Mike Dee & The Jaywalkers

This Semi-professional West London band first went under the name of "Denny & The Jaywalkers" in late 1960, but their then singer Denny De Banks, who was two years older than the other band members, soon retired. So the rest of the band - lead guitarist Brian Cell, rhythm guitarist Brian Mansell, bass player Dave Tippler and drummer Terry Mabey - auditioned for a replacement and Mick Wheeler from Twickenham eventually came into the picture. Wheeler was originally playing rhythm guitar for another local band The Paragons but wanted to do more singing. Thus they became "Mike Dee & The Jaywalkers" in early 1961 (1).
They were managed by DJ Phil Jay who worked for promoter Larry Parnes, compering his "Star Spangled Nights" tours and rhythm band competitions.
Jay discovered Denny & The Jaywalkers during one of these competitions in Twickenham. He was also managing Frankie Reid & the Casuals and The Conchords, whose vocalist was future Mungo Jerry Ray Dorset (2). The Conchords did some supports to The Jaywalkers and some other gigs and eventually the Sunday night residency at the White Heart pub on the Uxbridge Road in Southall.

Mid-1961, they went for an audition for Don Arden, Gene Vincent's manager, at the 2 i'S coffee bar but Arden was not keen on Brian Cell so they were partnered up with Ritchie Blackmore (3) who was known as "Blackie" at that time, then-lead guitarist with the Dominators, and responded to the advert after missing out on a job with Screaming Lord Sutch.
They therefore got their first big break in early August 1961 when they first supported Gene Vincent at Slough Carlton Ballroom (4).
Then they joined a package tour called "A Star Spangled Night" and headlined by Billy Fury with a bill that consisted of Eden Kane, Karl Denver, The Allisons, Chas McDevitt & Shirley Douglas, Dave Sampson, Gordon Peters... and Peter Jay & The Jaywalkers in November 1961. It was, in fact, only because Shirley Douglas took ill that they got such a prodigious gig as Mick Wheeler recalls (5). Because they were Last minute stand-ins the presence of Peter Jay & The Jaywalkers, who were backing Eden Kane (and later recorded with Joe Meek, "French Can Can '62"), caused some confusion for Wheeler and his pals…
A few days later, Mike Dee & The Jaywalkers supported Gene Vincent again at the Community Centre, Southall.
Blackmore thus took up music professionally, going on the road with them, and gave up his day job as an aircraft radio technician at the Heathrow Airport. By this time he purchased his cherry red Gibson ES835 guitar, identical to the one Chuck Berry used.
The first record he ever made was "Stolen Hours" c/w "My Blue Heaven" with The Jaywalkers for Decca Records, in 1961. They wanted it rocked up , but it got turned down and unfortunately remained unreleased.

During winter 1961, Terry Maybey was hospitalised and Derek "Degsy" Sirmon (who was just 15 at the time), drummer with The Conchords, got asked to step in for The Jaywalkers who gave him a regular job with them...

Mike Dee & the Jaywalkers renamed themselves as the Condors and acted as backing group during a short tour Kestrels and Danny Rivers.

By April 1962, because of the confusion with Peter Jay’s lot, they decided to change their name to the Condors unbeknownst to them… Johnny Milton’s Condors… they were mistakenly booked on the Gary 'US' Bonds/Johnny Burnette/Gene McDaniels package tour… the Kestrels and Danny Rivers… all of whom the Condors were employed to back (package tour - April 21 to May 13, 1962).

When Bernie Watson left the Savages, Blackmore accepted the gig… had to fulfill his commitments as guitarist for The Condors.

Mike Dee later formed The Prophets with Mel Wayne (sax) and Kenny Hope (drums) among others. The band changed name to The All Night Workers in early 1965.

(1) Brian Hosking
"The Jaywalkers were probably the first live band I saw and I was probably about 14... They went under the name of "Denny and the Jaywalkers". Denny looked ever so old to me at that age so he probably retired and they auditioned for a replacement which was the opening for Mick Wheeler who was playing rhythm for another local band but wanted to do more singing. This would have been around 1961.
Throughout this time the line up was Brian Sell Lead guitar, Brian Mansell Rhythm, Dave Tippler Bass and Terrry Mabey drums. The next time I saw them they were "Mike Dee and the Jaywalkers.
This continued for a while until they went for an audition for Don Arden at the 2 i'S coffee bar but Arden was not keen on Brian Sell so they were partnered up with Richie Blackmore who was known as "Blackie" at that time. This was fairly short lived however, as he soon moved on to Sutch and The Outlaws and Brian came back."

