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Johnny Silvo and Denny Wright

GUEST,Roger 18 Dec 20 - 04:19 PM
GUEST,Ray 18 Dec 20 - 05:01 PM
GUEST,Roger 18 Dec 20 - 07:18 PM
The Sandman 18 Dec 20 - 09:59 PM
GUEST,Roger 19 Dec 20 - 04:05 AM
GUEST,Ray 19 Dec 20 - 04:09 AM
John MacKenzie 19 Dec 20 - 05:37 AM
Reinhard 19 Dec 20 - 07:00 AM
GUEST,Tony Bowman 19 Dec 20 - 05:15 PM
GUEST,Ray 20 Dec 20 - 04:07 AM
GUEST,Graham Bradshaw 20 Dec 20 - 06:01 AM
John MacKenzie 20 Dec 20 - 06:27 AM
GUEST,Ray 20 Dec 20 - 06:30 AM
GUEST,Graham Bradshaw 20 Dec 20 - 10:07 AM
John MacKenzie 20 Dec 20 - 11:23 AM
The Sandman 20 Dec 20 - 12:26 PM
The Sandman 20 Dec 20 - 12:30 PM
GUEST,Roger 20 Dec 20 - 05:07 PM
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Subject: Johnny Silvo and Denny Wright
From: GUEST,Roger
Date: 18 Dec 20 - 04:19 PM

My mind might be playing tricks on me, but does anyone remember Johnny and Denny working together?
Denny was primarily known as a jazz guitarist and I am sure I saw them at Poynton club in the seventies.
I know that Johnny and Diz Disley teamed up at one time and I have an album of theirs 'Blues From the Backyard'.
Am I, in my old age, getting mixed up between Diz and Denny?
Roger.


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Subject: RE: Johnny Silvo and Denny Wright
From: GUEST,Ray
Date: 18 Dec 20 - 05:01 PM

I don’t remember Johnny ever playing with Diz - especially at the Pynton club in the 70s. Johnny generally played with Dave Moses on Bass.

The only times I can remember Diz, he was either with Lonnie Donegan or Steve Benbow. I did see him once with Stephane Grapelli and I have a vague recolection of him playing witha larger band - might have been the Temperance Seven but probably not.

I expect Tony Rees in OZ would know - I’ll ask him.


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Subject: RE: Johnny Silvo and Denny Wright
From: GUEST,Roger
Date: 18 Dec 20 - 07:18 PM

That should be 'Blues in the Backyard' Ray. Its available on Amazon.
Mind you, Diz did get around a bit.
Roger.


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Subject: RE: Johnny Silvo and Denny Wright
From: The Sandman
Date: 18 Dec 20 - 09:59 PM

often in a rolls royce


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Subject: RE: Johnny Silvo and Denny Wright
From: GUEST,Roger
Date: 19 Dec 20 - 04:05 AM

Yes, a Rolls Royce hearse but the body needed attention.
Boom boom!


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Subject: RE: Johnny Silvo and Denny Wright
From: GUEST,Ray
Date: 19 Dec 20 - 04:09 AM

I thought it was a Rolls Royce hearse!

I’ve spoken to Tony and he has no recollection.

If there was any live collaboration between Johnny and Diz, it would have been in the later years and certainly not in the 70s.

I thought Johnny’s main claim to fame was on “Playschool”!


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Subject: RE: Johnny Silvo and Denny Wright
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 19 Dec 20 - 05:37 AM

I remember the RR hearse parked in Greek St outside Les Cousins.
Incidentally, today is the anniversary of Johnny's passing in 2011.
Fondly remembered and loved by all who knew him.


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Subject: RE: Johnny Silvo and Denny Wright
From: Reinhard
Date: 19 Dec 20 - 07:00 AM

The Johnny Silvo and Diz Disley CD Blues in the Backyard was released on Fellside in 1999 and was a new recording, not a historic reissue.


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Subject: RE: Johnny Silvo and Denny Wright
From: GUEST,Tony Bowman
Date: 19 Dec 20 - 05:15 PM

I remember that great gig with Diz & Stephan, in Brighouse I think. Johnny Silvo opened my Folk Club In Addlestone around the late 60's.then I saw him twice in Appletreewick singing about 8 yrs ago before he passed away a couple of years ago. Also saw him singing in a pub in St Margarets in the 50's -a great lad & entertainer,sorely missed as is Diz Disley a master on guitar.


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Subject: RE: Johnny Silvo and Denny Wright
From: GUEST,Ray
Date: 20 Dec 20 - 04:07 AM

According to his wiki page, Johnny died in 2011 but I’ve been unable to confirm this.


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Subject: RE: Johnny Silvo and Denny Wright
From: GUEST,Graham Bradshaw
Date: 20 Dec 20 - 06:01 AM

Hopefully I can shed some light.

I first met Disley and Silvo at the Surbiton Folk Club in the 1960s. They were both individual guests there during that period. They may have jammed together on occasions but it was the late 1990s that they got their duo act together, which resulted in the Blues in the Backyard album in 1999. They did gigs for a few years, until Disley had to retire due to arthritis in his hands and the onset of dementia. He ended up in a 'home' where he passed away in March 2010. The funeral was a traditional New Orleans affair, attended by the great and good of both the folk and jazz scenes, and Johnny Silvo played at the service.

Johnny himself died in 2011 in Norway, his adopted home. We had become firm friends and I had the privilege of recording his last few CDs at my studio in Coventry, where he occasionally stayed when in England. He still did his annual UK tour right up till the end.

