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Lonnie Donegan's guitarists

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DOES THE SPEARMINT LOSE ITS FLAVOR ON THE BEDPOST OVERNIGHT?
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GUEST,Roger Rettig 20 Mar 05 - 08:22 PM
Leadfingers 20 Mar 05 - 09:09 PM
greg stephens 21 Mar 05 - 02:31 AM
Strollin' Johnny 21 Mar 05 - 04:52 AM
Flash Company 21 Mar 05 - 05:01 AM
BanjoRay 21 Mar 05 - 07:03 AM
Richard Bridge 21 Mar 05 - 08:42 AM
GUEST,Roger Rettig 21 Mar 05 - 10:44 AM
GUEST,jj 14 May 06 - 03:49 PM
GUEST,jj 14 May 06 - 04:12 PM
The Villan 14 May 06 - 04:47 PM
Deckman 14 May 06 - 10:33 PM
Roger the Skiffler 16 May 06 - 02:58 PM
Murray MacLeod 13 Aug 06 - 11:42 AM
Big Al Whittle 13 Aug 06 - 01:03 PM
GUEST 13 Aug 06 - 01:08 PM
GUEST,Roger Rettig 13 Aug 06 - 01:26 PM
Roger the Skiffler 14 Aug 06 - 07:06 AM
GUEST,Roger Rettig 14 Aug 06 - 09:52 AM
Roger the Skiffler 15 Aug 06 - 12:44 PM
GUEST,Roger Rettig 15 Aug 06 - 04:38 PM
Roger the Skiffler 16 Aug 06 - 04:00 AM
GUEST,Guest Alexb 18 Aug 06 - 09:42 AM
GUEST,Brian of Dorset 26 Aug 06 - 06:58 PM
Roger the Skiffler 27 Aug 06 - 03:27 AM
Big Al Whittle 27 Aug 06 - 06:29 AM
GUEST,Roger Rettig 31 Aug 06 - 02:28 AM
Murray MacLeod 03 Oct 06 - 02:22 PM
Murray MacLeod 03 Oct 06 - 02:23 PM
GUEST,keith sellers 09 Feb 07 - 01:00 AM
GUEST,Keith Sellers 09 Feb 07 - 01:26 AM
eddie1 09 Feb 07 - 02:03 AM
greg stephens 09 Feb 07 - 08:17 AM
Roger the Skiffler 09 Feb 07 - 09:22 AM
GUEST,Captain Colin 09 Feb 07 - 02:03 PM
Murray MacLeod 09 Feb 07 - 02:25 PM
GUEST,Keith Sellers...... 09 Feb 07 - 02:29 PM
GUEST 10 Feb 07 - 11:54 AM
GUEST,PS: from Roger Rettig 10 Feb 07 - 12:04 PM
Big Al Whittle 10 Feb 07 - 12:06 PM
GUEST,Captain Colin. 10 Feb 07 - 02:53 PM
GUEST,Roger Rettig 10 Feb 07 - 06:03 PM
GUEST,Captain Colin. 10 Feb 07 - 06:31 PM
Murray MacLeod 10 Feb 07 - 06:40 PM
GUEST,Roger Rettig 11 Feb 07 - 12:13 AM
Roger the Skiffler 12 Feb 07 - 06:28 AM
GUEST,Roger Rettig 12 Feb 07 - 04:35 PM
Roger the Skiffler 24 Jun 07 - 03:28 AM
Uncle Boko 24 Jun 07 - 12:44 PM
GUEST,el 29 Mar 08 - 10:33 AM
Roger the Skiffler 30 Mar 08 - 03:23 AM
eddie1 30 Mar 08 - 04:26 AM
Melissa 30 Mar 08 - 10:11 PM
GUEST,Keith Sellers 09 Mar 14 - 05:46 PM
GUEST 10 Mar 14 - 07:59 AM
GUEST,Denny Wright's son 11 Jun 14 - 05:28 AM
GUEST,Mike Thompson 03 Nov 14 - 06:41 AM
GUEST,Richard Wheatley 20 Mar 18 - 08:16 AM
GUEST,guest jim younger 20 Mar 18 - 08:40 PM
Roger the Skiffler 21 Mar 18 - 07:54 AM
GUEST,Roger Rettig 21 Mar 18 - 01:27 PM
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Subject: Lonnie Donegan's guitarists.....
From: GUEST,Roger Rettig
Date: 20 Mar 05 - 08:22 PM

I've just re-read an old LD thread, and I noticed that someone was singing the praises of Lonnie's first guitarist, Denny Wright.

Of course, I also think Denny was an exceptional player, and I learned a great deal from trying to ape his solos! He was arguably the best player in town back then, even though Lonnie had to 'let him go' due to his excessive drinking.   But.... I also liked Jimmie Curry very much - he made an invaluable contribution to LD's sound.

Here's where it gets controversial; does anyone out there agree that the third player, Les Bennetts, was a distinct set-back! I thought him crass and flashy compared to the frst two incumbents, and was sorry that it was Bennetts, not Wright or Curry, who got so much exposure through the 'Putting On The Donegan' TV shows.

My thanks here to Donegan for inspiring me to become a musician - I've now been 'pro' since 1959!

