This Real Photo Post Card came from John Cohen.  Shared with his permission.

Enjoy!

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I'm sorry if i've wasted your time, I just thought that you might not have seen these pictures which I put in my Joe Morley biography. I also thought that they might give you some idea of Joe Morley's stature compared to other people at the time.People in those days were generally smaller than they are nowadays but I'm not aware of any comments about him being smaller than average.

nick stephens said:

Richard, I am afraid I dont understand the meaning of your posting these pictures that we have all seen, they go no distance at all to answering my question, I wondered if anybody knew whether JM was a small man, I still think when compared to pictures of Vess Osman holding a 12" pot banjo that, JM either looks small or the banjo looks big.

Richard William Ineson said:


Richard William Ineson said:


nick stephens said:

Even so John, it still looks like very large on him, somehow I had always imagined he was a big guy, dont know why, does anybody know if JM was a smaller man ?

John Cohen said:

It's a 12" Weaver.

nick stephens said:

that banjo pot looks huge to me ! Is it a big un or was JM a small guy ?

Russ Chandler said:

That is fantastic! Thanks for sharing, John.

Richard, you absolutely did not waste my time and I am sorry if my reply sounded that way ! I always enjoy looking at old pics, particularly of early 20th Century British players so, no problem there my friend. You may be correct, however I just assumed that he was a big man probably because of the pugilist thing, he does look slightly gaunt in Joels picture, perhaps that is a result of the way he is standing.

Richard William Ineson said:

I'm sorry if i've wasted your time, I just thought that you might not have seen these pictures which I put in my Joe Morley biography. I also thought that they might give you some idea of Joe Morley's stature compared to other people at the time.People in those days were generally smaller than they are nowadays but I'm not aware of any comments about him being smaller than average.

nick stephens said:

Richard, I am afraid I dont understand the meaning of your posting these pictures that we have all seen, they go no distance at all to answering my question, I wondered if anybody knew whether JM was a small man, I still think when compared to pictures of Vess Osman holding a 12" pot banjo that, JM either looks small or the banjo looks big.

Richard William Ineson said:


Richard William Ineson said:


nick stephens said:

Even so John, it still looks like very large on him, somehow I had always imagined he was a big guy, dont know why, does anybody know if JM was a smaller man ?

John Cohen said:

It's a 12" Weaver.

nick stephens said:

that banjo pot looks huge to me ! Is it a big un or was JM a small guy ?

Russ Chandler said:

That is fantastic! Thanks for sharing, John.

Pugilists come in all shapes and sizes, Anthony Peabody and myself, whilst doing the research for the Morley biography went to great lengths to find evidence to support the story about Joe Morley being a boxer during his early life but we never found any. I don't know of any musician who would risk damaging his hands by taking part in any sport or recreation where this was likely to happen. Looking at John's photograph and using Joe's banjo as a measure (12 inches) Joe appears to be under six feet in height, which would have been a normal height  in 1914-18. As regards him being scrawny, Joe's early life was pretty erratic and he may not have been given enough food of the right kind to develop a heavy build and big bones whilst he was a child, this was also normal in the UK until the 1950s and is not unknown even now.

nick stephens said:

Richard, you absolutely did not waste my time and I am sorry if my reply sounded that way ! I always enjoy looking at old pics, particularly of early 20th Century British players so, no problem there my friend. You may be correct, however I just assumed that he was a big man probably because of the pugilist thing, he does look slightly gaunt in Joels picture, perhaps that is a result of the way he is standing.

Richard William Ineson said:

I'm sorry if i've wasted your time, I just thought that you might not have seen these pictures which I put in my Joe Morley biography. I also thought that they might give you some idea of Joe Morley's stature compared to other people at the time.People in those days were generally smaller than they are nowadays but I'm not aware of any comments about him being smaller than average.

nick stephens said:

Richard, I am afraid I dont understand the meaning of your posting these pictures that we have all seen, they go no distance at all to answering my question, I wondered if anybody knew whether JM was a small man, I still think when compared to pictures of Vess Osman holding a 12" pot banjo that, JM either looks small or the banjo looks big.

Richard William Ineson said:


Richard William Ineson said:


nick stephens said:

Even so John, it still looks like very large on him, somehow I had always imagined he was a big guy, dont know why, does anybody know if JM was a smaller man ?

