Members included Paul McDowell , Philip Harrison and Brian Innes (founders) and Clifford Bevan, Colin Bowles, Alan Swainston Cooper, John R.T. Davies, Martin Fry, John Gieves-Watson, Cephas Howard, "Whispering" Paul McDowell, Mac White, Ray Whittam Ian Howarthm, Graham Collicott and a cast of thousands.
Temperance Seven Home Page
I’ve talked about my love for the Bonzo Dog Band. I’m also a fan of music from the 1930s, so when I discovered the Temperance Seven, it was clearly something I’d want to include here, since they included elements of both.
The Temperance Seven was part of the “trad jazz” musical movement in postwar Britain, where bands started playing dixieland and other songs that their grandfathers listened to. It remained popular into the sixties (though not often on the singles charts). But as the movement matured, some musicians began to treat the music in a more ironic mode. The Temperance Seven was founded at the end of 1955 in order to play that music and to have a lot of fun with it.
Though not a “comedy” music group like the Bonzos, the Seven* did not take their music too seriously. They wore period costumes when the played and gave themselves bizarre stage names as part of the show. They revived old tunes like “Tea for Two,” “Charleston,” “Ukelele Lady,” and many other of the era, with a sense of fun and real regard fro the genre.
The group was very influential in the UK, getting a #1 hit with “You’re Driving Me Crazy” in 1961.** But the trad jazz movement was exclusively a British phenomenon; they didn’t make any impact on the US charts.***
Despite this, the Temperance Seven continued on. They still seem active today, playing music that is more and more old fashioned but just as delightful as ever.
*The name of the band; there weren’t necessarily seven members at any given time; most album covers I can see show eight.
**The Bonzo Dog Band were influenced by them.
***About the only trad jazz that made an impact on the US was Mr. Acker Bilk, The New Vaudeville Band, and the Village Stompers and Al Hirt from the US.