Roger R


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Subject: RE: Lonnie Donegan's guitarists.....
From: Leadfingers
Date: 20 Mar 05 - 09:09 PM

All I would say is that having jammed with Denny Wright in his latter years ( when he was slowly dying of bowel cancer) he is one of the nicest men I have ever met , as well as being a superb guitarist .
The rest of Donegans guitarists have not impinged on my life at all !!


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Subject: RE: Lonnie Donegan's guitarists.....
From: greg stephens
Date: 21 Mar 05 - 02:31 AM

Well, it may just be that life is more exciting when you are young, but I have to say that Denny Wright's solos and intors excited and inspired me, whereas the others totally passed me by. But I think by then I had moved on mentally to the blues and jazz greats, so maybe it was just me? Thpugh I have listened critically top a lot of skiffle recently, with the availabiity of so much old stuff on CD; and I think listening with my current aged and jaded ears, I havent felt the need to revise my judgements on this.
    Let's face it. skiffle was a fantastically powerful and liberating social movement. But artisistically it didnt produce that much lasting stuff(within the genre, that is, of course skifflers went on to higher things). Denny Wright stood out as a very high spot indeed.


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Subject: RE: Lonnie Donegan's guitarists.....
From: Strollin' Johnny
Date: 21 Mar 05 - 04:52 AM

Didn't Paul Brett play with Lonnie for a period? (Or is me grey matter in worse condition than I think?) :0)


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Subject: RE: Lonnie Donegan's guitarists.....
From: Flash Company
Date: 21 Mar 05 - 05:01 AM

Hello Roger Rettig! I have to say I agree 100% with your assessment of Lonnie's guitarists. Denny Wright was great, and capable of producing amazing effects out of nothing, on one recording I seem to recall he played Bottle-neck guitar using a metal cigarette lighter as a a slide.
Never rated Les Bennett, and found Jimmy Curry a great improvement. Where is he now? Anyone know?

FC


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Subject: RE: Lonnie Donegan's guitarists.....
From: BanjoRay
Date: 21 Mar 05 - 07:03 AM

I got to meet Denny Wright in Mexborough back in 1973 when he was touring with Stephan Grappelli and Diz Disley - what a superb combination, and one of the best night's jazz I've ever seen. A really nice guy. Talked about playing with Lonnie (when prompted by me) but didn't of course mention why he'd been sacked.
Cheers
Ray


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Subject: RE: Lonnie Donegan's guitarists.....
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 21 Mar 05 - 08:42 AM

Don't forget we have a member who used to play with Donegan although possibly when Donegan was with a jazz band of another. I think said member played tenor banjo in those days, but he is also a guitarist and subsequently played guitar with Dickie Bishop and the sidekicks.

Step forward Slats.


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Subject: RE: Lonnie Donegan's guitarists.....
From: GUEST,Roger Rettig
Date: 21 Mar 05 - 10:44 AM

Thanks for the replies, everyone!

Skiffle was, of course, a pretty fundamental music-form, but listening to it all again nearly fifty years later confirms my belief that Denny was a national treasure! Credit to Lonnie, though - he always kept a very good rhythm section, and he always swung! Denny Wright thrived in this musical climate. Jimmy Currie still lives in Spain, I believe - co-writing "I'll Never Fall In Love Again" with Donegan has, apparently, kept him pretty comfortably-off.

I only met Denny myself in the early-'90s. Thames did a 'This Is Your Life' on Lonnie, and I attended the rehearsal serving as Lonnie's 'stand in'. I got to sing 'Rock Island Line' with Chris Barber on bass and Beryl Bryden on washboard(!), as well as sitting in the hot-seat answering Michael Aspel's 'questions'. A friend of mine had provided Thames TV with the correct guitar (a mid-'60s Martin 000-28 - kuedos to the TV folks for wanting to get THAT right!), so I was there to actually play it. Denny was there later, and I got to chat with him at the after-show party. Shortly after that, he and Lonnie had a reunion gig at the '100 Club' - Denny played his orange Gretsch 6120.

I mention Les Bennetts because a friend in England just sent me a video of some 'Putting On The Donegan' clips - Lonnie is simply marvelous, but Bennetts almost turns the whole thing into musical comedy. I know this would have been appropriate with some of Lon's stuff, but not the serious material. Les comes over as a poor player imitating a good country player.

The original drummer, Nick Nichols, is on some of the songs, and that magical 'swing' feel is consistent throughout the tape.

I, too, played with Lonnie, but only twice - once on pedal-steel guitar (that was a corporate gig he did on a river-boat from Westminster Pier); it's now a very treasured memory!

Roger R.


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Subject: RE: Lonnie Donegan's guitarists.....
From: GUEST,jj
Date: 14 May 06 - 03:49 PM

why no mention of bill bramwell? probably the most fluent and warm soloist for donegan in the earlier years. denny wright was also in this same jazz influenced tradition.jimmy curry provided much more attack...the modern lead guitar style. les bennetts came along too late.....? the first two guitarists also worked in the tradition of amplified archtop guitar with its more acoustic feel, the latter two strapped on the gibson semis and rocked out a little more...


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Subject: RE: Lonnie Donegan's guitarists.....
From: GUEST,jj
Date: 14 May 06 - 04:12 PM

on second thoughts, maybe bill bramwell only played with chas mcdevitt...still worth a mention though... anyone got the definitve info on this?


