My musical tastes are very wide. As a young boy I used to go up the road to my grandparents' house where there were two attractions - a piano and a wind-up gramophone. My granddad liked "light classics" and my aunt - who was then in her late 'teens - liked Spike Jones! Saturday nights would often end up as a sing-song around the piano. We had no TV in those days and the "wireless" was central to everyone's lives. I can still recall the first time I heard Django Reinhardt on a BBC Sunday afternoon request programme, and I'm sure that's when the guitar first entered my consciousness.
Pre-1956 music was pretty straight. Dad, who had been in the Royal Air Force in World War 2, was a huge fan of Glenn Miller, and I can still whistle my way through trumpet solos on "String of Pearls" and all the riffs on "In the Mood". But there is no doubt that the watershed for me - the three records that changed it all for ever - were "Heartbreak Hotel", "Rock around the Clock" and "Bye bye love". Then when I heard British performers like Lonnie Donegan I just had to get a guitar. Eventually, at the age of 20, I bought a cheap one and was off and away. Next...
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