The Olicana Dance Band
and the Olicana Players
Lou (piano), Alan Wilkinson (centred), Drums? in the Olicana Players Band
The Olicana Players were a band of musicians at lots of dances in the Wharfdale area from the late 1950's onwards and were in at the start of the 50 - 50 dances at the Kings Hall Ilkley.
Later on Jeff Pole from the disbanded beat group The Frends was recruited into the Olicana Players by Geoffrey Wilkinson as their drummer.
Geoffrey had also recruited Trevor Colson, a young Pianist/Accordionist from Burley-in-Wharfedale as second accordionist.
Lou, Geoffrey Wilkinson, Trevor Colson and Jeff Pole were the final line-up of The Olicana Players until it disbanded.
The band appeared all around Yorkshire as well as their weekly resident venue, Spa Baths Harrogate, where they appeared most Saturday nights for the Spa Dancing Club.
Jeff Pole recalls "It might have seemed strange for a beat group drummer to join a strict tempo dance band. Apart from filling in a little time with no other immediate opportunities but it was good fun at and provided a small regular income. However, by far the greatest benefit was the experience of playing strict tempo".
Alan Wilkinson (with pianist Lou on his lap), Geoffrey Wilkinson and unknown drummer in the Olicana Players Band
Alan Wilkinson pictured left and Geoffrey Wilkinson accordian
We are sad to report that Allan Wilkinson (aka. Dean Barren, Johnny Crusoe and to his DJ fans ‘Wilkie’) died in January 2015. Allan contributed much to the 60’s live music scene and in later years with his DJ business. He must have played at many Ilkley folks weddings including my own. RIP Allan
Alan Wilkinson left vocalist with his Mockinbyrd Show Band
Alan Wilkinson on stage with his
Mockinbyrd Show Band