Alan Price was born in Co.Durham and, from
the age of eight, taught himself piano, guitar and bass. His first group
was a skiffle group called 'The Black Diamonds'.
Playing bass with another trio, he met and sat-in
on piano with The Pagans, a group that contained chanter Eric
Burdon and drummer John Steel. Various transmutations (via
The Kontors – with Chas Chandler on bass) lead finally to
The Alan Price Rhythm and Blues Combo.
As the band prepared to infiltrate the London R&B scene in 1963, the
name was changed to The Animals.
Their first single ‘Baby Let Me Take You Home’ reached number 21
in the UK charts in April 1964 but it was the follow up single ‘House
Of The Rising Sun’ which became a world-wide number 1 hit. This was
quickly followed by ‘I’m Crying’, ‘Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood’
and 'Bring it on Home to Me' before, citing fear of flying, at
the height of their success, Price left the band.
He then assembled The Alan Price Set. The release of their stirring
version of the Screamin' Jay Hawkins song ‘I Put A Spell On
You’ was a huge success and the group continued with such major hits
as ‘Simon Smith and His Amazing Dancing Bear'( written by Randy
Newman) , 'Hi Lili, Hi Lo' and 'Don't Stop the Carnival'.
In 1970, Alan teamed up with Georgie Fame and they had a hit with
‘Rosetta’. This same year, he was then commissioned to write the
score for ‘O Lucky Man!’ (starring Malcolm McDowell) for
which Alan won a BAFTA award.
In 1974, at a time of social turbulence, he wrote the ‘Jarrow Song’,
having been brought up in the town famous for its workers’ march of
1936. The success of the single and subsequent autobiographical album,
‘Between Today and Yesterday’ achieved critical success and fostered
a BBC TV documentary.
Alan starred in ‘Alfie Darling’ in 1975, winning the Most
Promising New British Actor award. He has enjoyed a very fruitful
career in music, theatre and film and continues to write stage musicals
such as ‘Andy Capp’ and ‘Who’s A Lucky Boy?’, as well as
performing ‘Live’ whenever time allows in his ever busy schedule.