Denny and the Witchdoctors

Roger Mallinson has called the Witchdoctors ‘The greasiest [in the sense of rock and roll imagery] of the Huddersfield bands in the late fifties’57. The band was an unconventional group that combined touches of the circus with 50s rock and roll.

Location:

Denny and the Witchdoctors

1 Kirkgate, Huddersfield HD1 1BA, UK

Pop & Rock

Description:

The Witchdoctors were a very popular band, with Denny (Dennis Morris) dressing in leopard skins and performing a fire-eating act while he sang and played the banjo. Dennis Morris was born in 1931 in Crosland Moor. Following school he became a dustbin man. After army service from 1953-55, he played the congas and bongo drums with many of Huddersfield’s jazz bands. He formed the Birdland Quintet, a be-bop-style band whose tenor sax player, Tommy McDermott, had worked with the Glenn Miller band.

Eventually Denny opened the Bop Club above what is now McDonalds in the town centre. The Witchdoctor’s early regular bookings were at pubs and clubs in Oldham. After numerous line ups the band split in January, 1964.

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