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Lonnie Donegan

DigiTrad:
DOES THE SPEARMINT LOSE ITS FLAVOR ON THE BEDPOST OVERNIGHT?
MY OLD MAN'S A DUSTMAN


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Roger the Skiffler 27 Sep 13 - 05:30 AM
GUEST 27 Sep 13 - 12:59 AM
GUEST,tom. s. 26 Sep 13 - 05:28 PM
Bonzo3legs 20 Aug 10 - 11:43 AM
GUEST,2000 20 Aug 10 - 10:48 AM
GUEST,bill S from Perth 03 Mar 08 - 06:09 AM
GUEST,Roger Rettig (or; Roger the former skiffler! 12 Feb 07 - 11:19 PM
GUEST,Captain Colin. 12 Feb 07 - 08:31 PM
Murray MacLeod 12 Feb 07 - 08:21 PM
Murray MacLeod 12 Feb 07 - 08:14 PM
GUEST,Keith Sellers 12 Feb 07 - 05:37 PM
GUEST,RR 12 Feb 07 - 12:19 AM
GUEST 11 Feb 07 - 06:52 PM
GUEST,Colin 11 Feb 07 - 06:19 PM
GUEST,Roger Rettig 11 Feb 07 - 05:45 PM
GUEST,Captain Colin 11 Feb 07 - 11:36 AM
greg stephens 11 Feb 07 - 09:40 AM
GUEST,Roger Rettig 11 Feb 07 - 09:31 AM
greg stephens 11 Feb 07 - 09:25 AM
GUEST,Captain Colin. 11 Feb 07 - 08:37 AM
GUEST,DocJ 11 Feb 07 - 08:10 AM
eddie1 11 Feb 07 - 08:07 AM
GUEST,Roger Rettig 11 Feb 07 - 07:04 AM
GUEST,Captain Colin. 11 Feb 07 - 07:02 AM
eddie1 11 Feb 07 - 03:07 AM
GUEST,Roger R. (again!!!) 11 Feb 07 - 12:42 AM
GUEST,Roger Rettig 11 Feb 07 - 12:36 AM
GUEST,Keith Sellers 10 Feb 07 - 10:08 PM
GUEST,Captain Colin 10 Feb 07 - 07:54 PM
Murray MacLeod 10 Feb 07 - 07:09 PM
eddie1 10 Feb 07 - 07:04 PM
GUEST,Murray MacLeod 10 Feb 07 - 06:30 PM
GUEST,Captain Colin. 10 Feb 07 - 06:21 PM
GUEST,Roger Rettig 10 Feb 07 - 05:58 PM
GUEST,Tunesmith 10 Feb 07 - 03:07 PM
GUEST,Captain Colin. 10 Feb 07 - 02:59 PM
Alec 10 Feb 07 - 02:49 PM
GUEST,Captain Colin 10 Feb 07 - 02:40 PM
Alec 10 Feb 07 - 02:23 PM
GUEST,Captain Colin 10 Feb 07 - 01:51 PM
GUEST 10 Feb 07 - 01:44 PM
GUEST,Doc J 10 Feb 07 - 12:39 PM
GUEST,Captain Colin 10 Feb 07 - 12:29 PM
GUEST,DocJ 10 Feb 07 - 12:14 PM
Big Jim from Jackson 10 Feb 07 - 11:23 AM
GUEST,Captain Colin 10 Feb 07 - 11:13 AM
Big Al Whittle 10 Feb 07 - 04:59 AM
GUEST,Keith Sellers 10 Feb 07 - 03:24 AM
GUEST,Captain Colin 11 Jan 07 - 11:15 AM
Big Al Whittle 11 Jan 07 - 03:06 AM
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Subject: RE: Lonnie Donegan
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 27 Sep 13 - 05:30 AM

Yes, all his 3 sons toured (may still be)in a tribute to their father. Pete has his own band, too. Recently one of Lonnie's ex-wives featured in BBC tv's antique programme "Cash in the Attic" !
RtS


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Subject: RE: Lonnie Donegan
From: GUEST
Date: 27 Sep 13 - 12:59 AM

Anyone seen his son perform, pete donegan?


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Subject: RE: Lonnie Donegan
From: GUEST,tom. s.
Date: 26 Sep 13 - 05:28 PM

I HAVE A COLLECTION OF AROUND 15 COMPLETE ''PUTTING ON THE DONEGAN'' SHOWS ALSO A COUPLE NOT COMPLETE! THESE DATE FROM 1958-1960S LONNIE DID I BELIEVE AROUND 56 OF THESE SHOWS SO I AM LOOKING TO BUY OR TRADE FOR THE ONES WHICH I AM MISSING ANY BODY OUT THEIR GOT ANY? MY EMAIL ADDRESS IS DOMINOE78@HOTMAIL.COM

                              TOM.


