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Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)

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Subject: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 05:16 AM

R.I.P. JOHNNY COLLINS

Our friend, mentor, long time resident and president of Herga Folk Club is no more. True to his muse to the end, he had a fatal heart attack while on tour in Poland on Sunday 5th July. Our thoughts now are with Joyce and with Johnny's family. We will post more relevant information here as it becomes available.
The Big Fellow has gone. His voice is still.
But not in our hearts.

'...Haul away to heaven
God be at my side...'


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: Waddon Pete
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 05:17 AM

This is very sad news. My thoughts are with you all.

Peter


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: Gervase
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 05:21 AM

Bloody hell. Johnny's voice has been a part of my musical life for as long as I can remember. I'm lost for words.
For anyone who might not know what a gentle giant among men Johnny was, see here, although his own website doesn't do him justice.


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: GUEST,tom bliss
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 05:27 AM

oh no! such a great man, and I was so proud to have his support. i'll sing God Speed for him tonight

Tom


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: Mo the caller
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 05:28 AM

Bromyard festival won't be the same.


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: Valmai Goodyear
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 05:32 AM

This is a terrible loss.

With deepest sympathy to Joyce and the family,

Valmai (Lewes)


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: Chris Green
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 05:36 AM

Very sad news. A giant of a singer and a giant of a man. Rest in peace Johnny.


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: SunrayFC
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 05:37 AM

On behalf of the Sunray Folk Club we send our condolences.

Our thoughts are with Joyce and the family.


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: Leadfingers
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 05:38 AM

Johnny has been a mate for nearly Forty years ! A sad loss to his family , friends , and to Folk Music


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: GREEN WELLIES
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 05:41 AM

He visited our village hall some time ago. Once seen, never forgotten. Condolances to his family.


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: Hovering Bob
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 05:42 AM

Helen and I are both in shock at the news. He was one of our best friends. He was our boss in 'The Singing Chef' for more years than I can remember and best man at our wedding. We've lost a friend and the world has lost one of the finest singers who ever graced a stage.
I can still hear him singing 'Peslar' and will do for years to come.
Too many memories to write any more.

BobH


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 05:43 AM

NOooooooooooooooooooooo!!!

Totally lost for any other words... can't really take it in. So sad.

LTS


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: The Sandman
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 05:44 AM

I am shocked.
this is sad news.condolences to Joyce.RIP,johnny.


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: GUEST,Edain (sans cookie)
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 05:44 AM

Terrible news. The folk music world has lost a truely iconic figure.


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: SylviaN
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 05:49 AM

I've been sat here trying to take this news in. I'll miss Johnny's laugh, his smile, his twinkling eyes and his hugs.

Please send Joyce and his family my warmest thoughts. So very, very sorry for their loss.

Sylvia


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: GUEST,Derek Schofield
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 05:58 AM

This is very sad news. I sang alongside Johnny on many occasions in the 1970s ... shanty sessions at Sidmouth spring to mind, as well as on one of Jim Mageean's LPs. Enjoyed him and Jim singing at the Liverpool Maritime/Shanty festival last July, alongside the tall ships.
My condolences to his family.
Derek


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: old git
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 05:58 AM

A big man with a big voice. A big hole has been left in the folk world.
I have fond memories of the Roaring Forties acting as Johnny's "backing group" at many Lancaster Festivals.

condolences to Joyce

geoff turner (and The Roaring Forties)


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: Ross Campbell
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 05:59 AM

So sorry to learn this. From early Fylde festivals to latter Lancaster Maritime festivals, Johnny's visits to this part of the world were always a pleasurs.

Ross


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: GUEST,Helen Akitt
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 06:07 AM

Just got the email from George and I can't believe this! So glad I saw him last weekend at the Eric Bogle concert. Voice sounded like he'd been overdoing it a bit then. Singing to the end.

To say Johnny will be sorely missed is an understatement. I don't really know what else to say at the moment, it feels like a huge personal loss never mind to the folk scene.

So sorry, Joyce.

Helen


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: Derby Ram
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 06:07 AM

I am speechless and mortified! If I ever believed anyone might live forever - it was Johnny! Close pal, ally and mentor for more than forty years. What are we going to do now? A one man wall of sound and a voice without which the world will be a different place for all those who knew and loved him and his music. Johnny had everything, talent, warmth, kindness, generosity, great knowledge and above all - humility - I will miss it all. Our thoughts of course are with Joyce and family at this awful time.

Sail on JC, sail on...


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: Dave Earl
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 06:09 AM

Johnny was the guest at the Lewes Arms for my bus pass birthday weekend in November.

It was a great night with Johnny in top form

It will be a lasting memory of him

The late night Shanty Sessions at Chippenham wont be the same and nobody will be able to sing Flying Fish Sailor(Blow The Man Down) in quite the same way as Johnny did.

Condolences to family and friends

Dave


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 06:12 AM

Very sorry to hear this awful news - condolences from all at Traditions at the Tiger where he was guest not that long ago.


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: Dave Illingworth
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 06:15 AM

Very sad news.
I was never a big shanty fan, but I really liked Johnny's singing from the time I first heard him many years ago.
Sadly never got to talk to him until just eight days ago when he was singing with Shanty Jack at the Braunston Narrowboat Festival - a very fine duo performance. He was extremely friendly to our band DPN (although we played a completely different musical style to his) and a very interesting talker. I was proud that he got up to
add his big deep harmony to our impromptu Worried Man Blues.
He kindly emailed me later to say that he would love to repeat the exercise some time.

At least I imagine he would have been singing till the end.

                      God bless.

                            Dave Illingworth


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 06:15 AM

Please keep the messages coming, they will be collated later with the emails that are already flooding in.

It so happens that Monday is Herga club night. Rather than cancel it, we agreed that we WILL meet at the club tonight to remember Johnny, though a more organised affair will no doubt be arranged later.

Jim Mageean was with Johnny, and is now fighting the logistics nightmare for bringing him back. News is scant, but I will update you as more news comes in.


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: Shantyjohn
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 06:17 AM

Such sad news, my prayers and thoughts are with his family. A lovely man who will be sadly missed.


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: the lemonade lady
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 06:18 AM

Thanks George for keeping us posted. It's such sad news. I shall miss him very much.

Love to Joyce.

Sal


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: Hamish
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 06:22 AM

That's a shock, right enough. Great voice, great man.


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: Gervase
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 06:26 AM

There was a great interview with Johnny by Mike Raven in Living Traditions back in 1998, which you can still see here.
Mike recorded Johnny for a radio programme he was planning to make, and it gives a lovely insight into the man Mike describes as "the archetypal English singer, a dignified gentleman and a jolly good chap to boot".
By heck, the 'choir invisible' up above won't know what's hit it!


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: Sugwash
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 06:38 AM

What a tragedy, another good man crosses over the bar. I was only discussing him with a friend last week.

My condolences to his family.


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: BB
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 06:39 AM

Writing through tears is beginning to be a bit of a habit. I find it hard to believe that he's gone, but as others have said, he was at least doing what he loved best, so if there's a good way to go, that's probably it.

Johnny has been part of our lives for so long that it will leave a huge gap - his support as a singer, through many years of Whittlebury Song & Ale, and through the current John Short project have been invaluable - and the latter project will miss him dreadfully.

Few had the huge natural voice that he was blessed with, and choruses with his bass were such a delight. His ability as a shanty singer often seemed to mask his skill with other songs, many of which he put into the popular repertoire of those who enjoy a good sing.

Although we've been in touch, we haven't seen him since Matt Armour's funeral, little thinking we would never see him again. Our thoughts and love are with Joyce and the family.

'When my day is over,
Haul away to heaven,
Haul away to heaven,
The Lord be by my side.'

May it be so, Johnny.

Barbara


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: The Barden of England
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 06:39 AM

What a blow this is. I luckily have managed to sing and play at some of the festivals that Johnny was also booked at and a warmer, friendlier man it would be difficult to find let alone replace.
My lasting memory is from a few years back at Rochester Sweeps when Kimbers Men and I were booked to sing on a two masted sailing barge berthed in Chatham Dockyard, and who should appear from below but Johnny. He joined Kimbers Men for a few songs, and what a special treat that was.
Such a great loss. My sympathies to Joyce.
John Barden


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: GUEST,John from Elsie`s Band
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 06:47 AM

On behalf of "Elsie`s Band" I send our condolences to Johnny`s family. We had the pleasure of working with Johnny and I know the community will sorely miss his prescence.


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: GUEST,madam gashee
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 06:53 AM

The world will be a less sunny place for a long time.
Miss him already,
Love to Joyce
Terri
xx


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 06:54 AM

So very, very sad. My thoughts and sympathies are with Joyce and the family. So many memories of wonderful shanty and song sessions at Bromyard FF.

John Taylor, Worcester


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: the lemonade lady
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 06:55 AM

Saying it all and nuf said


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: Steve Hunt
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 06:58 AM

Johnny Collins was (and is) a significant landmark on my musical map - a constant source of inspiration for twenty five or so years of my varied experiences and activity in folk music. One of the great, spontaneous joys of wandering around English folk festivals was suddenly hearing THAT voice launching into a song like: "Randy Dandy-O," and then sprinting for the door of the pub to get in the thick of it with the great man!


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: Crane Driver
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 07:02 AM

So sorry to hear this. We saw him recently at Les Sullivan's birthday bash and he seemed very well.

Our deepest sympathies to Joyce

And indeed our sympathies to Jim too

And to all of us

Andrew & Carole


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: MoorleyMan
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 07:04 AM

Yes this is devastating news.
Thankyou George... and DerbyRam for putting it so eloquently, I can do no better.

Johnny was such an inspiration to me personally too. By sharing that inspiration with me, he encouraged me to sing and to share songs.
He was also one of the most genuine and generous men I have ever met, a humble and ever-ready giver of anything and everything he could - far beyond the songs. And a mighty good friend.

To say he will be missed is a massive understatement.

My thoughts are with Joyce and family, naturally. May they gain strength and comfort from our prayers and condolences.


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: RWJ
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 07:08 AM

very sorry to get the news. lovely man. My thoughts are with Joyce.

Ron


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: Vic Smith
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 07:10 AM

This from Anni Fentiman

We are very sad to let you know that Johnny Collins has died this morning.
He was working with Jim in Gdansk and went to hospital after feeling unwell
in the night.

It is a very sad day for us all, the loss of a very great friend.

Our thoughts are with Joyce and his family.

We will make the details of funeral arrangements known in due course.

Anni


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: muppitz
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 07:10 AM

Words fail me.
Taken WAY too soon. We shared a stage once, I had hoped I'd get that pleasure again.

All my love to the family.

muppitz
x


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: Lanfranc
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 07:11 AM

When the email from George Papavgeris came this morning, it took several minutes for the news to sink in. After all, we'd only seen him a few days ago at the Watford Eric Bogle concert. He looked tired and was a wee bit hoarse when he sang, but he still had the twinkle in his eye that I always associated with him.

Our paths didn't intersect often enough and I am left wishing I had known him better.

Our condolences to Joyce and the family - I doubt we will ever see his like again.

Alan (& Liz)


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: fiddler
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 07:12 AM

I first saw Johnny when I was about 14, soem 40 years ago, never forgot him and was glad to know him, though not well, later as I got older.

As far as his singing goes top notch and as a person exactly the same.

As sad sad day for folk music aswell as his family.

Andy


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: nutty
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 07:13 AM

I've known Johnny since the early 70's when he regularly brought his big voice to the north-east. I just assumed he would go on for ever, despite a few health scares along the way. Such sad news - too many special people lost this year.

Special thoughts to Joyce and Johnny's family.

Who will make the pancakes now???


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: Azizi
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 07:14 AM

I didn't know Johnny Collins but judging from these posts, he sounds like a wonderful man.

On behalf of myself and other United States Mudcatters who may not have known him, my sincerest condolences to his family and friends.


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: Dead Horse
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 07:19 AM

Sad news indeed. I really liked the man and his music.
Never to be forgotten.


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: Jess A
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 07:22 AM

I'm shocked and saddened by the news, same as everyone here. I was really looking forward to seeing Johnny again at Bromyard this year and it won't be the same without him.
My thoughts and best wishes to Joyce and his family, and to Jim.

Jess xxx


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: Joules
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 07:24 AM

This is so sad and so sudden, was talking to Johnny and Joyce last Sunday at the Braunston boat festival, They were looking forward to their Whitby cod & chips at Bromyard. I just can't believe he's gone.
He will be sadly missed. Condolences to Joyce and family


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: Skipper Jack
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 07:27 AM

Devastating news indeed. I am deeply shocked.

My heartfelt sympathy goes out Joyce and family. He will be greatly missed in the folk world.

But Im sure he will be forever in our thoughts


Dave Robinson.


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: TheSnail
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 07:28 AM

Johnny always seemd like a permamnent part of the landscape. It was inconceivable that he would ever not be there. So glad to have seen him at Dave's birthday bash.

Best wishes to Joyce and the family,

Bryan


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: Barb'ry
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 07:29 AM

So sorry to hear the news. Johnny was a very special man. Much love to Joyce, family and all who treasured him.
Barb'ry


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: Tug the Cox
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 07:30 AM

Met him only once, he came into a sing around we usee to hold in the Bricklayers Arms in Leicester. It was a strictly 'round the room, no stars, no preferential treatment'affair. Johnny was entirely happy with that and took his turn. We couldn't resist asking him to sing us out though!


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: Wuzzle
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 07:30 AM

Those Angels are in for a real treat,
He will be sadly missed by so many.
we are so privileged to have met him and heard him sing,
We send our love to you Joyce and his family.
Gilly & Tony


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: cloudstreet
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 07:36 AM

A great voice, a wonderful man. A true carrier of the flame. A sad day. Our love to Joyce and all of his family.

John and Nicole


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: Bill D
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 07:38 AM

I was fortunate to see Johnnie & Jim at a small house concert here in the USA about 20+ years ago, and to talk with them.....and save them, for one night, from having to drink bad American beer. Johnnie was gracious and grateful, and I'm SURE sang even better with my Sam Smith's ale in him....

He was a great talent and an amazing 'presence', and I learned a number of songs from the LPs I acquired as soon as possible after realizing how they should be done!

My deepest condolences to his family and to those who knew him as a friend.


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 07:38 AM

I first met Johnny back in the early 70s (at Redcar Festival) and then spent 25 or so years with him at Herga. We played together in the ambitiously names Johnny Collins Big Band (there were 4 of us in total!), I played guitar for him on a couple of his CDs and he graciously sang harmony for Kitty and me on our CD. We've spent countless hours talking, drinking, eating and playing together and I shall miss him greatly.

He had an enormous repertoire of songs, not just the shanties for which he was perhaps most famous, and had that great ability to get people singing - he only had to open his mouth and you wanted to join in. He was the most affable of men, with a memory for hundreds of people's faces and names, and always had time to stop and talk - if he wasn't singing at a festival he was inevitably chatting away with someone. He had an enormous love of life and an infectious grin (when Herga put on The Transports at the National in the 80s, Johnny was meant to be a convict, singing Norwich Gaol. My abiding memory is of his face appearing from the gap in the curtains, with what must have been the biggest grin any convict about to be transported ever had).

I haven't seen him a lot since I left London, but it's hard to think that I won't see him again at festivals, won't enjoy his company again. It's a great loss.

My love and sympathy to Joyce.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: My guru always said
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 07:41 AM

Oh, I was so shocked to read George's email just now and so very sad to hear that Johnny has left us. The chorus of those who have gone before grows steadily and we must treasure the good memories of these good Folks. Sing well at Herga tonight!

Sincere condolences to Joyce and his family and all the good friends he has left behind.

Candle lit for Johnny, love & hugs to Joyce.
Hil


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: Alio
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 07:42 AM

Such sad news - I guess like many of you I thought he and his wonderful voice would go on forever. Lots of love to Joyce - there are lots of us thinking about you at this time.

Ali xx
Saddleworth


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: GUEST,blowz at work
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 07:43 AM

Alan Hardy just rang me and passed on the sad sad news. So shocked and saddened. Johnny has been a friend for nigh on 20 years - stayed at my house once, and we talked through the night, nearly.

I knew that opportunities for seeing him were going to be fewer, since the demise of Lancaster ... but to think that I'll not see him again is, at the moment, beyond comprehension.


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: GUEST,Kitty at work
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 07:44 AM

Helen A rang me at work when she got George's e-mail. I still haven't taken it in properly, and will miss Johnny very much. A huge hole in all our lives, and especially in Joyce's and the family's.

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: Gillie
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 07:48 AM

What a great loss for the folk world! Johnny was a tremendous man with a huge gravelly voice and a very big heart. I will miss seeing the twinkle that he always had in his eyes.

Love to Joyce and family and to Jim.

A candle will be it.

Gillie


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: Peter K
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 07:56 AM

I have just been informed that he felt unwell during the concert last night; Jim took him to the hospital afterwards. He was his normal self at the hospital talking and joking with the staff when the hart suddenly let out. The staff tried to revive him but were unable to do so.

He was a very gentle and genuine man. I remember him not as a shanty man, but as a bar singer at which he naturally excelled. A good friend to many, he will be sorely missed.


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: GUEST,flyingcat (moira)
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 07:56 AM

malc just emailed me at work with the news. I just don't know what to say! He was aways so encouraging and his joy of the music spread to everyone around him. I'm so sorry he's gone. Much love to Joyce and the family. Moira and Malc


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: Bill D
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 07:57 AM

**Playing Johnnie & Jim's "Coming of Age" album as I read the tributes of others.**

That voice will always be part of my memories of good times.


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: GUEST,Black belt caterpillar wrestler
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 07:57 AM

He was one of the most respected singers that I have had the good fortune to know. So often the term "respected" is used in this sort of circumstances but here I think that I use it in it's most intense measure. I counted him as a friend although only seeing him once or twice a year for a few minutes at a time, and so I expect did many others. He was most encouraging to me when I started out in the folk world.

I can only say that we have been blessed to have him for so long in view of his earlier heart attack some years ago when I was shocked at the possibility that his perfoming was at an end, but he returned to us, however we wish it could have been for longer.

My sympathy to Joyce and all the family.

Robin Madge


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 08:00 AM

I know what you mean. Many are respected for past achievements, and rightly so. But Johnny earned more respect every day of his life, to the end.


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: Ron Davies
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 08:02 AM

This is just so devastating. I am so, so sorry. I always meant to see him, but never got the chance--I don't see how the house concert Bill D mentions could have slipped by me.

Just from his CD's you can tell what a wonderful warmth and richness of soul emanated from him.   His singing "When All Men Sing" with the whole room joining in always seems to embody the timeless best of British folk.


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: GUEST,Fleggy
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 08:14 AM

sad loss to all who knew him; Johnny was not just a great performer but a great listener, always seemed to enjoy the moment and had great enthusiasm for life;
much missed
Chris and Jane


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: Joe G
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 08:16 AM

Very sad news indeed - condolences to Johnny's family & friends. Another giant of the folk scene has left us. In whatever way we can, let us help keep music live in his memory.


