Second taste of success; Wirral People.Byline: David Charters
THE old tunes have always strummed in his memory and now that he is 64, with a light furrow furrow /fur·row/ (fur´o) a groove or sulcus.
atrioventricular furrow the transverse groove marking off the atria of the heart from the ventricles. or two creeping under the hair which he brushes over his forehead, John Lomax John Avery Lomax (September 23, 1867 - January 26, 1948) was a pioneering musicologist and folklorist. Lomax was born in Goodman, Mississippi and grew up in central Texas, just north of Meridian in rural Bosque County. is shining once more.
Once again, he is singing the songs which had the boys and girls boys and girls
mercurialisannua. in checked shirts clicking their fingers and tapping their toes 46 years ago.
A remarkable series of twists and turns placed John back on centre stage, topping the bill at an international festival.
Before the coming of rock 'n' roll rock 'n' roll: see rock music. , British teenagers were swept along by the brief craze for skiffle skif·fle
Jazz, folk, or country music played by performers who use unconventional instruments, such as kazoos, washboards, or jugs, sometimes in combination with conventional instruments. , a simple folk music folk music: see folk song.
Music held to be typical of a nation or ethnic group, known to all segments of its society, and preserved usually by oral tradition. Knowledge of the history and development of folk music is largely conjectural. played at a frantic pace.
Among its many devotees were John Lennon Noun 1. John Lennon - English rock star and guitarist and songwriter who with Paul McCartney wrote most of the music for the Beatles (1940-1980)
Lennon , Paul McCartney Noun 1. Paul McCartney - English rock star and bass guitarist and songwriter who with John Lennon wrote most of the music for the Beatles (born in 1942)
McCartney, Sir James Paul McCartney , George Harrison and . . the young John Lomax. They all looked to Lonnie Donegan Lonnie Donegan MBE (29 April 1931 – 3 November 2002) was a skiffle musician, possibly the most famous of them all, with more than 20 UK Top 30 hits to his name. He is sometimes called the King of Skiffle and is often cited as a large influence on the generation of British as the high priest of this music played in garden sheds and church halls.
Well, everyone knows what happened to the first three. Their story is the most celebrated in popular music.
Most of Donegan's other adherents went on to steady jobs and are now retired, tending gardens in the suburbs.
For John, it has been different. To him, Donegan would always be the Skiffle King. His teachers at Wallasey Technical School once thought their boy had the promise of a classical pianist, but that ambition was doomed when first he heard an electric guitar.
In 1955, John formed the Atlantics skiffle group Noun 1. skiffle group - a band of musicians who play skiffle
ensemble - a group of musicians playing or singing together; "a string ensemble"
Britain, Great Britain, U.K. , though their progress was slowed for two years by his National Service with the Royal Air Force.
Soon after that, however, some of Merseyside's biggest venues, like the Cavern Club, were to see the line-up of Ron Higginson (singer and rhythm guitar When a guitar is used to provide rhythmic and harmonic accompaniment for a singer or for other instruments in an ensemble, it is referred to as rhythm guitar. The rhythm guitar is commonly used to provide a rhythmic complement for the lead guitar, although the actual instruments ), Ron Harrison (double bass), Tony Cavanagh (drums) and John Lomax (lead guitar).
As their fame grew, the Atlantics gained three spots on TV's Top Town show, presented by David Jacobs David Henry Jacobs (born April 30, 1888 in Cardiff, Wales - died June 6, 1976 in Aberconwy, Wales), was a British athlete.
At the 1912 Summer Olympics in Stockholm, Jacobs won a gold medal as the first leg in the British 4x100 m relay team, in spite of finishing second . Of course, the popularity of skiffle fizzled as its old practitioners advanced into Merseybeat.
Donegan alone remained a big name and this enabled the Atlantics to perform well into the 1960s. But then it seemed images of thimbled fingers dancing up and down the slats on a washboard as a make-do percussion section, or double basses fashioned out of old tea chests, were quaint, but had no future.
And so it would have remained if John had not met Don Woods, a regular on Radio Merseyside's Tune Tonic and a record producer whose successes include Googie the Liverpool Duck.
They both attended a reunion of the old groups at the Albion Hotel, New Brighton.
Don, himself a skiffle fan, remembered seeing the Atlantics at the Gaumont, Wallasey.
He was so impressed by John's electric guitar-playing that he began his own band, the Four Dees, which survived for almost 40 years.
The recent meeting led to him writing The Story of Skiffle for John who re-formed the Atlantics.
John played the song to Lonnie when he was in Liverpool earlier this year. Lonnie liked the song, but by then it been heard by another legendary skiffler, Chas McDevitt.
That led to the Atlantics being booked to appear before 1,500 people at the International Festival of Skiffle at Hankasalmi, Finland, in July. For that show, the band was John and Don, with Mike Rudd on bass and Alan Denton on drums, though the original members still play local venues.
"We did 26 Lonnie Donegan numbers, and when we got going we really brought the house down. It was great, " said John.
To give it a higher place in local society, competitions used to be held and the Atlantics were regularly Wirral Skiffle champions.
"When I came out of the Air Force in 1957, I bought a brand new Hoffner guitar, which I have still got. This meant we were all-electric apart from the double bass, just like Lonnie, " recalled John at Don's home in Upton.
They performed semi-professionally until 1964 when they called it a day to concentrate on girlfriends and their day jobs.
John is a piano-tuner with Mersey Music, Liscard. Until recently Pam, his wife of 27 years, didn't even know he had been on stage.
But that old skiffle craze might be starting all over again.
"I sense a revival, " he said.
BANDING TOGETHER: John Lomax and Don Woods, above, and the Atlantics, inset, left, with John Lomax on lead guitar on the right