Jack’s usual weekly guest blog post -
It’s funny how connections can get made across time and distance.
When I was attending primary school, back in the 1950s in Dunfermline, Scotland, one of my best friends was Manuel Charlton. We stayed in touch off and on over the next twenty years or so as he developed his musical skills and began playing with a rock band called the Shadettes that played regularly in the local dance halls. They never recorded, I don’t think, and were rarely commented on in the music press – just an anonymous small town band playing covers of current hits.
Then they changed their name to Nazareth (named for the opening line of ‘The Weight’ by The Band) and almost immediately were signed by a major recording label. One of their early singles was ‘Love Hurts’ and this was a massive world-wide hit for them. These four guys from Dunfermline went on to record numerous albums and hit singles.
Just a couple of years ago my good friend and marvelous fiddle player Pete Clark was invited to join them on stage for a celebration concert in the original Carnegie Hall in Dunfermline (birthplace of Andrew Carnegie) – it shouldn’t have worked, but it did. Pete wove seamlessly into their best known hits and cavorted around the stage as if born to the life!
Just a few years earlier I was being interviewed on radio in Slovakia and the record played immediately before (completely by coincidence) was ‘Love Hurts’ by Nazareth.
Back to the point – one of our most loyal customers here in the bookstore is a guy who is seriously into rock music and I was able to bring him from Scotland a signed copy of a poster for the concert that Pete took part in. When Wendy and I , as we often do, visited Mackay’s bookstore in Knoxville this last Sunday (whenever we visit with her parents we head to Mackay’s afterwards), I headed upstairs to their music department. There, in the LP section, staring me in the face, was Manny Charlton – for a dollar fifty!
I immediately thought of ‘the loyal customer’ and handed it over to him this morning – to his great delight.
So, Manny Charlton – although we haven’t spoken in a long time, we continue to connect and you continue to bring great pleasure to your fans.