Here is where you have your say! If you have any comments, questions, or anything else to say about Chris Barber and the Band, please send an e-mail message to the webmaster, Ed Jackson. If the message is for one of the members of the band, I will do my best to forward it.

If you do not want your message to be reproduced here, please let me know. Also, in these days of excessive spam messages, it would be helpful if you would write a subject-line that tells me that the message is related to this website. Thanks!

(Commercial enquiries -- bookings, concerts, etc. -- should be directed to Wim Wigt Productions).

From Daphne & Chris Hughes (Wales)
July 8, 2005

On 6th July, we were fortunate to have tickets to see the Big Chris Barber Band with Van Morrison, Bill Wyman, Big Bill Morgenfield and Andy Fairweather Lowe. What an evening to remember! Chris and his Band were at their very best and made us the more grateful for all the splendid music they have played for us over the last 50 years. Happy 75th Chris, and long may you continue.

From Eric Schneider (Switzerland)
March 3, 2005

My wife and I (65) had the great pleasure of seeing and hearing the GREAT CHRIS BARBER BAND with his SUPER MUSICIANS in last night's ( March 2, 2005) concert in the Kursaal in Berne, Switzerland. All we can say is "WHAT A SHOW".......with such a grandiose and spectacular variety of a program. As a Swiss-American ex-cameraman at NBC television in California plus here at SRG Television Switzerland I've heard and taped a lot of BIG BAND concerts in my life time and you guys still belong to those great names of yester year.

I remember it well when I taped a concert in Cincinnati, Ohio's Coney Island with Pee Wee Hunt and Buddy Morrow ( I used his "One Mint Julep" as my College radio show theme), Si Zentner and The Trombones Unlimited with Lew McCreary and Dave Wells. As you probably gathered, I am a real trombone fan, even though I did play trumpet in a small Dixieland band.

We hope to see you again the next time you're in Berne.

Keep it up Chris, MUSIC WILL ALWAYS KEEP YOU YOUNG AT HEART. Thanks, Eric Schneider, Switzerland

From Harry van Essen (Netherlands)
25 January 2005

Last Friday (21 of January) I saw the Big Chris Barber Band in Deventer (the Netherlands). (From 1980 up till now I have seen the band once or twice a year.) In a full house the band played very well. The Big Chris Barber Band is excellent, but I prefer the band and the style of playing from the 70s, the 80s and the 90s. I bought already the double CD Chris Barber in Switzerland 1974/1975. A jewel!! Give us more of that stuff. I have already 90 CDs and 15 LPs of the band and I'm looking for more. I have a discography of the band, so I know what I'm missing. I'm looking for recordings from the 70s and 80s on Intercord and Black Lion. Who can help me?

Best wishes to all the Barber fans.

Harry van Essen

From Richard Dornan (Sydney, Australia)
21 December 2004

An excellent website for an excellent band. I'm a new recruit to the Chris Barber band's fan club, recently introduced to Jazz through my uncle Tony (in the band), and now I can't get enough of it. Thanks for the music Tony, hope you boys will come down and play a few gigs in Sydney one day?

From Rod Smith (Australia)
10 December, 2004

Really enjoyed looking at the Chris Barber website. I had the privilege of seeing Chris and the band a few times at the Bodega in Manchester around 1955. I was just a kid of 18 then but remember it like yesterday. I can still picture Lonnie Donegan playing banjo, before he became famous with "Rock Island Line" in the US pop charts. Whoever would have thought Chris would still be playing 50 years on! Loved the photos of the band in those days. I'm 67 and in Australia now. Best wishes -- Rod Smith

From Jeff Van Horn (Austin, Texas)
19 November, 2004

Jeff Van Horn, of Austin, Texas, has written an account of his recent meeting with the band in Germany. It's too long to post on this page, so I have created a separate page for it: Jeff Van Horn in Germany -- ELJ

From Ben Breur
30 July, 2004

I am a fan since 1955. I was in the army then in Ossendrecht, Holland. Chris came for the first time to Holland. With Ottilie of course. Every two months he came back to perform, cause every two months there came new soldiers. Saw Chris this year with the big band: amazing. I hope he will go on for a long time.

