A golden anniversary date for Barry Lee & The Planets

Barry Lee & The Planets

Barry Lee & The Planets - Credit: Archant 2007

Formed 50 years ago they turned into one of the biggest acts to come out of Norfolk. Millions of TV viewers loved those brothers.

Winners of the Mercury Beat contest

Winners of the Mercury Beat contest - Credit: Archant

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Formed half a century ago they became Norfolk's biggest act on the showbiz scene...and now they are reaching out to their fans for memories - and to fellow musicians to join them for a party.

They are Barry Lee & The Planets who turned into The Barry Lee Show, The Performing Lees and then the Brother Lees.

Since first getting together in the early 60s the Aylsham boys have an extraordinary and colourful career appearing with the biggest names in the world and all over the world.

They were formed when the lads, some members of The Vikings and others in the Wildcats, came together to form Barry lee & the Planets.

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And how the people of Norfolk loved them. They were our very own Beatles.

They had they own fan club and in 1965 the girls were out in force to scream and shout when the Planets won the big Norwich Mercury (now the Evening News) Beat Competition, picking up a cheque for £150. And they were up against a host of other good Norfolk bands.

Many of them re-formed for the Evening News Golden Years gigs which raised more than £125,000 for local charities.

It was their passport to reach for the stars and while they never had that big hit record all the groups wanted they worked with the biggest names in the business, touring South Africa with the likes of Engelbert Humperdinck.

They went on to change direction, from cabaret to comedy, and that's when the hit the big time.

Watch this space for the story of The Brother Less, probably the biggest act to come out of Norfolk at that time. Making no less than 67 TV appearances.

Roger Lee (Reynolds) now runs the Broadland Snooker Centre on Middleton's Lane at Hellesdon and he is hoping fans and supporters over the years will come forward with any photographs or other memorabilia for a display telling the story of the group.

There will be an anniversary party at the snooker club on Saturday March 2...50 years after the group, featuring Roger, Barry Lee, Michael and Tony Dyball and Angus Jarvis, were first formed.

'It's not going to be anything like the Golden Years but we will playing a few acoustic numbers and we would love to see some other faces from those early days joining us on stage,' said Roger.

'It would be great to invite them to join us in a few numbers. There were some good bands around in Norfolk during the 60s,' added Roger.

<t> If you have any memories of Barry Lee & The Planets or the Brother Lees please drop me a line at derek.james@archant.co.uk


<t> Did you perform in Norfolk of the 1960s along with Barry Lee & the Planets?

<t> Were you a member of their fan club?

<t> Do you have you any old photographs or other memorabilia about the band?

<t>If the answer is yes to any of the above then Roger, on rogerlee@bsarchive.freeserve.co.uk, would love to hear from you.

<t> Tickets are free for the party at Broadland Snooker Centre on Saturday March 2 but you need to get them in advance and there are limited numbers. They will be an auction during the evening for Cancer Research.