Duo unite to record DVD in support of lifeboat charity

Fundraisers Johnny Larkin (left) and Stan Laundon
Fundraisers Johnny Larkin (left) and Stan Laundon

THEY may have a combined age of more than 150.

But that has not stopped Stan Laundon and Johnny Larkin rocking out in aid of charity.

Stan, 68, and Johnny, a sprightly 85, have been seen in various locations around Hartlepool as they film a DVD for a country single called There’s A Tear In My Beer.

Once the DVD is finished, it will be sold to raise vital cash for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI).

The song was written by US country star Hank Williams in the 1950s and was resurrected in the 1980s when his son, Hank junior, later recorded the previously unreleased track with his late dad with the aid of electronic trickery.

Stan, who played rhythm guitar with Hartlepool band The Trakkers in the 1960s, resurrected the song in 1989 when it featured as part of a four-track single he recorded with Cumbrian band Lemon Grass, which went on to raise more than £4,000 for the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association.

Johnny, a former booking agent and well-known town singing star, guested on the song.

He has raised thousands of pounds for the Parkinson’s Disease Association after his late wife Doris was diagnosed with the condition in 1982 and died in 2002, aged 72.

Now Johnny and Stan are reliving their 1989 partnership by releasing There’s A Tear In My Beer for the lifeboat charity.

Stan, who was a presenter with BBC Radio Cleveland for 23 years until 1994 and was well-known for his Country Time show, said: “Johnny’s 85 and now I’m 68 and somebody said why don’t we make a DVD?

“Between us we have raised a fair amount for charity over the years.

“It’s all good fun – all I want to do is raise money for the lifeboats.”

Stan lived in Spain for 14 years and when he came back to town five years ago he vowed to support the lifeboats.

“These people need all the help they can get, I think they’re fantastic,” said Stan, who nowadays only occasionally sings in public at venues including the odd blues club night in The Causeway pub, in Stranton.

Stan said he had to relearn the lyrics and it had been “quite comical” shooting the video with Johnny in various locations including Hartlepool Marina, near St Hilda’s Church and next to the Andy Capp statue.

The pair will also shoot scenes for the DVD, which is being filmed by Derrick Rowbotham of Park Road-based Masspro Productions, with members of the town’s RNLI crew onboard a lifeboat next week.

Johnny, of dad-of-three and grandfather-of-11 from Caledonian Road, Hartlepool, said: “It’s nice to be back working with Stan, I’m really enjoying it.

“I’m over the moon to be involved and I’m still going strong with the country music.”

The DVD will be released at the end of November, with distribution outlets to be confirmed.