Tributes to  Sam Greenall 

who died November 2006

20th Nov 2006

 I've 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.

Fred Burnett    

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.† 

Unwin Nunns

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.

Eddie Simpson 

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.

Jack Mawdsley
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.

Ged Wilson


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