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James Blades (1901–1999) by Norman Parkinson, 1953 ? Norman Parkinson Ltd., courtesy Fiona Cowan; collection National Portrait Gallery, London

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Blades, James (1901–1999), percussionist and author, was born on 9 September 1901 at 166 Star Road, Peterborough, the eldest among the four sons and one daughter of Thomas Weston Blades (1879–1953), journeyman tailor, and his wife, Catherine Close (d. 1921). Jimmy Blades...

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Bonham, John Henry (1948–1980), musician, was born at 84 Birchfield Road, Redditch, Worcestershire, on 31 May 1948, the eldest son of John Henry (Jack) Bonham and his wife, Joan Isobel Sargent. Bonham had a younger brother, Michael, and a sister, Debbie. Bonham's early attraction to percussion proved hard for his parents to ignore: they bought him a snare drum when he was ten, and a full, second-hand kit when fifteen. He took pride in teaching himself to drum, influenced initially by American soul records and later by the ...

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Henry Burstow (1826–1916) by Bonmarché, c. 1911 Horsham Museum (Horsham District Council)

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Burstow, Henry (1826–1916), singer and bell-ringer, was born on 11 December 1826 at 34 The Bishopric, Horsham, Sussex, the second youngest of nine children. His father, William (b. 1781), and mother, Ellen (d. 1857) made clay tobacco pipes; their home, in the poorest and roughest part of ...

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Duckworth, Richard (bap. 1631?, d. 1706), writer on campanology, a native of Lancashire, may have been the person of that name who was baptized at St Peter's, Bolton, on 20 July 1631, the son of John Duckworth. He went to Oxford and on 4 May 1648 was one of the undergraduates of ...

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Ellacombe [Ellicombe], Henry Thomas (1790–1885), campanologist and Church of England clergyman, was born at Alphington, Devon, on 15 May 1790, the second of seven sons of William Ellicombe (d. 1831), rector of Alphington, and his wife, Hannah, née Rous. Sir Charles Grene Ellicombe...

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Ellington, Ray [real name Harry Pitts Brown] (1916–1985), drummer, singer, entertainer, and bandleader, was born on 17 March 1916 at 155 Kennington Road, Kennington, London, the second son and youngest of the four children of Harry Pitts Brown (c.1877–1920), a music-hall comedian and entertainer, and his wife, ...

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Johnson, Folorunsho [Ginger] (1916–1975), percussionist and bandleader, was born in Ijebu, Nigeria, on 2 May 1916, the son of a Muslim priest whose name he later gave as George Johnson. His parents were Ijebu-Yoruba from Nigeria. He was orphaned as a child and grew up in ...

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Krahmer, Carlo [real name William Max Geserick Krahmer] (1914–1976), jazz drummer and record producer, was born on 11 March 1914 at 22 Cropley Street, Shoreditch, London, the son of William Henry Charles Krahmer, hairdresser's assistant, and his wife, Phoebe Murrell. He suffered from defective vision from birth and taught himself to play the drums. He subsequently received tuition from ...

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Mitchell, John [Mitch] (1947–2008), drummer, was born on 9 July 1947 in Ealing, London, the son of Jack and Phyllis (Phyl) Mitchell. His parents enrolled him in drama school at the age of ten. He first entered show business as a teenage actor in children's television films such as ...

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John Mitchell (1947–2008) by Gered Mankowitz, 1967 Redferns

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Moon, Keith John (1946–1978), musician, was born in Central Middlesex County Hospital, Willesden, on 23 August 1946, the eldest child and only son of Alfred Charles Moon (d. 1974), a motor mechanic, and his wife, Kathleen Winifred, née Hopley. Moon had two sisters, ...

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Keith John Moon (1946–1978) by unknown photographer Getty Images

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Morris, Ernest (1889–1962), bell-ringer and author, was born at 60 Pasture Lane, Leicester, on 28 July 1889, the son of Josiah Morris, himself a well-known ringer, and his wife, Louisa, née Johnson. Ernest Morris had only elementary education, as his father, a shoemaker by profession, was unable to send him to high school; thus he was largely self-educated. At the age of fourteen he left school and went to work in a leather warehouse. After service during the First World War, partly abroad, eventually in 1937 he succeeded his father as verger of ...

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Harold Adolphus Phillips (1929–2000) by unknown photographer, 1961 [Phillips, sitting on left, with members of The Beatles] ? KEYSTONE USA / Rex Features

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Phillips, Harold Adolphus [known as Lord Woodbine] (1929–2000), calypsonian and music promoter, was born on 15 January 1929 in Laventille, Trinidad, the fifth of the seven children of James Phillips, a Venezuelan-born butcher, and his wife, Edna, who was originally from Grenada...

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Powell, Colin Trevor [Cozy] (1947–1998), rock musician, was born on 29 December 1947 at Cirencester, Gloucestershire. Adopted, he never discovered the identity of his natural parents. He was married but divorced.

Cozy Powell was one of rock's most celebrated drummers. His powerful style was a feature of many of the biggest rock groups of the 1970s and 1980s, including ...

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T. C. Hughes

revised by J. M. Blatchly

Raven, John James (1833–1906), antiquary and campanologist, born on 25 June 1833 at Boston, Lincolnshire, was the eldest son of eight children of John Hardy Raven, of Huguenot descent, rector of Worlington, near Mildenhall, Suffolk, and his wife, Jane Augusta, daughter of John Richman...

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Robinson, Francis Edward (1833–1910), Church of England clergyman and bell-ringer, was born on 6 January 1833 at Begbroke, Oxfordshire, the eldest of ten children of Francis Robinson (b. c.1805), vicar of Begbroke, and his wife, Sophia, née Rowden (b. c...