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Bebop Spoken There

Dave Gelly: “From 1 January 1920, when prohibition was imposed in the US, people didn’t stop drinking, they just stopped drinking legally.” – (Jazz Journal October 2017).

Regina Carter: “When I was a teenager, I would daydream about going out on a date and dancing to Ella’s music.” (Down Beat October 2017).

Bebop Spoken Here on hold

As of tonight (November 15) at 21:00 hrs, this site will be temporarily on hold to allow for essential executive maintenance. Some minor activity may be possible during this period and we hope to have normal service resumed as soon as possible.
We apologise for any inconvenience caused.
Lance

Today Thursday November 16

Afternoon
Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Holystone, Whitley Rd., nr. Newcastle NE27 0DA. 1:00pm. Free.

Tees Valley Jazzmen - White Horse Hotel, Burtree Lane, Harrowgate Hill, Darlington DL1 3AD. Tel: 01325 463262. 1:30pm. Free.

Evening.
Maine Street Jazzmen - Potter’s Wheel, Sunniside, Gateshead NE16 5EE.

Ponyland - Bar Loco, 22 Leazes Park Road, Newcastle NE1 4PG. Tel: 0191 232 5871. 8:30pm. Free.

TBA – Railway, Wellington St., Gateshead. 8pm.

Mary Coughlan - Queen Vic, 78 Victoria Road, South Shields NE33 5PQ. 0191 447 0290. Doors 7:00pm. £18.00 (advance) from The Word (South Shields Library) or by card, tel 0191 427 4597.

Tees Hot Club w. Kevin Eland (trumpet); Donna Hewitt (sax); Graham Thompson (keys) - Dorman’s, Oxford Road, Middlesbrough TS5 5DT. 9:00pm. Free.

New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band - Oxbridge, Oxbridge Lane, Stockton TS18 4AW. 8:30pm.01642 678129.

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

Saturday, January 09, 2010

THE RIVER CITY JAZZMEN-- REPRINTED FROM JUST JAZZ INTERNATIONAL MAGAZINE. Part one.

This is a copy of a 2005 article from Just Jazz International magazine by trombonist and leader of the River City Jazzmen, Gordon Solomon. It is re-printed here as a tribute to the band which called it a day earlier this year.
Lance.
The RCJ was formed in 1955, making this year, 2005, the 50°’ anniversary for the band. To the best of my knowledge only two other bands have played together continuously for this length of time - the Chris Barber band, of course, - and the Merseysippi band from Liverpool. The story actually began in 1953 at Max Share's music shop in Percy Street, Newcastle-upon-Tyne. In an effort to interest young people in music, (if only it would happen today!) Max had formed a weekly harmonica club in a room above his shop. It was here that three youngsters, Ray Shenton, Herbie Hudson and Harry Stevenson met up and decided to set up a harmonica trio which they called the Harmonica Hoodlums! The boys got quite a lot of work, and in 1954 they were invited down to the Lime Grove Television Studios in London to appear on an early talent show called “All Your Own” which was presented by Huw Weldon. Following this they did regular radio broadcasts in the North of England until, with the addition of three more keen friends, they decided to form a traditional jazz band, hence the River City Jazzmen were born. The band was an immediate success with the quickly growing number of jazz followers. The personnel changed slightly at this time but soon settled down to a stable unit made up of John Potts - Trumpet, Herbie Hudson - Trombone, Harry Stevenson - Clarinet, Colin Hopper – Banjo, Ray Shenton - Tuba, Brian Sanson - Drums. Shortly after this Ray Shenton’s brother Joe joined on washboard giving the band a very distinctive sound. Joe also took over as band manager and later proved himself to be an ideal front man for the band. This group became very popular and usually played 5 to 6 nights a week at venues all over the North, -- there were many thriving clubs in the area at that time such as the Royal Arcade , the New Orleans Club and the Downbeat in Newcastle, and the likes of the Coatham Hotel in Redcar and Baileys in South Shields. Obviously there have been personnel changes over the years, and the sound of the band has changed , but it is still going strong and is fortunate to still have a good number of loyal followers. During 1980 clarinetist Bruce Bakewell joined, and his lovely New Orleans style was much appreciated. Bruce later played and recorded with Ken Colyer. Also, at this time, trumpeter Joe Errington, now with Papa Bue in Denmark, was with the group and stayed for many years. Probably the most famous musician to play with us was a certain Gordon Sumner, known nowadays as Sting. Sting had played bass with trombone player Gordon Solomon for 12 months in 1973 in two earlier bands, the Phoenix Jazzmen and the Newcastle Big Band, and when Gordon left to join the RCJ Sting followed and helped out for a few gigs. Gordon Solomon 2005 (to be continued...)

4 comments :

Ray Shenton said...

Hello It is Ray Shenton here. How nice to read your article on the formation of the River City Jazzmen. It certainly brought back memories. My tuba has more leaks than Wales so I now play the piano and harmonica with some of the boys about twice a year. Come to Great Whittington Jazz picnic on 8th August 2010 from noon to 3pm for a trip down memory lane

Joe Shenton said...

This is Joe Shenton here and I will be specially flying in from America for that gig! My agent will contact you for further details. Good luck for the day!

Ray Shenton said...

hello Joe, If you are flying in to Bardon Mill watch for a winedy runway with potholes. You might be better off on the one near the Roman Wall as it's a bit straighter. Looking forward to seeing you at Great Whittington on 8th August for what is promising to be a gig to remember

Brian Hopper said...

Hi I am Colin Hopper's(Banjo) son Brian who sadly passed away in 2007. Its good to see that Ray continues to have the gig's at Great Whittington. I know my dad really enjoyed them. Since he passed away I have been looking into history of the band. I have found the site very informative and interesting. To see that the band continues after 50 years is great testiment to the orginal members!!!!

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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: lanceliddle@gmail.com I look forward to hearing from you.

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