Cossack Melodies

Reverberations from Duane Eddy and beyond

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Re: Cossack Melodies

Postby (royclough) » Wed May 27, 2009 1:58 pm

Martin Jae is correct


see here
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Re: Cossack Melodies

Postby (Morphyous) » Sat Jun 06, 2009 7:06 am

Hi folks I came across this discussion because i surfed "Cossack Melodies". My reason for this is, that my Dad John Skelley was the organist on this song. I cant furnish too much info because I was only 11 at the time and my Dad has passed away. My Mum who is still alive remembers the neighbours complaining about the noise because this song was being rehearsed in our house in Wallington Surrey for a couple of weeks before they and my Dad went off to record it. The group was introduced to my Dad by a guy called Bobby Richards. This song had a tv play too but my Dad who was in his late thirties was considered too old to appear on the tv appearance and a young bloke mimed my Dads organ part.
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Re: Cossack Melodies

Postby (admin) » Sat Jun 06, 2009 7:14 am

John: Welcome and thanks for this information. Did you dad play for any other groups?
Life, as with music, often requires one to let go of the melody and listen to the rhythm

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Re: Cossack Melodies

Postby (royclough) » Sat Jun 06, 2009 9:31 am

Did he call himself Stevens? See my previous post for photo
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Re: Cossack Melodies

Postby (Morphyous) » Sat Jun 06, 2009 8:47 pm

admin wrote:John: Welcome and thanks for this information. Did you dad play for any other groups?


Hi, yes he managed a group called "The Woodlanders" who had a minor chart entry with a song he wrote called " Never be Free" the flip side was "A love that will always be with me" which he also wrote. ( I found a link to this record on ebay) http://cgi.ebay.pl/THE-WOODLANDERS-NEVE ... otohosting

He was the early manager of "Mud" who used to rehearse in our house.

He wrote a song called "Latinique" which was recorded by Paul Fennelly but he used a pseudonym which i can't remember at the moment.

He was also the first demonstrator for the Melotron in the uk and he worked for Eric Robinson and David Nixon. We had quite a few well known people coming to our house because we had a demonstration model in our home.

He did have an association with "the Avons" and he played on a few tracks of there's.

cheers for the interest in Dad.
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Re: Cossack Melodies

Postby (Morphyous) » Sat Jun 06, 2009 10:35 pm

royclough wrote:Did he call himself Stevens? See my previous post for photo


No Dad didnt call himself Stevens. As far as i'm aware the band didn't have a keyboard player and the song wasn't written with a keyboard part. Bobby Richards the writer of the song lived near us in Wallington Surrey and my Dad and him knew each other. Initially Bobby asked Dad to rehearse and refine the song ready for the recording studio, it was during these rehearsals that Dad suggested a keyboard part. When he played the part all the guys liked it and so it stayed in and so he went to the studio with the band and recorded his part with them. I am 100% confident that my Dad played the organ on this song and i remember his disappointment when he watched a young bloke miming his part on a TV show. So this is just my way of getting him the credit he is due for playing his small part on what i think is a really catchy and good song. I also agree with previous posters that the title was a bit stupid and misleading because it didn't really sound like a cossack song!
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Re: Cossack Melodies

Postby (royclough) » Sun Jun 07, 2009 7:18 am

Still one of my favourite instrumentals from 60s
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Re: Cossack Melodies

Postby (felixdcatuk) » Tue Jan 26, 2010 6:02 pm

Great to find this on the net, My Uncle Mick Hack was the lead guitarist with Martin Jae and the Hi - 5 & i agree the track should have been a hit, My Uncle passed away some years ago now but my dad confirms that John Skelley was indeed the organist but on the T.V. show - Thank your lucky stars i think it was the keyboard was mimed by Martin Jae as he was a vocalist on an instrumental track ( not very fair though ). After the band split up my uncle played in a group called the casual 4 for a while and they did record an album but never got far with it but he loved his music and bought the Art Nash music shop in Penge where he worked and played for many years as selling instruments and guitar strings etc meant he got to spend his time amoungst fellow musicians.
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Re: Cossack Melodies

Postby (royclough) » Tue Jan 26, 2010 6:10 pm

Thanks for the info sorry about the film quality it was my first atempt at a video.

Should you want a mp3 of this and the b Side plau the follow up single let me know, be pleased to pass them on.
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Re: Cossack Melodies

Postby (felixdcatuk) » Tue Jan 26, 2010 6:15 pm

i would love a copies thank you
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Re: Cossack Melodies

Postby (kenposurf) » Wed Feb 03, 2010 9:12 pm

felixdcatuk wrote:i would love a copies thank you


Hey Mark,
If you haven't heard back from Roy yet you may want to send him a private message
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Re: Cossack Melodies

Postby (Morphyous) » Thu Feb 04, 2010 3:27 pm

felixdcatuk wrote:Great to find this on the net, My Uncle Mick Hack was the lead guitarist with Martin Jae and the Hi - 5 & i agree the track should have been a hit, My Uncle passed away some years ago now but my dad confirms that John Skelley was indeed the organist but on the T.V. show - Thank your lucky stars i think it was the keyboard was mimed by Martin Jae as he was a vocalist on an instrumental track ( not very fair though ). After the band split up my uncle played in a group called the casual 4 for a while and they did record an album but never got far with it but he loved his music and bought the Art Nash music shop in Penge where he worked and played for many years as selling instruments and guitar strings etc meant he got to spend his time amoungst fellow musicians.


