John Barry’s Early Years: The Full Story

John Barry Plaque


A new book about the John Barry Seven is the definitive account of the composer’s early years. STEPHEN LEWIS reports in The Press.

IN September 1957, a young rock and roll seven-piece calling themselves the John Barry Seven managed to land a much-sought-after audition on the BBC Light Programme, radio’s premier music outlet.

It came after much string-pulling by Barry’s dad, York cinema impresario Jack ‘JX’ Prendergast, who had called in all his showbiz contacts, including concert promoter Harold Fielding.

The band – most of them jazz musicians who had been persuaded to switch to rock and roll by Barry, a man with his finger on the pulse of the latest music craze crossing the pond – had already caused a sensation at their first live performance, in the interval between Sunday night film screenings at Prendergast’s York cinema The Rialto.


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