1975 - 1991




JON DEREK (Vocals/Rhythm Guitar) 1975-1991

PETE OAKMAN (Bass Guitar) 1975

CHRIS DUNN (Bass Guitar) 1978-1979

TERRY GRIMWOOD (Bass Guitar) 1980-1981

STU PETERS (Bass Guitar) 1984-1986)

DAVE PYCROFT (Bass Guitar) 1987-1991

GRAHAM WALKER (Lead Guitar) 1975

DAVE WAITE (Lead Guitar) 1978-1979

ROGER BROWN (Lead Guitar) 1980-1981

TONY HOWARTH (Lead Guitar) 1984-1986

DAVE ANDERSON (Lead/Pedal Steel Guitar) 1989-1991

JED KELLY (Drums) 1975

TONY BARNES (Drums) 1978-1979

KEN DUNNING (Drums) 1980-1981

MARK JORDAN (Drums) 1984-1986

TONY PECK (Drums) 1987-1991

BRIAN GOLBEY (Fiddle) 1975

BOB HASKELL (Pedal Steel Guitar) 1975

JOHN DAVIS (Pedal Steel Guitar) 1988



Jon Derek

Following the demise of the 'stand alone' cooperative Country Fever in the latter half of 1974, Jon Derek, vowed to pursue a solo career going forward. Having legally owned the rights to the name - 'Country Fever' since 1969, he was in the position to reassemble the band under the name Jon Derek & Country Fever for major tours and shows. 

Mervyn Conn

A good example of this was in 1975, when Jon was approached by the UK's top country music promoter, Mervyn Conn who asked him if he could reassemble Country Fever for some forthcoming work he had lined up. Jon, who was known for gathering around him great musicians and, for his ability in putting together good 'scratch' bands, soon acquired three original members of Country Fever; Pete Oakman, Graham Walker and Jed Kelly. Together with Bob Haskell on steel guitar and Brian Golbey on fiddle - collectively 'Jon Derek & Country Fever' carried out various projects for the 'Mervyn Conn Organisation', over the coming months. 


Jon Derek with Marvin Rainwater at Wembley (1975)

Jon Derek & Country Fever featured in their own right at the 'International Festival of Country Music' in March and also backed other artists on the main Wembley stage including; Marvin RainwaterJeanne PruettWanda JacksonJimmy Payne and Miki & Griff. Prior to the Wembley weekend, they provided the entertainment at the pre-festival Dinner/Dance banquet in London backing guest acts such as Marty Robbins. Jon was also promoting his latest single 'All I Want To Do Is Say I Love You' which was released on Mervyn Conn's 'Jem Records' label to coincide with the festival.   


In June 1975, Jon Derek & Country Fever took part on a show recorded 'live' at the notorius, high-security psychiatric hospital in Berkshire 'Broadmoor'. American country music act Jimmy Payne was on the bill and the entire show was compered by Jimmy Saville. The album 'Jimmy Payne & Friends Live at Broadmoor Hospital' was released in the latter part of that year.


Having completed the work for promoter Mervyn Conn, Jon parked Country Fever for the forseeable future and, in the summer of 1975, he toured England's west country as a trio with two leading musicians, Fritz Fryer (ex lead guitarist/songwriter of 'The Four Pennies) and Keith Nelson (a highly regarded US session artist).


Jon Derek (left) with fellow award winner Steve Mitchell who claimed the 'Top Band' award for 'Shilo'

Following his tour of the west country, Jon worked primarily under just his own name and was featured on a number of package shows and tours. He invariably used the services of the well-established Jeannie Denver Band, to back him. In the autumn of 1975, they toured with American star Marvin Rainwater and a great year was topped off when Jon received the 'New Frontier Country Music Club' Top Soloist award.


In March/April 1976, Jon Derek together with Jeannie Denver and her band embarked on a 36-date UK tour of major theatres and civic halls with Slim Whitman. The tour included a date at the 'London Palladium'. Jon, who was also compere for the entire tour, introduced veteran radio broadcaster Alan 'Fluff' Freeman to the stage to present Slim with a gold disc for sales of his current album 'Happy Anniversary'. 


Straight after the Slim Whitman tour had ended, Jon appeared once again at the 'International Festival of Country Music' at Wembley. Advertised as 'Jon Derek and Band', Jon was still using the services of Jeannie Denver's band. Appearing in their own right, they also backed Wanda Jackson (Let's Have A Party) and Vernon Oxford (Shadows Of My Mind). Then, for the first time, the festival travelled to Europe to include a performance at 'The Scandinavium' in Gothenberg, Sweden. Jon Derek and Band were the only UK act on a bill which also featured the likes of Dolly PartonTammy WynetteDon WilliamsMarty Robbins and, many more top names. Jon Derek and Band backed Jeannie Pruett, George Hamilton IV and Wanda Jackson.


