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Thread: George Melly (August 17 1926 - July 5, 2007)

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    Member Scousemouse's Avatar
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    George Melly, jazz singer - born 17 August 1926 in Liverpool,educated at Stowe public school where he discovered his interest in modern art, jazz and blues. He rose to fame with Mick Mulligan’s Magnolia Jazz Band. From 1965-1973 he was a critic for The Observer. He also lectures on art history.


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    Senior Member Howie's Avatar
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    Default George Melly

    George Melly, jazz legend, writer and raconteur, was born in 1926 and made his name in the late 40s and 50s, singing with Mick Mulligan's band. In the 1960s he switched careers and became one of the UK's most ubiquitous critics, writers and TV personalities. He has published many books, including his acclaimed three previous volumes of autobiography: Owning Up (1965), Rum, Bum and Concertina (1977) and Scouse Mouse (1984). In 2004 George Melly was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the BBC's Jazz Awards.

    Just got back from listening to him giving a reading at Liverpool Art School from his new book Slowing Down. My favourite quote from George this evening: "Tony Blair is a c*nt". George might be approaching eighty but hasn't lost his knack for plain speaking.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Howie
    George Melly, jazz legend, writer and raconteur, was born in 1926 and made his name in the late 40s and 50s, singing with Mick Mulligan's band. In the 1960s he switched careers and became one of the UK's most ubiquitous critics, writers and TV personalities. He has published many books, including his acclaimed three previous volumes of autobiography: Owning Up (1965), Rum, Bum and Concertina (1977) and Scouse Mouse (1984). In 2004 George Melly was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the BBC's Jazz Awards.

    Just got back from listening to him giving a reading at Liverpool Art School from his new book Slowing Down. My favourite quote from George this evening: "Tony Blair is a c*nt". George might be approaching eighty but hasn't lost his knack for plain speaking.
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    Senior Member bobbymac's Avatar
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    Default George Melly

    I remember having a few old records of his, the only one I can recall was something like '???????? was a railroadin' man, yeah lord.' Tho. I didn't know he was one of us.

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    Senior Member lindylou's Avatar
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    I love George Melly. I seen an 'Audience with George Melly' in Liverpool about 10 years ago. You could listen to him talk and sing all night
    He's funny, witty and a great entertainer.

    I've read two of his books; 'Rum Bum & Concertina' and 'Scousemouse'

    He lived in the Sefton Park area - off Lark lane.

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    Senior Member lindylou's Avatar
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    Default George Melly

    Not sure if I've posted these a while back - but here are a couple of pics of George Melly. We went to see him sometime around early 90s.

    He was very entertaining with his jazz singing and story telling. A very witty and articulate man.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    PhilipG
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    Thanks, Lindy.

    A very entertaining man.
    He's written some good books.
    Here's One:
    http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/Sear...97773410&nsa=1

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    chippie
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    I read that one awhile back, Phil. Thought it was quite good

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    Senior Member lindylou's Avatar
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    I've read it too.

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    chippie
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    You may have lent it to me Lindy

  11. #11
    PhilipG
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    Default George Melly has died.

    A true son of Liverpool and a unique character.

    R.I.P.

    http://news.google.com/news?q=%22geo...=news&ct=title
    Last edited by PhilipG; 07-05-2007 at 10:31 AM.

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    Senior Member A.D.W's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhilipG View Post
    A true son of Liverpool and a unique character.

    R.I.P.

    http://news.google.com/news?q=%22geo...=news&ct=title
    I'll second that.

    R.I.P. Mr Melly.
    Currently Ignoring:
    The Door Bell
    The voices in my head


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    Senior Member lindylou's Avatar
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    I'm so sad about George Melly. He was a great character.

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    He will be greatly missed and his life will be much celebrated.
    Good obiturary in today's Guardian:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/obituaries...119217,00.html

    I quite like the picture it paints of Liverpool.

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    Jazz musician George Melly has died at his London home aged 80, his wife Diana has confirmed.

    Melly was diagnosed with dementia earlier this year. Two years ago he was also discovered to have lung cancer.

    Born in Liverpool in 1928, Melly made his name in the jazz trad scene singing with Mick Mulligan's band in the late 40s and 50s

    In the 60s he changed careers becoming one of the UK's most respected critics, often writing about film and TV.

    Despite suffering health problems, he had continued to be active in music and writing.

