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The Blue Circle, South Ruislip

Derek Lester writes: "Throughout the 1960s we went to the Blue Circle Club in West End Road, South Ruislip HA5 6QX, The Blue Circle was a rough dive and was there in 1964/5. It is too long ago to remember details but Trad Jazz was played. My home was in Torrington Road and my girlfriend lived in Mahon Road, South Ruislip. Memories of sitting on a Triumph Bonneville at the Polish War Memorial roundabout tearing off up to the Hillingdon roundabout and back at an average speed of a ton still haunts my memory. Does the Blue Circle still exist? Someone mentioned that it had become a museum to the Polish Airmen. Does anyone know or remember the club?"

Sandy Brown Remembered

Ron Geesin writes: "Here’s a wee story: When I had left the Original Downtown Syncopators (extremely vintage jazz) in 1965 and was flailing about to find a way forward, the first obvious move was to do intervals, solo with piano and banjo, at the jazz clubs that had known that band. One club that accepted my crazy dadaistic uproars was Osterley. Since I didn’t drive at that time, I would usually get the tube back to my basement flat in Notting Hill, but on one occasion Sandy Brown gave me a lift back in his little van. As you will know, he was usually well lubricated - and long before any drink driving laws. We were coming into Hammersmith, dropping down off the flyover. At the foot of the slip road was a set of traffic lights. They were RED, but Sandy was going at full pelt. I shouted, “RED LIGHTS!” and he screeched, slid and weaved to a halt flanked on at least one side by traffic. We stopped right on the line! Another time at Osterley, I had just come off battling and bantering with the audience when Bud Freeman, who was over here touring with Alex Welsh, quietly advised me, “You’ll make it, boy.” Ah, what fun I’ve had to get to 80!

Annette Hanshaw

Alan Bond has responded to Ron Geesin who has also asked if we can help with more information about Annette Hanshaw (see article above). Alan says: "How fortunate of Ron to have met Annette Hanshaw. Both Brian (Rust) and Trevor (Benwell) spoke of her with great affection and they both remarked on how modest she was about her achievements. Like Ron, I have all her recordings on a set of CDs, including those with the Hawaiian band, which are not, of course in Rust. I also have the recorded interview with Brian (here). I think any comparison with Helen Kane is rather unfortunate as I feel much more comfortable with Annette's cheeky style. Trevor was fortunate enough to meet her when he was over in the US in in 1942 with the R.A.F. Liaison team, by which time she had ceased recording. I can't really shed much light on her recordings other that to say I have everything that is listed in 'Rust' plus the later Hawaiian themed stuff. Almost all of it is on Spotify from where it is easily downloaded. There is a lot of the Rust Information included in Tom Lord's 'TJD online', a very useful source of information

The Folk Barge, Kingston Upon Thames

Paul Smith writes: "I am trying to research the history of Kingston-Upon-Thames ’Folk Barge’ (1961 onwards) an old Dutch coal barge moored on ( I believe) Townsend Wharf. I understand it was previously a venue for Jazz & Skiffle so I was hoping you might have some info or better still photos please?

[If any readers have memories of the Folk Barge, please let us know. Ed]

Oscar Rabin

We have been contacted by Brian who has a YouTube channel intriguingly called “Honest Arry’s Go Man Go Channel” that features the music of David Ede and the Rabin Band. Brian would like to contact anyone who knew Oscar Rabin to contruibute to a biography Brian is writing. If you could help, please email him here.

Bill Brunskill and Alex Pangman

Michael Walmsley writes from Canada: "I enjoyed the article on Bill Brunskill (here) having spent many a Sunday round the back at The Fighting Cocks in Kingston. The video of Bob Erwigs band was shot at Alexandra Bay Jazz Weekend in Quebec. I was the banjo player responsible for finding  Alex Pangman (see the video of Nobody Knows You When You're Down And Out on the Bill Brunskill page).  She used to ride at a riding school along with my family and I heard her sing at a Christmas party. I had a quartet at a local hostelry and invited her and her mum to join us. This was her first concert away from the home base. I spent my final year as a student in London playing with Terry Pitts band, (Cy Laurie minus Cy), and was very happy he could join us then. Bob Erwig was the trumpet with The Climax Jazz Band (Toronto). The sax player was an editor with The Globe and Mail Paper, Canada’s No1 newspaper incidentally. I am now retired but still playing along with the bassist and pianist. Alex Pangman is now married and still singing in Toronto, now with a much more professional band.

[Our page about Bill Brunskill needs updating and I hope to do that shortly - Ed]

The Viaduct Pub, Hanwell

Roger Trobridge writes: "I have just spoken to my friend Alastair Young who leads the Ealing Community Interest Company which seeks to preserve and publicise the musical heritage of the Ealing area. We were talking about the history of The Viaduct pub in Hanwell where a lot of the early jazz bands played as well as Cyril Davies and his friend Colin Kingwell. The current landlord seems to be interested in the history of the pub and its music room so I suggested that we might be able to get some memories from the readers of your newsletter. For the last 10 years we have run the Hanwell Hootie to get new music back into the pubs of Hanwell - the home of Marshall Amps. The next one will be on 11 May, 2024.

