Trotman, Llew

background actors with few roles found
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Trotman, Llew

Post by Johan Melle » 08/01/2022, 0:32

Llew Trotman in "Tokende!" (1966)
Llew Trotman was a Barbadian musician who spent the majority of his career in Italy, where he gained much success during the 1960s as one of the original members of the popular gospel band The Folkstudio Singers. Like a lot of other black musicians based in Rome, Llew also had a second career playing small uncredited roles in films.

He was born as Llewellyn Chesterfield Trotman on 17 March 1927 in Bridgetown, Barbados[1]. Little is known about Llew's early career except that he lived for several years in England, where he organized a number of music shows[2]. At some point he decided to try his luck as a musician in Italy and he can be spotted playing double bass or drums in various nightclub scenes in Italian films from the late 1950s and early 1960s.

Llew found his greatest success in the mid 1960s as a bass, bongo and tambourine player in the gospel band The Folkstudio Singers, whose other members were brothers Eddie and Jesse Hawkins, Billy Ward and Archie Savage. They released a number of popular records and did various musical shows and television appearances. In addition, all five members would make small appearances in films - sometimes in musician roles, but also regular bit or generico parts that required black actors.

Llew eventually left Italy and moved to the Netherlands when he was 50 years old[3], which would have been in 1977. He spent the rest of his life there, raising a family and teaching music. He died on 15 June 2016 in Amsterdam, aged 89[1].

Llew's work outside of The Folkstudio Singers looks to be totally unknown and he doesn't even have an IMDb entry, so there are surely many, many more roles for him just waiting to be found.
  1. Online Familieberichten.
  2. "Rapsodia negra per Nazareth" (Walter Mauro), article about The Folkstudio Singers in Il Dramma n. 5 (May 1970).
  3. Nederlands Dagblad (October 14, 2014).
Filmography
1959
  1. Il moralista .... Double bass player in the nightclub band (uncredited)

    1960
  2. Genitori in blue-jeans .... Double bass player in the nightclub band (uncredited)

    1961
  3. Fantasmi a Roma .... Double bass player in the nightclub band (uncredited)
  4. La ragazza sotto il lenzuolo .... Drummer in Maria Celeste's nightclub act (uncredited)

    1967
  5. L'uomo, l'orgoglio, la vendetta .... Servant (uncredited)
  6. Tutto Totò (TV series) - ep. 6: "Totò Ciak!" .... One of Siamese's henchmen (uncredited)

    1968
  7. La pecora nera .... Bongo drummer at the embassy party (uncredited)

    1969
  8. Italiani! È severamente proibito servirsi della toilette durante le fermate .... Himself - Member of the Folkstudio Singers (credited as "Folkstudio Singers")
Additional credits
  • Tokende! (Documentary short, 1966) - Llew appears as himself together with the rest of The Folkstudio Singers.
  • La lotta dell'uomo per la sua sopravvivenza (TV series, 1970). Llew and the rest of the Folkstudio Singers perform the title song, "The Fight for Survival", together with Shirley Bassey.
Fotoromanzi
  • Albi del Firmamento n. 7: "Il sospetto" (July 1970) - credited as "Lew Trotman"
Attachments
Llew Trotman.jpg
Last edited by Johan Melle on 08/01/2022, 21:01, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Trotman, Llew

Post by Johan Melle » 08/01/2022, 0:36

Il moralista (1959) as Double bass player in the nightclub band during Maria Perschy's striptease act.

This is the earliest appearance I've found for Llew and one of several musician roles he played during this period.
Moralista - Llew Trotman1.jpg
Moralista - Llew Trotman2.jpg

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Re: Trotman, Llew

Post by Johan Melle » 08/01/2022, 0:39

La ragazza sotto il lenzuolo (1961) as Drummer in the nightclub act of Maria Celeste (Chelo Alonso)
Ragazza Sotto - Llew Trotman1.jpg
Ragazza Sotto - Llew Trotman2.jpg
Ragazza Sotto - Llew Trotman3.jpg
Ragazza Sotto - Llew Trotman4.jpg
Ragazza Sotto - Llew Trotman5.jpg
Ragazza Sotto - Llew Trotman6.jpg

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Re: Trotman, Llew

Post by Johan Melle » 08/01/2022, 0:43

Fantasmi a Roma (1961) as Double bass player in the nightclub band.

