Crooning Bromley pensioner Ken, 81, proves YouTube hit with 50,000 views
PUBLISHED: 10:15 28 August 2013 | UPDATED: 10:15 28 August 2013
Great art takes time. Leonardo da Vinci spent seven years on the Mona Lisa and Antoni Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia, a grand church in Barcelona, is still under construction despite work starting in 1882.
For Bromley crooner Ken Jewers it has taken 50 years to complete his labour of love, an album with lyrics penned by his late father and his only son.
The 81-year-old’s musical debut, It’s All About Love, is released on September 9 and Ken is hoping his next efforts won’t be quite so long in the making.
Having grown up in London’s east end, Ken picked up his musical ear from both parents. His mother was a talented pianist and his father, a docker and a seaman, would pen lyrics daily.
“He wrote a lot in the 1920s and 1930s, but most of that stuff was lost in the Blitz”, explains Ken.
“He didn’t really start again until 1961 when he had an accident in the docks. But he was very poetic. As a young man he was a bit shy as far as women were concerned, so he wrote poems to woo my mother.
“He had a feel for writing about relationships.”
After his father’s death in 1968, Ken was handed his dad’s lyrics book - but it wasn’t until 2003 that he began to seriously look into making an album.
His wife, Iris, had just died and the crooner began to bond with his son, Kevin, 47, over their shared passion for music.
From there the pair began writing and tentatively exploring the music industry.
Ken said: “I wasn’t aware of my son’s interest in writing songs and he showed me some of his work. He didn’t know about me and my dad, so we decided we would work together and he helped write two of the songs on the album.”
Though music seemingly runs in the blood, science was Ken’s bread and butter for many years after he completed a PhD in organic chemistry at Sheffield University in 1957.
He spent many years working as a government scientist, which saw him spend time in Bangkok and even appear on BBC television show Tomorrow’s World.
“Science is a real interest of mine and was a career for many years”, says Ken. “I was essentially a civil scientist, and I would work with plants and fungi to discover new chemical compounds.”
His time spent with test tubes and goggles were accompanied by the sounds of Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald, with music never far from his heart.
From his home over looking Queen’s Gardens, in central Bromley, the talented songwriter has penned enough material for a further two albums - at least.
His debut video, Why Does Love, stars Benidorm’s Tim Healy and has attracted more than 50,000 views on YouTube. Ken insists that despite his age, his music is still modern and he looks to acts such as Michael Buble for proof that swing is still in.
He said: “People aren’t tired of this music. There’s still a big market for it, but very few people are writing their own stuff these days.
“If you listen to Michael Buble or Rod Stewart, it’s mostly covers. Even Cliff Richards is getting in on the act these days, but it’s nothing original.”
To hear Ken’s music, or watch his videos, visit kjmusic.co.uk.
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