The youngest member of the Two Red Shoes house-band Colin Henderson https://scotbeat.wordpress.com/2014/11/10/satch-mackenziecolin-henderson/ joined the band at 16 after this recording which included his father and uncle Billy and Bobby Henderson. He and Roger Niven https://scotbeat.wordpress.com/2017/03/18/spiggy-topes-aberdeen-band/ were recently recorded together at Elgin Jazz Club https://soundcloud.com/morayjazzclub Roger also recorded with former band mate, Graham Walker, on this jazz EP http://circusfm.com/music/we-are-circus-fm
Two Red Shoes Album: https://scotbeat.wordpress.com/2014/07/08/two-red-shoes-album-2/
Petal cars and jazz contest:
When the Silver Beetles accompanied singer, Johnny Gentle, in the small town of Forres, jazz and swing was the style of popular tunes most listened and danced to in the north of Scotland. In 1959, the only beetles that were on the lips of Forres folk, was in relation to the “Beetle drive and social evening” as there were special prizes to be had for the best drawing of a Beetle, none of which resembled John, Paul, or George. Back then, promoter Albert Bonici https://bonici.wordpress.com/ wouldn’t have guessed that his reputation would have highlighted by booking The Beatles in 1962 to tour Scotland when he built his “Beetle”. He dubbed the vehicle such as it “looked like a beetle” though not sure if he was eluding to the bug or the VW. The Beatles early incarnation as the “Silver Beetles” more likely would have been inspired from the “Crickets” with Buddy Holly…
It was a big year for music promoter Albert Bonici who was instrumental in organizing the 1959 Jazz Festival in Elgin’s Drill Hall. Seventeen bands competed for the Silver Trophy as North-East Scotland’s Jazz band champion. By then, Albert Bonici established the LCB Agency bring popular music and entertainment to the area. He was also running the family’s ice cream and concessions business besides working at the family owned Park Cafe. Another one of his varied interests was aerodynamics and used scrap metal to build petal bikes…
Francis Drake who became part of Albert Bonici’s Two Red Shoes Ballroom in 1960, drove Bonici’s Beetle in competition during 1959 Elgin Gala days. Albert built vehicles that were road worthy to compete in the petal car competition that summer whilst working with the Elgin Gala Association to help sponsor events which also included the Elgin Jazz Festival and Gala Queen competition.
Note: Albert Bonici who often read books and magazines on aerodynamics, famously caught an airplane to meet up with Brian Epstein in Liverpool to rebook the Beatles in ’63. In his early years, he was well-traveled, spoke several languages, taking boats from the UK to visit his family in Italy during the summer expeditions away from his studies in Scotland. After graduating college, he boarded a cruise ship to New York in 1948 where he visited family and likely enjoyed some of New York City’s jazz clubs, having been a keen jazz fan. By the 1950’s, Albert’s prefered mode of travel were airplanes and would venture out on small airplanes to do business with the family’s ice cream concessions that spanned the north of Scotland, including the islands.
Though traditional and folk music had long been a hallmark of the Scots, Jazz was the popular music of the day and Albert Bonici was a fan. He and wife Betty would often travel south to attend dances featuring a live band in the 1950s and after successfully hosting Ray Ellington’s band in north-east Scotland, he got in the business of promoting music by the mid ’50s. Though using various local halls for his music venues, he also built a small stage in the family owned “Park Cafe” to present local musicians like Harry Robinson https://scotbeat.wordpress.com/2016/08/16/harry-robinson-musiciancomposer/ and Alex. Sutherland https://scotbeat.wordpress.com/2014/02/24/alex-sutherland-band/. In 1959, a year before opening his own dance hall, Two Red Shoes Ballroom, Albert worked in conjunction with the local council to help promote Elgin Gala festivities which included a mini car race [above] and a Jazz Festival. Below are clippings from Albert Bonici’s scrapbook of the Gala Events…
Through the 1960’s the Two Red Shoes “house-band” https://scotbeat.wordpress.com/2014/07/08/two-red-shoes-album-2/ created jazz medleys of popular songs each week though “pop” music was moving from swing and traditional jazz to beat tunes which was said to be influenced by skiffle, folk, doo-wop, and American rock-n-roll.
Ray Ellington Quartet http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2YoUHpuiVQ
The Quarrymen http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wjfKX4yyX0k
Lonnie Donegan http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qtj0kfHQOUo
Cliff Richard http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1-3p84gWVNU