NORTHAMPTON'S MUSIC HALL OF FAME
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. He studied composition and trumpet at the Royal College of Music and became principal trumpet for the London Philharmonic Orchestra in 1943. - He won the Mendelssohn Scholarship and decided to concentrate solely on composition. He 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 NN in 1928. Started in the army band and progressed to great heights. Became a professor at the Royal College and received his O.B.E in 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 later became Head of Music at Kingsthorpe Upper School.
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 Ain't Heavy, He’s My Brother’. Originally from Manchester, he lived in the Northampton area for many years.
PETE COX (Double Bass, Bass Guitar)
Played with 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 they played in and around NN. He was Gene Pitney’s regular bassist for 16 years.
COZY DICKSON (Drums)
Played with Barbary Coast, Frank Ifield, George Hamilton V, Dolly Parton and Whisky Priests. He also played with NN bands ‘All Grown Up’ and ‘Poison The Poteen’.
GUY FLETCHER (Violin, Drums)
NN born Folk / Rock fiddler, has played locally with bands such as ‘Poison The Poteen’, ‘Tickled Pink’ and ‘Tom Hall’. He than gained notice with ‘Little Johnny England’.
FREDDIE "FINGERS" LEE (Piano)
Played with 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)
Played with 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 NN. 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. He also ran a town centre recording studio for several years.
MARK GRIFFITHS (Guitar/Bass Guitar)
Played with 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. NN born. Formative bands – ‘The Quick & The Dead’ and Tom Hall’s ‘Flyin Garrick’. His first Number One hit was with the Joni Mitchell song ‘Woodstock’.
TOM HALL (Mandola, Guitar, Vocals)
He created The Celebrated Ratliffe Stout Band, Bare Back Riders. Well known NN born singer/songwriter. For many years toured the UK and European Folk Clubs. Formative NN 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.
TIM HARRIES (Bass Guitar, Double Bass)
Played with Eddie Reader, Boo Hewerdine, Mike Batt, Bill Bruford, Steeleye Span. He gained a degree in music at York. He studied double bass at the Guildhall School. Joined Bruford’s Earthworks and toured Europe, America and Japan. Highly respected and in demand bassist. Lived in NN since 1987.
DAVE HOLLAND (Drums)
Played with Pinkertons Assorted Colours, Trapeze, Judas Priest. Born in NN and played with Tony Sans and the Drumbeats. Then became involved with artist management.
IAN HUNTER (Guitar, Vocals)
Played with David McWilliams, Billy Fury, Mick Ronson, Mott the Hoople. Played in and around NN in the early 60s with Freddie ‘Fingers’ Lee (Hurricane Henry and The Shriekers) and The Paex. Formed Mott the Hoople in the early 70s. He had success worldwide with the David Bowie song ‘All The Young Dudes’. The band achieved superstar status between 1972 and 1974. Ian then moved to the USA.
ASHLEY INGRAM (Bass Guitar)
Played with Imagination, Des’ree. Born in NN. 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.
LEE JACKSON (Bass Guitar, Vocals)
Played with The Nice, P.P Arnold, John Mayall, Chuck Berry, Eric Clapton. Originally from Newcastle. Came to prominence and achieved major success with The Nice which featured keyboard virtuoso Keith Emerson. Lived in the USA for many years. He then settled in NN and in 1994 he joined The Ginger Pig Band.
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 in 2022.
MAURICE MERRY (Piano & Keyboards)
Played with 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 31 years. He was associated with The Royal Theatre as a composer and consultant since 1965.
SIMON MERRY (Drums)
He played with Gene Pitney. NN born, son of Maurice. Played with local band Poison The Poteen. Involved in TV, theatre, corporate work and was Gene Pitney’s drummer for over 12 years.
RUBY MURRAY (Vocalist)
Born in Belfast 1935. Had five singles in the Top 20 at the same time. Her biggest record, ‘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 NN 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 he hosted "Saturday Night at the London Palladium" for many years and was a regular on TV ever since. Known for his laid back crooner style of singing and rather dubious jokes.
DAVE PHILLIPS (Guitar, Vocals)
Played with 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 NN in 1987 and then played with local bands Soul Syndicate, Uncle Eric and Soul Party.
GRAHAM ROBERTS (Guitar, Banjo)
Played with Pasadena Roof Orchestra, Tetra Guitar Quartet. NN 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 Pasadena Roof Orchestra for nine years. Taught guitar at Eton and The University of the Philippines. Was then elected associate of the Royal Academy of Music.
ROSCOE (Double Bass, Bass Guitar)
Played with Bob Kerr’s Whoopee Band. Formative NN bands; Freddie ‘Fingers’ Lee, Newcastle Brown and Uncle Eric. Since becoming a member of the Magic Circle, he then split his time between bass playing and making things disappear.
NEIL SHEPHARD (Guitar)
Played with Tigers of Pang Tang. Then became mainly involved in a very successful music writing and the production business.
ALAN SAVAGE (Drums)
Played with 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 much respected.
ARNIE SOMOGYI (Double Bass)
Played with Clare Martin, Jason Robello, Tommy Smith, Stan Tracy, Clark Tracy, Bobby Hutcherson, Art Farmer, Lois Stewart, James Moody, Charlie Watts. NN born, he achieved great success on the international Jazz scene.
