just received a phone call from Derek Brown to tell me that Sam
Greenall died peacefully this morning. I first met Sam when he
was playing with the Raikes Paraders
and he was a true gentleman. His stories of the great jazz
musicians were legendary, and there can't be many local
musicians that didn't benefit from borrowed recordings from his
great collection of jazz music. Gordon Hughes once wrote
in "Just Jazz, "Sam had a trumpet once owned by the
legendary Charlie Teagarden, his wealth of experience in more
than half a century of playing has seen him play alongside jazz
stars from both sides of the Atlantic. After taking up the
trumpet as a lad of 14, Sam honed his musical talent listening
to the bands of Mike Daniels, Humphrey Lyttelton and Freddy
Randall, with his Life Guards pal Roy Crimmins, during 36-hour
leave stints from their base. His own playing career started in
1950 at Prestonís Empire Hotel, haunt of Hollywood heart-throb
Clark Gable during his American Air Force spell at nearby
Freckleton. For 25 years Sam led the Ribble Valley Stompers,
which counted Nat Gonella among its stars for ten years and had
Alex Welsh, Peanuts Hucko, Dave Shepherd and Dick Carey among an
array of guesting musicians. Sam joined the Raikes
Paraders after playing at the funeral of original trumpet
player Eric Haughton, who found fame with Lancashire-born
bandleader Jack Hyltonís touring panto". Our
thought are with his wife Yvonne.
20th Nov 2006
I recall many years
ago when Sam was bandleader at the Lancaster Hotel in Preston, that a
young lad of around 15 or 16 came in with his dad and they asked if they
could have a blow. The father played guitar, and the trumpet playing lad
was none other than the great Bruce Adams. He played "Can't Get
Started", and brought the house down. The jazz club eventually moved to
the Kings Arms and it was about 25 years later that Bruce walked in and
said to the startled Sam Greenall, "I bet you don't remember me?".
He was playing in Blackpool and for a while came down to Preston
regularly on Sunday nights to play with Sam's band.
Derek Brown, Bass Player
23rd Nov 2006
Your notice of Sam Greenall's passing revived some long forgotten memories. It was 1961 or thereabouts............ I had become involved with some young chaps who were trying to form a jazz band in
Blackpool. I hadn't touched a clarinet for about 10 years but was keen to try again. The only problem was finding a lead horn. Luckily someone had heard of this fellow in Preston who also hadn't played for years. A couple of us visited him and he agreed to join us if he could find his trumpet. I believe it was his wife who found it under a dresser in the dining room, and so Sam Greenall joined our motley crew. We played for a time in Poulton-le-Fylde, until I left for a spell in the USA. In1968 I was back in Lancashire and joined his band playing at the Lancaster Hotel, Preston. I don't recall how long the band stayed there for I left in '69 to take up a new post in Canada.
About 3 or 4 years ago, visiting the UK, I sat in with the New Riverside JB in Lancaster. Sam had heard I was around and came to play a few tunes with me. He hadn't changed much in the intervening 30 years, and we had a great evening. Hearing your sad news, I am pleased we had that opportunity to play together again.
I believe these dates are correct, but at 75 my memory is a little imperfect.
Trevor Hodgson Southern Comfort JB, Canada.
23rd Nov 2006
Hi Fred,† Yes I knew Sam Greenall and have played with him, he was a true professional and a super player. Sam was a thorough gentleman with only good words, really one of the old school who knew what he was about. Very rare today and a great loss to any front line. Please convey my sincere
sympathy to his wife.†
25th Nov 2006
I was a regular supporter of the Raikes Paraders when my wife died in
August 2000. Naturally I was bereft but Sam Greenall and Keith Staveley
were very helpful in helping me to return to normalcy. One evening Sam
showed me through the band's play list and on seeing "Miss
Annabelle Lee" I told him that it was a song I sang regularly in my
Navy days which ended in 1950. My wife and I had agreed then that I
should forego singing in public in order to concentrate on creating a
more stable style of living but after 55 years Sam persuaded me that
getting up that evening would have a therapeutic effect beyond measure.
He was right; I sang "Miss Annabelle Lee", was warmly
applauded and went on to guest with the band thereafter. Since then I
have performed with many bands including Ireland's talented Apex Jazz
Band and I have a regular guest spot with the Sun Street Stompers
every Sunday lunchtime at the John 'o' Gaunt in Lancaster. I can honestly
say that Sam Greenall completely changed my life.
26th Nov 2006
When our trumpeter died some fifteen years ago we played at his funeral and we asked Sam to join us for the occasion. He stayed with us on trumpet for ten years until he was forced to retire on health grounds five years ago.
He introduced a bit of discipline to the band, which was no bad thing. During this time we made three CDís which unfortunately are not now available, but at least we have something to remember him by.
Not only was he a good player, with a vast repertoire, he was also a true gentleman and an asset to any band.
I will still be on holiday in America when his funeral takes place but my thoughts will be with Yvonne at this sad time.
Raikes Paraders Jazz Band
27th Nov 2006
I was sad to hear of the
passing of Sam Greenall who I had the pleasure of playing with at The
Lancaster in Preston when Nat Gonnella was in the band. He was a true
gentleman and a fine trumpeter. For the record Jim Parker tells me he
bought his first horn of Sam.