The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #20801 Message #2868806
Posted By: GUEST,Rick Norcross
21-Mar-10 - 04:49 PM
Thread Name: Remember Les Cousins, in London's Soho?
Subject: RE: Remember Les Cousin's, in London's Soho?
Sure have enjoyed reading the Mudcat accounts and memories of those all-nighters at Les Cousins! I played there many times during late '65 and the first two months of '66, emceeing the midnight to 7 am sessions on Saturday January 15, February 5th, 19th and March 11th. Pay was 10 Quid and I was glad to have the bookings. One of the February bookings was Paul Simon's "Going Away" party when Paul was finally going back home to work the "Sounds of Silence" success (under duress from Columbia). That was an amazing night, Derroll Adams, Sandy Denny, Jackson C. Frank, Bert Jansch, John Renbourn and the usual suspects. Meg came down and sang her "I'll Fly Away." I lived in a house in West Dulwich owned by Hylda Simms where Diz Disley also lived and we cruised around the folk clubs in his 1929 red-label Rolls. I arrived in London from my home here in Vermont (New England) in June of '65 and went directly to the Troubador where Redd Sullivan kindly allowed me to do a few tunes as a floor singer and immediately booked me from there on a regular basis. I worked for Graham Wood at London City Agency (Paul Simon and I were his "American folk singers"). There has been reference to Art Garfunkle living in London at that time but that was not the case. He was still in college back in New York. Artie came over for two weeks in the late fall for a visit during that period. Once Sounds of Silence put them into the big time, then of course they came back many times. Yes I am still working/singing after all these years with my western swing band, Rick & The Ramblers (www.rickandtheramblers.com) and unfortunately have not played back in London since 1974. I am heading to Murcia, Spain on May 6th to play for the Brits who live there by invitation from Hugh Aldous who ran a very successful folk club in Bedford back in the 60s. I thoroughly enjoyed my years playing the folks clubs, over 50 of them all over England from Haverford West, Carlsile in the north all the way down to Cornwall and Devon. I will never forget the kindness and the friendships I made, particularly Noel Murphy, Redd Sullivan, Weston Gavin, Derek Sarjeant, Diz Disley, Sugar Bill Robinson, Brian Leake, Dana Gillespie, Bill Clifton, Luthier John Bailey (who built me an 18-string guitar), the aforementioned Hugh & Nancy Aldous and so many more wonderful musicians and characters who took me under their wings.
Thanks so much for sharing your memories of Les Cousins!