TRIBUTES (Page 1)

When we first met up in the late 1960's, Jon Derek was already an established name and an obvious choice to appear with his talented group of musicians Country Fever on the first edition of my show 'Country Style' on the then brand new BBC Radio 2. Thanks to my inspired producer, the late Ian Grant, Jon recorded many sessions for us and was equal to anything we featured from America. The reaction of the listeners was always hugely positive. Over the years, our paths crossed many times, notably at a number of the Wembley Country Music Festivals. He's certainly one of the very few genuine stars the British country scene has produced and I'd go as far as to call him an icon. No mean guitarist, it was his sensitive, expressive voice and his interpretation of a lyric that marked him out as someone very special. Jon was a real professional,

a one off. 

 

DAVID ALLAN (Broadcaster / Journalist)

Jon ‘always' led an extremely professional/well-rehearsed band. It would be almost impossible to claim there was/were any 'better' bands than 'his' band 'Country Fever'. As for his singing, there was, in my-opinion, no-one 'better', ever, in British Country Music.

 

JED FORD (Promoter / Musician)

Mark...I'm greatly saddened to hear of the passing of your father. I had always loved Country Music from my early days but it was a revelation to discover Jamie, Jon & Jerry playing in Hammersmith in 1966. Here was someone doing what I wanted to do.  As you know, we put together Country Fever in 1968 and had a great time backing many visiting US artists. That experience really encouraged me to get to the US as soon as I could. Jon and I had a great friendship and I think the music speaks for itself. His talent certainly stood out - he was the real deal.

 

ALBERT LEE (Musician)

Mark…Sorry to hear about your dad. It was a shock. Jon was a true pioneer of country music.  Back in 1966, me and my friend Dave Peacock discovered Jamie, Jon & Jerry playing the country venues in and around the Hammersmith area at that time - they were a class band.  I was also friends with Albert Lee and told him about Jon and the boys.  Albert became a regular sitter-inner with the band.  We all spent many a good night at those gigs.  It was a great era.  Jon was a great country singer.

 

CHAS HODGES (Chas & Dave)

To all the family with much love.  My thoughts, prayers and warm memories of Jon.  We will meet again.

 

GEORGE HAMILTON IV (US Country Singer)

Country Music has never been a dominant force in the British entertainment scene and achievement recognition for home-grown artists, even less so.  There has only been a handful to have scored any sort of acknowledgement outside of the genre but Jon Derek certainly ranks among those elite few.  In fact, he stands head and shoulders above the majority enjoying success as a singer, musician, songwriter and innovator.

 

TONY BYWORTH (Journalist / Publicist)

Mark...I’m so sorry to hear the news about your dad. He was the best Britain ever produced. I looked up to him and really admired him. May he rest in peace.

 

FRANK JENNINGS (Musician)

So sad to hear about Jon’s passing, he was the first real "Icon" of British country music and an extremely talented pro. Jon and I worked together so many times from the early 70's - he was a true gentleman.

 

VIC WOODHOUSE (Promoter / Musician)

Just read the headline, wow what a terrible shame. I worked with Jon when he was in his prime and when he was on form not many could touch him. An extremely talented performer indeed. A master of his trade. God bless you Jon. I send my love to his family and I'm sure they're proud of what Jon achieved.

 

MERVYN FUTTER (Promoter / Musician)

Jon was one of the icons of British country music and in his heyday along with his band Country Fever was at the top of his profession. Although he had retired – as a special favour Jon came over to Sunny Hunny (Hunstanton) in 2006 and did a guest spot for me and he brought the house down! He was absolutely fantastic – always a true professional – and he had such a superb distinctive voice – he was a thoroughly lovely man. Sleep tight Jon.

 

DIANE RICHARDS (Promoter)

Mark...Happy memories with your dad who was a wonderful act and has been rightly inducted into the British Country Music Hall of Fame.

 

JIMMY CRICKET (Comedian)

Mark...I have some great memories working with Jon when I had 'The Wild Bunch' on the road. He was the star we all looked up to. Mark, you have put together a really great website for which I personally thank you for. Beautiful memories...Rusty.

 

RUSTY DOUCH (Musician)

I was saddened to read about my pal Jon even though we lost touch over the years. Having spent some years on the road with Jon in the mid-late 70's as a young musician playing bass, we shared a lot of good times and laughs travelling the length and breadth of Britain. He was without question one of the best vocalists in UK Country. I feel the need to register my thanks to Jon for some great memories which include appearing at Wembley as a full band - meeting and talking with Albert Lee backstage when he was part of Emmylou Harris's band the same year - for being part of the tour in Malta when Jon had the successful release of his single - for being able to do the live BBC show from Golders Green hosted by David Allan which also featured Boxcar Willie - for travelling all over Britain - giving me a living - doing radio shows, festivals, airbases etc. etc. and having a great time as a young man. Oh, so many treasured memories. Condolences to family, friends and acquaintances - Rest in peace Jon.

 

CHRIS DUNN (Musician)

Mark...I am dismayed to learn that your dad has passed away. I had a huge amount of respect for him every time I backed him. Country Fever were a top band and Jon was a front man par excellence. A lovely person, great singer and entertainer.

 

KEN BYNG (Musician)

A highly talented person.

Jon was a one-off and his passing is very premature.

 

GERRY HOGAN (Musician)

I can't say anything that hasn't been already said.

We will all miss him.

 

SLIM PICKINS (Musician)

Mark...So sorry to hear about your dad. I knew Jon and your mum in the early seventies. Your dad had real talent, a true performer.

 

LYNN McKEOWN (Fan)

Mark...I am saddened to hear of your father's death. We appeared on many country music shows & festivals together over the years - I was always impressed by his professionalism. He never gave less than his best on stage and off stage always found the time to meet his many followers wherever he performed. He will be remembered for being at the forefront of British country music right from the start.

 

TERRY McKENNA (Musician)

 

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