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Obit: Chris Barber RIP (1930-2021)

The Sandman 02 Mar 21 - 01:46 PM
The Sandman 02 Mar 21 - 01:54 PM
Tattie Bogle 02 Mar 21 - 02:42 PM
Bonzo3legs 02 Mar 21 - 03:12 PM
fat B****rd 02 Mar 21 - 03:27 PM
GUEST,Peter Cripps 02 Mar 21 - 03:31 PM
GUEST,Roger 02 Mar 21 - 04:10 PM
GUEST 03 Mar 21 - 03:45 AM
Dave Sutherland 03 Mar 21 - 03:45 AM
Johnny J 03 Mar 21 - 03:52 AM
Roger the Skiffler 03 Mar 21 - 05:00 AM
GUEST,jim bainbridge 03 Mar 21 - 05:58 AM
GUEST,Hootenanny 03 Mar 21 - 11:25 AM
G-Force 03 Mar 21 - 11:54 AM
Jos 03 Mar 21 - 12:07 PM
GUEST 03 Mar 21 - 12:13 PM
Roger the Skiffler 03 Mar 21 - 12:23 PM
Vic Smith 03 Mar 21 - 02:47 PM
GUEST,Hootenanny 03 Mar 21 - 04:34 PM
Vic Smith 04 Mar 21 - 10:41 AM
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Subject: Chris Barber RIP
From: The Sandman
Date: 02 Mar 21 - 01:46 PM

Donald Christopher Barber OBE (17 April 1930 – 2 March 2021) was an English jazz musician, best known as a bandleader and trombonist. As well as scoring a UK top twenty trad jazz hit, he helped the careers of many musicians, notably the blues singer Ottilie Patterson, who was at one time his wife, and Lonnie Donegan, whose appearances with Barber triggered the skiffle craze of the mid-1950s and who had his first transatlantic hit, "Rock Island Line", while with Chris Barber's band. His providing an audience for Donegan and, later, Alexis Korner makes Barber a significant figure in the British rhythm and blues and "beat boom" of the 1960s


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Subject: RE: Chris Barber RIP
From: The Sandman
Date: 02 Mar 21 - 01:54 PM

Barber was born in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire in April 1930, the son of a statistician father and headmistress mother. He was educated at Hanley Castle Grammar School, Malvern, Worcestershire, to the age of 15, then St Paul's School in London and the Guildhall School of Music.[1]
Music career (1950s and 1960s)

Barber and Monty Sunshine (clarinet) formed a band in 1953, calling it Ken Colyer's Jazzmen to capitalise on their trumpeter's recent escapades in New Orleans: the group also included Donegan, Jim Bray (bass), Ron Bowden (drums) and Barber on trombone. In April 1953 the band made its debut in Copenhagen, Denmark. There Chris Albertson recorded several sides for the new Danish Storyville label, including some featuring only Sunshine (clarinet), Donegan (banjo) and Barber (bass) as the Monty Sunshine Trio.[2] The bands played Dixieland jazz, and later ragtime, swing, blues and R&B. Pat Halcox took over on trumpet in 1954 when Colyer moved on after musical differences and the band became "The Chris Barber Band".[citation needed]

In 1959, the band's October 1956 recording of Sidney Bechet's "Petite Fleur", a clarinet solo by Monty Sunshine with Dick Smith on bass, Ron Bowden on drums and Dick Bishop on guitar,[3] spent twenty-four weeks in the UK Singles Charts, making it to No. 3 and selling over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc.[4] After 1959 he toured the United States many times (where "Petite Fleur" charted at #5).
Barber performing in Hamburg, 1972

In the late 1950s and early 1960s Barber was mainly responsible for arranging the first UK tours of blues artists Big Bill Broonzy, Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee and Muddy Waters. This, with the encouragement of local enthusiasts such as Alexis Korner and John Mayall, sparked young musicians such as Peter Green, Eric Clapton and the Rolling Stones. British rhythm and blues powered the British invasion of the USA charts in the 1960s, yet Dixieland itself remained popular: in January 1963 the British music magazine, NME reported the biggest trad jazz event in Britain at Alexandra Palace. It included George Melly, Diz Disley, Acker Bilk, Alex Welsh, Kenny Ball, Ken Colyer, Sunshine, Bob Wallis, Bruce Turner, Mick Mulligan and Barber.[5]

