COUNTRY FEVER (1968-1974)


'RCA Country Stars Show' - Royal Albert Hall


Getting the show off to a fine start were Jon Derek, Albert Lee, Jed Kelly and Pete Oakman collectively known as Country Fever. It says a great deal for the group’s prowess that they were chosen for the tour as, unlike the remainder, they are not RCA artists. They sang three numbers including a fine version of Ring Of Fire. The group closed with an outstanding lead guitar instrumental effort by Albert Lee. - Country Fever stayed on stage to back the following two artists, Nat Stuckey and Connie Smith. Country Fever then retired after a really excellent back-up job – in fact Nat Stuckey announced that he would like to record with them over here and Connie Smith stated that if she could afford them she would import them as her back-up group.



(February 1970)

'The Hank Locklin Show' - Newcastle City Hall


Praise must go to Jon Derek, Albert Lee, Pete Oakman and Jed Kelly – collectively known as Country Fever who played an important part in the success of this show. After playing for more than one hour, they returned after a break to spend a further hour backing Mr Locklin. My personal opinion does not apply here, but judging from the audience reaction, I believe they all agreed with Bob Powel and myself that Albert Lee surely must be the hottest guitar player this country has ever seen. 1970 will certainly be a big year for Country Fever.



(February 1970)

Jon Derek's Country Fever are, according to Gordon Smith - their record producer, going to be this country’s biggest country sensation. Former backing group to Clodagh Rodgers, their way-out style could well take them into the charts and mix them with the beat and blues boys of this world.




'1970 Wembley Country Music Festival'


At 7.30 sharp the lights dimmed and a sell-out audience of 11,400 were treated to the first of 16 acts. Country Fever became a six-piece group for the evening as supplementing Jon Derek, Jed Kelly, Pete Oakman, Jerry Hogan and Roger Dean was the latter's predecessor Albert Lee. This fine London group performed three numbers ending in Jon Derek's excellent vocal on 'Make The World Go Away'. Country Fever stayed on stage to back a frequent visitor to our country, 'Charlie Walker'.



(May 1970)

...I would, though, like to single out a few people who I think do country music proud. One of them is Jon Derek. Jon's attitude couldn't be more professional. He has been in the business since 1962 when he formed Johnny and The Hayriders. In 1968 The Jon Derek Group was formed and it's name was changed to Country Fever the same year. Jon never shirks his commitments even if it means, due to an oversight on his part, that he has to travel 300 miles to do a booking and then return. If he says he'll appear, he does. Country Fever are one of the most reliable bands in the business and their new line-up is their best yet. Anyone who may have accused the group of going too 'pop' should listen to them again. Fever's new line-up was formulated this past May and now includes Jon on vocals and rhythm guitar, Adrian Legg on vocals, lead guitar and banjo, Rod Clark on bass guitar and vocals and finally drummer Malcolm Hamerston.



(October 1972)

'The Marvin Rainwater Show'


Backing him were that superb group, Country Fever, who had earlier done a highly impressive spot of their own. Their leader, Jon Derek, is an immensely gifted young man and his lengthy take-off of Elvis Presley brought the house down.




‘Wembley sets the scene for the fifth International Festival of Country Music’


Country Fever…without doubt, one of Britain’s most widely heard Country Music groups. They are regulars on BBC radio programmes and have also done a number of TV stints including Late Night Line-Up, Colour Me Pop and the George Hamilton IV series.



(April 1973)

Four of the top British Country acts are appearing at Wembley this year and three of them are making their singing debut. The returning act is Country Fever, who appear most years. Leader Jon Derek is the only surviving member from a year ago, and yet in spite of the many personnel changes, Jon always manages to come up with an excellent group.



(April 1973)