The Bay City Strollers
Last updated Tuesday August 15, 2017 at 21:02:00
L-R : Ken Johnson, Bob Pickersgill, Lawrence Marshall, Steve Lister, John Burns, John Whittaker
Photograph taken at St Mary's Church, Brownedge, Bamber Bridge
As far as I am aware, the Bay City Strollers are still available for gigs and bookings, but they haven't appeared in my What's On since Dec 2012, so this page no longer qualifies for the band spotlight on the main menu - Fred Burnett 19/07/14
Formed in 2010, the band was named as such because the band members are all resident in the Lancaster City and Morecambe Bay area and as Bob says, "We are all too old to run, hence the the name - Bay City Strollers,says Bob Pickersgill. Our repertoire is from the happy end of the 1920&30s Jazz & popular music scene including, the music of Louis Armstrong, Fats Waller. Jelly Roll Morton, & others.
Steve Lister - Cornet, guitar and vocals
Born in Liverpool, Steve was influenced by a musical family, his father was a trombone player, and Steve was listening to jazz tracks as a young boy. At secondary school he was playing jazz guitar and he was part of the Mersey beat scene of the sixties. Steve got his first cornet at the age of 16 but started playing it seriously in his mid 50s. Steve is one of the most accomplished musicians in the north of England.
John Whittaker - Trombone, vocals
John was born in Oldham, and loves the sound of the trombone, so at the age of 20 he purchased one. A lot of his misspent youth was spent on the mouthpiece of it. He spent a lot of time in South Africa where he played the trombone constantly. John adds humour to the band in his vocal renditions and sessions on the whoopee whistle.
Bob Pickersgill - Alto, Tenor Baritone and Soprano Saxophone, vocals
Bob was born in Liverpool and is a relative newcomer to jazz performing and he played the violin at school. When living in Kendal in his 20's he was influenced by the jazz bands performing around the town. He loved the music and became an avid listener and was fascinated by the vocal talents of George Melly. He was given an alto sax at the age of 50 and started practicing with a group of musicians as a novice, that became the Wississippi Jazzmen with John Burns in Wisbech.
John Burns - Banjo
John was born in Cheshire, but moved to Skipton at the age of three via a short spell at Shipley. He then went to boarding school at Dumfries at the age of 9 where he stayed until 17. In the last two years, he and five others started a jazz band practising after lessons and occasional public performances. After leaving school, John took up the cello and now plays both instruments. He met up with Bob Pickersgill in Wisbech where they both played in the Wississippi Jazzmen until he moved to Morecambe in 2006
Lawrence Marshall - Drums
Lawrence was born in Brighton and started playing the guitar in 1962 in local skiffle bands. After moving to Northampton he was approached by a band leader called Bill Dickens, and encouraged to play the banjo. He played with that band for the next ten years. A growing family curtailed his playing until moving to Morecambe in 1991 when he was again encouraged to start playing. Lawrence is a real authority on jazz music and has a record collection of about 16,000 categorised albums. He is a fine sympathetic drummer and his brightly coloured vintage drum kit, complete with skulls, adds a degree of authenticity to the band.
Ken Johnson - Bass
Ken was born near Bangor. His mother was a dance band pianist in Liverpool. He took up the guitar at the age of 16 but found an unwanted double bass at University in London and realised it was the instrument for him. Family commitments stopped him from playing until 1980 when he purchased a fretless bass guitar at the same time that his son was taking up the guitar. The double bass was purchased in 1991, and Ken has gone from strength to strength ever since.
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