Show Business and the Music Industry: Facing the Canon with Paul Jones & Fiona Hendley Jones (Pt 1)

Show Business and the Music Industry: Facing the Canon with Paul Jones & Fiona Hendley Jones (Pt 1)

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welcome to my youtube channel my guests on facing the canon are paul and fiona jones singers and [Music] performers [Music] paul jones fiona henley welcome to facing the canon thank you very much having us thank you oh delighted to have you delighted to have the opportunity to hear your journey of faith and your story you grew up is it portsmouth yes and you were a choir boy i was at the cathedral and uh and i enjoyed it very much we had a musical director at the school who was also the organist and choir director at the cathedral and he drafted me in there into that yes now your dad was in the navy he was indeed so away a lot yes absent father yeah what about you fiona where where did you grow up i grew up in serberton in surrey and uh so i say that because uh you know there's been television programs made about serbian you know finally i think it's the good life or something isn't it anyway uh yeah that's where i was born in kingston hospital and um yeah that's where i grew up now your mother while cleaning discovered some letters yes that your father had corresponded with another woman tell us about that yeah that was a bit of a shock for my lovely lovely mom as i was playing with my toys as a little tiny one she was sort of just plumping the cushions and then pulled down some letters and and yes my father was obviously seeing somebody else and that was a terrible terrible blow for my mother and she obviously was used just devastated broken heart he'd had a little baby girl and thought she was you know happily married and your your father left yep yeah he was a wonderful man you know he was just too um young really i think to be married and be a daddy he wasn't ready for that he was very very charismatic funny man lovely man but he he was in the wrong place he thought and off he went and their mom and i were on our own she was wonderful though she worked all hours to try and make ends meet for us and um yeah she was a wonderful mother and then you moved uh paul from portsmouth to edinburgh yes that was uh i got in bad odor at school and uh my father was well was he was stationed in malta at the time and he came home and uh his next posting was um at the well the firth of fourth outside edinburgh and uh he thought it would be a jolly good idea if i left portsmouth and went up to scotland as well so i went to i went to the edinburgh academy which is a very good school and uh enjoyed it enormously so that that was good for you educationally yes uh and it's good for me in every way actually yeah um but um i think there was more respect and at the same time more closeness now what about for you fiona um you you and your mother interacted with mediums and spiritualists what prompted that well my my lovely mom she was just wanting to know what to do with life and she was just unhappy she you know her first marriage had gone very badly and now here she is wanting to know what nurse she's going to do with her life she did remarry and that wasn't a happy marriage at that time and i remember mum saying to me one day she came to me she said you know i think that there's a spiritual answer to all the problems that human beings go through so i'm going to try and find out what that spiritual answer is the thing is we know it's the lord but my mother started meeting up with friends who were mediums now the funny thing is my dear mom as a little girl had grown up in wales and she'd gone to chapel you know the whole fact my grandfather was a lay reader and and so my mother had some knowledge of church and she said you know she had experienced god she felt but she just gone away my my father who she was now divorced from you know he was not a believer so i think my mother was confused so she started going now i didn't like it i did not enjoy it i found it very very spooky as a child yes you know because and i you know mum would have people come over and they would sit in a circle and and talk and and things my mother became a christian years later and she's now in heaven so she's in glory now and that's wonderful but she was just she was just hungry and she was just looking and she was searching and i think a lot of people going through very hard times they're wanting someone to tell them the future is going to be wonderful and that's why she got involved with that and i did too and it is the dark side it is and it actually is forbidden yeah in the bible yes um and that means you know no good can come from engaging in that no absolutely not that that's exactly right and i think as a as a little girl i was ready i would have been ready to receive the lord if only i'd known i remember one time um going to school you know and we used to have re lessons and things like that and of course you know it wasn't always wholly exciting those lessons were could be a little bit dry but i didn't know the difference but one day our dear re teacher brought in these two young guys and uh they came and played their guitars and at the end of them playing some gospel songs they said who believes in god in this class well my hand shot up i did believe i just didn't know who god was where he was why he was anything about him and a few hands went up after my hand went up but when the bell rang and everybody ran out to go to the next class i went forward and just sort of stood in front of these two guys i i'm just trying to think how old i must have been maybe i don't know nine or ten or something and i just stood there and they said oh hello and i said hello i just stood there and they said um do you go to church and i went no they said