The Old Jazz Clubs
Alan Pearce

11/01/12 -

I wonder how far some of your readers can go back in time appreciating trad, even further than me I suspect. In the fifties there was always trad to be seen, played by Chris Barber, Kenny Ball, Acker Bilk, Terry Lightfoot on the box, on the Six Five Special etc. and even Sunday Night at the London Palladium. The programme I can remember the most in those days was a programme called "Here's Humph", it was from the Granada studios in Manchester. My mates and I were fortunate in that we had a contact who used to get tickets for us for the show. At the time I was serving my apprenticeship at Gardner Diesels, so after work on a Friday, I used to dash home, get washed and changed and out to catch a bus into town. The thing I can remember about the show was not only the brilliant music but also the way makeup was plastered onto Humph's face. All for a better television picture I was told, although at the time, I think we were still black and white at home. Those were the days.

 


26/03/18 -

Regarding Alan Pearce's memories. The Blue Note club on Market St. M/cr. was the Sportsman's Restaurant. It was owned by Scottish and Newcastle Breweries and adhered to Scots licence laws. the bar closed at 9.30 ! This didn't seem to spoil the enjoyment as the audience still stayed for the final hour. Regarding the drummer on the photo. Sorry John but it is not Ray Mack. It could be Max Kaminsky's brother in law for all we know. Very frustrating though. As for that joke about drummers. I first heard it about 40yrs.ago and the bloke who told it to me still needs to walk with a stick! - Moe Green.

21/03/18 -

I wonder how many people remember the days when you had to pay for membership to most jazz venues before you were allowed in. When I used to go in the fifties, if you forgot your membership card, you didn't get in. Things have changed since those days, even the atmosphere in the clubs, no looking through thick smoke to try and see who's playing the solo. I remember going to the Bluenote Jazz Club on Market Street in Manchester, Youngers No 3 was 1/9d ( 8p) a pint and if you felt really flush Youngers No 1 was 3/6d ( 17.5p) a pint. At the end of the night you could leave after a great night with sore eyes, lung full of smoke, ringing ears and slightly inebriated all for under a quid, even your bus fare home. I used to belong to several clubs, some of the membership cards shown, Bodega and Thatched House cards have been mislaid. Unfortunately the club Le Vieux Carre I can't remember where this was, perhaps someone can enlighten me. What a great jazz scene it was in them days. - Alan Pearce.

  

26/03/18 -

Regarding Alan Pearce's memories. The Blue Note club on Market St. M/cr. was the Sportsman's Restaurant. It was owned by Scottish and Newcastle Breweries and adhered to Scots licence laws. the bar closed at 9.30 ! This didn't seem to spoil the enjoyment as the audience still stayed for the final hour. Regarding the drummer on the photo. Sorry John but it is not Ray Mack. It could be Max Kaminsky's brother in law for all we know. Very frustrating though. As for that joke about drummers. I first heard it about 40yrs.ago and the bloke who told it to me still needs to walk with a stick! - Moe Green.

  


More Memorabilia from Alan Pearce

Alan sent me several membership cards and programmes which I'm sure will bring back a lot of memories to some people, click on the image to see the larger version

Again, going back to the fifties and the jazz scene was really strong in Manchester, I remember Rag week, which I think was the week of shrove Tuesday where local students put on their glad rags and raised money for charity, and the one I remember was a college near Whitworth street having trad jazz being played in a most of the classrooms and being students a bar was also laid on. A great evening of jazz where you could wander from room to room and all for a good cause.

In the later fifties, some of your members will remember skiffle starting to creep in, although I quite enjoyed skiffle as well as trad. I remember one night going to the Thatched House to watch, I think they were called the 'Eric Batty Jazz Aces' only to find a skiffle group called the 'Paul Beaty Skiffle group' playing. I subsequently frequented  a skiffle group venue called the 'Cumberland Gap' I'm not sure where it was now, my memory is failing me. This trend tended to continue with the likes of Lonnie Donegan, who I believe played banjo with one of the top groups and 'Jonny Duncan and his blue grass boys.

Not only did we have great jazz clubs but also excellent concerts for jazz and big bands (see photographs).

 


 

 

 

 

 


 

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