Another Jon Derek 'Wembley Festival' single was released by Mervyn Conn in 1976 on his 'Real Records' label this time. On the A-side 'Five Hundred Miles' (a cover of the Bobby Bare hit).


An accomplished songwriter, Jon released an album of original material in 1976; 'Songs I Have Written…With A Little Help From My Friends'. Released on Westwood Records. Stand out songs; Jon's 'How Wrong A Man Can Be' 'It's In Your Eyes' and his collaboration with Pete Oakman on 'It's So Peaceful'.


He followed this up with another 1976 release - the superlative; 'Country Music Trail' - an album of rearranged traditional, American folk songs featuring an array of the finest British country musicians of the time including, Pete Oakman, Brian Golbey, Graham Walker and B J Cole. The album was very well received and popular tracks included: 'Fare Thee Well', 'Barbara Allen' and 'Wreck Of The Old 97'.


1977 was a real turning point for Jon. He collaborated with 'Decca Records' once again and recorded five tracks for them, two of which were released as a double A-sided single; 'Till The Rivers All Run Dry' and 'Making Believe'.


Jon put together a new band called The Jon Derek Trio with bass player, Chris Dunn and lead guitarist, Dave Waite and together they toured the length and breadth of the British Isles promoting the single with Jon carrying out countless radio interviews on their travels. 


Taken from the Wembley Festival programme (1977)

The popularity of this single throughout the UK also brought Jon some success overseas – both songs reached No.1 on the Mediterranean island of Malta, just months later. Even the quiet man himself Don Williams apparently told Jon what a great job he had made of his song 'Till The Rivers All Run Dry' when they were sat together on a flight bound for Stockholm having both just featured at the 1977 ‘International Festival of Country Music’ at Wembley Arena. 


The Jon Derek Trio (Malta 1978)
Times of Malta headline

Having received plenty of radio airplay in Britain, 'Till The Rivers All Run Dry'  was still being played regularly on the Maltese radio stations and the BBC's British Overseas Network programmes. Jon made his first promotional trip to Malta in the early part of 1978. He made several cabaret appearances throughout the visit and also performed the single's B-side 'Making Believe' on Maltese television. Back home, the press wrote, "Jon Derek has recently returned from Malta where he is in the superstar category!"


It wasn't until 1978 that the name Country Fever reappeared. Jon had been successfully working under the name 'The Jon Derek Trio' throughout 1977 with musicians Dave Waite on lead guitar and Chris Dunn on bass, however, due to an ever increasing work schedule which lay ahead in 1978 involving bigger venues and touring with/backing visiting American artists, it meant Jon needed to augment the 'trio' to a four-piece with the addition of Tony Barnes on drums. Jon Derek & Country Fever were reborn - and this time, on a permanant basis. 


Jon Derek & Country Fever - Beck Theatre, London 1978


In June 1978, Jon Derek & Country Fever were included on BBC Radio 2's 'Country Club' show recorded before a live audience at the 'Golders Green Hippodrome' presented by David Allan and which also featured Texan hobo, Boxcar Willie (another artist who became incredibly popular in the UK but a lot less so in his native country). 

Jon Derek (1978)
Later that year, Jon Derek & Country Fever also backed and supported legendary American steel guitarist 'Little' Roy Wiggins (ex Eddy Arnold, George Morgan) on a UK tour that also included a date at Hull's 'City Hall' with Patsy Montana who is fondly remembered for her recording of the million-selling 'I Want To Be A Cowboy's Sweetheart'.
Jon Derek and Marvin Rainwater

In 1979, Jon Derek & Country Fever won three top club awards in quick succession. In September they appeared on a show with American country singer/songwriter, Tommy Collins who was instrumental in creating an early day 'Bakersfield' sound, and, who had five 'Top 10' hit songs on the US country chart and, throughout October, November and into into December, they toured with Jon's good friend, Marvin Rainwater.


Jon Derek at the Caister Country Music Festival (1980)

In 1980, due to popular demand, Jon returned to Malta for a series of cabaret shows. Unable to take his own band this time, he was backed by Malta's very own Joe Portelli Quintet. On his return to the UK, Jon was back at Wembley for the 'International Festival of Country Music' that Easter. He met up with good friend and former Country Fever member Albert Lee who was also appearing at the event as part of 'Emmylou Harris' Hot Band' and together they were caught on camera by top professional photographer Graham Barker having a few laughs and a 'jam session' backstage with Don Everly (one half of The Everly Brothers)Before the year was out, Jon did a tour with multi-award winning American fiddle player Billy Armstrong and, furthermore, dubbed, 'the year of the festivals' due to their ever-increasing popularity, he performed at many of them including the 'Best of British' events, Peterborough and Harlow and, international festivals, Caister, Portsmouth and Essex where Jon graced the stage with the likes of Johnny CashGlen CampbellBillie Jo SpearsDon Gibson, Carl PerkinsWeb PierceThe Wilburn Brothers and, many more. 


