It was way back in 1960 when 6 guys got together in Leighton Buzzard Bedfordshire to form a pop group based on vocal harmony.
It was Tony Osmond who came to live in Leighton Buzzard and decided he wanted to form a pop group.Tony called himself the Barron and without him there would be no Barron Knights.
Initially, they called themselves the Knights of the Round Table but quickly realised it was too many words to put on a poster so for no other reason at all decided on changing the name to The Barron Knights. They spent two years travelling up and down the country singing in dance halls. Transportation was a 27-seater coach, which served as their hotel. 20 seats were removed and 7 beds were installed. Each night they made just enough money to pay for the fuel to the next gig and a trip to the chippie.
By 1962 certain members left either to get married or because the lifestyle did not suit so Barron, Pete, Butch, Duke and Dave were the ones who wanted a full time career. The remaining five brave Barron Knights soon found themselves in HamburgGermany performing 4 hours a night at the Top Ten club. Along with the Star club the two venues served as the work places for bands such as the Beatles, Searchers, Gerry and the Pacemakers and many more. Little Richard and the Everly brothers were some of the big stars that would come over from America to perform along side all the unknowns.
In December 63 the late Brian Epstein saw the band perform in Liverpool and asked they if they would be part of the Beatles first UK tour ending up with a two week run at the Astoria Finsbury Park London. This raised the profile of the band but after three failed record releases on the Phillips Fontana label they decided to change direction and make comedy records.
In February 1964 Call up the Groups was written as a stage routine. Under pressure from everyone around they were told if it were recorded it would be a hit. The boys were not convinced but took everybody’s advice. After getting over the problem of 17 copyright infringements and begging all the publishers and groups that it is all a bit of fun the record was finally released in the July. In 7 days it had hit the charts. Within two weeks they had sold a quarter of a million records and further sales kept them in the charts for 14 weeks.
1965 was even more successful with another massive hit with Pop Go The Workers and a 26-week summer season at the London Palladium with Ken Dodd. To this day no other show has broken the record for audience numbers.
The Sixties gave the Barron Knights six great hit records and in 68 while recording at E.M.I. Abbey Rd studios Paul McCartney walked in to play a song he had just penned. He nearly remembered the words and piano chords and sang Hey Jude & he asked what we thought!
Our session pianist was Reg Dwight who became Elton John and the Barron Knights introduced him the Lennon and McCartney that day. Elton has never forgotten it.
Bill Wyman came to see the Baron Knights in Aylesbury 1961 and was inspired to go home and buy a guitar.
He asked what we thought and the BKs agreed it was a nice little song. It became one of the Beatles biggest ever single records.
In the early Seventies the Barron Knights started to tour overseas covering Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Hong Kong, and of course Europe. This gave them a rest from recording and a chance to get out to perform in front of the fans that had bought the records. That was when the show started to develop into a concert as opposed to cabaret.
In 1977 and on the day Elvis passed away the Barron Knights performed a new number in Tenby South West Wales. It was called Live In Trouble. The reaction was like Call Up the Groups in 1964 so within days they were in the studio. Pete took the track to CBS and a five-year deal was struck. Within weeks they were back on Top Of The Pops and over the next five years sold millions of records all over world giving them a career boost that will last forever..........and it has !!