Ben Breur, Rotterdam, Holland

From Robin Goreham
June 26, 2004

I am an avid collector of Chris Barber CDs and currently have well over a hundred in my collection. Three titles have thus far eluded me:

  • Sonet SNTCD962 (Music From The Land of Dreams)
  • Sonet SNTCD996 (When It's Thursday Night in Eqypt)
  • Tomato R2 71661 (Muddy Waters in Concert 1958).

I am willing to pay good prices for any or all of these CDs. Many thanks, Robin. Please contact via

From Jean Moutard-Martin
March 26, 2004

I have many originals 45 T & 33 T of Chris Barber, Wilbur de Paris, Armstrong and many others. Is somebody interested in buying them ?

From Roger Coburn
March 17, 2004

Reading through your updated info on former band members I came across the reference to CB having toured and recorded with Ed Hall. Now that would be a re-issue that I would buy! There is far too little re-issued stuff on Ed Hall and he was one the Greats, and the Barber band of that era was 'quite good' too!! If they are ever at a loss on what to bring out CB and Ed Hall would get my vote.

February 29, 2004

I travelled up to Swindon (23rd Feb.) to see The Big Chris Barber Band in action. Wow what a night! All band members were on top form as always. There isn't enough words to describe the Chris Barber Band. The musicianship, the arrangements, the atmosphere, the music and just the wonderful nature of all members is extraordinary. They are all wonderful gentlemen and it's always a great privilege to see them and of course to meet them after concerts. Each member always has time to talk, sign autographs and pose for photographs! Thank you so much guys!

I myself have been following the band around the country in various concerts since the age of 6 (I''m now 17) and I always try to see the band at least five to six times each year. I've grown up with the music of Chris Barber and long may he and the band continue! Chris and the band have also influenced me to play many different musical instruments, with of course the trombone being my principal instrument, but I can only dream to play as well as Chris!

Back to the concert and my highlight of the evening (always has and always will be) was Vic and Colin's version of Big Noise from Winnetka! I never tire of listening to it and now with the new arrangement of it at the end, it is even more superb! After the show I caught up with John Defferary and he even offered half of his Kit-Kat to me! Thank you so very much John for your time and posing for the photo!! Thank you guys once again for such an outstanding performance and I look forward to the next concert! Take good care of yourselves and I hope to see you all very soon.

From Tony Davies
February 24, 2004

I have been a fan of Chris Barber since the early 60's. I always try and see the band once or twice a year, however, for various reasons I haven't managed to see the Band for a few years. I was curious about the Big Band and went to see them for the first time in Maidenhead last week. Absolutely stunning - how does the man do it? The Band just continues to evolve and never stands still - it just gets better all the time. The arrangements were stunning and Chris himself said that he is enjoying the music much more than he did at one stage. The musicians were all fantastic and there is still plenty of variety within the Concert. Can't wait to get to see them again - soon!

From Roger Coburn
February 13, 2004

Brilliant! Worthy of this great band. Full of useful information and the kind of facts that I'd long forgotten. I've followed the band since the early 50's and went to my first concert in Holland circa 1958. That six piece band could certainly whip up a storm, but the latest band is producing an awesome sound with some great arrangements. I'm not sure who is smiling most nowadays, the band or the audience. Keep up the good work everybody.

From David Burnett
February 11, 2004

It was very exciting to see the website up and running. I have been following the band since 1955 (would have started earlier if I had known!). My disc collection of the Band is fairly extensive. The one disc I have been trying to find for the past 45 years (no, I don't believe it myself) is the concert recording done in Berlin in 1959.  If you know of any way in which I could get my hands on a copy of this, you would make one fan ecstatic. I saw Chris when he was in Vancouver a year or so ago and that was a great pleasure -- a pity that the whole band could not make it out here. I will be a regular follower of the site.

From Rolf Kramer
February 5, 2004

I do love the Chris Barber website, have been a fan of Chris Barber since the fifties in Holland, together with the Dutch Swing College of course. We always make certain that we see the band a number of times  when we are on holidays in Europe/U.K., normally every two years. Saw them last year in the U.K./Holland and Germany. Looking forward to 2005.

Thanks for making such an interesting site. Kind regards from Oz and just keep on Jazzing.

From Jos and Henny van Engelen
January 23, 2004

Dear Chris and Band members,

Knowing the small band already from the early 50's, purchasing several recordings throughout the past years, we - my wife and I, had the possibility to renew our acquaintance with the fabulous and specific sound of your big band. Each of the members is a unique performer on his (sometimes various) instrument(s) and all together managed to bring this evening to a fantastic and a little bit nostalgic experience. Thank you all for this. Have a wonderful 50th anniversary-tour. We hope to meet you again somewhere.

