Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Mayday Margate Mayor, pinch and a punch and a ramble about dignity.


First for the compulsive bloggers here is my chart of the top Thanet blogs http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/512/id3.htm I have been brushing up my encoding so for the old style simpler view http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/512/index.htm both have style faults, I guess I am getting too old for geeking.

The policemen have been getting younger for some time and now it’s the mayors, despite being the only councillor with a formal qualification in politics, one of the only councillors I have ever seen in action, trying to do something positive for Margate here in Ramsgate, we must of course ask ourselves is he dignified enough and also is Margate dignified enough.

I noticed some time ago when I had a minor operation that the surgeon performing it was a lot younger than me, well at the time, going under as it were, my main concern was obviously, was he qualified, in retrospect I do wonder if an unqualified, but older and more dignified amateur would have been more interesting. 

Funny old thing this, looking around the blogs the blue tint of Thanet life http://birchington.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/youre-hired-margates-22-year-old-mayor.html says "Our objection has nothing to do with age but everything to do with experience, tradition and obligation to the people of Margate." Mind you Simon seems to have bought a fisheye lens for his camera so his view may be a little distorted at the moment 

Pretty sure it said something about a fousand years of history earlier, dodgy area history and some of Margate’s has been most undignified, overall the dignified bit of Margate history, is a bit difficult to pin down. 

Mind you at the moment the local Conservatives seem to mostly be backing the losing horses, night flights, gay marriage, maritime museum and now young people in politics. I guess there must be some sort of age limit here as the youngest Conservative Prime Minister was only two years older than Will.

TIG seem to supporting Will, see http://thanetindependentgroup.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/margate-spring-congratulations.html but then there is this suspicion from the blue quarter that TIG may be reds under the bed, I think this is mainly because the majority of their number are disaffected blues. Although form the red quarter they may bee seen as having a suspiciously blue tinge.

Over on Thanet Waves, see http://www.thanetwaves.co.uk/2012/04/will-power.html Will seems to be getting the thumbs up apart from the blue comment.

I guess though that from the blue point of view, it would be best, if we are going to have red mayor, for he or she to be a bad mayor and I doubt that Will will be that.  

One thing that does concern me a bit is that the only councillor who appears to have a qualification in politics isn’t in the cabinet.
 With Margate there was certainly a brief period of dignity in the early 1800s before the steam boats made it the easiest and cheapest seaside destination, this picture is from 1810 an ooses dignity, or at least ooses.

I think the first mayors would have been the bailiffs or maires of starting from the Norman conquest in 1066, at that time I think it would only have been cities that warranted a maire the spelling is a bit variable, anglosaxon is not my strong point. 

My guess is that for the most part they would have been pretty much young thugs.

The first written reference for possibly a Margate maire, that I can see at a glance, is written by order of the regency of Isabella and Roger, Edward III being to young to govern after the abdication.

Pardon the translation, my latin being as rusty as my computer coding: 1338 To Bailiff Mergat. Merchants of Spain Catalonia Lombardy Aquitane have the king’s friendship and are to be compassionately received.

On the whole I would say from the correspondence the monarchy and barons of the Cinque Ports had considerable trouble with the men of Mergate, who were often liberating the cargos and throwing the crew over the side to drown.

If Will makes it far enough, he certainly wouldn’t be able to lay claim to be the youngest Thanet MP as he wouldn’t beat Harmsworth, 2nd Viscount Rothermere (29 May 1898 – 12 July 1978) the Conservative politician, In 1919, he was elected as a Unionst [Conservative] Member of Parliament for the Isle of Thanet.

The lowest ebb of Margate’s dignity was written up by Admiral Howard, after the Spanish Armada.  "The men have long been unpaid and need relief." The lack of fresh water caused an outbreak of disease and they went to Margate for help. As they were still waiting for their wages to be paid they were unable to buy fresh food for themselves. Howard wrote bitterly: "It is a most pitiful sight to see, here at Margate, how the men, having no place to receive them into here, die in the streets. I am driven myself, of force, to come a-land, to see them bestowed in some lodging; and the best I can get is barns and outhouses. It would grieve any man's heart to see them that have served so valiantly to die so miserably."  

Anyway if I can get it to work this little film about Dreamland in its heyday I think sums things up.




O Dreamland is a 1953 documentary by British film director Lindsay Anderson, filmed at Dreamland.

I though perhaps a quick sketch of Will Scobie 

61 comments:

  1. "One thing that does concern me a bit is that the only councillor who appears to have a qualification in politics isn’t in the cabinet."

