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Alan Price (born 19 April 1942) is an English musician, best known as the original keyboardist for the British band The Animals and for his subsequent solo work.[1]

Price born in FatfieldWashington, County Durham, and was educated at Jarrow Grammar SchoolSouth Tyneside. He is a self-taught musician and was a founding member of the Tyneside group the Alan Price Rhythm and Blues Combo, which was later renamed The Animals. His organ-playing on songs by The Animals, such as "House of the Rising Sun", "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood", and "Bring It On Home To Me" was a key element in the group's success.[1]

After leaving the Animals, Price went on to have success on his own with his own band Alan Price Set and later with Georgie Fame. He introduced the songs of Randy Newman to a wider audience. Later, he appeared on his own television show, as well as achieving success with film scores including winning critical acclaim for his musical contribution to the 1973 film O Lucky Man!, and wrote the score to the stage musical Andy Capp. In addition, he has appeared as an actor in films and television productions.[1][2][3]

MusicEdit

Price formed The Animals in 1962 and left the band in 1965 to form the Alan Price Set, with the line-up of Price, Clive Burrows (baritone saxophone), Steve Gregory (tenor saxophone), John Walters (trumpet), Peter Kirtley (guitar), Rod "Boots" Slade (bass), and "Little" Roy Mills (drums). In the same year, he appeared in the movie Dont Look Back, which was filmed featuring Bob Dylan on tour in the UK.[2]

During 1966, he enjoyed singles success with "I Put a Spell on You", which reached No. 9 in the UK singles chart, and "Hi-Lili, Hi-Lo", which reached No. 11 in the same chart. In 1967 the Randy Newman song "Simon Smith and His Amazing Dancing Bear", reached No. 4 in the chart as did his self-penned song, "The House That Jack Built". "Don't Stop the Carnival" followed in 1968 and rose to No. 13 in the UK singles charts.[4]

Price went on to host shows such as the musical Price To Play in the late 1960s, which featured Price performing and introducing the music of guests such asFleetwood Mac and Jimi Hendrix. His second album, A Price on His Head (1967), featured seven songs by Randy Newman, who was virtually unknown at that time. In August 1967, he appeared with The Animals at the Hippie "Love-in", in the grounds of Woburn Abbey.

A later association with Georgie Fame resulted in "Rosetta", which became a Top 20 hit (1971), reaching No. 11 in the UK Singles Chart.[4] An album followed,Fame and Price, Price and Fame Together. During this period Price and Fame secured a regularSLOT on The Two Ronnies show produced by BBC Televisionalso appearing on the Morecambe and Wise Show.[2] He recorded the autobiographical album Between Today and Yesterday (1974) from which the single "Jarrow Song" was taken, returning Price to the UK singles chart at number 6.[4]

Price participated in three reunions of The Animals between 1968 and 1984. In July 1983, The Animals started their last world tour. Price's solo performance of "O Lucky Man" was included in their set. In 1984, they broke up for the final time and the album Rip It To Shreds – Greatest Hits Live was released, comprising recordings from their concert at Wembley Stadium in London.

Price recorded two albums with the Electric Blues Company featuring guitarist and vocalist Bobby Tench and keyboardist Zoot Money, the first Covers was recorded in 1994. A Gigster's Life for Me followed in 1996[5] and was recorded as part of Sanctuary's Blues Masters Series.

Price has continued to perform regularly, compose new work and create musical arrangements. Touring the UK with his own band and others including the ManfredsMaggie Bell[6] and Bobby Tench.[7]

In 2014 Price started a YouTube channel where he posts home videos of some of his solo work. In addition, Price performs with his band, mostly at his long-established monthly spot at The Bull's Head, Barnes, London.

Film, stage and TVEdit

Price has been closely involved with the work of film director Lindsay Anderson. In 1973, he wrote the music for Anderson's film O Lucky Man!, which he performs on screen in the film and appears as himself in one part of the storyline. In 1987, he wrote the score to Anderson's final film, The Whales of August.

He acted in Alfie Darling, a sequel to the film Alfie, during the course of which he became romantically involved with his co-star, Jill Townsend. He also composed and sang the theme tune to the 1982 film adaptation of The Plague Dogs, "Time and Tide".[2]

In 1981, he composed the score for the musical Andy Capp, based on the eponymous comic strip. Price also wrote the lyrics, together with the actor Trevor Peacock. The play transferred from the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester to London's Aldwych Theatre in September 1982.[8] Price later provided the theme to Thames Television's 1988 sitcom adaptation of Andy Capp in the form of a rewritten "Jarrow Song". Other TV theme work includes a re-recorded version of his 1974 single "Papers", which was used as the theme tune to the successful LWT situation comedy Hot Metal.[9]

In 1992, Anderson included a touching episode in his autobiographical BBC film Is That All There Is?, with a boat trip down the River Thames to scatterRachel Roberts' and Jill Bennett's ashes on the waters while Price accompanied himself and sang the song "Is That All There Is?".

