UNEARTHED tracks featuring Ringo Star, Elton John and Brian May have seen the light of day thanks to a North Wales superfan.
Carl Jones, 69, of Sychdyn, was a friend and agent to skiffle musician Lonnie Donegan, who is credited with bringing guitar music to the UK and influencing everyone from The Beatles to Van Morrison.
The former invoicing manager at Shotton Steelworks became a friend and agent to Donegan and has helped reissue Putting on the Style, his 1978 album featuring a host of big-name stars.
Carl said: “This is the first time the album has been on CD. A lot of people appeared on the record at the time, but because in those days an LP only lasted 30 minutes they couldn’t all get on. On this album it has been re-released with the extra tracks on it.”
The pair met in 1966 when Donegan was playing a summer season in Rhyl and over the years they developed a friendship which saw Donegan play Clwyd Theatr Cymru in Mold and stay with Carl at his home.
He said: “I used to record his shows from television and I gave him copies and he was thrilled people had done it. He never kept anything of his own.
“I was a fan at first and then we became friends. I became his agent later on.
“Before he came along all British pop music was either ballads or novelty songs. When he came along he sat with a guitar and sang different types of songs. That is where John Lennon picked it up.”
The album was recorded in the USA after stars including Paul McCartney, Elton John, Cher and Leo Sayer discussed his influence at a dinner party.
At the time Donegan’s career was waning and the album provided a boost to his fortunes. However, it had only ever been released on vinyl until Carl decided the album deserved to be heard on CD.
He said: “I have always been interested in Donegan. People got to know me through him. Whenever there was a CD I would provide information.
“I spoke to his wife Sharon and I picked the tapes up and drove to the studio in North London for sorting, cleaning and digital remastering.”