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Jazz band leader Terry Lightfoot passes away

Jazz band leader Terry Lightfoot passes away

THE jazz band leader Terry Lightfoot has passed away at the age of 77.

As a boy in Enfield, Mr. Lightfoot had taught himself to play the clarinet so that he could join the school jazz band.

He went on to form his band, Terry Lightfoot and His Jazzmen, in 1955 and released their first album two years later. The band’s line-up would change many times with some members going on to find fame in their own right. Former members included the late Kenny Ball, who went on to form his own jazz band, and the drummer Ginger Baker, who went on to play with the rock band Cream.

In the early 1960s, Mr. Lightfoot and his band made many appearances on television shows, including Morecambe & Wise (see below). They became the resident band on Des O’Connor’s first television series.

However, in the mid-1960s Mr. Lightfoot decided to take a break from music. When he returned to the jazz scene, he initially playing with his friend Kenny Ball and then, in 1968, reforming his own band.

He continued to tour widely until the mid-1970s when he again took another break during which he ran a pub in Hertfordshire where he promoted jazz, booking such acts as George Melly, Chris Barber and Humphrey Lyttleton.

But the lure of performing again brought him back to music and by the early eighties he was touring Europe with his Rockin’ in Rhythm show which charted the history of jazz.

His daughter, Melinda, joined the band (see below), and in recent years two of Mr. Lightfoot’s grandsons also played in the line-up. He continued to tour with the band until a few months before his death.

Mr. Lightfoot passed away after suffering prostate cancer.

To view footage of Terry Lightfoot and His Jazzmen appearing on an early Morecambe & Wise Show, click here.

To see Melinda Lightfoot appearing with Terry Lightfoot and His Jazzmen, click here.

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