Harry Black
Died Tuesday 1st July 2014

Photograph courtesy of Westmorland Gazette
 See also this article.


Harry Black died on Tuesday July 1st. As most of his friends and musicians know, Harry played banjo professionally for many years with the 'Your Father's Moustache' organisation. An American set-up that operated worldwide. I believe Harry started out with them at The Cherry Gardens Hotel, in Blackpool, then went on to play Belgium, South Africa, the club on Bourbon Street New Orleans, and New York's Greenwich Village. Harry was born in Liverpool 1940, but lived most of his life in Bowness on Windermere. My condolences go out to his wife Marie, and family.

There will be a service at 2pm on Tuesday 15th July 2014 at St Martin's Church, Bowness on Windermere, followed by a private family cremation. There will be a get together afterwards at Windermere Golf Club where friends and musicians will be welcome. (bring instruments as hopefully there will be an opportunity to play) -

Keith Moore (Playmor).

06/07/14 -

I remember Harry Black very well as he used to play with the Panama many years ago. I also used to go to 'Your Father's Moustache' in Blackpool quite a lot with Robin Tankard. What a noisy debauched night out THAT was!

Susan Reid-Povall

06/07/14 -

I heard about Harry yesterday...very sad.

I spoke to his wife Marie last night and their children are up from Devon to be with her.

I first met Harry in 1972 when I was playing with a Jazz Rock Band in Belgium. I was living in Brussels above the recently opened "Your Fathers Moustache" bar in Rue Au Beurre. Harry was setting up the entertainment (as he did in the States, Blackpool and South Africa etc.), which consisted of banjo, sousaphone, and trombone. Mike Poynton was the trombone player at the time and we all lived above the venue. On Mike's night off, if I was not touring with my band, I used to dep. for him. The trombone had to play the melody, (and only the melody) of all the sing-along tunes, and occasionally when I veered off and improvised...I can see and hear it now...Harry used to look over his shoulder and uttered PLAY THE ******* MELODY.

At about midnight when YFM closed we used to go the the Latin Quarter and play jazz till the early hours in a little basement bar called the Vieux Carre Brazerie. Happy days.

Harry was one of the finest exponents of the 4 string banjo that I have had the pleasure of hearing and playing with. He was very proud of his beautiful Vega banjo as it was a gift from Joel Schiavone the originator of the YFM organisation in the USA, for his contribution in setting up the entertainment in so many of the YFM venues.

Harry will be missed by all that new him and I am so pleased that we new each other for all those years.

My condolences go out to Marie and family.
Mike Lovell

06/07/14 -

I Remember Harry from early sixties, had pleasure of playing with him a few times. A bit of a character was Harry, but what a banjo player, brilliant. Condolences to wife and family.

Kind regards

Rob Turner

08/07/14 -

I was shocked to hear of Harry's sudden and untimely death. I played with Harry for many years his last regular band, the Yarl River Jazzmen. He was a superb musician, an extremely funny man and great company. As well as playing banjo with the Yarls he was also our main vocalist, and occasional comic. He had great stage presence, and his rapport with the audience was second to none. My condolences go to Marie and the rest of his family at this sad time. Don Sinclair, the band leader, (who also sadly died suddenly in 2008), sometimes recorded the band at our residency at the Barrow Conservative Club. These are live recordings and not studio quality but I've included two below. The first is Harry singing Dapper Dan and the second is Harry playing "Harry's Blues".

Rest in Peace Harry.

Brian McQuillin"

Dapper Dan

Harry's Blues

14/07/14 -

I met Harry in 1962 when he was living in Liverpool.   He is one of my oldest and dearest friends. Our families were similar age and over the years we shared so much with our love for playing the banjo and mutual understanding of playing professionally plus he was such a naturally funny man. He has so many friends from all over the world and we all have endless tales to tell about Harry. Think of His Fathers Moustache and you think of Harry. 

Harry’s family were so important to him and my heart goes out to his wonderful wife Marie, son Peter and daughter Heidi together with all his grandchildren who he was so proud of and always talking about they meant so much to him. With their natural hospitable nature, folks loved staying at Marie and Harry’s bed and breakfast place in Bowness just loving it when Harry serenaded them with his banjo playing at breakfast time!!

Harry will never leave us – there are too many memories that we will never stop talking about and loving our mate Harry – he was a legend.

Howard Shepherd (Shep’s Banjo Boys)

"Listen to Harry playing Rhapsody In Blue" - Mike Lovell.




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