Biographies

Dennis Weller

Redcar born, when the bombs were still dropping, Dennis’ artistic bent took him into photography in his teens. Taught by his father, he progressed through various cameras shooting friends and family. When he joined the Jazz Club committee in the early 60s he saw a way of blending his enjoyment of the music with his photography. Recording the appearances of bands at the club became a regular feature of his Sunday night activity, only to later find him in a cupboard under the stairs processing his films. He covered most of the club’s musical highlights over about five years, including two jazz festivals on Redcar Racecourse in 1963 and 1964, until he married and left Redcar and the club behind. It was over 30 years later that he rediscovered his negatives in a box and printed them, many for the first time. Now working for the local Council he became involved in an exhibition and book about the Jazz Club in 1996. With this book sadly well out of print, Dennis seized on the opportunity to work with Graham again along with writer Chris to revisit those days of musical heaven in the Windsor Ballroom in producing this tribute to over a decade of great music in Redcar.

Chris Scott Wilson

Terry Dene's limp A White Sport Coat And A Pink Carnation on a shellac 78rpm is the first record Chris Scott Wilson remembers seeing on a spinning turntable, then when he heard Elvis Presley's Teddy Bear he realised music could be something else. But when Some Kinda Earthquake by Duane Eddy made the ground tremble he knew the only thing he wanted to be was a guitar player. Some things don't work out the way they're intended... Learning the basic changes (E,A,B7) at the age of 12, he discovered more of an aptitude for the drums by 14 and became a professional drummer by the age of 18. Chris played in a succession of local bands in the Teesside area in England throughout the 1960s, performing rock, R & B, blues, progressive music and even a few pop tunes when the rent was due. At the age of 23 he swapped drums for as typewriter and began to write. He signed the contract for his first book on the day Elvis Presley died in 1977 and has since written maritime, local history and even westerns, as well as articles for newspapers and magazines. Backstage Pass : Redcar Jazz Club is his twelfth published book. Music and his life seem inextricably linked.

Graham Lowe

Born in Middlesbrough shortly after the end of the last ice age, Graham was given his first camera at the age of ten, and has been shooting pictures ever since. Coupled with his interest in rock & blues music, an incredibly innate inability to play guitar and the discovery of the RJC in his late teens, he combined the two interests and began shooting bands at the now famous and late lamented club, purely for his own interest. At around this time, he gained a place at Blackpool College of Art to study commercial & Industrial photography, but continued to visit the club when on vacation. A career in (mainly) professional photography followed, working for among others the Imperial War Museum in London, the RSPB, local commercial photographers and lecturing in photography until eventually branching out on his own in fine art photography & running Montage Gallery in Castleton, where he sells his extensive range of photography along with other artists’ works. In his spare time, inspired by wasting amazing amounts of time & pocket money in Redcar’s amusement arcades in his youth, he collects, restores & plays classic pinball machines, along with collecting just about anything else that takes his eclectic fancy. A selection of Graham’s photographs from this book are available from redcarjazzclubmedia.com

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