Tamworth Bands - History 1960-1990

The Peter Justice Band

The Peter Justice BandBand Members:
Peter Justice
Lionel Wood
Barney Blake

When I first started to learn music (organ - 1978) my teacher was Johnny Ball, an accomplished organist who lived on the Albert Road and who was an integral part (piano and the first electronic keyboard attachment) of The Peter Justice Band.  Over the ensuing years I coincidentally met other members of The Peter Justice Band, the names Lionel Wood (a porter at Drayton Manor last time I saw him), the late Barney Blake (clarinet) and Peter Justice himself spring to mind - Barney used to run the bookies in Church Street (near the Monica Cafe) in the late 1970s.  I’m unable to put a timeframe to their gigs but the Assembly Rooms was a regular venue and I suspect it was 1960s/70s but wouldn't be surprised if the band started in the 1950s or even earlier. These were the days of the dance bands with smartly-dressed musicians, a brass section and usually nice logo-sporting music stands.

Johnny Ball also had his own band and used a split Hammond M101 with a couple of Leslie's.

Peter Justice's Hammond organ was a feature at the Embassy (as he worked there - although not as an organist) for the first few years of it's life as a bingo hall and I have indeed played it a couple of times between the bingo.

Mobile Sound Recording Studios

Blues Up And Down Bedworth
Blues Up And Down Bedworth
(full-size image)
Photo courtesy Barry John

During my lessons with Johnny Ball in the 80's I acquired the, 78rpm Record, "Blues Up And Down Bedworth"

The names on the disc are fascinating:

  • George Forbes (I think he had a trio of his own at some time)
  • Barney Blake (played clarinet in the Peter Justice Band and ran the bookies in Church Street (near the Monica Cafe) in the late 1970s.)
  • Peter Justice
  • Don West
  • Johnny Ball
  • Sammy Chiles
  • Doug Bonas (yes...the councillor of the same name)
  • Peter & Don (individuals)
  • Ken Jackson

The record itself was made at the gig by a mobile sound recording studios - details of which can be seen on the label. Unfortunately the shellac is in extremely poor condition and it needs expert treatment to play, if at all.

Apparently the studio would come and record your band anywhere you wanted them too and I'm sure they had been to the Assembly Rooms to record them there too.

Blues Up And Down Bedworth

Blues Up And Down Bedworth

Thanks to: Barry John

The Spirits did a few gigs with the Peter Justice Band in the early sixties. It was just before the rock band explosion. They'd do the dance band bit, waltzes and quicksteps, etc. and we'd do the rock stuff. As far as venues, we certainly did Drayton Manor and The Assembly Rooms.

We also did a similar sort of thing with Lloyd Jackson. He was a drummer and ran a small dance band. He kept the post office in Glascote, I think it's still there; if you're going out of town it's the one on the left just over the canal bridge.

Thanks to: Jim Twigg (The Three Spirits)

Saturdays 19/26 January and 02/09/16 February 1963
Peter Justice and his band
Drayton Manor Park, Ballroom

Army Cadet Force Grand Dance
Peter Justice and His Band and The Wanderers
Drayton Manor
Admission: 5/-

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