Dickie Bishop – Guitarist
Lonnie Donegan’s last recordings with the Chris Barber Band, before he left to pursue a Solo career capitalising on the success of Rock Island Line, were made on 4th April 1956. He was replaced on Banjo by Dick Bishop, who also soldiered on with the Skiffle Group (known both as Chris Barber’s Skiffle Group & Dick Bishop’s Skiffle Group 1956 & 1971). Dickie Bishop likewise left Chris Barber & Lonnie Donegan and formed his own group, ‘Dick Bishop & his Sidekicks‘ They played on Saturday morning Radio.
Monty Sunshine decided to strike out on his own, forming Monty Sunshine’s Jazz Band, which included Trumpeter Rod Mason, ex-Barber Banjoist-Vocalist & Guitarist Dickie Bishop. In 1995, Barber rejoined Lonnie Donegan & Dickie Bishop for a reunion UK Tour, and he also did several reunion Tours of the Chris Barber Band with Monty Sunshine & Lonnie Donegan.
Monty Sunshine Band – Rod Mason (trumpet), Dickie Bishop (electric guitar), Monty Sunshine (clarinet), Nick Nicholls (drums), Geoff Sowden (trombone), Gerry Salisbury (bass), Johnny Parker (piano).
Interesting that bands then all; had matching ‘Band Suits’ which was a tidy marketing thing and even extended to the Beatles albeit with Chanel Collars.
Dickie Bishop, the Banjo player in Chris Barber’s Band in 1956, remembers: “We had recorded Petite Fleur in a Studio and thought it would be a good idea to play this title live on the very same evening in a Jazz Club. But when the fans saw me come in with my Guitar Case, I was booed so violently that we changed our minds and cancelled our plan to play that Title. Nobody could imagine that this Title was to become a million-seller.”
Johnny Duncan was well-known in his native Knoxville, Tennessee, leading his own group, broadcasting, televising and recording. Here, he is now a member of Dickie Bishop’s Skiffle Group, and hopes to do some recording in the fairly near future. Incidentally, we are told that skiffle is, to Johnny, ‘Blue Grass Style’ music, as it originated, and still exists, among the hillbilly folk of Kentucky’s ‘blue grass’ area.”
I recently found a photo of my uncle Dickie Bishop onstage with Big Bill Broonzy & Lonnie Donegan at St Andrew’s Hall Glasgow in the 1950s. I’ve attached it here for you as I saw you have some photos of Dickie Bishop on your Site. Dickie was actually one of my Dad’s best friends in the 50s & 60s but was always known to me, my brother & sister as Uncle Dickie. There were always so many friends & relatives visiting us, all of whom my parent’s insisted on us calling “Uncle” or “Auntie” that I was never quite sure who were blood relatives and who were just friends! The last time I saw ‘Uncle Dickie’ was in the early 70s, I think he went to live in Germany. I hope you enjoy the attached photo. – Dr Martin Taylor MBE
Dr Martin Taylor MBE embodies that elusive, yet authentic connection to the music of a bygone era. Born into the auspices of the great Django Reinhardt, Taylor’s life and his music have been influenced by musical legends of the 1st order. The warmth of his textured, layered playing is, at once, tastefully measured yet masterfully virtuosic.
Dickie Bishop migrated to Germany at the turn of the Millenium. Dickie is still alive, but he did his last musical performances in December 2004 during the Skiffle Concerts in Gelsenkirchen & Essen (Germany) by way of an apology for previous Bomber Command Raids