ROGER SWALLOW (Drums)
Played with Matthews Southern Comfort, Principal Edwards, Albion Country Band, Al Stewart, Martin Carthy, Norma Waterson. NN born. Started with NN 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 remained there ever since. He then became 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 installed systems locally for The Roadmender, The Black Bottom Club and The Picturedrome as well as providing sound for the BAFTA Awards.
ADRIAN UTTLEY (Guitar)
Played with Portishead, Tom Jones, John Martyn. Spent his formative years playing in NN 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.
ALAN WAKEMAN (Saxophones)
Played with Mike Westbrook, Graham Collier, Soft Machine, David 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 NN for many years.
PETE WATKINS (Bass Guitar)
Played with Matthews Southern Comfort, Jo Ann Kelly, Billy Bragg. Along with Roger Swallow and Mark Griffiths, he formed the nucleus of the first Matthews Southern Comfort line-up. Formative NN bands; The Zeets, Tom Hall, Uncle Eric’s Backstairs Creepers.
MARTIN WINNING (Tenor Sax)
Played with 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 NN and played with Early Times, The Red Hot Rhythm Orchestra and Waldo’s Dance Kings.
MARTIN WILD (Drums)
Played with Alan Price, Billy J Kramer, Zoot Money, Manfred Mann, Paul Jones, The Blues Band, Jim Davidson, Max Boyce, Mike D’Abo, The Monkees. Born in NN. Formative NN 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.
BEAU HOLLAND (Keyboard)
Played with Lauren Aquilina, Wolf Gang, Cloves, King Pleasure, John Newman and Nina Nesbitt, Lily Moore, Tom Chaplin, Ellie Goulding, Claire Richards, Louisa Johnson, Jasmine Thompson, The Cloves, Louise Redknapp, Alice Jemima, Rita Ora, Vanessa White, Jamie Lawson, Martin Luke Brown, Conor Maynard.
Created the successful London Grammar.
GREG COULSON (Keyboard)
Played with The Selector, Burt Bacharach, The Blockheads, Spiritualised, Now runs his own band and a recording studio.
ALLY WILKINSON (Drums)
Played with Shura, Lily Moore and Billy Locket when he toured as the support band for Jeff Lynne.
BILLY LOCKETT (Singer-Songwriter)
Solo artist but formed a small band to tour and support Jeff Lynne. He has enjoyed tremendous success.
ADAM GAMMAGE (Drums)
Played with Rebecca Ferguson, Eliot Sumner, The Hours, Tom Grennan, Baxter Drury, ZuZu, He also runs a recording studio with Greg Coulson.
ROGER INNISS (Double Bass and Bass)
Played with Steve Gibbons, Ruby Turner, Elke Brooks, Edwin Starr, Errol Brown, Zoot Money, Chaka Khan, Trevor Burton, Sherman Robertson, Don Weller.
JOEL BARFORD (Drums)
Played with NYJO, CC Smugglers.
BOYSEY BATTRUM (Tenor Sax)
Played with Roy Wood, King Pleasure, Tony Christy.
ALEX WESTERWAY (guitar)
Formed, toured and recorded with Fight Star. This was followed by the creation of Gun Ship in 2014 which is a British Synthwave band. All income for this band is generated via the web. He appeared in the documentary “The Rise of the Synths”
The genres played by Slowthai are Hip Hop, Grime and Punk Rap. He was named by NME as “Hero of the Year” in 2019.
NATACHA ATLAS (vocalist)
Was born in Belgium in 1964 to a Northampton mother and an Egyptian father. When her parents divorced she returned with her mother to live in Northampton for a few years.
She was initially with the group Transglobal Underground.
She then went solo and specialised in World, Arabic, Ethnic and Electronica music.
She sings in English, French, Arabic and Spanish.
FIONA BRICE (violin)
Born in Northampton and is a composer, orchestral arranger and violinist.
She has toured and recorded with Placebo, Kanye West, Sugar Babes, Boy George, Westlife, Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Simply Rd.
She has also worked with Will Young, Ed Sheeran, Il Divo, Ronan Keating, Gorillaz as well as a variety of philharmonic orchestras.
EDMUND RUBBRA 1901-1986 (composer)
Born at 21 Arnold Road Semilong. He then moved to 1, Balfour Road. He was a composer of classical music. His best-known works were his 11 Symphonies, for which he received critical acclaim. He collaborated with Sir Adrian Boult and Benjamin Britten.
He was the brother of engineer Arthur Rubbra. See Wikipedia.
SOPHIE XEON (singer, songwriter, producer, DJ, software synthesizer)
Born in Scotland in 1986 as a boy named Sam Long, he was educated at Spratton Hall Preparatory School whilst living at Scaldwell. He transgendered to Sophie in adulthood and sadly died in Greece in 2021 at the age of 34. The cause of death was a fall from a 3rd story roof whilst she was photographing a full moon.
Sophie developed Electronic, Avant-pop and Bubblegum Bass music and was nominated for a Grammy Award.
After her sad and tragic death, her family received condolences from such artists as Rhianna, Sam Smith, Rita Ora and Grimes.