With the exception of the CD release of ' Twice Around The Houses' and 'Wait 'Til They Change The Backdrop' none of Jonathan's back catalogue is easy to find, but with a little searching both the original releases of these albums plus his last two albums 'Two Days In Winter' and 'Waiting on you' can be found at record fairs or via online auction sites such as Ebay. Therefore this page will concentrate on truly very difficult and hard to find items. At the bottom of the page I have added a lost songs section as well as a cover version section
This single released on the Target Label in Ireland featured an early song written by Jonathan especially for the band. It is now hard to find and the photo opposite is Jonathan's personal copy. Several artists also produced cover versions of Jonathan’s songs some of which are featured at the bottom of the page
This is a rare British ‘Advanced Copy’ of Jonathan's first single released in 1966 under the name of the Boomerangs, it is rare and hard to find.
The A side is 'Dream World' backed with 'Upgraded' Jonathan’s early singles were released on the TARGET label in Ireland and on PYE in the UK, so there should be a TARGET copy out there though I have never seen one.
This is the Irish version on the first release under Jonathan’s name, he did not change his name from Ledingham to Kelly until he moved to London in the late sixties, it was the suggestion of his manager Colin Petersen.
The A side was 'Without An E' and the B side 'She's Got Me' Both the British and Irish Versions are difficult to find
Jonathan's next single was also released under his own name, sadly as it was not a major hit these are also very rare and sought after by collectors. The A side was 'Love Is A Toy' backed with 'Thank You Mrs. Gilbert' A brilliant antiwar song. Please note: Mrs. Gilbert is a different recording to the version featured on Jonathan’s self titled first album!
Jonathan's next single was released after he moved to the UK and was released on his new label Parlophone under the name of Humpy Bong, a trio made up of Jonathan, his manager Colin and Tim Staffell from the band Smile (Later became Queen) The A side was titled: 'Don't You Be Too Long' and the B side was 'We're Alright 'Til Then', the A side would later appear on Jonathan's first LP but there would be a wait of two years for the B side to finally reappear on the 'Twice Around The Houses' LP, but both of these tracks were completely different versions to the ones that appeared on albums, with Tim Staffell taking over the vocal duties from Jonathan on this single. This is the rare Demo Version and below it the even rarer Australian Demo Version
This Is Jonathan's first single under his new name of Jonathan Kelly, produced by Colin Petersen who was formally a member of the 'Bee Gees'. From now on all writing credits would say ‘Kelly’ and not ‘Ledingham’.
Pictured is the rare Demo version of the 'Denver' single. It came in a picture sleeve as did some of his other singles. Also pictured is the recently acquired rare Dutch release Single complete with colour picture sleeve.
Jonathan's next release was 'Make A Stranger Your Friend' backed with 'Daddy Don't Take Me Fishing No More'. This is sought after because although the B side would turn up on Jonathan's first LP, the A side is unavailable except on this single. Pictured is the very rare Demo Version. Beneath it is the rare Dutch picture cover single. Although I am aware of the Picture Covers existence I do not own a copy and this poor quality picture was obtained from the web
This is certainly one of the most difficult of Jonathan's singles to find and be prepared to get your wallet out, because it is not only sought after by Jonathan Kelly collectors but also by fans of Eric Clapton because he played guitar on this track. It is backed with the Song 'Billy' which has never appeared anywhere except on this single making it even more collectable to JK fans, There are Advance Copies in circulation which are even rarer, one did surface on ebay but I was outbid, I hope someday to obtain a copy.
Here is an even rare version of this single, is an Australian Demo version.
The single Madeleine backed with 'Sligo Fair' were two tracks taken from Jonathan's most famous album 'Twice Around The Houses' The Madeleine single although hard to find is one of the more common singles to turn up at Record Fairs, however this Demo version will be much harder to come across.
This Portuguese picture cover version is very rare.
Like Madeleine, 'Let the People Stay' is one of the more common JK singles to turn up at Record Fairs, both the A side and the B side 'Mother Moon' were tracks that Jonathan sometimes sang in concert at the time but was never included on any album making them well worth tracking down.
