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Al Bowlly, BBC 4 TV, Friday 19 Oct

 
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John W



Joined: 07 Dec 2006
Posts: 3360
Location: Warwickshire, UK

PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 10:23 pm    Post subject: Al Bowlly, BBC 4 TV, Friday 19 Oct Reply with quote

DOCUMENTARY: Legends
Channel: BBC 4 TV
Date: Friday 19th October 2007
Time: 21:00 to 22:00
Duration: 1 hour.
Al Bowlly - The Very Thought Of You.
Profile of the debonair 1930s crooner Al Bowlly.

Hi, thought I'd let you all know about this TV programme on Friday. Al Bowlly was a 1930s crooner/vocalist who I've mentioned on most of the music messageboards I post on. I have a good collection of his original records and my website featured the first internet bio of Bowlly about 10 years ago.

I was contacted by the BBC producers some time ago, provided them with access/use to the website, but the only thing they were interested in was getting hold of films mentioned in the website. All the film of Al Bowlly I have is copies, not great quality, the BBC knew about the Pathe and BFI sources of films, and I provided them with contact with an old musician's (Lew Davis) family who had home movie featuring Bowlly.

Providing that contact I expect will be my only contribution noted on the show, and I probably won't actually get a mention, the family of Lew Davis should.

If you watch the documentary and there is footage of Bowlly and friends on a plane, larking about on the beach, on a golf course and eating a meal then that will have come from the home movie.

If you haven't heard the singing voice of Al Bowlly (or if you have) I'd be interested to know what impression he makes on a short TV documentary.

Regards,

John Wright
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Briant



Joined: 02 Jun 2007
Posts: 964
Location: Liverpool England UK

PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2007 9:30 am    Post subject: Al Bowlly.... Reply with quote

Hi John W. I thought it was an interesting programme with an unlikely champion in the shape of Hugh Hefner, for Al's music! Would Al have made it bigger if he had gone into films as planned? I think he would have, because he had the looks and the voice. The wartime sequences at the end of the programme and the stories about his death were also of interest. I expect it will be repeated for those who missed it.
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John W



Joined: 07 Dec 2006
Posts: 3360
Location: Warwickshire, UK

PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2007 10:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Briant,

Glad you found the docu interesting. Yes, Bowlly's fans often wonder how he didn't get into films more. I can only think of three or four other films where he gets even a minute or so on screen and often just singing, he was good looking, nice accent, great voice, humour, yes he had everything. Going to USA interrupted his British career, and then throat problems prevented any proper revival back in UK, and then the blitz.

Some of the (silent) home movie I discovered was featured, belonging to Kate Hyman who is the grand-daugher of the trombone player seen in some of the band clips. Hugh Hefner has spent his lifetime searching for US film archive of Bowlly but nothing from that side of the Atlantic has ever surfaced. Bing was King in those days.

I often wonder if Bowlly influenced Sinatra and Nat King Cole, he certainly influenced Mel Torme who said so in his autobio. Sinatra may have seen him in New Jersey or New York when he was young.


John W
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Briant



Joined: 02 Jun 2007
Posts: 964
Location: Liverpool England UK

PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2007 10:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi John. Just read that Radio 2 is doing a series on Al Bowly beginning on Friday 28th December at 7pm. Laughing
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John W



Joined: 07 Dec 2006
Posts: 3360
Location: Warwickshire, UK

PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2007 12:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Indeed Briant, it's a follow up from the TV prog. I wasn't consulted on this though my colleague biographer was (Ray Pallet, one of the main talking heads on the TV prog), but it's mainly Clare Teal involved in the presentation. Hopefully you'll hear some records in their full 3mins, not just clips.

John W
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