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Chris Barber retires

Roger the Skiffler 14 Aug 19 - 11:32 AM
The Sandman 14 Aug 19 - 01:30 PM
Tattie Bogle 14 Aug 19 - 02:13 PM
fat B****rd 14 Aug 19 - 02:54 PM
GUEST,Peter Cripps 15 Aug 19 - 04:38 AM
Andy M 15 Aug 19 - 06:23 AM
Vic Smith 15 Aug 19 - 04:34 PM
Tattie Bogle 16 Aug 19 - 06:07 AM
Bonzo3legs 16 Aug 19 - 08:18 AM
GUEST,Guest: Mike Rogers 16 Aug 19 - 09:09 AM
Vic Smith 16 Aug 19 - 09:11 AM
GUEST,Peter Cripps 16 Aug 19 - 04:03 PM
Bonzo3legs 16 Aug 19 - 04:49 PM
BobL 17 Aug 19 - 02:23 AM
Vic Smith 17 Aug 19 - 06:12 AM
Jim Carroll 17 Aug 19 - 06:28 AM
Vic Smith 17 Aug 19 - 07:09 AM
GUEST,Hootenanny 17 Aug 19 - 07:26 AM
Tunesmith 17 Aug 19 - 07:55 AM
Jim Carroll 17 Aug 19 - 08:00 AM
Roger the Skiffler 17 Aug 19 - 09:15 AM
Bonzo3legs 17 Aug 19 - 11:20 AM
Jim Carroll 17 Aug 19 - 12:33 PM
Roger the Skiffler 17 Aug 19 - 01:41 PM
GUEST 17 Aug 19 - 02:46 PM
GUEST,Hootenanny 17 Aug 19 - 02:47 PM
Jim Carroll 17 Aug 19 - 02:53 PM
Jim Carroll 17 Aug 19 - 03:03 PM
Bonzo3legs 17 Aug 19 - 03:49 PM
GUEST,Hootenanny 17 Aug 19 - 03:56 PM
Jim Carroll 18 Aug 19 - 11:25 AM
Roger the Skiffler 18 Aug 19 - 11:53 AM
Jim Carroll 18 Aug 19 - 12:18 PM
Roger the Skiffler 18 Aug 19 - 12:26 PM
The Sandman 18 Aug 19 - 03:32 PM
GUEST,Hootenanny 18 Aug 19 - 06:22 PM
Jim Carroll 19 Aug 19 - 02:54 AM
GUEST,Hootenanny 19 Aug 19 - 05:58 AM
Jim Carroll 19 Aug 19 - 06:27 AM
GUEST,Roger 19 Aug 19 - 08:30 AM
Jim Carroll 19 Aug 19 - 09:19 AM
GUEST,Roger 19 Aug 19 - 03:59 PM
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Subject: Chris Barber retires
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 14 Aug 19 - 11:32 AM

Full details on his official site HERE
I'll miss seeing him play after all these years and wish him well inhis retirement.
RtS


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Subject: RE: Chris Barber retires
From: The Sandman
Date: 14 Aug 19 - 01:30 PM

What a great professional, brilliant music


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Subject: RE: Chris Barber retires
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 14 Aug 19 - 02:13 PM

Used to go regularly to see him in my teenage years during the Trad Jazz boom! (Which maybe pre-dated the 60s folk revival, and really dates me!)
Then many years until I saw him again at Sidmouth Folk Festival just a few years back. Enjoy your retirement, Chris!


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Subject: RE: Chris Barber retires
From: fat B****rd
Date: 14 Aug 19 - 02:54 PM

The soul band I was in supported his band at The South Bank Jazz Club in Grimsby in the late 60s. A charming man, he even took the trouble to watch our set and was most complimentary. Many happy years to come Mr. B.


