Kelly Groucutt

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Kelly Groucutt
Electric Light Orchestra 2.jpg
Kelly Groucutt in concert at Barcelona on 6 June 2008
Background information
Birth nameMichael William Groucutt
Born(1945-09-08)8 September 1945
Coseley, Staffordshire, England
Died19 February 2009(2009-02-19) (aged 63)
Worcester, Worcestershire, England
GenresPop, rock, rock and roll
Occupation(s)Musician, vocalist
InstrumentsBass guitar, guitar, vocals
Years active1960–2009
LabelsJet, RCA
Associated actsElectric Light Orchestra, OrKestra, ELO Part II, The Orchestra,

Kelly Groucutt (born Michael William Groucutt; 8 September 1945 – 19 February 2009) was an English musician who was best known for being the bassist and occasional vocalist for the English rock band Electric Light Orchestra (ELO), between 1974 and 1983. He was born in Coseley, West Midlands.[1][2]

Early career[edit]

Groucutt began his musical career at 15 as Rikki Storm of Rikki Storm and the Falcons. He went on to sing with various outfits during the '60s, picking up the guitar as he went along.[3] Groucutt was also a member of a band called "Sight and Sound",[4] and later with a band called "Barefoot".

Electric Light Orchestra[edit]

It was while playing with Barefoot in Birmingham that he was spotted by ELO's Jeff Lynne; and after Lynne, Bev Bevan and Richard Tandy had watched him play, he was invited to join ELO, to replace Mike de Albuquerque, who had recently left the band.[5] Upon joining, he was asked to adopt a stage name because ELO had already had several members named Michael, Mike or Mik; he chose Kelly as being a school nickname.[5] ELO then set off on their Eldorado tour.[citation needed] He assumed lead vocal duties on a few songs and his vocals can be heard on later ELO songs, most prominently is songs such as "Nightrider" (1975), "Poker" (1975), "Down Home Town" (1975), "Above the Clouds" (1976), "Sweet Is the Night" (1977), "Across the Border" (1977) and "The Diary of Horace Wimp" (1979). While he did not perform the operatic vocals in the studio, Groucutt often displayed his vocal talents by replicating them during live performances of "Rockaria!" (1976).[citation needed]

The first Electric Light Orchestra album to feature Kelly on bass guitar and as a backing vocalist was 1975's Face the Music. He continued contributing on the following albums A New World Record (1976), Out of the Blue (1977), Discovery (1979), Xanadu (1980) and Time (1981).

In 1982 he released his self-titled, solo debut album, Kelly. This album featured fellow ELO members Bev Bevan, Richard Tandy, Mik Kaminski and their orchestral co-arranger and conductor Louis Clark.[6] In 2001 this album was remastered for CD.

Groucutt remained with ELO until the onset of the recording sessions for 1983's Secret Messages album. It was at this juncture that he left the band, unhappy with royalty payments during his tenure, and made the decision to sue management and band leader Jeff Lynne.[7] A settlement for the sum of £300,000 (equivalent to £994,300 in 2018[8]) was reached out of court prior to proceedings.[7] He is credited with playing bass on Secret Messages, although it has been stated from an official source[who?] that he only played on four songs ("Train of Gold" and "Rock n Roll is King" from the single disc release and "No Way Out" and "Beatles Forever" from the original double album).[citation needed]

He took part in some of the ELO spin-off groups: OrKestra, ELO Part II, and The Orchestra. He toured worldwide with The Orchestra (former members of ELO and ELO Part II) and also took part in tours as part of a local, little known band called Session 60.[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

Groucutt was married twice. His first marriage produced three sons and a daughter.


Groucutt died on the afternoon of February 19, 2009 at the Royal Worcester Hospital, Worcester, from a heart attack.


  1. ^ "Login".
  2. ^ Obituary – The Independent (28 February 2009)
  3. ^ Obituary for Kelly Groucutt Lasting Tribute Archived 25 February 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "Kelly Groucutt Interview by Martin Kinch".
  5. ^ a b Bevan, Bev (1980). "Recruitment Time". In Pearce, Garth (ed.). The Electric Light Orchestra Story. Mushroom Books. pp. 83–85. ISBN 0-907394-01-9.
  6. ^ "Kelly Groucutt - Kelly". Discogs. Retrieved 4 June 2018.
  7. ^ a b Mercury, Sunday (22 February 2009). "Last laugh for ELO joker Kelly Groucutt". birminghammail. Retrieved 4 June 2018.
  8. ^ UK Retail Price Index inflation figures are based on data from Clark, Gregory (2017). "The Annual RPI and Average Earnings for Britain, 1209 to Present (New Series)". MeasuringWorth. Retrieved 27 January 2019.