The Age of Skiffle

Many people know me for being a musician rather than a photographer.  Not surprising since I started playing drums when I was about 14.

The first group I was in were called the ‘Black Dominoes Skiffle Group’.  We were totally out and out Lonnie Donegan fans and, the week that the new Lonnie Donegan record came out, the singer guitarist Alan Lewis, would buy the record and we would be playing it that night!

Around about this time there was a talent show doing the rounds, this was in the days long before ‘Opportunity Knocks’ or the ‘X Factor’.  It was headed up by a chap called Carroll Levis, he may have been Canadian or American, I can’t really recall. However, we entered, as did countless others all over the Country and, much to our surprise, we actually won the show.

We were featured in the final at the lovely old Lyceum Theatre in Newport (no longer there I’m afraid) and then on 20th June 1959 we had to go to London and perform a live show in front of an audience for the BBC Light Programme at the Playhouse Theatre in Northumberland Avenue. As far as I can remember, we recorded the show and it was later broadcast on the 12th August 1959.

For the BBC performance we were paid the princely sum of £51.00 including travel expenses, and that was for a 5 piece group. That was a lot of money then and we really thought that maybe we were on our way.  Unfortunately, that was not the case.

The BBC Remittance Advice slip

The Entry Ticket to the show