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Welcome to my latest newsletter.
John and Charles Blackwell (courtesy of Val White) Charles Blackwell and myself have been close friends since we first met in 1960. Charles was my first musical director and is responsible for many of the great productions that emerged from Joe Meek’s studio.
In 1960 the Charles Blackwell Orchestra recorded a pioneering true stereo LP entitled ‘Those Plucking Strings’ that was scheduled for release on Joe Meek’s Triumph label. Those Pluckin' strings However, as with many of the projects that Joe recorded, no release was forthcoming at that time.
Serious collectors of the Joe Meek sound will be aware that vast sums of money have been paid over the years for a white label acetate copy of this LP, it appears only 2 copies ever existed.
This month sees an official CD release of ‘Those Plucking Strings’ on the RPM label, (Catalogue No. RPM 310) and I personally can’t wait to hear this long lost masterpiece.
(picture of John with Charles Blackwell: Courtesy of Val White)

The last few weeks have been and the next few weeks will be very busy for me. Interviews have taken place for publication in the Saturday Telegraph magazine. The likely publication date is Saturday 11th March. Dusty Springfield Bulletin I have also been interviewed by Paul Howes for an article about my friendship with Dusty Springfield, this is to appear in the March edition of the Dusty bulletin, the magazine that Paul edits. We are able to supply copies of this particular edition of the magazine and should any of you wish to purchase a copy, which I will personally sign, please ‘e’ mail your requirements to me at mail@johnleytonofficial.com. We will only obtain a very limited quantity of the magazine against pre-orders. The purchase price will be £5 (inc p/p)

I am about to record a segment for a 3 hour radio special, ‘Sunday Night At The Oldies Presents The Legendary Joe Meek’, this to be originally aired in the USA on Sunday 19th February. We will put up a website link as soon as we are able, to enable those of you who wish to hear the show to do so.
Billy FuryI have also been interviewed along with Clem Cattini, Peter Williams and other personalities for a forthcoming DVD on the life of Billy Fury. This is being produced by Odeon Entertainment and is scheduled for release later this year.
Meetings have been held regarding a major project that hopefully will come to fruition later this year, a project that I am really excited about and I will let you know more about nearer the time.
February also sees me returning to Alan Wilson’s Western Star studio to put down more vocal tracks for my forthcoming CD.

As I mentioned last month we have been working on a few new features for the website. Many new additions will shortly be made to the range of merchandise the shop sells and we are currently planning a feature on my original fan club. In advance of this feature we are attempting to locate ‘Mary Brigette’ the original fan club secretary. If anybody knows of her current whereabouts can you please ‘e’ mail me and if any of you have any special memories of the fan club please let us know. With your permission we would like to publish some of them. Meantime, kindly supplied by Shelia Wybergh, Val Larner and Babs Male we picture some of the original fan club items below. These will form the basis of a forthcoming feature.


Hopefully you enjoy reading news of some of the many events currently taking place.

Always yours.

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