    He leaves behind his wife Diana, who he married in 1963, his son Tom, his daughter Pandora, his step-daughter Candy and four grandchildren.

    http://itn.co.uk/news/ba8bc745d09632...33de9217c.html


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Melly
    Last edited by john; 07-05-2007 at 09:35 PM.
    " If you know your history, then you would know where you coming from".


    "I could have been a footballer - but I had a paper round"..Yosser Hughes

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    Senior Member john's Avatar
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    Had the pleasure of meeting George Melly twice, an amazing guy burnt the candle at both ends, lived life to excess.
    " If you know your history, then you would know where you coming from".


    "I could have been a footballer - but I had a paper round"..Yosser Hughes

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    He really was one of Liverpool's greats, and never forgot where he came from.
    It was mainly because of him that the Palm House was restored, and he always plugged Sudley, which was the home of his cousins.

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    Senior Member lindylou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by john View Post
    Had the pleasure of meeting George Melly twice, an amazing guy burnt the candle at both ends, lived life to excess.
    Yes, he was still going on stage right up until recent months, even though he was ill. He wouldn't give in to his illness !

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    Senior Member lindylou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhilipG View Post
    He really was one of Liverpool's greats, and never forgot where he came from.
    It was mainly because of him that the Palm House was restored, and he always plugged Sudley, which was the home of his cousins.
    That's one of the things I liked about him - his loyalty to Liverpool.

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    Senior Member Howie's Avatar
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    Obituary: George Melly

    With his flamboyant suits, oversize hats and Havana cigars, George Melly was a good-time Renaissance man who indulged, often over-indulged, his passions for jazz, film, art, fishing, writing, drink and sex.


    George Melly was loved for his
    talent and flamboyant lifestyle


    He was born in Liverpool in 1926 and educated at the ultra-liberal Stowe public school in Buckinghamshire, where he pursued his interests with vigour and without inhibition.

    At school, he first became interested in art, particularly Surrealism.

    He served as an able-seaman in the Royal Navy towards the end of World War II, where he got into trouble for distributing anarchist literature.

    He moved to London in 1948 to work in an art gallery run by Belgian artist ELT Mesens, a leading light in the International Surrealist movement.

    Melly became recognised as an authority on the subject and later wrote a book, Paris and the Surrealists.

    According to his memoirs, it was at this time that he augmented the promiscuous homosexuality of his schooldays, indulging in a series of menages a trois, initially with Mesens and his wife Sybil.


    Melly became a pop music critic for
    The Observer - and the BBC


    He had also developed a love of jazz, and started singing with Mick Mulligan's band in 1949. His voice was described by John Mortimer as possessing "the raucous charm of an old negress".

    A fan of Bessie Smith and Fats Waller, he was to become famous for his routine of singing jazz numbers from the 1920s, interspersed with ribald jokes and saucy asides.

    'Too respectable'

    The band's drink and sex-fuelled wild adventures were recalled in Melly's first book, Owning Up.

    His first venture into journalism came in 1956, when he started writing the captions for the Flook newspaper strip cartoon, a job which continued for 15 years and inspired two books.

    In 1965, he joined The Observer as pop music critic, and, over the next eight years, graduated to television and film.

    But he returned to jazz singing because he thought the Observer work was making him too respectable. He joined John Chilton's Feetwarmers whose clarinettist, Wally Fawkes, had drawn the Trog cartoons.

    With his loud hat and suits, modelled on the old gangster movies of the 1930s and 40s, he became a favourite on the Dixieland jazz circuit.


    Melly was also a keen fisherman in
    his later years


    His love of fly-fishing, which began in childhood, never left him. In later life, he sold several important paintings to enable him to buy a mile of the River Usk in Wales.

    George Melly suffered from arthritis, psoriasis and a condition which precluded his drinking wine.

    The latter did not hold him back, however, and his seemingly endless stream of amusing anecdotes made George Melly one of British showbusiness's most colourful and sought-after personalities.

    Source: BBC NEWS | Entertainment

  21. #21
    chippie
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    I squeezed past him on the London train once, he had a friend who looked like his bouncer, with him. My dad was a fan of his and went to see him a few times.

    Rest In Peace now, Melly, your days are over.

  22. #22
    PhilipG
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    You squeezed past him once, Chippie.
    I wonder who enjoyed it the most!

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    Originally a Swiss family, he is also a descendant of (was it) Pierre Charles/ or Charles Pierre Melly of the Melly drinking fountains fame.
    www.inacityliving.piczo.com/

    Updated weekly with old and new pics.

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    chippie
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    That,s interesting Ged.