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Subject: RE: Chris Barber retires
From: GUEST,Peter Cripps
Date: 15 Aug 19 - 04:38 AM

Really sorry to hear that! A great musician, and a true gentleman. He inspired me to learn a musical instrument many years ago. (And we are still playing 'Bobby Shafto')


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Subject: RE: Chris Barber retires
From: Andy M
Date: 15 Aug 19 - 06:23 AM

Great description of his importance in Billy Bragg's 'Roots, Rockers & Radicals'.


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Subject: RE: Chris Barber retires
From: Vic Smith
Date: 15 Aug 19 - 04:34 PM

I went to see him every time he appeared anywhere near our area.
Part of his importance was that he brought so many American musicians to tour with his band back in the days when seeing American musicians in the UK was a rarity - mainly because American and UK trade unions would not allow this unless reciprocal arrangements were made. Thanks to Chris Barber, I was able to see Mahalia Jackson, Sister Rosetta Thorpe, Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee and several others for the first time.


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Subject: RE: Chris Barber retires
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 16 Aug 19 - 06:07 AM

It was 2012 in Sidmouth: just found some pics I took then.


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Subject: RE: Chris Barber retires
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 16 Aug 19 - 08:18 AM

There is an album of "The Ken Colyer Jazz" Band performing live months before he was dumped and the band continued as the Chris Barber Jazz Band. Lonnie Donegan was banjo player!


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Subject: RE: Chris Barber retires
From: GUEST,Guest: Mike Rogers
Date: 16 Aug 19 - 09:09 AM

At age 89 I guess he deserves a rest.

His influence on post war music cannot be over-estimated.


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Subject: RE: Chris Barber retires
From: Vic Smith
Date: 16 Aug 19 - 09:11 AM

Interesting comment from Bonzo3Legs because when I interviewed Ken Colyer - way back (early 1970s?) he said that when he returned to the UK after his spell in New Orleans he started to play with the other five again (Monty Sunshine, Chris Barber, Lonnie Donegan, Jim Bray and Ron Bowden) that the other five were not playing in what Ken considered the 'authentic' New Orleans style so he sacked them and formed a new band of British musicians who were more in keeping with his approach. Chris took over the leadership with Pat Halcox came in as trumpeter.
I knew Ron when I was a schoolboy jazz enthusiast in Portsmouth and his version of the events concurred with Ken. In fact not long after the split Ron left the Barber band and rejoined Ken Colyer.
However Ken's Wikipedia entry says:-
Colyer and the others parted company in 1954, each claiming in later years to have fired the other.

.... which leads me to suppose that there was probably a 'musical differences' row which ended up with them going their separate ways; though if Colyer was the titular leader, in theory, only he could do the sacking!


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Subject: RE: Chris Barber retires
From: GUEST,Peter Cripps
Date: 16 Aug 19 - 04:03 PM

Vic Smith, that is exactly my recollection from the time of what happened


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Subject: RE: Chris Barber retires
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 16 Aug 19 - 04:49 PM

I found Colyer's trumpet playing awful, and and as for his singing - I couldn't possibly comment...…………………….yes I could, it was dire!!!


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Subject: RE: Chris Barber retires
From: BobL
Date: 17 Aug 19 - 02:23 AM

Am I right in thinking that CB is the last survivor of the 60's trad era? Acker, Humph, Ken, Kenny and the rest, all gone to the Great Gig In The Sky.


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Subject: RE: Chris Barber retires
From: Vic Smith
Date: 17 Aug 19 - 06:12 AM

Most of the major figures from that era are no longer with us. A British Trad Jazz musician that I always rated very highly was Sammy Rimington and he is still around. His George Lewis influenced clarinet playing was the basis of some very creative musicianship.


