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In Search of Rory McEwen

PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 12:27 pm
by uiwangmike
Recent improvements to the Radio 2 website have made it harder to find out when interesting things turn up, so I'm very grateful that Ken Hunt mentioned this edition of Jools Hollands' program on that other music forum. Some people may remember Rory McEwen from his appearances on BBC TV's Tonight in the late 50s(?) to early 60s, sometimes with his brother Alec. It turns out Van Morrison does too, and Rory also turns out to have been Jools Holland's father-in-law.
A lot more to be said (including much on the program by Martin Carthy), but listen. I'd rate it HIGHLY recommended (and possibly even too short).
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01rhxwm

From the R2 site:
Van Morrison, Martin Carthy, journalist and author James Fox and former Arts Minister Lord Gowrie help Jools search for Rory McEwen, the father-in-law he never knew.

With his brother Alec, Rory McEwen was a powerful voice in the folk music revival of the late 50s and early 60s, travelling to America in search of his heroes and appearing on the Ed Sullivan show.

He was the host of the network TV music show 'Hullabaloo', a frequent performer on 'Tonight with Cliff Michelmore' and a prolific recording artist before quitting to concentrate on painting, a field where his contemporaries included David Hockney, R.B. Kitaj and Peter Blake.

He introduced George Harrison to Ravi Shankar and was the catalyst for, and hub of, much of what came to be known as Swinging London.

He died in 1982 at the age of 50, 25 years before Jools married his daughter Christabel and in this special programme some of the people Rory influenced discuss his life and influence, shedding light on the career and influence of this shadowy figure

Re: In Search of Rory McEwen

PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2013 10:25 pm
by davidt
Thanks for posting this. I'd have missed it completely otherwise.

Here's the Sonny Boy Williamson performance they were talking about.
http://youtu.be/-316IpFqOFA

I have an old HMV album "Folksong Jubilee" with Rory and Alex + Isla Cameron from 1958.
It's a mixture of the Scottish and the Blues and includes Johnny Cope and the song Martin Carthy was talking about "Johnson" which later turns up on Martin's second album (the Two Butchers).

David

Re: In Search of Rory McEwen

PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2013 4:37 pm
by uiwangmike
This Youtube has appeared on the opening of an exhibition of Rory McEwen's exquisite botanical paintings at Kew.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W4Ow_fS94fo http://www.telegraph.co.uk/gardening/pl ... cEwen.html
The only live musical clip, as far as I can see. I feel the line-up is more impressive than the final result. It would possibly have sounded better at the time, though I think this would have been 1964, and I'm sure I had the Leadbelly version long before that.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dEUbAZPSThg

Re: In Search of Rory McEwen

PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2013 5:42 pm
by NormanD
uiwangmike wrote:I feel the line-up is more impressive than the final result. It would possibly have sounded better at the time, though I think this would have been 1964, and I'm sure I had the Leadbelly version long before that.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dEUbAZPSThg
Yes, I fully agree Mike. Nice harmonies, and an effortless DG solo, but that's about it. Compared to this, any real blues song would have knocked the socks off of it. Even The Four Pennies' version had more about it.