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Re: [RedHotJazz] Laurie Wright

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  • Howard Rye
    Here is the obituary I have been circulating as a press release: Laurie Wright, editor and publisher of Storyville magazine from 1965 to 1995, died in London
    Message 1 of 10 , Apr 4, 2010
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      Here is the obituary I have been circulating as a press release:

      Laurie Wright, editor and publisher of Storyville magazine from 1965 to
      1995, died in London on 28 March 2010. He was also author of the standard
      bio-discographies of Jelly Roll Morton, King Oliver, and Fats Waller,
      publisher of several editions of both Jazz Records 1897-1942 and Blues &
      Gospel Records 1902-1943 and many other serious contributions to
      scholarship. After his ³retirement², he produced and published several
      volumes of similar research material on vintage jazz and blues.

      Laurie was born at Enfield in outer north London on 3 February 1929. An able
      linguist, he won a scholarship to study languages in Paris, but was recalled
      to do his National Service in the RAF. He ended up working as an electrical
      engineer at radio manufacturers Ferguson¹s. In the early 1950s he opened a
      record shop in Walthamstow Village in East London which rapidly became a
      mecca for collectors of vintage jazz records. A group of them were one day
      bemoaning the demise of The Record Changer and consequent lack of a forum
      for their interests when Laurie¹s wife Peggy, passing about her domestic
      duties, asked why they didn¹t publish one themselves. The rest, as they say,
      is history.

      Issue 1 of Storyville is dated October 1965. Initially a typical
      enthusiasts¹ fanzine it grew rapidly into what was effectively a
      peer-reviewed journal of scholarship overseen by Laurie and The Storyville
      Team, who also undertook (some of them) the physical task of assembling the
      magazine which alone made it financially viable. For the same reason Laurie
      printed it himself. Despite this the bi-monthly (quarterly from 1987)
      schedule was maintained with very few hiccups for 162 issues up to June
      1995, after which four semi-annual volumes were published up to 2003. Laurie
      used his increased leisure to carry out detailed analyses of the
      African-American press which issued in the publication in his annual volumes
      of a mass of additional data and a proposed re-dating of the activities of
      the Paramount record label.

      Storyville Publications also became a leading publisher of jazz books,
      producing Laurie¹s own works, the standard discographies, two volumes of
      Eric Townley¹s Tell Your Story, Tom Lord¹s bio-discography of Clarence
      Williams, and several biographical and autobiographical memoirs of vintage
      musicians. The last of these was the autobiography of trombonist Preston
      Jackson, published in 2005, after which ill-health forced Laurie¹s reluctant
      retirement.

      He is survived by his widow, Peggy, their sons Kevin and Chris, daughters
      Susan and Jenny, and a brood of grandchildren. Their eldest son Paul, a
      professional folk singer active in Brittany, tragically pre-deceased his
      father.

      Without him, the world¹s knowledge of vintage jazz and blues would be
      immeasurably impoverished.




      on 04/04/2010 19:58, Dan Van Landingham at danvanlandingham@... wrote:

      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > I'm not familiar with Laurie Wright.Who was he?
      >
      > ________________________________
      > From: Michael Rader <Rader.Michael@... <mailto:Rader.Michael%40web.de> >
      > To: RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com <mailto:RedHotJazz%40yahoogroups.com>
      > Sent: Sun, April 4, 2010 2:01:30 AM
      > Subject: Re: [RedHotJazz] Laurie Wright
      >
      > Very sad news. Laurie was responsible for a lot of work which will
      > continue to give pleasure for many years to come. All "Storyville"
      > publications are a mine of information which rewards careful reading, as
      > I've realised yet again only recently. My sympathies go out to his family.
      >
      > Michael Rader
      > Karlsruhe, Germany
      >
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >


      Howard Rye, 20 Coppermill Lane, London, England, E17 7HB
      howard@...
      Tel/FAX: +44 20 8521 1098




      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • spacelights
      So sad to hear this... I found him always very encouraging, generous and helpful, and this through written correspondence (we never met in person). Jazz
      Message 2 of 10 , Apr 4, 2010
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        So sad to hear this... I found him always very encouraging, generous and helpful, and this through written correspondence (we never met in person). Jazz research will always owe a great deal to him.

        With thanks and best wishes,

        John
      • hans.eekhoff
        The sad news of Laurie s death brings back old memories of the early days of Storyville and the occasions when Max Vreede and I visited Laurie at Chigwell.
        Message 3 of 10 , Apr 5, 2010
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          The sad news of Laurie's death brings back old memories of the early days of Storyville and the occasions when Max Vreede and I visited Laurie at Chigwell.
          Laurie did a lot for us with his many publications - I feel priviliged to have known him.
          At the same time this makes me realise what a great pity it is that there is no longer a "Storyville".
          Our 78 hobby isn't half as much fun as it used to be.....

          Hans Eekhoff


          --- In RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com, "spacelights" <spacelights@...> wrote:
          >
          > So sad to hear this... I found him always very encouraging, generous and helpful, and this through written correspondence (we never met in person). Jazz research will always owe a great deal to him.
          >
          > With thanks and best wishes,
          >
          > John
          >
        • rwondraschek
          I had hoped to have something more enlightning to comment about in my first message in this group. Laurie s passing came as very sad news indeed, and also
          Message 4 of 10 , Apr 27, 2010
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            I had hoped to have something more enlightning to comment about in my first message in this group.
            Laurie's passing came as very sad news indeed, and also brought back old memories of two visits to his home (while I was in England at JRT's place with original 78s for some "Jazz Oracle" reissue projects about 10 years ago). I still remember Laurie's enthusiasm while we listened to some nice Oliver Creole Jazz Band 78s, despite his failing sense of hearing...
            It was his "Storyville" mag which introduced me to the "real thing" when, as a 19-year-old during a visit to London in 1987, I discovered a copy at Dobell's Record Shop. After that quickly came along Trevor's "VJM", Lennie's "Record Research", and suddenly I realized I had become a 78rpm collector - and since then I'm constantly out of money (smiles!!!).
            His publications were the ones I must avidly read during those formative years, and the Vintage Jazz community would be indefinetively poorer without them. I think his scholarship was of the highest order, on a par with W.C. Allen.

