Bernard Bibby

Photograph courtesy of Keith Allcock

31/12/16 - Hi Fred, I heard on Thursday that clarinetist Bernard Bibby had died of a heart attack, I'm afraid I have no further details of funeral arrangements etc. Bernard was a lovely clarinet player with a beautiful tone and approach to the music. Some years ago he spent a year or so with our Yarrow River band, eventually he had to concentrate on caring for his wife, and then after her death his own ill health prevented him from continuing to play, which was a sad loss to music. I believe he had a brother in Canada who was also a musician, but I never met him. Playing with Bernard in the band was always an immense pleasure. He was one of the best. My condolences to family and friends - Richard Knock

31/12/16 - I was sorry to hear of the death of Bernard Bibby as he struck me as a gentle person, yet strong minded and principled. He was always pleased to have a chat with Barbara and myself and I think we first met when he played with the WirrOrleans Jazz Band. He was a regular contributor to this site and his name crops up on several pages, although his last one appears to have been a tribute to Billy Edwards sent on July 1st 2014. His humorous side appeared in this story he sent me - "A person recently at a private gig asked the band, "could you play O'Mahoney". The lads looked at each other because nobody had ever heard of it. It transpired that the person was requesting Alexander's Ragtime Band and what she thought was O'Mahoney was in fact Oh my Honey, Oh My Honey etc.". His principles emerged when he complained about musicians who had made disparaging remarks about Ken Colyer and Jack Teagarden. He summed it up by saying - "Its not bad enough that venues are closing, attendances falling etc, now we have musicians denigrating our wonderful exciting music" -

Fred Burnett

02/01/17 -

Sad to hear that Bernard Bibby is no longer with us. The first time I met Bernard was also the first time I ever played drums with anyone else other than my dad. It was in 1968 at a get-together organised by Bob (Arnold) Webster in a room above a pub in Fingerpost, St. Helens.

I also remember him as a friendly and gentle man. He lived, with his lovely wife Rita, in Rainford where I grew up.

In 1975 Bob and I, plus Derek Jones and Bernard, played gigs under the name of Webster's Washboard Wizards in and around Liverpool. In my personal recordings file I have a few sessions recorded on my very cheap portable cassette recorder and, as I can't find anything else featuring Bernard on YouTube or whatever, I offer you this rather hissy and tinny Bernard Bibby Trio recording of Lady Be Good recorded at The Brook House, Liverpool on 28 January 1975.

Click here to download if you can't see the player

02/01/17 - I was sad to hear of Bernard's passing and thought I could make a small tribute. It's small because as musicians are aware, players of the same instruments rarely have the opportunity to meet face to face and tend to be familiar voices at the end of the phone either arranging or accepting dep jobs. This was certainly the case with Bernard and I, and although we spoke frequently I think we probably only met on half a dozen occasions. I do recall playing a duet with him at the Waggon & Horses in Leyland when he sat in with the Yarrow River Band and he was always as thoughtful and sensitive a musician as he was in person.

Phil Yates.

02/01/17 -

Hi Fred, Sad news about Bernard Bibby, I saw him a few weeks back when I was in St.Helens. He was a fabulous clarinet player with a wonderful sound. I first saw him back in the mid 70's when he was playing with Ron Jacksons band at the Eagle and Child in Rainford. They had a weekly job there on a Tuesday, and my Dad took me to listen as he knew Bernard from the building trade. Ron Jackson lived round the corner from us, so I was hooked on jazz from then on! Incidentally, Bernard's brother Arnie, was my boss when I was in the army band in the 80's. Last I heard he was still living in the Surrey area, and another wonderful reeds player. It was always a pleasure to stand next to Bernard, and play along with that great clarinet sound, a nice man who'll be sadly missed. Cheers and all the best for 2017.

Andy Henderson.


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