This marks the last single release by Jonathan and neither of these tracks have appeared on albums The A side 'Waiting On You' was backed with the track 'Outside' being the name of Jonathan's band. Sadly it sold poorly and is very hard to find. This is the very rare Demo Version.
Below is a list of known cover versions of Jonathan's compositions which have been recorded by various artists It has been compiled by Eddie Kelly to whom I am very grateful
This is the Johnny McEvoy Christmas EP which features Jonathan's Christmas song "The Bells On Christmas Eve and is a very hard to find item.
Supplied by Tom Gilboy
ONLY YOUR LOVE (1976) The Tymes RCA 2658
The Tymes covered this song from Jonathan’s ‘Two Days In Winter’ album, this is the rare Demo version
‘Julia’ is one of Jonathan’s most popular tracks were cover versions are concerned, the most famous being the version by the Johnstons, featured here is the hard to find cover version of Julia by ‘Shades of McMurragh’ released on the Dolphin label & on the B.Side of "Lord Of The Dance" by the Irish band McAnnix 1973
The hard to find cover version of Jonathan's famous song ‘Don’t You Believe it’ by the group ‘CHOPPER’
Also hard to find, the Transatlantic records release of the ‘Johnstons’ version of Jonathan’s song “Walking Out On Foggy Mornings which Jonathan never recorded himself!
Jonathan Kelly Acetates
Some of the most sought after rarities are acetates, these records were produced so that the artist etc could take them home to review work in progress, most contain either acoustic demo versions or unfinished version with some instrumentation, other may be different versions or even unreleased songs. Sadly these discs are not great quality and deteriorate with each playing. Below are a few I have managed to obtain.
Rare Acetate test pressing for the Single Denver, this appears to be the same as the official release, nerveless it is a great rarity in it’s own right and I’m pleased to have added it to the collection
This is a scan of the Label of a CBS acetate of the single ‘Another Man’s Wife’ which is not in the collection but is part of a private collection.
This is a very special rare item which I purchased from Ebay and which cost me nearly an arm and a leg to obtain it for the JK archive this is the single sided Acetate for the track another man's wife from Jonathan's first album on Parlophone. It is from IBC studios in London where the entire album was recorded. This is a mono mix of the track.
Above are both sides of a rare double sided acetate containing rare and different versions of ‘I Used To Know You’ and ‘Rock You To Sleep’ This acetate was discover by Tom Gilboy who has now been kind enough to sell it to me
This Acetate is for an unreleased Jonathan Kelly song called ‘Wild Horses’ This is a very rare item, unfortunately the acetate is rather worn and therefore not great quality. This is a song Jonathan would often perform in concert but which never made it onto an album.
Below are two test pressings for Jonathan’s ‘Waiting on you ‘ album
Below are examples of some of the other formats that Jonathan’s albums have appeared on that have appeared on. I have not discovered a copy of his first album on Casette or 8 track, was there one? Also where there any open Reel tape releases?
8 track version of ‘Twice around the houses’ & ‘wait till they change the backdrop’ I have not come across 8 tracks for and of his other albums
Cassette versions of the same albums
The Crown Jewels
For several years rumours have been circulating around the web of the existence of recordings that Jonathan made with members of Queen, most notably a track entitled ‘Fork In The road’ After considerable effort I managed to get in touch with Brian May, Brian was happy to confirm that he has acetate copies of these tracks. Obviously Brian is a very busy man and it took a long time before he was able to organise digital transfers of these acetates. Sadly though they are all Jonathan Kelly solo recordings with no other musicians, Brian is mystified as to why he is not on them and he recalls being in the studio with Jonathan, However if other versions which include him do exist he does not have them. However, the good news is that Brian has two double sided acetates, One which includes the unheard songs ‘Fork in the road’ and another track called ‘Humpy Bong’ the other acetate contains lovely acoustic versions of I Used to know you’ and ‘Rock you to sleep’ which sound like early versions. At present I do not have scans of the acetates but they should look something like the mock ups below.
