Saturday 2 January 2016

Judd Proctor born 2 January 1932

Judd Proctor ( b Doncaster, England, 2nd Jan 1932), is a UK jazz guitar pioneer, banjoist and composer, who was considered in the British recording world to have the fastest left hand in the business.

 Originally played plectrum banjo but switched to acoustic guitar at 14, played gigs with local bands and won a regional Melody Maker contest with The Zetland Players.  Did National Service with the RAF 1951 – 1953 and while stationed at Maidstone played in Les Evans rehearsal band and took lessons from Ike Isaacs.  

After demobilisation he did his first professional work with Peter Fielding at Nottingham Palais.  Played summer seasons with various bands then then moved to London to join Norman Burns from February until July 55. 

Judd was a member of Ray Ellington's Quartet for 6 years from July 1955.  Many radio dates included the Goon Show broadcasts.. Left Ray Ellington to concentrate on session work, playing for television radio, recordings etc. He recorded under various guises for the Embassy record label in the early 60’s. He was lead guitar on The Springfield’s hit “Silver Threads and Golden Needles.” He was also lead guitar on Cilla Black’s “You’re My World.” He also recorded about 12 sides for the Parlophone label. 
Proctor took time out to tour Japan with Stanley Black in 1965 and to work with Benny Goodman on record and on various concerts in England 1971.  He has also worked under both jazz and classical conductors, such as Nelson Riddle, Robert Farnon and Henry Mancini and with artists such as Ella Fitzgerald and Bing Crosby. 
Here’s a quote from the February 1967 magazine Crescendo: “Judd Proctor, a much-heard guitarist on radio and TV has certainly made a name for himself in the past ten years. Starting to meet the public eye with the Ray Ellington Quartet, he has moved from strength to strength as a session man and soloist.... 

...There is apparent in him a constant maturing of style and performance. One can only admire such persistent development, both musically and technically, despite the odds of having to perform, in one’s profession, music that is not very conducive to improvement along these lines…We have in Judd today a guitarist who is equal to the best we can get on any level, with a lot of surprises in store as the years pass. He is a vital personality, with a sense of humour and mimicry that keeps his fellow musicians in fits.” 
In 1968 he released his album Guitars Galore. He was often in Don Lusher's big band during the late 70's and 80's but mainly occupied with session work in the 1990's  (e.g. with Peggy Lee, Jack Parnell, Max Harris and many more). Judd was an early sponsor of the Hofner President guitar, distributed by Selmer. Until recently he was part of the revived Bert Kaempfert Orchestra.
TV appearances include Stars And Garters (1965) The Val Doonican Show (1967) The Cliff Richard Show (1970) Michael Feinstein in Concert (1989) 30 Years of Last of the Summer Wine (2003). His acting roles include appearances on Upstairs Downstairs (1974) Never The Twain (1982) As Time Goes By (1992)

(Info from various sources mainly & IMDB)


boppinbob said...

I have 14 tracks of Judd Proctor gleaned from the web. Will post if requested.

Slabtown said...

Bob, yes, please post the Judd Proctor tracks. I'd like to hear what he sounds like.

Thanks for continuing your excellent site.

Paul (in Canada)

boppinbob said...

Hi Paul, Sorry for the delay. Here's all the Judd Proctor I could find.

Terry Christie said...

Judd Proctor is The Great British Guitarist from 1961-64 with The Original Hits,Nola,Rio Grande,Speakeasy,Clearway,Mad,Backfire,Boots & Better Stop for Parlophone Records produced by George Martin.The Great Man.

Terry Christie,Sunderland.