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Subject: RE: Lonnie Donegan's guitarists.....
From: The Villan
Date: 14 May 06 - 04:47 PM

Strollin', no problem with your grey matter

http://www.paulbrettguitarist.co.uk/page2.html

Bill Bramwell - what a wonderful webpage is this, absolutely fascinating. Can't find any reference to him being linked to Lonnie http://www.artists2events.co.uk/artists/CHASMcDEVITT.html

And this

http://www.whirligig-tv.co.uk/tv/memories/snippets/snippets43.htm


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Subject: RE: Lonnie Donegan's guitarists.....
From: Deckman
Date: 14 May 06 - 10:33 PM

Here's an odd question from a Yank. Does anyone know if the late ROY GUEST ever played with Lonnie Donegan? I ask that because I palled around with Roy when he was here in Seattle, Washington, USA, in the late fiftes.

Just curious ... not trying to "creep the thread!" CHEERS, Bob(deckman)Nelson


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Subject: RE: Lonnie Donegan's guitarists.....
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 16 May 06 - 02:58 PM

I agree Denny Wright was the best guitarist- played with other jazz greats of the era as well. Last one, still playing with the tribute show, was Paul Henry who was a teacher first and professional musician second.

Les Bennets fitted the humourous "all round entertainer" period, and had his own group LKes Hobeaux later. Curry was more a rockabilly guitarist. Dickie Bishop is still playing with the likes of Lutz Eikelmann in Germany.

RtS
(but what do I know?)


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Subject: RE: Lonnie Donegan's guitarists.....
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 13 Aug 06 - 11:42 AM

I believe I would be the person singing Denny Wright's praises to whom Roger Rettig referred in his initial post. ( Incidentally Roger Rettig is himself one of the most eminent pedal steel players in Florida ).

I am sure some of the contributors on this thread will be able to identify the guitarist playing behind Lonnie on this version of The Battle of New Orleans

All I know is that it isn't Denny Wright.


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Subject: RE: Lonnie Donegan's guitarists.....
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 13 Aug 06 - 01:03 PM

Not sure I agree about skiffle not being of lasting worth. I still play those recordings quite often, and enjoy them.


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Subject: RE: Lonnie Donegan's guitarists.....
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Aug 06 - 01:08 PM

I don't believe Bill Bramwell ever played with Lonnie.

Les Bennetts was in Les Hobeaux BEFORE his stint with Donegan.

Les IS the guitar player on the clip of 'The Battle of New Orleans'. He was also on the original recording.

I'd like to correct the 'Gibson 'semi' reference above. Jimmy Currie was playing a white Grimshaw thin-line semi-acoustic (a knock-off of the Gibson 'ES' series) when he joined Lonnie, but he soon had the wherewithal to acquire a new Gibson - a sunburst ES-175. He was still playing this guitar when I got to know him on a tour in 1962. I was with Eden Kane, and Currie was playing with Red Price's orchestra and accompanying Helen Shapiro.

The ES-175 isn't a 'semi', but a full-bodied arch-top.

Les Bennetts was playing a Hofner Committee when he first joined Lonnie (he's playing it in the clip), but he, like Currie before him, was able to upgrade to a new Gibson. He chose an L-4 with a deArmond floating pick-up. He can be seen playing this guitar in other 'Putting On The Donegan' excerpts (that's where the clip is from).

I do agree that Currie was a more rockabilly-influenced player. I'm not sure what influenced Bennetts, but he didn't do much for me.

Paul Henry played with Lonnie for the last 21 years of Donegan's life. He's a friend of mine, an excellent player, and shared many anecdotes with me!

I have no knowledge of any connection between Roy Guest and Lonnie.

Murray - thanks for the plug!!! I'm actually doing a 15-week gig in Medora, North Dakota, playing steel guitar, but I return to Naples, FL very soon for some well-earned golf and home-cooking.

Our bass-player, a 24-year old rockabilly fan, was absolutely floored when I played him some choice Donegan tracks - needless to say, he'd never heard of him, but now he's buying the CDs.

So - Lonnie makes another conquest from beyond the grave.....

Roger Rettig


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Subject: RE: Lonnie Donegan's guitarists.....
From: GUEST,Roger Rettig
Date: 13 Aug 06 - 01:26 PM

A PS....

Refering again to the '...New Orleans' clip:

Nick Nichols is still on drums at this point (Lonnie's original drummer), but Mickey Ashman has been replaced on bass by Peter Huggett. Huggett was also something of a violinist, and it's his fiddle obligato that can be heard on 'My Old Man's a Dustman'. Les Bennetts took over the bass for this song. This musical travesty is probably Lonnie Donegan's biggest hit!!!

Not long after this, Nick Nichols would leave the group, and would be replaced by drummer Pete Appleby.

RR

By the way...
There's soon going to be a new CD taken from Lonnie's last-ever tour - it'll be a chance to hear more of Paul Henry's work.


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Subject: RE: Lonnie Donegan's guitarists.....
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 14 Aug 06 - 07:06 AM

There is also a reissue of the long-deleted Lonnie Donegan and Friends album (unhelpfully entitled Putting on the Style as ther have been several other albums with that title). It has been remastered and is available from the LD website - if you can get anyone to answer their e-mails, the "click for details how to buy" refers you to. If anyone knows any other source I'd be interested! Last time I bought anything from the LD site it took months and several reminders after I sent the cash.

