Yorkshire’s Master Voice – 1970’s & 1980’s Pop Music

Dog Looking at and Listening to a Phonograph, "His Master's Voice", The Original RCA Music Puppy Dog Logo Symbol for Advertising

Yorkshire can produce hard rock and heavy metal when it needs too and this applies to music as well as industry.
The 70’s and 80’s were productive years for our talented performers.

Def Leppard

  • The band were formed in Sheffield in 1977.
  • Lady Gaga claims that her forthcoming new album is inspired by Def Leppard
  • The group still perform spectacular live shows and have sold over 60 million records.
  • Have a look at the great detail available on the Def Leppard unofficial website. The official web site seems to be for pushing merchandise (not a Yorkshire thing to do).


  • Saxon started in Barnsley as SOB during 1976 and joined forces with another local band Coast featuring Biff Byford on vocals and Paul Quinn on guitar. The line-up then comprised of ‘Oly’ Oliver, ‘Dobby’ Dawson, ‘Blute’ Quinn, ‘Frank’ Gill, and Peter ‘Biff’ Byford. The band was Son Of A Bitch soon changes to Saxon.
  • Saxon are still touring, often in Germany where they are especially popular. You can see them in the UK at Hammersmith Apollo, with Judas Priest on 26th May 2012
  • After the album Saxon in 1979 the 80’s started with Wheels of Steel and ended 8 albums later with Rock ‘N’ Roll Gypsies.
  • There have been greatest hits, live albums and several studio releases since.

David Coverdale

  • Born and raised in Saltburn North Yorkshire
  • David was successful as the lead singer with Deep Purple until it folded. He then recorded a couple of solo albums.
  • David formed Whitesnake in 1978 and they had success in the UK and Europe but it wasn’t until they reformed in 1984 that they had success in the USA
  • David declined to join Black Sabbath after the departure of Ronnie James Dio – a good move me thinks.

Black Lace

  • The most famous group to come out of Ossett, the town more famous for the saying “Don’t thee thou me thee thou thissen and see how tha likes thee thouing”
  • Perhaps that accounts for the unusual number one record that made Black Lace famous Agadoo
  • Black Lace came to the fore in the 1979 Eurovision Song Contest. They finished seventh with the song “Mary Ann” one of the UK’s best performances?.
  • They also had party hits with Do the Conga, ‘I am the Music Man’ and a personal favourite of mine ‘Superman’

Robert Palmer January 1949 – September 2003

  • Born in Batley Robert moved to Scarborough at the age of 10 then on to Malta
  • For Island records he made 8 studio albums and a further 6 after moving to EMI
  • Best known for Addicted to Love and a Bad Case of Loving You
  • With Duran Duran and others, Robert Palmer joined would be supergroup The Power Station
  • In his obituary the Guardian said ‘One of the most gifted white soul singers of his crowded era, Robert Palmer, who has died of a heart attack aged 54, worked hard at being misunderstood.’ read more

Dog Looking at and Listening to a Phonograph, "His Master’s Voice", The Original RCA Music Puppy Dog Logo Symbol for Advertising by Beverly & Pack = Creative Commons

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Maggies Doggy Walkers

KN Dog Walk- Yorktown- Chris

Yeadon- Rawdon – North Leeds


    • On holiday, busy at work or too sick to ‘walk the dog’ then Maggies Mutts can walk you back to happiness

Dog Looking at and Listening to a Phonograph, "His Master's Voice", The Original RCA Music Puppy Dog Logo Symbol for Advertising


  • Get your dog away from music and it to the fresh air


Name that Dog Walking Service

Dog Only Knows
Airedale Walkies
Corgi and Bess
Borzois back in Town
Yorkie Walkers
Boogie woogie beagle boy
Fine Fetlars

By Dog Byte Digital – (10 minute effort)

KN Dog Walk- Yorktown- Chris by skirtpr CC BY 2.0
“Dog Looking at and Listening to a Phonograph, “His Master’s Voice”, The Original RCA Music Puppy Dog Logo Symbol for Advertising by Beverly & Pack CC BY 2.0

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‘Live at Leeds’ – Yorkshire Pop Music in 1970’s

Yorkshire popular music was ‘steady away’ in the 1970’s with Leeds university and Sheffield both producing good bands. Not a county to boast we did have a storming hit with the Brighouse and Raistrick Brass Band and Floral Dance. (What not pop music? Tell it to your grandma)


The Bradford band recorded for Decca, RCA and successfully for Rak
“Oh Julie, Living next Door to Alice, I Love You Carolina, Oh Carol and an early single “Let the Good Times Roll” were some of Smokies top records.
Still claiming to be ‘Europe’s top live band, thirty years after its inception is truly fantastic’
After numerous name changes, after leaving St Bedes school Bradford, the band settled on Smokey only to be threatened by Smokey Robinson who made them make the final name change albeit only only inserting an ie instead of a Y

Jeff Christie

This Leeds lad had some success with the Outer Limits but they failed to make the big time and the band folded in 1969
Then sometime as a professional songwriter when he wrote for the Tremeloes
Yellow River was a hit for his Yorkshire band ‘Christie’.

