Tuesday, October 05, 2021

Wizz Jones on the problem with being a beatnik in Newquay in 1960

Choosing Psul Simon and Anji as Sunday's music video, I quoted Wizz Jones. But who, I hear you cry,.is Wizz Jones?

Wikipedia tells us he has been

performing since the late 1950s and recording from 1965 to the present. He has worked with many of the notable guitarists of the British folk revival, such as John Renbourn and Bert Jansch.

And the blurb for this video on YouTube says:

Wizz Jones, one of the first British Beatniks, and noted folk-blues musician, performs two of his songs and talks about his life in this documentary from 1960, which provides an illuminating glimpse of the media's view of alternative lifestyles at that time. The interviews are conducted by veteran reporter Alan Whicker, looking very much like a Monty Python parody of himself. 

Wizz's two songs in this clip are interesting. Both were versions of older songs, but rewritten by Wizz to mock the Burgermeisters of Newquay. The first was based on "Down on Penny's Farm" by the Bently Boys, a white country duo who recorded it in 1929. ...

The other song Wizz sings is based on Elizabeth Cotten's "Oh Babe It Ain't No Lie", which appeared on another Folkways LP release "Folksongs and Instrumentals with Guitar" in 1958. Elizabeth Cotten used the same kind of alternating bass finger-picking style, complicated by the fact that she played a standard six-string guitar left-handed, i.e. upside-down!

The good news is that Wizz Jones is still with us and has his own website,

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