Billy Jones - Pioneer Of Jazz 1963

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  • Description

    Story comparing modern attitudes to music with 1920s traditional jazz. Lots of interesting footage.

    Billy Jones, once pianist with the Original Dixieland Jazz Band listens to a record. He sits in an armchair and flicks through his scrapbook. Various C/Us of pieces of Dixieland Jazz Band memorabilia. Billy leaves his house in Romford and walks down the street with a "sprightly step".

    Sequence showing theatres the band might have played in, now in ruins or boarded up. Disused theatres including Finsbury Park Empire. Various shots inside one of the theatres - possibly Bedford Theatre. Ghostly old fashioned music plays over shots of the empty dilapidated auditorium.

    C/U of the sign above "Act One Scene 1" coffee house. Three young people come out of the coffee bar. C/U of the sign for the "2i's Coffee Bar". Interior of the coffee bar, "Home of the Stars". Shots of groovers ordering their coffee including a man with unusually long hair for the period. Shots of posters and photographs in the bar including Cliff Richard and Tommy Steele. C/U of a board promoting Emile Ford, Vince Taylor, Johnny Kidd, Lance Fortune, Adam Faith and Craig Douglas.

    Exterior of a Jukebox Distributors shop. Narrator calls the jukebox a "musical - box - become - monster" and seems disparaging of this new way of listening to music. Billy Jones looks into the window. "For Billy Jones, today is a whole world of strange sound" states the narrator over shots of various models of jukebox. C/U of a young man with a transistor radio held to his ear.

    Billy Jones is seen walking in an outdoor market. Ron Geesin is approaching from the other direction dressed in an eccentric outfit carrying a gramophone with an enormous golden horn. They get chatting and Ron takes Billy to his Sussex home in Crawley. Ron collects 1920s memorabilia and plays piano for the Original Downtown Syncopators. C/Us of some twenties records and gramophones.

    Footage of the Original Downtown Syncopators playing "Shimmy Shawobble". Billy stands on the stage and taps out the rhythm on top of the piano. Various shots of the band. Narrator says: "let's complete this picture of 40 years ago, let's complete an old man's happiness". Band strikes up a Charleston. Group of girls wearing fringed flapper style dresses dance a Charleston. Billy dances with one of the girls. Billy gets up on stage and plays the piano alongside Ron.

    Note: interesting voiceover full of pathos. Suggesting that most modern types don't appreciate musicians of yesteryear. Phrases like: "who really knows the man who gave himself to the Twenties - to find that later decades had no room for his kind?"

    According to paperwork the band were filmed at the Grasshopper Inn in Crawley.

    Original treatment for the film held on file seems even more cheesy than the final version. The last sentence reads: "The old man's youth is suddenly, magically, the present. And he cries in gratitude."

    Cuts exist - see separate records.

    Three combined prints exist.

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  • Data

    Cataloguer:
    Jenny
    Stock:
    Colour
    Sound:
    Sound
    Media URN:
    3355
    Sort Number:
    CP 456
    Time in/Out:
    01:18:26:00 / 01:24:47:00
    Canister:
    CP 456
    Film ID:
    243.05
    Issue Date:
    22/09/1963
  • Appears in...

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    Fashion & Music Historical Figures & Celebrities Lifestyle & Culture Entertainment & Humour
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    Billy jones Other interesting stuff Jukeboxes gramophone Novel Hero juke box Jazz Temporary Workspaces: 10.8.2010 19:24 video Jazz mods jazz West End On Film 2 60 YEARS OF CHARTS October 2012 Jazz performances Live
  • Stills

Comments (1)

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  • At 00:08, the camera pans across a photo of Billy Jones and four unnamed men - those unnamed men are Larry Shields, Emile Christian, Tony Sbarbaro and Nick La Rocca.

    Seen at 01:03, currently undocumented, is the former "Collins Music Hall", at Islington Green in London.

    The "2i's Coffee Bar" referred to was situated at 59 Old Compton Street in Soho.

    "Exterior of a Jukebox Distributors shop" - that was on Wardour Street, at it's junction with D'Arblay Street.

    "C/Us of some twenties records and gramophones" - crucial to the story being played out here, one of the records seen (at 03:10) is by the "Original Dixieland Jazz Band", the band that Billy Jones was a member of.

    "Footage of the Original Downtown Syncopators" - amongst the band members is trombonist Barry Dunning, with Ron Geesin on piano.

    jamied 29th May 2012

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