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Subject: RE: Puttin' on the style
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 20 Aug 10 - 11:43 AM

Without Lonnie Donegan none of this would have been possible or even necessary!


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Subject: RE: Puttin' on the style
From: GUEST,2000
Date: 20 Aug 10 - 10:48 AM

Am I missing something, but isn't this news ten years out of date!


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Subject: RE: Lonnie Donegan
From: GUEST,bill S from Perth
Date: 03 Mar 08 - 06:09 AM

I'm amazed that there is only one mention on this thread of what is possibly the first Child ballad to top the charts, though the flipside, My Old Man's a Dustman, has become more famous. I learned the Golden Vanity from the first record I ever bought when 6/2 was more than a fortnight's pocket money. When I do it, I introduce it as the first million selling trad folk song, probably not true, but it sounds good.
Cheers Donny


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Subject: RE: Lonnie Donegan
From: GUEST,Roger Rettig (or; Roger the former skiffler!
Date: 12 Feb 07 - 11:19 PM

I love that guy's suggestion that the guitar is 'bound to rocket in value'.....

Hey, Keith - do you remember Lon saying how he amplified his guitar with a Spitfire pilot's throat-mic? It's a typical 'tall story' - at best, the mic would have come from one of those armed-forces surplus equipment stores that proliferated on the Edgware Road in post-war years, but its original purpose would be almost impossible to establish.

Only Lon could 'elevate' its origins to 'Battle Of Britain' status!


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Subject: RE: Lonnie Donegan
From: GUEST,Captain Colin.
Date: 12 Feb 07 - 08:31 PM

Yes Keith, agreed, after conferring with RR and reading your posts it now seems clear it's a pre-47, but I think chances are he owned it and rapidly "upgraded" (as it would have been seen then)to a newer 00028- as you say, he wasn't forthcoming- a combination of not really interested/couldn't recall, combined with his natural perversity and perhaps desire to create a bit of mystique. Maybe we'll have more luck with the Francis/Bailey 12, I'm still doggedly sticking with the former... just to make it interesting we'll have a shilling on the side, eh, in the immortal word's of Benny Hill in his great classic "Ernie" (the fastest milkman in the west).


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Subject: RE: Lonnie Donegan
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 12 Feb 07 - 08:21 PM

Captain Colin did in fact already mention it above, but I just thought the link might be of interest ...


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Subject: RE: Lonnie Donegan
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 12 Feb 07 - 08:14 PM

Interesting Ebay item


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Subject: RE: Lonnie Donegan
From: GUEST,Keith Sellers
Date: 12 Feb 07 - 05:37 PM

Just another word about the D hole 12 string,the guitar player in the Springfields played one....i think it was made by John Bailey,i am sure Johns still about, if someone knows of his where abouts we should ask him.The 28 herringbone on the Lost John picture,i do not beleive belonged to L.D, as R/R says it never appeared again,so i wonder who that belonged to,i mean who would have owned a pre war Martin in England in the 1940/50,s,such a serious guitar must have been owned by a pro guitarist,and for him to have known L.D.and to let him use it for the photo shoot, pro guitarist at that time would have been playing archtops and classicals,sadly if old Lon.would have been a bit more forthcomming all of these questions,would have have answers,R/R and me took L.D.out for lunch back in 89.and we quizzed him gently about everything,we came to the conclusion that he really did not know, or i dont believe, did not care,i just think to him it was not important,little did he know !!Keith Sellers Sellers............


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Subject: RE: Lonnie Donegan
From: GUEST,RR
Date: 12 Feb 07 - 12:19 AM

Keith....

I'm forced to review my earlier post; while I can't see the herringbone (it's not clear enough) I will now admit to the snowflake neck inlays! I hadn't noticed them before. That pretty much makes it an early-1940s guitar - or even older. Were they all herringbone back then?

I'm not too big to admit I might be wrong..... I know a bit about Martins, but Keith knows more!

Keith - again....

That 'number plate' on the back of the Daimler is a dealer's trade-plate; look carefully and you'll see the rubber bands attaching it to the chrome handles on the lower boot-lid. As you'll no doubt recall, dealers trade-plates had white digits on a red background. Probably means the car didn't as yet have a tax disc in place, so it could be driven under the Dealer's blanket insurance policy. In fact, I don't see a tax-disc now I look more closely. I do see a nice Triumph Renown in the background at the top of the street.....

