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George Melly (1926-2007), Jazz singer, critic, writer and lecturer

(Alan) George Heywood Melly

Sitter in 8 portraits
Melly sang with Mick Mulligan's Magnolia Jazz Band 1946-61, and with John Chilton's Feetwarmers from 1974. His early experiences in the Royal Navy and as an assistant at the London Gallery are recalled in Rum, Bum, and Cocertina (1977) and Don't Tell Sybill (1997). With Wally Fawkes (Trog) he wrote the Strip cartoon Flook (1956-71). From 1965-74 he was the Observer's 'unconstrained' critic for pop music, film and television, and lectured widely on art. Melly became a familiar media figure with his flamboyant dress sense, in the 1970s he adopted his trademark 1930s suit and fedora. His books include Owning Up (1964), and works on surrealism and primitive art.

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George Melly

by Lewis Morley
bromide print, 1960s
NPG P512(15)


George Melly

by Lord Snowdon
bromide print, 9 June 1964
NPG P797(33)


George Melly

by Jorge ('J.S.') Lewinski
bromide print, October 1968
NPG P1054


George Melly

by Maggi Hambling
oil on canvas, 1998
NPG 6439


Ronnie Scott; George Melly

by Jillian Edelstein
C-type colour print, 1989
NPG x132549


George Melly

by James Eckersley
bromide print, 1992
NPG x47153


(Alan) George Heywood Melly

by Lord Snowdon
gelatin silver print, 21 December 1972
On display in Room 37A at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG P1899