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3975Guy Kelly (Was: When did Jazz die?)

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  • Robert Greenwood
    Mar 20, 2007
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      As well as making sure that my daughter heard plenty of jazz in her
      infant years (she even heard Ken Colyer in, or, at least, from, the
      womb while attending, in utero, a 100 Club gig four months before she
      was born)(her mother thought she was too young to go to a jazz club
      on her own, so she went with her) I made sure that she studied Latin
      at her grammar school. She's a second year law student now so it has
      come in useful. But on to Guy Kelly, about whose life very little is
      known, only to stray off-topic again. In the late 1940s Albert
      McCarthy edited two editions of the PL Yearbook of Jazz (one of them
      might have been called the PL Jazzbook). PL stood for Poetry London,
      a journal edited by a Sri Lankan called Tambimuttu. One contributor
      was the poet Nicholas Moore who once published a book called All the
      Little Jersey Cows: Poems by Guy Kelly. Several years ago I wrote to
      Moore asking about this, and he replied saying that he had adopted
      the name Guy Kelly for this one book since it was published by a
      publisher other than PL, to whom he was then under contract. As the
      only poet in the UK then interested in jazz (this was several years
      before Larkin & Amis) he used Kelly's name as a clue to the real
      identity of the author of the collection. The PL books contained much
      worthwhile material including an early essay on the blues by Max
      Jones and pieces by Frederick Ramsey and Langston Hughes. All of
      which tells us nothing about Guy Kelly¬Ö
      Robert Greenwood.
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