It was a spectacular sight. Winifred Atwell was born in Port Au Spain and studied pharmacy as well as classical piano. Her honky tonk career began by playing for servicemen at an air base in Trinidad and she pursued this style when she moved to England. Oh, Dem Golden Slippers. La Danza. On Ilkley Moor Baht 'At. Trek Song. Maori Song Of Goodbye. Home On The Range. Cielito Lindo. La Paloma. Aloha Oe. Bells Of Aberdovey.
Blue Bells Of Scotland. Bobby Shaftoe. Pizzicato Polka. Ballet Egyptian. Il Bacio. Villikens And His Dinah. Over The Waves. Oh, No John. Musical Moments. Also appearing with her on the same bill was Ronnie Carroll , a radio and television recording star. However, her popularity in Australia led to her settling in Sydney in the s. She became an Australian citizen two years before her death. Keith Emerson noted her influence on his playing in an interview: "I've always been into ragtime.
In England—and I'm sure Rick Wakeman would concur—we loved Winifred Atwell, a fantastic honky-tonk and ragtime player. Atwell was also a skilled interpreter of classical music.
The two-channel version engineered by Decca's Roy Wallace appears not to have been released, but a transfer of the Decca LP mono LF has been produced and issued by Pristine Audio as an available download. Atwell bought an apartment on the beach front in the Flightdeck at Collaroy in Sydney, as jumping-off bases for her worldwide performance commitments.
She was a member of the Moby Dick Surfer's Club at Whale Beach where she performed regularly in support of the surf club. Enjoying the affection of the public, she was nevertheless keenly aware of prejudice and injustice and was outspoken about racism in Australia. She always donated her services in a charity concert on Sundays, the proceeds going to orphanages and needy children. She spoke out against the third world conditions endured by Australian Aborigines , which made headlines during an outback tour of the country in Dismissing racism as a factor in her own life, she said she felt she was "spoiled very much by the public.
Atwell also created headlines in the s with her dieting slimming from sixteen to twelve stone on what would today be called a protein diet. She played her "other" piano at the end of the show with a few bars from "Black and White Rag" after the piano being in retirement for many years.
Though a dynamic stage personality, Atwell was, in person, a shy, retiring and soft-spoken woman of modesty. Eloquent and intellectual, she was well read and keenly interested in and informed about issues and current events. Voracious in her reading habits and a devotee of crosswords, she confessed to an inordinate love of mangoes, a dislike of new shoes, and a keen interest in televised cricket she backed England. Atwell often returned to her native Trinidad, and on one occasion she bought a house in Saint Augustine , a home she adored and later renamed Winvilla and which was later turned into the Pan Pipers Music School by one of her students, Louise McIntosh.
In the early s, Atwell's sense of loss following her husband's death made her consider returning to Trinidad to live, but she found the weather too hot.
Atwell suffered a stroke in She officially retired on The Mike Walsh Show , then Australia's highest rating television variety programme , in The writer and economist C. Immediately after the war there was a feeling of depression and unhappiness, and she made you feel happy. She had this unique way of making every note she played sound a happy note. She was always smiling and joking. When you were with her you felt you were at a party, and that was the reason for the success of her records.
In March , and now at the height of her fame, Atwell had her second number one with Poor People of Paris. A few months later she was due to make her second appearance at the Royal Variety Performance, which traditionally took place on the first Monday of November.
Are we prepared to accept for ourselves the logic we are applying to Egypt? The crowd were met with a ring of police protecting Downing Street, and many demonstrators became bottled in and had nowhere to go.
In the confusion, some mounted police charged down Whitehall and rode right into the demonstrators scattering them everywhere. The next day the Royal Family were advised that it was for the best that the Variety Show was cancelled. In Winifred opened her hairdressing salon on Railton Road in Brixton. At one time it must have been quite grand, but by the fifties the plaster was peeling off, and once you got inside everywhere was dingy, drafty and damp.
Six weeks later they were married. Sharon talks of the Brixton she knew as a child in her autobiography:. In the fifties and early sixties, Brixton was where all the variety artists lived, comedians, singers, ventriloquists, acrobats, entertainers. Pre-TV, variety was the only entertainment there was for ordinary people, and with the Brixton Empress and the Camberwell Palace being less than a mile away, Brixton was the hub.
Over the road from us were the fire-eater and a juggler. A dog act, a man called Reg, lived in a caravan in a bombsite behind our road and I used to play with his little girl.The World Of Winifred Atwell - UK - VINYL LP More of this title WINIFRED ATWELL The World Of Winifred Atwell ( UK issue of the track stereo vinyl LP compilation. The front-laminated picture sleeve has just a little shelfwear and the vinyl appears barely played SPA51).