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Subject: RE: Chris Barber retires
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 17 Aug 19 - 06:28 AM

I was an avid Barber fan - saw him every time he guested at The Liverpool Cavern (before he guested there regularly (before it became Beatle-infected)
I saw Lonnie Donegan performing there before he became 'a name') and my only partly successful attempt at playing a musical instrument was when I played Monty Sunshine arrangements of Dixieland tunes at the local youth club in Speke
I confess I thought he had long-retired - wasn't even sure he was still living
Amazing how the music you love can keep your tank filled with petrol - long may it continue to do so for people like Barber
Jim


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Subject: RE: Chris Barber retires
From: Vic Smith
Date: 17 Aug 19 - 07:09 AM

As this thread is likely to attract fans of traditional jazz, could I point to the band which I regard as currently being the best playing this sort of music? Tuba Skinny from New Orleans are wonderful and their female cornet player, Shay Cohen, sounds like a reincarnation of Bix Beiderbecke -
TUBA SKINNY - At The Jazz Band Ball


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Subject: RE: Chris Barber retires
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 17 Aug 19 - 07:26 AM

I believe that Wally Fawkes aka Trog is still with us. I don't recall him ever leading a band but he was a mainstay of Humphrey Lyttelton's early bands and played great clarinet. Also used to play regular Sunday lunch time sessions at the Merlin's Cave in London.

Having done some work with Chris - some PR and road manager for a short Scottish trip the band did North of the border. I happened to be in our Scottish office at the time. On another occasion I put the band on in Arran when I was running a season there.
I am pretty certain that Chris's version of the split with Ken is correct, that the band which he formed for Colyer's return to England was a co-operative. Ken wasn't happy with the style said he was going to sack one of them. However as the band was a co-operative they sacked him.
In my own opinion replacing Ken with Pat Halcox was one of the most important and beneficial decisions Chris and the band made. A great asset.


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Subject: RE: Chris Barber retires
From: Tunesmith
Date: 17 Aug 19 - 07:55 AM

Well, Chris, of course, introduced Muddy Waters to UK audiences and that alone should be enough to have Chris canonised.               
BTW is the Pope a blues fan?


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Subject: RE: Chris Barber retires
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 17 Aug 19 - 08:00 AM

Prior to the jazz boom these people were my heroes - they could walk on water as far as I was concerned
When I moved to London I used to go into New Merlin's Cave on Sunday Afternoons with John Falkner - we invariably ended up chatting with Bruce Turner ('Dad')- another legend
Good days
Jim


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Subject: RE: Chris Barber retires
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 17 Aug 19 - 09:15 AM

I haven't checked the sources but my recollection is as Hootenany suggests. The band was supposed to be a collective but Ken was always a one-man band. He found Lonnie annoying. Chris said later everyone who worked with Lonnie found him annoying but still worked with him. Ken wanted to sack him: the others reminded him it was a cooperative and his was a sole vote so they left and replaced him. I saw Wally Fawkes at the Cartoon Museum some years ago: he was almost completely blind and had therefore stopped drawing. The Chris Barber website is a good source of "who's still alive" of the men who passed through the band.
RtS


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Subject: RE: Chris Barber retires
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 17 Aug 19 - 11:20 AM

Yes, so it does seem that Colyer's arrogant musical differences made the rest dump him!!! Perhaps the (then) potential superstardom of Lonnie Donegan was too much for Colyer!!!


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Subject: RE: Chris Barber retires
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 17 Aug 19 - 12:33 PM

"potential superstardom of Lonnie Donegan "
It never fails to fill me with a mixture of amusement and depression when I read fanzine stuff like this - it really is the stuff Hello Magazine is fileld with
I still love Colyers rawness - I always have
The joy the jazz scene before it was turned into a commodity was its wonderful variation Humph, Barber, Colyer, and the rest - all great but all different
I don't care why Cloyer fell out with people any more than I acre whether Barber punched Monty Sunshine because he was making the beast with two backs with Ottilie Paterson - their music was great and for me, that's what counts
We have an interesting article by (I think) Bert Lloyd, which describes how merchant seaman Colyer jumped ship in New Orleans and sat with the best of the bluesman to learn his craft
He brought some of the Library of Congress recordings back home with him which helped give a kick-start to the Folk Song revival
That, for me, entitles him to a place at the right hand of Big Bill any day
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Chris Barber retires
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 17 Aug 19 - 01:41 PM