Tony Christie

No relation to Jeff Christie, Tony was another Sheffield lad.
Maria and Is this the Way to Amarillo were iconic records.
Peter Kaye did a send up of ‘Is this the Way to Amarillo’ that got the song a second successful outing.

Paul Carrick

Sheffield must have been a musical breeding ground.
Paul was the singer with Squezee and Mike and The Mechanics.
He also had a big hit with ‘How Long’ by the Aces.

Be Bop Deluxe

Be Bop Deluxe was founded by Bill Nelson guitarist and singer-songwriter from Wakefield
Glam, Progressive Rock, or Heavy Metal they were hard to pigeon hole or label.
‘Ships in the Night’ was there major single success but they produced many good albums.

Paul Rodgers

Lead singer with Free, born in Middlesborough
‘All Right Now’ was a success for Free
With the band Bad Company Paul enjoyed years of success in the USA before being involved with several superbands.

The Who

– Unfortunately not from Gods Own County but their classic album ‘Live at Leeds’ deserves a mention. It also provides the framework for this post.

See also
Yorkshire Pop Music 1950’s
Yorkshire Pop Music 1960’s

Amazon music links
Tony Christie
Be Bop Deluxe
Mike and the Mechanics

Floral Dance Brighouse and Raistrick Brass Band

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Balliff Bridge & Berry Brow Brass Band

A charity collector walked up the garden path of an old Yorkshire Cottage and spoke to the elderly lady owner ‘ Excuse me I am collecting on behalf of the Baliff Bridge & Berry Brow Brass Band’

‘Eh!’ she said

‘I am collecting on behalf of the Bailiff Bridge & Berry Brow Brass Band would you like to contribute?’

‘Eh speak up I’m a bit deaf’


‘Eh I still can’t hear’


‘Ah still can’t hear’

So he turns to go and she says ‘An’ close the gate behind thee’

‘You know what you can do with your flippin gate’ he chunters to himself

‘Aye and tha know what tha can do with the blinkin’ Bailiff Bridge & Berry Brow Brass Band’ she alliterates.

Up to Date

And in case you thought Gods Own County and Amazon were not up to date we have worked together to offer you a chance to buy ‘Yorkshire Wit, Character, Folklore and Customs or Wit Character Folklore and Customs of the North Riding of Yorkshire’ by R. Blakeborough first edition published by Henry Frowde (1898)
Sorry it is not yet available on Kindle! We will be kindling later.

Outlook for Bailiff Bridge 2012

Skipton no fly zone

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Flower Fund Homes in West Yorkshire

There are several charities in West and North Yorkshire set up to provide homes for independent retired folk. Flower fund homes have been set up, managed and built since the 1950’s all on a voluntary basis.
The original funding idea, or flower fund principal may have originated from local rotary clubs. The idea is one where donations could be made in lieu of funeral flowers or by bequest.

Flower Fund Home Charities

  • Spenborough Flower Fund Homes
  • Bingley, Littlelands
  • Aireborough Flower Fund
  • Harrogate
  • Scarborough
  • Bradford

If you are aware of any other flower fund areas please let us know via the comments section.

For a fuller story on Yorkshire Flower Fund Homes read Housingmarket.co.uk

Fund Raising

  • With so many demands on funding and the high cost of housing these charities find it hard to keep building new homes.
  • Any house building is to be welcomed at the moment and the government could do worse than encourage a whole new flush of Flower fund charities. It fits in well with The Big Society. It also fits with the agenda that wants to see retired folk downsize to make more space available for young families.
  • Each Flower Fund is an independent charity.
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Yorkshire 1960’s Pop Singers and Clubs

The 1960′s was a great era for popular music and Yorkshire had a thriving club scene. Famous names came to perform in Batley and Peter Stringfellow learnt his trade in Sheffield. The selected three Yorkshire born performers are still involved in the music business today.

