Welcome to my brand-new website 2008!

Hello! – and welcome to my brand-new website guaranteed to bring you all my news in 2008 and beyond. Designed by Keith Millington (web-giant supreme!) the site tells you all about what I’ve been doing on the jazz scene recently (as well as my ancient history!); gives details of all my gigs and concerts with the Half Dozen, Paul Jones, the Great British Jazz Band and more;offers sound-samples, a sound-archive, and a picture-gallery spanning well over thirty years (I started VERY young!) and notable amongst other things for a great variety in lengths of hair! There’s also a well-stocked shop (from which you can buy directly by credit card or Paypal) offering my CDs, books and DVD ‘Scenes from a Jazz Life’ produced by Zoltan Films – all autographed if you like! Then of course there’s  details of how to contact me for shows I do, including links to my principal agent Jack Higgins.

Amongst other delights there’s also a ‘blog’ – very trendy. You can contact me and I look forward to chatting about – well,anything really! You can even drop a request for my weekly radio show which goes out on ‘theJazz’ – Britain’s first national twenty-four hour jazz station, which you can pick up on any DAB radio, through cable TV, or the family computer. The show goes out between 3-5pm on Sunday afternoons and we play anything from Louis to Coltrane; there’s a Dixieland Corner and Swing Shift and plenty of features for the great new stars of our music!

I’m looking forward to ‘blogging’ but apparently I have to start the ball rolling, so here’s a question to chew over. Are you superstitious? I certainly am. Socks have to be on the ‘correct’ feet (left and right) every morning; stage trousers have to be pulled through the hanger waist-last (or it’ll be a bad show!) and toilet rolls – sorry to mention them! –  HAVE to hang outwards or something ghastly will happen!

It appears I’m not alone in this! Glenn Miller was the same, and bearing in mind what happened to the legendary Major Miller I shall be even more careful in future! I’ve only just thought of that…….

Anyhow; let’s get the ball rolling! Drop me a line about ANYTHING from superstitions to jazz in general andwe can have a ‘blog’. Should be fun!

Talk soon. Meantime don’t forget to check my datesheet for a gig near you and why not browse the shop too. In a few weeks (with the aid of Keith Millington) we plan to offer FREE DOWNLOADS of rare Fairweather recordings too. Coo-er!

In the meantime have a merry Christmas and a happy and HEALTHY New Year. Don’t forget my Christmas show on ‘theJazz’; 3-5pm Sunday 23 December and the New Year’s one too a week later (Sunday December 30th, natch!)

One more thought. A lot of people listen to radio IN CARS. That’s the way I often do. And just now ‘theJazz’ are offering a complete easy-to-install converter for your car radio to pick up DAB. I think it’s £69.00 and you can fix it on in a couple of minutes!Great idea! Good Christmas present too!!!!!

Talk soon,


11 thoughts on “Welcome to my brand-new website 2008!”

  1. Hi Mr Fairweather, I’m just enjoying Notes From A Jazz Life and don’t want to read too fast coz it’s so good (don’t want to get to the end). Great pics too. I worked at Essex Co Lib HQ in the 1960s when Frank Easton was on the mobiles. He helped change my career as well with a monumental bollocking when I ignored a reader (s’pose they’re called “customers” nowadays). Very professional (and also quite kind in retrospect), Mr Easton – he was absolutely right and I decided direct contact with the public was not for me.

    One of my sons is working at the Red Lion, Margaretting. Do you have any further memories of those early days? Maybe those not suitable for print. I’d be really interested to hear them if you’ve the time (Hah, Hah I guess you’re thinking). Pleased you’ve set up this site and looking forward to browsing it from time to time. Promise not to be bloody nuisance with superfluous comments. Joyeux Noel, Tom Edwards

  2. Hi Digby,

    Welcome to the world of blogging. My blog also tells of my musical experiences but as I am an amature musician perhaps not as interesting as yours. I look forward to reading further entries in your blog and hope to see you soon at Googlies.

    There is also a section on my blog about my father who I think you know.

  3. Hi Tom!

    It was good to hear from you – my first blog!

    Yes we would have been contemporaries at the Library tho’ in the 60s Southend had yet to be combined with Essex which it was around l974 I think. I didn’t know my old friend Frank was in charge of mobiles – strange, as I was too in the early l970s. We had an old grocery wagon – or some such – converted and used to travel the old peoples’ homes. Some very hip customers! We also had a fullsize Mobile of course. I enjoyed the job but was always itching to get away and play jazz – sometimes used to sleep on the Mobile in between gigs too (very hard to get comfortable)!

    I’m glad you’re enjoying the book and the Red Lion Margaretting might well be in there! When I recovered my chops in l970 (as well as before!) I did a lot of gigs there – with a quartet and with my own Half Dozen later. At the time the pub was run by Gordon and Hazel Worthy; Gordon was a great jazzlover and so was Hazel, who was also a spiritualist-healer. We were never paid but they would lay on a feast of sandwishes after, which was quite enough back then. They also recorded a lot of my quartet sssios and I’d give a lot to hear them now! The Worthys had an historic piano in the bar which (they said) had belonged to Fred Elizalde the great bandleader who recorded in Britain in the 1920s . They also had jazz portraits all around the walls which lit up mysteriousy when Gordon illuminated a particular sort of sodium lighting which he kept for our after-hours sessions. All the paintings looked luminous in the light. But the strange thing was; the week Louis Armstrong died and the lights were illuminated his remained dark. I’ve never forgotten that!
    All for now!