On the subject of Denny Wright, he was a renowned guitarist on the British jazz scene, and certainly played with Disley in various jazz bands in the 50s and 60s. He also played for a while in the reformed Hot Club band with Stephane Grapelli. THis is a good story.

Derek Sarjeant, who ran the Surbiton Folk Club, knew Diz from the 50s jazz days and invited him along to the club. He used to come regularly and do a spot, which consisted of various comedy numbers and Django Reinhardt guitar pieces. Diz was out of work at that time - the British jazz scene had pretty much collapsed and he was reduced to playing in lounges and bars for not much money. Derek took him round the folk clubs on his own gigs, and Diz would do a spot. He was so funny and entertaining that he quickly started getting bookings in his own right, and became probably the biggest draw on the folk club circuit.

His first love was still jazz and he longed to get back to his former jazz glory days. He was at that time the foremost exponent of the Django school, which was fairly unfashionable at that time. Diz pretty much single-handedly regenerated interest, and it was he who persuaded Grapelli to come out of retirement and reform the Hot Club de Paris line up, with Diz playing the Django part of course. The reformed band's first gig was at Surbition Folk Club!! and they then did the Cambridge Folk Festival and went on to tour the world's concert halls and many TV appearances. All well documented and hugely successful.

Diz had many a story about Denny Wright, who was a renowned drunk and they had to resort to all sorts of tricks to keep him sober for the gig. He didn't last long in the Grapelli band.

As far as I am aware, Johnny never played with Denny - or at least he never mentioned it in our late night whisky-fuelled reminiscences.

Ah yes - the hearse. Diz had a string of them. He used to subscribe to a magazine called "The Funeral Director" or some such, which was the house magazine of the undertaking industry. He reckoned you could pick up a second hand hearse 'dead cheap', good nick and never driven over 30mph. He had several and would drive them until they broke down and leave them abandoned at the side of the road. They were never taxed or insured and for a long time Diz didn't have a driving licence. There are legion stories about the hearse. On occasions he would sleep in the back after a gig, and there was this constable who tapped on the window in the early hours and Diz sat up all bleary-eyed and put the fright up him.

Heady days, and we will certainly never see their like again.


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Subject: RE: Johnny Silvo and Denny Wright
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 20 Dec 20 - 06:27 AM

Happy daze Graham. I saw Diz many times at Surbiton, I was a regular there, but we didn't coincide, sadly. Some great nights there, with Jan on the door, Michael Balfour propping up the bar. I remember Mac, who sadly died young from a heart attack, and Paddy who played concertina. We had some good times.
We did a Folkweave recording from there, with all the regulars, including myself, and Hector Gilchrist, and I have the tape which Derek gave me. I recently digitised it, and it's held up well.


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Subject: RE: Johnny Silvo and Denny Wright
From: GUEST,Ray
Date: 20 Dec 20 - 06:30 AM

Wasn’t there also a story of him getting his guitar stolen? He’d apparently left it underneath whilst he got up to no good in the back of the thing.

I’ve heard similar stories about Denny Wright - he was so drunk in the studio that he couldn’t tune his guitar.

He was a virtuoso on dustbin though when I saw him play with Lonnie Donnegan in the 60s!


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Subject: RE: Johnny Silvo and Denny Wright
From: GUEST,Graham Bradshaw
Date: 20 Dec 20 - 10:07 AM

Hi John MacKenzie. It was Jack Parkinson on the door - or as Diz used to refer to him - THE Jack Parkinson. Michael Balfour was a regular - Derek and Hazel had their wedding reception at Michael's house on Kingston Hill. Mac Morant was a good singer and guitarist. One of his party pieces was a Tim Hardin song 'Reason to Believe', which was later a big hit for young Rod Stewart (who had also played at the club a couple of times before becoming famous.) I last saw Paddy Marchant the concertina player up at the late lamented Cleethorpe Folk Festival. He was living in the Grimsby/Cleethorpes area. It's a good few years ago so not sure if he's still around. All the others are long since departed this mortal coil.

I don't remember the Folkweave recording. Was this after my time? I was there from about 1965 until 1970 when I moved away. I played with Derek and we went to Stockholm for British Week in 1968, and when we returned Hazel joined us to form the Derek Sarjeant Folk Trio. We played all over the country until my departure in 1970.


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Subject: RE: Johnny Silvo and Denny Wright
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 20 Dec 20 - 11:23 AM

Jack was around, and I was at that wedding reception on Kingston Hill, great day, Digby Fairweather and all.
We must have just missed one another at the Assembly Rooms.


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Subject: RE: Johnny Silvo and Denny Wright
From: The Sandman
Date: 20 Dec 20 - 12:26 PM

i remember a lot of those people including paddy marchant i remember seeing him at the fighting cocks at kingston,
i think hector is still going


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Subject: RE: Johnny Silvo and Denny Wright
From: The Sandman
Date: 20 Dec 20 - 12:30 PM

i rember seeing johnny silvo back in about 66 or 67, he had a great voice


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Subject: RE: Johnny Silvo and Denny Wright
From: GUEST,Roger
Date: 20 Dec 20 - 05:07 PM

Well, it seems the old grey matter is well and truly addled.
Thanks for all you replies and tall tales.
I definitely remember seeing a good singer with a cracking jazz guitarist at Poynton. Maybe it was Diz and Steve Benbow.
As an aside I'd love to see some sort of biography of Diz.
Roger.


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