Tribute: ‘King of the Buskers’

Don Partridge

I’d like to take a moment to remember a dear family friend and a great musician and songwriter, Don Partridge (affectionately known as the ‘King of the Buskers’). Don is well known as a busker and has played all over the world; he was the first person to make the one man band famous on the streets of Europe.

Don was probably the first ever busker to make it into the Top Ten UK singles chart in 1968 with single ‘Rosie’ reaching #4 and this was closely followed by single ‘Blue Eyes’. Despite his success in the 60’s Don decided to return to busking and travelling the world and he never looked back. He has played with many great musicians and has supported and played with artists such as British Sea Power, Lemon Jelly, Status Quo and guitarist Gordon Giltrap. His song ‘Breakfast on Pluto’ was included on the 2005 film of the same name, starring Cillian Murphy. He has also appeared on Never Mind the Buzzcocks twice.

Don then went on to release his album ‘The Highwayman’  in 2001 with Richard Durrant on Longman Records and he also compiled books of his own poetry. As well as this he is known as a friendly face,  local inspiration, talented musician, underrated songwriter and all-round general wayward mischief-maker.

Sadly Don passed away suddenly two weeks ago and he will leave a HUGE hole in the lives of those that were lucky enough to know him. Don was never afraid to be himself and he was an immensely kind man too. Music ran through his veins and he was a true songwriter through and through.

I will never forget the amazing, rambling, crazy life stories he used to tell – I can only hope to live a life even half as exciting!

Please take a moment to check out his music:

Swedish Video (Don was a big star in Sweden!) showing Don busking and an interview about his past: Here

Long live the Intergalactic Overlord of the Wide Open Spaces!

PM

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