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Dr Bob Jones

Wigan On Youtube

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Not sure if this has appeared here before, if it has I apologise.

But there's some great footage of this Classic Soul Allnighter

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Dw7orxbQT8

Enjoy

Dr Bob Jones

:thumbsup:

Hmm, except the footage of dancers is from Wigan Casino, Bradford Queens Hall, and Stafford Top Of The World. Then half way through, after Jazzie B has said we are all racists, it moves onto Ska !

This was broadcast (as a repeat) as part of the BBC 4 Soul Weekender, and was, originally, if I remember correctly the second part of a three part series on Black music in Britain. (There again I may be getting it confused with another programme)

To be honest, the footage on Northern had all been seen before in previous TV documentaries anyway, so the programme was neither original, or factual.

Thanks for posting it up though, it did give me a laugh to see Jazzie B trying to explain why he didn't manage to get involved in these "parties".

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Hmm, except the footage of dancers is from Wigan Casino, Bradford Queens Hall, and Stafford Top Of The World. Then half way through, after Jazzie B has said we are all racists, it moves onto Ska !

Which bit was Bradford??? I'll have to watch again :thumbsup:

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Guest skorpiano

Most of the 'Wigan' footage was taken from, 'This England', a Granada TV documentary made in the mid 70's. It's the only time I ever saw the Casino with the lights on (for the filming) most of the regulars went to Mr M's.

The documentary was (if I remember) filmed over 3 Saturdays and in no way captures the 'feel' or 'soul' of the Casino.

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Which bit was Bradford??? I'll have to watch again :thumbsup:

Thanks for posting, I had seen parts of it before,

Obviously the "This England" clips but also a similar Documentary.

Still worth watching again.

Edited by 45cellar

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Guest Neil-ok

Most of the 'Wigan' footage was taken from, 'This England', a Granada TV documentary made in the mid 70's. It's the only time I ever saw the Casino with the lights on (for the filming) most of the regulars went to Mr M's.

The documentary was (if I remember) filmed over 3 Saturdays and in no way captures the 'feel' or 'soul' of the Casino.

I agree skorpiano,its a old documentary of Wigan that's been done to death.

Little rally(most ex casino people must remember Keith)has a post of pictures and sounds on youtube that to me captures the Casino spirit more than i have seen on the net full stop.

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it did give me a laugh to see Jazzie B trying to explain why he didn't manage to get involved in these "parties".

He said that he wasn't made to 'feel welcome'.

I think we should take seriously why Northern Soul was a predominantly white working class 'scene' and why it has remained a mainly white scene. I doubt whether it has retained its working class roots though; if indeed they really were as solidly factory- based as Ian Levine argues in that documentary.

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Guest fuzzyjon

Cool little compilation!!

Who and what is the first tune?

cheers

Jon

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Guest Neil-ok

Cool little compilation!!

Who and what is the first tune?

cheers

Jon

Yvonne Vernee-Just Like You Did Me

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He said that he wasn't made to 'feel welcome'.

I think we should take seriously why Northern Soul was a predominantly white working class 'scene' and why it has remained a mainly white scene. I doubt whether it has retained its working class roots though; if indeed they really were as solidly factory- based as Ian Levine argues in that documentary.

Can't you just accept it for what it was?

Just a lot of young white people & a few black people all getting on well & having a good time.

Why analyse the hell out of it?

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Can't you just accept it for what it was?

Well, yes but being conscious of what's going on is interesting. Well, it is to me.

Just a lot of young white people & a few black people all getting on well & having a good time.

Yes, but but we are talking about a black person who says he wasn't made to feel welcome. Don't you think it's worthwhile considering why this was possibly true? Well obviously you feel it isn't worthwhile. I do.

Why analyse the hell out of it?

Once again, I find this interesting. And if the result might be one fewer person in the future made to feel less unwelcome, and able to 'have a good time', then the analysis might have been worth it.

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Yes, but but we are talking about a black person who says he wasn't made to feel welcome. Don't you think it's worthwhile considering why this was possibly true? Well obviously you feel it isn't worthwhile. I do.

