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From Jonathan Ledingham to Jonathan Kelly

Below is a selection of old photographs of Jonathan from his earliest days in Ireland through to the present day. I would like to thank Jonathan and his family for allowing me access to their archives and also to Jonathan’s friends who have  also kind kind enough to supply material.

Jonathan in the cricket nets at school, on the back he has written, “Well as for me I’m off to get famous, if you ever get a cap I’ll drop into the bar and buy you a drink & if I ever get to the London Palladium you can come back stage and buy me a few drinks” 11/05/65. It also features the autograph of Pat Casey the famous Irish Rugby Player. Reproduced by kind permission of Richard Malone

Jonathan excelled at sports and was particularly good at rugby until he sustained an injury to his arm from which he still suffers today. He was also Captain of the Junior cup Cricket team, he says “ I was a terrible big headed erratic bowler and a competent bowler” Top photo Jonathan is far right at the front & on the one below he is Center Front.

Two early School photographs

Jonathan’s Parents George & Jane Ledingham with his sister Jennifer

Jonathan was a keen fisherman

seen here with a Pike he caught

Young Jonathan with toy gun

Early musical career

Jonathan’s took his first steps into his musical career whilst still at school forming a band with his school friends, he would also stand in with various other groups on the Irish Showband scene. Not only did Jonathan play guitar but often he would play drums as can be seen from these rare photos below

Jonathan’s School band ‘The Saracens’ even had their own headed notepaper, their musical repertoire covered instrumentals such as songs by the Shadows

Publicity flyer for the Viceroys Showband

Jonathan is in the middle above the ‘R’ in Viceroy’s

Jonathan’s Childhood friend Eddie Dukes

who often played alongside Jonathan,

Eddie now lives in Canada This photo

was taken at Butlins

Jonathan with Ed Dukes

With Flick knife

trying to be a Rock & Roll rebel?

Jonathan starts his professional Career

Jonathan wearing a peaked cap on stage like his hero Bob Dylan

Jonathan started his professional career in Ireland under his real name Jonathan Ledingham

A rare colour photo of Jonathan on stage at Liberty Hall Dublin

With some friends possibly at Liberty Hall

Early publicity shot for a hand out flyer

Contact sheets for a photo session for the cover of Jonathan’s first single ‘She’s Got Me’

Jonathan's next single is with the band ‘Boomerangs’ he formed the band whilst at college with his friends Aiden Cahill, Brian Trench, Alan Doran & Noel Richardson, the band didn’t last long and only released the one single

A very rare poster for Jonathan's single "Love Is a Toy" We are very grateful to Tim Booth of Dr Strangely Strange" fame who found it in his collection

Off to seek fame in the USA

In 1967 Jonathan decided to visit the USA the home of many of his musical heroes including Bob Dylan, he spent much of his time in Boston were he made several radio appearances, none of which appear to have survived, Jon never did find the recognition in America he was to have in Europe.

Jon with an unknown lady who acted as his guide whilst in the USA

Outside the famous ‘Bitter End’ venue in Greenwich Village

Jonathan arriving back in Ireland from his American trip.

Jonathan’s first solo single was ‘Without an E’ apparently

written about a gig were he broke a string and had to


Upon his return from the USA Jonathan changed managers his new manager was Tom Costello who also owned the TARGET record Label Jonathan released two singles on the new label (see above) and in December it was announced that one of his new songs ‘The Bells on Christmas Eve’ would appear on Johnny McEvoy’s Christmas EP (note: no known recording of this song by Jonathan himself is known to exist)

A promo card for Jonathan’s second solo single and the last release under the name Ledingham. The B Side ‘Mrs Gilbert’ became a classic protest song, it appears on Jonathan’s first LP on the Parlophone Label, however it was re-recorded for the album to avoid copyright issues with PYE and also because Jonathan thought he could improve upon it.

Jonathan wrote the “La La song” for Irish pop band the Greenbeats, he also played and sang backing vocals on the track, this is the first time Jonathan appears on a commercial recording

Although none of Jonathan’s singles were big hits he was gaining more popularity and the Irish press was full of praise for him. Jonathan knew that the vibrant British music scene was were he needed to be and thus he decided to move to London first performing a farewell gig at the Gresham Hotel in Dublin

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Visit The Jonathan Kelly Page for the continuing story

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