Good luck and our sincere regards.

From Mike Rath
January 19, 2004

I have just purchased a stereo copy of Chris Barber Band Box Volume 1 (SCX 3277) with the early Columbia striking silver/green label. I can find no mention of a stereo version in the Rare Record Price Guide and wonder why. Any idea where I would get such information? I also have a copy of A Golden Treasury of Bilk with a similar label (SCX 3366).

Q & A re John Crocker: (Jan 10-12, 2004)

From Keith Payne: I notice that John Crocker is missing from the band line up. I have known John since his days with Mike Cotton; can you give me any information on his departure from the band and what he is currently doing?

Reply by Julian Purser: In reply to your letter to the Chris Barber Website enquiring about John Crocker. John retired from the Band at the end of 2002, or I should say semi-retired. His intention was to gig, mainly around London, but also to play abroad if the chance was offered. I spoke to John last weekend, and am pleased to report he is enjoying life. He plays three or 4 times a week, has been abroad to play with bands like the Harlem Ramblers in Switzerland, and has deputised in both Acker Bilk's Band and in Kenny Ball's Band. He has also started playing in a Band of ex-members of the three B's! The other Band members are Mike Cotton (tp) (ex Acker) Campbell Burnap (tb) (ex Acker, and Pat Halcox All Stars) Hugh Ledigo (p) (ex Kenny Ball) John Benson (sb) (ex Kenny Ball) and others. Hope this answers your question.

January 8, 2004

(This isn’t strictly a Barber-related item of correspondence, but it was sent in by a long-time Barber fan and visitor to this website. Who better than fellow Barber fans and traditional jazz lovers to try and answer John’s question and set his mind at rest after thirty years!!!)

John Richardson, of Yorkshire, England, is a desperate man! Read his first message and you will see why!

“I heard a tune on the radio, only once, which I have been whistling ever since. But I have yet to hear it again, or to hear it on any recording, nor do I know its name or origin. All I know is that it was a slow clarinet number, rather similar to, and at about the same speed as "Jump in the line", yet Acker Bilk has no knowledge of it. Can you help please - I've included below my wife's attempt (I'm not sure of the actual key it's in) at writing out the first few bars but I've gradually forgotten the whole tune. It drives my wife mad in that I now whistle only these few bars over and over again. If you recognise it I would be very keen to know where I can get a recording of it.”

John then had the bright idea of whistling the tune: “Finally worked out how to do it - attached is my first "take" which I don't think I'll improve upon - the speed is about right but could possibly be just a shade quicker. This is just the first few bars (of what I call two phrases). It then goes on to a different phrase (which I can't quite remember) and then reverts back again to one of the first two phrases again. I hope that you can get it on your website OK, together with a plaintive plea from someone who has driven his wife mad for thirty years whistling a tune that no-one seems to know.” You can listen to John’s “performance” in either mp3 or .rm (Real Player) format: mystery.mp3 / mystery.rm

If you can help to put John out of his 30-year misery, please send an e-mail message to him at

From Julian Purser
November 25, 2003

I am seeking help from long-time fans and visitors to this website. If you have any of the following fan club booklets in your collection and would be willing to lend them for reproduction, please contact me at

  • Vol. 1, any numbered 6 or above.
  • Vol. 2, numbers 4 and 5, and any numbered 9 or above.
  • Vol. 3, any numbered 6 or above.
  • Vol. 4, numbers 2 and 4, and any numbered 5 or above.
  • Vol. 5, numbers 1, 2, and 3, and any numbered 10 or above.
  • Vol. 7, any numbered 7 or above.
  • Was there ever a volume 8?

From Julian Purser
November 3, 2003

As part of the archives of Chris Barber, the complete concert/broadcast/recording date-list will eventually be published. At least 60 to 70% is already known, but that leaves a great deal still to find. The main period needing attention is from 1949 to 1963. Dates published in the Fan Club booklets are known, as are many broadcasts and recording sessions, but I am sure that many concerts and other dates are missing from this period. The 1970s are fairly complete, but again there are gaps, and information is required to confirm many dates. Can you help? If you can please email Julian Purser at As years are completed we will publish them on the internet, and gradually build a data base.

Thank you in advance.
Julian Purser

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