    Philip, the answer to your question was...the bodyguard

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    I just watched "They call me good time George", it's a BBC program, worth a watch.
    You can always count on Americans to do the right thing - after they've tried everything else.
    Winston Churchill

  26. #26
    PhilipG
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    Default "Liverpool Is My Oyster" by a 19-year-old George Melly.

    Last edited by PhilipG; 08-01-2007 at 12:06 AM.

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    Senior Member Howie's Avatar
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    How jazz legend George Melly had a ‘good death’
    Nov 5 2007
    by Vicky Anderson, Liverpool Daily Post

    George Melly’s battle with dementia was filmed for TV to show families how to cope. Vicky Anderson reports

    GEORGE MELLY’S fight against dementia is the subject of a touching new documentary charting the final weeks of the jazz singer’s life.

    The flamboyant Liverpool-born writer and entertainer died in July this year, aged 80, following a battle with lung cancer and vascular dementia.

    He refused treatment and continued to perform until the end – even claiming that, as a surrealist, there were aspects of his illness he actually enjoyed.

    The film, George Melly’s Last Stand, was commissioned with the aim of showing how families cope with dementia, and even how living with it is not always bleak – but, as the extent of his illness manifested itself, it quickly became, according to the woman who made it, the story of how it is possible to have a “good death”.

    Melly had less time left than he and his wife, Diana, imagined when they agreed to give documentary maker Katie Buchanan unprecedented access to their home life.

    She began filming in April, capturing the last performances at London’s 100 Club – where his career began 60 years previously – for which he had to be transported by private ambulance, and took to the stage in a wheelchair. Three months later, he was dead. “George was lovely, and though I only knew him towards the end, I think I got a very strong sense of his personality, his openness, his charm and his mischievousness,” said Ms Buchanan.

    She had become fascinated with the complex relationship between the couple, who were together for 44 years and had a famously colourful and open marriage.

    But it was the singer’s struggle with illness, rather than his illustrious career, which drew her to the Mellys.

    She said: “I saw an interview with Diana in the health section of a newspaper after George had been diagnosed with vascular dementia.

    “She was talking about looking after him, and you’d think it might have been depressing, but not at all.

    “George was happy and she clearly enjoyed looking after him – and I thought it was a very interesting set-up, particularly with their long and interesting marriage, and that George was continuing to sing.

    “I went to meet them and they thought it would be helpful if a public figure was prepared to go on television and admit they had dementia.

    “When we started the film, we thought he would last a little longer, but it became clear quite soon that he was deteriorating, physically, and it very quickly became a film about a good death.

    ‘DIANA helped to manage a good death – George was at home, not in pain, surrounded by friends and family. He was a lucky man.”

    It was Mrs Melly who first recognised her husband’s dementia when he didn’t know who she was when she found him trying to hail a cab in the street.

    As she came to terms with nursing him, she found it had its lighter side, such as being able to scrub dates with other women out of his diary so he would not remember them.

    But is wasn’t always easy. As his strength waned, the documentary shows how tension ran high as Mrs Melly decided to invite his old girlfriends to visit him at home to say goodbye. The Mellys’ reunion with the artist, Molly Parkin, was the culmination of a long-running feud between the two women.

    Diana Melly said: “George and I wanted to make the film to bring the experience of dementia, both for sufferers and their families, into the public eye. But we also wanted people to see that dementia isn’t all horrible – though it can be, of course. As a surrealist, George actually rather enjoyed some of the strange hallucinations he had thanks to the condition, such as the three pre-Raphaelite ladies who used to visit his bathroom.

    “Watching the film some months after George’s death was very moving, and I hope that it can bring support and inspiration to others, whether they are facing a similar sit- uation, or cared about George.

    “The film portrays a life lived to the full, right to the end.”

    It is a sentiment Melly may have agreed with, as he said himself in a newspaper interview a few months before he died: “Our marriage began with passion and it is finishing with compassion.”

    Melly was brought up in Ivanhoe Road and then Sandringham Drive, both on the fringes of Sefton Park, where he fell in love with the Palm House, which he would play a role in helping to restore in later life.

    Speaking after his death, Liverpool’s Lord Mayor Cllr Paul Clark said that the city “has lost one of its most cherished sons”.

    GEORGE MELLY’S Last Stand will be broadcast on BBC4 on Wednesday, November 7.

    Source: Liverpool Daily Post

  28. #28
    Cadfael
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    They really broke the mould when Melly was made. You'll never see the likes of him again. A person who filled the stage with his personality.

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