The bloke is either confused, economical with the truth or possibly both.

Just listened to to the documentary again.

"Northern soul , there ain't a black person there"............thats not true.

"I remember trying to go up north & be involved in these parties, you just weren't welcome"........whats he really talking about? When have you ever heard a northern soul do called party?

You can't please every body all the time. Nor can you rely on one persons opinion to to be a truthful recollection.

Here is something that you may wish to analyse........The BBC could have interviewed 2000 people who did go to Wigan, but they chose the one person who probably didn't go. Why would they do that?

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The bloke is either confused, economical with the truth or possibly both.

Just listened to to the documentary again.

"Northern soul , there ain't a black person there"............thats not true.

"I remember trying to go up north & be involved in these parties, you just weren't welcome"........whats he really talking about? When have you ever heard a northern soul do called party?

You can't please every body all the time. Nor can you rely on one persons opinion to to be a truthful recollection.

The plain fact is that there were and are very, very few black people involved with Northern Soul (other than the artists of course).

Why that is, and was, probably has more to to I personally feel, although I admit I am only guessing, with the 'progressive' nature of black culture and musical taste and less to do with racism on the part pf the white Northern Soul crowd making non-whites feel unwelcome.

However, I still think the racism inherent in white working class culture should not be overlooked as a possible cause for the overwhelming NON involvement of black people.

Obviously, Jazzy B overstates his case. He was not basing his argument on a scientific study, but on personal observation which nearly always results in over- generalisation. This does not invalidate his case. He could be right. Even if he's only partly right doesn't his opinion merit being taken seriously by a culture that depends to a large extent on the creativity and effort of black people? I think it does, anyway.

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The plain fact is that there were and are very, very few black people involved with Northern Soul (other than the artists of course).

Why that is, and was, probably has more to to I personally feel, although I admit I am only guessing, with the 'progressive' nature of black culture and musical taste and less to do with racism on the part pf the white Northern Soul crowd making non-whites feel unwelcome.

However, I still think the racism inherent in white working class culture should not be overlooked as a possible cause for the overwhelming NON involvement of black people.

Obviously, Jazzy B overstates his case. He was not basing his argument on a scientific study, but on personal observation which nearly always results in over- generalisation. This does not invalidate his case. He could be right. Even if he's only partly right doesn't his opinion merit being taken seriously by a culture that depends to a large extent on the creativity and effort of black people? I think it does, anyway.

Thanks for reply. Appreciate your thoughts are earnest, but still can't find myself close to agreeing with you.

Assuming that of course Jazzy B did actually make it to the Casino (theres no proof, ancecdotal or otherwise) maybe there were other reasons why people didn't like him? Let me float this one past you......maybe it was because he was a southerner. At the time there was a massive South/North divide.....perceived Have/Have Not.

Northern soul to me is a primarily celebration of black music & to a lesser extent black culture. I refuse to wrestle with my conscience if just one person couldn't get there head around it.

Edited by Soulsmith

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Thanks for reply. Appreciate your thoughts are earnest, but still can't find myself close to agreeing with you.

Assuming that of course Jazzy B did actually make it to the Casino (theres no proof, ancecdotal or otherwise) maybe there were other reasons why people didn't like him? Let me float this one past you......maybe it was because he was a southerner. At the time there was a massive South/North divide.....perceived Have/Have Not.

Northern soul to me is a primarily celebration of black music & to a lesser extent black culture. I refuse to wrestle with my conscience if just one person couldn't get there head around it.

Spot on i think jazzys problem was he has trouble extracting his head from his arse as he is so far up himself :wicked::D just an observation made over a few years , maybe thats why he was not the best liked chap at the party :thumbsup:

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Northern soul to me is a primarily celebration of black music & to a lesser extent black culture. I refuse to wrestle with my conscience if just one person couldn't get there head around it.

I don't think we are getting anywhere here. Here's one last try.

This is not about one person not being able to understand what Northern Soul was 'about'. It's about one black person as a representative of non-whites in general suggesting that the Northern Soul scene did not make black people feel particularly welcome and this is offered as a reason why there were very few non-whites involved with Northern Soul.