RtS
(LD nerd)


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Subject: RE: Lonnie Donegan's guitarists.....
From: GUEST,Roger Rettig
Date: 14 Aug 06 - 09:52 AM

You're right about that LD web-site, Roger!!!

I was informed about the new CD by Upbeat Records - I'm on the mailing list. I've temporarily forgotten their e-mail address, but they're easy to find.

I didn't know about 'LD and Friends'. Do you know what's on it?

RR


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Subject: RE: Lonnie Donegan's guitarists.....
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 15 Aug 06 - 12:44 PM

This is what it says on the LD site,RogerR:

Fabulous NEW Re-Mastered CD for sale

Lonnie recorded this with his friends...

Henry Spinnetti Alan Jones
Rory Gallagher Roger McKew
Leo Sayer Zoot Money
Bruce Gary Albert Lee
Ray Cooper Gary Booker
Richard Hewson Colin Fairley
Lonnie Donegan William D Smith
Elton John Michelle Phillips
Ringo Starr Peter Jameson
Dave Wyntor Frank Gibson
Brian May Jim Keltner
Mick Ralphs Nicky Hopkins
Pete Wingfield Klaus Voorman
Ronnie Wood
Rev. James Cleveland
Southern California Community Choir

This album has now been digitally Re-Mastered



Price £14.99 plus £1.50 for P&P (UK only)
P&P for orders outside UK charged according to country
at time of order

Rock Island Line • Have a drink on me • Ham and Eggs
I wanna go home • Diggin' my potatoes • Nobody's child
Puttin' on the style • Frankie and Johnnie
Drop down baby • Lost John....

RtS
(Other non-guest-enhanced similar titles don't have "Drop down baby" (his version of "Drop down mama")


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Subject: RE: Lonnie Donegan's guitarists.....
From: GUEST,Roger Rettig
Date: 15 Aug 06 - 04:38 PM

Ahh! The old 1978 album produced by Adam Faith...

I wouldn't mind having it as an item of interest, but I thought it badly over-produced at the time, and that it had little of the understated magic of his first records. Just an ego-fest for those millionaire rockers.

Mind you, how long would I have to wait for it through the Donegan web-site?!

RR


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Subject: RE: Lonnie Donegan's guitarists.....
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 16 Aug 06 - 04:00 AM

I hoped remastering might have made it more listenable! I'd probably buy it for the Drop Down Baby track & the one with Rory Gallagher - if I could get hold of it!

RtS


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Subject: RE: Lonnie Donegan's guitarists.....
From: GUEST,Guest Alexb
Date: 18 Aug 06 - 09:42 AM

For further information on Bill Bramwell go to Whirligig-tv website and click 'Snippets'


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Subject: RE: Lonnie Donegan's guitarists.....
From: GUEST,Brian of Dorset
Date: 26 Aug 06 - 06:58 PM

I've had no problems obtaining CDs via the official Donegan website. Sharon / Peter Donegan have always posted my orders off to me including the CD "His last Tour" and the re-mastered CD "Putting' On the Style" (Lonnie and friends) - the "Drop Down Baby" track was on the original LP release in the UK and USA as well as this re-issue. Sharon / Peter tell me that they plan to re-release other recordings including the follow up "Sundown" in CD format. Can't wait!!!

Lonnie always seemed to find excellent guitarists including Denny Wright, Jimmie Currie, Les Bennetts, Roger McKew, Jackie McCauley and in later years, the talented Paul Henry.

We shouldn't forget band members not mentioned by other contributors who have been in Lonnie's instrumental family, notably bass player spanning some 40 years on and off, Pete Oakman, Geoff Downs (drums) and often during the latter 20 or so years, drummer Chris Hunt.

Lonnie's last group in latter years usually consisted of Paul Henry, Pete Oakman, Chris Hunt, Nick Payn (sax) and Alan "Sticky" Whicket (percussion) and was possibly the best band Lonnie got together.


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Subject: RE: Lonnie Donegan's guitarists.....
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 27 Aug 06 - 03:27 AM

...good news if Sundown is re-released as well.

RtS


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Subject: RE: Lonnie Donegan's guitarists.....
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 27 Aug 06 - 06:29 AM

good , better, best... they were all damn good.

Lonnie and his guitarists were an inspiration to us all.

Is that last group still together doing the second half of the show with the two sons? Whe I saw them, they seemed slighly heavier in sound than when they were with Lonnie. And that suited them fine.

I remember Over on the New Burying Ground as particularly fine.

I saw Lonnies last gig in Nottingham, and afterwards I felt guilty - he was so good! I enjoyed it so much. And yet if he hadn't tried so hard that last night - perhaps he would still be here.


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Subject: RE: Lonnie Donegan's guitarists.....
From: GUEST,Roger Rettig
Date: 31 Aug 06 - 02:28 AM

I agree with Brian of Dorset, but with some reservation.

You wouldn't have got the job with Donegan if you couldn't play, but my earlier posts refer to Lonnie's influential years (1955-1963) when his musicians were drawn from the jazz world to a large extent.

This is a bit blunt, but the later groups were formed by LD so he could exploit the cabaret circuit by performing his old hits. He was no longer 'cutting edge', even though he never lost his enthusiasm for his work. His hit records were way behind him and, anyway, there was by the mid-to-late '60s a vast pool of talented rock musicians who had learned their instruments listening to Lonnie's first recordings (I'm one of them!!)