    Michael, a qualification or a degree doesn't necessarily mean you are the best person for the job or that you deserve a certain job. I have a degree in Business Studies - but that doesn't mean I should be running a FTSE 100 company !

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    1. Ross the cabinet is a group, and as such would probably function best with a wide range of ages, abilities, experience, qualifications and needs to include both sexes. I am not talking about Will running Thanet but am saying that the group running Thanet may benefit from what he has to offer.

      I think you are also making the mistake of assuming that I am a Labour supporter and therefore not going to criticise Labour. Having a councillor with a masters degree and not using this, would be like being in the engineering business and having someone with a masters in physics working on the assembly line.

      The only reason I can think one would do this would be if one had to pay them a lot more.

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    2. I agree entirely - more diversity could be greatly beneficial - it's got to be better than the "jobs for the boys" culture that normally surrounds politics. The main point I was trying to make is that just because Will has a degree in politics, does not automatically make him the best person for a position.

      Politics degrees (along with many many other subjects) are very "theoretical" studies. I would rather have people who "do" things than "study" them (if that makes sense). (I should point out that I am not saying that Will is one of these people as I don't know him - also, please don't think I'm trying to belittle his academic achievements, that is certainly not my aim here.) But, like any job - and being a councillor is a job - you generally get to a position over time by being good at your job and delivering consistently good results. From my limited knowledge of him, it seems that Will is an ambitious guy who seems to want to do well and I hope he does. But he (along with anyone else) shouldn't be given a position in the cabinet purely on the grounds that he has a politics qualification - he should get a cabinet position on merit.

      Finally Michael, I made no assumptions about your political leanings - to be honest it's none of my business and I really don't care what political party anybody supports (I don't blindly support one myself). I just want the best for Thanet. If that is Will then great, if it's not then there will be someone else.

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    3. Ross I think it very important here to understand that council cabinets are groups, and the formation and structure of groups within science and engineering – in order to get the best out of a group economically and productively – is something I have some experience of. I haven’t looked into the how groups work in terms of government, but would guess the psychological science behind this is similar.

      A masters is a fairly high qualification, higher that a graduate and in the commercial world someone with one would cost a fair bit, to have one and not use them to the maximum is just daft.

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    4. Yes, but in the commercial world, someone wouldn't be given a job based on their qualifications. It may make them stand out from the crowd and get them an interview but I would never recruit someone purely on their qualifications.

      Michael, Would you rather employ someone with a genuine passion for books, literacy and customer service or someone who has a qualification in Retail ? Your argument so far seems to imply the latter which seems a bit strange.

      I'm sure Will would rather get a cabinet position on merit rather than because of his qualification. Good luck to him, I think younger people need to get involved more and it sounds like he wants to do so.

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    5. As I've pointed out elsewhere, he also has passion, commitment and excellent people skills (the latter is surely particularly important for his role as Mayor, and something that Moores, Worrow and several others are clearly lacking in!).

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    6. I don't doubt that. I'm not trying to put Will down or say anything bad about him as I don't know the guy. I'm just trying to counter Michael's argument that a qualification should be sufficient for a cabinet post in a local council.

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    7. Ross I guess in an ideal world a management team of five which the cabinet is, would have a leader between fifty and sixty, three people qualified in some aspect of the work, at the height of their energy and ability between say 25 and 50 and one person qualified in some aspect of the work under 25.

      In practice the choice is made from the available councillors and what happens is that we wind up with a cabinet and shadow cabinet with an average age of about 60 with one or two members who have some relevant qualification.

      Taking the management of a small bookshop chain, we had one in Herefordshire with including school and library supply a turnover of about £3m, with family members running the thing. I would say the largest impact on the business was having one of my brothers involved who was doing the degree, chartered accountancy sandwich course when about Will’s age.

      The structural changes he made to the business and its financing gave the older generation a comfortable retirement.

      I would say that if the council were a business with the current management team and there was an option to include a young and qualified individual, then this would happen.

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    8. But would you have given someone that opportunity based purely on their qualification (had it not been your brother) ? I would suspect not. You would (hopefully) have interviewed them and given it to the best person. Your brother obviously had the right attitude and great abilities and if Will is the same then I'm sure his cabinet position will come.

      Harold Shipman held a phd but I wouldn't have wanted him treating my mother ! Ok, I'm being facetious but hopefully you can take on board the fact that a qualification doesn't automatically make you the best person for the job.

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    9. Ah Ross whereas we were unrestricted and didn’t have to use someone in the family, the council chooses the cabinet from the councillors. None of the other councillors have any qualification in politics that I am aware of, so given the choice who do you think would be a better addition to the cabinet.

