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Obit: Bernard Overton--1930-2008

GUEST,Graham Bradshaw 21 Jun 08 - 09:25 AM
Leadfingers 21 Jun 08 - 09:47 AM
Greenacres 21 Jun 08 - 05:42 PM
Gurney 21 Jun 08 - 06:09 PM
The Fooles Troupe 21 Jun 08 - 08:07 PM
GUEST,Roddy 01 Jul 08 - 10:56 AM
Gedpipes 02 Jul 08 - 06:15 AM
Black belt caterpillar wrestler 02 Jul 08 - 07:24 AM
GUEST,Larry Arnold 20 Jul 08 - 07:24 AM
Jack Blandiver 21 Jul 08 - 05:04 AM
GUEST,an amature tin whistle player in Shanghai, C 26 Dec 09 - 05:49 AM
Jack Campin 26 Dec 09 - 06:22 AM
GUEST,Peter Laban 26 Dec 09 - 06:27 AM
GUEST,DONG 28 Dec 09 - 06:44 AM
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Subject: Obit: Bernard Overton
From: GUEST,Graham Bradshaw
Date: 21 Jun 08 - 09:25 AM

It is with great sadness that I learnt of the passing of my good friend Bernard Overton.

Bernard collapsed and died at his caravan in North Wales last Friday (13th). He had been suffering with Parkinson's Disease for the last few years.

Already well-known on the trad jazz scene, primarily as a piano player, by the early 60s, Bernard was in at the start of the folk-revival in Coventry. Singing traditional songs accompanied by his guitar, he was almost a fixture in all the fledgling and burgeoning clubs in and around Coventry and Rugby.

I first met Bernard in 1967 when Derek Sarjeant and I were booked to appear at Coventry's Village Pump club. This was a then unique concept. It was firstly a ceilidh club, with the ground-breaking Magic Rantabout in residence (of which Bernard was a member), but they booked a song guest who appeared in the middle between the dancing, plus a floor spot or two. The week we did it, the floor spot was Eddie and Finbar Furey who lived in Coventry at the time!

And this is the connection which made Bernard famous. It was Finbar Furey who approached his old mate Bernard - " Bernard, I've broken my old bamboo flute. Can you make me another one out of metal that sounds the same?"

And that was how the Low D whistle was born. Virtually invented by Bernard, he went on to develop a whole industry around this instrument, and the Overton brand, although much copied by others, went on to become the most sought after instrument for whistle players all over the World. The role call of Overton players includes the very best in every genre of music. He was still building whistles right up until his death.

Bernard and I became close friends after I moved to Coventry in 1970, and we played in a ceilidh band together - Brown Boots and No Breakfast - during the 80s and early 90s. We also were band musicians for Earlsdon Morris Men from 1975 to the early 90s.

Everybody who came into contact with him has colourful anecdotes to tell of Bernard, most of them unrepeatable here. He was a true one-off.

I last saw him a couple of months back at the Tump Folk Club in Brinklow, where he lived, and despite his Parkinson's, we had a good old reminisce about the old days.

I am sure many others will have much more to say about this great man. He had music coursing through his veins, and touched literally thousands of people in the folk and jazz worlds. The world will be a poorer and much less interesting place with his passing.

No doubt when he reaches the pearly gates, he'll come out with the immortal saying, " Hey mate, is this the effing gig?!"

The funeral is at Canley Crematorium at 2.00 pm on Monday 30th, followed by a memorial service at 3.00 in Brinklow Parish Church.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Bernard Overton
From: Leadfingers
Date: 21 Jun 08 - 09:47 AM

Never managed to get hold of an Overton whistle before Bernard got out of the business ! And by the time I could have afforded one , I wasnt happy about the way the worked , and the price !
Still a Sad Loss to the world , even if he did have to get out of whistles because of his health !!


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Subject: RE: Obit: Bernard Overton
From: Greenacres
Date: 21 Jun 08 - 05:42 PM

Bernie's whistles are very popular here in Japan. Here's Hatao playing one on Youtube


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Subject: RE: Obit: Bernard Overton
From: Gurney
Date: 21 Jun 08 - 06:09 PM

I remember Bernard from my days in Coventry. A big man, and one who didn't suffer fools gladly. He was just starting his whistles in those days, from aircraft-alloy tube, tuned by ear. A top-class welder, his aluminium welding was a pleasure to see.

Another good man gone.