[If any readers have memories of The Viaduct, please let us know. Ed]

Sandy Brown In Ireland

Sandy Brown in Ireland 1963 Conor Guilfoyle.jpg

While researching the history of jazz in Ireland, Conor Guilfoyle has sent us newspaper cuttings from the  RTV Guide for February 1963 when Scottish clarinettist Sandy Brown was playing there. Part of the cutting reads: "Leading the group, a clarinettikst, an Englishman, Sandy Brown, who has just won the poll for the top jazz clarinettist in Europe. With this combination you will not be surprised when I tell you that an extremely high standard of jazz was created. I think if you went anywhere in the world and and asked them what they thought of the Irish modern jazz scene, they would tell you they didn't know they had one. This is only because of lack of opportunity.” and in an article by Peter Collinson: "Jazz musicians are a group of people who live in a world of their own, and within this world they create music that is entirely personal. In this respect they are an extremely lucky group of human beings. This is proved as only great jazz is created by musicians when they are allowed complete freedom of expression. Now and again one comes across the odd case in this world when a musician has pushed himself to the extreme of his own technical ability and creativeness and has often looked for drugs  as the answer to go even further. Modern jazz as such is an extremely young form of musical expression and is only truly appreciated by a minority ....."

Laird Parker

Eric Henning writes: 'I was reading your page about Charlie Parker and his son Laird (here).  I met Laird when I used to go to his music/recording studio in Lansdale.  I believe the address was 109 Walnut Stret, Lansdale. Pennsylvania, USA.  It is a smoke shop now.    I traded a few guitars for a Vox Berkeley amplifier.  I’ll have to see if I can find the receipt.   Once while cleaning the frame, I found the name “Parker” written in pencil.  I also seem to recall him telling me he had a woman relative living close by near Lambertville New Jersey.'
2.2024

The Best Of Sandy Brown Album

Greg Blose  has written asking about an album The Best Of Sandy Brown, and album unknown to us. Greg says it is a 2009 CD album which has 34 songs." Despite searching, we have not been able to locate it. Greg asked in particular about a track, Sandy's Blues. That track is available on the album In The Evening, recorded by Sandy with the Brian Lemon Trio here. Has anyone come across the 'Best Of' album Greg asked about?

2.2024

The Birdland Music Box

Leon Parker and Dave Harwood have been looking into the history of the Birdland Music Box, an Uxbridge record store. Leon sends this information from Dave that some readers might find of interest: "I found this piece in the 'West London Observer' dated Friday 13th December 1957: “RECORD SHOP USED BY FAMOUS. Do you want to use a record shop where you can rub shoulders with the famous? Well then the place for you is the Birdland Music Box, opened on Saturday by former Eric Silk's Traditional Jazz Band drummer, Stanley Lewis. Present, to wish him good luck at the opening, were many famous personalities of the music world. They included two of his best friends. Ken Sykora of the B.B.C. 'Guitar Club' and pianist Dill Jones of B.B.C. 'Jazz Club' fame. It was Dill Jones who cut the tape at the opening ceremony. Mr. Lewis has one of the biggest stocks of jazz and popular records in West London at his shop, which is at 166 Uxbridge Road, Shepherds Bush. He also has a tremendous range of musical instruments, especially guitars. Is Mr. Lewis retiring from playing now? Not likely, he told me. I'm still playing gigs around the town and shortly I shall be forming my own club trio.”

2.2024

Mike Coney

Mike Coney's daughter Carolyn writes: "I have just finished reading your article online about The Dancing Slipper, West Bridgford.  I stumbled across it as I have been searching for articles about my dad, Mick (Mike) Coney who was a superb drummer back in the day with John Johnstone All Stars and Johnny Hobbs, along with other bands.  I remember him playing regularly at The Britannia, and The Fiveways, but don't recall the Dancing Slipper, though I have to admit I was a young child and was more into Wham! than Jazz! Dad passed away, after a short illness, last Monday, 18th December, aged 86 and we want his send off to be a Tribute to him.  When he and his wife Sue Coney got married, their Reception was a great affair. It was like an Open Mike night where musicians were coming and going, up on the stage, play a few numbers and then another would join them or take their place.   Sue would like something like this for dad, and she does have a contact in the now dwindled trad jazz world, but when I read your article I thought I'd get in touch to see if you had any other articles that mention my dad?   I was delighted that one of your writers, Bob Jackson, included a picture of the Jazz Spectrum band, and my dad is on drums!  Precious, precious memories. I would be thrilled to receive any further info/articles/mentions of my dad, and would be very grateful."

[If anyone remembers Mike, please let us know and I'll pass your memories on to Carolyn and Sue. Ed]

Jazz Spectrum Bob Jackson b.jpg

Jazz Spectrum. L-R: Ken Sansom (trombone/banjo); Bob Jackson (vocals/trombone); Ralph Laing (piano/leader); Mike Coney (drume); Dave Leithead (trumpet); Jerry Williams (clarinet/alto sax); Bill Cole (basss). Probably taken at the Old General in 1970/1971 Photograph © Bob Jackson

1.2024

Infusions Community Radio

Pat Megginson has written to say: "I would be grateful if you could plug my show on your site - which is critically short of promotion (afraid I have a few years before I retire and can put more effort into the marketing side...). It's called Infusions and is mainly contemporary jazz and airs on the third Monday of every month between 7.00 pm and 9.00 pm on www.radiofreematlock.co.uk.

Infusions Radio.jpg

Radio Free Matlock, based in the Derbyshire town, was originally an ultra-local station, broadcasting a few shows online each week for the residents of one small part of Matlock. In 2018 the decision was made to spread the word and expand the station’s line-up to include not just core weekly shows, but also monthly shows on rotation too. Like many local radio stations it now can be heard online by a far wider audience. The link above will take you to their website where you will find more information about the station and its presenters. Of Pat Megginson it tells us "Pat Megginson is what is often referred to as a “veteran broadcaster” or more simply just “old“. Having cut his teeth in the late seventies & early eighties in college radio presenting funk and soul shows, he took a thirty year sabbatical before joining a local community station in his native South Lincolnshire, having developed a love of jazz. Having moved onto a number of online stations in more recent times, Pat relocated to Matlock in late 2019 and joined us in  2021."

1.2024

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