The Planets / Barry Lee Show / The Performin’ Lees

The Planets / Barry Lee Show / The Performin’ Lees:

Roger Reynolds – vocals, bass, rhythm guitar
Angus Jarvis – drums
Barry Lee – vocals, piano
Tony Dyball – vocals, lead guitar
Michael Dyball – vocals, rhythm guitar

Watch a short TV produced documentary about the band here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZGJbtjE_xUs

BIO

ANGUS: “In the early 60′s the music scene was very vibrant, with lots of gigs going on in all the small towns and villages. The local bands were trying to copy the likes of Hank Marvin and the Shadows, The Tornadoes and of course The Beatles.”

It was in this background that The Planets were formed in 1963, when Barry Lee (vocals), Michael Dyball (rhythm guitar), and Angus Jarvis (drums) of the ‘Vikings’, teamed up with Johnny Jarvis (vocals), Roger Reynolds (bass), and Tony Dyball (lead guitar) of ‘The Wildcats’. This line up had their first rehearsal at The Stonemasons Arms, public house in Aylsham, Norfolk, on February 2nd, and played their first show at Wells Church Rooms, Norfolk, just one month later. The instrumental ‘Foot Tapper’ by The Shadows was their opening number, followed by The Beatles’ ‘Please Please Me’. The evening went well, and the princely sum of £12 was shared between the six of them.

The band adopted the image of the early 60’s beat groups and performed at the local dance halls, playing mostly cover versions to teenagers desperate to hear the new rock’n’roll hits, at a time before DJ’s existed and when the chance of seeing The Beatles or The Rolling Stones in concert was close to impossible. The Planets quickly became very popular locally and it wasn’t too long before they had quit their day jobs and started to tour the country playing bigger venues.

The Planets made a television appearance on ITV (UK) in 1963, when they entered the beat group contest, Ready Steady Win. Each group had to perform one original song. The band’s composition was ‘So Much In Love’ and was later included on a LP produced by Mickie Most (The Animals, Herman’s Hermits.)

ThePlanets2

In February 1964, Johnny decided to leave the band to return to his rock & roll roots. At this point the band decided to concentrate more on composing songs to try and earn chart success.

ROGER: “When I started writing songs, like a lot of people at the time, I was greatly influenced by Lennon & McCartney. I usually wrote with a tape recorder at hand. Tony and I would tend to write separately, and then complete them together.”

The band made a series of demos in small independent studios before getting a break in 1965 after winning ‘The Mercury Newspaper Beat Competition’ at the Royal Norfolk Show.

ROGER: “The joy of winning £150 soon evaporated though, when we discovered the groups van keys had been lost! We were among the last to leave the Show Ground! However on the strength of our success, we soon got a record deal.”

After being signed to Columbia-EMI Records their first 45 single, ‘Everybody Knows My Name’ (produced by Norman Smith), was released in July 1967, with the band now called, Barry Lee Show. Even though the song was not a chart hit, it received enough radio airplay for the label to persist in trying to break the band. More singles were released, some of which were recorded in Abbey Road Studios (including; ‘Over and Over’, ‘Kathy Comes Home’, ‘Don’t Call Me’, and ‘One in a Million.’)

ROGER: “The Beatles were recording their Sgt. Peppers album in an adjoining studio.”

ANGUS: “Yes, a few times their producer George Martin came into Studio B and watched us recording, which was slightly intimidating!”

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Over the next years, further releases followed on labels such as Parlophone-EMI and PYE records, under the names of The Performin’ Lees and The Brother Lees. The band played on bills with many legends of 60’s pop including; Tom Jones, Dusty Springfield, Roy Orbison, The Walker Brothers, Engelbert Humperdinck, and The Searchers.

ROGER: “In the end our most successful song was ‘You’ve Everything You Need’, which Mary Hopkins sung on The Cliff Richard Show in 1970, as her choice of song for the Eurovision Song Contest.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3JJ0VdJNn58

ANGUS:  “None of the songs we recorded ever became hits, but they do relay the honesty and true sounds of the bands of that wonderful era.”

Throughout the 70’s and the 80’s the band appeared regularly on British Television as The Brother Lees, a music-comedy act, and built a successful career on the live cabaret circuit before disbanding in the late 90’s. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5UwdynAz71c