John Pidoux was born in London on August 13th 1875, and started to play the banjo in his early 'teens. His first performance in public was at a City of London club concert and he was soon appearing at many similar functions. At the age of 17, he secured employment with John Alvey Turner who then carried on business at the historic Crosby Hall in Bishopgate, London.

After three years with Turner, an opportunity arose for John Pidoux  to move to Birmingham. Here he was able to devote his energies to the music profession and taught hundreds of pupils.

In 1894, he formed a B.M.&G. Band and for two years later he founded a B.M.&G. orchestra of over 40 players (later increased to 70).

On 5th May 1898, he organised his first Grand Banjo Festival at the Masonic Hall, New Street, Birmingham, at which he appeared as a zither banjo soloist, playing Cammeyer's difficult "En Route March" and his own composition, "Reverie Pathetique".

At these festivals, which continued until the outbreak of the First World War, most of the leading players of the day appeared.

In 1903, John Pidoux made his first recording for the Pioneer Record Co, and afterwards recorded for most of the leading gramophone companies, concentrating upon the zither banjo. Many of these recordings were issued under pseudonyms such as: Fred Leggett (Scala), F. Ferrerer (Pioneer), Arthur Forrest (Coliseum). Dave Compton (Vox Humana), Thomas Malin (Diamond and Pathe) and Charles Seymour (Grand Pree). 

Fine examples of John Pidoux's artistry include: "Jester's Parade", "Americana", "Stars and Stripes" and "Double Eagle March".

John Pidoux wrote18 original compositions including: "Silverie Bells", "Coonland Memories", "Darkies' Delight", "Queen of Diamonds", "Pipers March" and "Dinah's Wedding".

 

Click here to read A. P. Sharpe's Obituary from BMG in 1954.

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