Vernon Haddock's Jubilee Lovelies were one of the relatively few British '60s jug band acts, releasing an extremely rare album on Columbia UK in 1965. The LP's a good-natured, straightforward jug band record, all but one of the songs being covers, including such well-traveled items as "Coney Island Washboard," "Don't Let Your Deal Go Down," "Clementine," "Viola Lee Blues," "Stealin'," and "I Wish I Could Shimmy Like My Sister Kate." Like many jug bands the six-member act played an arsenal of instruments, including banjo, guitar, kazoo, mandolin, jug, washboard, and harmonica. The most distinctive instrument was their swanee whistle, whose whooping slides added an occasional zany touch.
The group got their deal as a result of their association with Peter Eden and Geoff Stephens, who were Donovan's early managers. EMI (which ran Columbia UK) gave them a deal for producing four albums, though only three of these were made. One was by folk singer Mick Softley; one was by folk act Bob Davenport & the Rakes, and the other was the self-titled album by Vernon Haddock's Jubilee Lovelies. The band were school friends of Eden and Stephens, and there was indeed a Vernon Haddock, who played mandolin, swanee whistle, and jug. The other members on the album were David Elvin (banjo, guitar, vocals, kazoo); Alan Woodward (guitar); Alan Sutton (washboard, percussion); David Vaughn (harmonica, backing vocals), and Sid "Piles" Lockhart (vocals and 12-string guitar). The lineup sometimes changed during live appearances, and the Bonzo Dog Band's legendary Vivian Stanshall sometimes played with them on-stage.
Vernon Haddock's Jubilee Lovelies was recorded in one night in the summer of 1965, and sold only about 400 copies, many of them at the band's shows. Although they did some recording for Immediate and Decca afterward, including a cover of the Kinks' "Mr. Pleasant," nothing got released. They broke up in early 1967, as some of the members were unwilling to commit to turning fully professional. David Elvin stood in for bass for Vernon Dudley Bohay-Nowell at a few shows for the Bonzo Dog Band, and worked on the animation of the Beatles' Yellow Submarine film. ~ Richie Unterberger, Rovi