(2) Ray Dorset
"The Conchords got mixed up with a DJ called Phil Jay, who had something to do with a local band Frankie Reid & the Casuals and also managed another local band, Mike Dee & The Jaywalkers, their guitarist at the time was Brian Cell and when he left the band he was replaced by Ritchie Blackmore... We did some supports to The Jaywalkers and some other gigs and eventually the Sunday night residency at the White Heart pub on the Uxbridge Road in Southall...
Deg’s was a great natural drummer and one night got asked to step in for The Jaywalkers who gave him a regular job with them and it wasn’t long after that he joined the band of Screaming Lord Sutch that Ritchie Blackmore went to play with."

(3) "Record Collector" #228, August 1998
RC: Your pret proper job was as an aircraft radio technician. When did you decide to take up music professionally?
Ritchie Blackmore: "I was in this band, Mike Dee & the Jaywalkers, who wanted to go on the road. I was sixteen and that was how I started in the profession. We travelled up and down the M1 in a Bedford van, with the back door half-open. It would get really cold.
The first record I ever made was with them in 1961. It was called "My Blue Heaven" and they wanted it rocked up. We did it with Decca Records, but we got turned down."

(4) Mike Dee & The Jaywalkers supported twice Gene Vincent: on Tuesday August 1st 1961 at the Carlton Ballroom, Slough, and then on Sunday November 26th at the Community Centre, Southall, England.

(5-A)  Mike Dee & The Jaywalkers were last minute replacements for Shirley Douglas on package tour headlined by Billy Fury & Eden Kane and promoted by Larry Parnes, on Monday November 20th at the Granada , Dartford (Matinee show starting at 6.40pm) and evening show at 8.50pm) and on Tuesday November 21st 1961 at the Guildhall, Portsmouth (Matinee show starting at 6.20pm and evening show at 8.45pm).

(5-B) Mike Wheeler
"We got a phone call… could we come on, at Dartford, and replace Shirley Douglas who took ill. We only did 3 or so gigs. Funnily enough the other Jaywalkers were on that tour because they were backing Eden Kane…"

Derek Sirmon
"Also played Semi-professionally with Mike Dee and the Jaywalkers, when their drummer (Terry Maybey) was hospitalised. That was the band where I first worked with Ritchie Blackmore. It was Ritchie who persuaded Screaming Lord Sutch to recruit me into "The Savages" - Without doubt the hardest driving (and loudest) band in U.K."

Mike Wheeler:
"I knew something was up because it was at Southall Community Centre where we were playing. Sutchy came down and Ritchie was chatting with him and I knew he hadn’t come to see us… The reason Ritchie left really was because we were averaging £10-£15 a week and Sutch offered him £20, plus he was the best payers on the road… a really big pull. That’s why all the big guitarists played with him because he paid so much."



Mike Dee & the Jaywalkers
"Stolen Hours" c/w "My Blue Heaven"  (Decca, 1961) - Unreleased

Various Line-ups of Mike Dee & The Jaywalkers/The Condors  

Denny & The Jaywalkers  (Late 1960 – February 1961)

  • Denny De Banks  (Lead Vocals)
  • Brian  Cell        (Lead Guitar) 
  • Brian  Mansell    (Lead Guitar) 
  • Dave  Tippler     (Bass)
  • Terry  Mabey     (Drums)    

Mike Dee & The Jaywalkers #1 (February - May 1961)

  • Mick  Wheeler  (Lead Vocals) "Mike Dee"
  • Brian  Cell      (Lead Guitar) 
  • Brian  Mansell  (Rhythm Guitar)
  • Dave  Tippler   (Bass)
  • Terry  Mabey   (Drums)    

Mike Dee & The Jaywalkers #2  (July 1961 - April 1962)

  • Mike     Wheeler      (Vocals)    "Mike Dee"
  • Ritchie  Blackmore   (Lead Guitar)
  • Brian    Mansell       (Rhythm Guitar)
  • David   Tippler        (Bass)
  • Terry    Maybey       (Drums)
  • Derek   Sirmon        (Drums)

The Condors  (April - May 1962)

  • Mike    Wheeler      (Lead Vocals)    "Mike Dee"
  • Ritchie Blackmore   (Lead Guitar)
  • Brian   Mansell       (Rhythm Guitar)
  • Dave   Tippler        (Bass)
  • Terry   Maybey       (Drums)