I know all the guys you mention, and I've played with most of them - they're all good players. Roger McKew and I played twin guitars for Joe Brown, and in Freddie Starr's band, for some years.

I never liked seeing Lonnie with a Fender bass in the band! It just looked wrong to me, and we must agree to disagree regarding Lonnie's 'best band'!

For me, that will always be: LD, Denny Wright, Mickey Ashman and J. Nick Nichols. He would never again have that deftness of touch with craftsmanlike and understated arrangements. The later (rock-orientated) bands suffered from 'sound-man syndrome' - spend five minutes each EQ-ing all the instruments, then half-an-hour checking the drums. I must stress.... no detriment is intended towards these latter-day players, but they were rockers; Lonnie did best with jazz players...

RR


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Subject: RE: Lonnie Donegan's guitarists.....
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 03 Oct 06 - 02:22 PM

In the last few days, six new videos of Lonnie Donegan have been posted to Youtube.

Bewildered,   by Lonnie Johnson

Hard Travelling

Grand Coulee Dam

Putting on the Style

Jack o'Diamonds

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xp5Ne12_ycQ Gamblin' Man

Unfortunately, excellent as they are, none of these videos features Denny Wright, but I live in hope ...


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Subject: RE: Lonnie Donegan's guitarists.....
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 03 Oct 06 - 02:23 PM

Gamblin' Man


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Subject: RE: Lonnie Donegan's guitarists.....
From: GUEST,keith sellers
Date: 09 Feb 07 - 01:00 AM

If there is any doubt,of which i am sure there is not,as to the great guitar player Denny Wright,just listen to him playing that weepy heartfelt guitar,around Lonnie singing Nobodys Child,it brings a tear to your eye,and is a timeless peice of music,he suited Lonnies voice just to perfection,leaving me to beleive Lonnies imput as to what he wanted in his band was much more than Lonnie led you to believe,his stint with Les Bennett,was when he became the" allroun enertaina"not for us purist,but he certainly came back in the last twenty years of his life, again with great players,many guesting just to play with there hero,i saw him many times,and his shows were fantastic,and i must say his son Peter is a terrific performer and i am sure will keep the Donegan magic alive for many years to come.............Keith Sellers


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Subject: RE: Lonnie Donegan's guitarists.....
From: GUEST,Keith Sellers
Date: 09 Feb 07 - 01:26 AM

I was the original Hank of Hanks guitar shop back in 1989/91 can you imagine how it felt when Lonnie came in with his 00028 to have it set up, and the electrics sorted,that night i went down to the repair room,picked up his guitar and played rock island line looking in the mirror,magic................and it was Hanks that supplied the 00028 that Roger Rettig used when he played Lonnie in the rehersal for the "this is your life "show,we were a crafty,as we put in big letters on the guitar strap HANKS...great days.....Keith Sellers.................


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Subject: RE: Lonnie Donegan's guitarists.....
From: eddie1
Date: 09 Feb 07 - 02:03 AM

I remember reading way back when that Lonnie was doing a gig in Wales and the great Denny Wright was "ill".
Welsh comic Stan Stennet who I remember playing guitar in his variety act, stepped in for the evening and apparently did a great job.

Eddie


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Subject: RE: Lonnie Donegan's guitarists.....
From: greg stephens
Date: 09 Feb 07 - 08:17 AM

Keith Sellers: couldn't agree with you more. We were doing a trial recording of "Nobody's Child" with the Boat Band the other day, and we listened to Lonnie's original LP version a few times. I went out and borrowed an arch-top just to try to recreate Denny Wright's sound a bit. What a stunning track that is, the high point of a fantastically influential LP. And while it's obviously Lonnie in the centre of the frame, the guitar work just makes it super-perfect.
(John Peel, I recall, thought the Frankie and Johnny on that record was one of the greatest tracks of all time). That LP was well worth the vast chunk of pocket money I shelled out on it in 1956 at the age of 11(my first LP).


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Subject: RE: Lonnie Donegan's guitarists.....
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 09 Feb 07 - 09:22 AM

PS to Roger Rettig,re our August posts above, the Donegans may have got their act together at last. I ordered "Puttin' on the style-remastered" from Sharon D.. after Xmas (as no-one bought it me)and it arrived in about a week. A bit "electric" with Brian May, Albert Lee etc guesting but interesting, I enjoyed the Gallagher/Donegan Drop Down Baby especially. Still looking out for reissue of Sundown.

RtS


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Subject: RE: Lonnie Donegan's guitarists.....
From: GUEST,Captain Colin
Date: 09 Feb 07 - 02:03 PM

If Roger R reads this he might like to find my posting on another thread ("Lonnie Donegan") giving some inf about Lonnie's 12-string etc.


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Subject: RE: Lonnie Donegan's guitarists.....
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 09 Feb 07 - 02:25 PM

I have sent Roger an email in regard to this thread, he will doubtless be back in touch.

He doesn't frequent Mudcat 24/7, unlike some of us ...


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Subject: RE: Lonnie Donegan's guitarists.....
From: GUEST,Keith Sellers......
Date: 09 Feb 07 - 02:29 PM

Say,what about that haunting song,"I,m just a rolling stone"with that magical Jimmie Currie guitar solo,Lonnies voice is almost screaming out with passion,he was certainly the govenor,and probably the only english blues singer to be taken seriously,way back when,i never heard Lonnie sing that song live,but strangly at his memorial service Brian May played it as a tribute....