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: bavis
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 08:18 AM

I've been sitting here looking at this blank message box and remembering the ways Johnny enriched the lives of myself and my children who remember him with fondness. All I can say Johnny is thank God for lilo's, yours gave me the chance to become friends with one of the worlds true Gentlemen.

Love and thoughts go to you and your family Joyce.
Sarah


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: GUEST,barnacle
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 08:23 AM

"Full and bye, we'll cross the bar, now
forego every kind of sorrow"

Farewell friend.

We will miss you so much and treasure the good times for ever.

Love to Joyce and Johnny's family here in Norfolk.

John and Sue Griffiths


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 08:29 AM

Never was fortunate enough to meet him or see him in person, but have enjoyed his singing for years.

Condolences to his family and friends. "What you've once held in your hearts is never gone" and his voice will still be heard.

Linn


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: jacqui.c
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 08:38 AM

I'm stunned. Johnny was such a presence that it is hard to believe that he is gone. I saw him last year at Sharps and so enjoyed that.

At least he went fast. That probably isn't any consolation to his family and friends right now, but he went out doing what he loved. Sincere condolences to his family.


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: Skipper Jack
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 08:47 AM

Baggyrinkle are greatly saddened by the news of Johnny's passing.

We have many happy memories of our associations with Johnny at various festivals at home and abroad.
He along with Jim Mageean did the shanty sessions at Pontardawe Festival for a number of years in the early days, and he graced the stage at Swansea Maritime Festival on several occasions.

He became an honorary member of the Baggies with their trip around The Baltic in 2007.

"Let union be in all our hearts;
Let all our hearts be joined as one...."

We send our heartfelt sympathy to Joyce and family.


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: GUEST,Dan McKinnon in Nova Scotia
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 09:01 AM

I'm still in shock...

I'll never forget the first time I met Johnny and Joyce, at the Redditch Festival about 14 years ago. We had just met when the festival was nearing its end. And as we were talking, I mentioned that I was heading back to Canada in a couple of days. They then 'told me' I was staying with them. I was bundled off after the festival, with guitar and pack in hand, and showed the sights and sounds of their home and Herga, (for the first time). Wow! Two days later they got me to the airport, on time.

It was nice to be in their company this year once again, where they got me to Heathrow, on time, when I headed for home after this past tour.

There is a hole in my heart where that big voice still resides. Sending heartfelt thoughts to Joyce and Johnny's family from Nancy and me here in Nova Scotia.

Dan


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 09:10 AM

Sad sad sad, it's been expected but nonetheless, it still shocks.
RIP Johnny,
At least I still have some lovely photo's of the great man

John


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: Dave Roberts
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 09:18 AM

Sincere condolences.


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: Catherine Jayne
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 09:18 AM

Such sad news.

Thinking of his family

Khatt and Paul


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: GUEST,Morti at work
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 09:24 AM

So, so sad to hear this. Johnny was a huge influence on me and really fostered my love of folk and of shanties. My love and condolences to his family.


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: Micca
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 09:29 AM

I am lost for words at this news,
I have been aware of Johnny for more than 25 years and known him for (maybe) 15 years, To me what shone was his sincere love of the genre and his wonderful voice both in Shanties and more orthodox Folk song, also his gentle sense of humour and humanity, I have an abiding memory of Towersey the year we caught the tail end of a hurricane and tents were being blown down and ripped up and blown across the field all night. Where was Johnny? he kept his Food stall open all night making tea and hot drinks for the "lost" and perishing! what a man!!

My condolences to Joyce and to his family, and his many friends who will also feel this great loss.
I can hear him ,in my head, singing "Jutland"
" where is the Black Prince gone now..."


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 09:31 AM

What unfortunate news. He had been at the top of my list of people I'd like to meet. Though I never met him, his music has been a source of pleasure for me. RIP

Gibb


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: GUEST,Bill Wilkes
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 09:31 AM

I was deeply saddened to hear of Johnny's passing. He was a true gent and an example to us all. I shall miss his friendship, encouragement and most of all, standing next to him listening to and feeling the resonance of those wonderful bass harmonies. I am sat writing this in a thunder storm - I swear I can hear Johnny's voice on the wind.

Rest in Peace mate from everyone and the Grand Union FC and GU4

Our sympathy and thoughts go out to Joyce and family and Jim.

Bill


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: GUEST,Girl Friday
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 09:33 AM

Sad to say, I didn't know Jonny as well as all of you, though I did meet him and have him sing at my Club several years ago. The Folk World has lost a great talent. My condolences to his family and close friends.

Sue Tuckey Orpington Friday Folk


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: Moses
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 09:36 AM

I've known Johnny since around 1994 when I rejoined Herga folk club. It was always a pleasure to hear him sing and to be in the presence of this lovely man.

We've been so lucky to have him at Herga virtually every week and to hear his wonderful voice singing those great songs.

I'm sure everyone will have their own special memories - his 70th Birthday party was one of mine - what a night! And of course recently when he opened Eric Bogle's 'Waltzing Matilda no more' Watford concert - a magic evening.

We'll be meeting tonight to share a parting glass and hopefully sing a few songs for him if we can manage it between the tears.

But mostly we'll be remembering the great, warm and welcoming man.

Past quotes from Johnny - On how to master harmony -"just wobble about a bit until it sounds pretty" and on his voice - "I don't care how low you pitch it, I'll get beneath it"

Its a sad day.

Christine


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: GUEST,Silas
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 09:45 AM

Oh Dear, another good one gone.

Fond memories of Johnny at the old Bromyard site when we used to sing around the bonfire drinking cheap cider till the small houirs - happy days.


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: JohnB
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 09:56 AM

I am so glad that I recieved a phone call from Bev in Toronto this morning, it would have been really hard to have found out from Mudcat.
A truly great guy, best wishes from his friends in Orange Peel Morris over here in Canada .
Glad to hear he was singing till the end, way to go.
Hugs to Joyce from John and Tina.
JohnB.


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: Brian Peters
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 09:56 AM

Oh dear, this is a terrible blow. I've loved the sound of Johnny's voice since the first instant I heard him lend a bass line to Jim Mageean's lead - it never failed to send a shiver down my spine. Because he was such a great bass harmonist his skills as a singer sometimes got overlooked, I felt.

It was a rare pleasure to work on a stage with one of my early heores when we performed the 'Widow's Uniform' a few years back. Johnny was, as has been pointed out here already, big-hearted and generous - a real gentleman. I'd been looking forward to sharing a Scotch or two with him after my gig at Herga in October.

Simply irreplaceable. My love and sympathy to Joyce.
Brian


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: GUEST,Beverly
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 10:03 AM

When I first met Griff (my husband), there was one tape in the car. It was a continuous loop of 'Key Above the Door'. Johnny and Joyce's home has been my 'White House' refuge many times.

Joyce, Graeme, Jim, Dave, Anni - everyone. My heart is bleeding with yours. I wish I could be with you tonight at Herga.

Beverly


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: RoyH (Burl)
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 10:05 AM

SO, Johnny has sung The Farewell Shanty to us all. We will miss him, his voice and his presence. Johnny and I go back a long time. The memories are great. Rest in Peace Old Pal. ROY


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: Selchie - (RH)
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 10:17 AM

Such a sad day. My thoughts & condolences are with Joyce & family & all his close friends & colleagues.

He will be so much missed by us all & leaving a big empty space, A great entertainer with a wonderful personality & voice.

Rest in Peace Johnny & thank you for the legacy you've left us all to remember you by.

Rosie Stroud


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: r.padgett
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 10:28 AM

Johnny Collins was a legend, a man who was keen for all to sing chorus songs and an inspiration to very many, including Jim Mageean, Graham Knights and Rod Shearman

I remember him from Pointon Folk Festival and his curries and singing with Derek Gifford and Ian Woods and Charlie Yarwood

Didn't see him enough I have to say ~ last shook his hand at Whitby ff last year I think as he was on his way elsewhere

Hope there is a folk club up there if we all make it!

Cheers Johnny and keep em singing

Ray


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: GUEST,kate begley
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 10:29 AM

im in shock very sad my thoughts go out to his family and friends


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: cosmic kate folkie
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 10:35 AM

johhny singing shanties up in heaven rest in peace


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: nutty
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 10:36 AM

Despite the sadness of the news - what a wonderful thread to a wonderful man.

I have always believed that "life after death" referred to the memories that were left in people's hearts.

If this is true, then Johnny, and the others we have loved and lost, will live forever.


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: GUEST,Greenacres
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 10:38 AM

As others have said above I always think of Johnny as a great, warm and welcoming man.
His singing and generosity were a great inspiration to me and my friends.
Thank you Johnny, may you rest in peace and harmony.
Felicity Greenland


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: GUEST,chris
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 10:45 AM

very sad. A great loss to music
chris


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: Emma B
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 10:45 AM

Just returned from Cleckheaton to this sad news of the loss of an old friend and 'boss' way back from the days of the Singing Chef

My deepest sympathy to Joyce and family


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: Cllr
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 10:51 AM

Johnny was a friend as well as my inspiration to sing Shanties. I cant adequatly express my sorrow at his passing.

Champagne Carol and I send our thoughts to Joyce and family


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: Nancy King
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 10:53 AM

What terribly sad and shocking news! Johnny was incredibly kind and incredibly talented. He was a great friend to The Boarding Party back when that group was performing, and taught them several songs, I think. I met him on several occasions, including the house concert Bill mentioned, as well as when Boarding Party toured in England, and the last time was when I went canal boating with Tom Lewis in 1997. I've always thought of him as the perfect example of what a folk singer -- and especially a shanty singer -- should be. A big man with a big voice and a big spirit. He will be very much missed.

My condolences to his family and to Jim, who will miss him even more than the rest of us will. I'll be thinking of you.

Nancy King


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: GUEST,mick
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 10:54 AM

A great loss. A good friend. A great singer. My thoughts are with Joyce and his family. They say theres nothing wrong with a grown man crying and at this time I have tears in my eyes. R.I.P. Johnny.


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: GUEST,Guest Ian (LocTup Together)
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 10:55 AM

Since hearing this sad news early this morning, we have been reflecting on what to say..... and realise that there is just too much.
Johnny's effect on people was really brought home to me a short while ago, when a close friend from Poland rang absolutely devastated by what had happened.

Joyce you are in our thoughts

Ian & Chris (LocTup Together)


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: GUEST,scowie guest
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 10:57 AM


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: DebC
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 10:58 AM

I didn't know Johnny as well as many of the folks here, but of course, his singing and music were known to me for many years. I had first met Johnny in 2004 when I was singing at the Lancaster Maritime Festival and in subsequent years it was always a pleasure to see him and Joyce, and of course hear him sing along with Graeme Knights.

The world is a poorer place without Johnny and his wonderful voice. I am sure that Herga will give him a right send off tonight.

My sympathies and thoughts are with Joyce and the Collins family.

Debra Cowan


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 11:02 AM

With Sadness and sympathy. Best wishes from Hazel
(Hissyfit)


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: GUEST,William Pint & Felicia Dale
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 11:03 AM

Johnny Collins was such a tremendous singer all the way down to his very bones. We feel so privileged that we were able to know him and listen to him (and eat his curries) and honored to have sung with him.

We'll miss that amazing voice and the marvelous twinkle in his eye when he sang.

Our sympathy to Joyce and all the members of the music community for this sad loss.


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: bubblyrat
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 11:04 AM

A great loss : I loved his singing and always thought of it (and his appearance !) as being archetypally nautical, even if he was in the Royal Army Medical Corps ! Never met him in Singapore,although I think we were there contemporaneously,but I did speak with him at Herga a while back ( George P CD launch)and was struck by his incredible friendliness and zest for life. The voyage is done,and the winds don't blow.....RIP.


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: Cats
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 11:05 AM

Johnny has always been there. Right from my first festival back in the 1970's to now. It will be a huge gap. The amount of posts here in such a short time just goes to show in what high regard he was held. my thoughts are with Joyce and his family and with Jim 'carrying Nelson home'.


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: Alio
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 11:10 AM

I first remember seeing Johnny at Fylde back in the early 80's. One artist had finished and I was waiting for the next one to come on the mainstage (Johnny). There suddenly came this massive voice from the side of the stage - using no mics, but with more sound coming out than the previous ones who had used the PA! I was just amazed, and I've been a fan ever since that evening concert!
Ali x


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: GUEST,guest scowie
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 11:11 AM

Johnny was one of my oldesr friends on the folk scene.
He was and always will be my "Gentleman of Song" and is utterly irreplaceable.
Every fibre of my being aches with sadness, for Joyce, for his family. and for us all, his friends without number.


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 11:26 AM

What a wonderful thread this is.

And I bet Johnny is up there with a big smile in his soul right now, surrounded by other souls who love him, and aware of all the lovely things people are saying about him. My goodness but he had such a twinkle in his lovely eyes, and I bet that twinkle was there in the hospital too, as he joked with the nurses. What a lovely way to go, laughing and making others happy, with your longtime friend beside you. I never got to hear Johnny sing live, but I recall hearing him singing on Radio Britfolk I think it was, George, when they had that programme on Shanty Singers once, a long while back now....and I learned from you shortly afterwards that Johnny lived in Pinner too, after I mentioned Pinner Fair once.

It seems to me, from reading all these beautiful words about him, that Johnnie Collins got it right, not just as a singer, but as a person too, because he sure is loved by many people in here and I'm sure many others 'out there' too. I've no doubts at all that Johnnie will continue to be loved in so very many ways, and continue to be a huge inspiration to many singers and friends alike.

Johnnie will be twinkling his magic over you all for a very long time to come.

'Blow the Man Down'

With love to his family, who must be very proud to read so many loving words about him, through their tears.


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: karen k
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 11:28 AM

I am saddened to hear this news. I saw him several times in 2005 in the UK and am so glad I did. My condolences to his family and friends. A loss for all.


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: Norman FitzNicely
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 11:30 AM

I'm very sad to hear that Johnny has left us.
About 35 years ago, I first saw Johnny at the Angel FC in Bedford, and he showed me DADGAD tuning - the first I'd heard of it (I was a newbie then). I'm eternally grateful for that, Big Man.
As so many have said, you just expect him to be there.
My condolences to Joyce, and to all his friends and family.


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: fat B****rd
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 11:32 AM

Judging by the posts he was a lovely man. My condolences and respects to his family and friends. RIP Mr. Collins.


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: RamblinStu
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 11:39 AM

Very sad news.

A great man with a great voice from a fine city

Condolences to Joyce and Johnny's family

Stuart Pendrill


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: GUEST,Bob
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 11:48 AM

This is very sad news. I never met Johnny to talk to but saw him several times, always part of a 'Big Sing' at one festival or another. I first saw him at the Four Fools Festival in Reditch back in the 90's, singing with Jim Mageean, The Wilsons and Eddie Murphy, pure maJic. This is a big loss to the folk scene.


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: Splott Man
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 11:51 AM

I don't know anyone who met Johnny who didn't love him.

This has left a huge hole in all our lives.

Splott Man


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: henryclem
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 11:51 AM

Real shock - what a loss! I have nothing but wonderful memories of Johnnie - at Chippenham late night in the Cause, or Banbury, so many festivals where his voice lifted everyone else's so joyously in song ...
and the warmth of his greeting - every time. I didn't know Johnnie well, but I knew of him a long time and he was always one of the true heroes for me.

Love and sympathy to Joyce and family, and all the many friends whose lives he so enriched.

Henry


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: Raggytash
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 11:54 AM

We first saw Johnny over 30 years ago, fine singer with a presence you could climb, so many occasions have we been entertained by him. Our thoughts go to his family and friends. Raggytash & Wombat


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: MBSLynne
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 12:01 PM

Oh no!! A corner post of the folk scene. I can hardly believe it.

My thoughts to Joyce and his family.

The throng in the other bar is getting more and more full of fantastic singers.

Love Lynne


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: Sailor Ron
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 12:02 PM

First Matt, & now Johnnie, both taken away far too soon.
I've known Johnnie for 30+ years, and a nicer bloke you'd be hard to find. My thoughts & prayers are with Joyce.


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: Mrs.Duck
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 12:07 PM

So very sad to hear this.


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: Mark Powell
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 12:15 PM

I was shocked and saddened to read of Johnny´s passing.

We were honoured to be invited to play at his birthday celebration last year. He was one of the nicest, humblest men you could be please to meet.

Our condolences to Joyce and the family.


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: Zany Mouse
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 12:22 PM

There's nothing left to be said - I'll only be repeating the lovely things others have said.

I think my fondest memory of him was when he named our boat "Mingulay". It was a wonderful party and Johnny's voice boomed along with the rest.

Long live the memory of his singing, songs and generous personality.

Jim Mageean and I used to joke that we only saw each other at funerals ... I think this will be the hardest one, Jim.

Love and peace to Joyce and the family.

Blessings
Rhiannon


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: The Sandman
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 12:27 PM

I dreamed a dream of Sailortown, a foolish dream and vain,of ships and men departed, of old days come again
and an old song in Sailortown,an old song to sing when shipmate meets with shipmate, in the evening.
thanks, Johnny,for your music and your company.Dick Miles


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: GUEST,guest scowie
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 12:40 PM

Please forgive this indulgence, but this has never been more appropriate, now the tears have dried a little I can type it, I wrote it in 1999.
            The Gentleman of Song
Some say i'm gentle Johnny, i've a smile for all I meet,
I've a pair of lusty bellows, and a pair of well shod feet,
Some say i'm gentle Johnny, i'm rambling along,
Some say i'm gentle Johnny, the Gentleman of Song,

No Squire in his mansion, no Vicar in his Manse,
Is happier than Johnny, what'er my circumstance,
When I arrive bone weary, i'm washed and then i'm fed,
And when i'm tired of singing, folk find for me a bed,

I've wandered Britains highways, I Started as a lad,
I've wandered Britains highways, and the only load i've had,
To keep me in my pleasure, and the life that I have led,
Are the Ballads, songs and stories, i've carried in my head,

They know me in Australia, and in far Americay,
And all around the Lowlands, i've sung to earn my pay,
I ask for very little, folk give me so much more,
For there's a smile to greet me, when I land at their door,

The years they treat me kindly, yet I can feel their pound,
But if the Good Lord spares me, i'll sing the seasons round,
And when St. Peter calls me, I'll answer with a song,
And join the Heavenly Chorus, the Angels all among,

Some say i'm gentle Johnny, i've a smile for all I meet,
I've a pair of lusty bellows, and a pair of well shod feet,
Some say i'm gentle Johnny, i'm rambling along,
Some say i'm gentle Johnny, the Gentleman of Song.
                                                   Scowie.


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: nutty
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 12:45 PM

That's a fine tribute Scowie. All it needs is a tune - or does it already have one?

For those who may not know - Scowie is our well renowned folk poet, Keith Scowcroft, known around the world for the words to WHEN ALL MEN SING,


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 12:48 PM

Wonderful, simply wonderful Scowie... Johnny to a T.


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: GUEST,Paul M
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 12:50 PM

So i spent me whole life entertaining, ive lived by the stage door routine, ive had many chances but missed quite a few , i aint yearning for what might have been, Ive hade many a long night behind me , and i hope theres a few still to come, As i stand on the stage with the house lights turned down , and the audieance sings my song.

