Friday, March 02, 2007

Jonathan Kelly

"Twice Around The Houses" 1972

Article taken from his Biography:
During the following year 1971, Jonathan released no records but concentrated of playing concerts and writing, something that was to turn out to be very fruitful. In the summer of 1971 Jonathan was invited to play the Cambridge Folk Festival and he took the event by storm. At last the record buying public had recognised his immense talent. All of the music magazines of the day were knocking at his door for interviews and when in 1972 Jonathan released his much anticipated album 'Twice Around the houses' his public were not to be disappointed, the music press were enthusiastic and the album received rave reviews. A single was released to help cash in on the album's popularity, 'Madeleine' bw 'Sligo Fair'

1972 was a busy year for Jonathan, he toured with the Strawbs bettween January and Match completing 25 concerts and help raise his profile considerably, Jonathan also appeared at several festivals in the summer including Bickershaw, Lincoln, Reading and Chelmford. Jonathan also managed to spent much of 1972 playing in folk clubs up and down the UK and was very popular, one person remembers Jonathan turning up unannounced at the Bay horse Folk club near Doncaster. "Jonathan was in the area and turned up to meet friends and watch some music, when he was spotted he was asked to sing, he politely refused saying he was tired, but the audience wouldn't take no for an answer. Jonathan finally agreed and performed three songs in the interval, as he tried to leave the stage, the audience pushed tables up to the front in order to stop him, begging him to sing more. Jonathan pointed out that the McCallmans, a popular folk group were due back on stage, at that point one of the McCallmans shouted out from the back of the room, 'You carry on John, we're getting paid anyway!' and so carry on he did, a wonderful performance and a night to remember"


"Wait Till They Change the Backdrop" 1973

RCA decided to invest more money in Jonathan's next album due to the popularity on TATH, his next album 'Wait Till They Change The Backdrop' (1973) was warmly received by an enthusiastic music press and the public alike. This time the album had a gatefold cover and featured amongst others the Sutherland Brothers who were a short while later to have a hit themselves. A single was released to coincide with the album 'Let the people stay', backed with 'Mother Moon' a song Jonathan often featured in his performances.

Jonathan was now fully embroiled in the hippy lifestyle and culture, believing in peace and love, indeed he signed autographs, 'Peace and love, Jonathan Kelly' unfortunately there was one side of this coin, which wasn't admirable, namely drugs! Jonathan was now an active drug-taker and the more he was embroiled in that scene the more his behaviour changed and along with it his judgement.

Sample pic: 1, 2

Download link in comments.

15 Comments:

Blogger Lizardson said...

Twice Around The Houses
Wait Till They Change the Backdrop

02 March, 2007 22:18  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

I have a worn out vinyl copy of Twice Around the Houses and have been unable to replace it. Great tracks and great memories.

03 March, 2007 02:36  
Blogger Rob said...

Are these the Cd/Viynl rips?

03 March, 2007 07:27  
Anonymous Karel said...

Thanks a lot!!

03 March, 2007 17:00  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice records!
"Ballad of cursed Anna" is my favourite song!

Thanks!

Armute

04 March, 2007 17:43  
Blogger Residentevil2 said...

Thanks cool blog.

Do you have
STONE THE CROWS - Ontinous Performance & BBC
Also with Maggie Bell singer the band
MIDNIGHT FLYER - Selftitled & EP

Also
Driver- No Accident
Head Over Heels

06 March, 2007 02:46  
Blogger Max said...

Thanks again.

06 March, 2007 04:21  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

new blog started:

http://eqlectikos.blogspot.com/

06 March, 2007 08:13  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, great site!

Maybe you could reupload Shingetsu ?
Keep on!

Jonathan

08 March, 2007 18:28  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you!!

Maybe you could reupload Shingetsu ?
Keep on!

08 March, 2007 18:32  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey thank you for this, your blog is great as always.
I was wondering if you knew the unique Bob Theil's album, So Far... published in 1982? I'm looking for it, so maybe in your large collection.