would you like to go to church i went yes and so they wrote down the name of their church which was in kingston not far from where i lived and they said why don't you come on sunday so i went bounding home and i said to my mother there's these two guys and they were wonderful and they came to our you know our class and they want me to go to their church on sunday my mother was worried worried worried in case it was some weird thing and yet she was involved in very weird things but i i went on and on and on and that sunday my dear mama my stepdad and my little brother drove me there dropped me off they went for a coffee while i went to the service because i'd just gone on about it so much and i loved it i loved it they played tambourines people were waving their hands in the air they were singing rejoicing uh their love for the lord and for me as a child i just thought it was wonderful and uh i remember after the worship the minister said anyone want to give a testimony about how good god is and people were getting up and saying oh yes this week he did this and he did that for me well i came out of that service and i remember getting in the car and i said mom we've got to go it's going to be the answer because i knew there was such unhappiness in our home but do you know i never was allowed because they they thought it might be dodgy but that was a hunger that was there yes so that hunger was obvious and real interesting paul from edinburgh you go to oxford university you study english yes briefly briefly but you also had very uh a number of other hobbies while you were there music being one well music was all along i mean even before i got into the choir in portsmouth we had a very musical family my mother played the piano my father played the violin and my brother and i had to sing no escape and so uh music was always there and in in the meantime uh rock island line by lonnie donegan had happened and that affected an entire generation me included um and so really i i was kind of eyeing a career in music even while i was theoretically supposed to be studying at oxford at oxford and obviously the studies were not a priority and you ended up dropping out or should we say were you forced out no well i never found out i mean you could only have known by sort of looking up looking up to see if you had been whatever that word is but anyway made but anyway i i didn't even bother now as far as i was concerned i knew what i was going to do but then you joined um a dance band well yes i um prior to that i had been sort of experimenting with a little university band which actually was really rather good but i mean some of the people had very different sort of musical backgrounds from each other but somehow when it came together and i wanted to play the blues because that was what i loved um it seemed to work however different things happen people get married and music suddenly drops out of their life and things like that and so the ba that band felt a bit and i was you know going and listening to whatever bands were playing in the clubs and pubs and uh enjoying it very very much and uh one of the people that i ran into at that time was brian jones who started the rolling stones in fact before he started the rolling stones he contacted me and said i'm starting a band do you want to be my singer and i said well no actually i um i've already got something else i had i had auditioned um there was an audition in the melody maker at back pages of the melody maker for a singer with a band and and um it turned out to be a dance band and i turned down one so you turned down the rolling stones well no i turned on a band that brian jones was forming it called the road it never would have been for the rolling stones if i had joined it but it could have been bigger no but but i uh i thought this you know i'd i'd got this job with this dance band and and i was actually earning some money from that whereas brown was not actually offering me any money at all from the band he was forming so um and actually to this day i don't regret that one bit no i don't regret it because i don't think i would have fitted into the rolling stones no as it became and secondly i i learned a lot from working with those musicians they were very good musicians they were all sight readers they knew exactly what they were doing that they could go anywhere with their instruments and i learned tremendous amounts from them so i was very happy now for you fiona you're 19. um you go on for an open audition and you sing an interesting song i do what song did you sing at your audition well i sung a song called i don't know how to love him which people might recognize from jesus christ superstar and i sang that song because my auntie took me to see jesus christ superstar for my 12th birthday and i mean i was beyond excited i mean it was west end theater we had seats in the second row right in the middle and i mean i was just you know the orchestra was tuning up and it was very exciting anyway it started the curtain went back and these fantastic absolutely brilliantly talented singers came on actors came on portraying the scenes when jesus walked on this earth and i mean i know that jesus christ superstar is not exactly based on the bible but do you know something amazing i don't know how this happens but every time i share this people come up to me and say i had the same experience i was very touched many people were many people came to the lord through that show even though it wasn't you know biblically perfect and i remember sitting there and on came jesus looking like i thought he should look all dressed in white you know blonde hair blue eyes of course he didn't look like that at all of course of course not but but i just fell in love with this being that loved everyone the scenes that they did where