b. 22 May 1924, London, England. Delaney came from a musical family and learnt to play the piano while still at school. He switched to the drums at the age of 10, and studied tympani at the Guildhall School of Music in London during 1946/7. After playing in other bands, including the one led by Geraldo, Delaney formed his own unit in 1954, which was built around his ‘Siamese twin drum kit’, revolving stage, and a distinctive percussion sound. The record catalogues of the day listed him as a ‘swing drummer’. His novel recording of ‘Oranges And Lemons’ gave the band its first boost, and it toured the UK Variety circuit in 1955, and in the following year played in the Royal Command Performance at the London Palladium, besides visiting the USA. Typical of the band’s repertoire were ‘Roamin’ In The Gloamin’’, ‘Hornpipe Boogie’, ‘Cockles And Muscles’, ‘Say Si Si’, ‘Fanfare Jump’ and the album Cha-Cha-Cha Delaney, all of which appeared on the UK Pye label. In 1960, Delaney switched to Parlophone Records and made an album Swingin’ Thro’ The Shows, produced by George Martin. In the 80s he was touring with a small group, predominantly in the north of England. In 1991, sporting a ‘Yul Brynner’ haircut, Delaney announced his return to work following a three-month hiatus prompted by a condition he described as ‘Lumbar Sacral Spondylosis’. At the beginning of the new millennium Delaney was still playing to appreciative audiences and was awarded the Freedom Of The City Of London.
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