It’s always interesting how we “old-timers” got into the music. For me, it was what American writer Edward Allen Faine describes in his books as Serendipity – or chance.
In my youth, I’d listen to the Top Twenty show on Radio Luxembourg. In those days, the reception was very intermittent and adjacent stations frequently overpowered each other. I vividly remember one evening when a French station nudged Johnny Ray or Patti Page or whoever aside. It was a Dixieland band – maybe Spanier or the Bobcats – I was hooked and I never did retune to Luxembourg apart from mid-evening when Martha Tilton had 15 minutes accompanied by if my memory serves me right, Country Washburn.
It was good to read John Haylock’s letter (JJ 1118). I too was knocked out by hearing Woody Herman – albeit at the other end of the country to him (Newcastle). We recently exchanged those memories at an Ivy Benson Tribute gig in Durham. And, as regards Don Ellis, I recommend Electric Bath. If he doesn’t like the music he’ll enjoy the cover!
Finally, the article on Ronnie Ross (also JJ 1118) made me wonder if Gordon Jack wasn’t confusing Don Rendell with Don Lang (Gordon Langhorn) when he mentioned “Cloudburst”? Likewise, he refers to Rendell and Ross touring with MJQ and later writes about MJQ playing in Manchester with Ross and Joe Harriott (I have one of those “widely circulated tapes”) and also still have the MJQ with Harriott and Ross programme when they played at Newcastle City Hall.
Ross came in the middle of the Klein, Ross, Surman triumvirate. Who, I wonder will be the next British Baron of the Bari?
Lance Liddle, Newcastle – editor of Bebop Spoken Here