Checked this off an old Want List. Thanks Tony! “Rockin’ with the Rockets” Tony Crombie and his Rockets Columbia Records (UK) (1957) Tracks: Stop / Stick And Stones / Hear My Plea / Rock Shuffle Boogie / Forgive Me Baby / Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster / Red For Danger / Take My Love / Rex Rocks / Brighton Rock
Anthony John “Tony” Crombie (27 August 1925 – 18 October 1999) was an English jazz drummer, pianist, bandleader and composer. He was regarded as one of the finest jazz drummers and bandleaders, and occasional but very capable pianist and vibraphonist, to emerge in Britain, and as an energizing influence on the British jazz scene across six decades.
In August 1956, Crombie set up a rock and roll band he called The Rockets, which at one point included future Shadows bassist Jet Harris. The group was modeled after Bill Haley’s Comets and Freddie Bell & the Bellboys. Tony Crombie and his Rockets released several singles for Decca Records and Columbia Records, including “Teach You To Rock” produced by Norrie Paramor, which is regarded as the first British rock and roll record and which made the Top 30 in the UK Singles Chart in October 1956. He is credited with introducing rock and roll music to Iceland, performing there in May 1957. By 1958 The Rockets had become a jazz group, including Scott and Tubby Hayes.
The following year Crombie started another group, Jazz Inc., featuring pianist Stan Tracey. In 1960, Crombie composed the score for the film The Tell-Tale Heart and established residency at a hotel in Monte Carlo. In May 1960 he toured the UK with Conway Twitty, Freddy Cannon, Johnny Preston, and Wee Willie Harris. On his return to England, he became the house drummer at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club, where he accompanied visiting American stars like Ella Fitzgerald, Coleman Hawkins, Ben Webster and Jimmy Witherspoon. In September 1965 when Don Byas played at the club his performance was captured on tape, and is available on the CD, Autumn Leaves. Ronnie Scott announced the band saying: “…Tony Crombie is deputizing for our regular drummer, Jackie Dougan, who has unfortunately been taken suddenly drunk…” He also performed in Israel and the United States, and began writing for films and television. He also toured with artists like Lena Horne, Carmen McRae, Tony Bennett, and Jack Jones, and played piano on the Annie Ross album Skylark.