Monty Sunshine

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Monty Sunshine (9 April 1928 – 30 November 2010) was an English jazz clarinetist, whose main claim to fame was his clarinet solo on the track "Petite Fleur", a million seller for the Chris Barber Jazz Band in 1959. Sunshine variously worked with The Eager Beavers, The Crane River Jazz Band, Beryl Bryden, George Melly, Chris Barber, Johnny Parker, Diz Disley and Donegan's Dancing Sushine Band.


Born in Stepney, London, he along with Lonnie Donegan, Jim Bray and Ron Bowden, formed the back line of what was the embryo Chris Barber Band. Ken Colyer was the first trumpet player, with Sunshine on clarinet, and the original 1953 band took the Colyer name until there was a split from Colyer in May 1954. Pat Halcox - who only turned the band down originally as he wanted to carry on his studies - took over the spot, and the band formally adopted the Chris Barber Jazz Band as its title.

The band quickly made an international reputation following their inaugural tour of Denmark, before their professional debut in the United Kingdom. Sunshine stayed with the band for several years, until he left around 1960, to be replaced by Ian Wheeler. He formed his own band, staying true to the original six man line up, whilst Barber expanded his band membership to seven, then...
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