Henderson Chambers

The picture, taken at the Go-Jo club in 1969, shows L-R Ray Johnson (sax), Des Tong (bass), Larry Edwards (vocals), Brian Pearson (drums), Tony (guitar) and Harry "Bo" Kelly (keyboard).


Bo Kelly here in sunny Perth, Western Australia, where I've been living for the past 21 yrs with my lovely wife Pat who has put up with me for the last 43yrs.

We have a great blues club here with many fine acts appearing, ie Charlie Musselwhite and people of that ilk.

It was great to read the write up on the Legends, as I ain't seen any of 'em for around 25 yrs. I've got so many memories of the music scene in Manchester from the old days that I could go on forever.

My musical career started in the late fifties listening to boogie woogie 78s at my aunt wins in Denton because we couldn't afford a record player.  She had a posh radiogram!

I went to a folk blues festival at the Free Trade Hall circa 1961/2 and I was hooked on the blues and I have been playing ever since.

I used to watch Cyril Davies playing blues harp with Alexis Korner at the Bodega and i learnt to play the blues harp the wrong way round if there is a wrong way round, its cetainly done me ok through my career.

After coming home from our last German tour in 1967, the Legends disbanded which was unfortunate because all that working 6/7 hrs a night had made us a very tight outfit, but the old story of musical differences and personalities put an end to that, plus the copious amounts of krout beer did'nt help!

Anyway, I played in a couple of small bands gigging in pubs, clubs etc, but I wanted a blues/soul band that could blow em away.  It took a long time for the finished product, but what a band, the late great Ray(the bear) Johnson on tenor sax, Brian Pearson, still the best drummer I ever worked with, Des Tong on bass who left to do session work at Strawberry Studios, followed by Jack Shaugnessy, another very tight bass man, Dave Soloman on guitar, Austin Cleaver on trombone, Sid Hayhurst on trumpet, followed by Rod Dunthorne later, myself on organ, harp & vocals and former Art Nouveau singer Larry Edwards.

We named ourselves the Henderson Chambers Band and I loved it, we did some great gigs and we had some really fun times. 

We did a lot of radio work and played a few radio one club gigs at lunchtime which was always an experience playing live to 11 million punters.

Before I go I've got to tell you this great story that concerns Larry Edwards. We were playing Leigh Casino one night and we were blowin the place away.

At the end of the show, Larry went off while we did the false tab for the encore, he slugged back a pint of lager as we played the intro to It aint nuthin but a house party by The Showstoppers.As he came back on under the spotlights he chucked up the lot all over front of the stage. He's goin to kill me for that (if he finds me). 

Anyway keep up the good work and best wishes to you and manchesterbeat.

Harry (Bo) Kelly

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Comments (16)

Topic: Henderson Chambers
Des Tong says...
I was fortunate enough to "cut my teeth" with this wonderful bunch of musicians way back in the late 60s. I was invited to join on bass by the sax player Ray Johnson who lived just down the road in Audenshaw. We had our first rehearsal ... Read More
5th April 2014 9:36am
Brian Pearson says...
Hi dez just let u know larry died just before christmas 2013 missed for many reasons great singer and friend, great times we all had in henderson chambers,
31st July 2014 11:35pm
Dave Booth says...
Hi Brian, Dave here are you hope your keeping well I used to spend most Friday nights with you in the globe and the trips in the van after to places unknown :) came to your house a few time a near Granada rd noticed Harry on here too, who house was ... Read More
28th October 2014 6:59am
Brian Pearson says...
Hi dave more input cant put face to ur name sorry
27th April 2015 1:51am
Ian Thornton (Cheadle Hulme) says...
Hi des I was a friend of Al divine who sadly passed away last year I filled in as dj when he was on holiday I remember picking the group up in a red Transit van and you had a gig at the silver wings club in Timperley we only met a few times I was ... Read More
10th November 2017 6:52pm
Harry Kelly says...
Lovely to hear Des Tonge had got in touch, looking forward to contacting him.
26th May 2014 6:03pm
Dave Anderton says...
Hi Harry. Knew you quite well and used to see you quite a lot when you lived on St Anne's Road, Denton. I was courting Gill Crutchley from Linden Rd and her best mate Julie Calcutt, who lived at The Angel pub, had just married Alan. We all used ... Read More
11th July 2014 3:43am
hi dave great to hear from you,hope you are keeping well.
we definitely remember audreys act,
it used to liven up many a Saturday
night. keep in touch
regards harry&pat.
24th July 2014 10:24pm
Brian Pearson says...
Just come into the 21st century having just retired. Joined my first group at the age of 13. Redcoats from Reddish. From there, the Rogues who later became Mommies Darlings. Having returned from Turkey got sacked for dave buck, great drummer and ... Read More
15th June 2014 8:49pm
Harry kelly says...
Hi harry Kelly here trying to catch up with my old mates from Henderson chambers band, I need
Email information for Brian Pearson and Des tonge
Can you help me?
Regards. Harry kelly
16th June 2014 1:32am
Tony Holt says...
Hi Harry,

Tony here. I'm retired and livivng in Deganwy. Very active musically but not gigging. Glad to see that your still well.

All the best Tony
22nd July 2014 10:23pm
harry kelly says...
24th July 2014 9:58pm
Tony Holt says...
Hi Harry, Thanks for getting in . It's really good to hear from you. I presume you are still in Australia and enjoying life. It would be great to get in touch again as you say. My email is tony_de2003@yahoo.co.uk Sorry for not replying quicker, ... Read More
13th August 2014 11:40pm
Tony Holt says...
Hi Lads, glad to see that your all still around (other than dear old Ray). I'm retired and living in North Wales. Still playing, but just for fun. Please get in touch if you want to. Best regards, Tony.
22nd July 2014 10:12pm
Brian Pearson says...
Nice to hear you're still around. I have fond memories of you as a great guitarist and dry humour plus your little black austin car.
30th July 2014 4:37am
Tony Holt says...
Hi Brian, Great to hear from you. I hope you remember Barbara, she sends her regards. She's fine and enjoying retirement too. She regarded you (as did I) as being THE best drummer around. They were happy days. It would be great if we could turn ... Read More
31st July 2014 6:24pm

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