Black Dyke Mills Band

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From Wikipedia:

Black Dyke Band, formerly John Foster & Son Black Dyke Mills Band, is one of the oldest and best-known brass bands in the world. It originated as multiple community bands founded by John Foster at his family’s textile mill in Queensbury, West Yorkshire in the mid-19th Century. The ensemble has become prominent in competitive band championships and through recordings for film and television.

The band is well-known for recording the soundtrack to the BBC gardening makeover series Ground Force in 1997, and appeared in the Christmas edition of Victoria Wood’s sitcom Dinnerladies in 1999. In 1999 they played on the Academy Award nominated song “That’ll Do” from Babe: Pig in the City. They have featured on recordings and live appearances by acts including The Beatles, Paul McCartney and Tori Amos. In 2014, the band won the National Brass Band Championships of Great Britain for a record 23rd time, and the British Open Championship for another record 30th time. They have also won the European Championships a record thirteen times, most recently in 2015.

[…] In September 1968, the band released a single on The Beatles’ Apple Records label. The A-side was an instrumental composed by Lennon–McCartney called “Thingumybob” (the theme to a London Weekend Television sitcom of the same name starring Stanley Holloway). The flipside was a brass band instrumental version of another Lennon–McCartney song, “Yellow Submarine“. The single was released under the name John Foster & Son Ltd Black Dyke Mills Band, produced by McCartney, and was one of the first four singles issued on the Apple label. In 1979, the Black Dyke Mills Band worked again with McCartney on a track for the Wings album Back to the Egg. […]

They are fabulous. This band plays my dad’s type of music. But even so I have enjoyed the session so much that I’d like to do another, bigger piece with a brass band.

Paul McCartney – From Melody Maker, July 13, 1968

About the Black Dyke Mills Band’s participation in 1968’s “Thingumybob“:

Beatle Paul McCartney joined forces with the National Brass Band champions, the Black Dyke Mills Band, at Shipley, Yorkshire, last Sunday to record the soundtrack of “Thingamebob,” (sic) the new London Week-End TV comedy series set for the autumn.

Paul has written the score for this show, which will feature Stanley Holloway. The script is by Kenneth Cope.

The session, with Apple Records A&R man Peter Asher in charge, also saw a single in the can with the Black Dyke Band recording this after the sound track had been completed. Both the sound track and the A side of the single is “Thingamebob,” named after the show’s title. Release date for the single is tentatively fixed for next month.

I have enjoyed the session tremendously but, really, it is my dad’s type of music,” said Paul afterwards, “I would still like to do a bigger piece with a brass band as good as this one,” he added.

Backing for the “Black Dyke Plays Paul McCartney” single will be their version of “Yellow Submarine.”

From Melody Maker – June 7, 1968
From Melody Maker – June 7, 1968

About the Black Dyke Mills Band’s participation in 1979’s “Love Awake“:

On the new album track “Love Awake”, the group were joined in the studio by the Black Dyke Mills Band. Originally called the Alan Wharton Reed and Brass Band in 1836, this Yorkshire band changed their name to Black Dyke Mills Band in 1851 when they were affiliated to the textile firm John Foster and Sons. An amateur band, their professional occupations range from a schoolmaster, builder, office manager, and textile worker. They have been the most consistent winners of the National Brass Band Championship and this year, have become the European Brass Band Champions. They have previously been associated with Paul when he produced their single on the APPLE label of “Thingumybob” coupled with “Yellow Submarine”.

From Club Sandwich N°14, April / May 1979

Paul and his sheep dog Martha pictured with the Black Dyke Mills Band
Paul McCartney with The Black Dyke Mills Band, 1968.
From The Irish Mirror : Paul and sheepdog Martha ‘My Dear’ on the streets of Saltaire, recording with the Black Dyke Mill brass band, 30th June 1968
From Fifty years ago, Paul McCartney visited Bradford to record with ‘the best band in the land’ – YorkshireLive ( – Paul McCartney at the Victoria Hall, Saltaire, 30th June 1968

Last updated on September 23, 2021


Recording "Thingumybob"

Jun 30, 1968 • Songs recorded during this session appear on Thingumybob / Yellow Submarine

Albums, EPs & singles by Black Dyke Mills Band

Albums, EPs & singles which Black Dyke Mills Band contributed to

Thingumybob / Yellow Submarine

By Black Dyke Mills Band • 7" Single

Contribution: Performed by • 2 songs


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