Jonathan wrote many songs that never made it onto album, some of this were performed in concert such as the legendary ‘Fork In The Road’ over the years, various live recordings and acetates have surfaced of these missing songs and below is a list of those that have survived in our archives, along with some early demo version s or alternate versions of his songs. As a treat I have added a link to each file where you can hear a short clip from the song.
As Long As Your Alive
Dedications To Mary Unlimited
Denver - Test Pressing
Everybody’s Got Their Own Thing
Fork In The Road
I Used To Know You - Demo Version
Long Lost Lady Of The Late Hours
Rock You To Sleep - Demo
Son Jon - Test Pressing
The Old Day Maker
I Used To Know You - Demo
TV & Radio
Jonathan appeared many times on TV & Radio in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s and I am constantly being asked about his famous appearances on the ‘Old Grey whistle Test’ Do they survive? Sadly the answer is no. I have spent thousands of hours trying to trace performances without much success. It is even rumoured that Jonathan was filmed at several festivals but no footage has ever surfaced. (Not even any home movie footage of Jonathan is known to exist). THE BBC had a policy of recycling it’s tapes and wiped all of Jonathan's performances. RTE in Ireland and TV in Germany did the same, it is possible that an engineer might have made a copy for himself, but the chances are very slim. There are a few bits that survive including several live bootleg recordings of Jonathan in concert at various venues and some bootleg recordings off TV and radio survive and below I have listed some of what I know exists. Of course I am always searching and if you have any yourself or know of anyone who has or can help locate/obtain any I would be more than grateful.
‘Oh In Colour’ This is the only know surviving footage of Jonathan. It is a spike Milligan show (Spike was a supporter and friend of Jonathan and his manager Colin). The BBC wiped the tape, but a 16mm Telecine transfer was made first, sadly it’s in Black & White. All attempts to obtain a copy from the BBC have so far failed and although I know it exists I have not seen it myself. During the show Jonathan performs the song ‘Mrs Gilbert’
‘Top Of The Pops’ Jonathan’s two appearances on the show have bot been wiped, no known video or audio has so far surfaced
‘Old Grey Whistle Test’ Jonathan appeared on the show twice, both times he appeared live and it was not recorded so there is no Video. A poor quality audio recording exists of both performances.
‘Music Makers’ RTE TV, The show was apparently wiped, a poor quality Audio recording exists.
No other appearances are known to exist in any form
BBC IN CONCERT Two of these survive in the BBC archives, One featuring Jonathan with band, this show featured Jonathan First Half and Julie Felix in the second. The Other show features Jonathan and Outside. An In Concert where he shared the bill with the Strawbs exists only as a poor quality bootleg recording
What The Dickens - This was another Spike Milligan show, this time a Christmas special, in it Jonathan sings the song ‘Timothy Simpson’ which he never recorded. A reasonable quality audio recording of this show survives in Bootleg form. The original BBC tape is wiped or lost.
There are also one of two segments from other BBC shows such as an Anne Nightingale show where Outside performed in the studio, there is a song entitled ‘District Leisure Time’ which is really a Snowy White track, however once again unreleased and very rare
There are several surviving tapes of Jonathan in concert from the period 1971 to 1975, The best quality ones are two concerts recorded at the Shakespeare's Head pub in Carnaby Street London and a performance by Jonathan at Sheffield City Hall. There ate also good quality recordings of Jonathan at the Medway Centre. As time allows I will attempt to catalogue all surviving performances.
PLEASE NOTE: There are no known live recordings of Jonathan prior to 1971, surely somebody must have recorded him in Ireland in the late sixties? If yourself or anyone you know has a recording I would love to hear of it.
THE SEARCH GOES ON……………………………
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LASTLY: There is enough surviving material for a superb four CD box set which I had always hoped to be able to produce, sadly no record company is interested, if you know of a record company that is and is willing to put a decent production together then please let me know.
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