Sunshine and Showers

Sunshine and Showers

max temp: 19°C

min temp: 10°C

Search

Suffolk's singing postman

PUBLISHED: 18:26 07 June 2002 | UPDATED: 12:04 03 March 2010

IF imitation is the sincerest form of flattery then Jon Lowe's devotion to his hero is without question.

For the 40-year-old from Ipswich is known as the Suffolk Postman, a one-man tribute to Norfolk's Singing Postman, Allan Smethurst, who stormed the charts more than 30 years ago with hits such as Hev Yew Gotta Loight Boy?

Mixing his own songs with covers of the Singing Postman's classics, Jon has built up a reputation as a popular rural performer and has released a CD of his original material with an old recording partner of Smethurst's.

IF imitation is the sincerest form of flattery then Jon Lowe's devotion to his hero is without question.

For the 40-year-old from Ipswich is known as the Suffolk Postman, a one-man tribute to Norfolk's Singing Postman, Allan Smethurst, who stormed the charts more than 30 years ago with hits such as Hev Yew Gotta Loight Boy?

Mixing his own songs with covers of the Singing Postman's classics, Jon has built up a reputation as a popular rural performer and has released a CD of his original material with an old recording partner of Smethurst's.

"I've always had a love for the Norfolk accent," said Jon. "My family are Norfolk people and when the Singing Postman hit the scene in 1966, it was like listening to my grandmother talk. I was one of nine children and we all used to sing along to Hev Yew Gotta Loight Boy?"

Because Jon's father, David, was manager of the Ipswich's Gaumont Theatre between 1959 and 1989, the young Lowes had front row seats for acts such as The Beatles and The Rolling Stones throughout the swinging Sixties.

But it was a retired postman from Norfolk who inspired Suffolk-born Jon. "Allan's lyrics were very clever and they were totally authentic – he wasn't copying anyone or anything. He was a great songwriter," he said.

Even so, Jon spent years writing "serious" songs and playing guitar in local bands before he perfected a first-class delivery of Smethurst's dialect. "I had started to do busking events and open mic sessions and went down to the Bildeston King's Head with my acoustic guitar and gave them Hev You Gotta Loight Boy?, Moind Yer Hid Boy and Miss From Diss," he said. "It brought the house down."

His newly acquired taste for "the lighter side of music" prompted Jon to start his own busking nights – and he started to write to his "hero" Smethurst, who had, sadly, become a victim of his own success. Suffering from terrible stage fright and falling into alcoholism, he moved to Grimsby in 1980, where he lived a reclusive existence until his death in December 2000, aged 73.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Ipswich Star

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists