John Kirby Woollard (1942 - 2007)

At 10.30am on the 25th May 2007 John passed away. He had knowingly been suffering since February from an unknown bone marrow deficiency illness which developed into Leukaemia. He has left a legacy through his recordings going back to 1963.

Some of us called him "One Take Woollard", a testimony of his rare talent. We have lost our greatest friend. We have lost so much. John worshipped music and among others his big love was Mickey Newbury. These are some of his favourite lyrics, from the song Cortelia Clarke by M. Newbury:


A blind old man and I we came
To Guthrie just to see the train,
He was black and I was green.
Tell me son the old man said
Is the engine black or red.
That's the loudest thing I've ever seen.

(Mickey Newbury)
History
Discography
Photos
Media
Home
Links
2
Photos
Photos
Contact
Links
John Woollard
Media
History
History
Discography
Photos
Links
Media
This short biog was written for the sleeve notes of "Keep a Clear Head"
John sang with a local skiffle group in Leeds in 1956, then changed to Rock 'n Roll. He gigged the northern clubs and pubs and his first gig as professional musician, was at the Butlin's holiday  camp, at Clacton on Sea, in 1961. He  joined the Cherokees' in 1962, who were managed by the infamous "Roy Tempest". Signed to the same agency he met  Johnny Milton and The Condors, who had Paul Servis playing bass. The Cherokees attained a record deal with Columbia Records and were produced by  "Mickey Most".  This band achieved moderate chart success with a song called "Severn Golden Daffodils" reaching the dizzy heights of No25 in the national charts. They  retained a residency at The Star Club, Hamburg, where John met his long time friend, Jackie Lynton. In 1966 Mickey Most changed the band name and NYPL was born. In 1975 a band called "Little Big man" was formed, with Peter and former NYPL member David Bower, recording albums in London and Muscle Shoals, Alabama. This band emerged as a three piece acoustic band BMW and toured the folk clubs around England. They also opened up during the first week of  "Happy Hour" at Peter Stringfellows Club in London in 1980. John, Pete and Topper eventually reformed NYPL. John's main musical infuences, were Bobby "Blue" Bland, Ray Charles, Chuck Jackson, Elvis, Sam Cooke, Mickey Newbury, David Crosby, Dylan.
Janet and John
When The Cherokees first started playing they used the name Roy Starr and The Cherokees
Johnny Milton and The Condors played the same circuit as the Cherokees, eg The California Ballroom, Dunstable and The Top Twenty Club where later in 1966 The Knack played.  On the 5th December 1966 this venue became
"The Bridgewater Discotheque".

Paul playing Pete's old Yamaha at a Woollard bash
John's 50th birthday at The Cricketers, Farnham.
Photos
3