in case they didn't like all of them!

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