THE late SPIKE O’BRIEN (Brian Holt) was without doubt the jewel in Bradford’s rock ‘n’ roll crown.

In 1959 he joined the Dingos, and later the Tuxedos. With a new group, The Rattlers, he spent three seasons at Douglas on the Isle of Man. In the 1980s and’90s Spike was still touring the Bradford circuit with local groups.

He was a piano genius, especially with Jerry Lee Lewis numbers, and It was in 1961 that Spike and I spent some time with Jerry Lee Lewis in his dressing room during his venue at St George’s Hall. There was only the three of us, but Spike hardly said a word, completely overwhelmed - he was having a drink of whisky with his hero. Over the years, he would tell me it was the best memory of his rock ‘n’ roll life.

A great artist and friend of his fellow musician,who is still held in high esteem.

* Pictured centre with the Voltaires is vocalist and songwriter SAMMY KING (Alan Twohig). After some time with the Dingos, he joined the Voltaires, who went on to support many acts including the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Shirley Bassey, Louis Armstrong and Cilla Black.

Later Sammy went back to writing songs and wrote the popular hit Penny Arcade for Roy Orbison. Sammy, friend of the stars, is still playing and writing music.

* The dependable DOUGIE (DOUGLAS) LAMB was a self taught rhythm and bass guitarist who from the age of 17 joined his first group, The Blue Jays, in 1959 and later many other local groups.

Dougie was soon known throughout the North as one of the UK’s most reliable bass players, backing PJ Proby, Marty Wilde, Jess Conrad,Vince Eager, Eden Cane, Gene Vincent, and many others, during the rock and roll era, and the following years.

Bass players are generally overlooked when accolades are handed out, but for over 50 years Bradford-born Dougie Lamb excelled with his unstinting professional reliability.

* Sixteen-year-old MEL CLARKE (Mel Hogan) was a lead guitarist and vocalist who, from 1958, would go on to be one of Bradford’s premier stars of our rock ‘n’ roll days.

His singing, and guitar playing, of the Chuck Berry classic Johnny B Good was something to behold. It is ironic that his original group was called The Unknown Four,which was soon dropped, and then the Mel Clarke Four who for the next decade were backing many pop stars.

Mel was gifted with a special talent and personality, and still has the looks that he had in the 1950s!

I still have a letter from Mel from 1960 (no phone back then) asking if we (my group) could do one of his bookings at the Europer Club, as Mel and his group had been asked to appear at the Palace Theatre in Huddersfield on the same night. Yes we could, and we did.

* The late JOHN DOWSON on vocals had the voice and charisma of any of the pop stars of the day, and he was a leading member of The Tuxedos.

John, who was from Birkenshaw, was a founder member of The Tuxedos from 1959 and led from the front with favourites Shaking all Over to a complete contrast of Spanish Harlem. He had many teenage fans and friends, especially from other groups and was still in great demand when The Tuxedos folded in 1963.

* RAY KENNAN was the consummate showman. He was a Bingley lad who formed the Ray Kennan Combo, considered one of the best groups in Yorkshire. Later he became a top single vocalist compère and went on tour with Lulu, the Rolling Stones, Manfred Mann and later appeared at the Eden Saloon Bar in Berlin with Sammy Davis Junior, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, and the early days of Tom Jones.

With the world seemingly his oyster, Ray packed his tent and stole away, but he left his mark in Bradford and on the world stage.

* The talented vocalist and drummer KEN HICKEY from Manningham followed his father’s footsteps and became one of Bradford’s premier rock ‘n’ roll drummers.

He joined Alan Knight and the Chessmen and with them he was one of only a few local lads who appeared at the famous 2i’s Coffee Bar in London (the coffee house at Old Compton Street in Soho was open from 1956 to 1970 and played a formative role in the emergence of Britain’s skiffle and rock ‘n’ roll music culture in the late 1950s. Several stars of the era, including Tommy Steele and Cliff Richard, were discovered performing there).

After two years Ken joined the popular Crusaders, playing at nightclubs and US army bases.When the group folded Ken continued with many other groups well into the 1970s.

* TERRY SEXTON was one of Bradford’s top vocal rock n roll artists and showmen in the area. Aged 16, after much practising of Cliff Richard’s Please Don’t Tease, Terry passed an audition to join the popular Tornados. Some months later he joined the Telecasters, and transformed them as the lead vocalist, with the group becoming Terry Sexton and the Shakes.

Terry and his group were always very popular at many venues in Yorkshire.

He was a favourite of both mine and (fellow Gaumont and Majestic DJ) Dadio at the Majestic, as a good friend and showman, and it was always a pleasure to introduce him and the Shakes on stage, as one of the best dressed groups of that time.

* Bramley-born RICHARD HARDING is one of the greatest virtuoso guitarists throughout the UK, and beyond. He is much admired by many world-renowned musicians, including Sir Paul McCartney, Eric Clapton, Mark Knopfler and Tom Jones, plus our local rock ‘n’ roll peers.

His career is well documented especially with The Cresters, who were very much in demand. His fondest memories were in 1965, meeting the legend Chet Atkins at the Jungfrau Club in Manchester,and a three-day tour with the Beatles in Scotland.

And so it was, that Richard Harding became our number one envoy in our rock ‘n’ roll world.

* CLIFF DUTTON was a self-taught musician who excelled as a rhythm guitarist. He more or less invented The Crusaders in 1960, his name being synonymous with the band.

In the next seven years, with the usual change of musicians, he brought The Crusaders to prominence at home and abroad, a name that was well respected in the music world.