Colin H on Big Pete Deuchar
Today’s ‘i’ newspaper had a long piece on Spotify, apparently the saviour of the music industry by driving people towards purchasing physical product, according to recent research. One of the passing remarks in the piece was that almost everything recorded can now be found there. I suspect this is a greatly exaggerated claim. To give one example, very little of the commercially released output of Big Pete Deuchar (aka Big Pete Duker, on later releases) in the 1960s is available either digitally or on CD. Ironically, the one digital item I’m aware of – ‘Walk Right Out of the Blues’, A-side of a Melodisc 45 in 1965 –– is also his rarest British release in its original form. It’s the one Deuchar/Duker single I don’t have, but the A-side can be had for 99p via a digital compilation of British rock’n’roll. It just about qualifies.
Off the back of researching Deuchar primarily for a chapter in my book ‘Echoes From Then: Glimpses of John McLaughlin 1959–75’ – concerning Deuchar’s Professors of Ragtime band, of which McLaughlin was a member (1959–60) – I’m working, when time allows, on a small book on Deuchar’s life and music. It doesn’t matter that probably 12 people will buy it – it’s a fascinating tale of a singular man. This piece, focused on his recorded works, was originally published in ‘Record Collector’ a couple of months ago.
I’ve only recently acquired his very rare US-only single ‘Google Eye’ / ‘Homestead on the Farm’, the A-side being a rerecording, with Nashville musicians, of his best-known UK single on Fontana. I’ll attach it as a montage video.
(story follows in comments)