Barber stunned traditionalists in 1964 by introducing blues guitarist John Slaughter into the line up who, apart from a break between April 1978 and August 1986, when Roger Hill took over the spot, played in the band until shortly before his death in 2010. Barber next added a second clarinet/saxophone and this line-up continued until 1999. Then Barber added fellow trombonist/arranger Bob Hunt and another clarinet and trumpet. This eleven-man "Big Chris Barber Band" offered a broader range of music while reserving a spot in the programme for the traditional six-man New Orleans line-up.[citation needed]

A recording of the Lennon–McCartney composition "Catswalk" can be heard, retitled "Cat Call", on The Songs Lennon and McCartney Gave Away. Written by Paul McCartney the song was recorded in late July 1967 and released as a single in the UK on 20 October 1967.[citation needed]

In 2014, Barber published his autobiography Jazz Me Blues with co-author Alyn Shipton.[6] On 12 August 2019, Chris Barber announced his decision to retire after some 70 years of performing. The band will continue under the musical direction of Bob Hunt.[7]

The line up of the Big Chris Barber Band, which is carrying on with his full support (as of March 2020) is: Bob Hunt (trombone), Mike Henry and Gabriel Garrick (trumpets), Nick White, Trevor Whiting, and Ian Killoran (reeds), John Watson (drums), John Day (double bass), Joe Farler (banjo & guitar).[citation needed]
Long-term partnerships

Pat Halcox, trumpeter with the Chris Barber Band since 31 May 1954, retired after playing his last gig with the Big Chris Barber Band on 16 July 2008. Halcox and Barber were together in the band for 54 years – the longest continuous partnership in the history of jazz, exceeding even that of Duke Ellington and Harry Carney (48 years between 1926 and 1974).[8] Tony Carter (reeds) also left the band at this time.[9]

John Crocker (reeds) retired from the band in 2003 after a 30-year stint. Vic Pitt (double bass) retired in January 2007 after 30 years with the band. His feature duet with the drummers of the day – "Big Noise From Winnetka" was not only a feature of the Barber concerts, but also his time with the Kenny Ball band immediately before.
Death
Barber died on 2 March, 2021, after suffering from dementia


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Subject: RE: Obit: Chris Barber RIP (1930-2021)
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 02 Mar 21 - 02:42 PM

So sorry to hear this, and thanks for the detailed info, Dick.
I enjoyed seeing the band during the 60s Trad Jazz boom that preceded or maybe ran alongside the 60s folk revival: then it was many years later before I saw the band again - at Sidmouth Folk Festival in one of the pre-festival warm-up concerts: can't remember the exact year but within the last 10 I would think. Whatever, it was a great performance!


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Subject: RE: Obit: Chris Barber RIP (1930-2021)
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 02 Mar 21 - 03:12 PM

So sad, I have a 1955 album on my car memory stick which I played only yesterday!


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Subject: RE: Obit: Chris Barber RIP (1930-2021)
From: fat B****rd
Date: 02 Mar 21 - 03:27 PM

Mr. Barber and his excellent band played at our Grimsby South Bank Club in the late 60s. Our soul band supported and he actually said to me that our version of "Mercy,mercy,mercy" was "more exciting" than theirs !!
What a lovely man and a great figure in British music.
RIP Chris, your words that night stay with me.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Chris Barber RIP (1930-2021)
From: GUEST,Peter Cripps
Date: 02 Mar 21 - 03:31 PM

Wonderful man, my idol as a young banjo player in the 1950s, Saw him a few times more recently at The Roses Theatre in Tewkesbury, always in the foyer after the concert to chat with everyone. Great memories


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Subject: RE: Obit: Chris Barber RIP (1930-2021)
From: GUEST,Roger
Date: 02 Mar 21 - 04:10 PM

RIP Chris.
One of the Giants of British music.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Chris Barber RIP (1930-2021)
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Mar 21 - 03:45 AM

Sad news.

I last saw him play in 2017 when he visited our little town just outside Edinburgh. Great concert.

