Last updated: 13-02-2015
More Info Required
Also Known As:
  • Tony Clare And The Jetblacks
  • Lester Roberts And The Jetblacks
  • Ricky Southern And The Jetblacks
  • Malcolm And The Jetblacks

Basic Information

  • Norwich, Norfolk, Uk
  • 60s Pop
Active Years:
L1959 - M1966

Lead Vocals: Taff Davies (2)Tony Woods aka Tony Clare (3)Vic Keller

(4)Lester Middleton aka Lester Roberts (5)Tony Woods, brief return (6)Peter Read aka Ricky Southern (7)Malcolm Hooper

Guitar: Ted Lemmon (2)Roy Crook ?? (2)Brian Crook ??

Guitar: Richard Shakey Pitt > Bass (2)Adrian Johnny Ramshaw

Bass: Richard Shakey Pitt (2)Pat Wood (3)Bernard Barton (4)Roger Pymer

Drums: Taff Davies (2)Mick Corbyn (3)Chris Bell  


Golden Years Reunion 19??-20

Lead Vocals: Malcolm Hooper

Guitar: Rodney Kidd

Keys: Adrian Johnny Ramshaw

Bass: Shakey Pitt

Drums: Mick Corbyn


This group of CNS school lads were spurred on by watching the likes of the slightly older Kenny Packwood playing in the old school house. It was Kenny that played in local skiffle outfit The Saints (q.v.) along with Tony Sheridan and later scooted off to London at 16 to join Marty Wilde’s Wildcats. Quite by coincidence the remaining positions of the band were filled by Taff Davies, both of them! Unrelated Little Taff Davies played the drums and Big Taff Davies was the vocalist, points out founder member Shakey Pitt. “We played around a handful of gigs as Taffy & The Tigers before Big Taff left and was replaced by Tony Woods. We then kind of joined up with a band playing as The Nomads (q.v.),“ Shakey continues.

“There was no scene in 59’ it was all very embryonic at the time, we played Chuck Berry, Elvis and the Everly Brothers. We would later watch many of the more established local bands such as The Offbeats, The Toffs & The Continentals, The Beatles and the beat scene were a long way off. The group had changed quite a bit by the time I left to join the RAF in November 1961. I had moved onto bass and played my last gig for the band at the Halesworth Rifle Hall. I then sold my bass guitar to Pat Wood, my replacement.” Pat had started his playing days as guitarist for the Downhomers Skiffle Group (q.v.) which had included Nomads frontman Lester Middleton when the band were struggling to find a vocalist an unsettled period that also saw the brief return of Tony Woods.

Stability came to the front of the band in ?? 196? when ex Toffs singer Malcolm Hooper joined the group. Malcolm had given up singing and was all set to emigrate to America when he got the call from new bass player Bernie Barton. Malcolm's plans to emigrate fell through and the rest as they say is history. The band continued to evolve. “We were a great band,” insists Malcolm. “As people left those replacing them really pushed the band forward. We recorded quite a few tracks at various studios. I think we made three demos in all. Sadly I don’t have any of them now. I remember going to Jack Jacksons studio in Rickmansworth.”




Still as popular as ever the band won the local heat of the Melody Maker Beat contest and headed off down to London to perform at the Pladium. It was on that night that the legendary Jetblacks ended their days. The band did not split but changed their name for the event to The Version.


During the later years of the group three acetate demos were recorded at the Jack Jackson Studio’s in Rickmansworth. In 196  the band landed a support slot to The Searchers to be staged at St Andrews Hall, a week before the concert it was to be cancelled! The reason was because it would not be right for the portraits of Norwichs past dignitaries that line the walls of the hall to look down on such an event. However a compromise was reached, the paintings were turned round and the concert went ahead.



Joe Brown / Freddie & The Dreamers / Marmalade / The Searchers / Cliff Bennett & The Rebel Rousers

The Sneakers / The Roof Raisers / The Interns / Shane Fenton & The Fentones / Grant Tracey & The Sunsets

Nite People / Terry Franks & The Avalons / Anthony & The Druids / The Nashville Teens / Erkey Grant & The Plus Fours

Long John Baldry & The Steam Packet / Chris Montez & The Eagles / Beryl Marsden & The Steve Aldo Crew



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Great Beat - 69 Entries NMJ 30/04/1965[ ]


(Pymer - The Classics)(Hooper - The Toffs) The Nomads / The Tigers <> The Versions