Gill Hutchins (Mrs Mick Glover)

Probably a familiar picture of Frank Kelly & the Crestas from around 50 years ago and on the right, brother and sister Gill and Tony Hutchins. In the 1960s Gill married another of Pompey’s early rock & roll stars Mick Glover and they live in Alton but MIck still plays locally, last week at the Conservative Club in Albert Road.

Yesterday evening, with Old Portsmouth plunged into darkness and Gunwharf closed, the church of St George’s just across the road benefitted from divine intervention and – on full power – presented a concert evening by the two guitar orchestras of Cambridge and Hampshire. A prominent member of the latter group was Gill Hutchins/Glover and their 13-piece orchestra performed a number of pieces some classical or traditional but including the Beatles, Shadows. It was splendid stuff and you can check out the Hampshire Orchestra on http://www.hago.org.uk.

Sadly Tony Hutchins passed away last year – yesterday was the first anniversary and a very fitting tribute from his sister, watched too by his nephew David, Mick & Gill’s son. He has played professionally with recent incarnations of groups like Slade and Sweet and Mick tells me he’s a very fine guitarist/bass guitarist.


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Exterminate, Exterminate …

Here’s Mick Cooper with a pal – Mick sneaked in during preparations for the new show at the City Museum “Alien Invasion” which opens this weekend and runs for the rest of the year. If you thought some of the 50s/60s creatures in the last show were scary you ain’t seen nothin’! I’m going to be doing one of my Sunday afternoon talks in the Autumn around the theme of Sci Fi and Popular Music

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Happy Birthday Back Door Man

Today is the centenary of the birth of Howlin’ Wolf – for those of my generation and preferences one of THE greatest.

Many of the major blues singers visited Pompey – sadly the Wolf never did but I don’t care now – Happy Birthday anyway. To celebrate I’m putting on my Wolf tee-shirt and going off for a bit of a sing tonight – as usual – to the Barleycorn in Nutbourne. And while I think no-one but Wolf should sing his songs I’m going to break the rule tonight as long as the boys in the band let me

However, if you want the real thing check out the video clips (etc) here: on http://www.howlinwolf.com/

While he never came to Pompey, I remember seeing him as one of the mystery guests on Juke Box Jury (64?). I was 14 and loving it while my dear old mum and dad were bewildered and panellist Jimmy Edwards ridiculed Smokestack Lightnin – said he sounded like an animal. So they duly voted it a miss (it wasn’t) and David Jacobs revealed Wolf who had to walk along shaking their hands. It looked for a moment like this giant of a man might flatten Edwards! (Whacko!)

A few years later he cut an American album that mixed funk and psychedelia with Wolf’s original sound. He hated it and told a reporter from Rolling Stone that it was “dogshit” which duly appeared in the ‘paper. He was right but was also rewarded for his honesty with immortality – while that album has largely vanished from view.

There’s also a lovely passage on the London Sessions album where guys like Clapton, Winwood and Wyman struggle to play The Red Rooster with the right ‘feel’ and Wolf has to show them. The right way can be seen on that web site (above) in a London gig with Willie Dixon (etc) who wrote it. The secret is that it’s not forced, and that song remains the only real blues song ever to get to number one in the British charts.

“Ain’t been no peace in the barnyard since old Howlin’ Wolf been gone”

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Old Rock & Rollers

Hi – I’m Dave Allen, I run this site and over the past four months I’ve been responsible for the local memorabilia in the City Museum show about pop and rock & roll in the 1950s and 1960s. I’ve been playing around the city for years, and here I’m in the middle, having a cup of tea in the Museum on the last afternoon of the show with Bryan Hatchard (left) drummer with the Cadillacs and the Rebels and Colin Quaintance (right) guitarist and singer with the Hot Rods, Cadillacs and Southern Sounds. Bryan and Colin still play together (photo Lou Allen). Please check the comment/link from friends in Southampton – noting how great music cures all rivalries!!