Ivy Bensons All-girl Band came to the North-East yesterday - and gave pretty Jean Fox a chance to play on home ground.

For 18 year old redhead Jean, who plays Alto sax in this famous female band, comes from Redcar. She has only played in the North-East once before, during her three years with the band.

"It's great to be back" she said yesterday at her home at 42, Station Road. "The audiences up here are marvellous, and it gives me a chance to sample some of Mums home-cooking. The only snag is I will have to keep dashing over to the Turkish Baths at Eston to take off the weight I am going to put on."

Jean joined the band soon after leaving Coatham County Secondary School. "It was my ambition, even as a kid, to play with Ivy Benson. And when I started learning Saxophone, I found my tutor, who lived in South Bank, had a daughter in the band, and she helped me get into it."

"The band is the only all-girl outfit in the country, and it is a great challenge working in it. Men musicians tend to look down on you and think because you're a woman you are not capable of playing a musical instrument. It gives me a real kick to show them we can play just as well as them."

Jean is playing at nightclubs in Stockton and Darlington this week and then after a short rest she is off to Ireland for a tour.

"Since I joined the band, we have played in Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Switzerland and Norway. And later year we are off to Italy. The only trouble in travelling around like this is that I don't have time for a steady boy-friend - but it is interesting meeting new people all the time" she said.


Local Redcar paper 1967