09 March, 2007 05:00  
Anonymous Dusty said...

After thirty years, Jonathan is working again.
More information at:
www.jonathankelly.co.uk

Also, some demos and photos at:
http://www.myspace.com/jonathankellyoutside

Jonathan Kelly released several successful albums during the early 1970’s before becoming disillusioned with the music business and retiring in 1976. His most famous album was the definitive ‘Twice around the houses’ released in 1972. He is best remembered today for his song ‘The Ballad of cursed Anna’ which can be still be heard being played in folks clubs around the world. Jonathan Kelly was born Jonathan Ledingham in Drogheda, Co. Lough in Ireland in 1947. He came from a musical family, his father played ukulele and his brother George who was a wonderful boy soprano and later a tenor, Jonathan was interested in music from his earliest memories, but it was the dawning of Rock & Roll and artists such as Little Richard, Ray Charles, Buddy Holly and Elvis, which really inspired him. He Says " There was all this music in the late fifties, such as David Whitfield etc and then one day on the wireless I heard Rock & Roll for the first time, it just blew me away, this vibrant music, music for young people, you can't imagine the effect it had upon me and others" After school Jonathan formed his first band 'Boomerangs' along with his friend Brian Trench & Aiden Cahill, Alan Doran and Noel Richardson and released a single called "Dream World" this marks not only Jonathan's first record release, but also his first published song. The Boomerangs were short-lived but it had served to bring Jonathan to the attention of the music industry and he started touring the folk club circuit as a solo singer. He released another single this time under his own name titled 'Without an E'. Although the song was not a massive hit it did attract the attention of many artists who could see that Jonathan had a great latent song writing talent and he was asked to write songs for other artists, amongst them Johnny McEvoy who was popular at the time. He was also asked to write a song for the popular Irish pop band 'The Greenbeats'. By the time the 'La La Song' was released in 1968, Jonathan had been influenced greatly by Bob Dylan and other US artists such as The Band, James Brown. His lyrics took on a much more mature feel, his next single 'Love is a toy' was backed with an outstanding anti-war song called 'Thank you Mrs Gilbert' which was vastly superior to the a side and yet less commercial, but this release showed that Jonathan's song writing and singing talents were a force to be reckoned with. Jonathan was becoming more and more popular in his native Ireland, but he knew that England was where the music was really at, The Beatles, Carnaby Street etc. Jonathan's last two singles had been released in Britain and so he decided that it was a case of "England here I come" One night in 1969 he was playing in a restaurant when in walked Colin Petersen who was formally a member of the Bee Gees said, "I knew when I saw and heard him that this was a talent which should be encouraged and developed". Colin became his Record Producer and Colin's wife Joanne became his personal manager. He released another single this time called 'Denver' a follow up single was released in 1970 called 'Make a stranger your friend' another anti-war song. This song had a catchy chorus and Jonathan's talents were recognised by many people in show business if not yet by the record buying public at large. A choir was formed to sing the chorus amongst those who turned up to join in were, Mick Taylor from the Rolling Stones, Klaus Voorman, Madeleine Bell, Carl Wayne and Peter Sellers and Spike Milligan. Two more singles followed and 1970 was to be a good year for Jonathan, The first of these singles was 'Don't you believe it' this is a very sought after single because Eric Clapton was invited to play slide guitar on the track, The next single wasn't released under Jonathan's name but instead under the name of 'Humpy Bong' the song 'Don't you be too long' was backed with 'We're alright till then' both excellent songs. Jonathan was the writer of both tracks and played guitar on the single but this time the vocal duties were taken by Tim Staffell, who had formally been with the group ‘SMILE’ who later became a massive success as ‘QUEEN’ Humpy Bong were short lived and never played any concerts although there was one appearance on Top Of The Pops. 1970 also saw the release of Jonathan's first album, simply titled 'Jonathan Kelly' This album included many of his singles as well as other unreleased songs. During the following year 1971, Jonathan released no records but concentrated of playing concerts and writing, something that was to turn out to be very fruitful. In the summer of 1971 Jonathan was invited to play the Cambridge Folk Festival and he took the event by storm. At last the record buying public had recognised his immense talent. All of the music magazines of the day were knocking at his door for interviews and when in 1972 Jonathan released his much anticipated album 'Twice Around the houses' his public were not to be disappointed, the music press were enthusiastic and the album received rave reviews. A single was released to help cash in on the album's popularity, 'Madeleine' bw 'Sligo Fair' 1972 was a very busy year for Jonathan, he toured with the Strawbs between January and Match completing 25 concerts and help raise his profile considerably, Jonathan