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Subject: RE: Lonnie Donegan's guitarists.....
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Feb 07 - 11:54 AM

Hello, everyone - especially my dear old pal, Keith Sellers!

Keith was indeed instrumental in getting me involved in the 'This Is Your Life' taping. Kudos to Thames TV for feeling the need to provide Lonnie with the correct guitar for his big surprise, and Keith had a very striking Brazilian-bodied 000-28 in his inventory at 'Hank's' that he loaned to them for the day. The Thames limo picked us up (Keith was thoughtful enough to include me in the outing!) and we had an exciting day - me singing 'Rock Island Line' with Chris Barber and Beryl Bryden so they could sound-check the Martin ahead of the recording, and the show itself, with many Donegan alumni (including Denny Wright!) in attendance.

Mudcat:

As we recently got a new computer, I lost several of my 'favourites' - I'm happy to be reunited with you all!

CDs:

Sharon sent me the new 'Last Tour' CD (this was disappointing - Lon was too low in the mix for my taste) as well as the Adam Faith '70s production. This is all I remember it to be - over-produced and fails to recreate the Donegan magic. I am what's known in the collecting world as a 'completist', so I'm still glad to have them! Sharon also included Peter Donegan's CD. I have to agree with Keith - the kid's definitely got it! When he sang at his father's Memorial Service in May, '03, the resemblance was uncanny.....

Brian May surprised me (considering his relative youth!) by proving to be obsessive about Lonnie's work - his 'I'm Just A Rolling Stone' at the Service was a faithful replication of Lonnie's greatest-ever 'B' side!

I wish we could post pictures here. I have a terrific shot of all of us guitar-players gathered at that event, including Bert Weedon, Brian May, Albert, Joe Brown, Bill Wyman and others....

In summary.....

Re-reading my earlier posts, I can see that I laid into poor Les Bennetts pretty unmercifully! I can't retract anything, though - he had some very big shoes to fill, and he wasn't in that class. I do, however, think that his jaunty, almost comic approach probably suited Donegan's career-shift into more commercial, and less jazz-orientated, material better than Denny. Jimmy Currie falls somewhere in the middle for me, but he was really the coolest-looking band-member LD ever had! Check him out on the '6-5 Special' clips - the low-slung Gibson ES-175, and his Stanley Baker-like good looks (even if it WAS a wig....)

best,

Roger Rettig
PS: I'll check out that other thread now.


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Subject: RE: Lonnie Donegan's guitarists.....
From: GUEST,PS: from Roger Rettig
Date: 10 Feb 07 - 12:04 PM

I did have an enjoyable reunion with Adam Faith a few years ago....

I was playing steel and electric guitar for Freddie Starr on a Carlton TV 'Freddie Starr Show'. Adam was Fred's guest, and we did 'Have A Drink On Me' as a sort-of Lonnie tribute (this was before Lon's sad demise). Roger McKew played banjo, and I played a Martin M-38.

I mention this because I had a lovely chat with Adam, not only about Lonnie (who he LOVED!), but also about his 1960 film, 'Never Let Go'! I've always liked this movie. It's a great cast (Peter Sellers, Richard Todd, David Lodge, etc...), and has some terrific North London locations, featuring plenty of London Trolleybuses (another of my obsessions).

Adam's self-deprecating assessment of the film? 'I was awful in it, but I was in a film with Peter Sellers, and they can never take that away from me!'

RR


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Subject: RE: Lonnie Donegan's guitarists.....
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 10 Feb 07 - 12:06 PM

I just want to say a big thank you to those people who brought the Youtube films of Lonnie to our attention. I really loved that.


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Subject: RE: Lonnie Donegan's guitarists.....
From: GUEST,Captain Colin.
Date: 10 Feb 07 - 02:53 PM

Roger R- yes, I agree that Les has had a rough ride from everyone but actually I liked a lot of what he did and think he came up with some nice touches, particularly in his early days. Incidentally he had the same view on Denny Wright as the rest of us- he admired him to the point of idolisation, but he knew that imitation was neither possible nor appropriate. My favourite guitar solo of all time is Denny's solo on "Don't You Rock Me Daddy Oh".. I can't see how even Django could have matched it!


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Subject: RE: Lonnie Donegan's guitarists.....
From: GUEST,Roger Rettig
Date: 10 Feb 07 - 06:03 PM

I agree, Colin - followed closely by 'Cumberland Gap'! How about the dramatic tension he creates diving down to that flat5th at the end of the solo??? The run - in triplets - goes: flat 3rd, tonic, flat 7th, then flat 5th, resolving to the natural 5th.

Pure Django, but translated to the modern day, if I may be permitted....

RR


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Subject: RE: Lonnie Donegan's guitarists.....
From: GUEST,Captain Colin.
Date: 10 Feb 07 - 06:31 PM

There's a funny story about Peter Sellers making a spoof skiffle record and insisting on hiring Denny for the session. Somebody got the job of transcribing Denny's Cumberland Gap solo into notation to sight read at the session- they realised he probably wouldn't be able to recreate it from memory. Denny took one look at it, not realising what it was, and exploded.. "Who do you think I am, (blankety blank) Segovia??.. nobody can play that!!!". It wasn't one of Lonnie's stories so it may well be true...