God Speed Johnny, you were always the Peddlar of Songs


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: GUEST,Keith(Pegleg Ferret)
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 12:54 PM

We've known Johnny since the 70's when we all used to congregate around the stairwells and corridors of many a festival. We helped out him and Jim on 'Make the rafters roar' and on one of his solo albums...the name escapes me at this time. Anyway he was one of natures gentlemen, a fine singer and a good friend. we'll miss him.


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: The Admiral
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 12:55 PM

This is just sinking in.... What an awful year! I've known Johnny for as long as I've been in Folk Music (ie: 1960's) and he was an inspiration to me and hundreds of other would be singers. We last saw him at Chippenham when we had the honour of sharing the stage for the Late Night Shanties when he was in good voice although he had been saying that he had been having problems... He was particularly looking forward to a narrowboat trip a couple of weeks after...
Our thoughts are with Joyce and the family.
Tony and Pearl


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: Broadside Man
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 12:57 PM

Heard the news at lunchtime today via Alan White.

When Johnny and Jim came to the Antelope Folk club in Wareham years ago they certainly inspired me to sing shanties and songs of the sea.

We'll all miss you down in Dorset Johnny, there are so many fond memories.

My thoughts go out to Joyce and familly.

Geoff Payne.


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS
From: Mick Tems
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 12:59 PM

I first met Johnny in the early 1970s, and I've always looked forward to and admired his booming, deep voice, his knowedge and love of folk music and his culinary skills! I was organiser of Llantrisant Folk Club, and Jim and Johnny came down and gave us a broadside of rip-roaring shanties and a capella songs - the club rocked to roars of approval and deafening shouts of "More!" Later, Johnny revisited us in a solo capacity, and showed us solid proof of why we keep coming to folk clubs in the first place, to celebrate our love of song and music.

I've lost count of the number of times when he and I had been booked at folk and maritime festivals, home and abroad, large or intimate, but I would gladly go to see Johnny again and again. At the folk club on Wednesday, I'll pay tribute to him by singing the Cornish Farewell Shanty. Condolences to Joyce, Jim and Johnny's family - Johnny's been called to the other bar.


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: Gervase
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 01:08 PM

You can hear 'When all Men Sing", "Jutland" and other songs on Johnny's MySpace page. Turn the volume up and shake the plaster from the walls!


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: Malc Bedworth
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 01:12 PM

The words posted here are a fine tribute, to a fine fella and great mate!
I first met Johnny over 30 years ago and since then he has appeared at all but two Bedworth Folk Festivals, ALWAYS the first name on my guest list!
Over the years he became a great friend both inside and beyond folk music, and latterly myself and Brenda had arranged annual holiday trips with Johnny & Joyce - and had some really great times.
As everyone says he will be sadly missed - and as Bill said I'm sure Johnny's voice is somewhere in that thunder outside!
All our thoughts are for Joyce (especially for her bravery in phoning me, and many others, this morning to break the news) and the family, and to Jim handling things at the Poland end.

The memories will live on .... "The singer has left his song on the air"


Malc and Brenda (and all connected with Bedworth Festival)


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: ClaireBear
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 01:17 PM

Wishing Johnny a breeze and a good rolling sea.

I was privileged to hear him only once, about a decade ago, paired with Dave Webber at a coffeehouse concert in San Jose, California.

It was an amazing evening whose memory has never dimmed, and we are the sadder for knowing its like will not come again -- at least, not on charted seas.

Claire


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: HipflaskAndy
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 01:17 PM

Very sad news. RIP JC.
My thoughts & prayers are with him, his family & friends.
- Duncan McF


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: Acorn4
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 01:20 PM

We ran across Johnny relatively lately compared to most of those who've paid tributes here, but have enormously enjoyed his singing at the last two Bedworth Festivals. Easy to see why so many people have taken him to their hearts over they years. A truly great artist and communicator!

RIP

Dave and Julia


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: GUEST,Kees
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 01:24 PM

Every October for about 30 years Johnny & Jim came to Workum (Friesland)where they sang shanties on the Saturday evening and other fine songs on the Sunday morning. Most of the times I was there and enjoyed great weekends. It will be different the next time, without Johnny the festival will not be the same. We will miss him as a person and as an excellent singer.

My condolences to Joyce, Johnny's family and Jim.

Kees (Nelson's Blood)


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: My guru always said
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 01:29 PM

Good one Scowie, I can hear you reciting that one as I read it!


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: SunrayFC
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 01:33 PM

The chorus of a song appropriate at such times.......for such a great singer



YouTube">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rrWgsFmp0ls">YouTube


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: GUEST,elmo 1
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 01:33 PM

very sad news the folk scene is losing people at an alarming rate
condolences to joyce and his many friends a great voice sadly missed


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: julian morbihan
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 01:50 PM

And he looked so well at Chippenham...

Our hearts go out to Joyce.

Such a loss.

All our love

Enid & Julian


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 01:55 PM

So sad to hear this news. Johnny was one of my earliest folk heroes.

We shall miss him

Condolences to his family
Don & Winnie Thompson


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 01:57 PM

I've just found this thread.

As others have already said, John was a great singer and a lovely chap. I first knew him in Reading about 1969, then was delighted when, a few years later, he moved to Watford and became a regular at the Herga. Latterly I've seen him less often, but there was always that wonderfully friendly greeting.

As one or two have already mentioned, he did have some pretty serious health scares some years ago. And we all have to go sooner or later. So perhaps we shouldn't be surprised, but I'm certainly very sorry and I add my condolences.

I MAY make it to Herga tonight to pay my respects.

Richard


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 02:02 PM

You'd be very welcome Richard - and anyone else who wants to. As I said above, nothing organised, but I think we need to meet tonight, to help us get our heads around this dreadful event.


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: Bob TB
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 02:12 PM

Very sad news. Johnny was a good friend for many years and will be greatly missed. No more songs, no more chefing. So many memories...

My thoughts are with Joyce and his family.

Bob


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Subject: Obit: Johnny Collins
From: Abuwood
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 02:19 PM

So sad to hear of the passing of this truly great man who will be much missed. RIP . love ali


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins
From: TF2
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 02:23 PM

it was a shock to hear of j c passing may his voice ring load in heaven as it did on earth r.i.p mate


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins
From: GUEST,orcathecat
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 02:55 PM

I'm so sad to hear of Johnny's passing, I am lucky enough to have shared a stage with him a few times, his wonderful warmth, sense of humour and rich low harmonies astonishing. I had lunch with him at Bedworth last year, and he was warming his voice up for the concert in the evening, he had so much power down low even 12"away from the mic....He will be sadly missed. No more putting diesel in a petrol car for him!


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: The Villan
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 02:57 PM

May you rest in peace Johnny


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: Snuffy
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 02:57 PM

It still hasn't really sunk in that we'll not see him again. A big man with a big heart: he will leave a big gap in all our lives.


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: Hawker
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 03:31 PM

George P phoned me this morning for Mike O'Connors phone number, he sounded strange, not the happy, cheery George I know and love so dearly, I was bothered by this, he never mentioned why or what had happened. I now realise, and was utterly shocked to hear the news. I didnt know him well, but like has been said, once met, his twinkle of eye and wicked humour won every heart. His singing was a gift shared by only a few, and will be a great loss to the folk world, but the way he bore the talent and shared it is an example to us all, and his legacy - to those of us he left behind will live forever.
My sincerest condolences to His famiily and those who held him dearest, especially Jim, who has the most thankless and unenviable task, but who better to do the job?
God Bless, and thank you, Johnny x


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: SPB-Cooperator
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 03:38 PM

Very sad news and my condolences to Joyce. more memories over more than 2 decades of maritime festivals than I could ever recall, but a regular was comparing the journeys up to Lancaster on thursday evenings.

RIP - I am sure that next time I hear thunder it will be Johnny raising the roof up above.

Steve


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: JohnB
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 03:40 PM

Well Scowie, that's Killer.
I hope I never hear a tune for it, I can't even read it without breaking up, so I know I could never even get past the first line trying to sing it.
John B. (we met in 2004 at Lancaster and again in the Black Nag in Limbrick)


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: GUEST,Doxy and Trim
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 03:47 PM

We only knew Johnny for a few years.

He was the only man I knew whose voice could blend in with the base end of my melodeon close enough in pitch that you could feel the vibration of it in your hands. The twinkle in his eye as he bent to kiss your hand before giving you a big squidge. His kindness and encouragement and most of all the quality and infectiousness of his singing.

We were only with him eight days ago how can he be gone?

Joyce our thoughts are with you

Julia and Derek


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: GUEST,Ken Wilson
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 03:47 PM

This is very sad news. Johnny along with Jim were a big influence on the family when we began singing back in the 70's, and have been good friends ever since. We shared many enjoyable singing sessions in the company of Johnny over the years and we will miss him greatly.

Our thoughts are with Joyce at this sad time.   

Ken Wilson
(The Wilson Family)


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: Carol
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 03:49 PM

So sorry to hear the news.
Fond memories of Johnny as the Singing Chef at Warwick 0ver 20 years ago. Our condolences to Joyce and family.

Carol and Chris (Southwell)


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: 8_Pints
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 03:49 PM

We first met him at the Poynton Festival in the mid 70's where he used to make the room above the bar reverberate with his fantastic chorus song


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: GUEST,LanciPressgangSeamanGrub
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 03:50 PM

Tis a big loss; a great voice and great heart. A fave of mine and of many.


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: RogerTCB
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 03:50 PM

What a terrible loss.

He was an inspiration to me since I first began attending Herga Folk Club in 1976 and I've much enjoyed his singing ever since, both at the club and at countless festivals. And none of us who were there could forget working with him and enjoying his cooking in "The Singing Chef" in the 90s.

I last saw him, heard him sing & talked with him just last week at the Braunston Traditional Narrow Boat Festival where he was in fine voice & spirit, belting them out on the bar stage.

He'll be missed very much.

My thoughts are with Joyce, Jim and his family.

Roger The Cabin Boy


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: Richard Atkins
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 03:51 PM

A huge loss to so many.My thoughts are with Joyce family and Jim


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: Merek'n'Dary
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 03:52 PM

Too big to comprehend! A very special man, well deserving of all these tributes. An inspiration to us all and his songs and booming voice will reverberate down the years whenever we remember him.

Our condolences to Joyce and his family and all his great friends who have had the pleasure and privilege to sing alongside him.

From Derek and Mary and all at the Ride a Cock Horse Folk Club and Banbury Folk Festival.

Singing with the angels ...... All God's people have a place in the choir!


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: kerry and Mandy
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 03:57 PM

Johnny was one of life's true gentle men and pleasure to be with, the consummate performer.
It has been an honour be able to call him a friend. He has and will always be my hero and inspiration in the folk world.
Mandy always said he gave the best bear hug ever and she will miss him, as will we both.
Thank you Johnny for you friendship and company.
Our love and thought's are with Joyce and her family and friends at this very very sad time.

Have as safe voyage to the other side, god bless

Kerry and Mandy.


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: 8_Pints
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 03:57 PM

We first met him at the Poynton Festival in the mid 70's where he used to make the room above the bar reverberate with his fantastic chorus songs. (The room with the coracle hanging on the wall)

He always had time to encourage newcomers, and instill respect for the songs and the song carriers.

A true gentleman....


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: GUEST,Moose (Capstan Full Strength)
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 04:08 PM

I can't think of anything to say that would do JC justice. So glad we were together only nine days ago and so sad that we won't be again.

A true legend who became a true friend.

Joyce - I'm so sorry for you and the family.

Johnny - thanks, a million times, thank you.

Moose


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: GUEST,Karen - GU4
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 04:13 PM

Johnny - who will make the fab pancakes for us now?

Sympathy and hugs to Joyce.

We have lost a gentle man and a wonderful voice - harmony and peace Johnny.


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: greensue
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 04:24 PM

I have only known Johnny and Joyce for about 20 years but they were a lovely couple. I was always amazed at Johnnys capacity to eat raw chillies.
Lots of love to you Joyce at this time.
Sue (chippenham)


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: DStrick
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 04:38 PM

Such sad news. He'll be sorely missed by many people here in Toronto, Canada and surrounding area. It was a privilege to be part of evenings at Griff and Bev's for great food, stories and, of course, great singing. He made so many friends at the Cambridge Mill Race Festival. What a dear dear man.
Dianne and Jim


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: MARINER
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 04:39 PM

God, this is a shock .I have admired him and his singing for many years but only got to meet him in Cobh over the past four or five years. He was a gentleman and my sympathies go out to Joyce and all of his family ,also to his longtime singing partner Jim.Such a fine duo will never be seen or heard again.


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: rumanci
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 04:48 PM

This is such a shock to me too. I have so many vivid memories from long ago and musical times shared with friends. Apart from everything he achieved solo and supporting others, I will forever hear the Teesside Fettlers live choruses enhanced by Johnny's voice - pure gold on diamond gems. Memories of a wonderful lightning dash from Loughborough Festival just to sing and dance with them at a ceilidh in London and then back to Loughborough again because that's what friends did then! A hilarious lesson in rapper sword dancing at Chippenham once. So many moments of smiles and joy in singing and listening. Some things will live forever in the memory banks of those of us privileged to have been there.   Such wonderful sleeve notes on his albums acknowledging completely his sources and influences. The delight on old Sussex singer George Belton's face to hear Johnny "do" HIS song live and on record. Too many moments to capture while the tears are so new.

I hadn't seen JC in nearly thirty years until I went to Herga folk club a couple of years ago and it was as though the same conversations were continuing without a break and the same feed lines - "Hey ... who was that guy with the lads years ago who had such an individual style of calling square dances"....well it was Walt Tingle we remembered then and you're both in another place now and hopefully chewing the fat about those precious times for real.

My heart bleeds at the loss of such presence for Joyce, his family and friends and fellow singers and musicians.   A true gentleman.

rum


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 04:49 PM

Packie rang me a couple of hours ago with the news, and we are both devastated. Strangely, Johnny popped into my mind this morning for no clear reason as I stood in the kitchen. The last time I saw him was when he and Joyce were staying here, and a happy final memory it is, too. I'm so glad I got to hear him once more, doing what he loved best - singing (at a gig in Cobh), not just shantys but all sorts of music. It was a wonderful visit, and I was always so sure there'd be another, a Next Time just around the corner.

He was a champion singer, a champion cuddler, a champion laugher, and a champion friend. Goodbye big fella. We'll sure miss you. You and Matt keep the bass line going in the Heavenly choir, ya hear?

Packie & Bonnie


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: Tyke
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 05:17 PM

Captain Ken Stocks has just rung me with the sad news we are all sadden. I had some great weekends on the Julia with Johnny and Joyce and some of his many friends. My Sympathies and best wishes to Joyce and JC's Family. Ken and Marie are like me shocked and devastated with this sad news.
George Clarke


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: Billy Suggers
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 05:28 PM

What can we add .... it's all been said. Another harmony added to the Choir Celestial. Deepest sympathies and condolences to Joyce and the family.


PS Rumanci - Walt Tingle's still going pretty strong down here!


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: Xicon
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 05:31 PM

This silly computer thinks I am someone else!
I firat met Johnny in the mid 70's at Poynton folk festival and before long my husband, Nick was helping out in the kitchen, (which he never did at home)and I was blasting out the choruses in the crowd, safe in the knowledge that I could not be heard, but Johnny always was. After a while we became the northern contingent of the Singing Chef, our children acting as runners to begin with, then taking on more resposible roles.
Johnny's hugs were memorable but no-one has mentioned the kisses, always accompanied by a deep growl as he hugged you to his deaf side so he could not hear the protest - the noisiest kiss I have ever experienced!
When Nick died, Johnny came up and sang at his funeral, to North L,ancashire from Pinner,impressing many locals.
I last saw Johnny last November, when Joyce and Johnny kindly put us up, even though they were not going to be there.
Johnny, you were my best and longest friend in the folk world and I will miss you desperately. Sleep peacefully now.
Love
Gillian Turner


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: GUEST,Webby (GUEST) Bedworth
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 05:40 PM

Terrible news We will miss his voice and friendliness Bedworth festival and Folk club wont be the same again Condolences to Joyce and family So aad


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: GUEST,Sue (Bedworth)
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 05:42 PM

So many memories - the wrong fuel in the car on the way to Bedworth, driving all around the Warwick area to find a replacement Gaz bottle that would fit the caravan, being put on the spot to play fiddle for some songs ........ and of course his amazing voice and wonderful singing!

A lovely man with such a wealth of songs and stories to share. I shall put one of his CDs on in the car on my way to work in the morning, turn it up loud and sing along.

I can't believe that there will be no big welcome hug at Bedworth this year.

Thoughts and prayers with Joyce, Jim, family and friends.

Sue


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: rumanci
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 05:58 PM

"PS Rumanci - Walt Tingle's still going pretty strong down here!"

My apologies to Sir Tingle then and to the thread and pleased to hear that bit of news. Mis-information received by both of us at that time. I should have checked for myself.
rum


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: GUEST,Banana Boat
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 06:02 PM

Absurdity. We cannot find a place for ourselves. We have booked a studio for Johnny and Jim for November/December. We were to record an album together. We planned on a sailing trip, in which Johnny was supposed to do all the cooking. We were supposed to, we planned to, we wanted to...

there is never enough time to tell our friends we are friends. We always postpone it for later. there may be NO LATER.

Love,

Banana Boat


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: Suffet
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 06:08 PM

Oh my goodness. Marilyn, Anne, and I just met Johnny at Herga this past October. He was a fine singer and a really great guy. This is terrible news indeed.

--- Steve


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: Janet Elizabeth
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 06:11 PM

Johnny's enjoyment of folk songs, sea-songs and shanties was always evident in his twinkling eyes and his smiling voice - yes, you could always hear his smile even if you couldn't see him.

He will also surely be remembered by everyone who met him for his loving kindness; I remember his ready, warm words of encouragement when running singarounds, especially for newbies or nervous singers. He seemed to put himself in other people's shoes so easily, and offer just the right few words they needed. Whether he was on stage addressing many or chatting one-to-one ... while cooking pancakes for everyone at Whittlebury, for example, Johnny's love of songs and of people shone through.

A lovely man has gone from us.


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: Bob Hitchcock
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 06:15 PM

I have been reading far too many obits these days and this one is very hard. I first met Johnny at the Mystic festival back in the early 80's and again during the Boarding Party tour of UK in 1982 and then ran into him on and off on both sides of the Atlantic over the years. What a wonderful man he was, a big voice with a big heart.

I missed the house concert here that BillD refered to (I think I had another gig) but I lent him one of my guitars for that tour, a 1979 Fylde Falstaff, I will think of Johnny every time I play it from now on.

My condolences to Joyce and everyone who knew him.

Bob Hitchcock.


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 06:18 PM

Another good man gone. It's hard to imagine a voice like that ever being stilled.


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 06:22 PM

We sang a lot of chorus songs at the club this evening,
though with lumps in our throats and tears in our eyes. And a big hole in the bass harmony section.