Who knows what Lonnie had for breakfast on the day before these photos were taken? (Just kidding.....)

Seriously - if that's a pre-war Martin, all we've done is further confuse the issue! I can safely say that I never saw another shot of Lonnie with this very guitar (maybe it wasn't his...?)


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Subject: RE: Lonnie Donegan
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Feb 07 - 06:52 PM

E-mail me at: rogerrettig@hotmail.com, please.

Do you know what model the Gretsch was? As you say, a most unlikely choice for him!

I went to see Lonnie in '92 at the 100 Club - Denny was with him, and HE played an orange Chet Atkins 6120; I thought that a strange choice for Denny as well. They're not really a 'player's' guitar, if you know what I mean. Eminently collectible, but not the world's greatest instruments. (Having said that, I have to admit to owning a 6120 reissue - strictly for posing in front of the mirror!)

RR


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Subject: RE: Lonnie Donegan
From: GUEST,Colin
Date: 11 Feb 07 - 06:19 PM

Well it all passes on a dull Winter's Sunday, and if people do put us down as anoraks and train spotters... look at my face, am I bovvered? I guess we're much more interested in the subject than LD ever was! Re serial nos, the serial number is only valuable in revealing the year really, so the serial number of the 67 won't put another piece in this jigsaw I suppose, although the serial no. of the Sundown guitar would. I'll tell you all about the Martin "M" privately (somehow!), some minor details of the story just might hurt the feelings of someone (I'm foolishly assuming someone else might plough through this lot, unlikely but not impossible). Regarding Lonnie choosing Martins, that other Lonnie chap used one too of course, which must have been a factor. Widening the subject (not much), the Gretsch I referred to in an earlier posting was always a mystery purchase... what was the thiking behind that and where did it go I wonder?.. ah, these are the things that keep us going..


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Subject: RE: Lonnie Donegan
From: GUEST,Roger Rettig
Date: 11 Feb 07 - 05:45 PM

Colin,

The left-handed guitarist is shown in a VERY early picture - with LD playing that 0-17 and looking very young indeed. It could well be someone who's name would mean nothing to us now. He's playing a cheap flat-top - not, I'd say, an American guitar.

I meant that the picture of the Abbott was on the back cover of the Bear Family book - I expressed myself badly.

I agree about Lonnie's lack of knowledge about guitars; I bet Big Bill Broonzy's 000-28 was the motivation for him wanting one rather than any acoustic preferences. Back then several of his 'influence' would have played a Martin, and very likely an 'Auditorium' model, too. Josh White had one, as did Burl Ives - they were quite high-profile back then.

Thank goodness someone else agrees with me about that LD Signature model - it's ghastly!!! I lost count of the times that Lonnie would mutter - 'It's time they GAVE me a guitar - I must have sold thousands for them!'. Well - he finally got his wish, and I'm pleased that he lived long enough to see that through. (They still look dreadful! To be fair, Keith Sellers and I are in agreement on the subject!) I generally HATE any sort of 'signature' guitar, but I am such a fan of Donegan, I might have been tempted by one IF it had been closer to a standard 000-28 with some very subtle adornment.

So - he considered an 'M', did he? I'd love to hear more about that if you don't mind. I love those, and am always on the lookout for a post-'94 example (I must have an adjustable truss-rod).

Somewhere in my notes I do have the serial number of his 1967 '28 - I'll dig it up and post it; I know it was close to the number of a D28 I bought new in London (also a '67, but now long-gone....)

It's good to chat with someone who's almost as nuts as me about this subject - I thought it was only me and Keith who even cared!

RR


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Subject: RE: Lonnie Donegan
From: GUEST,Captain Colin
Date: 11 Feb 07 - 11:36 AM

