I try to add new items to my web sites each month. For details please visit my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/LonnieDoneganDiscographyAndLoadsMore
This site is an add on to http://lonniedonegandiscography.co.uk and has been introduced to show some of the memorabilia collected by Peter Buchanan. Unless otherwise stated, all items are reproduced here with the full permission of Peter Buchanan's son, Peter.
To view this collection, please go to Photos link on the left hand side of this page. You can then view them as a slide show, or one at a time by clicking on the thumbnails.
Most of you would have heard/read somewhere that Peter was Lonnie's Business Manger, or Road Manager. So I'll start by showing his business card.
This suggests he was Lonnie's "MANAGER" but here is his son Peter's view.
Dad was originally employed as a kind of Personal Assistant/Road Manager. He was introduced to Lonnie by Nick Nicholls, who a been a drummer in one of Dads big bands. Dad was a great
organiser and they needed someone to take charge of the touring, dealing with the lights, digs, the money etc. This grew into doing everything, even dealing with the fan club, so they just called him "manager".
However, Dad always said his main job was getting Lonnie out of bed in the morning!!!
I think its important to be careful of using modern job titles when describing those days. Lonnies "career" and the bookings were managed by Cyril Berlin at London Management. They acted as his agent. At the time, they were one of the biggest agents in the country, dealing with everyone from Arthur Askey!! They wanted Lonnie to move into the theatres, especially variety shows, which were big money in those days. I remember my father talking about
visiting the famous "cavern club" in Liverpool, which was tiny, and comparing it to the huge "Liverpool Empire", in which they had just finished a sold out concert. Lonnie was a very, very astute businessman!
Nowadays, jobs in the music business are quite clearly defined. But then, everybody did a bit of everything. Ive scanned a letter from Lonnie to Dad to show the closeness of their relationship, and a running order from a programme with Dads notes on it. They would work on the running order of shows together. So, as for the exact job title of Dads work with Lonnie, I dont think they ever really had one!!
Chris Hill Wednesday, August 25, 2010
The man who co-wrote the Cockney classic “My Old Man's a Dustman” has died in Walsingham at the age of 84.
Peter Buchanan, whose enduring comic creation reached number one in the charts in 1960, died at his home on August 15..
He was Lonnie Donegan's business manager from 1956 to 1962 and was instrumental in the Skiffle King's meteoric rise to fame, co-writing many of his hits.
Although famed for his cheeky lyrics, Mr Buchanan was also responsible for countless TV series including 1970s sitcom And Mother Makes Three, which starred Wendy Craig.
He went on to write scripts for the likes of entertainment legends Des O'Connor, Leslie Crowther, Roy Hudd, Roy Castle and Dick Emery.
After decades on the road with the stars, Mr Buchanan retired to Norfolk, where he continued putting his songwriting and comic talents to good use, crafting scripts for amateur theatre companies and school groups.
He championed many local arts causes, particularly those involving youngsters, and wrote a millennium single for the EDP's We Care appeal in 2000 which was recorded, sold and performed throughout Norfolk.
Mr Buchanan also hit the headlines at Christmas 1997 when he became the first writer in 100 years to write a hymn for his adopted home village of Walsingham. The song, Lord I Have Not Forgotten What Christmas Means, received its world premiere in St Mary's Church - a century after the same church's vicar, Fr George Ratcliffe Woodward, wrote Ding Dong Merrily on High. After Lonnie Donegan's death in 2002, Mr Buchanan recalled why he first suggested the singer should introduce comedy into his act.
“He was singing fast skiffle songs and could not get his breath,” he said. “So I told him I would give him some jokes to help him get his breath back!”
He also remembered the first live performance of his famous song, saying: “We were in Doncaster and it had been done as a joke. We never knew what on earth what was going to happen with it. I stood in the wings wetting myself but people loved it.”