JOE BROWN'S UKULELE ALBUM & LONNIE DONEGAN BIOG
Joe Brown - The Ukulele Album
Two British musical legends who started out in the late 50's are featured on album and in book form, in the shape of Joe Brown who has a brand new album out; and his much-missed old pal Lonnie Donegan, who is the subject of a new biography by acclaimed music writer Patrick Humphries.
Joe Brown's latest release The Ukulele Album is just out on Joe Brown Records. As the title suggests it features the ukulele on every track, alongside raunchy electric and acoustic guitars, mandolins, banjo and lap steel and slide guitars with surprises galore. It's generally a long way from George Formby (whom Joe met) though one of George's songs is featured. 'Ace Of Spades' (the first single), 'Pinball Wizard' and the ELO hit 'Mr Blue Sky' are just three others to get the inimitable JB treatment. Full track listing follows below. Joe is joined on the album not only by his band, including his producer son Pete, but also by his daughter Sam Brown. Unable to sing through operations going wrong, Sam has since developed her own ukulele clubs in Henley and London and 35 of her ukulele pupils, under her expert tutelage, make group contributions to several tracks on the album.
Joe was brought up in the music hall tradition, segueing into skiffle and then fully embracing rock'n'roll. He spans the musical divides and is possibly the last British artist to do so. His career has covered all aspects of entertainment - TV and radio broadcast, film, musicals, concerts - and his popularity has never waned. His music is contemporary while his shows embrace both new and old. Recently awarded an MBE and a Mojo Award for services to music, Joe tours regularly playing sell-out dates across the country. Anyone who saw Joe close the George Harrison tribute concert in 2002 with 'I'll See You In My Dreams' can be in no doubt as to his skill set and feel for a song. No stranger to this particular one though he has actually been performing it for over two decades.
The ukulele has been an instrument Joe has always loved and played. In 1963 it even got him into big trouble. Joe was one of the very first artists to have a record banned by the BBC - his recording of the old George Formby song 'With My Little Ukulele In My Hand' performed on the ukulele was deemed way too risqué! In 2006 Joe was approached by major USA ukulele manufacturer KALA, the direct result of ukulele sales having increased world-wide more than tenfold since the Concert For George. Kala credited Joe with much of that success and they asked him to design and endorse his own Signature Series. The Joe Brown Signature Series appeared in 2009. So this Autumn sees the release of an album long overdue - "The Ukulele Album".
1. When I'm Dead and Gone; 2. Mr Blue Sky; 3. Tickle My Heart; 4. I'm Not In Love; 5. I'll See You In My Dreams; 6. Hula Girl; 7. You've Got Your Troubles; 8. Pinball Wizard; 9. When I'm Cleaning Windows; 10. I Like Ukuleles; 11. The Ace Of Spades; 12. There's No Pleasing You; 13. Where Were You Last Night; 14. I Like You; 15. I Like Bananas
LONNIE DONEGAN & THE BIRTH OF BRITISH ROCK & ROLL
By Patrick Humphries
Lonnie Donegan and
The Birth of British Rock and Roll
This timely book, the work of deep research and dedication, is the story of the man who arguably kick-started the British pop and rock scene and remains one of the most important and influential figures in British musical history. It is the first full-length biography of the skiffle king and godfather of British rock'n'roll, Lonnie Donegan. The book contains numerous revelations about Lonnie's extraordinary life and includes exclusive interviews with Mick Jagger, Mark Knopfler, Paul McCartney, Brian May, Tim Rice, Bruce Welch, Richard Thompson, Bill Wyman and the late George Melly and John Peel, plus many, many others. Patrick Humphries has also interviewed Lonnie's first wife and daughter, who were with him during the glory years of the 1950s, and a number of jazz musicians who worked with Lonnie before he broke through, and talk about him for the first time.
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