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Subject: Obit: R.I.P. Bernard Overton 1930-2008
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 21 Jun 08 - 08:07 PM

Forwarded from "Chiff & Fipple"
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Dear Friends,

We have this sad announcement from Colin Goldie.

------

Unfortunately we have to let you know of the sad news that Bernard Overton passed away last week. It was quite unexpected and a shock for many. It happened last Saturday when he was on a weekend break with his wife Margaret. She has been trying to contact family first before making it public.

Many will know Bernard but for those who do not, he together with the help of Finbar Furey introduced for the first time in traditional music, lower keyed whistles, most notably the Low D. It is 40 years this year since he made his first whistle and he never stopped making even up to the last days. Before he started making whistles there were no bands playing the lower keyed whistles and when you look around today there are so many musicians/bands in the world that use these instruments. It is quite unbelievable really and also how many instrument makers have started making these instruments since then. What was started back then, certainly has made a big effect on the sound of the music we hear today. Chances are high that one of your favorite bands uses Low whistles. He will be missed a lot by those who had known him.

The funeral will take place on the 30th of June in Coventry, UK.

Our thoughts are with Margaret, Dawn and David.

Colin and Brigitte

-----

It's difficult to fatham Bernard Overton's contributions to the music we love. Our best to his friends and family.

Dale
Chiff & Fipple


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Subject: RE: Obit: Bernard Overton--1930-2008
From: GUEST,Roddy
Date: 01 Jul 08 - 10:56 AM

How ironic, how bloody sad, that I should learn of Bernard's death the day after his funeral.

Only met him twice, a few years ago, briefly, and since then one telephone call. Yet he made an impression on me. He was, quite obviously, a man dedicated to music.

Last year I actually drafted a letter to him but had lost his address and never sent it. When will I learn? - don't put things off, do them today, especially when they involve people like Bernard.

My condolences to his lovely wife Margaret and family.


Roddy


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Subject: RE: Obit: Bernard Overton--1930-2008
From: Gedpipes
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 06:15 AM

Sad loss
I bought my first Overton Low D in 1980 in Dublin and still play it virtually every day.
Blue skies mate
Ged


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Subject: RE: Obit: Bernard Overton--1930-2008
From: Black belt caterpillar wrestler
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 07:24 AM

Our condolences on behalf of those of us who used to enjoy his visits to the Halton Folk Club near Lancaster.

Robin Madge


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Subject: RE: Obit: Bernard Overton--1930-2008
From: GUEST,Larry Arnold
Date: 20 Jul 08 - 07:24 AM

Sad to hear this, many years ago back in the sixties my dad used to run the Cofa's tree folk club in Coventry along with Bernard.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Bernard Overton--1930-2008
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 21 Jul 08 - 05:04 AM

I let my Overton low D whistle go years ago, but still have low D & G 3-hole pipes which have been treasures now for over 25 years. Much respect to the passing of a great craftsman.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Bernard Overton--1930-2008
From: GUEST,an amature tin whistle player in Shanghai, C
Date: 26 Dec 09 - 05:49 AM

it is too late to get this news. Actually I wondered for quite a time why there're no new Overton whistles in the online shop of bigwistles. My first, now maybe the last Overton Low D is always my love to create unforgetable tunes. In this memorial season, god bless Mr. Overton, a name linked with premium whistles.

DONG, a player from Shanghai, ExpoCity 2010, China


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Subject: RE: Obit: Bernard Overton--1930-2008
From: Jack Campin
Date: 26 Dec 09 - 06:22 AM

Colin Goldie is still making Overton whistles (as he was when Overton was stll alive) so they're still available. His are indistinguishable from the originals.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Bernard Overton--1930-2008
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 26 Dec 09 - 06:27 AM

Colin is now making whistles under his own name. He is no longer using the Overton name. See also the C&F forums and Colin's website for full explanation of what went down.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Bernard Overton--1930-2008
From: GUEST,DONG
Date: 28 Dec 09 - 06:44 AM

I worte the message above just after I saw Mr. Goldie's new website. I am pleased that from Sep he is using his own name. In this branch, a mark of the instruments does always mean the heritage. I have my master who has made Chinese bamboo flutes for over 30 years. He used his name after 10 years behind his master. I have Goldie's High D, Overton (original) low D and Overton G by Goldie (his marked his name inside the tube). This Oct I just bought a new Goldie's high D for my colleague. Her daughter loves the sound of whistle and has already being learning flute for five years. The instrument was a award to her for her sucessfully exam result.

DONG


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