This really has nothing to do with what Northern Soul primarily is or isn't. And I really don't undertand why you are so reluctant to even admit to the possibility that Northern Soul as a white cultural phenomenon has within it elements of racism that ironically precluded the inclusion of black people other than in the role of entertainers.

As I've said, for me, there are other reasons connected with the black cultural preference for modernity rather than the retro in music that are more likely causes of the lack of non-white involvement. But to refuse to even consider racism, as you appear to be doing, seems to me to be dishonest and strangely out of sync, in your case, with your belief that " Northern soul ... is a primarily celebration of black music & to a lesser extent black culture".

Edited by Billy Freemantle

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I agree skorpiano,its a old documentary of Wigan that's been done to death.

Little rally(most ex casino people must remember Keith)has a post of pictures and sounds on youtube that to me captures the Casino spirit more than i have seen on the net full stop.

Is that a young Pat Clugstone I see in there a few times???

Cheers,

Mark R

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I don't think we are getting anywhere here. Here's one last try.

This is not about one person not being able to understand what Northern Soul was 'about'. It's about one black person as a representative of non-whites in general suggesting that the Northern Soul scene did not make black people feel particularly welcome and this is offered as a reason why there were very few non-whites involved with Northern Soul.

This really has nothing to do with what Northern Soul primarily is or isn't. And I really don't undertand why you are so reluctant to even admit to the possibility that Northern Soul as a white cultural phenomenon has within it elements of racism that ironically precluded the inclusion of black people other than in the role of entertainers.

As I've said, for me, there are other reasons connected with the black cultural preference for modernity rather than the retro in music that are more likely causes of the lack of non-white involvement. But to refuse to even consider racism, as you appear to be doing, seems to me to be dishonest and strangely out of sync, in your case, with your belief that " Northern soul ... is a primarily celebration of black music & to a lesser extent black culture".

My refusal to consider racism is based on pesonal experience. From my locality it was a 5 hour coach trip up north & I sometimes sat next to a young lady who was black and lived with the guy who organised the coach trips. They are still together & I still see them occassionaly. If there was even the slightest bit of racism during the night I am sure that we would all have been aware of it.

Instead of casting aspertions in a style akin to McCarthyism, why don't you pick up the the phone to Jazzy B & find out what actually went on? I'm sure he can't be that difficult to track down. You also try Lenny Henry because I know he also went. Come back with some facts. I'm sure you'd enjoy a moral crusade, but frankly you are just going to make yourself look ridiculous.

Edited by Soulsmith

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You also try Lenny Henry because I know he also went.

I don't think Lenny Henry actually did go, but he was one of the few black kids in Dudley who didn't, our usual coach went from the Red Lion in Sedgley (between W'ton and Dudley) and every time we went the coach would have at least half a dozen to a dozen black guys, Jethro's coach was the same though that was best avoided.

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Guest skorpiano

Looking back, there were not a lot of black people at the Casino, although one of of the most well known was Vernon (the greatest spinner I ever saw) who hung out at the front of the stage, remember him?

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I don't think Lenny Henry actually did go, but he was one of the few black kids in Dudley who didn't

Yes but he was certainly around wasn't he Pete? I heard an interview some time back where he mentioned "Rat Race", and a week or two ago I was listening to a programme with him on Radio 3 of all places, ostensibly about his love of classical music but he mentioned the Northern scene including Carl Dene and Oscar Michael (Mike Hollis) by name.

Edited by Jerry Hipkiss

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Yes but he was certainly around wasn't he Pete? I heard an interview some time back where he mentioned "Rat Race", and a week or two ago I was listening to a programme with him on Radio 3 of all places, ostensibly about his love of classical music but he mentioned the Northern scene including Carl Dene and Oscar Michael (Mike Hollis) by name.

Yes but Mike Hollis was also a 'mobile dj' who played pop soul at places like The Kingfisher in Wall heath and everyone knew him, honestly, if Lenny Henry was around we would have known him because he would have had to have hung around with the Wton, Dudley, Halesowen, Stourbridge or Kiddy people, unless he went on his own. There's a photo of him and Chris Tarrant djing with kev Roberts at Notts Palais but thats from 79 or 80.

