Printer Friendly

OBITUARY: Campbell Burnap.

THERE was a hint of Scottish ancestry in the name of this chap, who became a prince among those roaring boys unleashed from the war to stomp, blow melodies, kiss and drink in the cellars of a free land.

Charming and handsome, the schoolboy Campbell Crichton Mackinnon Burnap heard strange rhythms on the wireless, picked up a washboard and found himself in the skiffle group of his pal Christopher Blount, the clarinettist - wowing pimpled teenagers in church halls around Belper, Derbyshire.

From that, Burnap progressed to the trombone, having been taught the B Flat Scale by the school caretaker.

About then, serious young people distanced themselves from rock and roll, regarded as inferior in every way to jazz.

At 19, Burnap emigrated to New Zealand, working as a clerk, while playing in local bands. A splendid cricketer and a fine writer, Burnap was perhaps more than anything a lover of life, with a desire to cram in as much as possible.

So he travelled, working as he went, in Honululu and Mexico and then the USA, riding the Greyhound buses in the grand old style - almost inevitably ending up in New Orleans, where he sold tickets in the Preservation Hall and started playing alongside some of the most revered jazzmen.

But, in 1965, when England was swinging, Burnap stuck to jazz, working with the bands of Terry Lightfoot and Monty Sunshine, before whizzing back to Australia for a few years.

Back in England, Burnap hitched himself to a number of good outfits, including Alan Elsdon's Dixieland Band, bolstering his income as a film extra.

Despite his seemingly Kerouac-like ways, Burnap, married to Jenny, was a respected musician, admired by Americans.

But, in 1980, he joined Acker Bilk, who had enjoyed a huge hit with Stranger on the Shore during the British tradjazz revival of the early 1960s.

He would then appear with other bands and play solo in clubs. But he had never neglected cricket, playing for the Ravers and joining the MCC.

In 1990, he began ball-byball County Cricket commentaries for British Telecom.

His mellow voice, gently touched by the accents of many places, was ideal for radio and he made some excellent documentaries about jazzmen, such as Bix Beiderbecke, Louis Armstrong and Jack Teagarden.

For 17 years, from 1989, he was on Jazz FM.

Campbell Burnap, jazzman; born September 10, 1939, died May 29, 2008.
COPYRIGHT 2008 MGN Ltd.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2008 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Article Type:Obituary
Date:Jun 16, 2008
Words:397
Previous Article:Letter: Civil liberties.
Next Article:Strange but true.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2022 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters |