Northampton has produced many musicians who have been successful on both the National and International stage. This page is dedicated to them.
SIR MALCOLM ARNOLD C.B.E. (Composer) - Born in Northampton, 1921. Studied composition and trumpet at the Royal College of Music and became principal trumpet for the London Philharmonic Orchestra in 1943. - Won the Mendelssohn Scholarship and decided to concentrate solely on composition. Has written 9 symphonies, 5 ballets, 2 operas, 80 concertos, 2 string quartets, plus other chamber music, choral works and music for wind and brass bands. His music for over eighty films includes ‘A Bridge Over The River Kwai’ and ‘Inn Of The Sixth Happiness’. As well as several honorary doctorates he was awarded a C.B.E in 1970 and a Knighthood in 1993.
Danny Ash – Guitar & Vocals
Pete Murphy – Vocals
Kevin Haskins – Drums
David Jay – Bass & Vocals
Cult Indie / Gothic Rock band from 1978 to 1987. They toured the USA, Japan and Europe. Their debut album ‘In The Flat Field’ made Number One in the Indie charts. Ash, Haskins and Jay later had a US success with ‘Love And Rockets’. They briefly reformed in 1998 for some dates in the USA.
THE BEVERLEY SISTERS (Vocalists) - Joy and twins Babs and Teddie. A dressy blonde chart-making vocal trio. TV and radio stars from the 1950s into the 60s. Eldest sister Joy married Wolves and England footballer, Billy Wright. Once bought the house next door just to store their costumes. They returned to popularity on the gay scene and made a comeback in the 90s. making two albums and a 30 date UK tour.
ALAN CIVIL C.B.E. (French Horn) - Principal horn player for the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Played sessions for Johnny Keating and was featured on The Beatles track ‘Day In The Life’. Born in NH 1928. Started in the army band and progressed to great heights. Became a professor at the Royal College and received his O.B.E n 1985. he was also known for his liking of drink. He used to seek out ‘real pubs’ and his taste for good food and drink became a major factor in whether or not he would undertake concert tours abroad.
ROY CIVIL (Piano, Organ) - BBC sessions, Charles Azvanor, Frankie Lane, New Seekers, Willie Rushton & The Supremes.
Classically trained. First gained notice in well known R&B / Soul band ‘The Quick & The Dead’ in the 60s. Studied music at Leeds College and is now Head of Music at Kingsthorpe Upper School. Still plays his own brand of R&B and Jazz locally.
ALAN CLARKE (Vocals) - Lead vocalist for The Hollies, one of the most successful UK pop bands of the 60s and 70s.
Had many hits including ‘Bus Stop’, ‘The Air That I Breathe’ and ‘He Aint Heavy, He’s My Brother’. Originally from Manchester, has lived in the Northampton area for many years. Recently left the group after working continuously since the 1960s.
PETE COX (Double Bass, Bass Guitar) - Dexter Gordon, Tubby Hayes, Dick Morrisey, Pete King, Stan Tracey, Bill Le Sage, Mornington Lockett, Dave O’Higgins, Don Weller, Art Themen, Gene Pitney, Frankie Vaughan, Matt Monroe, Marti Craine and many more. Locally born & classically trained on the violin. Played in the National Schools Orchestra under Sir Malcom Arnold. Over the years, has played with most of the British Jazz greats when the played in and around NH. Still involved with the contemporary jazz programs and musical shows at both the Derngate and Castle theatres. Gene Pitney’s regular bassist for the past 16 years.
COZY DICKSON (Drums) - Barbary Coast, Frank Ifield, George Hamilton V, Dolly Parton and Whisky Priests. Played with NH bands ‘All Grown Up’ and ‘Poison The Poteen’. Much travelled and still playing locally.
GUY FLETCHER (Violin, Drums) - NH born Folk / Rock fiddler, has played locally with bands such as ‘Poison The Poteen’, ‘Tickled Pink’ and ‘Tom Hall’. Now gaining notice with ‘Little Johnny England’.
FREDDIE "FINGERS" LEE (Piano) - Hurricane Henry and The Shriekers, Screaming Lord Sutch. Originally came from the North East. Settled in Northampton and became known nationally for his wild ‘Jerry Lee’ Rock n Roll style piano antics. Fronted his own band and toured in the UK and Europe.
GRAEME FLOWERS (Trumpet) - The James Taylor Quartet, Lisa Stansfield, Kyle Eastwood, Quincy Jones, Shakira, Duran Duran, James Morrison, Jamie Cullum, Charlotte Church, Lemar, Michael Buble’, Will Young, Lulu, Emma Bunton, Jools Holland, Midge Ure, Jamelia, Mica Harris, Ronan Keating, Snowboy, Matt Bianco, Most Wanted.
PAT FISH A.K.A THE JAZZ BUTCHER (Guitar, Vocals) - Indie / Punk singer-songwriter. Born in London, raised in NH. Formed the Jazz Butcher in the late 70s. the band suffered continuous personnel changes and at one point was joined by David Jay from Bauhaus. Briefly reformed in the 90s.
ROBERT GODFREY (Piano, Keyboards) - The Enid. Classically trained pianist had cult following with progressive Rock band, The Enid. Has been running a town centre recording studio for several years.