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Yes but Mike Hollis was also a 'mobile dj' who played pop soul at places like The Kingfisher in Wall heath and everyone knew him, honestly, if Lenny Henry was around we would have known him because he would have had to have hung around with the Wton, Dudley, Halesowen, Stourbridge or Kiddy people, unless he went on his own. There's a photo of him and Chris Tarrant djing with kev Roberts at Notts Palais but thats from 79 or 80.

Certainly if he'd ever been on the Kiddy coach he would have done a routine about "Mad" Val from Droitwich by now! :)

And didn't the Phantom Flan Flinger turn up at Notts Palais? Sure I've seen a photo somewhere!

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I don't think Lenny Henry actually did go, but he was one of the few black kids in Dudley who didn't, our usual coach went from the Red Lion in Sedgley (between W'ton and Dudley) and every time we went the coach would have at least half a dozen to a dozen black guys, Jethro's coach was the same though that was best avoided.

I remember hearing him speaking in an amusing way about northern, along the lines of...all the records sounded like they were made by 3 black guys stuck in a toilet. Sounded quite funny at the time.

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Looking back, there were not a lot of black people at the Casino, although one of of the most well known was Vernon (the greatest spinner I ever saw) who hung out at the front of the stage, remember him?

Perhaps one reason overlooked about the absence of black people at Wigan etc is the fact that in the north, in the 70's there wern't that many anyway. Eg in York at that time, there were only THREE black families. One was into Motown, went to Wigan didn't like it because he was a 'Motown guru' back in York, and was out of his depth with the Northern thing. The other family were more into reggae and 70's stuff.The third families daughter used to come to all the northern do's so out of, at that time, probably 100+ people in York attending 'niters, 

only one regular was black. This was probably reflected in many smaller towns at that time.

Edited by Trevski

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Perhaps one reason overlooked about the absence of black people at Wigan etc is the fact that in the north, in the 70's there wern't that many anyway. Eg in York at that time, there were only THREE black families. One was into Motown, went to Wigan didn't like it because he was a 'Motown guru' back in York, and was out of his depth with the Northern thing. The other family were more into reggae and 70's stuff.The third families daughter used to come to all the northern do's so out of, at that time, probably 100+ people in York attending 'niters,

only one regular was black. This was probably reflected in many smaller towns at that time.

Thank you for this, I was just composing a similar reply then decided to read all the thread. :wub:

I left York in 1976 but this is exactly my recollection, the simple fact is that the proportion of Black people in York was tiny and that was probably true in most places of a similar size, so the proportion of black people on the scene represents that, there's nothing rascist or exclusive about it.

Incidentally Trevski, I reckon I can name all three families so can probably test you on this :shades:

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Guest mel brat

The plain fact is that there were and are very, very few black people involved with Northern Soul (other than the artists of course).

Why that is, and was, probably has more to to I personally feel, although I admit I am only guessing, with the 'progressive' nature of black culture and musical taste and less to do with racism on the part pf the white Northern Soul crowd making non-whites feel unwelcome.

However, I still think the racism inherent in white working class culture should not be overlooked as a possible cause for the overwhelming NON involvement of black people.

Obviously, Jazzy B overstates his case. He was not basing his argument on a scientific study, but on personal observation which nearly always results in over- generalisation. This does not invalidate his case. He could be right. Even if he's only partly right doesn't his opinion merit being taken seriously by a culture that depends to a large extent on the creativity and effort of black people? I think it does, anyway.

I'm sorry, but the above conclusion is nonsense. There WERE several black kids on the Northern Soul scene from the earliest days that I knew personally, though not many admittedly. However it has to be said - from my own memory of events anyway, that most of those of Afro-Carribean descent that I knew (from local "pop" discos in the Midlands) were mostly into Reggae and attended Blues Parties, Reggae dancehalls and the like, rather than specialist Soul discotheques.

