My Top 5 Tunes – Wizz Jones

Five songs that changed my life

At 80 years young Mr. Wizz Jones is still gigging like he is a 20-year-old. The word legend is generally overused but when it comes to “The Wizz” the term is fitting. How lucky are we to be living at the same time as this man.

01: “The Devil’s Galop” – composed by Charles Williams.

As an adolescent boy in my home town of Croydon in the 1940’s listening nightly to the BBC Radio serial  “Dick Barton Special Agent”  I thrilled to the sound of this orchestral piece that was used as the signature tune for the programme. It was broadcast in the early evening around “tea time” on the “Light Programme”  presumably now Radio 2.

It first awakened my musical senses and led me to investigate classical music on what was then the “Third Programme”

02: “The World Is Waiting For The Sunrise” – Les Paul and Mary Ford (1953)

The exciting and exotic sound of multi-tracked electric guitar  with  Mary Ford’s sweet vocals  were my first introduction to the guitar and I wasn’t satisfied until I had managed to buy every 78rpm single that was released in Britain during the 1950’s.

03: “Georgia” – Ray Charles

I was already familiar with Ray Charles’s recordings  whilst living for a short time in Paris in the early 1960’s but it wasn’t until I walked into a bar on the harbour  early one sunny morning in Toulon to the sound of  Ray’s  version of  “Georgia” coming from a big Wurlitzer Juke Box that I decided there and then that  “This was the life for me!”

04: “They Call Me The Breeze” – JJ Cale

When gigging around Europe in the early 1970’s a friend in Rotterdam played me JJ Cale’s first album “Naturally” and I was hooked for life and like Les Paul I made sure to hear every album he made.

05: “Coyote” – Joni Mitchell

(The performance featured on the Scorsese film of The Band “The Last Waltz”
Well we all love Joni – a true original!