BBO Trumpet and Harmonica Legend Harry Pitch dies

Harry Pitch

The BBO Big Band were very sad to hear of the death of Harry Pitch who died on 15 July, 2015, aged 90yrs. The bands thoughts and prayers go to his wife Ruby and all his family.

Harry was a long standing trumpet player with the BBO, but possibly more remembered for his harmonica playing. Harry though started out as a trumpet player and he led a successful Basie style band in the fifties. He had learned harmonica in his youth and he gradually introduced it into his band repertoire.

His harmonica playing established himself as one of the UK’s leading studio players, performing on many records as well as on countless films and TV dates. His first studio work was with Ray Goodwin, on The Bridge on the River Kwai March, before doing a string of records with Frank Ifield, I remember you, Cliff Richards, Val Doonican.

Harry was probably best known for playing Ronnie Hazlehurst’s harmonica music for the first 25 years of Last of the Summer Wine, which he played often as a centre piece of the band’s concerts.

Here is Harry caught on video talking about the harmonica- wonderful.