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Subject: RE: Lonnie Donegan's guitarists.....
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 10 Feb 07 - 06:40 PM

Subject: RE: Lonnie Donegan's guitarists.....
From: weelittledrummer - PM
Date: 10 Feb 07 - 12:06 PM

I just want to say a big thank you to those people who brought the Youtube films of Lonnie to our attention. I really loved that.


those people ????

(coughs self-deprecatingly ....)


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Subject: RE: Lonnie Donegan's guitarists.....
From: GUEST,Roger Rettig
Date: 11 Feb 07 - 12:13 AM

Hello, Murray!! Thanks for contacting me....

You might want to go to e-bay and purchase the 'King Of Skiffle' DVD - all those clips and more are contained therein (it's a copy of the old ITC VHS tape of some of the 'Putting On The Donegan' shows. My VERY favourite is a great version of 'Whoa Buck' (B-side of 'Fort Worth Jailhouse') - it has Les Bennetts, of course (the record has Jimmy Currie - the A-side is Les B., but 'Whoa Buck' had been in the can since Jimmy's tenancy in the group), but Lonnie is terrific on that song; that's the stuff he did best of all, in my view.

I really would rather we could buy a DVD direct from Sharon - I'd be much happier if any profits go to Lonnie's family, but there's been no sign of anything in the way of an official release.

Lets hope 'Sundown' is released on CD before long!

RR


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Subject: RE: Lonnie Donegan's guitarists.....
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 12 Feb 07 - 06:28 AM

2 points from recent postings (one actually on message, one thread creep!)
1)Like RR I was disappointed with "Last Tour" CD, I would have thought (But what do I know?)modern technology could have tweaked it so LD didn't sound as if he was in a cupboard half the time.
2) Re: Adam Faith film "Don't Let Go". I only saw it once, when it first came out. As a confirmed Sellars fan I was disappointed- he was unconvincing as an evil gangster. As for Adam... he had a successful acting career later as Budgie, Alfie etc but this wasn't his finest hour. I still remember one scene where he is punished by Sellars' character who shuts his hand in a desk or cupboard door and sits on the lid and bounces up and down. Adam's expression, supposedly of agony, caused gales of laughter in the cinema- hs could have been swatted with a rolled up newspaper fo all the pain he emoted!
RtS


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Subject: RE: Lonnie Donegan's guitarists.....
From: GUEST,Roger Rettig
Date: 12 Feb 07 - 04:35 PM

Well, as I said, Adam himself was pretty blunt about his efforts in that film. It was a step-up from the appalling 'Beat Girl' (his first) but that's not saying much. I try to make allowances for the fact that film-makers were doing their damnedest to 'shoe-horn' pop singers into movies at that time. He did say at Freddie's show that day - 'I haven't done too badly - I can't sing and I can't act, but I'm still managing to get by!'. I'm much more sympathetic when 'starts' are able to see themselves in perspective.

I don't agree about Sellers himself - I thought him quite creepy in the film and, therefore, effective.

As for 'The Last Tour', I don't think I can bring myself to listen again for while. I like your 'cupboard' analogy!

RR


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Subject: RE: Lonnie Donegan's guitarists.....
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 24 Jun 07 - 03:28 AM

Update on my post of 9th February and Brian's August post. Sundown is being reissued as we speak and is available from Amazon etc as well as the LD website, no doubt.

RtS


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Subject: RE: Lonnie Donegan's guitarists.....
From: Uncle Boko
Date: 24 Jun 07 - 12:44 PM

No mention of Joe Meek here without whom - no Puttin on the Style sounding so good!


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Subject: RE: Lonnie Donegan's guitarists.....
From: GUEST,el
Date: 29 Mar 08 - 10:33 AM

Does anyone know where I can get some guitar chords for Puttin' on the style?


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Subject: RE: Lonnie Donegan's guitarists.....
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 03:23 AM

Doesn't time fly...and Sundown still hasn't been released despite empty promises on LD website and Amazon...
sigh...


RtS


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Subject: RE: Lonnie Donegan's guitarists.....
From: eddie1
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 04:26 AM

Great to read my way through this thread again! Not enough people recognise The influence Lonnie had on the popular music of today, Pre-Lonnie, a guitar was just another instrument and apparently as far from the reach of most people as a trombone or sax. He also, although a lot of people would argue, had a lot to do with the folk revival. Two who did agree with me on that one were Hamish Henderson and Martin Carthy - there are many more but some afraid to come out of the closet!
Got an incredible CD a couple of weeks ago - "Great British Skiffle - Just About As Good As It Gets!" A total of 55 tracks including 7 by Lonnie but also featuring names like Beryl Bryden, Ken Colyer, The Vipers, Chris Barber's Skiffle Group (with Dick Bishop and Johny Duncan), Clyde Valley Stompers, Alan Lomax & The Ramblers (including MacColl & Seeger!), Bob Wallis' Washboard Beaters, The City Ramblers (with Ramblin' Jack Elliot) and Lazy Ade's Backroom Boys. This all for £10!
This CD, along with some additional recordings of Lonnie, Nancy Whiskey, Leadbelly et al, let me do a 3-hour radio programme on skiffle last week. My weekly programme is going to include a bit more skiffle from now on!

