Bert Weedon – guitarist


Ghost Riders:

Guitar Boogie Shuffle [1959]

The Apaches of Portsoy, Scotland were pleased to share a bill with the popular guitarist Bert Weeden. He was responsible for many young musicians who relyed on his music books to learn to play guitar.

To the benefit of young, Scottish musicians, Albert Bonici had a habit of pairing local talent with recording artists on tour. John Rennie of the Apaches, was amongst many guitarist who respected and emulated Bert Weeden, when he had the opportunity of sharing a bill with Bert in Buckie . It was fitting that a young fan who sliced his thumb assembling his own guitar and learnt from Weeden’s guitar books, had the experience. When Bert played in the Two Red Shoes [August 1961] he didn’t have a hit record  yet though was already known as perhaps the most influential guitarist in Great Britain having instructed the top beat musicians of the 1960s through his books and performances.


Bert Weeden in action:


Here’s a CV about Bert Weedon’s activities that promoter Albert Bonici received

In the late ’50s, he was playing with Bob Miller and The Millermen [including Elton John’s dad Stanley Dwight on trumpet] in the jazz style dance band. “Herbert Maurice William ‘Bert’ Weedon, OBE (10 May 1920 – 20 April 2012) was an English guitarist whose style of guitar playing was popular and influential during the 1950s and 1960s. He was the first British guitarist to have a hit record in the UK Singles Chart, in 1959, and his best-selling tutorial guides, Play in a Day, were a major influence on many leading British musicians, such as Eric Clapton, Brian May, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, John Lennon, Dave Davies, Keith Richards, Pete Townshend, Tony Iommi and Jimmy Page.[1][2][3][4] He was awarded an OBE in 2001 for his “services to music”.

However, he is best remembered for his instructional books. Bert Weedon helped and encouraged young British musicians with several of the guitar books he published besides his versatility with an instrument that was popularized through the ’50s and ’60s.  John Lennon and Paul McCartney are amongst those who had praise for the man for helping them learn their craft.

Daily Express – “Unchallenged as Britain’s top pop guitar soloist.”

Eric Clapton – “I wouldn’t have felt the urge to press on without the tips and encouragement that Bert’s book ‘Play in a Day’ gives you. I’ve never met a player of any consequence that doesn’t say the same thing.”

Sting – “You wait for the Bert Weedon’s to come along and show the way.”

“Thames TV did a “This is your Life” on Bert Weedon. Among the people paying tribute to Bert were ;- Eric Clapton, Brian May, Hank Marvin, Phil Collins, Adam Faith, Val Doonican, Joe Brown, Lonnie Donegan, Marty Wilde, Frank Bruno, Henry Cooper, Paul Daniels, Gloria Hunniford, Basil Brush and many other stars from the world of show-business.
The Variety Club of Great Britain held a Tribute Lunch for Bert in Bournemouth (May 1999) Celebrities included Max Bygraves, Brian May, Anita Harris, John Inman, Paul Daniels, Gordon Kaye, Julie Rogers, Susan Maughan, Russ Conway to mention just a few of the friends who wanted to pay their respects to Bert.

The First Records

As a result of his exciting solos on the early rock records. Bert was asked by Top Rank to make a record as a solo artist, and so Bert became the first British guitarist to get a solo record in the Hit Parade – the memorable “Guitar Boogie Shuffle”. He subsequently notched further hits with “Apache”. “Nashville Boogie”. “Ginchy”. “Sorry Robbie” “Tokyo Melody”. to mention but a few. His L.P. `s have sold in tremendous numbers; “Bert Weedon remembers Jim Reeves” sold over 250,000 while his “22 Golden Guitar Greats” L.P. reached the No 1 spot in the Album Charts, and he once again made disc history by becoming the first solo guitarist to reach the coveted top of the Hit Parade – receiving both Gold and Platinum L.P.’s for his record breaking sales of over one million copies. The tremendous success of his L.P.’s and C.D’s ensures that Bert is still among the top recording artists of Britain.

Rock and Roll

With the coming of rock and roll, Bert was soon in great demand as the named soloist on no end of hit records, and his playing greatly aided the success on records of many of the foremost stars of the period. Early rock singers such as Tommy Steele, Marty Wild, Laurie London, Cliff Richard, Adam Faith and Billy Fury all asked for Bert to play on their records. His virtuosity in all fields of music also enabled him to accompany such artists as Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Rosemary Clooney, Nat King Cole, Judy Garland and many top British stars, while at the other end of the music scale he played for Gigli, Paul Robeson and many others.

On TV and Radio his popularity soars, and it is no exaggeration to say that he ranks among the most broadcast artist in the country, He has appeared in over 5,000 radio and TV shows.


My research began in 2007 as a visitor to the north of Scotland. Growing up a few miles from San Francisco, I would frequent the active music scene on weekends besides being a fan of British BEAT music and never missing Shindig! on television. When first visiting the small community of Elgin in 2007, I was surprise to learn how the Beatles and many other vocalist and musicians came to perform during the early days of their careers. In the early 1950s, Albert Bonici began promoting dances though it had been an ambition since his teenage years. When he and Henry Robertson co-organized a string of jazz dances in the north Scotland, they could not have predicted the enormous success of the venture. Albert Bonici became one of the most respected promoters in the UK having arranged a high volumn of music venues throughout the north of Scotland which delighted music lovers during the height of the jazz and beat music era. Whilst known for booking the Beatles at the beginning of their 1963 tours, Albert Bonici brought most of the top British acts to north-east Scotland besides working with Scottish musicians to boost their careers. SCOTBEAT was created to share a bit of history about the BEAT years in Scotland and also a tribute to a man with a vision who, with the help of his family and staff, created a happening that is still fondly remembered by those who attended dances and concerts. Albert A Bonici hosted many up and coming bands who went on to gain international acclaim for their contributions. Besides other local resources and interviews, SCOTBEAT presents exclusive photos, adverts, and documents from the A Bonici Archives [circa 1960s]. Unless otherwise agreed, materials are not to be used for financial gain and ask that you respect the terms below. Materials presented are not to be used for financial gain without consent. © 2014-2019 All rights reserved. No part of this web site may be copied, redistributed, broadcast or published in any form without crediting this blog and/or copyright websites mentioned. All correspondence, flyers, programs, and photos from the Bonici Archives are not to appear in print other than through the propietor of SCOTBEAT. Use of the site signifies your agreement to all of these terms without condition. Please reference when sharing materials found here as the site is continuously updated to present the subject matter accurately and as a historical resource. Thank you.

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Posted in 1960's pop music

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