Joe Van Langenberg

“VALE’ CHRIS GREET” – By Des Kelly

Mr Christopher Greet

It is with great sadness that I inform all members of eLanka of the passing of not just a very good friend, but also of someone who was a true legend of our beautiful Motherland, Sri Lanka. There were only a very few Sri Lankans of this halcyon era in Lanka that that didn’t know Chris, be it even only his dulcet tones on Radio Ceylon, if not personally. The era I write about was during the 1950’s.

We were both young & carefree, Chris, just a few years older than me owned a second-hand Mayflower car, in which he would pick me up in order to attend a few rehearsals of my song Dreamworld, and on the way, the car would inevitably break down, and Chris would then get out, kick the closest tyre and say to me, “don’t worry Desmond, she may flower again”, get back into the car and somehow get it going again. Chris Greet was the Producer of the very first professional recording of my song, and I couldn’t have done it without him.

          My good friend Joe VanLangenberg has also written a recent tribute to Chris Greet, a tribute that is now repeated on eLanka, at my request. Thank you, Joe, and, of course, Neil. It is fully appreciated.

Our condolences go out to the family of this great guy who honoured me by being my Producer and never ever forgetting the song he produced. 

Christopher Greet died of Covid 19 complications in England on 29/12/20, but rest assured my friend, I will never forget you. Sri Lanka has lost yet another REAL LEGEND, and I, a REAL FRIEND. Rest now, in peace, and may God have you in HIS keeping forever.

Desmond Kelly

Desmond Kelly.  

CHRIS GREET, SHOWMAN EXTRAORDINAIRE: By Joe Van Langenberg

Joe Van Langenberg

To the younger generation, the name of Chris Greet may not ring a bell. But to those who were around in the early eightees or thereabouts, they will remember Christopher Arthur Greet, affectionately called & known as Chris, as one of, if not the most respected radio personality; who strode the hallowed corridors of showbiz with aplomb. Chris was the complete package. He was an announcer, who was one of the strongest linchpins of one of the most popular radio stations in South Asia; Radio Ceylon. Among his contemporaries were Jimmy Barucha, Tim Haushington, Livy Wijemanne, Greg Roswoski, Vernon Corea, Wijeya Corea & Leon Belleth, among others. All of the above, were stalwarts in their own right, who brought happiness into the lives of many; with some of them gaining solace, from the music the disc jockeys dished out from their turn tables, at that point in time; as did Chris, who was very much a significant part of the equation. Despite been relatively slightly-built, Chris was packed with energy, not to mention bubbling over with creativity & enthusiasm. Many wannabe announcers & others, keen in making it big in the industry, cut their teeth under the tutelage of this charismatic personality. Chris was never one, who was satisfied in hiding his light under a bushel. Nor did he think twice, before agreeing to impart his valuable know-how to his students; a know-how others yearned to know how. Chris enjoyed iconic status in the Radio Industry. It will be no exaggeration to say, that he was the catalyst for Radio Ceylon becoming the envy of broadcasting, not only in Ceylon ( as it was then known) but in many other countries where Chris excelled & where he was recognised. Deciding to spread his wings, Chris secured employment as an account director at Intisel Advertising, located at 60 Green Path Colombo 7. He later recorded commercials from Sri Lankan advertising agencies back in the 1980’s. Among his earlier roles as an actor, in which he distinguished himself; was portraying the role of a British officer in the unforgettable epic movie “Bridge on the River Kwai”, a timeless classic which has & continues being the envy of many a film producer, or any person associated with the industry. Needless to say, Chris’ dedicated & impeccable performance, proved to be a cut above the rest. He also appeared alongside some of the greatest stage actors, vis-a-vis Lucien de Zoysa, to name just one, among a host of others. Chris was also an accomplished mimic, who imitated the chirping of birds & other animals, in a special programme which was given considerable airplay at the time, to the unrestrained delight of both kids & adults alike. He was also a music director who produced the song “Dreamworld”, a song written by Desmond “Des” Kelly, who happened to be one of Sri Lanka’s most sought-after, multi-talented musicians & one who is still respected & revered. Now in the winter of his life, this once-effervercent showman, spends his days in a nursing home in England; cared for by one of Florence Nightingale’s angels. Albeit ravaged by the debiltating effects of acute dementia; Chris has rare moments of lucidity; in that, he remembers the lyrics of “Dreamworld”. His eyes light up & he comes alive, the moment he listens to the recording. Such is the power of music. And such is the magic of Des Kelly’s voice & the enduring popularity of the song, which has hitherto not lost its lustre! We wish Chris Greet the very best which life can offer!

 

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CHARLIE WAS  MUSIC INDUSTRY’S PRIDE: by Joe Van Langenberg

Charlie Frank Pride who held sway in the early 1960’s to mid-1970’s; continuing into the 1980’s & beyond, passed away unexpectedly & tragically from the insidious ravages of COVID-19 on December 12.2020 in Dallas, Texas USA.

He was 86 years young at the time of his demise. He is survived by his wife Rozene (1956-2020) his children Dion Pride, Angela Pride & Kraig Pride; to all of whom we offer our heartfelt condolences. Charlie was an American singer, musician, guitarist & professional baseball player, who was born in Sledge, Mississippi USA. But more importantly, he was a dyed-in-the wool performer, who lived & breathed the intoxicating fragrance, of what many dubbed the elixir of life  Conspicuous among his multitude of chart toppers, was the collective cream of the crop, vis-a-vis “Kiss an angel good morning, Is anybody going to San Antone, All I have to offer you is me, Crystal Chandeliers, The snakes crawl at night, Kaw-Liga, Before I met you, I know one, Mountains of love & I’m afraid of losing you”.