Gregg: Stan Francis must have built up some reputation for good-sounding 12 strings for Pete Seeger to want one, so your recollection is probably right. I suspect they sounded good because they must have lightly built- too much so for the strain of 12 strings, hence their tendancy to self-destruct. Roger- I don't have the Bear Family set so can't refer to those pictures but you've now got me curious about a left-handed guitarist I've never even seen! I don't have "Tops with Lonnie" either and didn't know the Abbott was on the back cover. Anyway, could well be that LD's first 000s were ones he grabbed new in the USA while he had chance- if so my betting would be that he probably bought them in Manny's in New York- a "best" and a spare- a 28 and a 21. Lonnie wasn't very knowledgeable about,or interested in, the technicalities of scale lengths and strutting, woods, etc, I think he just worked on the general principle that the dearer they were the better they were likely to be- on that basis he probably like the 28 best! As to why he went for 000 Martins isn't hard to figure out. Maybe the 21 really did go Adam Faith's way and the 28 had a larger guard fitted, and was relegated to spare when he aquired his next 00028. It would be interesting to find the serial number of the Sundown one from the family wouldn't it? By the way he almost switched to an "M" sized Martin at one point, but that's another story. Goodness knows what he was thinking of with the sunburst Martin LD guitar though, I agree with you earlier comments- there's one on ebay at the moment, £3,000 "buy it now"...er, I think I might pass on that...


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Subject: RE: Lonnie Donegan
From: greg stephens
Date: 11 Feb 07 - 09:40 AM

On reflection, I'm mis-remembering about Stan Francis. I was thinking of a conversation I had with Cyril Davies abouthim. It was Cyril who was the panel-beater, and he also played one of Stan francis' 12-strings. A very fine guitar, as I remember, but I was perhaps young and easily impressed, it was the first 12-string I'd ever laid hands on.


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Subject: RE: Lonnie Donegan
From: GUEST,Roger Rettig
Date: 11 Feb 07 - 09:31 AM

Colin,

Sorry I posted my last message without reading yours.

I've tried to locate a picture of the 'Sundown' sleeve on-line, but without success. I'm not doubting you - it's just that my recollection is of a dark-edged 000 on that sleeve. You've obviously checked, so I assume you've seen the white edging of a 28.

Whatever the reality, that oversize guard was probably fitted to cover the scars left by LD's exuberant strumming! I have a picture of me playing Lonnie's 1967 000-28, and the wear between the bridge and guard is already quite apparent.

Did he get his first 000s on that first USA trip?

That's an interesting point!!! Is there a picture of Lonnie with a 000 BEFORE his first trip to the USA? All he'd had was one hit at that point, and there are surprisingly few photos of him from before his return to Britain; I guess that they didn't start doing photo-shoots on him until it was clear that he was going to be more than a one-hit-wonder.

I've pulled out my Bear Family set with the accompanying booklet. The cover picture IS the same photo as the 'Skiffle Session' EP (the one we've been referring to as the 'Lost John' picture) - this is the best reproduction I've seen of the photograph, and it's eminently clear to me that it is NOT a herringbone. (I urge Keith to check that box-set booklet - I know he has it - and see for himself.) It IS, however, a 000-28.

I've also confirmed that - as I'd thought - the covers of both 'Showcase' (1956) and 'Lonnie' (1958) show him holding the 000-21.

Therefore, he almost certainly owned both the 21 and the 28 concurrently.

Conway Hall recording: January 25th, 1957 - clearly the 000-21.

Who has the Bear Family set? Look at the booklet...
Cover: (1956) 000-28
P.3: 000-21 (date?)
P.12/13: 000-21
P.18/19/20/21: 000-28 (1957 or '58 - Jimmy's in the band)
P. 22-27: 000-21 (Conway Hall - Denny has the Hofner Committee)
P. 30: 0-17 (programme dated 8/56, but photo from much earlier)
P.34: 000-21 ('Showcase' session at IBC Studio August '56)

Note: This is the first photo that we know is immediately after his return from America - still no clue of a 000 Martin before that trip!

P.35: 0-17 (an old picture; who's the left-handed guitarist at his right?)

P.41: 0-17 (Is this shot with Beryl Bryden and Chris Barber? Seems likely, and probably predates his US trip AND his hit record!)
P.43: 000-28 (Les Bennetts has upgraded from his Hofner to his Gibson L-4 - 1960/61? It's from 'Putting On The Donegan')
P.48: 'More Tops With Lonnie' (sleeve - 000-28)
P.49: 'Tops With Lonnie' (sleeve - 000-21)
Back cover: A view of the Abbott - also on the sleeve of 'Relax With Lonnie'

I love having that box-set, but I do wish they'd taken more trouble with the captions to the pictures. There are a lot of loose ends.

Finally (you'll all be relieved to hear!): I wonder if he preferred the 21, but kept the 28 (slightly fancier) for TVs, etc? Just a thought.

I need to get out more.....

RR


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Subject: RE: Lonnie Donegan
From: greg stephens
Date: 11 Feb 07 - 09:25 AM

GUEST DocJ: you were asking about Stan Francis' profession. My recollection is that he was a panel-beater, but it was a long time ago and I may be wrong.


