Chris Walker

Location: Fordingbridge, Hampshire
About me...

I was born in 1939 and took up playing clarinet at the age of 15, having been a member of the school recorder band since ! was 11. After leaving school I played regularly around the London jazz scene, as a member of The Freddy Shaw Jazzmen, before becoming a professional musician with The London City Stompers and, later, with the Mike Daniels Big Band and Colin Kingwell’s Jazz Bandits. I moved to Hampshire in 1969 and, since then, I have worked with most of the local jazz personalities, was a member of The Real Ale & Thunder Band for 18 years, and has run his own highly successful 5-piece ‘Swingtet’ for the last 21 years. Whilst with the Real Ale & Thunder Band, I was, in 1987, the musical director for an historic BBC “Songs of Praise” from The Maltings in Farnham and, between 1980 and 2019; I have produced a series of music and information based jazz programmes for BBC Local radio all across the South. These days I run The Pedigree Jazzband and tour a show titled “A SALUTE TO TRAD JAZZ”

 

About my Talks...

My talks (please scroll down to read about each one specifically) are based on PowerPoint presentation and include audio/visual clips.  Each talk lasts 45-50 minutes. I can bring my own projector and sound (if required) but do require a local screen.

Fee:

My fee is usually £50 plus travel if over 30 miles from home (Fordingbridge)

My Contact Details:
Phone:

01425 655631

07966 451124

My series of talks are on the subject of The Great American Songbook

INTRODUCTION TALK

Public Speaker in Hampshire Chris Walker Presents a Musical Quiz

In the first of a series Chris Walker introduces the theme of “The Great American Songbook” and, with the help of rare archive audio and video material, illustrates just how the great songs of the 20th Century were originated and performed.

DROP ME OFF AT HARLEM

Public Speaker in Hampshire  Chris Walks presents his talk Drop Me Off in Harlem

Chris Walker tells the life story of Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington including some rare archive film footage shot throughout this great bandleader’s career. Ellington is regarded by many as the most important composer of the 20th Century – particularly as he emerged from the world of jazz

“SHOWBOAT”

Public Speaker in Hampshire  Chris Walks presents his talk Showboat.

Jerome Kern could never understand why his melodies were so popular. Chris Walker illustrates the reasons with more rare film footage and the story of the man who once upset his father by ordering 200 pianos instead of the 2 they actually required!

“BASIN STREET BLUES” - LOUIS ARMSTRONG (Part One)

Public Speaker in Hampshire  Chris Walks presents his talk “BASIN STREET BLUES” - LOUIS ARMSTRONG (Part One)

Chris Walker invites you to a record recital tracing the early career of the world’s greatest jazz trumpeter from his lowly beginnings at the home for waifs in New Orleans to the dizzy heights of the top New York Cabarets. A chance to listen to some early rare recordings from Chris’ personal collection

“AMBASSADOR SATCH” - LOUIS ARMSTRONG (Part Two)

Public Speaker in Hampshire Chris Walker presents his talk “AMBASSADOR SATCH” -  LOUIS ARMSTRONG (Part Two)

Join Chris Walker for the second part of The Louis Armstrong story following Louis’ career from the formation of his “All Stars” in 1947 to his death in 1971. This talk includes some of Louis’ hit recordings as he rose to International stardom

“SOMEWHERE OVER THE RAINBOW”

Public Speaker in Hampshire Chris Walker presents his talk “SOMEWHERE OVER THE RAINBOW”

The story of Harold Arlen, illustrated with recorded examples of his songs. Chris has unearthed the story of this little known songwriter that contributed so much to “The Great American Songbook” You’ll be surprised at the number of well-known melodies for which Harold Arlen was responsible.

THE BENNY GOODMAN STORY

Public Speaker in Hampshire Chris Walker presents his talk THE BENNY GOODMAN STORY

Chris Walker tells of Benny’s rise from the slums of Chicago, through the prohibition era to his International stardom as The King Of Swing. Illustrated with rare recordings, Audio visual clips and anecdotes featuring Benny – arguably the World’s greatest clarinettist

“WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD” - LOUIS ARMSTRONG

“WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD” - LOUIS ARMSTRONG

Chris Walker traces the career of the world’s greatest jazz trumpeter from his lowly beginnings at the home for waifs in New Orleans through the dizzy heights of the top New York Cabarets to the formation of his “All Stars” in 1947 which he led until his death in 1971. This talk includes some of Louis’ hit recordings as he rose to International stardom.