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“007” CROSSES THE GREAT DIVIDE: by Joe Van Langenberg

Sir Sean Connery, famously known for his portrayal of British Secret Service Agent 007 James Bond with a license to kill, passed away peacefully in the Bahamas on October 31. 2020 with his family by his bedside.

He was 90 years ‘young’ at the time of his demise. Born Thomas Sean Connery on August 25.1930 in Edinburgh, Sean started his initial working career as a coffin polisher, milkman & lifeguard; before taking up to body-building, where he met Arnold Schwarzenegger “Arnie”, who in paying tribute described Sir Sean as an acting “icon & a source of motivation”. Sir Sean came pretty close to clinching the “Mr Universe” title, given that he secured a third runner-up slot.

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“A TEA-PLUCKING PRODIGY” – By Des Kelly

 

 He needs no introduction, need I say more ?, Van Langenberg’s the name, we call him Joe. Anything on his mind, a story to 

tell ?, Joe gets right down to it, relating it well. We are proud to have you on eLanka, mate. 

Desmond Kelly

Desmond Kelly.
(Editor-in-Chief)  eLanka.  




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GENTLEMAN, FRIEND & TALENTED MUSICIAN: Ricky Christoffelsz – By Joe Van Langenberg

Ricky Christoffelsz

The sad news of Ricky Christoffelsz’s passing, in the early hours of Friday or Saturday morning (September 18 or 19) left me in a state of shock & disbelief. Shocked, given the fact, that it was only seven or eight days back, when I spoke to him via video link and he was his normal, talkative & jovial self.

Disbelief, considering that he was relatively young & bubbling with so much of energy, hope & enthusiasm for the future. Ricky was a gentle soul, who had not a malicious bone in his body. He had a smile which endeared many to him. Wife Jenny, (who also happens to be my niece) has been left understandably heart-broken without her soulmate, sweetheart & anchor, to navigate her through the rough & stormy seas. Needless to say, this has been an inconsolable loss, which has left a gaping void in her life; a void which will be extremely hard, if not impossible to fill. To Jenny & the rest of Ricky’s immediate family members Ian, Rosemary, Terry, Dudley & Pauline, may I offer my heartfelt condolences. My friendship with Ricky goes back many decades, a bond which gained momentum through a mutual love for music.




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CENTENARIAN WITH A DIFFERENCE: By Joe Van Langenberg

Eileen Ash

Photo source:BBC

Joe Van Langenberg

 

The fact that 105-year-young centenarian Eileen Ash, happens to be one of the oldest ladies in the United Kingdom(UK) to be in possession of a driving licence & allowed to still drive, without been assessed for the past eighty years; is in itself, an achievement of no mean repute.

Still bright, breezy & bushy-tailed, with a refreshing sense of humour & repartee to match; not to mention having a positive attitude, Eileen had the distinction of representing England in cricket back in the 1930’s & 1940’s. Since then, she has been soldiering on, with nary a care. This silver-haired bundle of energy, has been leading an energetic life-style, taking up yoga, when she was in her ninetees. Her reflexes, judging from the video clip posted on facebook a couple of days back, seem to be spot-on & belies her golden years.

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ARIANA’S GRAND-E GESTURE: By Joe Van Langenberg

 

Joe Van Langenberg

In the almost immediate aftermath of the horrendous suicide bombing at the Manchester arena on May 22nd 2017, where around 22 young concert-goers lost their lives, in addition to about 59 others sustaining injuries, diminutive 23-year-old Ariana Grande is determined not to allow anything to get in her way.

The doe-eyed beauty, who has made quite a name for herself & continues being a pivotal part of the music industry, has now decided to organise a star-studded musical extravaganza, to honour those whose lives had been so cruelly snuffed out by a radicalised fanatic.

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Joan Baez: By Joe Van Langenberg

 

Joe Van Langenberg

Arguably one of the best & most revered folk singers, apart from Bob Dylan, who left her lasting footprint on music’s hallowed turf.

A voice laced with profound sadness & raw emotion, but packed with refinement & purpose. When Joan Baez passed away after having enjoyed considerable success, she made the industry & her multitude of fans weep unashamedly & genuinely An artiste so versatile & famous, but yet so humble.

She was the real deal. May she rest in peace. She may be gone, but she will never be forgotten!

 




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SHOULD SUGAR BABES BE CONDEMNED:? BY Joe Van Langenberg

Joe Van Langenberg

While some may call them glorified hookers, opportunistic parasites, or worse, the fact remains that sugar babes, or women who forge bonds with older men for monetary considerations, are human beings with feelings; just like the rest of us.

Those with puritanical values, or the morality police, who at times are intent in extracting the mote from others’ eyes, without firstly removing the beam from theirs; derive satisfaction in drawing attention to the fact, that the term sugar babes, is just an euphemism for high-society escort girls, who have no qualms in not liquidating their investments (or to be more precise, sugar daddies or older men, who satisfy their sugar babes’ every need, in return for sexual favours).

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DORIS MADE EVERY ONES’ DAY: By Joe Van Langenberg

 

Joe Van Langenberg

DORIS MADE EVERY ONES’ DAY: A dazzling star of the distant past, has been sadly beckoned to a land which knows no parting & sorrow.

Glamour Girl of the mid-fiftees, sixtees & beyond, who answered the inevitable call from beyond; has crossed the Great Divide.

Doris Mary Ann Kappelhoff, who later came to be known as Doris Day, was born on April 03rd 1922.

She succumbed to the ravages of pneumonia on May 13th 2019 in Carmel Valley, California, in the United States.

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