MARK GRIFFITHS (Guitar/Bass Guitar) - Matthew Southern Comfort, Al Stewart, Alison Moyet, David Essex, Sonny Curtis, Gallagher & Lyle, The Everley Brothers, Neil Innes, Duane Eddy, Mark Knopfler, Jeff Lynne, Cliff Richard, Plainsong, The Shadows, Hank Marvin. NH born. Fomrative bands – ‘The Quick & The Dead’ and Tom Hall’s ‘Flyin Garrick’. His first Number One hit with the Joni Mithcell song ‘Woodstock’. Still plays locally and tours and records with Hank Marvin.
TOM HALL (Mandola, Guitar, Vocals) - Celebrated Ratliffe Stout Band, Bare Back Riders. Well known NHborn singer/songwriter. For many years toured the UK and European Folk Clubs. Formative NH bands; ‘Dubious Blues’ and ‘Flyin Garrick’. One of Tom’s first albums ‘Tales from Greenwood Edge’ fetches very high prices with vinyl collectors. Known for his great songs and stories. Tom was also noted for his colourful appearance and the liking of a drink or two. Still writing and playing, mainly with Guy Fletcher.
TIM HARRIES (Bass Guitar, Double Bass) - Eddie Reader, Boo Hewerdine, Mike Batt, Bill Bruford, Steeleye Span. A degree in music at York. Studied double bass at the Guildhall School. Joined Bruford’s Earthworks and toured Europe, America, Dana and Japan. Well respected, in demand bassist. Has lived in NH since 1987.
DAVE HOLLAND (Drums) - Pinkertons Assorted Colours, Trapeze, Judas Priest. Born in NH and played with Tony Sans and the Drumbeats. Sill lives locally and is now involved with artist management.
IAN HUNTER (Guitar, Vocals) - David McWilliams, Billy Fury, Mick Ronson, Mott the Hoople. Played in and around NH in the early 60s with Freddie ‘Fingers’ Lee (Hurricane Henry and The Shriekers) and The Paex. Formed Mott the Hoople in the early 70s. had success worldwide with the David Bowie song ‘All The Young Dudes’. The band achieved superstar status between 1972 and 1974. Ian now resides in the USA and is still writing, producing and touring.
ASHLEY INGRAM (Bass Guitar) - Imagination, Des’ree. Born in NH. Formed the soul/funk band Imagination in 1981 with singer/actor Lee John. Their debut record ‘Body Talk’ created much interest. The band then had several top five hits including their biggest ‘Just An Illusion’ which made Number One in the USA. Made a minor comeback in 1988. still writing and producing.
LEE JACKSON (Bass Guitar, Voacls) - The Nice, P.P Arnold, John Mayall, Chuck Berry, Eric Clapton. Originally from Newcastle. Came to prominence and achieved major success with the Nice whih featured keyboard virtuouso Keith Emerson. Lived in the USA for many years. Has now settled in the area and can be seen playing with The Ginger Pig Social Club and his own band The Barking Spiders.
THE JETS (Band)
Ray Cotton (Guitars, Vocals)
Bob Cotton (Double Bass, Vocals)
Tony Cotton (Drums)
Northampton’s own Rockabilly band. Formed in 1974. signed by EMI records, had several hits including ‘Yes Tonight Josephine’. Toured Japan, USA and the UK. Still going, as strong as ever.
MAURICE MERRY (Piano & Keyboards) - Gene Pitney, Michael Barrymore, Lulu, PJ Proby, BBC Radio and TV sessions. Resident pianist at the 101 Club, before becoming Gene Pitney’s musical director for the last 31 years. Has been associated with The Royal Theatre as a composer and consultant since 1965. still touring with Gene Pitney and also plays Jazz locally.
SIMON MERRY (Drums) - Gene Pitney. NH born, son of Maurice. Played with local band Poison The Poteen. Involved in TV, theatre, corporate work and has been Gene Pitney’s drummer for the last 12 years.
RUBY MURRAY (Vocalist) - Born in Belfast 1935. Had five singles in the Top 20 at the same time. Her biggest ‘Softly Softly’ reached Number One in 1954. Married singer Bernie Burgess, who became her manager. They lived in Wooton during her heyday. Known for her delicate, ‘girl-next-door’ singing voice. Her name has officially been granted official status as Cockney rhyming slang for curry.
DES O'CONNOR (Vocals) - BBC & ITV chat show host, cabaret and recording personality. Born in Stepney, London. Evacuated to NH during the war. Started his long career as a Butlins Red Coat and supported Buddy Holly on his first UK tour. In 1958 he was given his own TV show. From 1963 hosted ;Saturday Night at the London Palladium’ for many years and has been a regular on TV ever since. Known for his laid back crooner style of singing and rather dubious jokes. Still going strong today.
DAVE PHILLIPS (Guitar, Vocals) - Angie, Ginger. Born in London. First signed by Dave Clark as a songwriter. Had success in France with the band Angie. Their song ‘I Will’ made it to Number 5 on the French charts. Moved to NH in 1987 and has played with local bands Soul Syndicate, Uncle Eric and Soul Party. Still writing and producing.