also appeared at several festivals in the summer including Bickershaw, Lincoln, Reading and Chelmsford. Jonathan also managed to spend much of 1972 playing in folk clubs up and down the UK and was very popular. RCA decided to invest more money in Jonathan's next album due to the popularity on TATH, his next album 'Wait Till They Change The Backdrop' (1973) was warmly received by an enthusiastic music press and the public alike. This time the album had a gatefold cover and featured amongst others the Sutherland Brothers who were a short while later to have a hit themselves. A single was released to coincide with the album 'Let the people stay', backed with 'Mother Moon' a song Jonathan often featured in his performances. Jonathan decided of a change of direction and formed the band ‘OUTSIDE’ and they recorded the album "Waiting On You" which featured Jonathan along with Snowy White on guitar who was later to go on to have two hit singles and has also played with Thin Lizzy and Pink Floyd. Another member was Chas Jankel who later went on to play with Ian Dury and the Blockheads as well as releasing solo singles. Tim Staffell designed this album cover. However this album wasn't as warmly received and Jonathan was hurt by some of the criticism of it, the music press wanted him pigeon-holed as a folk singer. A single was also released to coincide with this album called 'Outside' backed with 'Waiting on you'. Jonathan was particularly fond of Outside because it encompassed the musicians and styles, which he enjoyed, and which had influenced him and the type of music they played covered rock through to jazz and not forgetting the soul influences! However the main problem was that the album was before its time, had it been released two or three years later it may have been a massive success. Jonathan's released his last album " Two Days In Winter" in 1975. This last album sold steadily but by no means in the number that TATH or WTTCTB did. Jonathan says, "Towards the end, my girlfriend and I were breakin' up, I was doin' loads of dope, I was canvassing for the Workers Revolutionary Party, 'n gigs were goin' crazy, I was fallin' off stages an people were laffin' on echo." Left with no money after a series of bad business decisions Jonathan was in a bad way, in fact many people didn't expect him to live very long, but something happened which saved Jonathan's life, he recalls "A man came to my door and said "I'm looking to talk with people who'll like to see a change in the world. What I mean is, an end to war and poverty and hunger. Do those things concern you?" I said, "Come in." "And now 30 years later I'm still a very busy member of a very active Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses where I live. You see when you find the answer to all your questions, why go on searching anymore? I have a beautiful wife, two big sons, and two beautiful grandchildren." Jonathan had at last found something more important to him than fame and fortune. He settled in the countryside and started his own small carpet cleaning business, he lived in an area where nobody knew Jonathan Kelly, he was just plain Jonathan Ledingham, local nice guy. There the story would have ended but his fans had not forgotten him and after being contacted by an old friend and fan, Jonathan was encouraged to out of retirement for a one off charity concert, this also coincided with BGO records decision to release two of Jonathan's albums as a double CD 'Twice Around The Houses' & 'Wait Till They Change The Backdrop' the interest in this concert was beyond all expectation, one person arrived without a ticket and offered to pay up to £2000 to see Jonathan perform onstage one more time. Due to the success of this concert Jonathan decided to embark on a short UK tour during 2006 and he is at present considering recording a new album if finance can be found for the project. He says "I write as much now, if not more, than I ever wrote before. I can't help it. I've got music in my mind everywhere I go. Songs come to visit and if I'm quick and copy them down before they leave, then I can play them to someone else. Many times they just come and stay a while and then slip out the back door never to be heard of again. It don't worry me, it was just nice to have them around for a while. Love & Peace Jonathan Kelly

27 April, 2007 09:10  
Blogger PeaBee said...

Thank you for this un-dreamt of voyage of musical dicovery and re-discovery

08 June, 2007 02:51  
Anonymous zappahead said...

your blog is like some kind of drug to me.......but i like it....thank you for the jonathan kelly

06 July, 2008 02:33  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This Is THE MOTHERLOAD, man!
J.Kelly's "Twice Around..." were one of, if not THE first record that i bought back in 72/73; actally; i remember traded it to me from my best friend (or maybe i bought it, 'cause i can't recall what i gave him in trade for it)and played it again and again on my portable Phillips turntable, having "Rainy Town", "Cursed Anna" and "We're Allright til then"(?) as my favorite tracks. The cover that's pictured in this blog, is even in the same condition as i remember mine were. (my friend actually bought it at the fleemarket that the school-marching-band held every spring at the local sports arena.) Talkin' 'bout memory lane - galore!
Thank You So Much! This is SO important to me!

03 November, 2009 16:11  

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