December 3, 2016

The Cassette Archive

Jimmy's Cassettes

As you know, we discovered a lot of music in Jimmy’s Archive of reel to reel tapes which we have been drawing material from for our last two album releases. There is at least another 3 to 4 albums worth of material we want to release from this but Jimmy also left behind 50 plus cassettes which we decided not to focus on because of the huge amount of time required to go through it all. It took months to transfer and catalogue the 28 reel to reel tapes so 50 or so cassettes seemed daunting. However,  earlier this year we had a studio transfer them to digital and Paul has been working his way through the material in search of any gems. This process is now complete and we can report some gems have indeed been found including a song with Jimmy and his brother, Tucker singing. The vast majority of this material is just Jimmy playing guitar and recording ideas but we have found some other studio recordings too. It’s quite possible there is material for another album.

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May 4, 2016

A Memory of Jimmy Dunning by Dave Smithson

I remember the first time I met Jimmy; it was in the Coach and Horses pub on the Arundel Road just outside Worthing. We used to have a Friday night sing-along in there and anyone who came along with a guitar or whatever instrument simply sat in and jammed away.  It would be, I guess, in the middle to late seventies. Jimmy came in one Friday evening and asked us if he could sit in with us. It didn’t take long before Jimmy and I were talking about what you do and who do you do, with regard to what kind of music we played. I suppose you could say the evening had a folksy, middle-of-the-road sort of feeling and at that time we were covering – or torturing – songs by Dylan; Peter, Paul and Mary; Kris Kristoferson; a few Beatles and Beach Boys songs etc. And so, when Jimmy said he actually wrote and sang his own songs, I thought he was pulling my leg until, of course, when he struck up, I knew then instantly that this bloke had something special, something that can’t be taught. I didn’t know what it actually was then and didn’t know how to describe it. I now know it is the gift of rhythm and rhyme and Jimmy had it in spadeful. The following week Jimmy didn’t show up and I remember people asking me all about him like: Who is he? What’s his name? Where is he from?  He simply blew us all away on the first night I met him.

But Jimmy also had another side to him and, coming from Liverpool, I think we can all guess what that would be and, of course, it’s his never-ending, devastating sense of humour, sometimes potty, risqué but never obscene.++ There wasn’t anything that Jimmy couldn’t sing or play.  Music just oozed out of him as did his humour at any time of the day, just out of the blue.  His outstanding, endearing quality for me was always his music and his humour, not necessarily in that order. Here are two examples of his sense of humour:
The Fork Divino: We were singing in a pub one evening and in the company was a landlord from another pub who seemed to be impressed by our performance (a bit of ‘jamming’).  He asked us if we would like a booking at his pub and we started negotiating. He suggested advertising us as “The Singing Bricklayers” whereby Jimmy looked at me unbeknown to the said landlord and gave me a sly little wink and replied, “O no, no, that doesn’t sound right”, or words to that effect. So the landlord said, “Well, what are you called?”  To which Jimmy replied, “We’re the Fork Divino.”  So he said “What a strange name” and proposed that he should have some posters printed off to that effect and then he left. After he’d gone, I looked at Jimmy in slight bewilderment, saying to him, “Who the hell is the Fork Divino?”  Jimmy smiled as he looked at me and said, “I’m-forked-if-I-know!”  Whereby we both dissolved into unrestrained laughter.

The Polystyrene Nose: One day, being bricklayers on site, we were shown a new invention which was the expanding polystyrene filler.  It was a real eye-opener at that time whereby a little dollop of this material, when it meets the air and ‘cures’, expands to five or six times its original size.  We were both fascinated by this but Jimmy, with another twinkle in his eye after the demonstration piece, quickly put it in his pocket and then disappeared. He came back five minutes later, the usual big grin on his face and what he had actually done was fashion this brutal false nose out of the polystyrene, with big nostrils and warts and all and the fun we had with that vile instrument lasted all day.  Going home on the bus that day, we were sitting at the back and the only other people on the bus were a young woman with a little boy, who was sat at the front. The little boy stood up facing us, looking at me and Jimmy whilst his mum remained facing the front. Jimmy gave me a nudge and said, “Watch this!”  He then ducked down behind the seat and firmly planted the said vile nose on his face and reappeared, facing the little boy.  The little boy’s face on seeing this stared in absolute disbelief and gave his mum a quick nudge.  We heard him say, “Mum, Mum, look at that man’s big nose!”  His mum was mortified, trying to shush him, emphasising, “Stop staring, stop staring!” to which the little boy was transfixed by the size of Jimmy’s nose and couldn’t stop staring and blurted out, “Mum, look at it, look at it!”  We could see the young lady’s ears were bright scarlet and we had no sympathy for her excruciating embarrassment!  Relief came for her at the next stop when she quickly alighted with her son, leaving me and Jimmy convulsed as usual as a result of his crazy, Scouse humour!

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April 27, 2016

New Album ‘Honky Music’

Honky Music

We’re delighted to announce the release of a new album of Jimmy’s music. Honky Music continues on from our last release ‘Nothing Ever Changes’. We draw 15 more songs from Jimmy’s archive of recordings showcasing more of his home demos, highlighting his wonderful sense of rhythm and his lovely guitar work. More details here.
The album will be released in May 2016.

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August 2, 2015

Baby We Can’t Go Wrong – Unreleased Jimmy Dunning Demo

With the sad news today of Cilla Black’s passing, we wanted to share this unreleased version of Jimmy performing the song that Cilla made famous. RIP Cilla, Jimmy will be waiting for you, he’s got a bunch of songs ready to go 😉

May 6, 2015

I’d Rather Be With You; Performed by The Caws Brothers

Great version of Jimmy’s song ‘I’d Rather Be With You’ from the brilliant Caws Brothers.

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August 10, 2014

New Bats Website

The remaining members of the Bats, who Jimmy was a member of in the 1960’s have just launched their new website. Check out the gallery for some great early shots of Jimmy and his pals. www.thebats.co.za

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September 26, 2013

Nothing Ever Changes: CD Now Available

We are pleased to let you know that you can now buy the new album on CD direct from us for £10.00 inc P&P. Click here to get your copy.

March 5, 2013

New Album: Nothing Ever Changes

Nothing Ever Changes - Jimmy Dunning

We’re thrilled to announce the release of a new Jimmy Dunning album.
Nothing Ever Changes is the first album release from our work on Jimmy’s archive which we started in 2010.
It draws upon material Jimmy record at home in the early-mid 1970’s. (more…)

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February 12, 2013

Guess I Lose Again

Here’s a little extract of a track from the new album ‘Nothing Ever Changes’ to be released next month.

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