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chance it

Jay Chance

Jay Chance (born John Michael Woolvett, 1 September 1942, Maidenhead, Berkshire) grew up in Bermondsey, South London, and was one of the original rock and roll singer/guitarists who played regularly at The 2i's Coffee Bar, in Old Compton Street, Soho, from 1958 to 1960. Famous for being the venue where Tommy Steele was first discovered, it is now regarded as the birthplace of British rock and roll and was commemorated with a green plaque from the City of Westminster on 18 September 2006.

Contemporaries and touring

During Chance's time there, contemporaries included Vince Taylor, Tony Sheridan, Paul Gadd (later to be known as Gary Glitter) for whom he played backing guitar on several gigs, Brian Bennett (The Shadows), Lance Fortune, Keith Kelly, Buddy Britten, Vince Eager, Terry Dene, Screaming Lord Sutch, Johnny Kidd, Eden Kane, and many other celebrated early UK rockers. Londoner Chance's vocal delivery and guitar style was markedly more American influenced than many of his fellow artists. It was this authenticity which enabled him to carve out a career with his group, 'The Chancellors', as one of the live acts of choice for the U.S. servicemen serving on United States Air Force bases playing hundreds of gigs throughout the UK, as well as a four week tour in Germany during September 1960 playing at the Storyville House of Jazz in Frankfurt, and Charley’s Star Bar in Hanau. This was to continue until the mid sixties when he decided to take a job in advertising which subsequently led him to becoming a successful businessman running his own companies; and latterly a character actor in TV and Films.

Return to recording

Chance re-entered the mainstream music scene with the discovery of his original 1960s demo records in 2006, which were released by Raucous Records on a CD entitled Rock and Roll Fever alongside new recordings made with an updated line-up of his original backing band, The Chancellors. Chance has become known as "The 50s/60s Man" from the title of his second album (the nickname also reflects the fact that he started singing and playing in the 1950s, and is now in his sixties). This album which contained all new material, was produced by Rick Lloyd of 1980's a cappella group, The Flying Pickets, was released on his own Chance It record label. Both albums gained a highly favourable reaction from contemporary music publications which led to Chance giving his first live performance for many years with an appearance at the '2i's Reunion Concert' at the 100 Club in London's Oxford Street on the 28 January 2007. Chance has been described in Maverick magazine as "a true originator with a voice (still) in fine fettle".

Further albums and a touring schedule have been scheduled for 2007-2008.

Discography

  • Rock ‘n Roll Fever – Raucous Records RAUCD202 2007
  • 50’s 60’s Man – Chance It Records CIR001 2007

External links

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