An American woman teaches English boys the Charleston in 1925 (according to Reddit)
I think everyone has one family member who most influenced their music tastes. A parent, perhaps, or an older sibling, or an aunt or uncle. (Obviously, I hope to be that person for my niece and nephews. “Mummmm! Auntie Andie’s made me ANOTHER Bruce Springsteen playlist!”) But while I have to thank my older sister for playing lots of The Police, my older brother for playing Rainbow’s Since You’ve Been Gone, and my parents for introducing me to classical music and MGM musicals (and even, in a surprisingly hip move from them, Dave Brubeck), it was my Uncle Den who introduced me to jazz.
Uncle Den turns 90 this week. If you get a telegram from the Queen when you turn 100, I wonder what you get when you turn 90? An email from Prince Philip? A Facebook poke from Prince Harry? Something, surely. Even a postcard from Sophie Of Whatsist wouldn’t go amiss.
Den lives in Bristol – and one of my strongest childhood memories is being at his and my Auntie Kay’s house for Sunday lunch. Every so often, on a Sunday, my family would pack into the car and drive down to Bristol from the West Midlands (and being six of us, we really did pack into it: I spent many journeys sitting in the footwell behind the front passenger seat. Apparently this was acceptable in-car safety in the 1970s). And one of my strongest memories of this experience – even stronger than the memory of looking up at motorway lights from the footwell of a Marina – was the music that Uncle Den played.