Eddie


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Subject: RE: Lonnie Donegan's guitarists.....
From: Melissa
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 10:11 PM

Guest el,

Try:
(1)sweet sixteen, goes to church just to see the (5)boys
grunts and snorts and giggles at every little (1)noise.
turns her head a little then turns her head a(4)while
(5)but you know she's only putting on the (1)style.

I know those are not the right words..but they're the right number of syllables and ought to work. There's a chance I got my 4s and 5s backward--and if so, someone will come along to correct me. If someone does come along to correct my guess, it would probably be a good idea to try their chords instead of mine. I don't have a guitar nearby so can't check this before posting.


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Subject: RE: Lonnie Donegan's guitarists
From: GUEST,Keith Sellers
Date: 09 Mar 14 - 05:46 PM

Lonnie played in 55/59 a 00018 and a 00028 so where did the 000 herringbone Pre
1948 come from that he is holding on the Lonnie Lost John EP.my guess it belonged
to Stan Stennett who was on the bill with Lonnie at that time..any other theories ..
Keith Sellers


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Subject: RE: Lonnie Donegan's guitarists
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Mar 14 - 07:59 AM

Keith: In view of your undoubted knowledge about these things, I'm sure you meant to say '000-21' and not '000-18'.

I think the photo of the herringbone Martin - whoever it belonged to - pre-dates any of Donegan's variety theatre appearances. That EP was released in January 1956 and, I believe, long before he'd have known Stan.

RR


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Subject: RE: Lonnie Donegan's guitarists
From: GUEST,Denny Wright's son
Date: 11 Jun 14 - 05:28 AM

I remember my father telling me the story about going into the studio and being presented with 'a page of black with a few white spots', his "F***ing Segovia" reaction, and then finding out it was transcribed from his own solo. I didn't know it might have been with Peter Sellars, though.

St.John Wright


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Subject: RE: Lonnie Donegan's guitarists
From: GUEST,Mike Thompson
Date: 03 Nov 14 - 06:41 AM

Hi LD enthusiasts
I am still searching (after years) for the TV recording of 'Sunday Night at the London Palladium when Lonnie and the Band played a brilliant version of Betty, Betty, Betty with a boogie accompaniment by Jimmy. Electrifying !
I taxed Lonnie on several occasions about releasing a boring version as the official record !
As I have said before, our Alsager College 'Group 3 ' recorded the boogie version note for note, sung by our (now famous for his work on TV) lead singer Pete P.
I wish Peter Donegan would give this version a go - he would be brilliant !


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Subject: RE: Lonnie Donegan's guitarists
From: GUEST,Richard Wheatley
Date: 20 Mar 18 - 08:16 AM

Greetings to all from Suffolk.Mr Rettig's first post about LD's guitarists is spot on.I agree that Denny was the best.Certainly Jimmy Currie did not detract in any way at all from the groups performance and I felt a sense of dismay when he left.Jimmy played with so much feeling too.Les Bennetts never did any thing for me, and as Mr Rettig points out,he in some way diminished the groups overall performance.I did not like his sound either, which was rather 'thin'.
I had the good fortune to see Denny with LD in 1957 and later with Johnny Duncan.He played a great solo on 'Last Train To San Fernando'.I last saw Denny playing with Grapelli in Bangor North wales in 1974.
I saw Jimmy playing with Crombie's Rockets in early 1957 and again with a trio called the Wise Guys in 1959 at the De Montfort Hall,Leicester.Jimmy played Guitar Boogie.Top of the bill on the show was Cliff Richard and the Drifters which really dates me!


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Subject: RE: Lonnie Donegan's guitarists
From: GUEST,guest jim younger
Date: 20 Mar 18 - 08:40 PM

So good to read this thread! I played a couple of sessions that Denny was involved with, at Decca, West Hampstead, around 1971, and he really impressed me. One of the things he said was what a great guitarist Jimmy Page was. I sat in a pub with him when he was writing out a flute part for the session In D-flat!. Denny was drinking Coke, so he must have been dry. By the way, the flute player read it straight off, not a clam to be heard. In D-flat!

Denny brought an Epiphone Texan to the session - lovely guitar and sublime playing. I will always remember him as a superb musician and a very kind man.


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Subject: RE: Lonnie Donegan's guitarists
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 21 Mar 18 - 07:54 AM

As a coda to this thread, I DID eventually get a copy of Sundown in 2010.
RtS


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Subject: RE: Lonnie Donegan's guitarists
From: GUEST,Roger Rettig
Date: 21 Mar 18 - 01:27 PM

How odd to see this thread resurrected - it's over ten years old!

Sadly, my only personal contact with Denny Wright was when I met him at Lonnie's 'This Is Your Life' in the early '90s. He was very kind and suffered through my questions very stoically, I thought.

I see no reason to back-pedal on my original remarks. When Les took over the guitar chair for Donegan in '59 (?) I almost felt that I could have done better! I now realise that that was preposterous and, in some ways, he was a seasoned 'pro' who suited the gig. After all, there weren't many choices in London back then. We should remembe, too, that around that time Lonnie was tackling more flippant material and Bennetts' circus-styled obligato was in some ways more appropriate than had been his predecessors' more subtle accompaniments.

It's all water under the bridge now and it's fair to say that no more than a handful of devotees are still alive to debate this issue. Les was what we got - I need to embrace that.

I'll be 75 the day after tomorrow - I had no inkling that I'd even remember this stuff 60-odd years later but obviously I do!

RR


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