Sunday, November 5, 2017

Michael Parker - Renowned Musician, Songwriter 1958 - 2017

Michael Parker, one of Headmaster George Parker's children, at the City of Coventry Boarding school, has sadly passed away.

He was a successful musician and songwriter. His older sister, Aileen Parker, posted this message on Facebook -

"Very sadly Michael, our little brother passed away on Thursday afternoon. Peacefully in his sleep. He was the most sweet and gentle soul I knew and a massively talented musician. I feel blessed to have been part of his life. To find out more of his great talent please visit the website of his closest and longterm musical partner, Barb Jungr. Love you Michael." xx http://www.barbjungr.co.uk/index.html

I don't know a lot about Michael Parker but have done a little bit of research for this post.

Michael was born in Cleobury Mortimer in 1958, educated at Bridgenorth Endowed School and Adams' Grammar school in Bridgenorth and lived latterly in Edinburgh.

Michael Parker played in number of bands on guitar,harmonica and even horn and was often the songwriter or co-songwriter. These include Loose Lips, The Three Courgettes, Hell Bent, Heaven Bound and as a duo with Barb Jungr.

Jungr and Parker 'Right Out Of The Blue'



Available for the first time on https://itunes.apple.com/album/blue-d... In 1986 Barb Jungr and Michael Parker recorded their second underground cassette album, Blue Devils, at RMS studios with Andy Levien at the desk, featuring all their own songs. With Olly Blanchflower on bass, and special guests Ian Shaw (voice) and Heather Joyce (saxophones), photo Willy Duggan, artwork, Lin Jammet. Michael Parker voice, guitars and cornet. Barb Jungr voice, harmonicas and percussion. Mastered for iTunes by Christoph Bracher. Photos for video kindly supplied by Abi Grant.

Loose Lips
Aileen tells above that Michael was a massively talented musician and songwriter and in the 70's and
Helen Watson

80's was in a band called Loose Lips, with Helen Watson. 
Helen Watson is an English singer-songwriter who has played or toured with a range of stars including - Albert Lee, Little Feat, the Eagles' Bernie Leadon, Andy Fairweather Low - toured with the legendary Joe Cocker, sung with Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt and worked with some of England's finest, including Christine Collister, Chris While and Julie Matthews. Her music encompasses blues, soul, jazz, pop and folk. Born in Manchester, she began performing on the folk-club circuit during the late 1960s whilst working as a teacher in Manchester. During the 1970s and 1980s she was a singer with the renowned blues band Loose Lips and a member of the Manchester quartet Well Knit Frames. 





The Three Courgettes


The Three Courgettes "recorded on the Island label in 1982 and consisted of Jungr, guitarist Michael Parker and singer Jerry Kreeger. The group, whose choice of name probably ensured its stature as a footnote in British musical history, was popular on the so-called alternative cabaret circuit, where Jungr also toured with her friend and regular collaborator, the comedian Julian Clary. When the Courgettes went their separate ways, she worked for another 12 years with Parker, now based in Edinburgh." http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/features/barb-jungr-im-an-obsessive-kind-of-person-8567679.html

The Three Courgettes - Substitute 1982


The Three Courgettes - Christmas is Coming.

Chistmas is Coming "was recorded by the Three Courgettes featuring Barb Jungr in 1982 for the Ze Christmas Album. The Three Courgettes were originally signed to Island Records, for whom they released two singles, one of which a picture disc featured in this video. The group toured with Kid Creole and The Coconuts and had a minor hit with the song Three Courgettes produced by Jungr's husband Richard "Dan" Bowling."






The single is available here - 




HELL BENT HEAVEN BOUND

In the early 1990’s Helen was a member of the acclaimed vocal ensemble HELL BENT HEAVEN BOUND with Christine Collister, Barb Jungr and Michael Parker. They toured Europe, America and Canada.

On this page here there is a review of the Helen Watson band by Martin Smith who says of Michael Parker - 

"The revelation for me was Michael Parker who played acoustic guitar, and played any solos that
Michael Parker
were going. I've heard of him as he played in a sort of Brecht / Weill cabaret duo called Jungr and Parker, and there is a bit of mention of that on the Fledgling page in the Christine Collister biog and I see you feature the Heaven Bound recording on your page. He played guitar nicely, and his backing vocal meshed very well with Helen's; they have a knack of sounding like more than 2 people.

But his lead singing was fabulous. He has a fair vocal range himself, seems to be able to produce a variety of voices, and is seriously at home with the blues. You won't see a better example of a guy who should have been born black! He sang a fine version of George Jones' "She thinks I still care" sounding very much like the ol' drinker himself. And blues-wise he did Howling Wolf's "How many more years?", Jimmy Reed's "I'll change my style", and a encore version of "Walkin' the dawn" which was great. Sometimes Helen just sang second vocal, or sometimes played harmonica on his tunes. They also sang a very sleazy version of a (presumably) old blues tune from the Hell Bent revue days (Gee baby ain't I good to you)
."

Barb Jungr and Michael Parker



Shopping For One

If Push Comes to Shove


You can hear more tracks if you click back to youtube.

Wicked (Barb Jungr and Michael Parker album)



Track listing

"Bad Things Come in Threes" (Barb Jungr, Michael Parker)
"Don't Sacrifice Me" (Jungr, Parker)
"No News is Good News" (Parker)
"That Black Cat" (Jungr, Parker)
"In Soho Late at Night" (Jungr, Parker)
"Too Much for Me" (Jungr, Parker)
"Just the Wisky Talking" (Jungr, Parker)
"Perfect Pair" (Jungr, Parker)
"The Begging Game" (Jungr, Parker)
"Over a Low Flame" (Jungr, Parker)
"You Can't Win Them All" (Jungr, Parker)
"An Empty Bottle" (Jungr, Parker)

Musicians
Barb Jungr - vocals, harmonica
Michael Parker - guitar, harmonica
Paul Zetter - bass guitar
Other personnel
Lin Jammet - art
Honey Salvadori - photography


Barb Jungr with Michael Parker and legendary comedian Arnold Brown, with whom she won The Perrier Award in the 1980s.



Here is another tribute to Michael Parker by James Ghent from 'We are Cult' posted on Barb Jungr’s that tells you more about his musical background than I have related above. Take a look, it's interesting http://wearecult.rocks/michael-parker-1958-2017




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