Sunday, August 21, 2011

A Rock Band and a Clarinettist

August 21-27, 1961
Reproduction from This Ebay Store

The Beatles continue the long Cavern Club run and are gathering other bookings where they can.  They make another small step up this week.  On August 25th, a Friday, they are given a spot on an evening cruise boat called the Royal Iris, known locally as the "Fish and Chip Boat".  For a bit of relaxation, folks would make their way in the evening down to the Liverpool Pier Head, board the boat and be treated to a leisurely cruise around the wide Mersey estuary for 3 and a half hours.

The organizer of this particular cruise is Ray McFall, owner of the Cavern Club, so the popular Beatles are a natural fit to bring on board the younger crowd.  They will play the cruise after their lunchtime gig at the Cavern, of course.  Mr McFall also books a popular English clarinettist called Acker Bilk.  (Acker is Welsh slang for something like "pal" or "buddy".)  Bilk is a part of the still flourishing Trad Jazz movement in Liverpool.  His signature sound is a laid back low register clarinet that can be heard on his "Stranger on the Shore".  Bilk is meant to bring on the parents and older siblings of the Beatle fans.  With a little luck, it will mean a handsome payday for impresario McFall.  I can just imagine what John Lennon thought of this kind of excursion.  "Next, they'll be asking me to wear a suit and tie onstage!"

This is the first of four "Riverboat Shuffles" organized by McFall at which the Beatles will perform.

1 comment:

  1. wow, thank you so much for giving me that link! I have not seen that before, it looks amazing! I dont know if we catch HBO or not I'll have to check. Thanks again :)