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    10. Peter. Since elsewhere you have said that you have never met Scobie Minor, how do you know what sort of people skills he has?

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    11. Michael ignoring, yet again, Chris Wells qualification

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    12. Absolutely not Tim as well as using Will’s masters in politics, no company would ignore Chris’s BSc in Economics and International Relations and I guess the Conservative cabinet made good use of his economics training.

      My guess is that it is the current leaders experience as a trade union negotiator that makes him better at his job than a lot of his opponents expected, they often use people with this experience to do the talking in siege and hostage situations.

      I guess the trick is to dispassionately evaluate the skills available and try to use them to the best advantage.

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  2. OK then Michael.. on your reasoning Michael, a formal qualification in sports studies & soccer should be sufficient for a 22 year old to be the England manager.

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    1. If the person also has passion, commitment and excellent people skills, then why not?

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    2. As well as good pet care skills of course. ; )

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    3. Simon, my reasoning – assuming your comparison relates to cabinet membership - is that if the England football team were managed by a group, rather than an individual, then that group ought to include at least one, reasonably well educated and intelligent young person, as some football supporters are young.

      The mayor on the other hand is a position primarily to promote the town, the nearest on a national scale would be the monarch, and unless you are suggesting that we should have a regency until a monarch attains middle age then it is difficult to understand your reasoning.

      I would say the first beneficial aspect of Will becoming mayor will be the publicity associated with his youth, played in the right way I could be used to Margate’s economic advantage.

      My guess is that the Conservative shadow cabinet should be looking to reshuffle a young woman into their ranks and make sure she isn’t sidelined.

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  3. Could be good publicity for Margate......
    I'm really pleased for Will and think he is an inspiration for other young people.

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  4. How wonderful that a young person cares enough that he wants to take on such a role, are there some sour grapes out there amongst the older generation!

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  5. It seems to me that people are quite unwilling to follow a reasoned argument on this subject. Michael, you can't equate the 19th century with today as men grew up much faster and were quite possibly married with several children by the age of 22 and even commanding a ship of the line.

    The argument surrounds experience of local government. Is 11 months enough, after all this is also a job that carries a generous allowance, so in the private sector could this possibly happen; i.e. and appointment with concomitant responsibility, which also carries a precept levied on the people of Margate and the finances of the Margate Charter Trustees. That's without any management experience whatsoever and a present job description as a part-time minibus driver for a school of English.

    It's not simply about dressing-up with a pointy hat and shaking hands at garden parties. There is a little more to the role but the Labour group has made very sure of this as I predicted and so let's not anyone here pretend that it's something that it's not, it's a career box ticking exercise, another rung on the ladder towards a future political career with the Party, so good luck Will!

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    1. Simon, sorry about the time straps here, blogger fault not mine.

      Is this a reply to my reply to you 8.57?

      Or are you replying to something else I said?

      I don’t like to sound difficult but in either sense, your reply doesn’t seem to make sense, or relate to what I have said in this post, or my reply to you.

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    2. You really are a bitter man Simon. It would help if you got to know Will to get your facts right. I think you might be pleasantly surprised by what he has done in the last 22 years, the values he holds and the respectful view he has of people.He is keen to learn from people like yourself, his enthusiasm is infectious and he has a genuine love for Margate. Biased you bet I am but then again I try to be non judgemental especially based on age.

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  6. Homer Simpson and Dick Turpin had a tricorn hat !

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  7. 2:42.. I'm hardly a bitter man.. a rational one perhaps. As I wrote elsewhere and here, Labour as ever, seem quite unwilling or unable to engage here or indeed in the council chamber with anything approaching a logical argument.

    So the question remains. Given the radical departure from tradition, is a a young man - any young man - of 22, with no work record to speak of and 11 months as a junior councillor, qualified for the role of Mayor of one of our towns?

    If this was any other local government or political job process carrying equivalent responsibility an equivalent salary, would it have passed scrutiny without howls of outrage from the public?

    Did Labour actually consult with people to ask what they might think of such a change from tradition, after all, the precept is on our council tax. Here in Westgate at least, people I speak to are quite shocked but perhaps it's different elsewhere.

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    1. Just let it go Simon! It's happened now, so are you going to give the new Margate Mayor your support or just carry on trolling all the blogs with your whinging?

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    2. Simon OK allthatsaid and assuming that you are right and Will is the wrong person for the job, and assuming my calculations are correct and he is active as mayor for about five days a week and he goes on holiday for a fortnight.

      You are left with the youngest mayor in the country costing about £40 per active day, less than the cost of the lowest paid council worker, Margate has a young and intelligent person with a masters degree, promoting Margate.

