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Sunday, December 20, 2009


Durban musician passes away on December 3.

Durban pianist Tony Darrell died in Durban on December 3. This is a tribute from friend and colleage Smelly Fellows:

Tony was born in Manchester, England, on April 20,1942. After school he did various jobs - butcher's delivery boy, builder's hod-carrier - all the while honing his craft in the hardest of schools - the Working Men's Clubs and bars of Northern England. He was a contemporary of many of the future stars of the 60s, in particular Graham Nash of The Hollies and Crosby, Stills,Nash and Young.

In 1972, he came to South Africa for a three-week contract with The Gooderson Hotels Group and loved everything so much that he stayed and had never returned. He was a popular entertainer on the national and local music scene and toured the major centres regularly, building up a vast fan-base. He was known for his frenetic performances and rather ribald sense of humour!

After years of touring he settled in Durban, performing in beachfront clubs and bars as The Tony Darrell Trio and, occasionally, Tony Darrell and the Survivors. He was also in great demand at birthday parties for the more mature music fans who revelled in the energy of Rock 'n Roll from the 50s and early 60s!

Tony was diagnosed diabetic and, over the past few years, his health deteriorated. Complications set in and he was no longer able to play his beloved piano. He passed away peacefully on December 3, 2009, and is survived by his wife, Wendy, and daughter, Spear.