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: GUEST,Shez The Aussie Sheila
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 06:36 PM

Darling Johnny - I enjoyed so much you, your wonderful voice, while working with you on The Widows Uniform all of, crikey, 14 years ago I think.
You will be greatly missed, and the English Folk scene will be poorer with your passing.
Sending a big Aussie hug to you on your journey beyond; and my thoughts are with Joyce and your family - your presence will be missed greatly by all.
xxxxx
Shez


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: Leadfingers
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 06:40 PM

Some excellent singing at the First J C Wake at Herga !


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 06:50 PM

Indeed, an evening Johnny himself would have enjoyed, every song with a chorus, many from his own repertoire, little snippets and stories in between. I read out Scowie's wonderful poem too - JohnB, the poem WILL acquire a tune, several probably over the next few weeks; it's just too good not to.

I remember how Johnny used to lean towards me when the low notes came in a chorus, and how we used to "compete" (I never stood a chance). Tonight, when I did attempt a low finishing note, we just looked at each other with Nessie and both dissolved.

I also need to make a correction - Johnny died in the early morning hours, so it was today, Monday 6th July and not the 5th.

By the way, let me say it now: If anyone needs a bed for the night for the funeral, let Nessie and me know; we can put up at least 4 people and at a stretch more.


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 06:50 PM

A poignant night, as Kitty says, at Herga but through the tears and laughter we began to come to terms with losing 'our' JC. I know there'll be more to come, but at the club he came to every week, wherever he'd been, we mourned and remembered the man so loved by so many. Hard to believe we won't have more of the full-frontal hugs, that wicked grin and feeling our cores resonate to his wonderful voice. We thought you were invincible somehow. RIP JC.
Vanessa


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: Jock O' Dreams
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 06:54 PM

So sad to here that we have lost another of the great characters of the Folk World. Wonderful voice, wonderful man! My deapest condolences to Joyce and his familly. He will be sorely missed.

                               Jim McAdams


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: GUEST,Steve & Jean
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 06:59 PM

We have sung so many choruses with you over the years, and shared so many happy times, that the gap you leave will be immense. But we thank you for those good times, and the memory will live on as long as folk gather together and sing the songs. That will be your tribute, old friend.

Our thoughts are with Joyce, the family, and the very many friends united tonight.


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 07:00 PM

I made a list of all the songs sung this evening, starting with Alan Bell's Pedlar of Songs and finishing with Dave Webber's Parting Song.....

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: GUEST,North/South Annie
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 07:08 PM

Shocked to hear this sad news. Last saw Johnny at the wonderful evening he did at Lewes Arms on Dave Earls birthday bash. It was a brilliant night.
God Bless Johnny!
Joyce, am thinking of you at this sad time

Annie and the Ingham family


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: mn
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 07:20 PM

All shanty fans in Poland are very sad...
There you have some pictures - last day of Johnny's life...



http://forum.szantymaniak.pl/viewtopic.php?t=1512&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0

picasaweb.google.com/jayinka/3KoncertNaSzafarni?authkey=Gv1sRgCMjloYivic_B8QE&feat=directlink#

http://picasaweb.google.com/jayinka/6Zejman?authkey=Gv1sRgCNHU3vTtm4Cv7AE&feat=directlink#


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: mn
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 07:23 PM

Johnny died 06 Jul 09 - about 9:00 AM in Gdansk hospital.
The day before he had a concert with Jim Mageean and Pat Sheridan.


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: GUEST,Stocksy
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 07:24 PM

What more can we say, having just spent the last two hours or more reading all these lovely thoughts and tributes to such a wonderful friend. Our lasting memories will be of you, JC, singing in our "shed" in Chatham on November 1st last year on our joint birthday do for Joyce, Griff & myself.

Johnny & Joyce, you have given us many happy hours on "The Julia" - JC was Julias Cook on a number of occasions, most memorably on the 2004 Brest voyage, where JC made sure there was always a pot of hot chilli for the night watches. There were a number of special evenings on board, involving the Polish boys, Tom Lewis, John & Sue, Capstan Full Strength & many other friends - evenings to remember, indeed!

You leave us with the most wonerful memories of such good times - thanks JC

Love to Joyce & Jim

Ken & Marie xx


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 07:28 PM

Here's a blue clicky for mn's first link

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: mn
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 07:35 PM

Thanks, Herga Kitty. Only the last six pictures were made 5.07.2009. Previous were made during earlier Johnny's visits in Poland. This is polish shanty forum and a stream about Johnny.


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: vectis
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 07:38 PM

I was very sorry to hear this news. I hope Joyce is coping and has family with her to help her during this sad time.


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: Severn
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 08:25 PM

Alas, I never met him in person, though I own recordings and actually spoke with him on Joyce's phone for awhile while on a narrowboat trip with her.

I've heard his name mentioned often and never a bad word.

And my thoughts are going out To Joyce, a wonderful lady, and all others close to him.


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: Leadfingers
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 08:32 PM

Good Lord Sev ! A whole post and not a pun in sight !!


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: Commander Crabbe
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 08:44 PM

When griping grief the heart doth wound,
and doleful dumps the mind opresses,
then music, with her silver sound,
with speedy help doth lend redress.

A sad loss

CC


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: Charley Noble
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 08:55 PM

What a loss! Condolences to those who really knew Johnny. I met him once at Mystic and have certainly listened to many of his recordings but I hardly knew the man.

But it makes me think of how fragile we all are, and how we need good friends to watch out for us, and warn us when we might be over-extending ourselves. I remember well how a good friend of ours died shortly after a Mystic Sea Music Festival, a few years back, and he was also far too young to die, and was not obviously over weight or otherwise obviously endangered. But we all encouraged him to sing out to the fullest in the after hours sessions, and we share some of the guilt for that indulgence.

I certainly don't know if Johnny had medical issues that he or his friends were aware of. But I do urge folks to tell people who do seem fragile to get some much needed rest, and let the rest of the world roll on!

Of course most of us still believe we're immortal!

And that may be true. ;~)

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: Bonecruncher
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 09:42 PM

Sad news to hear that the "Peddlar of Songs" has gone.
The "Bog Sings" (community hymn singing) in the Olympiad at Chippenham can never be the same again.
The Heavenly Choir do not know what they have arriving!
Sincerest sympathies to Joyce and the family.
Colyn and Elizabeth.


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: Padre
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 10:32 PM

One of my fondest memories of Johhny Collins was during the Boarding Party's tour of UK in 1982. At Nettlebed, after the concert, we adjourned to the hotel bar and sang with Jim and Johnny until the bottle of Laphroaig was gone. Magic singing, from a true gentleman - a huge voice now stilled.

'Home is the sailor, home from the sea...'

Padre


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: lisa null
Date: 07 Jul 09 - 12:30 AM

As Program Chair, I booked Johnny Collins for the Folklore Society of Greater Washington in the early 1990s. It was an unforgettable evening that helped me understand that folk-singing is not, at heart, about the performer, or even the song, so much as it is about building a musical community. He was, of course, one of the great chorus leaders of our time, but even with a solo song he turned us into a community of listeners.

He was a warm, magical man who could cut to the chase of a song. I felt honored when he sang a song or two of mine because I knew that would never have happened unless they personally touched him enough to learn. That made me more confident about my own songwriting.

I did not know him as some of you have, but i carry my memory of that evening around like an ember within. It will never go out.


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: scowie
Date: 07 Jul 09 - 01:24 AM

P.M. for George Papageris awaits.


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 07 Jul 09 - 03:56 AM

> Johnny died 06 Jul 09 about 9:00 AM in Gdansk hospital.

As I mentioned in my post above, he popped unbidden into my mind yesterday morning while I was in the kitchen. That room was the last place I ever saw him, and - allowing for the hour's difference between Ireland and Poland - it was right about that time. No profound thoughts, certainly nothing spooky, just nice warm memories of Johnny sitting at the end of my old farmhouse table, brightening up the whole room with his chat and his booming laugh.


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: My guru always said
Date: 07 Jul 09 - 04:06 AM

Thanks for the photos mn, and thanks for the link Kitty!


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: GUEST,George Henderson - Ireland
Date: 07 Jul 09 - 04:21 AM

So sorry to hear this news, He was guest at the Goilin singers club a few years ago and we also saw him in Cobh at the maritime festival where he appeared with Jim. A truoy great singer and so very friiendly with everyone. A nice man who will be sadly missed by so may. Love and condolenceses to family and friends.


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: trayton
Date: 07 Jul 09 - 04:37 AM

Herga did a fine fine job of celebrating the joy of having known Johnny, it was a privilege to have been there.
malcolm


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: GUEST,Claire (Bedworth)
Date: 07 Jul 09 - 04:54 AM

I echo Malc, Sue and Dave's comments. The Voices at Bedworth will be missing one this year and the 'Chippenham Tea Party' will have an empty chair. I'll always remember fearing for the life of the strings on his guitar during 'Jim the Carter Lad'.

My condolences to Joyce & family and Jim.

Claire


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: vectis
Date: 07 Jul 09 - 05:00 AM

I heard the news when I got home from the song and ale I help run. To say I was shocked is a major understatement. I sincerely hope that the red tape involved in bringing Johnny back hope will be dealt with swiftly.
All my best wishes to Joyce at this terrible time.
Mary Barr and all at Seaford Folk Club


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: GUEST,Dave Burland
Date: 07 Jul 09 - 05:47 AM


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: GUEST,Anni
Date: 07 Jul 09 - 06:29 AM

It has been hard to bring myself to add to this thread. What a lucky person I have been. He was the friend and singing partner of my first husband and then I was so lucky that he became such close friends with my second. He has been in my life so much for so long we were certainly "like family". He is on all our CDs, wouldn't contemplate making one without him.

You have all said some wonderful things, that helps the tears because it's good to share our loss.

He will be with us always, let me tell you his greatest fear, not that he would lose his life, but that he would lose the singing. He never lost it, not for one minute, and now he will stay singing in our hearts forever.


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: GUEST,Joe Nicholson
Date: 07 Jul 09 - 07:02 AM

Maureen and I thought Johnny was the best we ever heard and a very nice kind and gentle man we shall miss him terribley Joe & Mo


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: banjoman
Date: 07 Jul 09 - 07:10 AM

Sad news - Johnny will be well remembered by those who met him and Joyce at the old Whitchurch Festival in the nineties, and the Red House Folk Club where he guested. Fondest memories are of the Bog Down Singaround and trying to pump up the flat tyer on his old car while he regaled us with a shanty.
I feel very fortunate to have met and enjoyed his company.
Pete


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: alanww
Date: 07 Jul 09 - 07:20 AM

What an enormous loss! There are many touching tributes written above and its difficult to express ones feelings.
Johnny had such wonderful voice: rich and powerful but with the ability to join in with gentle deep, rounded harmonies. An all-round singer and a great man but one who also took time to encourage others.
I still remember with pride one little incident in his life. After a song I sang in a singaround at Lancaster Maritime Festival a few years back, he made a point of coming up to me and said: "Well sung mate!" He certainly inspired me to develop my singing ability.
I'll cherish my memories of you, Johhny. At least you have left us an enormous amount of discography to enjoy.
My sympathy is with Joyce, with whom I enjoyed many narrowboat trips and for whom I acted as "galley slave".
"... and pray for those in peril on the sea and all my shipmates gone before...!"
Alan Whitbread


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: GUEST,Paul Sirman
Date: 07 Jul 09 - 07:57 AM

The news of Johnny's passing is so hard to take. I've had the pleasure of working with him at many festivals and greatly valued his friendship and encouragement. Johnny, you will so greatly missed. Our thoughts and love are with Joyce.


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: A Wandering Minstrel
Date: 07 Jul 09 - 08:19 AM

Only just found this thread and I am devastated by the news. Of all of us shanty singers he was the very foremost and a great inspiration. So sad to think he'll never bring the plaster down into my beer again.

Condolences to his family


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: GUEST,Gadaffi
Date: 07 Jul 09 - 08:20 AM

Johnny was 'the voice' in my early involvement at folk clubs in the Farnborough area. My key memory of him was his association with Jim Mageean. The memory plays tricks, but I can recall one session at the first Southwark folk festival in about 1976 with he and Jim holding court. It was so good, I missed out on Ashley Hutchings and Shirley Collins elsewhere in the building. Oh, and the beer tent at the Berkshire Midsummer Festival - phenomenal!


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: Linda Kelly
Date: 07 Jul 09 - 08:27 AM

this is very sad news but we are all better for knowing him.


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: GUEST,Essex Girl
Date: 07 Jul 09 - 08:43 AM

Just heard this very sad news. I'll treasure memories of Johnnie at Bromyard, Lancaster and Sharps. Another great singer gone.
Linda


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: GUEST,Murf
Date: 07 Jul 09 - 09:31 AM

As a young man I walked into Herga with little knowledge of the folk Arts. Johnny was very encouraging as I developed my career. He kept me fed as the singing chef at festivals I played at later and there was always there late night Johnny Collins special, hot Chocolate with a little something in it. I will not forget the role he played in my life and the friendship he showed me.


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: GUEST,Guest David Jones
Date: 07 Jul 09 - 09:37 AM

Very sad to hear of the passing of Johnny Collins, a man as grand and as wonderful as they come. An abiding memory is of an incredible Halloween night in Greenwich Village, New York City, when after a concert with Dave Webber, Johnny stood on the sidewalk in a crowd of wildly costumed parade goers and led us in singing the Bill Stains song, "Down the Road".

I do believe that there will be
Waiting for me somewhere down the road
Another song that's worth singing
Somewhere down the road.


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: RoyH (Burl)
Date: 07 Jul 09 - 09:56 AM

Amid these many well deserved tributes let us spare a thought for Jim Mageean and the dreadful situation he found himself in on the night of Johnny's death.


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: GUEST,Silas
Date: 07 Jul 09 - 10:03 AM

Hi Burl - what situation was that then?


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: Madam Gashee
Date: 07 Jul 09 - 10:08 AM

Hear! Hear!
It is omehow fitting that Jim was with him
on that final voyage.
I'm sure the task for Jim in bringing him home will help him through this very difficult time.


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: SunrayFC
Date: 07 Jul 09 - 10:19 AM

As I have said before, here is the chorus to an excellent session song about such events...


"...and your song, is always sung."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rrWgsFmp0ls


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: RoyH (Burl)
Date: 07 Jul 09 - 10:23 AM

Hi Silas, Jim and Johnny had finished a singing gig in Gdansk, Poland. Johnny was taken ill some time later. Jim had to get Johnny to hospital,where he died. Doing that for a long time friend and colleague, and in a foreign country, must have been a traumatic situation for Jim. He desrves sympathy and best wishes from us all.


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: GUEST,Silas
Date: 07 Jul 09 - 10:39 AM

THanks for that Burl.

Good that he had an old friend with him - glad they were back together really, although Johnny has been at just about every festival I've been to, I understood that there had been something of a rift between Jim and Johnny, nice to think they were together at the end, even though it can't, as you say, have been easy fro Jim.


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: Ian Fyvie
Date: 07 Jul 09 - 10:40 AM

Saw Johnny at Dave Earl's Bus Pass Party last year. I was impressed with the way he sat in the audience and joined in with all the floor singers' choruses, when there are those elsewhere in the scene (Organisers, Residents and Guest Singers) who can't wait get to the bar when floor spots start.

Also - Hangleton Manor Folk Club - many years ago when Johnny was the guest.

The pub had double booked the Club Room, The Folk Cub could cancel - or sing in the bar. Johnny happily sang to the folkies and the ordinary regular drinkers - a brilliant time was had by all. How many other Guests would do that?


Ian Fyvie


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: GUEST,Paul Slater, Derby Gaol Folk Club
Date: 07 Jul 09 - 11:02 AM

A really devastating piece of news! Jim and Johnny have been my folk heroes for years. I returned to the folk scene in the mid eighties and was quite depressed with the way folk had changed since the sixties. I was ready to seek pleasures in pastures new until one night Jim and Johnny appeared at Peasmouldia Club, Station Inn, Derby.
They did it for me! Every song, every shanty a gem. Bought all the LP's and went to as many festivals as possible where they appeared knowing it would be a 'good un'.
To be in a shanty session led by John was the closest I'll ever get to heaven on this earth. Wherever he is now I hope I can go there when my time comes and once again hear him 'Make The Rafters Roar'
Sincere condolences to Joyce and Jim.


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: Polly Squeezebox
Date: 07 Jul 09 - 11:14 AM

Like many others we have so many memories of Johnny over so many years. Prominent of these is the time in the early days of Chippenham Festival when he was leading a late night sing 'under the arches' of the old style Neeld Hall (outside the 'acoustic bogs'). The ceilidh director had to go and ask Johnny to stop the singing because he and his followers were drowning out the ceilidh band who were onstage in the main hall - the band had amplification, Johnny didn't!

Our most recent memory of him was as he led the singing of the 'Farewell Shanty' at the funeral of another folkie in January this year. He'd travelled quite some distance just to pay his respects. Little did we know that it would be the last time we would be privileged to hear him sing in person.

Blessings to Joyce and all who held him dear.

Pauline and Jack


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: GUEST,jennifer woods the knitter
Date: 07 Jul 09 - 11:26 AM

I am so saddened (shocked, but not overly, I knew he had a heart condition back in the 1980s) by the news of Johnny's death. I had the great privilege of being his hostess on THREE trips through the Washington DC area. I was at all three house concerts, and hosted the last one in the early 90s -- which TOM LEWIS also came to! What glorious sounds and fun we had with those to BIG voices and wonderful songs!
We took him to a fancy kitchen store (William Sonoma) because he like my pasta pot so much he had to have one of his own! We had always hoped to see him again -- especially on his side of pond. I'm sitting at work with him singing on the ipod speakers!
What a dear wonderful man he was! My condolences to Joyce and his family, and Dave and Anni and Jim -- those who will truly miss him daily!
What a folk chorus must be going on in heaven these days!

jennifer (and bob)


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: GUEST,Les Sullivan
Date: 07 Jul 09 - 11:35 AM

We shook hands and said 'Goodbye' as he went off for his plane
How could I have known then that I would never hear again
'Just one more chorus Johnny' that familiar refrain

Johnny Collins was a huge talent, a gentleman and a true friend. I will miss him always.


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: SunrayFC
Date: 07 Jul 09 - 11:54 AM

and from a couple of the audience of the SUNRAY FOLK CLUB who were only recently introduced to Johnny....

"Sorry to hear about Johnny..."

"That night was our first encounter with Johnny Collins and we thought he was fantastic! We thank God for his wonderful music and personality and the opportunity given us to share time with him."


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: JudeL
Date: 07 Jul 09 - 12:25 PM

He was a big man, big heart , big voice , big hugs & he will leave a very big hole. Our thoughts & hearts go out to Joyce. We will miss him.

Jude & John


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: GUEST,Wendy
Date: 07 Jul 09 - 12:39 PM

We saw Johnny at Braunston historic working boat festival a week ago last Saturday. I bought his cd 'The Best Of The Early Years' which he kindly autographed for me as I mentioned I loved to sing track 2, Unto My Love. He said it was a very beautiful song and last night at our local folk club, Forest Folk, Boarhunt, Tom Lewis turned up and brought us this sad news. He sang Johnny's songs in tribute to him and I sang Unto My Love.

