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BB Memories of Johnny Collins (64* d) RE: Memories of Johnny Collins 21 Jul 09

Memories - too many to enumerate, but a few...

I can't remember when we first met Johnny, but it would have been at somewhere like Berks. Midsummer or Bracknell FF. But the sheer joy of singing, particularly singing with others was always immediately evident, particularly the leaning towards others singing in harmony in order to relish the sound they were all able to make. It was never a case of competing with others, but blending with others.

We were very sad when he couldn't make the very first Song & Ale at Rockbourne in 1980 as he was working in Saudi Arabia at the time, and he was quite jealous of everyone who WAS able to be there - he didn't miss another one for many, many years, and in fact he and Joyce were in charge of the kitchen at Whittlebury for a long time.

Someone above said how meticulous Johnny was when recording, preparing sheets with the words on for all the chorus singers - which he did at a time when it was far more time-consuming that it is now - and sent them out with a tape well in advance.

And at an advance rehearsal for the 'Free and Easy' album, Johnny and Jim had just come back from Holland, they'd brought back some cheese. Now Tom and I had never really liked Edam, but the one they brought back was a MATURE one, with caraway seeds in, with the information that the Dutch think we're mad eating Edam so young. We've been looking for some ever since! Found it with cumin seeds, but not caraway.

It was always a joy to sing with him, and it's hard to have to get used to never doing so again.


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