||Born in Shropshire, England. War baby!
||First instrument was a tin whistle
||At Sir Joseph Williamson's Mathematical School, Rochester, had lessons on recorder, piccolo, clarinet & oboe.
||Heard skiffle and bought first guitar
||Entered Hull University to study French. Also started learning to fly with the Hull University Air Squadron.
||Teaching in Aix-les-Bains, Savoie, France.
||Finished degree, and worked as trainee manager in Hull University Bookshop. This involved occasional confrontations, re the absence of certain books from our shelves, with poet and noted jazz critic Philip Larkin who was also Hull University Librarian. He was a Bechet fan. I wish I could have those talks again.
||I combined the French with the flying experience by becoming a technical translator/interpreter, first with the Ministry of Aviation, then with the British Aircraft Corporation on the Concorde Project at Filton near Bristol.
||Started touring, playing guitar and singing, with the Pigsty Hill Light Orchestra. Bought my first saxophone. Shared the stage with Jasper Carrot, Mike Harding, Les Dawson, Diz Disley et al.
||Duo with Pete Finch working in folk music clubs, then in the Avon Touring Theatre. This included writing songs for a musical "The Godmother" directed by Mel Smith.
||Musical Director of vocal trio Sweet Substitute which included my then wife. I provided vocal arrangements, original numbers and, later, complete band arrangements (Record contracts with Decca and Aves). Toured and /or recorded with:
- The Midnite Follies Orchestra, directed by Keith Nichols and Alan Cohen
- The Syd Lawrence Orchestra
- The Pasadena Roof Orchestra
- The Chris Barber Jazz & Blues Band
- The Pat Halcox Allstars
Our three children Sam, Connee and Jos were born in 1976, 1978 and 1980.
At this time I set up Tiger Tunes UK - a small publishing company aiming to show that "they do write songs like they used to". I was also then involved in the re-forming of Henry's Bootblacks - the Bristol based 10-piece hot dance orchestra, performing early Ellington and Fletcher Henderson material, but also compositions by Henry Davies and me.
||Divorced! For the next fourteen years I juggled fatherhood with Freelance translation and the Titanic Tearoom Quartet. This involved a long collaboration with the legendary Bobby Mickleburgh. I also toured occasionally with Bob Kerr's Whoopee band and The Temperance Seven. Worked with Alice's Wonderland Band and the New Chicagoans, too.
||Since 1990 my partner has been Jane Maggs. In 1995 I wrote and performed the music for a 10 minute John Betjeman film about Sidmouth, narrated by Nigel Hawthorne. The next year (1996) I moved to Germany to join the Rod Mason Hot Five.
||The 1995 John Betjeman film "Sidmouth" with my music has been reissued on DVD as part of the Betjeman Collection, ref G72359 - see www.simplyent.co.uk.