Thank you for adding some detail to this story. Your Uncle Mick was a very good guitarist and had a great sound.
I very much appreciate you confirming my Dad as the keyboard player, it would have been a hard one to prove!
I was a musician in South London and went to your uncles shop a few times for strings etc but I didn't know he was in Group X, pity i would have liked to chat to him. all the very best John Skelley jnr

I hope you don't mind me adding the e-mail you sent me, which i received today. It is so full of detail and i'm sure it would be of interest to to the forum and shed light on this track.

"Hi there! Mick Hack (more often known as Mike to eveyone) was my brother, and heplayed lead guitar on the record. I remember when Mick came back frommaking the recording and he told me that the impressario Tito Burns who wasinvolved with it all came to the studio on the night they recoreded itafter just watching a TV programme that was popular at the time called "TheNaked City". At the end of every show a voice said "There are 8 millionstories in the Naked City and this has ben one of them". Mick said thatTito then proposed that the title for the record should be "There are 8million Cossack Melodies and this is one of them". So that is how it cameto be named do oddly. When they appeared on Thank Your Lucky Stars on ITV the host Brian Matthewsintroduced it saying that it must be one of the longest titles for a recordbut yet one of the shortest names for a group, i.e. Group X. I seem to remember the "big" name on the show that Saturday was Mark Wynter("Venus in Blue Jeans"). On the show 'Group X' all wore the high neck 'cossack' shirts. Martin Jae(the singer in the band) was put on the organ for the show. He could notplay the organ but it didn't matter as they were miming to the record whichwas the normal practise in those days). Radio Luxembourg plugged it heavily, especially for the week or so leadingup to it's release date. They regularly said that "a great new wall ofsound is approaching, by Group X" to which someone would say "who is it?who is it? and the reply was that it would all be revealed and played forthe first time on Friday night at 9pm, so it got a fair bit of promotion. From what I remember the band only got a 'session fee' for making therecord, and no royalties as I think they were a bit naive at the time andin any case understandably probably had 'stars in their eyes'. The band subsequently released Roti Caliope which was Fleur de Lys(Beethoven) with a beat etc. The record would probably have done a lotbetter but it did not get the 'air time' as I understood from Mick that theBBC refused to play it as it was messing around with a classicalcomposition. The band were well known especially arounfd South London, but they wereknown as Martin Jae and the Hi-Five and later as the Martin Jae Five. Theywon the National Beat Contest under that name which was televised live. Theband in 2nd place were Glenn Athens & the Trojans and I am pretty sure thatthey then became Dave Dee, Dosy, Beaky Mick & Titch (not absolutely surethough?) I went to the Lyceum in London to watch the contest, and I remember JimmySaville was one of the judges. The MJ5 won £1,000 and a recording deal. I have a great publication all about Group X, which is the 'PipeLine'Instrumental Review, which is dated Autumn 1998 (issue no. 41) Inspired by Mick who taught me to play guitar when I was a young lad backin the 50's I also formed a group in the mid-60's and we played around theSouth London area, mainly in the Beckenham/Penge district. We were called'The Kontaks' but never reached the heights achieved by Mick and his band.I still have a faded press cutting from winning the 'Disc-a-Beat' contestat the Silver Blades Ice Rink in Streatham , where we are pictured with oneof the judges (National Ballroom Queen', Nannette Slack) I seem to rememberone of the other judges was Marty Wilde's lead guitarist? (happy days). I hope you found the above of interest and if you would like any moreinformation please let me know. Regards,Alan Hack
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Re: Cossack Melodies

Postby (mrgreen) » Mon Jun 06, 2011 6:55 am

Sorry for resurrecting an old post here, but I'm interested in finding out if the John Skelley Snr that was mentioned ever lived in Charlotte road in Wallington?? If so he was an old mate of mine.
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Re: Cossack Melodies

Postby (elreydlp) » Wed Jun 08, 2011 1:46 pm

I was sure this thread would be about this:



or this:

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Re: Cossack Melodies

Postby (Morphyous) » Thu Jan 07, 2016 10:37 pm

mrgreen wrote:Sorry for resurrecting an old post here, but I'm interested in finding out if the John Skelley Snr that was mentioned ever lived in Charlotte road in Wallington?? If so he was an old mate of mine.


Hi Mr Green yes We did live in Charlotte rd Wallington. Would be good to hear from you and found out how you knew Dad. best wishes John Skelley Jnr
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