07777683637 rlloydpr@btinternet.com

South Wales Evening Post column, May 03, 2024

Robert Lloyd PR, Media and Marketing Consultancy News, Newspaper columns South Wales Evening Post column, May 03, 2024

News Newspaper columns

South Wales Evening Post column, May 03, 2024

Posted By RobertLloyd58

FORGET fist bumps or high fives, I’m a collector of handshakes.

Important people from history, celebrities, sporting superstars, you name them and I like to chalk them up in my little Black Book.

And, if I can’t get to the main man, or main woman, then second-hand handshakes qualify for a place in the notebook.

For example, I once shook the hand of a man who shook the hand of the great Elvis Presley.

Terry Blackwood was part of The Imperials, who started recording with Elvis back in 1966. Elvis, having departed the stage, the meeting with Terry was obviously the nearest it is possible to get to shaking hands with ‘The King’.

Runner-up in the second-hand handshakes log has got to be Wyn Lodwick, the jazz maestro from Llanelli who died this week, aged 97.

Wyn knew Louis Armstrong and Count Basie, among other jazz greats, so meeting him was a moment to treasure, not just for the boast of saying, “I shook the hand of a man who shook hands with Louis Armstrong.”

Wyn Lodwick was a Welshman to the core and always modest about a jazz career which saw him make regular concert and TV appearances and perform in some of the leading venues in America.

He was known and admired in New York, New Orleans and Chicago.

He played the clarinet and the piano, and for a quarter of a century he performed several times a year with the famous Harlem Blues and Jazz Band (one of a handful of white musicians to join the performers on stage).

Wyn was a director of Cymdeithas Jazz Cymru (The Welsh Jazz Society) and one of the founders of the Welsh Jazz Festival and the Brecon Jazz Festival.

In 2016, he was recognised by the Gorsedd of the Bards at the Royal National Eisteddfod, with the citation recognising his contribution to Wales and its music. He was inducted into the Green robes under the Bardic name of ‘Pibydd Harlem’ (Harlem Piper).

In Llanelli and Pwll, where he made his home, he was known as ‘Y Dyn Jazz’, The Jazz Man.

Wynford John Allen Lodwick was born at 38 Marble Hall Road, Llanelli, and March 15, 1927.

He served as a technician in the Royal Navy before establishing a jazz club in Llanelli in 1950, hosting evenings at the old Melbourne pub and the Stepney Hotel, among other venues.

The jazz bug had taken hold years earlier, when United States servicemen arrived in Llanelli during World War Two.

Wyn would recall that listening to their music was “like being in a jazz club in New York”.

Aged 90, Wyn was the guest of honour at the monthly meeting of the Welsh Luncheon Club at the Selwyn Samuel Centre in Llanelli – an event televised by S4C’s Heno programme.

Wyn declared he was still playing the piano, vibraphone and clarinet.

“The music is so exciting,” he said. “It’s what keeps me young.”

Among his many achievements, Wyn set Welsh tunes and songs to the jazz style and lectured extensively on the history and meaning of jazz.

Alongside Louis Armstrong and Count Basie, Wyn also played with legendary jazz guitarist Al Casey (Albert Aloysius Casey), who was a member of Fats Waller’s band during the 1930s and early 1940s.

In south Wales, Wyn was part of the Memphis Seven jazz combo. He also found time to collaborate with his friend, the journalist and broadcaster Lyn Ebenezer, on two books – Wyn a’I Fyd (Wyn and his world) and Count Yourself In: A Man and His Jazz.

Collectors of jazz might want to seek out some of his recordings (now very rare), such as The Band In Its Place, Jazz From Wales, and Five Ways to Harlem.

RIP Wyn Lodwick. Thanks for the memories – and the music! It was a privilege to meet you and shake your hand.


Emotional milestone for motor sports

IT was an emotional day at the Welsh Motor Sports Centre in Pembrey this week as staff and visitors marked the 30th anniversary of the death of Formula 1 great Ayrton Senna.

Senna died on May 1, 1994, during a calamitous San Marino Grand Prix on the Imola track in Italy. Senna went off the track at the notorious Tamburello section, striking a wall at 145mph. The three-times world champion was just 34.

In Pembrey, Senna is still remembered with great affection as he was a frequent visitor to the track in the 1980s. He was fond of using the tight circuit to test his McLaren F1 cars.

This week, two vintage F1 ‘Senna’ cars were back in action on the Pembrey circuit, resplendent in their red and white livery.

The cars were put through their paces on the Pembrey track as part of preparations for the Monaco Classic Historic Grand Prix event later this month.

In Monaco, the cars will be driven by Ayrton Senna’s nephew Bruno, a former Formula 1 driver who is the first driver to win a race in every class in the FIA World Endurance Championship.

When Ayrton Senna first visited Pembrey, he was following in the footsteps of other Formula 1 teams who used the track on the former airfield as an “away from prying eyes’ test circuit.

Down the years, Alain Prost, Jackie Stewart, David Coulthard, Jenson Button, Nigel Mansell and Kimi Räikkönen all did the Pembrey trip, many of them staying at the town’s Diplomat Hotel.

Ayrton Senna, however, will remain the name best associated with Pembrey. The anniversary of his death will always be a poignant moment for the crew at the circuit.

Tagged , , , , , ,

Written by RobertLloyd58

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

error: Content is protected !!