Mike Burney

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Mike Burney
Burney playing saxophone live
Burney playing saxophone live
Background information
Birth name Michael Burney
Born (1938-11-01)1 November 1938
Great Barr, Birmingham, England
Died 13 November 2014(2014-11-13) (aged 76)
Genres Jazz, pop
Instruments Flute, clarinet, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone

Mike Burney (1 November 1938 – 13 November 2014) was an English jazz saxophonist, most notable for his tenure in Roy Wood's Wizzard.[1]

Early life[edit]

Burney was born in the Great Barr area of Birmingham, and educated at Bromsgrove College of Further Education.[1]


Between 1968 and 1970, Burney was in Billy Fury's backing band. Following this, he was a member of Wizzard, playing on records such as "I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday". He also wrote its b-side, "Rob Roy's Nightmare (A Bit More H.A.)".

More recently, he worked with the Million-Airs Big Band & Concert Orchestra and spent eight years with The Syd Lawrence Orchestra.[2] He also worked on a joint project with other Wizzard members called The Old Horns Band.[2] He had a residency at Miller & Carter in Sutton Coldfield.[3] He died on 13 November 2014, days after his 76th birthday.[4][5]

Session and live work[edit]

Burney toured, accompanied and sessioned with Chaka Khan, The Beach Boys, Sammy Davis, Jr., Petula Clark, Memphis Slim, Steve Winwood, Ruby Turner, Adam Faith, Bob Hope, Cliff Richard, Cilla Black, Dionne Warwick and Matt Monro;[6] covering a range of blues, jazz and big band genres.


  1. ^ a b "Mike Burney". 1973 Wizzard Tour Programme. Retrieved 2009-11-04. 
  2. ^ a b "Meet the Band". The Old Horns Band. Retrieved 2009-11-04. 
  3. ^ "The Sutton Park, Sutton Coldfield". Miller & Carter. Mitchells & Butlers. Retrieved 2009-11-04. 
  4. ^ "Wizzard star Mike Burney dies aged 76". ITV. Retrieved 18 December 2014. 
  5. ^ "Wizzard star Mike Burney, who also played with The Beach Boys, Sammy Davis Junior and Bob Hope has died". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved 18 December 2014. 
  6. ^ "Mike Burney". Bearwood Jazz. Retrieved 2009-11-04. 

External links[edit]