... in Watford, a post-war baby-boomer, but I grew up in Derbyshire from the age of 2.
EARLY MUSIC MAKING
Self-taught on ukulele from age 4. Took up classical guitar at 10 but was soon very easily distracted by rock'n'roll. Went electric at 16 and was invited to join a Derby band (in those days, a "beat group"): The Vulcans, my first band. Around the same time I was a founder member of the school jazz band with my good mate Steve Salfield (and all these years later we still occasionally gig together in The Back Seat Jivers).
At 18, I went off to London as a British Rail management trainee (largely, I might add, to please my parents: a "proper job"!). Stuck it for a while but it wasn't for me. So I applied to, and was accepted at ...
Foundation course at Derby College of Art then 3 years studying furniture design at Nottingham, where I met kindred spirit Derek Pearce, to this day another of my closest friends. Roaring Jelly was born.
After teacher training in Yorkshire I taught art in a secondary school in north Derbyshire for several years. But all this time Roaring Jelly had been steadily building popularity on the folk scene and beyond. The band was getting more and more gig offers and eventually, the BIG DECISION: we turned pro. In 1981 I became a ...
... and have been, more or less, ever since: Roaring Jelly, R. Cajun & The Zydeco Brothers, Zydeco Hot Rods, The Back Seat Jivers, The Omega 3 (some of these concurrently), latterly solo ukulele. I've met some amazing people, travelled much of Europe and the world beyond, as far afield as Hong Kong, played on stage with Sir Paul McCartney, supported Van Morrison, Debbie Harry, Lonnie Donegan, Victoria Wood, Fairport Convention and others, played on TV and radio, composed music for TV and radio, made records. I never became famous but I've made a living doing what I love (and lots of musicians would envy just that!). I'm still teaching guitar and ukulele and still composing. After living and working in Surrey for over 20 years I moved to Devon in 2021.
I don't do social media apart from a bit on Instagram - @cmharvey5625 - and I use it mainly for fun rather than promotion.