he was helping people i remember there was this scene where lots of sick people were coming to jesus you know people saying i can't see see my eyes i can hardly see see me stand i can hardly walk i believe you can make me hold see my tongue i can hardly talk and they were singing all these and jesus was laying his hands on each one of them and they were being healed and they were jumping up and going i can see i can walk look look i can speak and and they were so ex and i mean as a 12 year old i just loved this love walking around you know the bible says that jesus went about doing good healing all who were oppressed of the devil for god was with him and that really is true even this was a show i know but that's in the bible and i just wanted to run up and grab hold of jesus and put my arms around him and just not let go i mean it was that amazing and you can just imagine when they came to the crucifixion scene and i had no idea why was jesus hanging on this cross i was hysterical my auntie was trying to console me i was sobbing and sobbing and saying you didn't know no you've never heard i've never heard i didn't know and i you know i've often thought if somebody had come out from the wings at that point while jesus was hanging on the cross and said he jesus who knew no sin became our sin on that cross so that we could become right in the sight of god i tell you that little girl would have fallen on her knees and given her heart to jesus christ right first time you heard about the death of jesus was in a theater yes jesus christ superstar i had no idea what it you know but but i left confused because no one did come out and explain why he went to the cross but mary madeline's song i don't know how to love him i saw because i was only a child i saw that in a very pure way that song i mean i know that it was written with other things but i was a child so i was thinking how do i love him you know this being yeah and so i used that for my audition so you obviously wanted i mean you had it like an experience when you were nine yeah uh in your classroom and then you went to that church yeah you have another yes almost like a spiritual encounter when you're 12. but you still don't quite i don't know because i've never heard the gospel told to me and this is the thing lots of people have these little encounters and the lord is doing that but they never hear the gospel clearly spoken that's why it's so important that we go out and tell so was it a song that um from the age of 12 to the age of 19 was of a song that you had sung oh i just loved it i got it yes i got the album i knew all the songs i could sing it right through i probably can do the whole of gethsemane for you right now i'm not going to do it but i just love that song and so for this audition the show was elvis it was going to it was the life story of elvis presley at the astoria theater that was my audition i was going for and i arrived for this open audition tons of girls were you know outside the stage door and this was my first west end audition and they were all dressed up these girls you know they were sparkling they had silver shoes fishnet tights you know eyelashes the whole thing and i was i think i was in sort of jeans and a jumper or something and standing on the end very nervous and finally they go and i get put on the side of the stage someone calls me you know and then i hear my name announced fiona henley you know so i walk on this great big stage and someone gives me a microphone i mean i had no spit whatsoever in my mouth i mean i was so dry you know when you're really really nervous and you can't get any anyway somehow i sang that song i don't know how to love him because it meant so much to me i just sang it with all my heart and you know i was hitting notes i don't normally hit and it was just doing the thing that it needed to do and and the musical director came running to the front of the stage at the end of it and he said fiona i said yes you know he said that was amazing he said would you like the part and so on the spot that was my first west end show that i got and and tracy allman was the swing girl in that show i don't know if you know who i mean you know she taught me all the steps she was the choreographer's assistant and the swing girl so we became friends and um and and i was up and running in that show amazing yeah can you sing us just a few lines what up jesus christ i don't know how to love him yeah oh all right i don't know how to love him what to do how to move him i've been changed yes really changed in these past few days when i've seen myself i seem like someone else and i love that i love that that she was so changed that when she saw herself she mary madeline she had seven demons in her but when she met jesus he cast those filthy demons out of her she was she was and we are beautiful absolutely beautiful fiona that was very moving paul what about right now i'm leaving i've heard it loads of time well i was just moved just then so paul back to you so manfred mann how did that come about andrew mann uh [Laughter] um how did it come about uh well yes i had a phone call from somebody who uh called everybody man you know it was the thing in those days all right man and i and he said did i know who manfred mann was and i said you mean the guy that writes a column in jazz news there was a sort of very cheap uh broadsheet called jazz news it wasn't a posh magazine at all and yeah he used to write a column every other issue i think on sort of aspects of playing music and i said well jazz actually and i said yes if it's him i know who you mean and this guy said well he and a colleague of his called mike hogg are forming a band and they they need a shelter that's a sort of jazzers expression meaning somebody who can stand in front of a loud band and be heard