Dave Berry

  • Sheffield sixties pop star Dave Berry is best remembered for his hit The Crying Game
  • Dave celebrated 50-years in the business during 2011.
  • Gene Vincent was one of Dave’s heros and he imitated Gene with his black clothes before learning to teasing the audience with his own act.
  • Born on 6 February 1941 as David Grundy he played with his band was The Cruisers
  • Little Things, Mama, Memphis Tennessee, and the dutch hit This Strange Effect were his best know songs

Joe Cocker

  • Born in Sheffield 20 May 1944, as Vance Arnold and the Avengers they played R&B around the Sheffield clubs before achieving international fame with Joe’s distinctive gravelly voice.
  • As well as 25 albums over a 40 year career Joe recorded and had success with “With a Little Help from My Friends”
    • “Woman to Woman”
    • “The Jealous Kind”
    • “Black-Eyed Blues”
    • “Cry Me a River
    • “You Are So Beautiful”
    • “Feelin’ Alright
    • “Delta Lady”
  • Joe’s main musical influences were Ray Charles for the blues and Lonnie Donegan for the rock and skiffle.

Arthur Brown I am the god of hell fire and I bring you ….

  • Arthur Wilton from Whitby was the original singer with The Foundations before they built their own foundations on ‘Build me up buttercup’ and ‘Baby now that I’ve found you’
  • The Crazy World of Arthur Brown established Arthur Brown as the UK’s first Goth.
  • He still appears with The Crazy World fully electric lineup and the Hamburg Blues Band.
  • Born 24 June 1942 in Gothic Whitby and he was educated in Leeds

Kiki Dee

  • Bradford lass Kiki Dee was born Pauline Matthews, 6 March 1947 and she went and broke my heart. Don’t go doing it again.
  • The Fontana Years 1963-1968 was a compilation album prior to Kiki signing for Motown
  • Kiki was the first Brithish white singer to sign for the Motown record label ‘Love Makes The World Go Round: The Motown Years’
  • Kiki began as a backing vocalist for Dusty Springfield and shared Dusty’s manager, Vic Billings.

The Early Clubbers

  • Jimmy Corrigan impressario and founder of the Batley Variety Club
  • Peter Stringfellow who ran Sheffield clubs, Black Cat, Mojo, King Mojo and the Esquire club
  • Jimmy Saville managed the Mecca Locarno in Leeds. At Radio Luxembourg he was a disk jockey and an early TV DJ. Born Leeds 31 October 1926 died 29 October 2011

Read about 1950’s Yorkshire Pop Musicians

Amazon Supply music, books, posters etc from these links

Dave Berry

Joe Cocker

Arthur Brown

Kiki Dee

And Then Came Agadoo
Book Cover
And Then Came Agadoo from a large council estate in Wakefield

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Yorkshire Stereotypes May Be

Stereotypes ‘appen

Tight with brass
Pithy with phraseology
‘Straight talking, no nonsense, friendly, hard working, dry humour’
Whippets, flat caps, integrity plus the moors, dales countryside and the east coast.

Stereotype Doggerel

Tha can alus tell a Yorkshire man but that can’t tell im much.

Ear all, see all, say nowt;
Eyt all, sup all, pay nowt;
And if ivver tha does owt fer nowt –
Do it fer thissen.

Stereotype Jokes

There was a community hall full of Yorkshire women all being given a keep fit lesson.
“O.K., ladies. Hands on thighs!”
As one, every woman moved her hands and a voice at the back said “What good’s that, then? I can’t see ‘yer now!”

A man goes to the vet because his cat is poorly. The vet says “Is it a tom?” and the man says “Nay lad, ‘ah’ve got it ‘ere in t’basket!”

All Yorkshire milk comes from ‘uddersfield.

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1950’s Yorkshire’s Pop Musicians

The 1950’s was a great era for Yorkshire popular musicians before the American and Liverpudlian invasion of the 1960’s. Post war music was finding its own brand and style of entertainment that had moved on from big band and Jazz.
I have chosen 4 Yorkshire born figures to highlight the spectrum of new entertainment as we moved from 78’s to 45’s and radio to television as a medium for appreciating Pop music although we hadn’t started to call it that.

David Whitfield 2 February 1925 — 16 January 1980

  • David from Hull has a career that predated and ran through the rock and roll era. As a performer he was more old fashioned that the other Yorkshire born performers we are looking at.
  • Cara Mea, The Rudder and the Rock ‘The Book’ and ‘My September Love’ were some of the ballads and songs that won him fame. He had 2 number ones and many other top ten hits
  • He recorded for Decca, earned the first UK gold disc by a male vocalist and was the first Brit to sell a million copies of one record in USA
  • David entered the talent contest ‘Opportunity Knocks’ when it was a radio show on Radio Luxembourg and was quite a hit. Hughie Green then helped him get more bookings that eventually led to 3 Royal command performances. The 1954 Royal Command Performance included Bob Hope, Frankie Howerd, Guy Mitchell, Norman Wisdom, Dickie Valentine, Max Bygraves, Frankie Laine, Howard Keel, The Crazy Gang, Joan Turner, Jack Buchanan, Al Read, Jimmy Wheeler, Richard Hearne, Gladys Cooper and David Whitfield.
  • Sadly David died whilst touring and performing in Australia in 1980 when aged 54.
  • Ronnie Hilton 26 January 1926 – 21 February 2001