John Cohen said:

It's a 12" Weaver.

nick stephens said:

that banjo pot looks huge to me ! Is it a big un or was JM a small guy ?

Russ Chandler said:

That is fantastic! Thanks for sharing, John.

Considering that punching, even with gloves under Queensbury Rules, is the worst thing one can do to their hands, I was skeptical of that claim when I read it.  While anything is possible, this seems unlikely.

Okay, so perhaps not the worst thing, but pretty bad.  I suppose the worst things would be getting them crushed, blown up, or cut off.

I guess it must remain another of those unsolved mysteries , I enjoy trivia that shows these people as the human beings they certainly were, my guess with regard to the pugilist story is that it was just a part of the mystique that is often invented about such people about whom we can know so little ! JM did however have one of those slightly flattened faces that could have led to such speculation and, of course the poorer classes were indeed under nourished at that time often leading to slightly built, wiry frames, my own father was born in 1913 and joined the Royal Marines around 1932 and was always regarded as a big man, he was 5ft 10" ! I am 6feet tall and my two sons are 6.2" and 6.4" respectively, times are certainly different !

Joel Hooks said:

Okay, so perhaps not the worst thing, but pretty bad.  I suppose the worst things would be getting them crushed, blown up, or cut off.

I did a bit of rough scaling on several pix. I would say he's about 5-1/2' tall (5' 6"). Malnutrition and disease took its toll on the poor that lived. My mother's youngest sister went thru her growth years during the depression...her kidneys never fully developed.

Size means little with boxing.. Back then and in 'amateur bouts' somebody probably just eyeballed opponents for relative size. He could have easily had a few pub matches as a teenager. I'm sure we all did rough work on our hands as young people. Few are born knowing they'll grow up to be musicians...or hand models. I've never broken anything worse than my little finger but I have scars all over my hands.

I played soccer for a number of years in elementary school but I would not put "former soccer player" on my bio as it was a pretty insignificant part of my childhood overall and I never really identified with it. 

Same with the two years of violin in elementary school orchestra (BTW, does anyone want a late 1980s German student violin in case-- they can have it for the cost of shipping). I would not claim "first took up violin before banjo".

Now I did abuse an electric guitar as a teenager in attempts at punk/grunge/hardcore bands that never went beyond first rehearsals. So I might claim that I "first played guitar".  But I was terrible at it.

If you call fist fights or general childhood scuffles "boxing" than, yeah, that makes me a "boxer" too.  But not really. 

I'm thinking that to qualify as a "boxer" one would need to have put considerable effort into it to make it a part of them.  

prize fights for a cash pot were very common in pubs back in the day and, still are in certain communities in the UK and particularly in Ireland where the cash prizes are considerable, the authorities are fighting a losing battle (see what I did there ?) to stop them and, although I dont imagine JM himself ever claimed to be a boxer I have read that as a young man he did a bit of "fisticuffs !" it was not much more reprehensible in those days than "busking" outside the pub which we are told he did with his dad !

Joel Hooks said:

I played soccer for a number of years in elementary school but I would not put "former soccer player" on my bio as it was a pretty insignificant part of my childhood overall and I never really identified with it. 

Same with the two years of violin in elementary school orchestra (BTW, does anyone want a late 1980s German student violin in case-- they can have it for the cost of shipping). I would not claim "first took up violin before banjo".

Now I did abuse an electric guitar as a teenager in attempts at punk/grunge/hardcore bands that never went beyond first rehearsals. So I might claim that I "first played guitar".  But I was terrible at it.

If you call fist fights or general childhood scuffles "boxing" than, yeah, that makes me a "boxer" too.  But not really. 

I'm thinking that to qualify as a "boxer" one would need to have put considerable effort into it to make it a part of them.  

So , the harder to do is  find a  JM  '  old picture playing the banjo while wearing boxing gloves .....

In 1969 I played a gig in which I played the banjo wearing mittens. That show also involved pie throwing. And one tune was      played by a trio of bugle, washboard, and "Shower Horn", which is a garden hose with a trumpet mouthpiece at one end and a shower head at the other.

marc dalmasso said:

So , the harder to do is  find a  JM  '  old picture playing the banjo while wearing boxing gloves .....

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