From what I can see, the other three musicians with Llew in this scene are the same three drummers that appeared with him in the same year's La ragazza sotto il lenzuolo, which suggests all four might have worked together as a regular nightclub act or as part of a band.
Fantasmi A Roma - Llew Trotman1.jpg
Fantasmi A Roma - Llew Trotman2.jpg
Fantasmi A Roma - Llew Trotman3.jpg
Fantasmi A Roma - Llew Trotman4.jpg
Fantasmi A Roma - Llew Trotman5.jpg
Thanks to Nick for providing the pictures

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Re: Trotman, Llew

Post by Johan Melle » 08/01/2022, 0:52

From the mid 1960s and until the early-to-mid 1970s, Llew was a bass, bongo and tambouring player in the gospel band The Folkstudio Singers. He was one of the original members, together with brothers Eddie and Jesse Hawkins, Billy Ward and Archie Savage, and band released a number of successful records, many of which can be listened to on YouTube.

Folkstudio Record1.jpg
Llew is the one standing in the back

Folkstudio Record2.jpg
Llew in the center

Folkstudio Record3.jpg
Llew with the double bass

Negro John Brown.jpg
Piece from the newspaper L'Unità (4 November 1966) about The Folkstudio Singers' new show "Un negro chiamato John Brown" debuting at the Teatro Centrale. Llew is pictured playing bongo drums.

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Re: Trotman, Llew

Post by Johan Melle » 08/01/2022, 0:58

Tokende! (1966) as Himself.

Llew and the rest of The Folkstudio Singers appear as themselves in this documentary short. They're seen singing and performing together at the start, but then the rest of the feature has them giving various testemonials which investigate the ideal, psychological, emotional, historical and political ties between the descendants of African slaves and their homeland. We see very little of Llew and the others as their reflections, music, poems etc is mostly accompanied by photographic images from the US and filmic documents from contemporary Africa.
Tokende - Llew Trotman1.jpg
Tokende - Llew Trotman2.jpg
Tokende - Llew Trotman3.jpg
Tokende - Llew Trotman4.jpg
Tokende - Llew Trotman5.jpg
Tokende - Llew Trotman6.jpg
Tokende - Llew Trotman7.jpg

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Re: Trotman, Llew

Post by Johan Melle » 08/01/2022, 0:59

L'uomo, l'orgoglio, la vendetta (1967) as Servant
L'Uomo - Llew Trotman1.jpg
L'Uomo - Llew Trotman2.jpg

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Re: Trotman, Llew

Post by Johan Melle » 08/01/2022, 1:02

Tutto Totò (TV series) - ep. 6: "Totò Ciak!" as One of Siamese's henchmen.

It's just about impossible to get any decent shots of Llew here, but he's more easily recognizable when seen in motion.
Tutto Toto - Llew Trotman1.jpg
Tutto Toto - Llew Trotman2.jpg
Tutto Toto - Llew Trotman3.jpg
Tutto Toto - Llew Trotman4.jpg
Tutto Toto - Llew Trotman5.jpg
Tutto Toto - Llew Trotman6.jpg

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Re: Trotman, Llew

Post by Johan Melle » 08/01/2022, 1:04

La pecora nera (1968) as a decidedly unenthusiastic-looking Bongo drummer at the embassy party.

With Llew's Folkstudio Singers colleague Eddie Hawkins on the far left.
Pecora Nera - Llew Trotman.jpg

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Re: Trotman, Llew

Post by Johan Melle » 08/01/2022, 1:08

Italiani! È severamente proibito servirsi della toilette durante le fermate (1969) credited as the "Folkstudio Singers", as Himself.

Llew and the rest of the Folkstudio Singers can be seen appearing as themselves as they perform the song "Sono nato libero" (together with an unidentifed female singer).
Italiani - Llew Trotman1.jpg
Italiani - Llew Trotman2.jpg
Italiani - Llew Trotman3.jpg

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