It all began in 1963 when some lads from Norfolk beat bands, the Wildcats, The Vikings and The Teenbeats got together in an Aylsham public house, the Stonemasons Arms.

They called themselves The Planets and they went on to have an extraordinary life in showbiz.

With Barry Lee,  Mike and Tony Dyball, Roger Reynolds and Angus Jarvis on stage they became one of the most popular groups of the 1960s in these parts.

Many of you will remember that by the early 1970s The Brother Lees with Tony, Roger and Mike and Angus as musical director were becoming one of the best-loved comedy and singing acts in the land and TV stars.

In Kingsley Harris’s book, The Anglian Beat, East Anglian Bands of the 50s and 60s,  we read about the early years and how their careers were launched.

Eastern Daily Press: TV stars. The Brother Lees with Bruce Forsyth and Anthea Redfern

The boys gathered at the Stonemasons to practise because it was run by Mike and Tony’s parents…and they were good.

They produced a demo record in London and in 1964 entered the Ready-Steady-Win! Contest and recorded the ballad So Much in Love which was screened on the TV show Ready Steady Go in July 1964.

The eventual winners were The Bo Street Runners which would later feature a great artist, Mike Patto, who grew up at Hingham and fronted The Continentals in Norwich during 1965.

The Planets hit the headlines when they entered the Norwich Mercury/Evening News Great Beat Competition at the Royal Norfolk Showground in July of 1965 and picked up a cheque for £150, a handy sum in those days.

They became professional and soon afterwards they were making records at the Abbey Road studios at the same time as The Beatles and touring with the biggest names in the business.

When Barry left the band in the 1970s Roger, Tony and Michael with musical director Angus Jarvis turned to musical comedy, went on the road, and became TV favourites.

Eastern Daily Press: The famous five. Barry Lee & The Planets back for a reunion at Aylsham in 2007. From the left, Tony

Between the mid-70s and 80s they appeared on television more than 65 times,  16 on The Generation Game with Bruce Forsyth and Larry  Grayson and were invited to perform at a number of royal galas.

“We had some amazing times. It was a lot of fun,” said Roger who went on to run the Broadland Snooker Centre in Norwich.

Eastern Daily Press: The Planets as featured in The Anglian Beat. Left to right, Tony Dyball, Barry Lee, Angus Jarvis,

Barry Lee & The Planets reformed for the first Evening News Golden Years gig back in the 1990s at The Talk…and received a standing ovation. They were absolutely brilliant.

In Kingsley’s book we look back at the 1960s when The Planets supported acts in Norfolk which included:

Gene Vincent & The Shouts, Cromer Olympia. (1963).

Wayne Fontana & The Mindbenders, Cromer Olympia (1964).

The Overlanders, Hoveton Village Hall (1964.

The Undertakers, Cromer Royal Hotel (1964).

The Rockin Berries, Heacham Village Hall (1964)

Wayne Gibson & His Dynamic Sounds, Banham Pavilion (1966).

Dave, Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Titch, Norwich Industrial Club (1966).

The  Anglian Beat: An Account of East Anglian Bands of the 50s and 60s by Kingsley Harris is on sale now at City Books, Norwich, on eBay and Amazon and from

Eastern Daily Press: An early picture of Barry Lee & the Planets on stage

Eastern Daily Press: Barry Lee and the Planets celebrating when they turned professional in the 1960s