The lack of interest in Soul music generally by black youth at that time (outside of London anyway) was also evident at Live events at such as Gladys Knight, Al Green concerts at Birmingham/Wolverhampton Odoeon etc., where the proportion of black faces was roughly only about equal to the percentage of the population or less, while I would see almost everyone else that I knew on the local Soul scene there! This slowly changed during the latter seventies as more modern music began to be played in clubs, contemporary black American music became "cool" and fashionable clothing became important again. As a consequence more young West Indian Britains became involved. In short, Jazzie B was talking tripe and the shortcomings of this particular episode have been discussed on here already.

It was more than apparent from reading the synopsis on the BBC website that the ultimate aim of the programme was to conclude that the emergence of the UK Soul scene was entirely a product of multiculturism and immigration. This in itself is a racist agenda by the assumption that the only real Soul fans must be born with black skins! (I pointed this out on here a full week before the programme was even broadcast).

When the Northern Scene - which evolved from the sixties mod scene and has it's own unique and convoluted history - was tackled, it obviously did not fit the pre-ordained stereotype set by the producers, and so Jazzie B was dragged out to imply the whole scene in the North was "racist". Similar derogatory comments about the north of England have been made in the past by Trevor Nelson, while admitting that "he never thought he'd travel so far north of Watford" or words to that effect. Some impartiality! Some 'Soul experts'! (Some bullshit!)

Frankly, I'm sick of the London media mafia sticking their well-paid noses into the Soul scene without properly doing their homework and research. How easy it must be to write a "documentary" about the whole UK Soul scene without travelling much further than south of the Thames! And how typical of the media to use suggestions of "racism" or some other convenient misconception to cover up the shortcomings of their so-called researchers!

Furthermore not giving due credit in this series of programmes to the late Dave Godin was a disgrace, as he perhaps more than anyone else, did more for the UK Soul scene than the likes of Jazzie BBC and his glad-handing entourage can ever aspire to!

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Guest mel brat

Now as for Lenny Henry...

For what it's worth, here's what I remember about him. He was only 16 in 1974 and used to hang around with his mates at the 'Queen Mary Ballroom' - located in the grounds of Dudley Zoo - and another place in Kingswinford where Mike Hollis (Oscar Michael) used to DJ. Oscar Michael had been a mobile DJ in the area for several years and usually mixed in a lot of soul records at his regular 'pop' gigs in the Black Country area.

Lenny was always doing impressions (usually they were dire, but he could be OK occasionally) Oscar Michael encouraged Lenny up onto the 'stage' to perform his amateur routines at his gigs and became Lenny's manager, eventually getting him onto New Faces, which he won in 1975. Lenny Henry was NOT in any way on the Northern Soul scene, nor was he particularly a soul fan, just a typical teenager hanging around with his former schoolmates, all of them annoying, white, Rod Stewart loving divs!

As the legendary Carl Dene was occasionally the DJ at the 'Queen Mary', more Northern fans began to attend on Sunday nights after The Cats and/or Wigan the previous night. Eventually regular 'proper' Northern soul alldayers etc. were held there by the West Midlands Soul Club with regular visits from Colin Curtis, Pep etc. Neil Rushton took over the venue early in 1975 for his 'Heart of England Soul Club' sessions. Lenny Henry never attended any of these events as far as I know.

The last time I saw Lenny however was at the Catacombs no less(!) on a very quiet week night. (I never saw him there on Saturday nights) He was leaning against the wall looking bored and I went over to say hello. (I hardly knew him really, but my girlfriend at the time had worked with him at a Dudley restaurant) We chatted for a while, but had nothing much to say and shortly afterwards he apparently left. I never saw him at any Northern Soul do before that time, or indeed since.

Several years ago, I read an article where he claims to have been heavily into P-Funk in the late 70s, and describes in detail how he "used to stagger onto the dancefloor in my silver platform shoes..." I know of NOBODY on the UK Soul/Funk club scene who so copied George Clinton's dress sense(!), or indeed ever saw Lenny Henry dancing at a Soul/Funk event. I suggest this was an attempt to garner belated "street-cred" with his target audience, so draw your own conclusions as to the accuracy of Lenny Henry's anecdotes. The same probably goes for Jazzie B.