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Subject: RE: Lonnie Donegan
From: GUEST,Captain Colin.
Date: 11 Feb 07 - 08:37 AM

I'm pretty sure the Sundown guitar wih the big pickguard is a 00028 Roger. Maybe it was the 21 that went to Adam Faith. I once asked LD how many 000s he'd had and the best answer I could get was "not many".


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Subject: RE: Lonnie Donegan
From: GUEST,DocJ
Date: 11 Feb 07 - 08:10 AM

There was a thread on the McEwan Bros a while ago but nobody seems to know what happened to Alex. None of their recordings seem to be available in the UK but there are two CD's available from Smithsonian-Folkways. If you think that's the wrong way round, the best blues and old time CD's come frae Bonnie Scotland!
I'm sure Stan Francis wasn't a professional instrument maker or musician; I used to know what he did for a living but can know longer remember. He lived in or around Roby about 5 miles from Liverpool
DocJ


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Subject: RE: Lonnie Donegan
From: eddie1
Date: 11 Feb 07 - 08:07 AM

Thanks Roger & Captain Colin
I saw Stan in variety theatre and was impressed by his guitar playing. He also appeared on a programme called "The Country & Western Show" which replaced "The B&W Minstrels for the summer.

Eddie


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Subject: RE: Lonnie Donegan
From: GUEST,Roger Rettig
Date: 11 Feb 07 - 07:04 AM

Eddie

Stan Stennett was appearing with Lonnie in variety somewhere - could have been Wales - in the late 1950s. Denny was taken ill and Stan did deputise. I recall this being reported in the Fan Club Magazine and the music press, and I met Stennett many years later at a function gig I did in the '80s. He confirmed that it did happen.

I think that Denny may have genuinely been unwell, as this was for more than one night. I'm not sure about that.

Sorry I forgot - I'd meant to respond to your query, but got all carried away about guitars.

Now I have another theory - suppose the 'Sundown' guitar was, in fact, Lonnie's very first 000-21? He could have had the large pick-guard fitted later. He was very hard on instruments, and all his guitars had the tops worn away between the bridge and the 'guard - maybe the 000-21 finally had a hole worn in the top (I've seen that happen!) and he had a custom refin job.....

Yes?

RR


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Subject: RE: Lonnie Donegan
From: GUEST,Captain Colin.
Date: 11 Feb 07 - 07:02 AM

Eddie: I've never heard this story but it sounds right. Stan was a friend of Lonnie's and was on some of his TV shows, singing and playing the guitar. Even accompanying himself it was evident that Stan was a useful player in the jazz vein. He played an archtop and used 9th chords- his playing was quite skilled. As Denny was freqently, er, off colour the story adds up. Roger: the Sundown guitar is a 00028. On several earlier photos I've noticed that Lonnie's pickguard was held on with sellotape. He presumably had new a new pickguard fitted and asked for an oversized one, perhaps to cover other wear. Seems the guitar was then relegated to be used as a spare, and presumably is still in the family. I don't have the Lost John EP, but it would make sense for Lonnie to get two 000s on his first visit to the USA while he had the chance because of course he didn't take a guitar with him (wasn't allowed to play one there- not because of his skill level but because of Musician's Union rules), and perhaps he thought he wouldn't be returning. If so it would be logical to get a 28 and a similar but less expensive one- a 21- to use as a spare- but my guess is that they were both new. Of course, if there are any pics of LD with a 000 dateable before his first USA visit then that blows a hole in that theory. Serious stuff, I'll try to do a bit more research into the herrinbone theory. That only leaves the 12-string, with two possible culprits as the maker. Keith thinks John Bailey, my money's still on Stan Francis. Are both characters still with us I wonder? Boy, people must be rivetted by this musn't they? Confusing having two current threads running by the way.


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Subject: RE: Lonnie Donegan
From: eddie1
Date: 11 Feb 07 - 03:07 AM

Hi Murray
The Lowden is sold, but to a friend so I get to play it now and again.
During my travels in the US I managed to acquire a Martin D28 and a Gibson J50

Can anyone comment on my posting on the thread about Lonnie's guitarists as to whether or not Welsh comic Stan Stennet played lead for Lonnie at a gig when Denny Wright was "ill"?

Eddie


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Subject: RE: Lonnie Donegan
From: GUEST,Roger R. (again!!!)
Date: 11 Feb 07 - 12:42 AM

This has just occurred to me....