Ken's biog is worth reading if you can get hold of it. He really empathised with those old guys in New Orleans.
RtS


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Subject: RE: Chris Barber retires
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Aug 19 - 02:46 PM

I could possibly be wrong but I have never ever heard of Chris thumping Monty.
There could be some confusion here with the fact that Monty once thumped Chris's partner and manager Harold Pendleton. It was something that Otillie did which was the cause of the altercation but nothing of the sort suggested in Jim Carroll's post above.
If my memory is correct this is when Monty understandably set up his own band and Chris brought in Ian Wheeler.

The story of Colyer's activities in New Orleans has been well documented but it was the older jazz musicians that he sought out and played with such as George Lewis,Jim Robinson, Kid Sheik for example. With all due respect "the best of the bluesmen" would have been hard to find in N.O at that time.

The remark about potential superstardom for Lonnie is laughable. It was virtually a throw away track which accidentally became a hit.

It happened again with Humphrey Lyttelton and Johnny Parker's "Bad Penny Blues".


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Subject: RE: Chris Barber retires
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 17 Aug 19 - 02:47 PM

Sorry, the above post was me,


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Subject: RE: Chris Barber retires
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 17 Aug 19 - 02:53 PM

"I could possibly be wrong but I have never ever heard of Chris thumping Monty."
I have vivid memories of the photograph in the Musical Express along with the explanation
It was later put down to policy differences but you only remember the salacious bits, don't you
Jim


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Subject: RE: Chris Barber retires
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 17 Aug 19 - 03:03 PM

Wasn't Musical Express - it was 'Jazz News' - my bible for may years
I could have scanned in the article but I finally shed the skin of my youth a few years ago when I gave all my copies away
Jim


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Subject: RE: Chris Barber retires
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 17 Aug 19 - 03:49 PM

Chris Barber used a guitarist - Steve Hammond in the late 60s, with whom my band recorded some demos of songs he had written, about the time I was doing A levels in 1964!!


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Subject: RE: Chris Barber retires
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 17 Aug 19 - 03:56 PM

Jazz News was 0wned and run by Harold Pendleton, I used to do some record reviews for them and knew Harold and the one time editor John Martin who I have known for more years than I care to recall.

You are asking me to believe that Harold would print in his own magazine a photograph of two members of his star band involved in a fracas. How convenient that a photographer arrived just in time too.

I know it is said that there is no such thing as bad publicity but I think you have got it wrong.


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Subject: RE: Chris Barber retires
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 18 Aug 19 - 11:25 AM

"You are asking me to believe that Harold would print in his own magazine a photograph of two members of his star band involved in a fracas."
I'm not asking anybody to believe anything Hoot
I'm telling you what I remember
I may well have disremembered the source but the facts remained the same
Cris and Monty broke up and the reasons given were those I quoted
I liked them both very much - I even spoke to Sunshine once in The Cavern when I was thinking of taking up the clarinet - he was very helpful - even suggested what I could get for my apprentice wage budget and where to go.
I have no axe to grind and no reason to invent things
Jim


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Subject: RE: Chris Barber retires
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 18 Aug 19 - 11:53 AM

I hadn't heard that story, Jim. Ken, of course, by his own admission, was always up for a punch-up with what he saw as the middleclass lads who had "bin there and done that" like he has.
RtS


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Subject: RE: Chris Barber retires
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 18 Aug 19 - 12:18 PM

I didn't really want to make an issue of it Rog - I used it as an example of the kind of gossip I got use to back in the day
The Cavern was that sort of place then -
It was a non-alcohol venue - all you could get was very cheap Pepsi which we drank by the gallon until the rumour got round that it made you impotent
Sales dropped to next to nothing within weeks and the management had to make a statement from the stage that it was a deliberately started rumour
I would have loved to hear Colyer playing live - I saw most of the others
Humph still did an occasional spot at the Bull in Barnes when we lived in West London
Jim


