Log In

Reset Password

Tributes to much loved musician Whitney

First Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 Next Last

Jack Whitney was just 5 when he made his first musical instrument from a roast beef can, a piece of wood, some nails and string that he pinched from the screen door.

It was the beginning of an illustrious career that saw the naturally gifted and popular musician perform his unique brand of country and western tunes at venues and events across the Island.

Mr Whitney passed away last Saturday at the age of 90 and will be buried this weekend with his beloved mandolin.

His daughter Beth Trafford and wife Loraine led the tributes to the respected musician who played no less than eight stringed instruments and entertained thousands as part of the renowned Jack Whitney and the Bermuda Plowboys in the late 1940s and early 1950s

“There was always music in the family home when I was growing up,” said Mrs Trafford.

“My father was the soundtrack to my life. He always had his guitar in hand, and taught me to play the guitar as a child too.

“He was a wonderful family person and involved me in all of the things he enjoyed; his music, his horses and chickens and also his gardens.”

Mrs Whitney described her husband as a “wonderful person” who took pride in everything he did.

She added: “He took great pride in his music — it had to be just right. He was a real animal lover and had prized chickens that had to be just perfect.

“He also put a great deal of work into his beautiful gardens”

Mr Whitney was raised in the Riddell's Bay area of Bermuda and attended Warwick Academy. At 17 he ran a small A1 grocery store in Riddell's Bay and went on to form Jack Whitney and the Bermuda Plowboys in 1947. The group regularly performed at Rowley's Guesthouse in Southampton as well as other venues on the Island.

Mr Whitney also worked as an actor double for US star Sandy Kenyon in the US television series Crunch and Des that was filmed on Darrell's Island in Bermuda.

He married his first wife Verna Legge in 1956 and the couple had one daughter, Beth. After his first wife passed away, he later married his second wife Loraine in 2002. Up until a few years ago Mr Whitney and his musical friends including Jean Howes would entertain residents at care homes across the Island and patients at the hospital.

Long-time friend and fellow musician Bobby Barton told The Royal Gazette: “I had known Jack for many years through music; he was one of Bermuda's best guitarists in western style. He loved cowboy music and the memories I have of him are him playing his one string bass with me on the harmonica.”

Jack Whitney pictured on Darrell's Island during the filming of “Crunch and Des” TV series
In more recent times “Jean and Friends” played together for charities and rest homes. From left: Willie Wanklyn, Sammy Moniz, Jean Howes, Bobby Barton, Donald Johnson and Jack Whitney
Jack Whitney (third from left) performs with friends at the US Military Base at Kindley Airfield
Jack Whitney (fourth from left) performs with (from left) Jeremy Rego, Stanley Lewis, Freddie Dennis and Joe Winchell
Jack Whitney pictured on Darrell's Island during the filming of “Crunch and Des” TV series
(From left) Jack Whitney performing with Stanley Lewis, Jimmy Rego and Jean Howes on accordion

You must be Registered or to post comment or to vote.

Published August 14, 2015 at 9:00 am (Updated August 14, 2015 at 9:52 am)

Tributes to much loved musician Whitney

What you
Need to
1. For a smooth experience with our commenting system we recommend that you use Internet Explorer 10 or higher, Firefox or Chrome Browsers. Additionally please clear both your browser's cache and cookies - How do I clear my cache and cookies?
2. Please respect the use of this community forum and its users.
3. Any poster that insults, threatens or verbally abuses another member, uses defamatory language, or deliberately disrupts discussions will be banned.
4. Users who violate the Terms of Service or any commenting rules will be banned.
5. Please stay on topic. "Trolling" to incite emotional responses and disrupt conversations will be deleted.
6. To understand further what is and isn't allowed and the actions we may take, please read our Terms of Service
7. To report breaches of the Terms of Service use the flag icon