Jim Caine (jazz pianist)

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James Alfred Caine
Born (1926-06-11)11 June 1926
Douglas, Isle of Man
Died 11 April 2018(2018-04-11) (aged 91)[1]
Douglas, Isle of Man
Nationality British
Education Sheffield University
Occupation Musician / Radio presenter
Years active 1960s–2016
Spouse(s) Edna Heaps (m. 1950–2018)
Children Hilary, Chris, Howard.

James Alfred Caine (11 June 1926[2] – 11 April 2018[1]), known as "Jim the Jazz," was a Manx jazz pianist, radio presenter and raconteur whose career spanned over 50 years.[2][3][4]

Biography

Personal life

The eldest of four sons, Jim Caine was born and raised in Douglas, Isle of Man. He was educated at Douglas High School and Sheffield University, although he left prior to graduation. After leaving university he took a position in the family-run business,[2][4] an established drapery of which he was to become a director.[5]

Jim Caine married Edna Heaps on Thursday September 28, 1950,[6] the wedding ceremony taking place at St George's Church, Douglas, with his brother Allan officiating as best man.[6] The marriage produced three children.

Musicianship

Caine's career as a musician saw him appear as a support pianist in various reviews and performances. In 1946 he joined a group formed by Hugh Gibb, father of Barry, Robin, Maurice and Andy Gibb,[2][4] which played at the Douglas Bay and Alexandra hotels.[7] In addition to Caine, the line-up consisted of Hugh Gibb (drums), Arthur Crawford (accordion), Tommy Cowley (bass), Albert Metcalfe (tenor saxophone) and John Knight (trombone).[7]

During the early 1950s, he formed part of the minstrel troupe appearing as Ebony in support of the Mississippi Minstrels at the Gaiety Theatre.[8] He also appeared in support of the Conister Quartette[9] and as member of Harold Moorhouse and his Augmented Old Time Orchestra, featuring in a charity concert in order to raise money for victims of the 1956 Hungarian Uprising.[10]

Recalling his father,[11] his son Howard claimed he developed his playing style from Carroll Gibbons, including adopting medleys where he would infuse two or three tunes together reminiscent of the style of Gibbons.

Caine went on to form the Jim Caine Trio, the original line up featuring Hugh Gibb on drums, playing at various venues around the Isle of Man notable amongst which were the Villa Marina and the Arragon Hotel - from where a New Year's Eve outside broadcast was transmitted, one of the first in the history of Manx Radio.[2][4]

The appearances of the Jim Caine Trio at the Arragon Hotel led to the release of Saturday Night at the Arragon, a compilation in the form of a compact disc featuring reel-to-reel recordings from the years 1963-1968, which in turn raised over £1,000 for Isle of Man charities.[2][4]

Jim Caine was the secretary of the Manx Jazz Club for more than 30 years.[2][4]

Radio

A regular presenter of a range of programmes on Manx Radio,[2][4] his appearances began in the 1960s and consisted of him playing a varied repertoire as well as requests from listeners on his piano at his home.[2][4] Other programmes which he devised included Music Miscellany, a programme featuring light classical music, and Jim's Jazz Hour which in turn evolved into Sweet & Swing. He continued to present well into his 80s, joined in a co-presentation of Sweet & Swing by his son Howard. Latterly this would take the form of recollections conducted by interview at his home, until he retired from broadcasting in 2016.[2][4]

Often referred to as "The Maestro" due to his encyclopedic knowledge of the artists and bands of the Swing and Big Band eras, Caine's presentational style was relaxed and light-hearted, and on occasion he would recall various meetings with band leaders and solo artists, including Joe Loss, Ivy Benson, Bud Freeman and Humphrey Lyttleton.[2][3][4]

Death

Jim Caine passed away at Noble’s Hospital on Wednesday, 11 April 2018; he was survived by his wife and three children.[1] His body was cremated at a private ceremony, following which there was a Service of Celebration of his life at St Peter's Church, Onchan, Isle of Man.[1]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d "Obituaries April 2018". manx radio. Manx Radio 2018 and Aiir. Retrieved 27 April 2018. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "A full life led by musician and broadcaster Jim Caine". IOMToday. Tindle Newspapers Ltd. 17 April 2018. Retrieved 27 April 2018. 
  3. ^ a b manx radio http://www.manxradio.com/blog.aspx?blogid=14760. Retrieved 23 April 2018.  Missing or empty |title= (help)[dead link]
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Jim 'The Jazz' Caine passes away". manx radio. Max Radio 2018 and Aiir. 16 April 2018. Retrieved 27 April 2018. 
  5. ^ Isle of Man Daily Times, Tuesday, December 13, 1960; Page: 14
  6. ^ a b Isle of Man Examiner, Friday, September 29, 1950; Page: 7
  7. ^ a b Hughes, Andrew. The Bee Gees – Tales of the Brothers Gibb. Retrieved 24 April 2018. 
  8. ^ Isle of Man Examiner, Friday, November 17, 1950; Page: 4
  9. ^ Mona's Herald, Tuesday, April 12, 1960; Page: 5
  10. ^ Mona's Herald, Monday, December 24, 1956; Page: 8
  11. ^ "Sweet and Sing (20th April)". manx radio-fm. Retrieved 27 April 2018. 
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