Edited by mel brat

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Eexcellent posts Mel Brat! They suddenly awoke a memory - Spring 1973, I'd been to the Torch for the first and only time, absolutely bowled over, and of course at the time instrumentals were massive, Exus Trek, Thumb a ride etc. etc.. I had to do a short notice two-day relief job for work in Dudley the week after, and found myself there on a Monday night with nothing to do. Somehow I ended up in a hotel ballroom in Kingswinford (sure it was there) with big Northern tunes blasting out, pretty sure it was Mike Hollis DJ'ing. The unplanned nights are always the best!

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I'm sorry, but the above conclusion is nonsense.

No, there is nothing nonsensical about suggesting the possibility of there being an element of racism on the Northern Soul scene. What is nonsensical, and totally unrealistic, is to suggest the absolute impossibility of it. To do so is to give the Northern Soul scene attributes that somehow innoculate it against , safeguard it from and somehow place it above the racism that has always been endemic in British society.

Other posters have pointed out the scarcity of non-white families in their own towns which contributed antendees to Wigan. This is certainly true of the 70s insofar as small town Britain was concerned but it was not true of the cities.It was certainly not true of Manchester and Liverpool. To verify the truth of it not being accurate of Manchester, ask anybody who went to the Wheel if they were rolled by non-white lads in the vicinity of the Blue Dolphin and Expresso Bongo.

Your reminiscing about Lenny Henry is entertaining after a fashion ,but it is off-topic. And your attempt to link Lennie's 'poetic' economy with veracity for dramatic effect as somehow vindication of your belief that Jazzie B is simply lying is illogical.

One intersting thing that this discussion has brought up though is the potential 'small-town' profile of those on the Northern Soul scene. I wonder just how many non-city boys and girls there were at the great venues of the past?

Edited by Billy Freemantle

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Yes, I agree that the LH bit has gone off topic a little, but never mind... wink.gif ...back on topic, I'm afraid that back in the day, to me at least, the colour of peoples skin at Wigan, Yate, Cats or wherever just didn't figure on my radar. They were there or they were not, they were mates or they weren't, it just wasn't an issue in any way, shape or form!

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Yes, I agree that the LH bit has gone off topic a little, but never mind... wink.gif ...back on topic, I'm afraid that back in the day, to me at least, the colour of peoples skin at Wigan, Yate, Cats or wherever just didn't figure on my radar. They were there or they were not, they were mates or they weren't, it just wasn't an issue in any way, shape or form!

I agree that there were obviously non-racist people such as you. I like to think that i was another one and It's probable that all the other people on this thread who argue against Jazzie B's assertions ( thanks by the way for reminding us of the correct spelling) are similarly non-racist. But this does not, once again, rule out the possibilty of the existence of racism. I know for a fact that some of the small-town-boys who got relieved of their money by mixed race rollers as they walked to the Wheel were not very welcoming to 'coloured' people as they were known back in the day.

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I agree that there were obviously non-racist people such as you. I like to think that i was another one and It's probable that all the other people on this thread who argue against Jazzie B's assertions ( thanks by the way for reminding us of the correct spelling) are similarly non-racist. But this does not, once again, rule out the possibilty of the existence of racism. I know for a fact that some of the small-town-boys who got relieved of their money by mixed race rollers as they walked to the Wheel were not very welcoming to 'coloured' people as they were known back in the day.

Phew! I need a cuppa after all that! Back for more later, keep going lads.

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Guest mel brat

No, there is nothing nonsensical about suggesting the possibility of there being an element of racism on the Northern Soul scene. What is nonsensical, and totally unrealistic, is to suggest the absolute impossibility of it. To do so is to give the Northern Soul scene attributes that somehow innoculate it against , safeguard it from and somehow place it above the racism that has always been endemic in British society.