Personal lifeEdit

Price is believed to have two children and has been married twice. His first marriage was to Maureen Elizabeth Donneky. The couple divorced. Price and Donneky had one daughter, Elizabeth.[10][citation needed]

In 1990 Price married his current wife Alison Thomas and they also had a daughter.[11]

Price currently lives in London with his wife and daughters.[12] In 2010 Price dedicated his November Bulls Head show to his first wife Maureen Price, following her funeral.[citation needed]

In mediaEdit

Film appearancesEdit

TV appearancesEdit

  • Ready, Steady, Go! – as the Alan Price Set (9 December 1966)
  • Beat Club – 1967–68
  • Disco – Episode No. 1.5 as Price and Fame (1971)
  • Heartbeat – Frankie Rio (a "shifty" musician) "In the Bleak Midwinter" (2004)
  • The Two Ronnies – as himself (1972) eight episodes
  • Saturday Night Live – as himself (April 1977)

DiscographyEdit

SinglesEdit

Year Single Chart Positions
US AU UK

[13]

1965 "Any Day Now"
1966 "I Put a Spell on You" 80 35 9
"Hi-Lili, Hi-Lo" 73 11
"Willow Weep For Me"
1967 "Simon Smith and the Amazing Dancing Bear" 49 4
"The House That Jack Built" 45 4
"Shame" 45
1968 "Don't Stop The Carnival" 13
"When I Was a Cowboy"
"Love Story"
1969 "The Trimdon Grange Explosion"
"Falling inLOVE AGAIN"
1970 "Sunshine and Rain (The Name of the Game)"
1971 "Rosetta" (with Georgie Fame) 91 11
"Follow Me" (with Georgie Fame)
1973 "Don't Hit Me When I'm Down" (with Georgie Fame)
"Lucky Man!"
"Poor People"
1974 "Jarrow Song" 6
"In Times Like These"
1975 "Mama Divine"
"Papers"
1976 "Goodnight Irene"
"Kissed Away The Night"
1977 "Rainbow's End"
"I Wanna Dance"
"I've Been Hurt"
"This Is Your Lucky Day"
"Meet The People"
"I Almost Lost My Mind" (with Rob Hoeke)
1978 "Just For You" 43
"England My England"
"I Love You Too"
1979 "Baby of Mine" 32
1980 "The House of the Rising Sun"
"Love You True"
"When My Little Girl Is Smiling"
"Beat Out Dat Rhythm on a Drum"
1981 "Love Is a Miracle"
"Down at World's End"
1982 "I Don't Feel No Pain No More"
1986 "Jarrow Song '86"
"Guess Who"
"Papers"
1989 "Changes" 56
"Liberty"
"Fool's in Love"
2001 "Love Is a Miracle"

AlbumsEdit

[14]

  • The Price to Play The Alan Price Set (Decca) 1966
  • A Price on His Head (Decca) 1967
  • This Price is Right (Parrot) 1968
  • The World of Alan Price (Decca) 1970
  • Fame and Price, Price and Fame: Together! w/Georgie Fame (CBS) 1971
  • O Lucky Man! (Warner Bros.) 1973 – US no. 117[15]
  • Savaloy Dip (Reprise) 1974 – never officially released[16]
  • Between Today and Yesterday (Warner Bros.) 1974 – UK no. 9[4]
  • Metropolitan Man (Polydor) 1975
  • Performing Price Live (Polydor) 1975
  • Shouts Across the Street (Polydor) 1976
  • Alan Price (Polydor) 1977 – US no. 187[15]
  • Two of a Kind (with Rob Hoeke) – Polydor 1977
  • Rainbow's End (Jet) 1977
  • England My England (Jet) 1978
  • Lucky Day (Jet) 1979
  • Rising Sun (Jet) 1980
  • Andy Capp (Key Records) 1982
  • Geordie Roots & Branches (MWM Productions) 1983
  • A Gigster's Life for Me (Indigo/Sanctuary Blues Masters) 1996
  • A Rock 'N' Roll Night at the Royal Court ... (Edsel) 2001
  • Willow Weep for Me (Magic) 2001
  • Based on a True Story (Apaloosa) 2002
  • Geordie Boy: The Anthology (Castle Music) 2002

AwardsEdit