Don Everly, Albert Lee and Jon Derek (Wembley 1980)


Marvin Rainwater returned for another tour with Jon in 1981, which included a date at the 'International Festival of Country Music' at Wembley. Jon also compered the 'Best of British Country Talent Contest' held next door at the 'Wembley Conference Centre'. Just days before, at the pre-festival dinner/dance held at the 'Royal Garden Hotel' in Kensington, London - Jon had been photographed by Graham Barker once again. This time, his camera caught the moment Jon joined country music greats Tammy WynetteGeorge JonesMarty Robbins, Hank ThompsonVern Gosdin and Tammy's current husband and, manager George Richey at the hotel's lounge piano for an impromptu performance which resulted in the American stars singing along with Jon!

Jon Derek, Hank Thompson (face hidden), George Jones, Vern Gosdin, Tammy Wynette, Marty Robbins, George Richey and co. (1981)

Although a never-ending change of talented British country musicians passed through Jon's band - throughout the coming years, Jon Derek & Country Fever remained one of the most professional and highly sought after bands in what soon became a very competitive field. 


JON DEREK (1981) Peterborough Country Music Festival
Jon Derek at the 'Mean Fiddler' London (1983)

Jon appeared at all the top events during the 1980's, including five consecutive appearances at Jed Ford's 'Peterborough Country Music Festivals' (1980-84). Tours with Marvin

Rainwater remained a common occurence and together with 'Country Fever' a second billing with Patsy Montana took place and they also backed Hank Locklin once again on another visit to the UK, in addition to Barbara Fairchild and Tommy Cash (younger brother of Johnny).


Jon's 1981 single release 'Hey Duke, You Got True Grit' (a tribute to his movie hero John Wayne) was extremely well received in the years which followed, as was a new recording, 'As Far As I'm Concerned'. Both songs were included on the 1984 release 'Goin' Back' (celebrating 21 years as a professional artist). Released on cassette, 'Goin' Back' became the fastest selling British country music album of it's time. Till The Rivers All Run Dry and Making Believe made the cut too as well as three previously unreleased songs recorded some years earlier for 'Decca Records'.


Jon Derek & Country Fever (1984-86)
Jon Derek & Country Fever (1987)

Having relocated from London to Huddersfield in west Yorkshire shortly after his divorce in 1984, the harsh Yorkshire winters soon took their toll on Jon. He moved south to better climates a few years later, residing in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire. This remained his hometown for the next 27 years. He put together a new-look 'Country Fever' in 1987 and they toured one final time with Marvin Rainwater.


In 1988, Jon Derek & Country Fever became a 4-piece band again with the addition of pedal steel guitarist John Davis. By 1989, unable to commit to full-time touring, John withdrew from the band and was replaced by Dave Anderson, who could double up on lead and steel. 


Jon Derek & Country Fever (1989)

Jon Derek & Country Fever recorded and released a gig album 'Movin' On'. They also released a 7" single 'I'm Still Your Fool' which was very well received and often heard on a number of local BBC radio stations at the time. The popularity of this new look 'Country Fever' meant that they found themselves in demand and travelled the length and breadth of the UK over the next three years performing at a vast number of country music clubs and festivals. 


Jon Derek (1991)

In 1991, after more than 30 years on the road, Jon announced that he would be going into semi-retirement at the end of that year. He did make a promise though, that he would still be available for 'selected dates', consequently, ensuring the top quality show that his fans had come to associate with him. He was quoted to have said, "I shall always carry wonderful memories of the artists, promoters, musicians and most of all the public who have so generously supported me through all my years in the music business." Jon had his reasons for deciding to cease full-time performing, which subsequently came as a complete shock to many. He was also quoted to have said, "The rigours of life on the road and the hardships of perpetual travelling have taken their toll on my physical and mental capacity to face more of the same." Furthermore, as a traditionalist, he had become somewhat disillusioned with the direction in which the British country music scene was going - with an ever-increasing number of clubs turning towards the latest craze 'line-dancing'. Jon was not prepared to alter his show/style at this late stage in his career.


Jon on the Wembley stage (1991)

Jon Derek & Country Fever played out a busy year of bookings including one final appearance for Jon at the 'International Festival of Country Music' at Wembley in March 1991 - his seventh billing in his own right,  It was fitting that the 'Wembley Festival' programme write-up should read...


Wembley Festival programme

"Jon has always maintained a standard of music that has been a credit to British country music, and would probably have made him a major star, had he been promoted in the USA during this time. Jon's pedigree is second to none, having shared the stage with a plethora of superstars such as George Jones, Tammy Wynette, Jim Reeves, Glen Campbell, Hank Locklin, Don Gibson, Johnny Cash, Bobby Bare etc. Add to this two appearances at the Royal Albert Hall, five at the London Palladium and just about every major festival that has ever been put on, stir in two No.1 hit records in Malta and we have probably the hottest singing property Britain has produced in the realms of country music."