It's just possible that Lonnie owned the 000-28 ('Lost John') and the 000-21 (cover of 'Lonnie' and 'Showcase') at the same time!

Maybe he switched between the two.... Maybe he bought both on his first USA trip.... I wonder? That would explain the 28 appearing earlier and later ('56 and '58 - '60). No explanation, though, as to why he had the 1967 one - the others had to have gone by then.

RR


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Subject: RE: Lonnie Donegan
From: GUEST,Roger Rettig
Date: 11 Feb 07 - 12:36 AM

Colin

I don't think the 'Sundown' guitar is a 000-28 - I seem to recall that it was a '21'. Look again if you have the record - you probably know all this, but 21s have a dark border (black or faux tortoiseshell) and the 28s edges are off-white ivoroid. As I say, that's just my recollection - I haven't seen that sleeve for years.

Bear this in mind, too. When Lonnie first looked for a Martin, they were unavailable in Britain, so a new one wasn't an option. They did turn up very rarely (Wally Whyton had a 000-28 - he told me he wanted one 'cause Lonnie had one! - but his was second-hand) because I managed to get a 000-18 in 1959 for 64 Pounds in Lew Davis' shop on Charing Cross Road.

Lonnie did travel to the USA, but I wouldn't be surprised if he bought a used one - the 000-28 on the Lost John sleeve (and remember that HAD to be in 1956!!!) is far from new with several scratches on the face.

Keith: You and I will never agree on this - I don't think that guitar was Herringbone.

(MY APOLOGIES!!!! I misled you all - I said in my earlier thread that the 'Lost John' guitar was a 000-21 - NOT!!!! It is, of course (as I've said in this post) a 000-28.)

So - the sequence is:

0-17 (earliest Martin)
000-28 (1955/6 - 'Lost John' - Herringbone? I don't think so - keith does!)
000-21 (see the sleeve of 'Lonnie', his second LP
000-28 (Grand Coulee Dam period - also in '6-5 Special' film)

Some time later - and for unknown reason....

Another 000-28 - this one's a 1967; still in the family as far as I know.
Finally, the Signature sunburst model (too much like a Christmas tree for my taste, but that's just me...)

I apologise if all this is too obsessive for most people; Keith and I tried to get at the truth while Lonnie was alive, but he was so vague....

RR


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Subject: RE: Lonnie Donegan
From: GUEST,Keith Sellers
Date: 10 Feb 07 - 10:08 PM

Say if you look closly on the EP.cover of Lost John,i am sure Lonnies holding a herringbone 00028.Keith Sellers...........


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Subject: RE: Lonnie Donegan
From: GUEST,Captain Colin
Date: 10 Feb 07 - 07:54 PM

Most interesting Eddie (and rather sad), thanks. I take it you mean that the Grimshaw was a 12 string. I thought Rory was wonderful.It would still be interesting to hear news of Alex. Roger- I'd better whisper in case Keith's listening, I have been known to be wrong but I doubt if Lonnie ever had a herringbone Martin. Herringbone edge purfling was only used on 28s, and then only to c.1947. None of the 21s ever had herringbone edge purfling of course, only sometimes round the soundhole. I think Lonnie would have bought a new rather than an used guitar after the 21- they were tax deductable after all! I've never seen any picture of him with a clearly identifiable herringbone 000. By the way I know he considered switching to an Ovation when they first came out, and even tried one out (in a shop, not on stage) but didn't care for it.


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Subject: RE: Lonnie Donegan
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 10 Feb 07 - 07:09 PM

your Lonnie credentials are impeccable, Eddie !

(unlike the action on your Lowden ...)*G*


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Subject: RE: Lonnie Donegan
From: eddie1
Date: 10 Feb 07 - 07:04 PM

Guest (above)

Rory McEwan died back in 1982. If you Google Rory, you'll find more about his botanical painting than his singing. He had a Stella 12 which he bought in a pawnshop in Galveston back in the 50s – probably the first 12-string in the UK. He then had one made by Emil Grimshaw of London, the first one they made. The second is still owned by Len Partridge of Edinburgh.
Sorry about the thread creep but he did ask and anyway, I hope my Lonnie credentials are valid!

Eddie


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Subject: RE: Lonnie Donegan
From: GUEST,Murray MacLeod
Date: 10 Feb 07 - 06:30 PM

Subject: RE: Lonnie Donegan
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 10 Feb 07 - 03:07 PM

With all this talk about Lonnie I thought that I might buy some of his recordings, but first I decided to hear a few audio clips on Amazon.