  • “No Other Love” was his one and only UK Number One hit in 1956 but ‘The Wonder of You’ sold well in 1959 only to be topped in 1970 by the Elvis Presley version
  • Ronnie covered the ballads of many American singers including Perry Como, Bing Crosby and Johnny Mathis
  • Ronnie Hilton took part in the inaugural A Song For Europe contest in 1957 with “For Your Love”. He also appeared in three subsequent Royal Variety Command Performances.
  • Ronnie’s last chart entry was in 1965. ‘Windmill In Old Amsterdam’ took him away from the romantic ballads of his earlier years.
  • A true Yorkshireman born in Hull but brought up in Leeds, Ronnie Hilton always remained loyal to his roots and especially to Leeds United
  • Don Lang 19 January 1925 – 3 August 1992

  • Together with his band the Frantic Five they recorded “School Day (Ring! Ring! Goes The Bell)” Rock a billy and Witch Doctor in 1957.
  • The theme tune of Six Five Special was performed by Don.
  • Rock and Roll Blues and Sweet Sue were solo records for Don.
  • Don was born in Halifax as Gordon Langhorn and was an accomplished jazz and session musician.
  • Later in his career Don Lang played trombone on the Beatles White Abbey album
  • Marion Ryan 4 February 1931 – 15 January 1999

  • From 1956 Middlesbrough born lass Marion was the regular singer on Spot that Tune a TV programme that morphed into name that tune with Ted Ray
  • Working part time at the Locarno in Leeds she met and made her debut with Ray Ellington.
  • Marion had twin sons, Barry and Paul Ryan who also had musical careers including the hit ‘Eloise’
  • Her top records included “Hot Diggity” and “Why Do Fools Fall in Love”
  • Yorkshire did its bit for entertainment in the 1950’s contributing the music of these artists to radio shows like Two Way Family Favourites. Then along came TV and shows like Six Five Special, Oh Boy, Dig, and Juke Box Jury the theme tune for which was written and performed by another Yorkshireman, John Barry.

    Amazon Supply music, books, posters etc from these links

    David Whitfield
    Ronnie Hilton
    Don Lang
    Marion Ryan

    Read more about Yorkshire’s 1960s Music and Club Scene

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    Yorkshire Rocks – Musically

    When we say Yorkshire Rocks we are not talking about Brimham Rocks or the Cow and Calf.
    No we are talking about Rock Up and Sing.

    Rock Up and Sing

    This is a Yorkshire choir with a difference. ‘ROCK UP’ is unlike any other choir in Yorkshire. The organisers say it is for ‘those people who want to be a part of a choir but dislike the exclusivity that often comes along with it. There is no auditioning for ROCK UP and no need to read music and no previous experience is necessary.’
    Rock Up has the reputation of singing some modern classics of Rock, Motown and Gospel. I am waiting for them to tackle the Kaiser Chiefs’ Ruby Ruby but they sing Cold Plays’s Viva la Vida and also perform I’ll Stand by You; Don’t Stop me Now; Pinball Wizard;Lean on me; He ain’t Heavy, He’s my Brother, Oh Happy Day and U2’s One!
    I doubt they will be singing the Arctic Monkeys’‘Fluorescent Adolescent’ or ‘I bet You look Good on the Dance Floor’, any time soon but you never know.
    Last year Rock Up performed at The Royal Albert Hall but if you keep your eyes on Harrogate venues you will find local performance.

    Following the success of Rock Up a spin off sister choir for ladies (or sisters) was established. It was named Rock Up and Swing with the focus on music and songs of the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s.

    Contact Details

    The Rock Up and Sing web site has more information
    Rehearsal times
    ROCK UP AND SING! – THURSDAY 7:30pm-9:30pm
    ROCK UP AND SWING! – WEDNESDAY 12:45pm-2:45 pm
    Rhiannon Gayle is the musical director of this Harrogate based choir.
    There are over 300 members

    Continue reading

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    Leeds Utd F.A. Cup Shock

    Regular readers to this Yorkshire site will remember our recent post – The Rise and Fall of Leeds Utd

    So it’s only fair to praise this pre-eminent team of Yorkshire for their magnificent win over arch-rivals – Manchester United at their own ground – Old Trafford. 1-0.

    In the next round, Leeds United have been drawn away to Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane, but, now no team will be unbeatable for this promising Leeds team.

    Good Times Returning?

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