Colin Peters Pianoman
Colin Peters Pianoman, born in Exeter, studied the piano to grade eight with a local music teacher along with help from his mother who was an accomplished pianist and singer.
On leaving school the Pharmacist at the Exeter City Hospital in Heavitree employed Colin as an assistant in dispensing where he mixed medicines and looked after the surgical stores. From there Colin moved to Taunton where he started training as a general nurse and subsequently became a trained nurse in the Psychiatric Hospital in Bishops Lydeard.
It was here that Colin started to take a much wider interest in music and purchased a Hammond organ and Leslie cabinet. He was asked to play the church pipe organ in the hospitals church for the patients. The voluntaries at the beginning and ending of the services would include disguised versions of Beatles tunes and other popular music of the day. He started to deputize for a very good jazz Hammond organ player where jazz was played at a nightclub in Whiteladies Road in Bristol.
He teamed up with a clarinet player who subsequently learnt to play the drums and the Colin Peters Set was born. They performed local “gigs’ together and became quite well known in the area. They were joined by a saxophonist, which gave a lot more depth to the sound.
Eventually Colin was approached by the bandleader at a well-known nightclub near Weston Super Mare to play vibraphone and back cabaret acts three nights a week. The first cabaret act Colin was involved with was Jayne Mansfield the very well known actress. After a while when the other members of the resident band left to join Geraldo’s fold another band took over and Colin left and joined forces with another drummer and filled the resident bands spot at another night club in Weston Super Mare. After a year they returned to the original club because of their ability to read music and to back the cabaret acts. This was a full time position and forced Colin to leave nursing to pursue his musical career. The acts that came to the club were some of the top entertainers of the time including Bob Monkhouse, Harry Secombe, Des O Connor, Larry Grayson, Frankie Vaughan, Buddy Greco, Dick Haynes to name but a few. Colin’s experience in backing cabaret and playing in a night club grew in stature but after thirteen years he was getting bored and along with his wife and child moved to Kent to start a different career.
Colin gave up music for a long time but over the last couple of years has returned and now, having retired from selling surgical instruments is now quite well known in the local music scene as a keyboard player. He now plays at many restaurants in and around London and recently has started playing with a big band.