            By the way, does anybody know if some of his books are still available from his widow ? - I missed to purchase his Preston Jackson biography.

            Laurie, R.I.P., but continue to romp'n'stomp'messaround!!!

            As Lennie Kunstadt used to say:
            "Cheers",
            Ralph

            --- In RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com, "hans.eekhoff" <oriole@...> wrote:
            >
            > The sad news of Laurie's death brings back old memories of the early days of Storyville and the occasions when Max Vreede and I visited Laurie at Chigwell.
            > Laurie did a lot for us with his many publications - I feel priviliged to have known him.
            > At the same time this makes me realise what a great pity it is that there is no longer a "Storyville".
            > Our 78 hobby isn't half as much fun as it used to be.....
            >
            > Hans Eekhoff
            >
            >
            > --- In RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com, "spacelights" <spacelights@> wrote:
            > >
            > > So sad to hear this... I found him always very encouraging, generous and helpful, and this through written correspondence (we never met in person). Jazz research will always owe a great deal to him.
            > >
            > > With thanks and best wishes,
            > >
            > > John
            > >
            >
          • Howard Rye
            Many of the Storyville books were still available at the time of Laurie¹s death. I imagine this would be a very bad time to be making enquiries, but as soon
            Message 5 of 10 , Apr 27, 2010
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              Many of the Storyville books were still available at the time of Laurie¹s
              death. I imagine this would be a very bad time to be making enquiries, but
              as soon as I can find out what arrangements are being made, I¹ll let people
              know.

              Laurie regarded himself as a disciple of Walt Allen¹s approach to research.

              (And, hello and welcome, Ralph.)



              on 27/04/2010 11:01, rwondraschek at rwondra@... wrote:

              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > I had hoped to have something more enlightning to comment about in my first
              > message in this group.
              > Laurie's passing came as very sad news indeed, and also brought back old
              > memories of two visits to his home (while I was in England at JRT's place with
              > original 78s for some "Jazz Oracle" reissue projects about 10 years ago). I
              > still remember Laurie's enthusiasm while we listened to some nice Oliver
              > Creole Jazz Band 78s, despite his failing sense of hearing...
              > It was his "Storyville" mag which introduced me to the "real thing" when, as a
              > 19-year-old during a visit to London in 1987, I discovered a copy at Dobell's
              > Record Shop. After that quickly came along Trevor's "VJM", Lennie's "Record
              > Research", and suddenly I realized I had become a 78rpm collector - and since
              > then I'm constantly out of money (smiles!!!).
              > His publications were the ones I must avidly read during those formative
              > years, and the Vintage Jazz community would be indefinetively poorer without
              > them. I think his scholarship was of the highest order, on a par with W.C.
              > Allen.
              >
              > By the way, does anybody know if some of his books are still available from
              > his widow ? - I missed to purchase his Preston Jackson biography.
              >
              > Laurie, R.I.P., but continue to romp'n'stomp'messaround!!!
              >
              > As Lennie Kunstadt used to say:
              > "Cheers",
              > Ralph
              >
              > --- In RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com <mailto:RedHotJazz%40yahoogroups.com> ,
              > "hans.eekhoff" <oriole@...> wrote:
              >> >
              >> > The sad news of Laurie's death brings back old memories of the early days
              >> of Storyville and the occasions when Max Vreede and I visited Laurie at
              >> Chigwell.
              >> > Laurie did a lot for us with his many publications - I feel priviliged to
              >> have known him.
              >> > At the same time this makes me realise what a great pity it is that there
              >> is no longer a "Storyville".
              >> > Our 78 hobby isn't half as much fun as it used to be.....
              >> >
              >> > Hans Eekhoff
              >> >
              >> >
              >> > --- In RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com <mailto:RedHotJazz%40yahoogroups.com> ,
              >> "spacelights" <spacelights@> wrote:
              >>> > >
              >>> > > So sad to hear this... I found him always very encouraging, generous
              >>> and helpful, and this through written correspondence (we never met in
              >>> person). Jazz research will always owe a great deal to him.
              >>> > >
              >>> > > With thanks and best wishes,
              >>> > >
              >>> > > John
              >>> > >
              >> >
              >
              >


              Howard Rye, 20 Coppermill Lane, London, England, E17 7HB
              howard@...
              Tel/FAX: +44 20 8521 1098




              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Robert
              ... This is perhaps not terribly helpful but someone on this list may know who I m talking about. A chap at Croydon Record Fair (held twice a year) always has
              Message 6 of 10 , Apr 27, 2010
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                --- In RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com, Howard Rye <howard@...> wrote:
                >
                > Many of the Storyville books were still available at the time of Laurie¹s
                > death.

                This is perhaps not terribly helpful but someone on this list may know who I'm talking about. A chap at Croydon Record Fair (held twice a year) always has a small supply of Storyville books for sale at slightly discounted prices. The only other items at his stall, as far as I can remember, are copies of the Frog CDs. Perhaps someone has contact details for him as a source, for the time being, for the Storyville stable of books?
                Robert Greenwood
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