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Bebop Spoken There

Danny Halperin: "Johnny Griffin is possibly the worst tenor saxophonist who has come to widespread public attention in the past decade." – (Jazz News, March 21, 1962).

Polly Gibbons: “If Billie [Holiday] had come up in the ’60s, she probably would have been a soul singer” – (Down Beat August 2017).

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Today Wednesday August 16

Afternoon
Vieux Carre Jazzmen - Crescent Club, 1 Hudleston, Cullercoats NE30 3OS. 1pm. Free.
Maine Street Jazzmen - Tynemouth Metro Station, Station Tce., Tynemouth NE30 4RE. 1pm. Free.
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Evening.
New Orleans Jazz at the Village Hall - Springwell Village Community Venue, Fell Rd., Gateshead NE9 7RP. 8:15pm. £3.
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Take it to the Bridge - The Globe, 11 Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. £1. 8pm.
Billy's Acoustic Blues - Billy Bootleggers, 28 Nelson St., Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9pm. Free (weekly).
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Tees Hot Club - Cleveland Bay, 718 Yarm Rd., Eaglescliffe TS16 0JE. 9pm. Free.
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Friday, August 02, 2013

RIP Sheila Giles

It is with much sadness that I have to announce the death earlier today of former north east jazz singer Sheila Giles. Sheila was a regular performer on the Newcastle scene for many years in the 1950s and '60s and the Sheila Giles Band was well known on the north-east jazz club circuit. Her voice, very much Bessie Smith orientated, had a rich timbre that could fill a room with or without a microphone and was often compared with Ottilie Patterson.
Prior to becoming established in the jazz world Sheila sang with dance bands such as that of Johnny Openshaw at the Hedworth Hall South Shields.
In recent years she lived down south in the London borough of Ealing where she died in Hanwell House Care Home.
Sheila Giles was thought to be in her early eighties.
In her last hours it is reported staff played jazz records for her right to the end which is how she'd have wanted to go.
Sheila, I'll propose a toast to you tonight with a (virtual) Pigfoot and a (actual) Bottle of Beer.
Rest in Peace.
More photos.
Lance.
PS: I'm not certain of the source of the photo - it may have been John Taylor but it is accompanied by an, in retrospect, emotive message from David Hinge Sheila's ex husband. It was posted last year. 
I'd appreciate it if anyone with photos of Sheila could scan them to me for inclusion in this small tribute.

6 comments :

  1. Sorry to hear that, Lance. I did lots of gigs with Sheila in the early 1970's, at Bamburgh's Music Hall, the Redhills in Durham with the Savoy Jazzmen (still got some rather grainy photos from 1974 of her singing with the band), and other places in the Newcastle area. She was great fun, and loved to sing slightly risqué songs such as "Ford Engine Movements in My Hips" and "She Had to Go and Lose It At The Astor". I, too, shall raise a glass to her!

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  2. Sad news. I well remember hearing Sheila singing at jazz clubs when I first got interested in the music. Later when I started playing I got to know her. She was a charismatic performer with a commanding presence and her great love of the music shone through. As has been said already she was very much in the Bessie Smith style. I've good memories of those days.
    Roly

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  3. Sheila and I were very close friends for more years than I care to remember. I have many happy memories of concerts and gigs as Sheila sang with local bands, as well as having her own band for a few years. In 1982 Sheila relocated to London where she gave several concerts. Her pianist at that time was the late Mick Pyne. Although during the last four years Sheila's health had deteriorated, we still managed to speak to each other regularly. I will miss her very much but I am so thankful our paths crossed all those years ago. RIP Sheila.

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  4. I met Sheila in approx 1988 in London. We were attending a performing arts course in Westbourne Grove/ Ladbroke Grove. She had suffered damage to her nevk and vocal cords and was retraining her voice. One night in a pub where there was a live jazz group playing she got up and sang " Mad about the boy ""
    It blew us off our seats. I remained friends with Sheila for a couple of years and then I immigrated. I often wondered about her and tonight I heard a jazz song that made me think of her so I googled her and found this news of her passing. Sad to hear it. A tiny lady with a massive voice. RIP.

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    Replies
    1. Do you have any recordings of Sheila singing? She was my great Aunty who I only met when I was very young and I would love to learn more about her.

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  5. Helen Hayden. Can you contact me regarding Sheila as I may have some information for you.

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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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