On Saturday 17th March 2012, the Ealing Club Blue Plaque was unveiled, to commemorate the beginnings of British Rhythm and Blues. Alexis Korner, Cyril Davies and their band Blues Incorporated held their first “electric blues” nights at the tiny venue, on the 17th March 1962.
The 1960’s “British Rhythm and Blues Boom” was based on electric guitars, pounding drum rhythms and used Black American Blues as its core inspiration.
March 62 editions of NME, Melody Maker and Jazz News all contained details on the first Ealing Club nights whose success opened up other London Jazz Clubs to the new sound of British R & B.
Key figures from the first golden generation of British Rock joined the ranks of Blues Incorporated or were given opportunities to “cut their teeth” with the band at the Ealing Club venue. Future Rolling Stone, Charlie Watts would play with Blues Inc, a group that would attract young musicians from all over the country seeking the sound of the Blues.
Mick Jagger, Brian Jones, Keith Richards, Paul Jones, Eric Burdon, Eric Clapton would find opportunities to jam with Blues Incorporated who would later call on the skills of Jack Bruce, Ginger Baker and Graham Bond.
Alexis Korner and Cyril Davies inspired many musicians in the Ealing Club (today a bar called the Red Room) As well as nurturing new talent, the venue hosted The Rolling Stones from (July 62 – March 1963), Manfred Mann (March 63 – Jan 64) along with John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers, GBO, Jeff Beck with The Tridents, The Who and many more.
On Saturday 17th March, a commemorative Blue Plaque sponsored by six fundraising gigs held last year, was unveiled by Bobbie Korner (wife of Alexis Korner). The event (at the Red Room) was attended by original Blues Inc band members Charlie Watts, Andy Hoogenboom and Art Themen. Many who knew or worked with Alexis Korner including BBC presenters Bob Harris and Tom Robinson attended, along with veteran BBC radio producer Jeff Griffin.
Saxophonist Terry Marshall who with his father (Jim Marshall) helped test and develop the earliest Marshall Amplification units, helped provide music with Robert Hokum’s house band and veteran Ealing club performers Ali McKenzie (The Birds) and Don Craine (Downliner Sect).
This week Kenny Jones, drummer with both the Small Faces/The Who, confirmed by letter that members of the Small Faces were regular visitors.
He stated: “When people talk about the great music that came out of Britain and all those legendary bands playing venues like the Fillmore in America they should all be saying,
Yes but it all started in Ealing…..at the Ealing Blues Club”.