Here's an oldie but goodie. I've also got the Jimmy Shand version :-)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SwbiOr8f2jM


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Subject: RE: Obit: Chris Barber RIP (1930-2021)
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 03 Mar 21 - 03:45 AM

RIP Chris. His work in order to promote Blues in the UK should never be underestimated.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Chris Barber RIP (1930-2021)
From: Johnny J
Date: 03 Mar 21 - 03:52 AM

Sorry, the last guest was me.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Chris Barber RIP (1930-2021)
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 03 Mar 21 - 05:00 AM

Very sad. We didn't have a gramophone at home so my jazz in the 1950s was via BBC and Radio Luxembourg and I became a fan of Chris. When I earned my first wage I bought a hifi and his records were among the first I bought. We saw him many times in from the 1960s, mainly in the 100 Club in Oxford St but also in larger venues right up into the Big band years. The last time we went to see the Big Band he was absent in hospital after a fall and not long afterwards he retired. Thanfully I still have lots of records, tapes and CDs of the various Barber bands, not to mention the 78 of Rock Island Line that Sheila brought as her dowry!
RtS


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Subject: RE: Obit: Chris Barber RIP (1930-2021)
From: GUEST,jim bainbridge
Date: 03 Mar 21 - 05:58 AM

Chris Barber was the one to give Lonnie Donegan some musical prominence, making him very aware of the blues and country music at the root of skiffle.
    A high proportion of early folk revivalist singers came to 'folk' via the skiffle route and would say so, leading to the wider folk revival.
    It seems to me then that Chris Barber was at the very start of the folk revival & should be awarded a Gold Medal from the EFDSS.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Chris Barber RIP (1930-2021)
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 03 Mar 21 - 11:25 AM

Roger the Skiffler

Are you sure it was the 100 Club and not The Marquee ???


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Subject: RE: Obit: Chris Barber RIP (1930-2021)
From: G-Force
Date: 03 Mar 21 - 11:54 AM

... my jazz in the 1950s was via BBC ...

Well if you relied on the BBC news website now you might not know he'd died. Plenty of stuff about Bunny Wailer, Love Island contestants, etc., but Chris Barber? Nope. How times change.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Chris Barber RIP (1930-2021)
From: Jos
Date: 03 Mar 21 - 12:07 PM

I don't use the BBC news website (I didn't even know there was one), but I did hear it announced on the News on BBC Radio 4.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Chris Barber RIP (1930-2021)
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Mar 21 - 12:13 PM

Chris Barber on the BBC news website.

BBC Radio 4 News often mentions the website, odd that you'd not noticed, Jos.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Chris Barber RIP (1930-2021)
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 03 Mar 21 - 12:23 PM

Yes, Hoot, we were regulars at the 100 club,in the 1970s, 1980s, never went to the Marquee, tho' I remember broadcasts from there. More recent gigs were at Camberley and G-Live Guildford etc.
RtS


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Subject: RE: Obit: Chris Barber RIP (1930-2021)
From: Vic Smith
Date: 03 Mar 21 - 02:47 PM

John Fordham's worthy obituary to this very influential man appeared on The Guardian's website this lunchtime so will be likely to be in tomorrow's edition

I saw him many times in concert from the late 1950s onwards. Often his tours included a top American guest which was still very unusual in those early days including Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee and, best of all, Mahalia Jackson.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Chris Barber RIP (1930-2021)
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 03 Mar 21 - 04:34 PM

Roger the Skiffler

I assumed you were referring the the sixties when I was involved in PR for the band.
Chris and Harold Pendleton launched the Marquee in 1958. As Chris states in bis autobiography he wanted a place to play in London which wasn't the 100 Club. He didn't like the place as the acoustics were so awful.
By the time you saw him at the 100 club the marquee was putting on pop crap lie the Who etc.

Vic,
you omitted Muddy Waters, Otis Spann and James Cotton. I don't remember Chris bringing Mahalia over but he had appeared with her at one time.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Chris Barber RIP (1930-2021)
From: Vic Smith
Date: 04 Mar 21 - 10:41 AM

Vic,
you omitted Muddy Waters, Otis Spann and James Cotton. I don't remember Chris bringing Mahalia over but he had appeared with her at one time.


Yes, all great - but I was only referring to the ones that I was lucky enough to see.
As a six-former, one summer job that I had was on the South Parade Pier in Southsea (circa 1960) and every Sunday night, there was a top trad. jazz band playing there and I had a job in the bar there, but managed to catch quite a lot of these concerts. On the Sunday when it was the Barber band, I finished my shift and rushed out through the empty theatre to meet Tina who had been at the concert and was waiting for me outside. As I walked through the theatre, the orchestra pit piano was being played by Ottilie Patterson. I met Tina and we crept back it to listen to her playing and singing a few songs; I particularly remember "Squeeze Me". Then Chris came in they spent a few minutes chatting to two young star struck admirers.


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