God bless you Johnny

Our condolences to your family and close friends

Wendy, Hampshire


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: Mrs Scarecrow
Date: 07 Jul 09 - 02:46 PM

I am bereft,speechless, It can not be so.
Johnny touched all of us deeply. He sang with all of himself.
My best memory is of taking my elderly mother to see him. Having previously only countenanced classical music she finally understood my love of folk.
Joyce our thoughts are with you
Ann and Dave Reader


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: skipy
Date: 07 Jul 09 - 02:54 PM

So sorry to hear of this.
Condolences to Joyce and Johnny's family.
There will be one hell of a sent off!
RIP Mate.


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: lady penelope
Date: 07 Jul 09 - 02:57 PM

I too am shocked to hear such awful news. The man was sheer joy to listen to, whether singing, telling stories, jokes or anecdotes.

My deepest sympathies to his family.

Penny.


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: GUEST,Hanging Johnny
Date: 07 Jul 09 - 03:35 PM

We are all distraught at the loss of Johnny. It was always great to sing with him, little did anyone know that Chippenham 09 would be our last shanty with him.

Condolences to Joyce and the family.


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: GUEST,John Lee & Peter Lister
Date: 07 Jul 09 - 03:46 PM

We were saddened to hear of this great loss to the folk world.
We first met Johnny in the seventies at the Poynton Festival and well remember the curries he made in his capacity as the Singing Chef.
We have enjoyed his superb singing at many festivals over the years. We offer our sincere condolences to Joyce and his family.


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: ConcertinaChap
Date: 07 Jul 09 - 03:47 PM

That feels like a low blow. I cannot claim friendship with him but we were on first name terms and I have known him for exactly as long as I have sung - I sang in public for the first time at the 2nd Wadebridge folk festival (bullied into it by another giant of the scene, also greatly missed, Mervin Vincent) and that's where I met Johnny for the first time back in about 1974. I remember even today how he made "Four and twenty Ponies" THE song of the festival that year. I learned it as soon as I got home.

I will miss his singing and I will miss him.

Chris


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: GUEST,Tim Edwards
Date: 07 Jul 09 - 03:54 PM

Like Anni above I have hesitated about adding to this thread as it is so difficult to express my feelings and so many people have already said what I would try and say about this lovely man.

However here goes. Johnny was a friend, an inspiration and a central part of many of the best experiences of my life. His voice, his warmth and his genuine love for all the really important things made him special to be with. When I lived near London I saw him every week but since I moved north, sadly just a few times a year, but every one was great.

I last saw him at a party in February and thought when I heard the news yesterday that that was a really happy occasion to remember him by -- but then I thought again -- all occasions when I met Johnny were special. He just lifted life for all who met him and although I'll miss him dreadfully I am privileged to have known him.
We have all lost a very special person but my thoughts go especially to Joyce, to his family, and to Jim, who introduced us and was there at the end.

Tim Edwards


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: Partridge
Date: 07 Jul 09 - 04:10 PM

so sad........


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: Mike A Concertinas
Date: 07 Jul 09 - 04:28 PM

A big man with a giant of a voice and a heart to match. We're so glad to have seen him and sung with him so recently at Braunston.

The world is poorer for his passing.

Love and sympathy to Joyce and the family, and all who treasured Johnny.

Mike and Niki Acott.
Capstan Full Strength


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: Barbara
Date: 07 Jul 09 - 04:31 PM

What a loss, such an amazing singer with such wonderful friends. He clearly was a gift to us all for too short a time.
Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: Charmain
Date: 07 Jul 09 - 05:13 PM

I met Johnny and heard him sing many times at The Lancaster Festival. He was a lovely man and a great singer - it is a very sad loss.


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: GUEST,Jayin / Poland
Date: 07 Jul 09 - 05:58 PM

We meet him personaly at this "last day" in Gdansk. We singin` together in sailors club at this evening. Few hours later - he was gone. It was schock for us :(

Condolences to Joyce and Johnny's family.

It is terribly news... Johnny Collins was a great man, great voice and we`ll never forget him.

My photos of his last day:

Tall Ships` Races 2009 - on board of "Lew".
http://picasaweb.google.com/jayinka/4Galeon?authkey=Gv1sRgCOKotrGp6tKtTg&feat=directlink#

Last concert in sailors club "Zejman" in Gdansk.
http://picasaweb.google.com/jayinka/6Zejman?authkey=Gv1sRgCNHU3vTtm4Cv7AE&feat=directlink#


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: JHW
Date: 07 Jul 09 - 05:58 PM

A man always so alive. Always well met. A cornerstone.
Just had an email so looked here and I've read the whole thread but would repeat:-

When my sailing's over
Haul away for Heaven
Haul away for Heaven
God be by my side


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: GUEST,Steve Squires
Date: 07 Jul 09 - 06:03 PM

As Joyce's son I would like to thank all the people who have sent her condolences in your messeges.
She has read some of the posts, but finds it difficult at the moment but she is very moved by your kind words.
They will be printed so we can read them fully in due course.

I have had the great privilege to have Johnny as part of my family for many years, a good friend to me and like a grandfather to my daughters.
Helping him when he needed was never too much trouble.

Many of you have said how kind and generous he was in public and I can confirm that he was exactly the same in his private life.

I know he would have been amazed at the amount of people who have posted comments here and the lovely things said.

Like others, we find ourselves with a gaping whole in our lives that will never be filled. We will always miss him, family occasions and holidays will not be the same.

My special thanks to Graeme Knight and Dave Webber for their invaluable help over the last couple of days and Jim Mageean for all the work he did in Poland.

My best wishes to you all.

Steve Squires


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Subject: RE: Obit: JOHNNY COLLINS 5 July 2009
From: GUEST,iccle stoxy
Date: 07 Jul 09 - 06:14 PM

The most recent memory i have of J.C is in the endevour whitby last year at folk week when he was with greame and jim for there centenary what a afternoon that was.

The first memory i have is on the julia in chatham where i was introduced to the fine taste of port by j.c and joyce i can honestly say when ever i have a glass now it will be raised to the memory of a fine shanty man in every way possible.

my thaughts are with joyce and the rest of the family a terible loss he may be gone but he will remain in our hearts forever!

lucy x


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 07 Jul 09 - 06:53 PM

I've just tried singing Scowie's poem to the tune of Jim the Carter Lad (minus chorus)which worked, except I kept hearing and seeing Johnny singing Jim the Carter Lad...

We were so privileged at Herga to have Johnny singing with us since the mid 1970s. When we were at the Royal Oak his bass harmonies came resonating through the floorboards.

As MCP said in an earlier post, he graciously contributed harmonies to our CD, just for the fun of it. When I was booked at Maidenhead folk club in December 2000 he came out from Pinner to hear and support me, even though the weather was so bad that the person who'd booked me didn't get there.

We missed him dreadfully last night and will go on missing him.

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)
From: Snuffy
Date: 07 Jul 09 - 07:05 PM

Kitty, I had The White Cockade playing in my mind as I was reading it - wouldn't need much "tweaking".


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)
From: GUEST,harvey andrews
Date: 07 Jul 09 - 07:07 PM

Just back from two weeks in France and I read all this. My wife and I are stunned. Johnny was a very special man for both of us and we didn't see him often enough. Our love to Joyce.
"Fill your glass and toast his glory with a taste of English ale"


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)
From: Singing Referee
Date: 08 Jul 09 - 12:06 AM

I've just opened my personal email for the first time since arriving in the USA on business yesterday, and just found the dreadful news. I've been sitting here for the last half hour or so reading through all the moving tributes, with tears in my eyes.

I'd only known Johnny a few years, since I came back to folk music and joined Herga. Now I've been sitting here a while longer trying to find the right words, but I'm too shocked. I just know we'll all miss the man and the voice so much. I'm so sad I couldn't be at Herga on Monday.

My deepest sympathy to Joyce and the family.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)
From: MBSLynne
Date: 08 Jul 09 - 03:59 AM

Well now I've got over the shock and the initial sadness I'm feeling quite cheered by mn's photos of Johnnie's last day. He looked his usual self, he looked to be having a great time and he was singing. Presumably within hours of these he was dead. Though it's a dreadful shock to everyone left behind, how happy we should be that he ended like this. No long, drawn out illness like so many of our friends have had to bear; no going slowly downhill and diminishing, gradually losing powers, including the power to sing. Now we've done the initial grieving, we should rejoice at such an end.

PSWas there anyone in the folk scene who DIDN't Know Johnnie??
PPS. Yes, thoughts and sympathy to Jim too, I didn't think before.

Love Lynne


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)
From: GUEST,Steve Squires
Date: 08 Jul 09 - 07:07 AM

Yes Lynne, the family are taking some comfort in the way he went.
Jim came back yesterday and said that they had a successful and very well received concert with Johnny in good voice.
They then had a day out at sea on the boat which Johnny thouroughly enjoyed.
They even sang the taxi driver a song on the way back to the hotel.
It was during the night that he felt a bit unwell and asked to go to the hospital.
Even there he was sitting up in bed chatting until the end.
If he could have chosen a way to go I'm sure it would have been like that.
There is a lot of work involved to bring him back before a date for the funeral can be made, we know many people will want to be there to say goodbye.

Farewell Johnny "good buddy".

Steve


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)
From: Nessie
Date: 08 Jul 09 - 07:51 AM

Thanks for posting that Steve, hugs to Joyce and the girls.
Vanessa


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)
From: GUEST,Doug Isherwood
Date: 08 Jul 09 - 07:54 AM

When I got Bev's message at work, it took several minutes to process. Having a sing around with Johnny in Bev and Griff's kitchen or at the pub during a festival was always something special. Talking food, wine or times in the lab, he was always so involved in the conversation.

Thank you Johnny for sharing yourself with all of us.

Doug


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)
From: billybob
Date: 08 Jul 09 - 08:23 AM

such sad news, but how lucky we all are for knowing such a lovely gentleman and wonderful singer.all our thoughts are with Joyce and his family and close friends.we have very happy memories of Johnny singing at The Walton Folk Festivals.
Wendy and Bill Simon


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 08 Jul 09 - 12:04 PM

Jim Mageean, Johnny's singing partner for some 35 years, who was with him right to the end, has posted a message giving us detailed information about the events surrounding his friend's untimely departure:   message from Jim Mageean


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)
From: bavis
Date: 08 Jul 09 - 12:35 PM

Thanks George and Jim.
Sarer


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)
From: Vic Smith
Date: 08 Jul 09 - 12:51 PM

This in an email from Jim Mageean

Dear Friends,
       I expect you will have heard by now that Johnny Collins , my great friend and singing partner of 35 years, passed away on Monday July 6th shortly after 8am (bst) in Gdansk.
I am writing to let all his friends know that he suffered no pain at the end and was relaxed and comfortable in hospital when he suffered a massive heart attack (at least the 10th of his life - his 1st was in the 1950's). Pat Sheridan and I were sharing a hotel room with him and he woke us at 6am Polish time (5am bst) and asked us to take him to hospital as he wasn't feeling well. His pulse was racing and he was short of breath. We immediately called a taxi from hotel reception (we were told an ambulance would take longer) and within minutes we were speeding through Gdansk and arriving at Nicolas Copernicus Hospital. He was seen to straight away with ECG and Chest X-ray and wheeled to a ward in Cardiology where they did various tests (blood pressure etc) the results of which all seemed normal to him as an ex-medic. He was chatting to us about this and said he felt safe now as the hospital was very clean and his heart monitor screen looked OK. He joked with us saying 'you will let me know if I flatline won't you'. We made him comfotable, half sitting, with his backrest and mobile phone by his bed so he could call Joyce later when she got up (it was too early he said).The doctor said he would have to stay in a couple of days for observation and may need to be transferred to another hospital for better Cardiography.
There was a picket line across the road at a government building and we watched through the window and reported the action to him as the TV crews turned up to interview them.
We were then asked to stand outside the ward while they did further tests and while we were there he arrested and the crash team were called. We watched them pumping his chest for about 10 minutes, the door was slightly open and we were just a few feet away outside.They then came out and told us that he was gone. I called Joyce immediately with the terrible news. It was then 9.10am Polish time (8.10 bst).
We were then taken to talk to the Cardiologist about formalities, post mortem etc.
I've just got back from Poland and spent a few hours with Joyce returning his belongings.
I'm sure all his friends would want to know that the last days of his life were happy ones. The previous weekend he'd been singing at Braunston Festival, Northamptonshire and at a concert in Watford with Eric Bogle. We'd been in Poland since Wednesday July 1st and all our concerts had gone extremely well (he laughed about his 'celebrity status' in Poland).
He was singing well and seemed fine apart from using his spray inhaler quite frequently.
On Sunday July 5th we spent the whole day out on the Baltic sailing with the Tall Ships parade of sail which was spectaclar. We sang shanties to the ships crews as we passed.
The weather was glorious and Johnny sat on deck all day, apart from when singing, had a meal and thoroughly enjoyed himself. In the evening we did a great concert together with Pat Sheridan in the Zejmans Club, Gdansk. We did three 40 minute spots with a packed audience and had everyone singing along with our shanties and sea songs. The concert was recorded and we talked to the organisers at the end about making an album of it.
The Club Commodore had made a toast with Dutch Geneva earlier so Johnny insisted on returning the toast to the Commodore with 'Reach for the Gin' by Mike Sparks. It was to be his last song apart from us all singing Stan Hugill's 'Old Maui' all the way home in the taxi.
He will be greatly missed by us all but I think he went the way he would have wanted.
I'll keep people posted on Funeral arrangements which will be delayed by legal procedures.
I know all of you will be thinking of his family at this time, especially

Goodbye Mate,
Jim Mageean


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)
From: My guru always said
Date: 08 Jul 09 - 12:54 PM

Thanks for the link George and thanks to Jim and Pat for looking after Johnny so well and for sharing such glorious last days with him. Also thanks for the photos pages which have been posted by our Polish Friends who shared in those days.

Such a huge hole left by Johnny, love & hugs to Joyce and the family, candle lit.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)
From: Vic Smith
Date: 08 Jul 09 - 12:58 PM

http://www.3city.gejtawy.pl/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=61:szanty-i-gdask&catid=1:informacje&Itemid=10


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 08 Jul 09 - 01:31 PM

Thanks for the further information, George and Vic.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)
From: GUEST,Barbara Fletcher
Date: 08 Jul 09 - 01:35 PM

Jonny was at the Braunston Historic Boat Festival 26-28th June and we played along side him. The voice matched the man, they were both wonderful. Can't believe he's gone.
Our thoughts are with his wife and family.
Barbara, Lionel and Nick. (Braunston Pickle)


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)
From: marion.h
Date: 08 Jul 09 - 01:43 PM

This really is such sad news. like everyone else i have really fond memories of Johnny over the years and agree that for me like, like many, Bromyard will not be the same without him.
Jim (McGeehan) I am only pleased that it was you that was with him at the end whilct he was away from Joyce - i am sure that will be a great comfort to her.
like all of you her i would like to pass on my condolences to joyce andthe family and ti Jim in losing alifelong mate.
These wors of Si Kahn's sum up all i would wish for Johnny now.

May whatever house you live in have flowers by the door
and children in the bed to keep you warm
may the people there respect you for who you really are
and help you find some shelter from the storm
And morning rain to ease the pain
That comes from being free
May this new day bring you freedom peacefully

Marion


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)
From: paula t
Date: 08 Jul 09 - 02:02 PM

Very sad news. A lovely man with the most gorgeous, powerful voice, which never failed to make the hairs stand up on the back of my neck. A huge loss.

RIP Johnny.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)
From: GUEST,Hoolie-USA
Date: 08 Jul 09 - 03:01 PM

Jerry and I are saddened and shocked at the news of Johnny's passing. It was good to read Jim's account of it all. We should all leave this world so quickly doing what we love!

We've had Johnny to Michigan twice for our Tall Ships Festivals, and were looking forward to seeing him in Appingedam next month. Such a lovely man, big heart, large voice - will be hugely missed in the International Shanty community.

Our sincere sympathies to Joyce, Steve and the rest of his family.

Kathy Morris
HOOLIE


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)
From: GUEST,Dominic ( Shanty Crew)
Date: 08 Jul 09 - 03:28 PM

I am still trying to take it in, my thoughts are with Joyce and the family. Who can I use as a prompt now? A generous giant of a singer who will be sadly missed.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)
From: GUEST,Steve Dawes and Helen Pitt
Date: 08 Jul 09 - 04:19 PM

Heartfelt thanks to Johnny for all the singing, all the company and all the friendship he's given us over the years. Still can hardly believe he's gone. Our warmest feelings are with Joyce & the family. You've lost someone very special.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)
From: GUEST,Cathy Barclay
Date: 08 Jul 09 - 05:04 PM

What a shock that was when Anni phoned and told us about Johnnie - wouldn´t he be utterly gobsmacked at these truly amazing and wonderful tributes?
Joyce and family, friends, we are so very sorry and sad to lose such a lovely, talented man, one who we thought would be there forever.
He will be hugely missed by so many but his lovely voice will go on forever.
It´s a long time since I did it but I loved singing with Johnnie. He loved putting a harmony to a song and was one of the best. and if he had to die,then this is the way I think he would have chosen to go.
With love and many fond memories. Cathy and PB


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)
From: GUEST,Tim Frost
Date: 08 Jul 09 - 05:32 PM

I said at herga on monday that Johnny had touched the lives of everyone in the room , and now having read so many tributes from around the world tonight I am in tears again .Fortunately Eric agreed for the Watford Concert to be recorded and Richard Watkins captured Johnny at his best only days before his Baltic bash with Jim . I have just listened to this - Johnny is his genial self leading the room in the way he loved ..it came so easily to him ..causing people who had no intention of singing to join in and be swept along in the community of song ...
I recall Dave Houlden's 'When the sing starts in the cellar' - "Johnny Collins is our vicar , he is leading us in song ,
With Mageean as the curate, how can anyone go wrong "....
and we have been so priveleged to have both Johnny and Jim opening the door to so many who could hardly believe the sheer majesty of what they heard..    I collected Jim at Stansted yesterday and remarkably the final Concert in Gdansk was also recorded on sunday evening... so there is the possibility of a last note CD of Johnny in this past 10 days.
Please ask anyone who was at the watford Concert on 27 june if they have or know anyone who took pictures of Johnny or indeed any of the other singers ? There is a good chance of putting together a special CD , to help Joyce and also to celebrate that there is only one JC.
I have not mudcatted before , so any pics pleasse reply also to Kitty as I'm not sure about replies .
Bumping into Johnny changed my life , and that of several others I know...what a great man
tim


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)
From: GUEST,Andrzej Goltz
Date: 08 Jul 09 - 06:20 PM

I came to know Johnny through Ian Woods who took me a couple of times to the Herga. It was a joy to hear them sing together. Johnny had a great heart and extended a helping hand not only to his friends, but also to his friends' friends.

There's a candle burning in Lodz for you tonight Johnny.

Love to Joyce and the family.

Andrzej Goltz


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 08 Jul 09 - 06:50 PM

I'm happy for Mudcat members to PM me about pics of Johnny, as Tim Frost suggests, but you can't send me PMs if you aren't a Mudcat member, so the alternative is to email kittyvernon at the address on the new CD of me and Derek that Johnny so kindly bought even before we formally launched it at Herga, to whit, at btinternet.com. (Which is a convoluted way of trying to avoid spam emails by putting the whole email address in conventional format.) Membership of Mudcat is free though, and it's very easy to join if you want to be able to send personal messages to other members.