Yeah, well, now you really have established your credentials, haven't you ?


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Subject: RE: Lonnie Donegan
From: GUEST,Captain Colin.
Date: 10 Feb 07 - 06:21 PM

Roger: there was another 00028 in the picture, one I saw Lonnie use sometimes and pictured on the cover of "Sundown" with an oversize pickguard. He also claimed to have given one away to a Manchester United player- quite possibly a myth. There's his first ever guitar- a classical- and a Gretsch electric he imported in the 50's but probably never used in his act, which I referred to earlier somewhere. Then the Francis (or maybe Bailey) (see above) 12-string, the Guild 12, the aforementioned Abbott, and of course the 017 and the Martin LD personal (sunburst) guitars as you mentioned. I'm not sure whether this sheds any light- perhaps sheds more dark!


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Subject: RE: Lonnie Donegan
From: GUEST,Roger Rettig
Date: 10 Feb 07 - 05:58 PM

I defer to Keith Sellers when it comes to Lonnie's more obscure guitars. It's his speciality, being a collector of the more unusual European instruments.

One day I'd love to get the chronology of Lonnie's Martins properly established. In the very early days, we saw him with a mahogany bodied 'O' (a 17?) allegedly procured for six Pounds Sterling in a Walthamstow market. Then he had OOO-21 (Keith believes this was a herringbone - deduced, I think, from the 'Lost John' photograph, but I don't think the grain of the photo makes this clear enough) and this was on the 'Showcase' album, as well as his second LP, 'Lonnie' (that photo showed a DeArmond pick-up across the sound-hole).

Around 1958 he got a 000-28 (distinguished by the white bordering on the top and bottom of the body as opposed to the 21's tortoiseshell look). ONE of these guitars (I think the 000-21, IF the story is true), he gave to Adam Faith. Lon loved a 'tall story', though, so nothing is certain. The guitar, according to the Gospel of Donegan, was destroyed when Adam's car was rear-ended.

At some point (when???) Lonnie acquired his final 000-28 - this was a 1967 Brazilian-bodied guitar, and he played it fairly exclusively until immediately before his death when he received his 'signature edition' sunburst 000 from Chris Martin IV.

If anyone can shed any light on the specifics of all this, I'd be obliged.

RR


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Subject: RE: Lonnie Donegan
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 10 Feb 07 - 03:07 PM

With all this talk about Lonnie I thought that I might buy some of his recordings, but first I decided to hear a few audio clips on Amazon. I'm glad I didn't buy any recordings first! Lonnie's main achieved must be that he opened listeners ears to Leadbelly, Woody etc. Musically, he, himself, had very little to offer.


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Subject: RE: Lonnie Donegan
From: GUEST,Captain Colin.
Date: 10 Feb 07 - 02:59 PM

I would be very sceptical about anyone who claimed to be able to identify an acoustic guitar make and model from a recording (other than a National)-it's just not possible. An electric guitar- maybe, sometimes.


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Subject: RE: Lonnie Donegan
From: Alec
Date: 10 Feb 07 - 02:49 PM

I've never been enough of an "Anorak" to recognise make & model of a Guitar from hearing a recording, but I sort of admire/envy those who can.


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Subject: RE: Lonnie Donegan
From: GUEST,Captain Colin
Date: 10 Feb 07 - 02:40 PM

That's the one Alec, thanks- interesting site, lists all the old bluesmen's guitars, and tells us that Willie McTell played Stella Regal and Harmony guitars at various times- though I believe the one he's most often associated with is the Stella.


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Subject: RE: Lonnie Donegan
From: Alec
Date: 10 Feb 07 - 02:23 PM

I think the site Captain Colin is talking about may be www.earlyblues.com


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Subject: RE: Lonnie Donegan
From: GUEST,Captain Colin
Date: 10 Feb 07 - 01:51 PM

Sorry, forgot to put my soubriquet on last post. I've had a look around and, yes, Willie played a Stella.


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Subject: RE: Lonnie Donegan
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Feb 07 - 01:44 PM

Pity, but thanks. Maybe someone else will have some information on Stan and his guitars. As far as Blind Willie McTell is concerned, I remember finding a web site that listed all the guitars the old bluesmen used. I'll look for it again, but once again maybe somebody else will know the link. I can't specifically remember what guitar Blind Willie played, but the information was on that website- quite likely a Stella.As far as the great Rory is concerned, I seem to remember it was a Martin D28 but am by no means confident about that. I remember reading that Rory joined the choir invisible some years ago- does anyone have any more information? And what about his brother Alex, what became of him? I know they were both connected to the McEwan brewery and singing was a secondary pursuit.