  4. Hi Jeff!

    Good to hear from you. I look forward to reading about your experiences as a fellow-jazzman. Hope all goes well!

    I’m sure I’ll see you at Googlies soon with my old pals the Colin Peters Quartet! Make sure to say ‘hello’!


    PS Who’s your dad?

  5. Don’t think I could describe myself as a ‘jazzman’ but have made it my project for 2008 to learn how to play jazz and improvise. I have signed up for a weeks course at the Benslow Music Trust with a guy called Viktor Obsust. Ever heard of him?

    Prior to that I will just study and play-a-long with Jamey Aebersold

    PS. My father is Frank Hardcastle, keyboard, sax, clarinet and flute player.

  6. Hi Digby
    Have just finished reading ‘On the road with George Melly’,now a piece of classic jazz history. My wife Anne and I were in the garden at the Waverly hotel the day ofyour first ‘Close harmony’ rendering and at a later time at the Colchester Mercury where you kindly signed ‘Notes on a jazz life’ and ‘Things ain’t what the used to be’. Now we have ‘The ultimate Melly’and ‘Farewell Blues’ all brilliantly presented and prized in ourjazz collection. I wish you and the ‘Half Dozen’ continued and deserving success.

  7. Hi, Digby. Peter Clayton just sent me an email with your new website, and it looks fabulous. Of course, I have already seen your life story, enjoy your CDs, had fun with you in London, enjoyed the duet with the piano player in the book store, and thoroughly enjoy knowing you. I’ll sign in again when I have had time to spend more time in your website. If you think you looked different a few decades past, you can check me out on http://www.wsbhistory.com, when I was DJ/announcer/reporter/News Director, sometimes all at the same time!

  8. Hi Cyril – and King!

    I’m not able to do individual replies this time; sorry good friends! The main reason is that since the tragic and VERY sudden demise of our national Jazz station ‘theJazz’ – after only nine months of gathering close on half-a-million listeners! – I’ve been chasing about, trying to raise money and salvage the project rather than getting on with the Blog!

    CYRIL! – my good friend! How very nice to hear from you and to appreciate your very generous remarks about my book and last record with George. I’m so glad you enjoyed them – thank you. It was certainly a remarkable five years with GM. He was one of my absolute heroes from the l960s and to work with him was an artistic partnership which I much appreciated;it had purpose and focus, as well as commitment, and blended in with the Half Dozen made the whole thing a ‘meeting of true minds’. Since then we’ve been working with Paul Jones – another fine singer and a bit of a celeb;also with Val Wiseman on a new show called ‘Jazz goes to the Movies’ – and my new agent Paul Ripley (who really appeared out of the blue and in the nick of time!) has been pushing the band too. So we’re doing well and looking forward to great things, including a new album with my dear friend Peter Clayton of Robinwood Productions!
    How lovely that you heard our first ‘harmony’ tryout at the Waverley some years ago! A very happy day, and we still enjoy singing. My dream is to get to the Four Freshmen Convention one year – who knows?
    Keep in touch.LOve to you and Anne!…….Digby!

    Hi King!

    How great to hear from you ‘across the pond’. I do hope you’re well and that you’re keeping that wretched fellow Clayton sober and in reasonable order!!!!!!!(joke!!!!). Everything’s good over here and please tell Peter I received his E-mail and will be answering today!It was good to meet you in Blighty and I still have your wonderful copy of ‘Bing with a beat’ which I’ve played a lot on my radio show! Sadly that MAY be coming to an end but if you check the new ‘Blog’ – due any time – you’ll hear the full story!
    So glad you’re well and hope that we may meet again before long. Love to you all including f course, dear friends Pete and Jen!
    Love from,
    PS I shall certainly check out your website!

  9. Dear Digby,

    I’ve admired your playing for a long time and have just stumbled upon your blog, which is equally energetic and heartfelt. Long may you keep up both activities! Since the world of blogging is unabahedly self-promoting, may I nudge you towards my blog (jazzlives.wordpress.com) where I, too, lamented the death of Humph, have praised Jon-Erik Kellso, Sidney Catlett, Whitney Balliett, and other heroes living and dead. Although they never really die, do they? Cheers! Michael Steinman

  10. Dear Digby,

    are you related to Al Fairweather? He used to be one of my favourite trumpet players back in the 60s when I spent some time in GB. His recording with Sandy Browm are wonderful stuff.

    Juergen (from Frankfurt/Main in Germany)

  11. Hallo Digby
    You may or not rememeber me but we have met on some occasions however I have in my poccesion a book called Jazz Jazz Jazz by Patrick Skene Catling uncorrected Proof publihed by Blond and Brighs Ltd 1979 but in it is letter to George Melly dated2nd October 1979 and signed by Sheila Thompson whom you may know telling him it was up his street.
    I wondered if you would be interested in it.of course as a gift as I have admired you and George RIP for ever.
    If you are interested Icould either send it to you or give it to you in person. I am here in London until 17th Sept.
    My email is veronicafarr47@hotmail.com
    Yours sincerely
    Veronica Seymour Farr

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