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)
From: stallion
Date: 08 Jul 09 - 06:51 PM

I recently reworked one of Johnny's songs, well at least one i first got from his singing of it, I had a mind to ask him where he had got his version, well that has buggered that. To many good people gone just lately, bugger


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)
From: SaltyWalt
Date: 08 Jul 09 - 07:12 PM

Johnny Collins.
As a young'un at my first MSM festival I had only $20 to spend. After much deliberation of how to spend this money, a looong time looking at a BIG table of possibilities, I got 2 cassettes: "Deepwater Shanties" and "Johnny's Private Army". These were what I took home as most moving and indicative of this event. Aside from what I had already gotten at concerts in Richmondtown, this was the beginning for me.

I never "got to know him".
I thought that now that I know so many folks in the field that I'd get to hear him again and sing with him somewhere in the world, and learn from him, and add bits of him to my repitoire and style.

It's completely selfish. I'm sorry, but I was robbed.

People I haven't even met yet were too.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)
From: GUEST,Guest Marie Dufresne
Date: 08 Jul 09 - 11:23 PM

I had the pleasure of hosting Johnny when I booked him for the Bath-Brunswick Folk Club here in Maine some years ago.He was indeed an incredible singer and wonderful person.As I am a caterer we also got into recipes and cooking talk and he left with my prize blueberry muffin recipe much to his delight.

My sympathies to his family.

He is most assuredly shaking up the heavenly chorus.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)
From: GUEST,Maciej Jędrzejko
Date: 09 Jul 09 - 01:40 AM

Shanty part of Poland is crying for Johnny Collins.

Good Bye my dearest friend. Wait for me in Fiddelers Green. Prepare good Whisky for our meeting. You used to call me "Magic YenJCo" but we all knew who was, is and will be magic... it is you Johnny. Thank you Johnny for all songs, dreams, tears and great moments that I was given to spent with you.

Joice, we are with you, please remember about it. You're not alone.
I long to see you

Best regards
Maciej Jedrzejko


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)
From: shanty mac
Date: 09 Jul 09 - 04:49 AM

our thoughts are with you Joyce;

we have had the privilege to know Johnny and enjoy his singing but most of all his warm personality.
personally I have been a great admirer for many years but only met him in person September 2007 during the ISSA Shanty festival in the Baltic where he was an honorary member of Baggies and I was fortunate enough to be a crewmember on the same ship.
we shared songs; had long talks and we all were fed by him, the best cook I have ever sailed with.
I was looking forward to his performance in Appingedam, just 3 miles up the road; sadly this will not happen; Also Workum will not be the same without him; me and Janny spoke with him last year and were to go again this year.
next time I'm singing "Mollymauk" I will see a big albatros with a long grey beard and twinkling eyes and I'm sure my eyes will be glistening and my voice will tremble.

Iwe van der Beek
ISSA vice pres./Square Rigger(s)


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)
From: Joan from Wigan
Date: 09 Jul 09 - 06:39 AM

Very, very sad news. I'd only met Johnny a few times but had great respect for him as a man and as a singer. My sincere best wishes to Joyce and his family.

Joan Blackburn


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)
From: Schantieman
Date: 09 Jul 09 - 06:44 AM

Great bloke. Great voice. Great big hole in the folk world. Thoughts with Joyce & the family - also Jim, Graeme and all Johnny's many, many friends.   

There's a hell of a sing-song going on somewhere.

Steve


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)
From: GUEST,Sally Rogers
Date: 09 Jul 09 - 09:11 AM

Oh, such sad news! I met Johnny (and Jim) when I played at the Herga club some 27 years ago now. His booming voice and support will never be forgotten. His support of other musicians made as much of an impression on the world as his great renditions of so so many songs. I was hoping to cross paths with him one more time, but I guess I'll have to wait until I can ask St. Peter for directions to the Folk Club he's organized in the Great beyond. The angel choir will never be the same now that he's joined them.

I send my sympathy to Joyce and the family, Jim Mageean and Johnny's many, many friends and colleagues.

Sally Rogers


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)
From: BB
Date: 09 Jul 09 - 11:31 AM

Something that was sent through, perhaps by mistake, to those whom Jim e-mailed, but which is so beautiful that it's worth sharing - I hope the writer doesn't mind...

"Dear Friends...
Poland is devastated at the loss of Johnny: a dear personal friend to many, and unmatched guru to us all. The last few days were horrible; none of us could find ourselves a place -- and for the longest time we could not believe what happened. Today, shantymen and shantywomen all over the country mourn the great departed, dedicating their concerts to his memory. He will be with us always, the wholehearted friend of Poland and the Poles that he was.

We are proud to have been his and Joyce's friends and we do know that he departed the way a great shantyman would wish to depart: among the gorgeous tall ships, among dear friends and with the sea-shanty of the recent concert in a room packed with loving audience still reverberating in his mind.

Most importantly, however, we are proud to be a part of the international sea-song family: a part of you. May we always be for one another in times of grief, as we are in times of joy.

Fair winds and starry skies,


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)
From: GUEST,Pumphouse Pete
Date: 09 Jul 09 - 04:11 PM

I heard the sad news from one of my Warp & Weft colleagues while I was away on business and I was shattered.
I remember Johnny from the halcyon days of my youth at Capital Folk Club when he was singing with Jim. So glad they got back together.
More recently when we started up the folk club at The Pumphouse in Watford again, Johnny was a great friend and supporter of the club.We got to know the man as well as the singer - I will always remember his reaction when I said to the audience one night that he was the only folk singer I knew whose voice went up to 11!!( I say "folk singer" because his repertoire was much broader than the shanties he was best known for.)
A pleasure to hear him sing, a privelege to know him and a delight to talk with him.
Our thoughts are with Joyce and John's family and of course his dear friends at Herga.
Thanks Jim, for sharing the last moments.
Let's remember Johnny and his songs and keep singing them.Mick Ryan wrote a song for Cyril Tawney, called "The Song Goes On" which says:
"For the song goes on in the songs we sing,
And when one song ends then another song begins,
So the singers who are gone will be singing once again,
When we sing the songs they sang"
and I think we can do no better than hold that thought.
Johnny, you'll be sorely missed, but we're glad you're safe in harbour.
on behalf of Warp & Weft(Carrie,Pete,Kim,Martin & Helen), residents at Folk at THe Pumphouse,Watford.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Jul 09 - 04:43 PM

We r so sorry to here this sad sad news will be miss by all who new him , What a lovely man. Our thuorghts go out to all his family. R.I.P JC.
Mel & Sam Stocks.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)
From: mn
Date: 09 Jul 09 - 05:50 PM

Johnny's last concert

Great photos made by Boguslaw Bojanowski.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)
From: Liam's Brother
Date: 09 Jul 09 - 06:41 PM

Johnny was a great singer and a real character. I miss him already.
Dan


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)
From: MBSLynne
Date: 10 Jul 09 - 04:04 AM

Thanks for that BB, I only wish I could express myself as eloquently.

And thanks for the photos mn. More evidence that Johnnie was in good voice and singing almost to the end

Love Lynne


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)
From: SunrayFC
Date: 10 Jul 09 - 04:37 AM

Some wonderful pictures from his last concert in the messages above.

I have only one picture that I can share with you.....Johnny and Joyce stayed over with us after he gave us a wonderful evening at the SUNRAY FOLK CLUB, back in February this year.

Many people had not seen him before, but thoroughly warmed to him.


http://www.sunrayfolkclub.co.uk/SunrayGallery.htm


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)
From: Pistachio
Date: 10 Jul 09 - 06:05 AM

Thanks everyone for the photos and links. It's great to see Johnny captivating yet another audience and I've enjoyed listening again now my audio link is fixed!
I wonder, Did he know he was held in such high esteem?
It'll be a helluva chorus up yonder.
H.x


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)
From: kerry and Mandy
Date: 10 Jul 09 - 06:28 AM

there are a few of Johnny's songs on youtube when he and Graeme came to the Star Inn Romney Marsh in Febuary.
rio grand, i can hew, and i think most apropriate at this time a song sung by Johnny and Graeme with such feeling with the audience joining in "All the Good Times are Past and Gone".
i just listend to it and had a little tear in my eye.
follow the link and enjoy.
http://www.youtube.com/user/dubris22

may his memory live on in song.

kerry and mandy


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Jul 09 - 06:45 AM

Johnny once kindly credited Derek as encouraging him to start singing, so glad he did.We shall miss our old friend so much !
      


       Derek +Dorothy Eliott


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)
From: GUEST,Black belt caterpillaw wrestler
Date: 10 Jul 09 - 08:06 AM

In various conversations in the past few days some phrases have stuck in my head and they've come together into a poem/song in the past few hours.

I'm not trying to compete with Scowie,I know we both find that words suddenly appear and if you have to struggle with them that they aren't right but these flowed.

THE SINGER LEAVES THE STAGE.

The singer ends his last note, takes a step back on the stage,
The echoes of the chorus linger long.
There is silence for a moment then the audience respond
And everybody wants another song

CH.
But we'll have to sing without him, have to sing out on our own,
He has gone, and won't be here to sing again.
But we'll always have the memory of what and how he sang,
He'll be with us while those memories remain.

The singer takes his bow then steps down from the stage.
He smiles and talks and jokes with all around.
It's the end of the evening and time for us to go
With the music in our heads we're homeward bound

The singer he has gone and he won't sing for us again,
Won't tell stories of his travels or his songs.
We can only hope to hold his memory fresh within our minds,
He put his love into our hearts, where it belongs.


I've got the makings of a tune for it but you may find an existing one that fits, please feel free to use or ignore.

Robin Madge


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)
From: plastic cod'ead
Date: 10 Jul 09 - 10:57 AM

If we had never met Johnny Collins, we would still be deeply saddened by this terrible news such was the influence of his records on us when we first got into folk music. To get to know the man behind the voice then, in what turned out to be the last year of his life, is something we will always cherish.

Exactly a year a go, Johnny came up to the north east to stay with us in what proved to be a really magical weekend. We must have heard him sing No More Fish No Fishermen and the Bleak North Wall 5 times that weekend but each was delivered with such great passion and humility that we yearned for more. Joining Johnny on Barry Temple's River Days in a church near Darlington was the most beautiful moment we've ever experienced whilst singing.

We learnt so much from Johnny that weekend about how to care for the songs and how to use your passion and talents to reach out and move people in beautiful ways.   We said goodbye on the sunday and when he greated us in Liverpool only 5 days later it was as if we were old friends meeting for the first time in 10 years! Such was the man's warmth.

We were really looking forward to seeing him this summer and had joked about having a back to back Johnny festival hatrick Appingedam-Yarmouth-Bromyard. It was not to be.

Thankyou Johnny, we'll always cherish the precious memories we do have and hope they give Joyce some comfort.

We're gonna have one hell of a sing in the Pot House in Hartlepool tonight captain!

Sean, Michael and David


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 10 Jul 09 - 08:02 PM

I never got a chance to see him live, but the CD I own suggests I should have. Another great character and artist gone! My condolences to his family and friends.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)
From: GUEST,Phil Beer
Date: 11 Jul 09 - 04:44 AM

Completely gutted that we failed to get to the last gig. We fully intended to but there was just too much to do in Gdynia preparing for the 1st race leg. We didn't get the news until I picked up a text somewhere off Tallin in a force 6.
On behalf of the crew of Pegasus
Diggory Rose (Skipper)
Amy Ferguson (Mate)
Phil Beer (Crew)
Vanessa Whipp (Crew)
Tom Povey (Crew)
The lads from merseyside Firebrigade.

RIP Johnny
I,m living my dream. You contributed to it.
I'll always remember the curry!!


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)
From: Cllr
Date: 11 Jul 09 - 05:12 AM

I didnt feel able to write earlier but here he is a just small comment.
I first met Johnny Collins back in the late 80s he was the first shanty singer doing bookings that I came across at Uxbridge folk club later was lucky enough to talk to him in between stints as the singing Chef at Stanford in the Vale folk I realised that my early repertoire was based around the singing of the man himself he was very helpful in giving the guidance that led me to focus on singing shanties and songs of the sea. A few years ago I was booked at the San Francisco free folk Festival. When I got the contracts it had me down to do a sea shanty workshop -not knowing that this meant in the American sense of a themed session I thought I would have to do give a researched talk on the background to shanties, not something I'd previously attempted. I mentioned my problem to Johnny in passing at a gig and he immediately offered any of his materials or information from his performances so I could use it. this was just typical of the generosity of the man. I'm sure all of us have many stories about Johnny but out of all the times of fun and songs this one for me epitomises what a wonderful man and friend he was and how his love of music shone through in all he did.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)
From: BoatinWend
Date: 11 Jul 09 - 08:50 AM

Only got to hear belatedly of the sad news. What a terrible loss.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)
From: GUEST,Geoff Lewis (Mill Race Festival:Cambridge On
Date: 11 Jul 09 - 11:46 AM

All of us associated with the Mill Race Festival of Traditional Folk music (Cambridge, Ontario) are deeply saddened by the loss of this wonderful man. He graced our festival several times and was loved by all.
A more generous, warm character you could not hope to meet.
God bless!
Geoff Lewis


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)
From: MartinRyan
Date: 11 Jul 09 - 12:17 PM

Sang a shanty for Johnny at Miltown Malbay this week in memory of that iron-bar voice.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)
From: GUEST,Gina Dunlap
Date: 11 Jul 09 - 04:08 PM

We had the very great privilege of meeting Johnny at Herga years ago and last summer at Liverpool.He was a lovely man. Bill and I are very saddened by this news. Gina and Bill Dunlap


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)
From: breezy
Date: 11 Jul 09 - 05:44 PM

I heard the news when it first was knoown via a text from a friend who had read Georges opening to this thread.

I still cant believe it.

we dueted at Kitty and Derek's do at Herga so as to kill two birds with one stone to allow more time for K and D

He was always most willing and keen to sing with me, so much so that I felt most priveleged. We still had one more to do and were planning to sing it soon, Alas, never put off till tomorrow that what you can do today

I first recall hearing his deep bass tones during a song concert in the stable loft at the Molesworth Arms Wadebridge from where I now hang out and from whence I just returned. i was intrigued and wondered if I was hearing things, I reacall him sing Mr Punch and Judy Man. Cornwall folk festival Mid 1970s, hosted by Mervyn Vincent

I became a member of Herga late in life and Johnny was always most encouraging and complimentary, and I felt honoured that twice in recent months both he and Joyce attended my gigs.

I would invite him to join me on the final song along with George P, but I would ask Johnny, - jokingly -   as my voice is only average in volume , - to sing from outside the door. Such was his enthusiasm and power and his obvious love of singing.

Johnny always sang with a twinkle in his eye, called everyone 'Good Buddy' and now I will have to learn the other verses to the song I loved to share with him.

Last night - Fri 10th July - at the Ringers in St Issey when the Leaving Shanty was sung , I thought about Johnny, and my thoughts go to Joyce

Johnny Collins was The Herga foundation stone of the 'Wall of Sound'

If I may borrow from E Bogle , with whom he very recently shared a stage, Johnny Collins is Safe in the Harbour

I was lucky to have known , heard seen and sung with the man

thank you sir


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)
From: GUEST,John Conolly
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 12:30 PM

One of my enduring memories of Johnny is of arriving as a "new boy" at a lakeside Shanty Festival in Poland and being guided to the main venue by Johnny's amazing voice booming across the lake from about half-a-mile away...I'm so glad I had the privilege of sharing a shanty-stage with this lovely man on many occasions - I'm so sorry to hear of his passing, and can only hope that Johnny has found his very own version of "Fiddlers' Green" . .
    "And when you're in Dock and the long trip is through -
      There's pubs and there's clubs and fine curries there too -
      The singing of songs ,and the company of friends-
      Where the sun never sets and the song never ends..."

          With love and sympathy to Joyce ....


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)
From: GUEST,old girl
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 12:31 PM

Such sad news the folk world has lost a great man. we are so pleased to have known him,Our sympathy to Joyce and the family We are thinking of you at this sad time.
Rose & Dave


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)
From: GUEST,Darryl (daz) Moorley ,Rhyl
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 02:51 PM

Saddens me very deeply.
My reguards to Joyce.
Will sing Padstow for a fine shantyman.
Daz & Barbara


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)
From: GUEST,Iain Glover
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 04:41 PM

I had the pleasure of meeting and singing with Johnny on numerous occasions over many years, he was a wonderful and warm person and will be sadly missed.

Rest in Peace my friend

Joyce you are in my thoughts

Iain


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)
From: GUEST,Trevor Bond
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 04:44 PM

I met Johnny for the first time last year, when as mentioned above he sang with the Younguns near Darlington. I was immediately struck by what a genuinely nice person he was . Later that year he sang on board the "Stavros S Niarchos" at the tall ships in Liverpool , and we had abrief conversation as I took him to meet the cook, as he had expressed an interest in seeing the galley .He told me he had served as a cook on a sailing ship some years before. A lovely man ,thoughts are with Joyce and family


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)
From: Richard Atkins
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 09:00 PM

Pete Blowers who i see most nights in my local pub reminded me of their last Jazz Blues gig with DPN.
Man walks from audiance asking to join in on stage.
Johnny did a fine rendition of It Takes a Worried Man before going to Poland. I wish i had been thare as it could have been his last song on these shores.
A man special to all


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)
From: Crane Driver
Date: 13 Jul 09 - 03:24 AM

Read Johnny's obituary in the Guardian here.

Says it all really

Andrew


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)
From: GUEST,Gwyneth, Willenhall Folk Club
Date: 13 Jul 09 - 03:39 AM

Well, what more can I add to all these tributes?
What a terrible loss, and condolences to Joyce & the family.
I too want to consider Jim and all he had to deal with, prctically & emotionally there in Poland.
At the Bromsgrove Festival, I got Eric Bogle to sing 'Safe in the Harbour'.
During the last Concert, Pete & I sang, Shores of Jordan. Johnny 'collected' this from me & it said it all about his last days & his attitude to life.
We also sang Padstow Farewell Shanty, the whole tent. Hope you heard it, Johnny.

Love to a great inspiration.
Gwyneth & Pete


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)
From: GUEST,Stuart Reed
Date: 13 Jul 09 - 05:45 AM

Today's Guardian obituary:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2009/jul/13/obituary-johnny-collins-sea-songs


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)
From: GUEST,Suzie- Keepers Lock
Date: 13 Jul 09 - 06:50 AM

So very shocked to hear this devastating news! Johnny was a good friend of many years, a wonderfully warm and big hearted man, who will be sadly missed by so many. My thoughts and prayers are with Joyce and the rest of the family.
'Haul Away to Heaven' dear friend.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)
From: BB
Date: 13 Jul 09 - 07:04 AM

Pity Derek missed out 'Free and Easy' in his obituary - I think it's probably the best of Johnny's solo albums.

Barbara


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)
From: GUEST,CSL
Date: 13 Jul 09 - 07:37 AM

The folks at South Shields were very saddened when we heard this news. We have fond memories of Johnny on his last visit here.

