MUSIC MATTERS- Whizzy raps up 1million streams - The Coventry Observer

MUSIC MATTERS- Whizzy raps up 1million streams

Coventry Editorial 16th Feb, 2023   0

COVENTRY Music Museum curator Pete Chambers BEM writes for the Observer

James Simpson

Thanks to reader Guy Whitehead, I always love hearing about Coventry musicians that may be forgotten in the midst of time.

Guy Whitehead, a Cov lad who played music in Coventry in the 1970s with Rex Brough, Tony White, Martin Birch and John Bradley who all became accomplished players.

They still write and play today – more than 40 years on.

His grandfather was James Simpson. Simpson was a Coventry man who played music around the city and who was a good drummer who also travelled a lot playing.

Jimmy was born in Coventry in 1907, during the 1930s, clearly away from Coventry, as in 1935 he was working in the band on the Kenilworth Castle, a Royal Mail steamer.

He also drummed with his Regal Band at the Regal cinema in Uxbridge.

He was in demand and drummed in various bands including the Al Lever Band and with Hughie Green and his Gang.

Hughie would later become a TV favourite with his show Opportunity Knocks.

Before the war Jimmy was in the Warwickshire Territorial’s as a bandsman.

He gigged a lot around Coventry. In 1940 he joined the Royal Marines as a bandsman and served firstly on HMS Rodney and then on the infamous HMS Penelope. He was not on the Penelope when it was sunk.

After the war, he is seemingly back in Coventry as the publican at the Whitley Abbey (now gone), the Stoke Ex Servicemens’ Club in Clay Lane and the Conservative Club. It is assumed he may well have played at these venues too.

We know he was alive around 1954/55 but at some point after that, probably late 1950s he committed suicide and was found at Drapers Hall, Bayley Lane.

So, a sad end to what was clearly an exciting life for the times. A life dominated and driven by music.

A little inside story sheds a little magic from Guy Whitehead:

“My daughter Lucy, Jimmy’s great granddaughter when at primary school, was set a task of finding out what family members did in the Second World War.

She took the story of Jimmy’s service on HMS Penelope to school.

To our amazement, a boy in her class, his great grandfather was the captain on HMS Penelope, Captain Nichol.

Jimmy would of course have met captain Nichol. It’s a small world.”

Whizzy hits a million

Congratulations to Cov rapper Whizzy for chalking up over a million streams for his song ‘Without Me’.

This is a phenomenal achievement and – to any doubters out there, as it says on his website – ‘Numbers don’t lie’.

The fact that he is being mooted as UK’s answer to Eminem is no mean feat.

I have been supporting this groundbreaking artist for many years, and despite all his personal demons, Whizzy is still there getting better and better with each step and with each rap.


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