JON DEREK gave up any original ambitions of becoming an architect when he toured with JIM REEVES in 1963 and then turned 'pro' the following year. Managed by infamous music mogul DON ARDEN (who at the time also managed the 'Small Faces' and the 'Nashville Teens') he signed a record deal with ‘Decca Records’ and went on to tour with HANK LOCKLIN, CARL PERKINS and CLODAGH RODGERS.
In 1968, he formed the renowned band COUNTRY FEVER with top guitarist ALBERT LEE and they soon became the most sought after country music group in Britain and were often seen on television and regularly heard on radio. Tours and performances with a number of superstars such as JOHNNY CASH, DOLLY PARTON, TAMMY WYNETTE, GEORGE JONES, JERRY LEE LEWIS, SKEETER DAVIS, MARTY ROBBINS, DON GIBSON, BILLIE JO SPEARS and CHARLEY PRIDE soon followed and Jon formed great friendships with GEORGE HAMILTON IV, MARVIN RAINWATER, HANK LOCKLIN, CLODAGH RODGERS and SLIM WHITMAN, all of whom he worked with on a number of occasions.
Throughout the 70s and 80s, Jon Derek and his band 'Country Fever' remained one of the most professional and hardest working acts on the British country music club/festival circuit and they were always the first choice band when it came to backing visiting overseas artists.
Sadly, in the summer of 2011, Jon was diagnosed with lung cancer and passed away just a few months later. When the news broke, tributes poured in from a number of friends, fans and associates from right across the globe. It soon became apparent just how greatly admired, respected and loved he was.
In a career that spanned almost 50 years - Jon Derek was one of the most polished and outstanding artists in an extremely competitive field and his pedigree was second to none. In addition to a string of major single and album releases, Jon toured the British Isles and Europe on several occasions and played just about every theatre in the UK including two appearances at the 'Royal Albert Hall' and five at the 'London Palladium'. Furthermore, he was the most featured British artist at the long-running 'International Festivals of Country Music' held each year at Wembley Arena and often shared the stage with a plethora of superstars. With so many awards to his credit, whether for top band, soloist or personality - Jon Derek is said to be probably the hottest singing property Britain has ever produced in the realms of country music.
DON EVERLY, ALBERT LEE & JON DEREK
(Backstage at Wembley Arena 1980)