Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Last booking of the Country Pie.

The last booking of the Country Pie was on Whit Sunday 21st, May 1972. It was at the Red Lion in Brentford. I think The Red Lion is now a McDonalds. Oh Well...
On the 22nd I started at the Union Tavern, just up the road from the Chelsea Barracks. We were always full of soldiers rotating in and out of Northern Ireland. I even saw one of our regulars on guard at the Tower of London. I remained at the Tavern, and around London until the 18th, September when I went up to Keighley Variety Club in Yorkshire to do a week's cabaret for Bill Robinson. He of course, was previously the manager of the Dolphin Bar. The very next week I left for Luxemburg and on to the U.S.A. Apart from brief trips and tours, I've been here ever since.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

The Jimmy Rose Duo

This a publicity photograph of Jimmy and I in the autumn of 1968. It was taken by Speedak in blackpool. I think this sitting was the last time we had photo's made.
This was also our last year of touring the north. I think this was also the year we went to see the Temperance Seven perform in Manchester. They are still my favourite band of the era. I can imagine them playing " At the Alvarado".

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Jimmy Rose

I guess I should tell you more about Jimmy Rose. Jimmy is originally from Birmingham. Sally Oak, I think. He started playing at the Dolphin Bar in 1962 and just kinda stayed. I met him soon after that and whenever the bluebeats had a night off I would go and play with Jimmy. We went to Manchester, Blackburn, Burnley and over into Yorkshire. I think it was then I realized that it was much more satisfying to play to listening audiences than to do teenage dances. This went on sporadically until we were offered the season at the Dolphin Bar in 1966. That was the start of the Jimmy Rose duo. We travelled and played all over England and Wales for the next three years intil 1969. At that time we were offered and accepted a summer season at the Golden Garter Saloon in Margate on the south coast. When that was over Jimmy went to London and I went back to Blackpool. We crossed paths again when he went home to Blackpool and I decided to move to London.
I soon got a job in the Detroits, An Irish showband headed by Pat Nolan and enjoyed a brief tour of Ireland. One night we worked in Wimbleden with Hank Locklin,(Please help me I'm falling). What a great voice that man had.
On another occasion we played at the Nashville room in West Kensington. I called Jimmy and told him about the place and suggested we try to get a weeks cabaret there and he agreed. I set it up and we were really well received. The agents name was Ted Poulton and when I asked if he would be willing to book us on the rest of the ciruit he said "yes", but we would need a bass player and a drummer. We found them in short order. Tony Halligan was the drummer and Dave Peacock was the bass player. Now you know the answer to the mystery of several postings back. Thus, the Country Pie was formed. It lasted until around may 1972. I have the exact date of the last booking in one of my diaries.
Soon after that I moved to the United States. Jimmy and I still keep in touch and talk regularly. Sometimes he vists me and sometimes I visit over there, a friendship that has lasted for about 43 years.
Jimmy still plays with a band in blackpool and like me couldn't stop even if he wanted. Jimmy Rose, a great voice and a great entertainer.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Relaxing before the show.

This is Yvonne and me relaxing in the Dolphin before the show. Circa 1968.

A photo of Brian Rossi, the compere. I've had this card for a long time. I suppose I'm one of those people that tends to hang on to stuff. The internet makes it much easier to store things like photographs.

Now if it was only possible for it to store out of date musical equipment...

Sunday, January 01, 2006

The Castle Casino Club

Many nights after working in the Dolphin, Jimmy and I would go to perform at the Castle Casino Club on the promenade just north of Blackpool.
This photo was on new years eve, 1967, I believe. Jimmy is barely discernable because of the flash from the mirror at the back of the stage. I've no idea who the lady is at the right hand side.
The chef in the kitchen was Hungarian. He fled in the soviet invasion of 1956. I remember seeing him break the shells of four eggs at a time and drop the yokes in the pan without any shell. I was told the building was originally supposed to have been owned by a Frenchman who commited suicide by hanging himself from the balcony. I have no idea if that's true. If anyone can shed any light on that, please do.
In 1967 the club was owned by Jack Pie, a famous wrestler. He and brother, also a wrestler were their own bouncers. Only the foolish would cause any trouble.
Happy 2006.