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So Long To A Soho Legend

Daily Telegraph
George Melly the jazz singer, author and raconteur who has died aged 80, leched, drank and blasphemed his way around the clubs and pubs of the British Isles and provided pleasure to the public for five decades. Melly's involvement in jazz was born out of a romantic nostalgia for a golden age of brothel music. Appearing in the 1950s with Mick Mulligan's Magnolia band and later for nearly three decades with John Chilton's Feetwarmers, "Good time George" followed a well-established routine of singing numbers from the 1920s (his foremost influences being Bessie Smith, Fats Waller and Jelly Roll Morton) interspersed with camp asides and bawdy anecdotes. Loopy-mouthed and rotund under an outsized fedora, Melly could always be relied upon to wear louder suits and tell better, funnier and dirtier jokes than anyone else on the circuit. With a smile once described as "a cross between a leer and a twinkle," he pushed hard at the boundaries of public taste, knowing that, like the errant schoolboy he once was, he would always be forgiven.
tales Alex Massie