Meeting Bert Weedon

Just before Christmas, a CD arrived in the post which contained a collection of images from the Taylor Family archives. The first photo on the disc was titled “Meeting Bert Weedon” – it’s an absolute gift of a blog post title, and a great photo too, so I couldn’t resist!

Janice Taylor-Barton had previously sent me a couple photos via the Broadland Memories Facebook page and kindly scanned the rest of the family collection, which were taken between the 1960s and the 1990s.The photo below shows Bert Weedon and his wife in the garden of the Bridge Inn at Acle with Janice (being held) and her sister.

taylor60s_bertweedon_smlThe name Bert Weedon will be familiar to many people over a certain age. Having already become an established session guitarist, playing with various big bands during the 1940s, and joining the BBC Show Band in the 1950s, Bert Weedon began releasing singles under his own name in the late 1950s. Chart success followed with hits which included Guitar Boogie Shuffle, Apache and Guitar Man.

weeedon_playinadayIt is perhaps his Play in a Day guide to modern guitar playing for which he became most well known. First published in 1957, and encouraging kids all over the world to pick up a guitar and do just that, Play in a Day has since been republished several times, and is still available to this day.  It’s impossible to say how many millions of guitarists learnt to play using his technique but there are some very hallowed names amongst them, including Paul McCartney, John Lennon, Keith Richards, Jimmie Page, Eric Clapton, Brian May, Mark Knopfler and Mike Oldfield who have all been cited as having started playing using the Play in a Day book . He continued to release singles over the next three decades and played on thousands of recordings with other musicians and singers during his lifelong career. He sadly passed away in 2012 aged 91 years.

It’s one of many celebrity visits and holidays on the Norfolk Broads which have been recorded over the years. One of the earliest blog posts I published was about famous fans of Broadland that included entertainer George Formby, comedian Dick Emery, TV magician David Nixon, Shadows guitarist Hank Marvin and various members of the Royal family. I recently came across  the mention of the legendary parties that were held at the Berney Arms Inn in the 1960s which attracted several of the stars of the day who were performing at Great Yarmouth for the summer season including Freddie & the Dreamers, Jimmy Tarbuck, Adam Faith and The Searchers.

I’m currently working on a very nice batch of colour slides from 1961 which will hopefully be uploaded later this week, but the 1960s set from the Taylor Family are next in line to add to the main Broadland Memories website. The rest of that collection will follow at intervals over the next few months. Many thanks to Janice Taylor-Barton once again.

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