      So as a local business man who may have contributed about, what’s the council tax paying population of Margate about 20,000 or 1,000 I don’t know anyway for arguments sake say you either contribute 0.2p per day or 0.4p per day, how are you going to see a cash return on your money?

      I would have thought the publicity surrounding the youngest mayor will be news worthy, are you going to fly a banner, take him I a plane?

      I have checked and am told that he is quite, fit, so how may extra wedding banners do you think the young ladies, or of course gay men will order, based on being associated with this publicity?

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    3. Of far more concern to the people of Thanet than the age of the Margate Mayor is the fact that former TDC leader Sandy Ezekiel has been charged with fraud. I wonder how much blog space Simon will give this? Or is it "in the past and irrelevant", just like former Margate Mayor Ted Watt-Ruffell's animal cruelty conviction?

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    4. As for being the UK's youngest mayor looks like Workington are about to appoint a 21 year old councillor.

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  8. O/T
    Michael Will this have any affect on China Gateway,Looks to be much bigger
    http://uk.reuters.com/article/2012/05/01/uk-ireland-china-idUKBRE8400ZV20120501

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  9. It isn't about academic qualifications. If it was, we wouldn't have a council packed with intellectual pygmies. It's about experience of life and the people skills needed to outmanouevre the trolls. You need life experience to know when to twist and when to fold. You only pick the battles you can win and you need to know who's on your side. It takes years of experience to work out how to win people over and blindside the ones who are determined to oppose what you do. I'm all for giving youngsters opportunity but you don't let a 22 year-old operate on the patient.

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    1. 22 year olds can teach, can deliver babies, can fight in wars and actually the worlds youngest surgeon is 15 years old so Will is pretty ancient compared to that! Qualifications are not the be all and end all but it is a good start and we have to give young people chances even when they may not have the most experience. Maybe if more companies give youngsters chances we would not have the youth unemployment we have....

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    2. 1108 you're right, we wouldn't have the present youth unemployment, we'd have virtually no employment at all.

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    3. and your a boring pornographer

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    4. And you don't know the difference between "your" and "you're".

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  10. Maybe the most telling reason for questioning young Scobie's lack of experience is that his political allegiance is entirely based on his father and grandfather. No original thought there. And the presence of Hart etc at the Trustees meeting, something that they haven't bothered with for years, surely indicates a political bias towards a non-political position. Still, I live in Ramsgate, so we can continue to look down our noses at the poor relation to the north for the next year.

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    1. I maybe he trusts his parents and grandparents judgement. Is that such a bad thing?

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    2. Shows a lack of independent thought

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    3. I'm sure he also weighed up the alternatives. After all he did actually STUDY politics.

      Anyway, I doubt if (say) Simon's parents were exactly socialists, though feel free to prove otherwise!

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    4. The only thing I know about Simon's father is a fleeting remark that Simon made years ago about escaping from the Spanish Civil War. If I have remembered this correctly it would point to Simon's dad having something to do with the International Brigade; those to the right of centre had nothing much to fear from Franco. You won't know much about them I suppose, but believe me they were hardly Tories. I'm sure Simon can confirm or deny as he sees fit.

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    5. It seems to me that with the mayor having no powers and duties include attending charity and fun raising events, visiting schools and other organisations the main attribute he needs is to be able to speak well in public. When has age been a barrier to being able to do this well? Many older local councillors can’t. Was it not a 16 year old William Hague that came to our attention with a public speech? Many a young person excels at debate at school, university and on youth councils.
      Just because Will has had no time to hone his political skills will be no barrier to him doing a good job as mayor.

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  11. "Dr" Moores has a very vivid imagination!

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  12. Good to see ECR back! Hope he stays this time, the Thanet blogs could do with a little humour!

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    1. Interesting that you applaud Will's faith in his father's judgement when you have absolutely no time for your own papa. It is all rather silly, and ominous for the good of Thanet, when a non political appointment is so obviously made on political bias. Normally, with a divided council like TDC, a Conservative or Independent should follow this years Labour mayor, but I suppose Will has to be preferably to any of the TIG party.

      Probably find Labour are seeking to raise his local profile in readiness for putting him up as a parliamentary candidate in 2015. He is about par for parliament being educated but with no life experience other than working for his party (excluding driving a minibus, the ambition ceiling of every successful graduate!) and being a mayor. Like wow, what a prospect to lead us out of the clag.

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  13. Here Here Peter!

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  14. Just a few points, firstly Wills Grandmother was a staunch Tory so I'm not sure where this takes the argument lol.
    Secondly Will does not drive mini buses funnily enough he is too young.
    Finally maybe his mothers political allegiance may have had some influence!

