Joe Daniels (jazz drummer)

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Joe Daniels
Birth nameJoseph Daniels
Born(1908-03-09)9 March 1908
Zeerust, South Africa
Died2 July 1993(1993-07-02) (aged 85)
Northwood, Middlesex
GenresJazz, Dixieland
Occupation(s)Musician, Bandleader
Years active1922-1990

Joe Daniels (9 March 1908 – 2 July 1993), born in Zeerust, South Africa, was a British drummer and performer whose career began in the early 1920s.

He left his native South Africa for England as a very young boy and in 1922, at 14 years of age, was already part of the 1920s London club scene and played in bands led by Harry and Burton Lester, Billy Mason and Fred Elizade.

Daniels played with Sid Roy (brother of Harry Roy), and formed his own band with trumpeter Max Goldberg in 1926.[1]

Around 1930, he started recording as "Joe Daniel's Hot Shots" (with Billy Mason), and they became a popular recording band. Other members in 1937 were; Bill Jones (trumpet), Albert Harris (clarinet & saxophone), Les Osbourne (trombone), Verne Lewis (piano), and John LeBor (bass). The band performed on early BBC radio shows many times. They recorded on Parlophone Records. Bobby King was often the group's vocalist.

At the outbreak of the Second World War, Daniels joined the Royal Air Force where he organised an air force band, and produced shows for the troops. After the war and throughout the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, he played in both small and in big bands, including recording under the name "Washboard Joe and His Scrubbers". Their recording of 'I Love Onions'/'Paper Kisses' was released on Parlophone in 1955.[2]

In 1957 he toured as the Big Dixie Land Group, appearing at such venues as Swindon. The group members were; Tony Coe, Ron Winn, Roy Reynolds, Dom Francis, Alan Wickham, Brian Vaughan, Dennis Martin, Ken Wood, Bill Davey, Bill Dean, Roy Kunbrer and Fred Harrison. (This information has been retrieved from the back of an original photo and was part of an archive of Joe Daniels' photos).

Joe Daniels and the Hot Shots were the ballroom band for Butlins Holiday Camp in Clacton during the mid 1960s, and appeared in the Viennese Ballroom most evenings. He always played to a full house and was most popular with the campers, one of the most popular dances that got every one on the floor was the March of the Mods which did not require a great deal of dancing skill.

He continued to play until 1990 when one of his last jobs was working at the Savoy Hotel in London. He died on 2 July 1993.


Carr, Ian; Digby Fairweather; Brian Priestley (1995). Jazz: The Rough Guide. The Rough Guides. pp. 151–152. ISBN 1-85828-137-7.


  1. ^ Joe Daniels Obituary The Independent Retrieved 21 May 2020.
  2. ^ "Big Bands Database Plus".

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