Music History

Music History Biographies

Music History Of The Week

Music History Calendar

Alex Harvey

On 05/02/1935: Alex Harvey was born in Glasgow, Scotland. His full birth name was Alexander James Harvey. He would work a variety of jobs including carpentry, waiter at a restaurant and carving tombstones.
In 1954, Harvey started performing in skiffle groups.
In 1958 Harvey formed the group Alex Harvey's Big Soul Band, which played blues and rock and roll. They toured the UK and Germany.
On 20/05/1960: Alex Harvey and his Big Beat Group opened for Johnny Gentle and his backing group the Silver Beetles in Alloa. The Silver Beetles would later become The Beatles and included John Lennon, Paul Mc Cartney, George Harrison, Stuart Sutcliffe and Tommy Moore.
In 1965, Harvey left the Big Soul Band and started a solo career.
By 1967, Harvey had become a member of a pit band for the musical "Hair" in London. The pit band recorded a live album "Hair Rave Up" which also contained songs written by Harvey.
In 1970, Harvey and Ray Russell formed the band Rock Workshop. They released a debut album called "Rock Workshop".
Harvey would help his brother Leslie "Les" Harvey form the band Stone the Crows when he introduced him to singer Maggie Bell.
In 1972, Harvey left "Hair" and formed the Sensational Alex Harvey Band with guitarist Zal Cleminson, bassist Chris Glen, keyboardist Hugh McKenna and his cousin Ted McKenna on drums. With the exception of Harvey, they had all been in the progressive rock band Tear Gas. In the same year, Les Harvey was electrocuted in a freak accident whilst performing with Stone the Crows.
During the 1970s, the Sensational Alex Harvey Band released a series of highly regarded albums and tour extensively. They were popular in the UK but didn't quite manage to break the US market. Though they developed a cult following in certain cities, including Cleveland.
In 1975, the Sensational Alex Harvey Band released a cover of Tom Jones' song "Delilah" which reached number 7 on the UK chart.
In 1976, the Sensational Alex Harvey Band released the song "The Boston Tea Party" which reached number 13 on the UK chart. Later that year, Harvey left the band. The band continued as SAHB… without Alex.
In 1978, Harvey rejoined the Sensational Alex Harvey Band when they released the album "Rock Drill". They disbanded soon after.
On 04/02/1982, Harvey suffered a heart attack whilst waiting for a ferry from Zeebrugge, Belgium to England after a Belgian gig with his new band the Electric Cowboys. He suffered a fatal second attack in the ambulance on the way to the hospital.
In 2005, the Sensational Alex Harvey Band was voted the fifth greatest Scottish band of all time in a survey.
In 2012, a rowan tree was planted in honour of Harvey on the grounds of the People's Palace museum, Glasgow. It was planted by Alex Harvey Junior and the remaining members of the band.

The Music History Calendar is written by the Blues Rock artist Marshland Pete
If you would like more, come join our Music News and History Facebook Group Community