As music has always been one of the most important things in my life, I cannot present myself to the public as a musician without paying tribute to those who originally made it possible. I refer primarily to my late parents, and other now deceased musical members of my family, who were fortunately quick to recognise a rather primitive form of inherited musical aptitude within an otherwise precocious three-year-old!
Without the practical emotional and financial support of my entire family, particularly during my teenage years, it is unlikely that I would have made my musical debut at all: even though it was only bashing the piano in the local Railway Club!
I also want to take this opportunity to pay tribute to the two real professionals who helped to shape me into some sort of acceptable imitation of themselves; thus permitting me to give a little pleasure to others over the years, and also allowing me to earn a living!!
George Blackmore FRCO above and Jerry Allen, here on the left - now sadly both dead - were my musical role-models and mentors when I was a young teenager, so I have included compositions and arrangements by both on this site in memory of them.
George, originally from Rochester in Kent, started his organ-playing career in Rochester Cathedral. He soon progressed, or should that be transgressed, to the Theatre organ and spent the rest of his life travelling the World giving recitals in his unique style.
I first became aware of Jerry from a tea-time programme on BBC radio. Jerry was one of the early pioneers of electronic organs. George, on the other hand, tended to concentrate mainly on pipe organs, although he did do a lot of demonstration work for the then Hammond Organ Company during the latter part of his career.
Jerry and his trio were once known as the busiest musical combination in Britain. This lead to the design of the infamous Jerry Allen organ trolley which was to become an essential tool for virtually every travelling organist, in order to facilitate the easy transportation of those inappropriately named portable instruments. Any musician who has had the misfortune to have to shift one of those beasts down two flights of stairs at one o'clock in the morning, after having just done a four-hour "gig", will know exactly what I mean by an essential tool!!!!
Anyhow, without the inspiration and advice from these two great guys, and almost un-fettered access to the organ at St James Church Taunton and the Compton organ at the Odeon Weston-Super-Mare, my own musical career would probably have never even have got off the ground.
May they all rest in peace.