Derek Leckenby

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Derek Leckenby
Herman's Hermits 1968 US television concert special.JPG
Herman's Hermits in 1968 (Leckenby in centre)
Background information
Born(1943-05-14)14 May 1943
Leeds, England
Died 4 June 1994(1994-06-04) (aged 51)
Manchester, England
Genres Rock, pop
Occupation(s) Musician
Instruments Lead guitar
Years active 1962–94
Associated acts Herman's Hermits

Derek "Lek" Leckenby (14 May 1943 – 4 June 1994) [1] was an English musician and lead guitarist, most famous for his work with English pop group Herman's Hermits.

Hermans Hermits band

Herman's Hermits are an English beat rock band, formed in Manchester in 1964.


Early life

Leckenby was born in Leeds. He was educated at William Hulme's Grammar School, Manchester, and commenced a civil engineering degree course at Manchester University before leaving to become a professional musician. He was performing with Manchester band The Wailers when music manager Harvey Lisberg recruited him for Herman's Hermits.

Leeds City in England

Leeds is a city in West Yorkshire, England.

William Hulme's Grammar School is a mixed all-through school located in Whalley Range, Manchester, England.

Civil engineering engineering discipline that deals with construction

Civil engineering is a professional engineering discipline that deals with the design, construction, and maintenance of the physical and naturally built environment, including public works such as roads, bridges, canals, dams, airports, sewerage systems, pipelines, structural components of buildings, and railways. Civil engineering is traditionally broken into a number of sub-disciplines. It is considered the second-oldest engineering discipline after military engineering, and it is defined to distinguish non-military engineering from military engineering. Civil engineering takes place in the public sector from municipal through to national governments, and in the private sector from individual homeowners through to international companies.

Herman's Hermits

An accomplished lead guitarist and musician, he played on many of the band's early hits and composed songs with bandmates Keith Hopwood, Peter Noone and Karl Green. He admired their record producer Mickie Most, but was bothered at times by Most's use of session musicians on the band's mid-career hits, despite the Hermits' more-than-acceptable skills as players. Leckenby played on all the band's US and UK Number One hits and provided the solo on "I'm Henery the Eighth, I Am". Karl Green commented on VH1's My Generation-Herman's Hermits that Most's use of session musicians on some of the band's records was unfair to Leckenby in particular. During the 1970s and 1980s, Leckenby tried to set the record straight with the rock media, explaining the large body of guitar playing he contributed to the band's records. Even the band's US label ABKCO failed to credit the Hermits' playing in the liner notes to its retrospective on the band. Leckenby's skills are apparent not only on Herman's Hermits records, but also on videos of the band's live appearances including the 1965 NME music awards and the Herman's Hermits Hilton Show. Additionally, Leckenby can be heard on several releases by Hopwood's Pluto Music, including the compilation album Vault 69.

Musical ensemble group of people who perform instrumental and/or vocal music, with the ensemble typically known by a distinct name

A musical ensemble, also known as a music group or musical group, is a group of people who perform instrumental or vocal music, with the ensemble typically known by a distinct name. Some music ensembles consist solely of instruments, such as the jazz quartet or the orchestra. Some music ensembles consist solely of singers, such as choirs and doo wop groups. In both popular music and classical music, there are ensembles in which both instrumentalists and singers perform, such as the rock band or the Baroque chamber group for basso continuo and one or more singers. In classical music, trios or quartets either blend the sounds of musical instrument families or group together instruments from the same instrument family, such as string ensembles or wind ensembles. Some ensembles blend the sounds of a variety of instrument families, such as the orchestra, which uses a string section, brass instruments, woodwinds and percussion instruments, or the concert band, which uses brass, woodwinds and percussion.