Other posters have pointed out the scarcity of non-white families in their own towns which contributed antendees to Wigan. This is certainly true of the 70s insofar as small town Britain was concerned but it was not true of the cities.It was certainly not true of Manchester and Liverpool. To verify the truth of it not being accurate of Manchester, ask anybody who went to the Wheel if they were rolled by non-white lads in the vicinity of the Blue Dolphin and Expresso Bongo.

Your reminiscing about Lenny Henry is entertaining after a fashion ,but it is off-topic. And your attempt to link Lennie's 'poetic' economy with veracity for dramatic effect as somehow vindication of your belief that Jazzie B is simply lying is illogical.

One intersting thing that this discussion has brought up though is the potential 'small-town' profile of those on the Northern Soul scene. I wonder just how many non-city boys and girls there were at the great venues of the past?

a. Where exactly did I suggest the "absolute impossibilty" of elements of racism on the Northern Scene? I totally agree that the Northern Scene is in no way insulated against UK society in general, since we are all products of that society. However, anyone who has been on the Soul scene for any length of time will affirm that racism is probably far less evident than outside! (It would be a strange thing indeed if it were otherwise)

b. Elements of racism can be found in ALL societies if you look, not just "British society", though it's not always fashionable to say so.

c. The Lenny Henry story was not at all "off topic" as you put it, as I was replying to questions posed by others as to whether Lenny Henry ever went to Wigan Casino or was involved on the Northern/UK Soul scene in any way. I believe that he wasn't as I think I made clear.

d. An investigation into potential "racism" (or any other predudice) on the UK Soul scene is perfectly valid, but let's not assume (as Jazzie B appears to have done in his televised comments) that we're all "guilty until proven innocent", eh? I feel that there's quite enough of that kind of thing going around in today's political climate, thank you very much!

I'm suggesting that Jazzie B, if he indeed ever attended a Northern Soul "party" as he put it, simply went along with the wrong attitude and felt a little left out of the proceedings. Was he actually insulted/attacked by anyone at this mythical event? Wouldn't he perhaps have been refused entry if the Scene were so "racist" as he suggests?

We don't know do we, because he didn't give sufficient details to justify his slanderous remarks being broadcast into many thousands of UK homes!

e. Have you even looked at some of the other reasons that have been suggested as to why the majority of Afro Carribean or Asian youth chose not to follow the rare soul movement in the seventies? Or have you, like the BBC apparently, already made up your mind?

Incidently, I also happen to recall Lenny Henry walking around the Queen Mary Ballrooom with a bar towel wrapped around his head speaking with an mock "Indian" accent. (To be fair to him, he WAS only 16 after all, and was taking his cue from TV programmes such as "The Comedians" et.al.) I found it all a little embarrassing though to say the least, and in a fit of misguided "inverted racism" I attempted to draw his attention to the up-and coming American comedian Richard Pryor (though I hadn't even heard him myself then, his new album was getting good reviews in B&S) Lenny will have forgotten that particular incident no doubt, as he now claims to have been forever "right on!"

Finally, may I suggest you move this particular line of questioning to the Freebasing forum?, as this will probably widen the debate to your satisfaction and bring in more focused and serious views.

Edited by mel brat

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Guest mel brat

Eexcellent posts Mel Brat! They suddenly awoke a memory - Spring 1973, I'd been to the Torch for the first and only time, absolutely bowled over, and of course at the time instrumentals were massive, Exus Trek, Thumb a ride etc. etc.. I had to do a short notice two-day relief job for work in Dudley the week after, and found myself there on a Monday night with nothing to do. Somehow I ended up in a hotel ballroom in Kingswinford (sure it was there) with big Northern tunes blasting out, pretty sure it was Mike Hollis DJ'ing. The unplanned nights are always the best!

It was called the Summerhill Hotel. I remember now. Oscar Michael used to DJ there and Lenny Henry used to go along and usually get called up by Mike Hollis to perform his "act", as it were. It was a popular commercial disco at the time but I never went there.

Edited by mel brat

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...I totally agree that the Northern Scene is in no way insulated against UK society in general, since we are all products of that society...

... Elements of racism can be found in ALL societies if you look, not just "British society", though it's not always fashionable to say so.