Thoughts with Joyce and Family and with Jim.

The Young Un's finished the first half of their gig here last night with a medley of Shanties dedicated to Johnny who gave us such a great night himself exactly 1 year ago to the night.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)
From: Noreen
Date: 13 Jul 09 - 09:00 AM

From link to guardian article:

Obituary
Johnny Collins

Performer of sea songs and shanties with an international following

Derek Schofield The Guardian, Monday 13 July 2009

Best known as a singer of maritime songs and sea shanties, Johnny Collins, who has died aged 71 of a heart attack, had a full repertoire of folk songs, with a particular emphasis on songs with a chorus. In the style of the great American folk singer Pete Seeger, Johnny loved to have the audience sing the choruses with him. But they had to sing loudly to be heard above Johnny's strong, booming, bass voice.

A frequent performer on mainland Europe, where sea songs and shanties in a variety of languages are very popular, Johnny achieved his greatest triumph in 1983 when he and his frequent singing partner Jim Mageean won an eastern European version of the Eurovision song contest - the Intervision song contest - staged in Rostock, East Germany. Other competitors made full use of the 96-piece orchestra, but Jim and Johnny won the hearts of the voting audience with a medley of unaccompanied sea shanties.

Born in Norfolk, Johnny was adopted by a Belfast-born railwayman and his wife, a music teacher from Norwich. He left school at 16 and two years later joined the army - at first the Royal Engineers, but then transferring to the Royal Army Medical Corps. Stationed in London in 1958, he came across the jazz and folk clubs of the West End, learned to play the guitar, and sang alongside the jazz guitarist Diz Disley, folk singers Martin Winsor, Redd Sullivan and Alex Campbell, and the blues singer Long John Baldry.

By the time Johnny was posted to Singapore in 1959, he was listening to the American folk songs of the Weavers, Burl Ives and Woody Guthrie, but back in Catterick, Yorkshire, he met Tony Foxworthy, a staff member of the English Folk Dance and Song Society, who introduced him to English folk song. At his next posting in Hong Kong, Johnny ran a folk club and sold out the City Hall with his new folk group.

Leaving the army in 1968, Johnny was encouraged in his singing career by the folk singers Dave Burland, Roy Harris and Derek Elliott. Folk club fees did not allow Johnny to become fully professional, and he became chief laboratory technician at Watford hospital.

By the mid-seventies, he had built an enviable reputation and released two albums, Traveller's Rest (1973) and Johnny's Private Army (1975). In Watford he was soon singing with Mageean. Concentrating on sea songs, they appeared at most British folk festivals, and together released albums, including Coming of Age (1996) and, with Graeme Knights, Good Times (2008). There were also solo recordings - Pedlar of Songs (1993) and Now and Then (2000).

Through the 1980s and into the 90s, Johnny performed at many of the world's maritime festivals. In the US, he sang at the Maine and Newport maritime museums, as well as the Kendall Whaling Museum in Massachusetts, and the prestigious Mystic Seaport festival in Connecticut. He was the resident shantyman at Expo 88 in Brisbane, Australia, and for more than 20 years, was the main guest at the maritime festival in Workum, the Netherlands. In 1987, Johnny was invited by the East German government to the Berlin Shanty Festival (an unlikely event for a land-locked city) to celebrate Berlin's 750th anniversary. Other festival appearances were in Belgium, Poland and France.

Johnny sang at the music events that accompanied the Cutty Sark Tall Ships races in Liverpool, Newcastle upon Tyne and Southampton, and he was a regular at maritime festivals in Hull, Lancaster, Portsmouth and Greenwich. A core of British folk festivals continued to welcome Johnny's brand of chorus singing, and he was a frequent guest at festivals in Bromyard and Chippenham, where his enthusiasm for folk song was widely appreciated.

He is survived by his partner, Joyce Squires, and two children, Carol and Michael from an earlier marriage.

? John Robert Collins, folk singer, born 10 May 1938, died 6 July 2009


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)
From: GUEST,Brian & Stella Dennett
Date: 14 Jul 09 - 05:38 AM

So sorry to hear of Johnny's untimely passing. No-one who heard him sing could fail to have their spirits lifted by that huge voice and wonderful repertoire of songs, and all who knew him will have their own personal memories of him over the years - we certainly have. He was a great character and the world is a poorer place today. Our condolences to Joyce and to Johnny's family, and our sympathies to Jim.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)
From: Will Fly
Date: 14 Jul 09 - 08:07 AM

There were several songs sung in memory of Johnny at last night's village Singaround at the Rising Sun in Charlwood (Surrey), by performers who had known him, sung with him, or simply just loved his stuff. A very moving evening.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)
From: GUEST,Mel and Kathy Foster
Date: 14 Jul 09 - 01:21 PM

Johnny was a man of grace, wit and song. We had known him only a few years - not nearly long enough. It was a privelage to have been his friends. Bon Voyage.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)
From: GUEST,Rattler
Date: 14 Jul 09 - 07:29 PM

One day at a festival, a couple of years after first seeing him, I was standing next to Johnny at a bar and realised that he was actually a couple of inches shorter than me. I must have just assumed he was about 6ft 2in tall, such was his presence!

Later, the first song I sang in public was inspired by his singing at the Stanford in the Vale Festival (compact venues packed with eager chorus singers), and learnt from one of his recordings. I wonder how many others have similar tales?


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)
From: JWB
Date: 14 Jul 09 - 11:03 PM

Johnny and I last sang together at the Chicago Maritime Festival in 2007. He captivated a group of children at a library program, without singing one "children's" song -- he just sang HIS songs, and they loved it.

One of HIS songs that sums him up for me is Doddle Let Me Go, or Yellow Gals. He sang it with such a sense of fun and delight, putting an appropriate chuckle into the lyric "He grabbed me by the bobstay and he wouldn't let me go."

My own paltry tribute is this song, sung to "Leave Her, Johnny", which I wrote when we lost Stan Hugill.


Oh, the hour was late and the moon was high
But still we did not depart,
For the glow of pleasant company
Warmed each and every heart.
"Just one more song," said someone
As the landlord doused the light,
So we sent a final chorus ringing out into the night.

It is no consolation to know that time must fly,
It's still very hard, when the hour comes, to have to say goodbye.

"Why must you go," the young wife says,
And tears are in her eyes.
"To build a better life for us,"
He tenderly replies.
Together they have talked of this
For many a long day,
And yet she cries when he at last
Is fin'lly on his way.

Chorus

Two brothers stood upon the dock
Not knowing what to say,
For one was going to board a ship
While the other one would stay.
One had made the choice to travel out
Into the world alone,
While the other one chose family,
Security and home.

Chorus

When the news arrived from far away
That our old friend was gone,
We did not call it tragedy
To hear he'd traveled on,
For his life had been a long one,
With friends and pleasure filled.
Yet still a stone was in our hearts
To think his voice was stilled.

Chorus


Jerry


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)
From: GUEST,Sapper stuck in the Office
Date: 15 Jul 09 - 07:20 AM

I only met him once at the Herga last year. A lovely blokre and fine singer who will be missed by many.

But, let us not get too hung up on the loss, keen though it may be felt, but rather let us celebrate and rejoice in his life, a life well lived!


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)
From: scowie
Date: 15 Jul 09 - 03:09 PM

refresh


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)
From: GUEST,Sarah & Pat
Date: 16 Jul 09 - 04:53 AM

So sad to hear Johnny has died, but heartened to see he was touring when it happened - still singing and doing his fantastic stuff. Sorry we have failed to meet up in recent years - busy doing that family thing...but a wake-up call not to leave it too long. He will leave a gap in the folk world, but he has left a fabulous legacy.

-S&P&M&M Hayward


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Jul 09 - 09:08 AM

Johnny Collins 3.07.2009
One of the last Johnny's gigs.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 16 Jul 09 - 02:40 PM

Thank you Guest so much for posting that clip - it was great to see and hear Johnny singing with his usual gusto!

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)
From: Mrs Scarecrow
Date: 16 Jul 09 - 02:44 PM

I cant quite bear to listen yet


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)
From: mn
Date: 16 Jul 09 - 05:00 PM

Obituaries on Polish shanty websites:
Szantymaniak.pl
Szanty24.pl
Szanty.art.pl

Message from Jim Mageean translated into Polish:
Ostatnie chwile Johnny'ego [Johnny's last moments]


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)
From: bavis
Date: 16 Jul 09 - 07:03 PM

Remembered fondly at Wherwell tonight.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)
From: GUEST,Sue (Bedworth)
Date: 17 Jul 09 - 06:42 AM

A lovely clip - played it several times.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)
From: GUEST,Rob Orton
Date: 17 Jul 09 - 07:00 AM

I remember Johnny from his stints as the Singing Chef at whitchurch festival and have a fond memory of this large bearded man ( he was larger than life) walking through Wimborne Folk Festival holding each of my two daughters who were then quite small by the hand. HE WILL BE SORELY MISSED.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)
From: GUEST,flyingcat(moira)
Date: 17 Jul 09 - 08:23 AM

A few years ago Johnny asked me for the words of the Connemarra cradle song as he thought he's like to sing it. I don't know if he ever did but i sang for him at maidenhead last night


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)
From: breezy
Date: 17 Jul 09 - 10:16 AM

There was a tribute on Folkwaves on Monday

They played Johnny singing Harvey's 'English Ale' from 'Pedlar of Songs' CD

and 'Green grows the Laurel' at 43 mins into prog


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)
From: skipy
Date: 18 Jul 09 - 09:12 AM

Refresh


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)
From: Zany Mouse
Date: 18 Jul 09 - 07:00 PM

Refresh


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Jul 09 - 04:40 AM

Kate Mayall. I have known Johnny for years and Workum will not be the smae without him. Johnny and Jim WERE the Strontrace. So many people will not be able to imagine festivals all over the world without Johnny Collins and the small Dutch village of Workum will be a sadder place this Ocotber without him. My sympathy and best wishes to friends and family.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)
From: johnadams
Date: 19 Jul 09 - 06:30 AM

It's taken me a while to bring myself to contribute here but the mention of the Strontrace brings back the memory of re-mastering the Strontrace album from vinyl for cassette release after the master tapes had disappeared. I spent a day and a half setting the transfer up and it didn't tire my ears for a second. I had some conversations with Johnny about the Strontrace and it was obviously close to his heart.

Another thing I'll miss with regard to Johnny's singing is his ability to go down to bass harmony notes that very few others could get near - notes as beautiful and warm as the man they came from.

Deepest sympathies.

RIP


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)
From: mn
Date: 22 Jul 09 - 03:19 PM

Movie with Johnny Collins - 5.07.2009

Also made by Boguslaw Bojanowski.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)
From: Nessie
Date: 22 Jul 09 - 05:42 PM

JC was repatriated yesterday.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)
From: Zany Mouse
Date: 22 Jul 09 - 07:08 PM

Good. Hopefully this will help Joyce be able to grieve. It must have been a lot worse for her happening in Poland. Brilliant for Johnny though. For a folkie to have a last day like his ...

Blessings
Rhiannon


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)
From: JohnB
Date: 22 Jul 09 - 11:34 PM

I definately do not mean this in any bad taste, but I can't view the pictures from Poland in any other way.
A Day in the life of Johnny, a day to die for, for us mere mortals in the rest of the world.
Way to go, unfortunately it will never happen to me.
I know you are having a blast with Pete and Harry and all the others from Norfolk. The harmonies and the songs ahhhhhhh! save me a spot in the audience, maybe in the second half if you can manage it.
JohnB.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)
From: skipy
Date: 23 Jul 09 - 05:36 PM

Welcome home old friend


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 25 Jul 09 - 11:21 AM

Message from Joyce Squires:
    "Johnny's funeral will take place on Thursday 13th August at 12.00pm at Breakspear Crematorium, Breakspear Road, Ruislip, Middlesex HA4 7SJ. As there is only space for 100 people inside the crematorium we have been told that we can use an outside area as well with standing room only. Afterwards there will be a gathering at Pinner Green Social Club, Rickmansworth Road Pinner HA5 3TJ.

    Johnny's ashes will be scattered at sea in two locations, Yarmouth on 5th September (TBC) and Workum on 19th October. The Festival organisers at these events have been very helpful and we would be happy to see some of you there to sing him on his way.

    We are also planning a Memorial concert in the New Year; details will follow in due course.

    I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your support, messages and cards.

    Joyce"


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)-funeral 13 Aug
From: Tyke
Date: 25 Jul 09 - 01:53 PM

I still can't find the words to express how I sad I fell about Johnny's departure however I shall make every effort to attend and witness the celebration of his life.
Then hopefully all attending or for those who are unable to attend but can set aside some time to send there farewells to Johnny then will feel a little better.
George Clarke


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)-funeral 13 Aug
From: scowie
Date: 26 Jul 09 - 02:20 PM

refresh


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)-funeral 13 Aug
From: Leadfingers
Date: 26 Jul 09 - 02:29 PM

Breakspears Crematorium is possibly NOT as easy to reach by public transport as some places !
I will be driving up from Hayes , and can offer seats in a car - Hayes and Harlington is on the Main line from Paddington . (And back after the wake !)


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)-funeral 13 Aug
From: greensue
Date: 26 Jul 09 - 05:29 PM

Leadfingers I hope I can meet up with you at Hayes and harlington.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)-funeral 13 Aug
From: My guru always said
Date: 26 Jul 09 - 05:38 PM

We can offer basic accommodation in Leatherhead (before & after) for a few people from afar & transport with us to Johnny's funeral & Singout. Please PM me if you're in need.
Hil & Richard


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)-funeral 13 Aug
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 28 Jul 09 - 04:15 PM

We did not post a time for the reception at Pinner Green Social Club after the funeral; to avoid any confusion, the intention is that we should proceed from the Crematorium directly to the Social Club, so there will be no waiting around for anyone.

Given the high expected attendance numbers, a double slot (i.e. 1 hour in total) has been booked at the Crematorium. For those who cannot attend the service there and would like to come directly to the reception therefore, 1:30pm is a reasonable target time.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)-funeral 13
From: Janet Elizabeth
Date: 30 Jul 09 - 03:42 PM

The Pinner Green Social club is listed by Traveline as: Northwood Hills, Pinner Green Social Club 1998, with nearest underground Northwood Hills on the Metropolitan line. I hope that's the right place?
Elizabeth


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)-funeral 13 Aug
From: Moses
Date: 30 Jul 09 - 04:10 PM

That's right Elizabeth

It would take about 10 minutes to walk from Northwood Hills Station (turn right out of the station, walk to the roundabout (Northwood Hills Circus) and turn right again - the Socisal club is on the right about 5 minutes walk from the roundabout) - It's the home of Herga Folk Club.

I can offer a lift to anyone who needs to get from Breakspear Crematorium to Pinner Green Social Club. And/or a lift to the Crematorium from any Ruislip tube station (South Ruislip, Ruislip, Ruslip Manor, Eastcote).

PM me please but be aware that I'll be at Sidmouth next week and won't be on-line to reply until I get back.

Christine


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)-funeral 13 Aug
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 04 Aug 09 - 04:10 PM

Revised details and additional information re donations:

Johnny's funeral will take place
on
Thursday 13th August at 12.15pm
at
Breakspear Crematorium, Breakspear Road,
Ruislip, Middlesex HA4 7SJ

There is limited seating inside the crematorium but there is an outside area as well with standing room only. Preference will be given to those requiring a seat for health reasons and should be reserved by emailing george@folk4all.net . Afterwards there will be a gathering at Pinner Green Social Club, Rickmansworth Road Pinner HA5 3TJ.

The family will be sending flowers at the funeral, but have asked for others to send donations in preference to flowers, to one of the following charities via the undertakers. Please make cheques payable to either

R.N.L.I.
or
Diabetes UK

and send the cheques to:

Co-operative Funeralcare
13 Headstone Drive
Wealdstone
Middx HA3 5QX


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)-funeral 13 Aug
From: Pistachio
Date: 05 Aug 09 - 06:45 AM

Be sure and warn the vicar of the power of song that will rise over Breakspear next Thursday. I remember Col K's service near lifted the roof.

'When all men sing'
Hazel.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)-funeral 13 Aug
From: Cats
Date: 05 Aug 09 - 05:20 PM

If you can't get to the funeral and are in Devon or Cornwall, we thought about meeting at Rame Head in the 11th century hermits chapel right out on the headland for a sing to coincide with the service. If you want to join us pm me.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)-funeral 13 Aug
From: Joules
Date: 06 Aug 09 - 04:10 AM

I will be coming down on the train, can anyone advise which is the closest underground station to the crematorium and also the possibility of a lift to the social club please

Julie


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)-funeral 13 Aug
From: GUEST,John B not at home
Date: 06 Aug 09 - 11:59 AM

We had a great singaround in Johnny's honour at Millrace Folk Festival in Cambridge Ontario Canada, last Saturday. At the Golden Kiwi, a place where Johnny sang with Jim and Graeme only last year.
Many of the songs were songs we have heard Johnny sing, I did "When All Men Sing" and a damn good time was had by all.
JohnB,in Saskatoon a bloody long drive from Cambridge.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)-funeral 13 Aug
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 06 Aug 09 - 12:25 PM

Joules, the closest tube station to the crematorium seems to be Ruislip (Metropolitan line); but even that is a couple of miles away!


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)-funeral 13 Aug
From: Zany Mouse
Date: 06 Aug 09 - 04:05 PM

John B,

I think Herga Kitty may know about buses but, like most of Mudcat I think, she is at Sidders until the weekend.

Rhiannon


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)-funeral 13 Aug
From: GUEST,beverly.bauer
Date: 06 Aug 09 - 05:04 PM

Oh Rhiannon, thank you for making me laugh. John B means Saskatoon, Saskatchewan - in mid-Western Canada. And the Cambridge he is speaking of is home base for Millrace Folk Festival in Ontario - about a 3 day drive east of Saskatoon and about 18 hours from the eastern shore.

Probably won't be buses going from our Cambridge to the funeral - although I wish there were - the magic kind that could get us there quickly.

In 2006 when The Singer and Graeme came over (to Canada) The Singer was wondering if they could 'nip over to Alberta' one afternoon - soon thought better of it when I explained it was a 4 hour flight from Toronto.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9vxDDcTc64c

This should really go in the 'Happy Memories' link - but John started it. The link above (sorry, not a blue clicky - you'll need to copy and paste) will take you to our 'unofficial' National Anthem, Canada's Really Big - by the Arrogant Worms and - frequently sung by the Bilge Rats - (Toronto Morris Men in Shanty Mode) who got their name in 2001 when they were up with JC at the Port Dover Fish Fest.

Beverly


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)-funeral 13 Aug
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 06 Aug 09 - 06:03 PM

Beverley

I think Rhiannon meant to post for Joules, not John B! She's referring to buses from Ruislip underground station.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)-funeral 13 Aug
From: GUEST,Beverly
Date: 06 Aug 09 - 06:17 PM

I thought as much, really. It feels good, though to finally remember snippits of time with The Singer and smile, rather than get all teary.

And if anyone can arrange that magic bus......


