Obituary: Michael Peters, musician
Michael Peters, who has died at 84, was a bass guitarist who achieved national fame in the late 1950s as one of the John Barry Seven – the backing band formed by the future film score composer to accompany the singers on the seminal ITV pop show, Oh Boy!
It was an outfit dominated by Yorkshire talent. Barry himself – who would go on to write the James Bond theme – was from York and Mike Peters was one of two musicians from Ossett. The other was the baritone saxophonist, Jimmy Stead.
In a band whose members came and went as if in a revolving door, Peters outlasted many of his contemporaries, serving a five-year term and playing behind Marty Wilde, amongst others. In an age before The Beatles, a booking on Oh Boy! – transmitted live each Saturday evening from the Hackney Empire – was a high watermark of street credibility.
The John Barry Seven also had hits of their own – notably a version of The Ventures’ Walk Don’t Run and the Juke Box Jury theme, Hit and Miss.
On the back of their TV exposure, they toured the country, playing one-night stands at venues as diverse as the Pioneer Cinema in Dewsbury and the New Musical Express Poll Winners’ Concert at Wembley, the forerunner of today’s Brit Awards.
One engagement brought Peters back to Ossett, to help raise funds for the local football team.
In later years he continued to perform, under the name Mike Best.
His wife, Elaine, predeceased him and he is survived by children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.