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Don Partridge iTunes Tracks

Don Partridge

+ {Accolade}

Born 27 October 1944, Bournemouth, Dorset, the former burglar turned one-man-band busker was discovered in London’s Berwick Street market by Viscounts frontman Don Paul. Finding a contract with Columbia Records and appearing in the 1967 movie Popdown (as himself alongside ANDY SUMMERS, ZOOT MONEY, JULIE DRISCOLL et al), it wasn’t long before the label had a surprise hit on their hands, `Rosie’, which reached the Top 5.
`Blue Eyes’ repeated the formula, although subsequent flop `Top Man’ spoiled the chances of his parent debut LP, simply titled DON PARTRIDGE (1968) {*6}, making the grade. The album itself comprised original songs alongside the works of LEADBELLY (`Keep Your Hands Off Her’), The INCREDIBLE STRING BAND (`First Girl I Loved’), BIG BILL BROONZY (`Black, Brown & White Blues’), Joe Primrose (`St. James Infirmary’), OSCAR BRAND (`The Wayward Boy’) and OTIS RDDING’s (`Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay’.
At a time when buskers were the in-thing, Don decided to self-finance a benefit gig at the Royal Albert Hall in January 1969 (“Buskers Happening”, showcasing HAWKWIND-bound Dave Brock among others), while his fourth and last Top 30 chart entry came courtesy of `Breakfast On Pluto’; a Buskers LP was duly released later that year.
Not content with just a solo career, which had incidentally flagged by now, Don teamed up with guitarist GORDON GILTRAP, saxophonist/flautist Brian Creswell, drummer Ian Hoyle and double-bassist Eden Abba to form ACCOLADE, an acoustic folk-jazz quintet who turned out two LPs, ACCOLADE (1970) {*5} and ACCOLADE 2 (1971) {*5}, the latter without Eden and Gordon, who’d been superseded by Malcolm Poole.
Once a busker always a busker, PARTRIDGE returned to his roots, although this time in Sweden. Having set up home in England again, post-1974 drew a blank on the recording front until 1982’s STREET HARVEST {*5}. A few decades or so in the wilderness, he finally unleashed a follow-up, THE HIGHWAYMAN (2004) {*5}, an autobiographical set of songs and verse (example, `The Night I Met Elton John’). A resurgence of sorts happened thereafter with the inclusion of Don’s `Breakfast On Pluto’ track on a 2005 film of the same name, while trip-hop duo Lemon Jelly invited him on to a nationwide tour around the same time. PARTRIDGE relocated to Seaford, East Sussex, but sadly died of a heart attack on 21 September 2010.
© MC Strong 2010/GFD // rev-up MCS Feb2017

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