A songwriter is a professional that writes lyrics or composes musical compositions for songs. A songwriter can also be called a composer, although the latter term tends to be used mainly for individuals from the classical music genre and film scoring, but is also associated with writing and composing the original musical composition or musical bed. A songwriter that writes the lyrics/words are referred to as lyricist. The pressure from the music industry to produce popular hits means that songwriting is often an activity for which the tasks are distributed between a number of people. For example, a songwriter who excels at writing lyrics might be paired with a songwriter with the task of creating original melodies. Pop songs may be written by group members from the band or by staff writers – songwriters directly employed by music publishers. Some songwriters serve as their own music publishers, while others have outside publishers.

Leckenby is credited with arranging the band's first big hit, "I'm into Something Good". His skills on guitar and dobro are heard on releases such as the LP A Whale of a Tale and the later singles, such as "Ginny Go Softly" and "Heart Get Ready for Love".

Arrangement musical composition in altered form

In music, an arrangement is a musical reconceptualization of a previously composed work. It may differ from the original work by means of reharmonization, melodic paraphrasing, orchestration, or development of the formal structure. Arranging differs from orchestration in that the latter process is limited to the assignment of notes to instruments for performance by an orchestra, concert band, or other musical ensemble. Arranging "involves adding compositional techniques, such as new thematic material for introductions, transitions, or modulations, and endings.. .. Arranging is the art of giving an existing melody musical variety".

Im into Something Good 1964 single by Hermans Hermits

"I'm into Something Good" is a song composed by Gerry Goffin (lyrics) and Carole King (music) and made famous by Herman's Hermits. The song was originally recorded by Cookies member Earl-Jean on Colpix Records in 1964. It entered the U.S. Cash Box Top 100 charts in the US on July 4, 1964 and spent 8 weeks there, reaching a high of number 42 on August 15, 1964, and number 38 Billboard.

Dobro American guitar brand

Dobro is an American brand of resonator guitar, currently owned by the Gibson Guitar Corporation. In popular usage, the term is also used as a generic trademark for any wood-bodied, single-cone resonator guitar.

Despite the split with Noone, Leckenby always spoke highly of his friend and defended the singer's vocal abilities to critics. Noone also praised Leckenby's talent in numerous interviews over the years.

Music journalism journalism genre

Music journalism is media criticism and reporting about music topics, including popular music, classical music and traditional music. Journalists began writing about music in the eighteenth century, providing commentary on what is now regarded as classical music. In the 1960s, music journalism began more prominently covering popular music like rock and pop after the breakthrough of The Beatles. With the rise of the internet in the 2000s, music criticism developed an increasingly large online presence with music bloggers, aspiring music critics, and established critics supplementing print media online. Music journalism today includes reviews of songs, albums and live concerts, profiles of recording artists, and reporting of artist news and music events.


Leckenby died of non-Hodgkin lymphoma on 4 June 1994 at the age of 51.

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma cancer of lymph in humans

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) is a group of blood cancers that includes all types of lymphoma except Hodgkin's lymphomas. Symptoms include enlarged lymph nodes, fever, night sweats, weight loss and tiredness. Other symptoms may include bone pain, chest pain or itchiness. Some forms are slow-growing, while others are fast-growing.

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"I'm Henery the Eighth, I Am" is a 1910 British music hall song by Fred Murray and R. P. Weston. It was a signature song of the music hall star Harry Champion. In 1965, it became the fastest-selling song in history to that point when it was revived by Herman's Hermits, becoming the group's second number-one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The lead solo on the Hermits' version was played by the group's lead guitarist Derek "Lek" Leckenby. They performed it on The Ed Sullivan Show. In the US, it was a hit dethroning '(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction' off number 1 but was not released in the UK.

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Keith Hopwood Musician and composer

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The Best of Herman's Hermits: The 50th Anniversary Anthology is a 2-CD set by British group Herman's Hermits, released in 2015 on Bear Family Records. The set was produced and compiled by Grammy-nominated producer Ron Furmanek and includes the band's greatest hits along with demos, stereo mixes and session outtakes.

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  1. Chris Welch, "Obituary: Derek Leckenby", The Independent, 9 June 1994. Retrieved 28 November 2010.