jeudi 27 octobre 2011


The Johnnie Reb's, named after the national personification of the Southern states in the American Civil War of the 1860s, were formed in 1956 at the Red Lion Pub, North Lambeth, by the Taylor brothers Vince and Barrie, while they joined the resident drummer, Terry Woods aka "Woofer", and did Skiffle with him.
They were soon supplemented by a pianist. The first big venue they did after the pub circuit was Streatham Locarno as resident band with skiffle bands filling up the evening (The Karl Denver Trio also did a gig there).

When Rock'n'Roll took over from skiffle, in 1957, their line-up changed: now including Ted Page on lead guitar, a bass player and a sax player nicknamed "Honker".
Some months later, the band backed Jayne Mansfield, promoting the film ‘The Girl Can’t Help It’ at the Tooting Granada, with a new line-up: Barrie Taylor switched to upright bass and Willie Garnet replaced "Honker".

By 1958, they became a 7 piece-band with a 2nd sax player Charlie Pelling and an Indian guy named Eddie Bowers on Rhythm guitar.

Incidentally another British Rocker used the stage name Vince Taylor from late 1958 and they had a problem once or twice with an agent but nothing came of it.

During 1960, the Johnnie Rebs were the resident band in various venues such as Club Perdido, Grandison ballroom, Norbury on Fridays; at the Clay Pidgeon Pub, Eastcote, on Saturdays; at Kew Boathouse; and at the Southall Community Centre, on Sundays (1). They played there until September of 1962 (2).

They mainly played all the current popular hit parade: e.g. the likes of Duane Eddy, Fats Domino, Larry Williams, Little Richard, Gene Vincent, Eddie Cochrane etc. (2).

They had a manager called Jim Marshall, not to be confused with the inventor of the Marshall amplifier.

Whip also later joined Emile Ford & The Checkmates (1963), The Flee-Rekkers (1963-1964) and Joe Brown & The Bruvvers (1964-1965).
Micky Burt later joined The Crescents, Cliff Bennett & the Rebel Rousers and Chas & Dave.
Willie Garnet is still doing the rounds of the Brit jazz scene nowadays.

Notes: (1) Barrie Taylor aka "Whip"
"The Johnnie Rebs were the resident band at the Southhall Community Centre, this venue had a lot of big name appearing there."

(2) Antion Meredith aka Vic Briggs
"During my teenage years, before I turned pro, if we were not working on a Sunday night, we would be at Southall. They played every Sunday night at the Southall Community Centre. That would be from late 1960 until September of 1962...
They were a band of what seemed like middle aged men in a time when being 25 was very old in the Brit rock world...
They would do whatever was on the charts. Like I remember them doing "You're Sixteen" by Neil Sedaka. They also always
used to play two songs by Charlie Rich, "Lonely Weekends", and the flip side, "Everything I do is Wrong."
The promoter, Peter Lindsey had asked them to make the songs longer - pop songs were all about two and a half minutes in those days - as the guys in the audience had asked him for more time to dance with the girls. So just about every song they did had two full on sax solos; one from Willie and one from Charlie."

Check out the article on Obscure Bands Of The 50's & 60's

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