Delaney was born in Acton, London. Aged 16, he won the Best Swing Drummer award and later joined the Bert Ambrose Octet which featured George Shearing on piano. During 1947–54 he appeared with the Geraldo Orchestra and filled his time with regular session work in recording studios and on film, TV and radio. In 1954 he formed his own band and later signed with the new Pye Records label. He made three Royal Variety Show appearances, the first in 1956.
Delaney specialised in up-tempo dance hall music, often carrying a rock 'n' roll label but closer in spirit to that of Geraldo and Joe Loss. As with many similar artists, the music he performed became less popular after the Beatles entered the musical scene. He remained active touring in the UK, notably in holiday resorts, nonetheless.
Delaney was held in high regard by his musical peers, including top American drummer Louie Bellson who he recorded with in 1967 on an album entitled Repercussion. Originally released in high quality stereo on the Studio2Stereo label, it was re-released on the Vocalion label in 2011.
Although best known as a jazz drummer, Delaney was a multi-percussionist. As well as the drums he played xylophone, glockenspiel, timpani, military side drum, tubular bells, a variety of Chinese gongs and tam tams and incorporated many everyday items such as brushes and whistles into his shows over the years.
The Eric Delaney Band
- N.15046 "Cockles and Mussels"/"Say Si Si" (04/56)
- N.15054 "Oranges and Lemons"/"Delaney's Delight" (07/56)
"Truckin`"/"Sweet Georgia Brown"
- N.15069 "Rockin' the Tymps"/"Ain't She Sweet" (09/56)
- N.15079 "Rock 'n' Roll King Cole"/"Time for Chimes" (02/57)
- 7N.15113 "Fanfare Jump"/"Jingle Bells" (11/57)
Eric Delaney's Big Beat Six
- 7N.15782 "Big Noise from Winnetka"/"Big Beat" (02/65)
The Eric Delaney Band
- R4646 "Bass Drum Boogie"/"Let's Get Organised" (1960)
- R4753 "Drum Twist"/"Yes Indeed" (1961)
- R4876 "Washboard Blues Twist"/"Sing, Sing, Sing" (1962)
- R4925 "Manhattan Spiritual"/"Down Home" (1962)
A more complete list of Delaney's records (78rpm to CD) including earlier Mercury recordings together with a tentative filmography and videography are in Sammons, Eddie (June 2010). The Magnificent Eric Delaney. Fastprint. ISBN 1-84426-825-X.
- The Big Beat of Eric Delaney – MAL 768 (distributed by Pye Records Ltd 1968 (UK))
This article lacks ISBNs for the books listed in it. (July 2011)
- Obituary in The Telegraph
- Chadbourne, Eugene. "Biography: Eric Delaney". AMG. Retrieved 9 May 2010.
- Eddie Sammons "The Magnificent Eric Delaney" (Upfront Publishing, 2007)