Thank you. It might have have helped if you had been prepared to admit this at the outset rather than being so defensive and claiming that: " In short, Jazzie B was talking tripe" and that I, by suggesting that he might have a point, was talking "nonsense''.

Edited by Billy Freemantle

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It was called the Summerhill Hotel. I remember now. Oscar Michael used to DJ there and Lenny Henry used to go along and usually get called up by Mike Hollis to perform his "act", as it were. It was a popular commercial disco at the time but I never went there.

I did, every monday in the early 80's but it wasn't a soul night it was a Bowie/Roxy type thing and Mike was long gone. Apart from Saturdays when he was on and would slip in Youngblood Smith or Too Late to the shock of half the people and delight of the the other half. It's now a Harvester restaurant

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Guest mel brat

Thank you. It might have have helped if you had been prepared to admit this at the outset rather than being so defensive and claiming that: " In short, Jazzie B was talking tripe" and that I, by suggesting that he might have a point, was talking "nonsense''.

Well for the record it remains my personal opinion that Jazzie B WAS "talking tripe", as I have seen no evidence of racism on the Northern Scene over the last 35 years or so. I think I would have noticed by now. Also, if you support the view that there might be "some truth" in Jazzie B's accusations solely on the basis of his say so, and without a single shred of evidence to support that claim, then I think I'm entitled to regard such a biased view as "nonsense".

If you do choose to investigate these slanderous accusations (and they are slanderous), then at least make some attempt to explore possible alternative reasons why black youth choose not to follow the rare soul scene.

One reason may well be that the Northern Scene is, traditionally, heavily populated by collectors of rare records, the majority of whom happen to be white (and male). Is there a thriving record collecting scene in the black community? - or is "collecting things" a traditionally English occupation, that appeals less to others? (I know of even fewer record collectors of Afro Carribean descent than black Northern Soul fans. Is this significant?

To others reading this thread I'd say that we should all be angry about this, as racism is an ugly word to associate with a music scene for no better reason than one person's unsubstantiated opinion, which is why I was so upset when the initial programmes were aired. As I pointed out at the time, it was as plain as day that the programme makers had an particular agenda from the beginning, and I don't see why the Northern Scene should be singled out for impertinant interrogations of this kind as a result of their sloppy research. I suspect we haven't heard the last of this.

Edited by mel brat

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Guest Una Scot-Oz

I don't think Lenny Henry actually did go, but he was one of the few black kids in Dudley who didn't, our usual coach went from the Red Lion in Sedgley (between W'ton and Dudley) and every time we went the coach would have at least half a dozen to a dozen black guys, Jethro's coach was the same though that was best avoided.

I met Lenny Henry and he knew Brillo and Pete Ricketts etc but I don't think he ever went. They were all superb dancers by the way.Was it the Super Six they got called?

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Guest mel brat

I doubt whether it has retained its working class roots though; if indeed they really were as solidly factory- based as Ian Levine argues in that documentary.

I think the Northern Scene probably WAS predominantly working class/factory-based in the early days simply because industry in the North of England was factory based at that time. Besides, does now owning your own house make you suddenly adopt middle class "middle-England" values...? I don't think so.

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I met Lenny Henry and he knew Brillo and Pete Ricketts etc but I don't think he ever went. They were all superb dancers by the way.Was it the Super Six they got called?

Not by us Una but if you know those, you may also know Simon, Winston, Des - all fantastic dancers - Pete Ricketts is on the Wigan documentary shuffling, you never see his face but on the outtakes you do, incredible dancer. Think he died a few years back, I'd like to be told differently though

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I don't think Lenny Henry actually did go, but he was one of the few black kids in Dudley who didn't, our usual coach went from the Red Lion in Sedgley (between W'ton and Dudley) and every time we went the coach would have at least half a dozen to a dozen black guys, Jethro's coach was the same though that was best avoided.
LOL was was that pete?

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Guest Una Scot-Oz

not heard this name in bloody years

Does anyone know if he is still around? I hope Pete S is wrong too. (Sorry to go off the thread here.)

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