Traditional Jazz in the North West of the U.K.

Welcome to my Traditional Jazz Pages
520 pages of News, views and music as at Tuesday January 13, 2015


Welcome to my world of Traditional Jazz. The pages which follow are a tribute to the musicians who have dedicated themselves to playing the music of New Orleans and Dixieland in the North West of the British Isles. Although I try very hard to ensure all the information about the bands and events are correct, please check with the venues concerned before setting out on your journey.  - Fred Burnett.

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This week's track - Honey Bun

Back in the 50s and 60s. Brenda Tomkins (second cousin to Roy Williams), was a young girl playing with The Crescent Jazz Band in Manchester, later called Pete Haslam's Collegians .  The photo below was taken at The Bodega, but unfortunately Pete Haslam was ill that night.  Brenda, now called Brenda Canty-Forrest,  was in the Collegians band when they played on a live "People and Places" programme on Granada TV around 1959/60. She says, "I remember we had to keep on practising it to get it exactly in time with the slot we had in the programme. We were in the studios all day and the men had to change their shirts into more colourful ones to show up on black and white TV and I then had very dark hair and had to have gold spray on it to show curls! I also have an LP  recorded in the Free Trade Hall one cold Sunday morning by TH Adkins, Rendezvous records. We may have been called The Crescent Jazz band then as we didn't have our colourful striped jackets we had when Paddy McKiernan took us on and changed our name". It was a mention of Wrought Iron Rag that started this discussion off, so I asked Brenda if she could get the LP transferred to CD, and this she has now done. She said, "We were a mad band and the 20s style of music and dress we had were the idea of Paddy McKiernan, hence the way we played Yes Sir that's my baby. We have Ted Calvert singing ...Are You from Dixie....I know a few of your readers were asking about him a while ago. He was quite a character and came with us a number of times to the Cavern and other gigs.  It may be a bit crackly as it is so old."  Well the recording may be old Brenda, but as with others from that era that I've received, the energy and vitality comes through and you can certainly see why we wanted to get up and dance. I'll try and change the track each week.

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