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Subject: RE: Chris Barber retires
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 18 Aug 19 - 12:26 PM

I only saw Ken live a few times with his band at the 100 Club, late '60s and early 70s. Saw Chris lots then and nearly every year since- though this year the band was without him as he was in hospital after his fall.
RtS


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Subject: RE: Chris Barber retires
From: The Sandman
Date: 18 Aug 19 - 03:32 PM

Well they all loved playing music.


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Subject: RE: Chris Barber retires
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 18 Aug 19 - 06:22 PM

"I used it as an example of the kind of gossip I got use to back in the day"

Exactly Jim just GOSSIP and nearly sixty years on you are still

spreading it.


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Subject: RE: Chris Barber retires
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 19 Aug 19 - 02:54 AM

"Exactly Jim just GOSSIP and nearly sixty years on you are still "
You have only just heard about it so how do you know it's "gossip"
You are the one who is prolonging this discussion so it's yuo who is spreading it
I raised the matter once because I read about it and believed it at the time - jut like you, I had no reason not to
Let's leave it there before it develops into an argument on what has been a pleasant thread - eh ?
I always liked and respected Colyer and the side of jazz he stood for, that hasn't stopped people undermining that respect

The Jazz Scene was very like the folk scene in some respects - it divided when it caught the attention of the music industry
I was a traditionalist; I wasn't particularly enamoured when some of the bands dressed up in monkey-suits and funny hats - when lesser-talented bands started to hit the big-time.
Yes - parts of the jazz scene 'sold out' their music; many didn't
I loved Donegan's singing of 'No Cane on the Brazos'. and detested crap like 'Nobody Loves Like an Irishman'
Thanks to the fact that it is now possible to get many of the long deleted recordings, I can judge which stood the test of time and which became quaint curiosities after the predatory music industry was finished with it and spat it out.

For me, jazz was my first experience of live music played well - I cherish that introduction - it gave me a foothold into an active and fulfilling life.
Jim


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Subject: RE: Chris Barber retires
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 19 Aug 19 - 05:58 AM

As always Jim, you find it hard to accept evidence from anyone who was closer to what happened at the time if it doesn't conform to what you have in mind.

I will gladly bow out from this thread as we all know what happened to a previous thread which was at times very enlightening but became contaminated and had to be closed down.

However if you ever come across the issue of Jazz News containing the article and photograph of which you write please let me know. I would like to add it to my collection of rare magazines.

Many thanks.


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Subject: RE: Chris Barber retires
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 19 Aug 19 - 06:27 AM

You are turning this into a nasty spat now Hoot - shame on you
Can I remind you of a friend of mine who I admire as a singer, who wrote more songs than anybody in the reb=vavl and who dis far more research on the art of singing folk songs than anybody I know
Despite being dead for over three decades, the very mention of his name brings forth a torrent of abused based purely on "gossip"
Any chance of ever discussing this artists work without the abuse has long been an impossibility (not that I'm accusing you of being guilty of such a thing - heaven forfend!)
I mention one single story which I believe to be true, about a man I admire and the shrieks of protest can be heard from here to High Holborn
Please don't make this something it wasn't intended to be - this thread is afr too enjoyable a romp though a pleasurable past
Jim


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Subject: RE: Chris Barber retires
From: GUEST,Roger
Date: 19 Aug 19 - 08:30 AM

Handbags at dawn ladies.


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Subject: RE: Chris Barber retires
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 19 Aug 19 - 09:19 AM

I'm finished Rog - I hope Hoot has
Jim


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Subject: RE: Chris Barber retires
From: GUEST,Roger
Date: 19 Aug 19 - 03:59 PM

Fair enough.


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