This post was originally an episode of The Old Time Review Daily Podcast. In each edition, Jamie Dyer spoke off the cuff about a famous person, film or song for up to three minutes. The following is a transcription, which has been cleaned up to remove any hesitation and some repetition. Where possible, the subject has been expanded on from the original broadcast.
This is the Old Time Review Daily Podcast for the 10th of May 2021. And this is Jamie Dyer speaking to you from the UK. And on this day in 1920, the British guitarist Bert Whedon was born. Now for those who aren’t familiar, his style and influence are massive in the rock world. He was an incredible guitarist whose books, Play in a Day, were a major influence on many leading musicians across the world, including Eric Clapton, Brian May and Paul McCartney.
In his own right, he was a decent artist. He had a hit record in the UK singles chart in 1959 called Guitar Boogie Shuffle, which reached a peak of number ten. He was the first English guitarist to have a hit record in the UK. He specialized predominantly in Jazz, Blues and Pop styles. In the current times, I suppose you could say that it was an Easy Listening kind of thing. He comes from that. And if you’ve never heard his music before, you might liken it to another guitarist who was hugely inspired by him; Hank Marvin of The Shadows. The weird thing is that The Shadows’ biggest hit, Apache, was actually offered to Weedon first, but he kind of refused it. Imagine how different popular music would have been had Burt Weedon had that track first, and maybe The Shadows hadn’t recorded it. I don’t have a definitive answer.
His big track, Guitar Boogie Shuffle is a masterclass in that style of music and it’s one that I would recommend from this artist that you go and check out. As a millennial, a lot of that stuff comes from before I was born, but I have a huge appreciation for it. He made his way through the catalogue of many famous singers, recording tribute albums all on the guitar. His style, although old-fashioned, is definitely something to be admired.
So that is Burt Weedon, The British guitarist who was born on this day in 1920. And that is your Old Time Review Daily for the 10th of May, 2021. What is your favourite Bert Weedon recording?