John Hyde, one of the founder members of the Melbourne Male Voice Choir, has published the sixth in a series of small poetry books which he sells on behalf of Choir.
John, who lived in Melbourne from 1964-1980, started writing poetry during his time at Melbourne Engineering. He also wrote gags for radio’s Huddlines and provided material for The Grumbleweeds.
His proudest writing moment, however, was when the late Ronnie Barker performed John’s monologue ‘The Commissionaire’ on The Two Ronnies. It has now been shown three times on television, including The Best of the Two Ronnies.
John remembers, “I’d no idea it was going to be used or when it was to appear. Oddly enough, it had been turned down by the script department and I then sent it to Ronnie himself. He wrote to me saying he would put it forward to the producer. I’d written it solely with him in mind and he obviously saw its possibilities. So, when I was watching their Christmas show that year and first saw it, I nearly collapsed!
“Even more remarkably, it appeared in a thick book of scripts claiming to have been written by Ronnie entitled "All I Ever Wrote" – except that he didn’t write that particular one. I took it up and couldn’t believe it when Ronnie himself phoned one evening to apologise for the mix-up. Talk about Surprise, Surprise!”
John Hyde's new book "Di-verse-ify" is his trademark mixture of the silly and the serious. It contains 36 pieces of his work including a sequel to the famous Stanley Holloway monologues about Albert Ramsbottom. The front cover to the book features a painting of Church Street in Melbourne and the Blue Bell Inn, by local artist and Choir member Ron Kenning.
"Di-verse-ify" is often available to purchase at Choir concerts. Alternatively you can enquire about buying a copy by getting in touch through the Contact page.