MEMORIES OF MY DEATH
Influential jazz musician Chris Barber has died aged 90. Barber’s career started in 1950 and was to prove one of the most important in modern British music. His blues band included a young Lonnie Donegan, and the duo played on Rock Island Line, the single which inspired half the Beatles and Rolling Stones to take up music. He brought jazz, skiffle, blues, and R&B to the UK in the early 50s, and paid for the first ever UK tour by Muddy Waters and several of his contemporaries. A teenage Paul McCartney wrote music for Barber, and he created the first jazz festivals with Acker Bilk and George Melly. He inspired and gave early breaks to Eric Clapton, Peter Green and Rory Gallagher, with whom he recorded Drat That Fratle Rat. The word legend is over used but in defining a talent who promoted, worked with or inspired the creators of modern British popular music, there’s little other words to describe Chris Barber.
17 April 1930 – 2 March 2021