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)-funeral 13 Aug
From: GUEST,Fiona Rolls
Date: 10 Aug 09 - 11:50 AM

My thoughts are with you Joyce.

I first met Johnny in the mid 70's when he was one of the regulars at the Folk Club in Reading, though in resent years it has been at Towersey I met you both.

I still see Johnny singing if anyone sings "Jim the carters lad"

The folk world will miss him.

Fiona


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)-funeral 13 Aug
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 10 Aug 09 - 03:29 PM

Now home from Sidders and Dartmoor, too late to get to Herga, but the info about public transport is:

To the crem - options are Met line to Northwood on the Watford branch and 331 bus from stop B, or Met line to Ruislip on the Uxbridge branch and H13 to Ruislip Lido.

To Pinner Green social club - walk from Northwood Hills Met line station or take H11 bus from Harrow bus station.

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)-funeral 13 Aug
From: SunrayFC
Date: 10 Aug 09 - 03:30 PM

you are an angel


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)-funeral 13 Aug
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 10 Aug 09 - 03:40 PM

I should have mentioned that the H11 stop for the social club is called Crossways!

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)-funeral 13 Aug
From: scowie
Date: 11 Aug 09 - 07:14 PM

A toast was drunk to the memory of Johnny tonight at the "Limbrick" session at Adlington in Lancashire, it was heartily endorsed by all present.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)-funeral 13 Aug
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Aug 09 - 12:56 PM

It is worth noting that the Saturday afternoon singaround at the Golden Kiwi during the Mill Race Festival in Cambridge Ontario, Canada has been officially named the Johnny Collins Memorial Singaround. The announcement was made at the beginning of this year's event.

And yes, JohnB did a wonderful job of leading When All Men Sing.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)-funeral 13 Aug
From: skipy
Date: 12 Aug 09 - 06:37 PM

Refresh


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)-funeral 13 Aug
From: GUEST,Pistachio, in Karlsruhe, Germany.
Date: 13 Aug 09 - 06:30 AM

I'm thinking of you all across the miles.

"Whatever the road that we travel
Whatever the journey we take day by day
It's not our destination
but the people we love along the way" David Swann.

Hazel.x


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)-funeral 13 Aug
From: Cats
Date: 13 Aug 09 - 06:34 AM

Last night I sang the Farewell Shanty for Johnny at the Barley Sheaf folk club in Liskeard and today it will be sung on the headland overlooking the sea.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)-funeral 13 Aug
From: nutty
Date: 13 Aug 09 - 06:40 AM

Sadly I can't be there for the funeral but Johnny and everyone there will be in my thoughts. I'm sure the send off will do him justice.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)-funeral 13
From: double stopping
Date: 13 Aug 09 - 07:13 AM

Sadly I can't be there for the funeral but I'm thinking about everyone and remembering all the good times. I'm sure that it will be a very special occasion. Hopefully someone will post on here to tell us all about it.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)-funeral 13
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 13 Aug 09 - 07:14 AM

Bidding a long-distance farewell to the big man, from the south coast of Ireland. I'll be there in spirit. Rest in peace, old friend.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)-funeral 13 Aug
From: GUEST,Broadside Man
Date: 13 Aug 09 - 07:25 AM

Can't be there today but thinking about Johnny and some wonderful memories.

Geoff


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)-funeral 13 Aug
From: Mrs.Duck
Date: 13 Aug 09 - 07:34 AM

Just paused for a few quiet moments to join with everyone down at the funeral in remembering Johnny.
Jane and Geoff


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)-funeral 13 Aug
From: GUEST,old git
Date: 13 Aug 09 - 07:42 AM

I just sang the Farewell Shanty to join with everyone at the funeral in remembering Johnny.
"It's your time to go now
Haul away your anchor...."


geoff turner


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)-funeral 13 Aug
From: Sailor Ron
Date: 13 Aug 09 - 08:18 AM

Angulus said & candle lit for Johnnie. So sory I can't be there to say farewell.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)-funeral 13 Aug
From: RoyH (Burl)
Date: 13 Aug 09 - 11:33 AM

I too could not be at the funeral, but I was therre in spirit remembering many good times with a good friend. RIP John.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)-funeral 13 Aug
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Aug 09 - 01:50 PM

I to was there in spirit and a candle was lit. Farewell Big Man.
Gillie


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)-funeral 13 Aug
From: jojofolkagogo
Date: 13 Aug 09 - 01:55 PM

Goodbye, friendly big man


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)-funeral 13 Aug
From: Mingulay
Date: 13 Aug 09 - 02:28 PM

It was a fitting send off to a good man, standing room only at the service and I'm sure that the roof will now need fixing down. It was obvious that those who sang and paid tribute to Johny's life were very moved by the experience as were those who listened intently to every word. Afterwards at the Social Club the roof once again was in danger as wave upon wave of choruses swept around the room, the only thing missing was that deep bass voice propping up the rest of us "ordinary" singers. Even the weather played its part.

A strange day in that it was sad and moving and joyous all at the same time, a moving mix of old traddies and foreign cultures, shanties sung as love songs, unspoken thoughts and abiding memories.

Rest in peace Johnny, you more than deserve it.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)-funeral 13 Aug
From: Leadfingers
Date: 13 Aug 09 - 02:42 PM

A Sitable Send Off for Johnny I think , with songs and singers from Holland and Poland , as well as all over UK !
I am glad I wasnt at Broastairs , as a LOT of Broadstairs artists were there today !!


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)-funeral 13 Aug
From: gnu
Date: 13 Aug 09 - 03:38 PM

Terry... my sincerest condolences to you and all peeps who feel this loss so deeply.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)-funeral 13 Aug
From: skipy
Date: 13 Aug 09 - 03:56 PM

A wonderful send off & a who's who of the folk world present at it.
You touched us all in so many ways & are not forgotton, nor will you be.
Skipy


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)-funeral 13 Aug
From: Richard Atkins
Date: 13 Aug 09 - 04:18 PM

Hearing the undertaker say "We've not had one like this before" after the Sing and Tributes to Johnny says it all.
A day and a special man who will allways be remembered by so many.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)-funeral 13 Aug
From: Houston_Diamond
Date: 13 Aug 09 - 04:49 PM

I was crying really badly outside the crematorium, Graeme started singing Amazing Grace... before the end of the first line the whole place lit up in chorus and I found myself singing instead of crying!!!

Going back to Herga's new home after and hearing all the voices that filled the Royal Oak so well in the 80's, pure nostalgia.

It was great to see everyone again, I feel so privileged to have known Johnny and to know most of the friends that came today.

Herga wont be the same but I will still go to belt noise when I can and I will hopefully hear Johnny's harmony in my head.

Thanks for being a great friend and sharing your knowledge, voice, music, culinary skills, friendship. I will miss you.

Houston


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)-funeral 13 Aug
From: GUEST,flyingcat(moira)
Date: 13 Aug 09 - 05:00 PM

I so wish we could have been there to say goodbye. I expect a good few songs will be sung in his memory at grove over the weekend. I'll never forget late nite singing and midnight specials at the singing chef in pre grove days at Stamford in the vale. Wonderful times.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)-funeral 13 Aug
From: My guru always said
Date: 13 Aug 09 - 05:59 PM

Johnny was sung out well today and his voice was with us in our memories. Many thanks to Joyce and Johnny's family for sharing this day with us all. Thanks too to Graeme and Jim and all those who worked so hard to make the day run smoothly.
Hil


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)-funeral 13 Aug
From: Emma B
Date: 13 Aug 09 - 06:12 PM

Just arrived home, my sincere thanks to my hosts for their generous hospitality

Such a magnificent heartlifting celebration of the life of a friend who touched so many hearts.

'Some say I'm Gentle Johnny, I've a smile for all I meet,
I've a pair of lusty bellows, and a pair of well-shod feet,
Some say I'm Gentle Johnny, I'm rambling along,
Some say I'm Gentle Johnny, The Gentleman of song.'

From 'The Gentleman of Song'
Written for Johnny Collins by Scowie in 1999


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)-funeral 13
From: double stopping
Date: 13 Aug 09 - 06:13 PM

Would someone who was there please tell us the "order of service" - who sung/said what.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)-funeral 13 Aug
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 13 Aug 09 - 06:18 PM

We started singing the moment we got into the chapel and joined in with the recording of Johnny singing Agammemnon - it was like being back in the cellar at Bracknell,tremendous wall of song. The singing at the Greenwood Hall went on until late in the evening - it was 10.20pm when I left and it wasn't finished yet. Thanks especially to Mick Pearce and Anne Reader for the songs they wrote specifically to commemorate Johnny and his singing, and to Joyce and family for a wonderful celebration of Johnny's life and contribution to all our lives.

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)-funeral 13 Aug
From: Emma B
Date: 13 Aug 09 - 06:23 PM

'order of service'
Amazing Grace - Graeme Knights
Tribute
Contentment - Dave Webber and Anni Fentiman
Tribute
Its time to go now - Jim Mageean
Tribute
When the roll is called up yonder - raising the roof!


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)-funeral 13 Aug
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 13 Aug 09 - 06:33 PM

The first tribute was from John Heydon, the second from Johnny's son-in-law, and the third from Mike Sparks.

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)-funeral 13
From: double stopping
Date: 13 Aug 09 - 06:35 PM

Thank you very much.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)-funeral 13 Aug
From: greensue
Date: 13 Aug 09 - 06:46 PM

Just arrived home from saying goodbye to johnny. Many thanks to Terry and Sheila and everyone else who helped me today. Also for the lift home from Dave and Jan. There could not be a better sendoff for anyone than Johnny had today. I am sure he must have been with us in spirit, the singing was glorious.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)-funeral 13 Aug
From: scowie
Date: 13 Aug 09 - 11:39 PM

It was a suitable and altogether splendid send off for the great man we all knew and loved.Thanks to all involved in its production, thanks also to Terri for her help and support throughout it. As I suspected I found it all intensly moving, and very emotional, especially Mike Sparks Valediction, Well done old Bright Spark!
Thanks to George P. and the lovely Vannessa (Natasha) for making the visit possible, from myself, Geoff, and George, sorry we missed the club sing, but it was a long way home, made a little easier with the memories it had left us with.
This Folk World of ours truly is an unbreakable family, and to see it unite again, to salute the passing of one of our Heros was stiring indeed.
My thanks and best wishes to you all, Scowie.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)-funeral 13 Aug
From: SunrayFC
Date: 14 Aug 09 - 01:51 AM

Yes I thought the whole day was a wonderful experience, and how Johnny would have liked it. The singing in the chapel was amazing, from start to finish.

A unique experience.

Nice to catch up with some people too...faces to names.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)-funeral 13 Aug
From: BB
Date: 14 Aug 09 - 10:38 AM

A wonderful celebration of everything that was Johnny, and the chance to share the experience it with so many others who loved him. Our thanks to all those who put it together, and especially to Dave and Anni who had their own reasons for finding it particularly difficult. I don't think I've EVER heard singing anything like that which took place there.

Broadstairs was by no means deserted, as the same 'order of service' was taking place in Pete Collins' and Mike Nicholson's session at the same time, and by all accounts was also very beautiful.

Sorry we had to leave early, but had to get back to Broadstairs to work that evening.

Barbara & Tom


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)-funeral 13 Aug
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 15 Aug 09 - 06:53 AM

What a sendoff for the Big Man... You can listen to a recording of the tributes and the songs from the chapel a href="http://www.folk4all.net/JC-singing-out.mp3">here. Unfortunately my "card" filled up before the end, but I only missed Mike Sparks' last 30 seconds (and his "God bless you, Johnny") and the last hymn.

Two moments caused me to well up: Seeing the Singing Cheff-ers turn out wearing their aprons; and the last moments of Graeme;s singing Amazing Grace - the way he turned back time and again to look at the coffin as he was finishing the song. I was right in your heart right then, Grae...

Scowie, Maureen, Geoff, "Uncle" George, it was great spending the night before together and reminiscing (and doing some serious damage to that whiskey too). The trout was honoured appropriately on Friday...

Natasha sends her best also.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)-funeral 13 Aug
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 15 Aug 09 - 06:55 AM

Oh bugger... here it is: http://www.folk4all.net/JC-singing-out.mp3


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)-funeral 13 Aug
From: GUEST,old git
Date: 15 Aug 09 - 07:31 AM

Thanks for that ,George.
For those of us who couldn't make it ,it was the next best thing to being there.

geoff turner


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)-funeral 13 Aug
From: Mrs.Duck
Date: 15 Aug 09 - 11:23 AM

Thanks for that, George. Sung along and it wasn't only your card that filled up!


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)-funeral 13 Aug
From: Mick Tems
Date: 15 Aug 09 - 12:55 PM

Johnny's funeral turned into a rip-roaring celebration on Thursday, with friends from far and wide squeezing into the packed crematorium - it was standing room only. When Graeme Knights launched into Amazing Grace, when Dave and Anni sang, when Jim delivered The Farewell Shanty, when all four polished their voices to When The Roll Is Called Up Yonder, the folk family roared back ALL the songs in perfect harmony. Someone said that the undertakers, who are quite used to a thousand funerals, had never heard of a sending-off like this. When the service was over, when many famous singers (and some not so famous) had queued up in the Pinner Green Workingmen's Club to pay tribute to Johnny, I drove back to South Wales really inspired and elated by all the respect and perfect love that they had bestowed on him.

I drove all the way from Llantrisant with Jim Bartlett riding shotgun. Just before we left, stentorian singer-songwriter Jim sang a shanty he wrote after hearing of Johnny's death, Johnny's Gone Away, and I joined in on the choruses with him. Joyce had a smile on her face. Some funerals make you sad, this one gave you the determination to emulate Johnny and give you his love of singing, his very great knowledge of shanties and the sea and his boundless affection of the folk scene in general. Here's to you, Big Man.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)-funeral 13 Aug
From: Tyke
Date: 15 Aug 09 - 11:43 PM

Thank you George P for all you efforts, keeping us all informed of the details of JC Singing-out on the Mudcat and for the recording of the service that you have posted the link too.

I am listening to it as I write this and I can't help but think of all the Big Mans many friends all over the world who will be able to share in the celebration of Johnny's life when they down load and then listen to this file.

Well done!


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)-funeral 13 Aug
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 16 Aug 09 - 09:08 AM

When you read some of the threads on Mudcat (have a look at the current Folk Against Fascism thread for example), it's easy to forget the joy and fellowship that goes with singing. This was something that Johnny exemplified and you could tell it at the crematorium and the wake afterwards last Thursday. While it was Johnny's singing that made us all aware of him I'd like to think that it was his infectious joy of life and song that took us all there last week to see him off. It was a fitting send off for someone who put so much into the folk scene here and elsewhere.

I've put my own personal tribute song, which Kitty referred to above, on my myspace page (Mick's Myspace Page) if anyone wants to hear it. I have no title, so it appears just as JC on the song list. (It's a bit croaky - I'm on the edge of a cold at the moment - but you'll get the idea).

Mick


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)-funeral 13 Aug
From: GUEST,Keith Myers
Date: 16 Aug 09 - 12:52 PM

Just glad I could go to the funeral and say goodbye to an old friend.
He was given an unforgetable send-off.

The singing was amazing not exactly suprising considering the people there.

We won't see a man like him again for a long long time.

A great singer and a real gentleman.

Keith


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)-funeral 13 Aug
From: SunrayFC
Date: 16 Aug 09 - 01:41 PM

I assume you are related (?) to Faith and will soon have your CD. I just know you will enjoy it.

I especially like the interview...Johnny being Johnny.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)-funeral 13 Aug
From: Merek'n'Dary
Date: 17 Aug 09 - 11:04 AM

Thanks George for posting JC Singing-out. We were sorry not to have been there but this really helps share in what must have been an incredible day!


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)-funeral 13
From: double stopping
Date: 17 Aug 09 - 03:38 PM

Thank you so much or the recording George - I turned up the volume and sang along. I really wanted to be there but it simply wasn't possible.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)-funeral 13
From: chrisgl
Date: 17 Aug 09 - 04:26 PM

The (what does one call it?) celebration afterwards was also recorded but as it's some seven hours of material I am not in a position to make it public yet.

I'd be very grateful if anyone here abouts who sang that afternoon or evening could contact me and let me know whether I can include their piece. Working with Tim Frost, we are contemplating putting a CD (!) together to benefit Johnny's two charities.

chris :-)


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)-funeral 13 Aug
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 18 Aug 09 - 04:08 AM

Chris, I cannot imagine anyone refusing. For my part, go ahead anyway. Well done recording all seven hours of singing!


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)-funeral 13 Aug
From: My guru always said
Date: 18 Aug 09 - 07:13 AM

Yes, well done Chris!! You must have had a very stiff arm after the seven hours *grin*

Thanks, George, for the service recording, I listened again last night!


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)-funeral 13 Aug
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 18 Aug 09 - 03:13 PM

IMPORTANT MESSAGE concerning recordings

Actually, Chris, I would like to backtrack on my last message, as I spoke way too soon. For a start, some of the performances by the professional artists that were there may not be up to their own required standards, and publication of the recording would only devalue them. Certainly later during the evening there have been drink-influenced renditions, I am told - we should be careful with those.

But even more important than that is the consideration of what Johnny himself would have wanted, and what the current guardians of his legacy would want. That is David Webber as Johnny's producer and (I believe) official custodian of Johnny's legacy (both the music and the name), and of course Joyce, who knew Johnny better than any of us. I know that Johnny, whenever he was asked whether a recording might be made for one of his own performances, he would invariably reply "yes, but only for personal use". He certainly would not have condoned a commercial use of either his performances or others' performances in his name (and that would include the funeral service and the wake), even for charitable purposes, without his own (and now Dave's & Joyce's) permission.

I would urge anyone thinking of putting such performqances on CD for distribution to talk with Dave & Joyce before proceeding any further, therefore. Bob, that would cover the Sunray recording too, I believe.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)-funeral 13 Aug
From: Richard Atkins
Date: 18 Aug 09 - 11:18 PM

Chris
I gave Joyce and Jim a DVD of Johnny and Jim at Bromyerd 2004 at Warwick saying put away for later at this sad time.
Your recordings to Dawe Webber then.
I sang The Leaf and lost the tune a bit the Guru said!



,


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)-funeral 13
From: chrisgl
Date: 19 Aug 09 - 03:24 PM

Ah ha! Some names at last. Thanks George.
Whilst I've not said anywhere, so far, anything about what'd have to happen 'in the background' before anything can be made public, I am aware of some of these 'hurdles' (and quite understandable they are too!)

I'd certainly be talking to Joyce and it's good to know that Dave is involved too.

It's a huge Cart with a hundred or horses milling around it. Exactly which comes first is an interesting thing in the Chinese sense of interesting.

chris :-)


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)
From: Pistachio
Date: 08 Sep 09 - 05:32 PM

George - thank you for the linked recording. I finally found the right time to listen and was lifted by the glorious sound of an unrehearsed choir - magnificent and magical.
H.x


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Subject: RE: Obit: Johnny Collins (6 July 2009)
From: breezy
Date: 09 Sep 09 - 04:30 AM

May I also add my thanks to George Papavgeris for placing ''Johnny Collins 'Singing out'' on here.


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