“THE GREAT AMERICAN CHRISTMAS”

Public Speaker in Hampshire Chris Walker presents his talk  The Great American Christmas

Chris Walker traces a fond look back how the Great American Songbook treated Christmas over the years with stories and rare Audio/video examples from his own collection

AIN’T MISBEHAVIN’

Public Speaker in Hanpshire Chris Walker presents his talk AIN’T MISBEHAVIN’

Chris Walker presents the story of Thomas “Fats” Waller from his lowly beginning in the back streets of Harlem to International Stardom, Writer of songs, in partnership with Andy Razaf, which have become evergreens. An extraordinary man with an extraordinary life style. This talk includes rare film clips of the man in action

THE FOOD & MUSIC OF NEW ORLEANS

Public Speaker in Hampshire, Chris Walker presents his talk THE FOOD & MUSIC OF NEW ORLEANS

Bring a notepad & pencil along to today’s talk by Chris Walker. With the aid of film footage you can learn about some of the finest food and music that New Orleans has to offer as you walk through the traditional old French Quarter of the City

OUT AND ABOUT IN NEW ORLEANS

Public Speaker in Hampshire Chris Walker presents his talk OUT AND ABOUT IN NEW ORLEANS

Today Chris Walker talks about some of the interesting houses to visit and sights to see around the Crescent City. From Plantation houses and the historic French Quarter homes to the Street cars and museums. You need never be bored in the City known as “The Big Easy”

FASCINATIN’ RHYTHM

Public Speaker in Hampshire Chris Walker presents his talk FASCINATIN’ RHYTHM

This list of tunes credited to George Gershwin runs into the hundreds and includes the music for over a dozen Broadway Musicals. For much of the time he worked with his brother Ira and, between them, they penned both the words and the music. Chris Walker tells the story of George Gershwin with the aid of some great recordings and Audio Visual footage

THE STARDUST ROAD

Public Speaker in Hampshire Chris Walker presents his talk Hoagy Carmichael - The Stardust Road.

From his early college days following and forming friendships with the visiting early jazz men in the 1920’s, Chris, in this illustrated record talk, tells the story of Hoagy Carmichael who wrote such classic melodies as “Stardust”, “Georgia on My Mind” and “Skylark”. His move to Hollywood and his collaboration with some of the great song lyricists of the twentieth century makes this a fascinating trip down memory lane.

NEW ORLEANS TO LONDON

Public Speaker in Hampshire Chris Walker presents his talk  New Orleans to London

Trombonist Chris Barber was destined to become a mathmatician but got bitten by the jazz bug and dedicated his life to popularising traditional jazz and blues in Britain. Chris Walker tells his story in todays talk illustrated by rare film footage and some grat fot tapping music

“LETS FACE THE MUSIC & DANCE”

Public Speaker in Hampshire Chris Walker presents his talk Lets Face the Music and Dance.

The songs of Irving Berlin are timeless and, in today’s talk Chris Walker traces the life of this Great American songwriter from his poor beginnings in New York to his International success. Recorded examples of some of his work and rare film footage are included in this fascinating story.

THE KING OF POP

Public Speaker in Hampshire Chris Walker presents his talk Michael Jackson King of Pop.

Many would argue that Michael Jackson was the greatest performer in the world of Pop Music. But how did it all start? How did he reach the phenomenal heights of popularity and income that he enjoyed? What Part did Dr Conrad Murray play in his death? Join Chris Walker and some more film footage to discover the answer

MUPPETS MAGICAL MUSICAL MOMENTS

Public Speaker in Hampshire Chris Walker presents his talk MUPPETS MAGICAL MUSICAL MOMENTS

Today Chris Walker talks about some of the great musical moments from the 5 series of Muppet Shows. The musical contributions were played by some of Britain’s top musicians. Who were they? Relive some extremely funny clips with Archive footage from Chris’ own collection

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE FIRST LADY OF SONG

Public Speaker in Hampshire Chris Walker presents his talk Ella Fitzgerald First Lady of Song

Today’s talk by Chris Walker traces the career of Ella Fitzgerald from her first appearance at the Apollo Theatre in Harlem, through taking over and leading the Chick Webb band at the age of only 22. She then went on to International fame and fortune through her recordings and public appearances. Watch Ella in action with some very rare film footage and sound bites

SHAKE RATTLE & ROLL

Public Speaker inHampshire Chris Walker presents his talk Elvis Presley- Shake Rattle & Roll.