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Subject: RE: Lonnie Donegan
From: GUEST,Doc J
Date: 10 Feb 07 - 12:39 PM

Sorry, Cap'n, I lost contact with him in about 1960 when I, at a guess, he was about 30 or so years old. He mentioned that he made the guitar for Pete Seeger, whom I suppose he had met when he visited Liverpool, because PS had told him his 12-stringers were not all that good.
I believe Lead Belly played a Stella. Does anyone know what Blind Willie McTell (the master of the instrument) played? I remember Rory McEwan playing on on 'Tonight'; any ideas what that was, anybody.
DocJ


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Subject: RE: Lonnie Donegan
From: GUEST,Captain Colin
Date: 10 Feb 07 - 12:29 PM

Doc J- that's very interesting- do you know if he's still with us?


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Subject: RE: Lonnie Donegan
From: GUEST,DocJ
Date: 10 Feb 07 - 12:14 PM

eddie1 - I followed exactly the same route as you: Lonnie Donegan then Woody, Lead Belly, Cisco etc then Nic Jones and the British singers. I think it's a fairly common path and a fairly logical one if you think about it.
Captain Colin - I remember Stan Francis of Liverpool and his making a 12-stringer for Pete Seeger. He used to play the ukelele and sing with the Spinners at Sampson & Barlow's in the city, if my memory serves me right.
DocJ


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Subject: RE: Lonnie Donegan
From: Big Jim from Jackson
Date: 10 Feb 07 - 11:23 AM

Just in passing: The Bear Family set has several songs on it with more than one version of each.


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Subject: RE: Lonnie Donegan
From: GUEST,Captain Colin
Date: 10 Feb 07 - 11:13 AM

Hi Keith/Hank, I've really enjoyed the postings and reminiscences of you (and all the others) on this and the other current LD thread- you certainly know your stuff and obviously love the music. I may be wrong about the 12-string, but I know for sure Stan Francis made one for Pete Seeger's, and that that one imploded (so did Lonnie's), so I shall not be moved (yet). Pete S. had a copy made by Bruce Taylor(USA) when his Stan Francis one gave up the ghost. Very interesting indeed about the Abbotts, there can't have been that many made, so there'll be hardly any left, wonder where Lonnie's is now! I too have played one of Lonnie's guitars (00028)- (I didn't attempt Rock Island Line though!) The action was highish and the strings he used were quite heavy, it was not easy to play- his fingers must have been sore after a long concert given his hard strumming style. Many's the time I've pestered staff in Hank's, maybe we've met! According to Roger R earlier the mahogany Martin was an "0" size by the way.


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Subject: RE: Lonnie Donegan
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 10 Feb 07 - 04:59 AM

does anybody remember the Late Doug Porter of Derby - could be wrong, but I seem to think g he had one of those 12 strings with the D hole. doug was a very tasty accompanist - he used to do a stunning version of Bryan Bower's Berkley Woman.


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Subject: RE: Lonnie Donegan
From: GUEST,Keith Sellers
Date: 10 Feb 07 - 03:24 AM

Hi,i always thought the D hole twelve string was made by John Bailey,who at that time made for, and repaired for the folky lot,including Pete Seeger,Jimmie Magreggor,John Reinbourne,etc,John Bailey certainly made the same model,it always looked a a bit homemade,but it had a fantastic sound,i aquired Lonnies Abbott when i owned Hanks Guiar Shop,i offered it back to Lonnie,but he did not want to pay i beleive the £750 price.that Abbott guitar was made in 1928 at a cost of £15gns.i still own one today,and have the original catalogue....Lonnie also used in the early days a Martin 00021,this guitar he told me he gave to Adam Faith,who smashed it up in his car accident,i think he used the 00021 up to around 1962/3 and in the early fifties i saw him with the all mahogany Martin 0017....


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Subject: RE: Lonnie Donegan
From: GUEST,Captain Colin
Date: 11 Jan 07 - 11:15 AM

You're right, the cockney version was the b-side of San Miguel. and yes, Lonnie made it up. The American version was on the Lonnie Rides Again album.


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Subject: RE: Lonnie Donegan
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 11 Jan 07 - 03:06 AM

as I remember, it was the b-side of San Miguel. It was a great anglicisation of an American song. Did Lonnie convert himself, Captain?


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