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HEMSBY ROCK’N’ROLL WEEKENDER

The final Hemsby Weekender of 2018 was the end of an era, as veteran organiser Willie Jeffery announced he is stepping down. But a host of great acts saw this landmark event go out with a bang… setting a high standard for the new Hemsby that is coming in 2019

#61

Even at 79, Gary ‘US’ Bonds still performs with the vocal firepower of someone half his age
PHOTOS BY GARRY LETTS

Hitmaker Gary ‘US’ Bonds proved he was a good investment when he headlined a packed Hemsby 61 Rock’n’Roll Weekender at the Norfolk holiday park. Still with an impressive head of hair and a powerful voice, he delighted the crowds with a selection of his party hits including, of course, New Orleans and Quarter To Three. Co-headliners Rip Masters, also from the USA, and Jack Baymoore And The Bandits, from Sweden, kept up the international flavour for a great weekend, tinged with sadness since Hemsby organiser Willie Jeffery is handing over control after a 31-year run.

A Hemsby Weekender is more than simply a string of acts. There’s also record and clothing stalls, a car cruise, a jive contest and a Sunday boot sale, while the vintage rail excursions and trips on the Broads often turned a visit to Willie Jeffery’s weekender into a fun holiday. But it was Gary ‘US’ Bond the crowds had come to see and hear, an infrequent UK visitor making his weekender debut…

WHEN GARY ‘US’ Bonds’ New Orleans was released in 1960, Disc magazine declared that the record – with its wild, party atmosphere – could not have been made in Britain, and they’d have no doubt believed its spaced out, echo sounds couldn’t be reproduced on stage either.

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