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Funeral Directors and services   -   Dave Turner

Dave Turner, a pioneer of the British comedy folk scene, died, aged 66, on 6 September, 2008. Mr Turner influenced the likes of Billy Connolly, Jasper Carrott and Mike Harding during the ‘60s and ‘70s as one of the first folk musicians to introduce comedy into his live shows. "There will be a bit of Dave that will carry on forever," said folk singer Fred Wedlock, the man behind the 1981 hit The Oldest Swinger In Town. "They'll sing his songs forever and even if they don't sing his songs people will be listening to singers who were influenced by Dave. People like Jasper Carrot, Mike Harding and Billy Connolly. And myself." Mr Wedlock, who recorded two of his songs – The British Bobby and Robin Hood – met him in the mid-70s on the folk circuit. "He stayed with me when he played in Bristol and I'd stay at his flat above a launderette in Hyson Green when I played in Nottingham." He added: "He wrote some very funny songs and he was a lovely, friendly, generous, gentle bloke. And a bit of a hippy, really." Friends and contemporaries also included Jake Thackray, John Renbourn and Bert Jansch. "He was the original British comedy folk performer," said his brother Pete Turner. Dave Turner was born in The Meadows, Nottingham, and worked as a miner for a number of years at Wollaton Colliery. "He wrote songs down there," said Pete Turner. "I remember one about a pit pony that he looked after that he thought was being mistreated. "But that was more of his serious ones. He was better known for his comedy songs. He started doing comedy folk on stage after listening to a record by an American called Jimmy Driftwood called Very Unfortunate Man." He was already performing in folk clubs as part of a duet but was too nervous to go solo. During a gig at the Nottingham Folk Workshop in Heathcote Street in the early ‘60s, his musical partner left the stage. "He said 'and now Dave will do a few solo songs'. He was bricking it," said Mr Turner. "But he did Very Unfortunate Man and everyone loved it. That was it." As well as being a regular on the local circuit, Dave Turner would tour the UK's folk clubs, playing the same clubs as Connolly, Harding and Carrott. He also appeared on a bill with Tom Jones. "Jasper Carrott banned him from the club he ran in Birmingham because he was too popular," said Mr Turner. His brother, who suffered ill-health from the early ‘90s, ran the Folk, Blues & Beyond night at the Running Horse for years and would introduce acts at the Golden Fleece's open mic night up until six years ago. "About four years ago he contracted shingles in his right arm and, due to severe nerve damage, was unable to play the guitar again," said his ex-wife Carol Dickens. He lived in Forest Road. "He was a great lad," said Mr Turner."Always cracking jokes. It was a pleasure to be in his company." His son, Joe Dickens, helps run Nottingham comedy club Just The Tonic. "I tried a bit of stand-up but I haven't his talent for comedy," he said. "It wasn't just his comedy people loved, he was also a brilliant guitar player."


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Originally printed on September 12, 2008 in the Family Announcements.
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Raising one to you, pal.

I got to know Dave when I was living in Nottingham during at the Running Horse and Golden Fleece. Dave was one of the funniest fellas I've ever met. He always had a funny tale to tell and would always have the time to talk to you. He didn't judge people and his door was always open.

I'll miss that cheeky grin of yours Dave, take care old mate.

By Richard Soos on 20 Jun 2012

rest in peace

you had a motorbike that thundered down the terrace in the meadows! we were little kids but can still recall the sound now.

A very belated rest in peace.

By Denise on 13 Nov 2011

goodbye

I've onlyjust found this site, and it's too late now to tell him how I loved his music and his wicked sense of the ridiculous. I used to help run afolk club in Derby in the late 60's,(Peasmouldia), and I remember two of his songs; 'There's a dalek at the bottom of my garden', and 'Teenage Cremation'. Back then we didn't have political correctness,but we knew how to laugh! So sorry he's gone, I'm sure he's missed by so many people. X

By barb on 07 Nov 2010

Railway Hotel Sale

used to run a folk club on Sunday nights in the 70s. It was a lovely old cosy dark-wooded boozer before Robinsons 'modernised' it. I am eternally grateful to the landlord who turned a blind-eye to this 14 year-old so that I might be introduced to the wonder and tradition of British folk music, which works so well in that setting. Most of the turns were enthusiastic and entertaining, if unremarkable, but it was free after all, just a pint pot handed round at the end of the night. When Dave Turner appeared one Sunday (and I'm guessing it was the same Dave Turner), I thought, OK another guy with an acoustic, here goes, probably a song about the navigators or something. Little did I know I was in for amazing picking, ragtime and slide, and the funniest, truly side-aching, gasping for breath, crying laughter. I have never forgotten it. Now I see the association with Connolly, Jansch et al it all makes sense. How lucky I was to see him in Sale on a sleepy Sunday night. I was just getting into guitar and it was inspirational to say the least. A belated Thank You Dave, God bless you.

By Rob Page on 15 Oct 2010

I was a founder...

I was a founder member of The Beggarmen.When the band split in 1970,my partner Terry Walsh and I set up as Kelly & Walsh. Apart from our own club in Glossop where Terry lived,we landed ourselves the residency at the famous MSG on Longmillgate in
Manchester centre working for the infamous Lesley Jenkins who became our agent.

Without a doubt the funniest act we had the pleasure and privilege to work with was the fabulous Dave Turner.A great wit,superb musician and a gentleman by all definitions.
"The Nottinghamshire corporation diesel engined jackhammer blues", still makes me smile just for the title alone.We also booked Dave for our little club at the Commercial Inn in Glossop. He did not disappoint. His inventiveness was trailblazing and as the creator of the "Hippopoterhinostrac ow" aboard Noah's Ark,quite remarkable.

I had not realised the sad fact of his parting and it was purely a fluke that I googled him to see if I could find out about him.The world is a sadder place for the departure of truly great comedians and wits and musicians.We particularily need them more than ever now.A lot of people owe much to the inspiration of such a man.

Tony Kelly

By Tony Kelly on 12 Jan 2009
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