Elvis Presley, son of a poor share cropping dynasty in the deep south of America, rose to International fame and fortune through his recordings and personal appearances. Chris Walker traces his life through his music and includes some rare film clips and photographs with a great selection of Elvis’ hit recordings.

“STRAIGHTEN UP AND FLY RIGHT”

Public Speaker in Hampshire Chris Walker presents his talk Straighten up and Fly.

From being the leader of a very influential jazz trio to becoming one of the greatest vocalists of all time, the Nat “King” Cole story tells of the battle against racial intolerance and the will to succeed against all the odds. Chris Walker traces his career and includes film of many of Nat’s greatest hits

“ANYTHING GOES”

Public Speaker in Hampshire Chris Walker presents his talk Anything Goes.

Chris Walker traces the musical career of one of America’s greatest songwriters. Cole Porter was born with a silver spoon in his mouth and thought nothing of lying, cheating and drug taking for most of his life. With Archive movie clips and anecdotes this true story is nothing like it was portrayed in either of the two Hollywood movies about the man who gave the World such a rich legacy of GREAT songs

LITTLE OLD WINE DRINKER

Public Speaker in Hampshire Chris Walker presents his talk Little Old Wine Drinker.

From prize fighter and Croupier in an illegal casino, Dean Martin rose to International stardom as a straight man, singer and actor. Renowned as a serious drinker and member of the infamous RAT pack, Chris Walker recounts the truth about this giant of the entertainment world using rare film footage and musical clips.

HE DID IT HIS WAY

Public Speaker in Hampshire Chris Walker presents his talk He Did it His Way

Chris Walker traces the musical career of Frank Sinatra – one of the greatest singers of the 20th Century. From his early days as a singer with big bands to his topping the bill both in Las Vegas and in Hollywood movies. Rare footage and photographs are included in this musical tribute featuring original recordings from Chris’s own collection

MY SHINING HOUR

Public Speaker in Hampshire Chris Walker presents his talk My Shining Hour

Hailed for much of his career as “The World’s Greatest Living Entertainer”, Sammy Davis Jr. was a multitalented singer, dancer and actor who broke the ground for many other black artists during his long and distinguished career. Chris Walker traces his life and sad end through his music and includes some rare film clips and photographs with a great selection of Sammy’s recordings.

IN THE MOOD

Public Speaker in Hampshire Chris Walker presents his talk In The Mood

Chris Walker recounts the true story of Glenn Miller – the most romantic of all the Swing big band leaders. Today’s talk takes you from his early childhood playing trombone in local bands, through his rise to fame, his updating of the United Sates Army –Air Force music and to the mystery of  his disappearance over the English Channel in 1945. All illustrated with some rare film clips and photographs from Chris’ own collection

KING OF THE SWINGERS

Public Speaker in Hampshire Chris Walker presents his talk King of the Swingers.

British trumpeter Kenny Ball was one of the major figures in popularising traditional jazz in the UK (and around the world). Chris traces Kenny career from the East End of London to the World’s stage and TV appearances. With film clips from Chris’ own private collection.

THE MAN IN BLACK

Public Speaker in Hampshire Chris Walker presents his talk The Man in Black

Rising from being the son of a poor American Sharecropper to topping the hit parade charts, dealing with drug addiction and finding religion, the unique voice of Johnny Cash has thrilled millions of fans and Chris tells his story in today’s talk which includes many of Johnny’s greatest hit songs.

"BROTHER RAY"

Public Speaker in Hampshire Chris Walker presents his talk Brother Ray

“BROTHER RAY.” Known professionally as Ray Charles, he was an American singer-songwriter, musician, and composer. He was often referred to as “The Genius. Charles was blind from the age of seven. He pioneered the genre of soul music during the 1950s by combining blues, rhythm and blues, and gospel styles into the music he recorded Charles became one of the first African-American musicians to be granted artistic control by a mainstream record company. Chris tells the Ray Charles Story with a selection of Audio/visual clips to highlight his music

QUIZ

QUIZ TIME with Walker

Public Speaker in Hampshire Chris Walker Presents a Musical Quiz

Our popular music speaker invites you to join him for a fun music quiz based on some of the great names and tunes from the 20th Century world of music. Come and test your knowledge (and memory) with 25 questions and answers. You could win a superb prize!!

Chris Walker Contact Details:
Phone:

01425 655631

07966 451124