Don Parfitt

Don - Keyboards & Backing Vocals

Don started playing at the age of 7, did his first gig in 1960 and turned professional in the mid 60s with a band called The Puppets, touring the UK extensively as well as doing a short spell in Saudi Arabia. With The Puppets, Don toured with and backed many famous artists of the time such as Gene Vincent, Billy Fury, Crispian St. Peters, Elkie Brooks, Kiki Dee and Billie Davis to name just a few. The band also did Summer Seasons in Blackpool and Great Yarmouth and made numerous appearances on BBC Radio's Saturday Club. Another feature of the 60s was the 'Package Show' which involved appearing at large halls and theatres throughout the county. The Puppets did many of these appearing with artists including Manfred Mann, The Walker Brothers, Gerry and the Pacemakers, The Seekers, Rod Stewart, The Small Faces and The Spencer Davies Group.

Throughout the 70s and 80s Don worked with a variety of different bands and as bandleader at various Mecca gigs and night clubs up and down the country, as well as providing backing in the musical sections for comedians such as Bob Monkhouse, Ken Dodd, Bernard Manning, Phil Cool, Frank Carson, Norman Collier, Roy Walker and many more.

In the early 1980s Don was working in the house band at The City Club in Manchester with drummer Pete Bradbury and bass player Jack Shaughnessey. It was here that the idea for a soul band was formed and after enlisting other musicians and lots of rehearsals, the well-known Manchester band Stax Of Soul was formed. The first gig for the band was in 1983 and it moved along in a small way until the end of the 80s when the popularity and following of the band became such that all the musicians committed fully to Stax of Soul. The popularity of the band was heightened at this time when Stuart Widdall (Memphis Soul Stu) joined the band and the success continued until January 2011 when the band did their last gig. This was brought about because the economic climate in this country had seen the closure of many of the larger venues where Stax once performed and it was becoming increasingly difficult to find work for a 10 piece band.

With around six months knowledge that Stax of Soul were finishing, Don, Stu and Daz decided they would like to carry on playing great soul numbers of the 60s but on a much smaller scale than Stax. They decided to limit the band to a 4 piece in order to cope with smaller venues and enlisted Pete (who had played in Itchy Feet with Daz in the past) as bass player. They rehearsed for that six months and in early 2011, SoulAmigos was formed and we say, hopefully, that the rest is history!!

Check 2017 availability

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Next public gig:

Sun 15th January
The Raven
Broadleigh Way