JOHN ORCHARD has 60 years’ experience playing the piano in every conceivable location. Clubs, Cruise Ships, Festivals, Fetes, Fundraisers, Hotels, Nightclubs, Open-Air Festivals, Private Parties, Pubs, Radio, Schools, Social Clubs, Stately Homes, Television, Theatres, Village Halls & WI's ~ he’s played them all.
John started playing the piano in 1954 and was quickly writing his own compositions. By 1961, his first song was performed at his Secondary School, Harrow County Boys' School - where he was a contemporary of Roger Glover, who went on to play with Deep Purple. He joined a band at school (Men Tuesday) playing vibes - an instrument that he played 8 years later, when he joined Shep's Banjo Boys at The Talk Of The Town's sister club in Manchester: The Golden Garter.
Earlier that year, John had made his TV debut on Kenny Everett's NICE TIME show on Granada TV, with Germaine Greer and Jonathan Routh - as one of Kenny's "Nice Time Fidgety-Digits". These were 12 pianists, all playing "Music Music Music" at 12 upright pianos at the same time. You had to be there!
Shep's Banjo Boys were talent-spotted at The Golden Garter by Granada TV's Johnnie Hamp - which led to many years appearing, every Saturday night, on The Comedians. The success of the TV show led to a touring theatre version of The Comedians - culminating in a 26-week summer season at The London Palladium in 1972.
John was with the band until 1973 - when he and 4 of the musicians formed a splinter group called The Banjo Boys. By adding comedy to the original successful formula, they were back at The Golden Garter in 1974, supporting Little & Large. 12-month residencies at Diamond Lil's in The Skyline Hotel (1973-1974) at Heathrow and then in Father's Moustache in Durban, South Africa, from 1974-1975 were followed by their final performances at Imandi in The Windsor Hotel, East London. By then, The Banjo Boys were a trio and, with Charlie Bentley and Bernie Shaw, had enjoyed the success of having had a song they wrote together, "Sousaphone Sam", recorded by The Wurzels.
After a 30-year break from show business, John came back onto the stage in 2006 with his Sing-Along-A-John solo act - which has gained momentum in the intervening years. Still tickling the ivories, John is ready to get your audience singing along! Just phone or email for a FREE quotation without obligation. SING-ALONG-A-JOHN can be booked for your function or venue by clicking on the "Contact John" page.