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    1. Too young to drive a minibus - goodness get the ageism champions out he's old enough to be mayor he must be olod enough to drive foreign language students about.

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  15. Rather sad when a fifty something man uses expressions like daddio and square, but then I suppose he was around when these were considered 'with it' things to say. Some folk just cannot pass gracefully into their dotage.

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    1. Are you trying to tell me that the youth of today no longer listen to Freddie Bell and The Bellboys?

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  16. Freddie Bell and the Bellboys were an American vocal group, influential in the development of rock and roll in the 1950s.
    [edit]Career

    Ferdinando Dominick Bello (September 29, 1931 - February 10, 2008) was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Italian American parents. He became a trombonist, bassist, drummer, and singer, playing in various bands including that of Ernie Ventura. In 1952 he formed his own group, the Bellboys, with Jack Kane (saxophone), Frankie Brent (bass / guitar), Russ Conti (piano), Chick Keeney (drums), and Jerry Mayo (trumpet). They were one of the first white groups to play the R&B hits of the day, and honed their act in the Midwest before landing a booking at the Sands Hotel in Las Vegas.
    In 1955, they made their first recordings for the Teen Records label, including a cover version of Leiber and Stoller's "Hound Dog" (first recorded by Big Mama Thornton). When performing the song in Las Vegas, they were seen by Elvis Presley, who was impressed and decided to record the song himself.[1][2][3]
    The group was signed to Mercury in 1956, and were also spotted by film producer Sam Katzman. He offered them a part in Rock Around the Clock, the first rock and roll movie, starring Bill Haley. The first single for their new label, "Giddy Up a Ding Dong", written by Bell and his friend Pep Lattanzi in 1953,[4] was featured in the film. "Giddy Up a Ding Dong" was not a hit in the United States, but it was popular in Australia, France, and the UK, where it climbed to number four in the UK Singles Chart.[5] The publicity for the single said, "If these sides don't move you, see a doctor – you're dead."[4] The lyrics to the song are about a horse ride, with a definite western flavor, with the music having a loping, horse like cadence. The group also appeared in the 1956 film, Rumble on the Docks.[6] In 1957, they became one of the first American rock and roll acts to tour the UK.
    In 1964, they appeared in the film, Get Yourself a College Girl, with 1960s groups such as The Dave Clark Five and The Animals.[7] However, their international tours did little to enlarge the popularity of the group in America, where they had no hit records. They continued to do well for some years in Las Vegas, thanks to their energetic stage shows.
    Freddie Bell died, aged 76, in 2008. Jerry Mayo died, also aged 76, on June 10, 2011

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    1. You got a PhD in 50's rock, Big B, or just passing down your knowledge from on high? Say high to Buddy and Ricky by the way.

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    2. I hate it when people confuse the late American rock 'n' roll legend Ritchie Valens with surviving Welsh pop one hit wonder Ricky Valance.

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    3. So the Big Bopper was you Peter. Thought nobody else could be such a fountain of useless knowledge. Wasn't Ritchie Valens also something of a one hit wonder as well?

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  17. Nope, I'm not the one who posted the Freddie Bell info (I assumed that everyone knows it).

    Ritchie didn't have many hits, but he did die when he was 17, & was deemed important enough for Hollywood to make a biopic about him nearly 3 decades later. Which is more than can be said for 73 year old Ricky...

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  18. Ritchie Valens (born Richard Steven Valenzuela; May 13, 1941 – February 3, 1959) was a Mexican-American singer, songwriter and guitarist.
    A rock and roll pioneer and a forefather of the Chicano rock movement, Valens' recording career lasted only eight months.[1] During this time, however, he scored several hits, most notably "La Bamba", which was originally a Mexican folk song that Valens transformed with a rock rhythm and beat that became a hit in 1958,[2][3] making Valens a pioneer of the Spanish-speaking rock and roll movement.
    On February 3, 1959, on what has become known as The Day the Music Died, Valens was killed in a small-plane crash in Iowa, a tragedy that also claimed the lives of fellow musicians Buddy Holly and J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson. Valens was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001.

    Ricky Valance (born 10 April 1939) is a Welsh singer. He is best known for the number one single, "Tell Laura I Love Her", which sold over a million copies in 1960, toured the club circuit in the mid 60's till present including an appearance at Pfizer social club in 1979.

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  19. I'd hardly call 1979 "present"...

    I had to put up with his 2nd rate cabaret act every night in 1987 when he supported Jerry Lee Lewis on a UK tour.

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  20. thanks for sharing.

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