so i said uh well i'm a singer actually so he said well would you audition so i said yes okay and i went along and there was no one else at the audition it was just me so i got the job there were six of them in the band at the time and apparently they told me later two of them liked me two of them did not like me and the other two thought i would do until they could find somebody so i just scraped in but the band did very well yes it did really well and some big hits um one in particular wow you mean the silly little song yeah go on that's what luis palau used to call it that little song how did what's the song called it's the manfred man version is apparently called do while diddy diddy yes the original version which was by the exciters was called do why diddy i don't know where it acquired the the second diddy but it makes it seem all the all the more diddy than it was before who came up with those lyrics um a lady called ellie greenwich um she and her husband her then husband uh jeff barry wrote some wonderful songs including river deep mountain high yeah for i continued well tina turner yes and uh lots and lots of other you know successful songs in those uh days of the early 60s really and um they they were part of the brill building or 1650 broadway it was too important places where popular song was being created at the time and i heard the excitos version of that song on probably radio luxembourg because that was the most likely place to be hearing what was going on in america and i thought that's a that's a big record i'm i'm going to get that record and i i could you know you couldn't even go into a shop and buy things like that there was one particular shop in soho that i used to go to and order records and then you could order them um and then you would have to wait for a week or two to get them but at least you did get them and i got it and i brought it to the rest of the group and i said i think this is uh hit a potential hit and we did our version of it and um yeah it went ballistic yeah gone there she was just walking down the street singing popping her fingers and shuffling her feet that's me shaking those maracas she looked good look good she looked fine looked fine looked good she looked fine and i nearly lost my mind but unfortunately i didn't you did that's why i can be here talking about absolutely definitely so fiona what happened then after uh you you had that audition you got the part how long did that last for uh the part well uh probably it lasted around about a year and then um another 60s show went into that theater and i was given a part in that and then that turned into a channel three sixties um kind of series the widows no actually that was that that came next widows came next yes widows was after that yeah and that was uh that that was that was ridiculous it was amazing i by now i'd got an agent which was wonderful and i'd got to the royal national theater which was amazing because i remember phoning up my agent and saying you know um have you got any auditions and and i'd like to go to the national theater or the royal shakespeare company and she said don't be silly darling she said you who are you you're nobody and and you can't go there unless you've done wonderful things and i said oh okay well if any audition ever comes up and all of a sudden she called me and she said darling um the national theater are going to be doing guys and dolls a musical and they want to see you for because it was music and i you know i could actually get an audition so i went along and auditioned for that richard air very wonderfully and kindly uh gave me a job in that along with people like imelda staunton which just wonderful people and it was a great show guys and dolls was a great show and didn't you have one of the leads well not at no to start with i was a hotbox girl and so was imelda so that i say that because she's so marvelous but it was when i was there doing being a hotbox girl but um i got a call to be seen for widows and uh and um the costing director said look can you go and be a cockney because they they won't even see you if you're not a genuine cockney i said well i'm not a genuine cockney so i can't really go and she said well just pretend you know so unfortunately i did and i lied my way through the whole thing got into that which was marvellous and then what happened was yes you're right the woman who was playing sarah brown in guys and dolls she left that was a julie covington and then a lady called blinder sinclair took over from her and and and they both had left so they were looking for a leading lady and amazingly richard air auditioned me along with other people too and but he thought no we'll try try this girl and this very extraordinarily handsome man came in to play skye masterson you can just imagine how paul looked skye masterson pale blue suit sky blue suit black shirt white tie fedora hat two-tone shoes you know he just looked the part and i was in a salvation army outfit but it's a wonderful love story that show absolutely the the the two of you are you've had huge success uh huge influence um uh in music in singing in theater in film and um you're totally focused on jesus and um i've known you both a number of years and you just exude the grace of jesus and i'm looking forward to having you both back to tell us the next part of the journey and the next part of your encounter with jesus paul fiona thank you so much for joining us on facing the cannon thank you so much thank you wow wasn't that great hugely uh inspiring and i am really inspired by paul and by fiona i'm looking forward to part two of their story and their encounter with jesus so please join us again next week with fiona and paul thank you for joining us [Music] you

2021-08-10 04:44

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