GRAHAM ROBERTS (Guitar, Banjo) - Passadena Roof Orchestra, Tetra Guitar Quartet. NH born. Studied at the Royal Academy of Music for four years. Won the Julian Bream guitar competition in 1988. Toured Europe, the USA, and The Middle East with the Passadena Roof Orchestra for nine years. Taught guitar at Eton and The University of the Philippines. Recently elected associate of the Royal Academy of Music. Currently plays with the Tetra Guitar Quartet.
ROSCOE (Double Bass, Bass Guitar) - Bob Kerr’s Whoopee Band. Formative NH bands; Freddie ‘Fingers’ Lee, Newcastle Brown and Uncle Eric. Since becoming a member of the Magic Circle, splits his time between bass playing and making things disappear.
NEIL SHEPHARD (Guitar) - Tigers of Pang Tang. Now mainly involved in a very successful music writing and production business.
ALAN SAVAGE (Drums) - Des O’Connor, Howard Keele, Gene Pitney, Anthony Newley, BBC radio and TV sessions. First gained notice at a very tender age as a member of the Roy Civil Trio. Regular drummer for Des O’Connor for many years. Much travelled and respected.
ARNIE SOMOGYI (Double Bass) - Clare Martin, Jason Robello, Tommy Smith, Stan Tracy, Clark Tracy, Bobby Hutcherson, Art Farmer, Lois Stewart, James Moody, Charlie Watts. NH born, has achieved great success on the international Jazz scene.
ROGER SWALLOW (Drums) - Matthews Southern Comfort, Principal Edwards, Albion Country Band, Al Stewart, Martin Carthy, Norma Waterson. NH born. Started with NH bands The Black Arrows and The Quick and the Dead. Stayed behind in the USA at the end of a lengthy Al Stewart tour and has remained there ever since. Is currently involved in real estate and music promotion.
TOUR TECH (P.A. Equipment) - Northampton’s premiere pro sound company. Founded in 1984 by Dick Rabel, Viv Rabel & Rob Coles. Supplied sound systems and engineers for artists such as Prefab Sprout, The Mission, Billy Connolly, The Levellers, Craig David, Coldplay, The Lighthouse Family, Everything But The Girl, Brand New Heavies, James and many more. They have installed system locally for The Roadmender, The Black Bottom Club and The Picturedrome. As well as providing sound for the BAFTA Awards.
ADRIAN UTTLEY (Guitar) - Portishead, Tom Jones, John Martyn. Spent his formative years playing NH bands Escalator and The Army. Had major success with the band Portishead. Their CD ‘Dummy’ was a best seller and won them many awards. Produced and arranged ‘Motherless Child’ for the Tom Jones ‘Reload’ CD which topped the album charts for many weeks. Now lines in the Bristol area and is involved mainly in writing and production.
ALAN WAKEMAN (Saxophones) - Mike Westbrook, Graham Collier, Soft Machine, avid Essex, Status Quo, Johnny Dankworth, Georgie Fame, Rick Wakeman, Eartha Kitt, Rolf Harris, Shirley Bassey. Originally from London. Studied at the London College of Music. Was David Essex’s musical director for over fifteen years. Alan settled in Northants many years back. Still very active on the Jazz scene and in teaching music.
PETE WATKINS (Bass Guitar) - Matthews Southern Comfort, Jo Ann Kelly, Billy Bragg. Along with Roger Swallow and Mark Griffiths, formed the nucleus of the first Matthews Southern Comfort line-up. Formative NH bands; The Zeets, Tom Hall, Uncle Eric’s Backstairs Creepers. Currently involved in the wine trade and can be still seen playing with Uncle Eric.
MARTIN WINNING (Tenor Sax) - Frankie Ford, King Pleasure & The Biscuit Boys, Ray Gelato, Dana Gillespie, Jim Mullen, Wang Chung, Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, Dennis Brown, Robert Palmer, John Martyn, Gary Moore, Chris Farlowe, Van Morrison. Originally from Lincolnshire, lived his early years in NH and played with Early Times, The Red Hot Rhythm Orchestra and Waldo’s Dance Kings. Now lives in London and currently tours with Van Morrison.
MARTIN WILD (Drums) - Alan Price, Billy J Kramer, Zoot Money, Manfred Mann, Paul Jones, The Blues Band, Jim Davidson, Maz Boyce, Mike D’Abo, The Monkees. Born in NH. Formative NH band The Ray Phillips Sound. First professional tour was with Billy J Kramer followed by four years on the cruise ships. Recruited for the Monkees comeback tour in 1989. Currently the regular drummer for both Zoot Money and Alan Price.
BEAU HOLLAND (Keyboard) - Lauren Aquilina, Wolf Gang, Cloves, Martin Luke Brown, King Pleasure.
DOT MAJOR - London Grammar.
GREG COULSON (Keyboard) - The Selector.
ALLY WILKINSON (Drums) - Shura.
BILLY LOCKETT (Singer-Songwriter) - Solo Artist.
ADAM GAMMAGE (Drums) - Rebecca Ferguson, Eliot Sumner, The Hours.