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|Kenny Ball’s and John Bennett’s Musical Skylarks: A Medley of Memories
Kenny Ball and John Bennett
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Brief Description: When Kenny Ball and John Bennett co-founded a trad jazz band back in 1958, little did they know that more than 50 years later they would still be recording together and enjoying a strong and enduring partnership built on firm friendship, shared musical philosophy and total respect, not to mention a wicked and highly infectious sense of humour.
Kenny Ball and his Jazzmen, with Kenny playing trumpet and John on trombone, had a string of hits during the 1960s including ‘Midnight in Moscow’, which sold over one million copies and earned gold disc status. This early success set the band on the road to international stardom, rubbing shoulders with many music legends, and guaranteed their place as one of the most influential bands in the history of trad jazz.
The dynamic duo share their hugely entertaining Musical Skylarks memoirs in a style that will engage all readers, jazz fans or not, with hilariously funny anecdotes about on-stage and behind-the-scenes antics and myriad fascinating characters leaping out of every page. What will become clear is that the wild times didn’t start with the rock ’n’ roll era and the band’s signature tune definitely wasn’t ‘Ain’t Misbehavin’’!
About the Author:
Kenny Ball: Kenny Ball was born in Ilford, Essex in 1930. He started his musical career as a sideman playing for bands during the evenings whilst holding down a day job as a salesman.
In 1958, Kenny formed his own band, Kenny Ball and his Jazzmen. With Kenny on lead vocals and trumpet, he and his Jazzmen set out to transform traditional jazz. The band produced a string of hits including Midnight to Moscow, Samantha and When I’m 64 placing them at the forefront of the 1960s’ jazz revival and bringing Kenny worldwide acclaim.
Kenny is one of the most enduring jazz artists of all time and a living legend. Now, at the age of 80, after 50 years in the music business, he continues to record with his current band of Jazzmen including his good friend John Bennett from the original line-up. Kenny lives in the Essex countryside with his wife Michelle.
John Bennett: John Bennett was born in Clapton, East London in 1936. After leaving school he worked in an advertising agency for a short period before being called up for his National Service in the Army in 1954. During this time he was stationed in London and was able to play trombone with several jazz bands in the London area. A few months after finishing his National Service John joined the Terry Lightfoot Jazzmen and turned pro in the autumn of 1956. Two years later, John and Kenny became acquainted when Kenny joined the Lightfoot band, and in late 1958 they both left to form the Kenny Ball Jazzmen.