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Hank Marvin on Wikipedia
Hank Marvin
Hank cropped.jpgMarvin in 2007
Background information
Birth nameBrian Robson Rankin
Born(1941-10-28) 28 October 1941 (age 75)
Newcastle upon Tyne, England
GenresRock, instrumental rock, rock & roll, gypsy jazz
InstrumentsBanjo, guitar, vocals, piano
Years active1958–present
Associated actsThe Shadows
Cliff Richard
Marvin, Welch & Farrar
Notable instruments
Hank Marvin Signature Stratocaster
Burns "The Marvin" and the "Shadows Custom Elite Guitar"

Hank Brian Marvin (born Brian Robson Rankin,[1] 28 October 1941),[2] also known as Hank B. Marvin, is an English multi-instrumentalist, vocalist and songwriter. He is best known as the lead guitarist for the Shadows, a group which primarily performed instrumentals and was the backing band for Cliff Richard and subsequently for Marvin, Welch & Farrar.[2] Many leading British and Canadian rock guitarists cite Marvin as an influence on them.


  • 1 Early life
  • 2 Solo career
  • 3 Personal life
  • 4 Influence
  • 5 Early group personnel
  • 6 UK solo tours
  • 7 Production credits
  • 8 Duets and guest appearances
  • 9 Discography
    • 9.1 Singles
    • 9.2 Studio and live albums
    • 9.3 Compilation albums
  • 10 See also
  • 11 References
  • 12 External links

Early life

Hank Marvin was born Brian Robson Rankin in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. As a child, he played banjo and piano. After hearing Buddy Holly, he decided to learn the guitar.[2]

He chose the name Hank Marvin while launching his career. The name is an amalgamation of his childhood nickname, Hank, which he used to differentiate himself from friends also named Brian, and Marvin Rainwater, the country and rockabilly singer

Sixteen-year-old Marvin and his Rutherford Grammar School friend, Bruce Welch, met Johnny Foster, Cliff Richard's manager, at The 2i's Coffee Bar in Soho London. Foster was looking for a guitarist for Cliff Richard's UK tour and was considering Tony Sheridan. Instead he offered Marvin the position. Marvin joined The Drifters, as Cliff Richard's group was then known, provided there was a place for Welch.

Marvin met Richard for the first time at a nearby Soho tailor's shop,[3] where Richard was having a fitting for a pink stage jacket. The Drifters had their first rehearsal with Richard at the Webb family home (Cliff's parents) in Cheshunt, Hertfordshire.

Solo career

His first critically lauded, self-titled solo album of instrumentals, which featured guitar set to orchestrated backing, was released in 1969, following the first disbanding of The Shadows, in late 1968. The single "Sacha" topped the singles chart in New South Wales, Australia, having been 'discovered' by two DJs at 2WG Wagga Wagga. [4] Marvin's solo career was then suspended due to Shadows reunions, first for a Far East tour and 'live' album in 1969, then a studio album in 1970 (Shades of Rock) and again in the early seventies. He has experimented with styles and material, doing instrumental albums, some with mostly vocals (e.g. Words and Music, All Alone With Friends), one with only acoustic guitars and one with a guitar orchestra (The Hank Marvin Guitar Syndicate).

In 1970, Marvin and Welch formed Marvin, Welch & Farrar, a vocal-harmony trio which failed to appeal to Shadows fans or to contemporary music fans. They became 'Marvin & Farrar' for a vocal album in 1973 and then reverted to The Shadows in late 1973, for the instrumental Rockin' with Curly Leads album. The Shadows came second for the United Kingdom in the 1975 Eurovision song contest.

Marvin wrote "Driftin'", "Geronimo", "Spider Juice" (his daughter's name for orange juice), "I Want You to Want Me" for The Shadows, and "The Day I Met Marie". He co-wrote Richard's 1960 hit; 'Gee Whizz It's You' with Ian Samwell. With Welch, Brian Bennett, and John Rostill, he wrote hits for Cliff Richard, including; "On The Beach", "I Could Easily Fall in Love with You", "Time Drags By", and "In the Country".

In 1969 and 1970, he teamed with Richard for: two 'Cliff & Hank' hit singles, his own song; 'Throw Down a Line' (also recorded by Marvin, Welch & Farrar), and 'The Joy of Living', while Richard also had a hit with his ecology song, 'Silvery Rain'.

In 1977, Marvin played lead guitar on Roger Daltrey's third solo album, One of the Boys, on the tracks Parade and Leon. He co-wrote Olivia Newton-John's 1977 hit 'Sam' with John Farrar and Don Black, and produced albums for the British showman Des O'Connor.

In 1988, Marvin collaborated with French keyboardist and composer Jean Michel Jarre on the track "London Kid", on Jarre's Revolutions album and was a guest in the Jarre's Destination Docklands concert at London's Royal Victoria Dock. Jarre said The Shadows' success had influenced him and led to his decision to devote his career to instrumental music.

In 1992, Duane Eddy guested on Marvin's album Into the Light on the track "Pipeline".

Marvin and The Shadows reformed for a 2004 Final Tour, and a 2005 European tour was also organised.

Marvin dueted twice with French guitarist Jean-Pierre Danel – on his 2007 and 2010 albums, both top-ten hits and certified gold. Their two singles hit the iTunes charts in France, Norway, Finland and Germany, and later (when released as an EP from Danel's compilation The Hit List) in Ireland, United Kingdom, Poland, United States, South Africa and Thailand. Marvin also participated on one of his DVDs and wrote the foreword for Danel's book about the Fender Stratocaster.

In London, Hank Marvin is cockney rhyming slang for "starvin" ("starving").[5] This slang was referenced in a 2012 television advertisement for Mattessons meat company.[6]

While Welch and Bennett became the Officers of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2004 Queen's Birthday Honours List for services to music, Marvin declined for "personal reasons".[7]

Personal life

His first wife was Beryl, with whom he had four children; Dean (born 1962), twins Peter and Paul (born 1963), and Philippa (born 1966)[8] Dean died from pneumonia in 1997.

He is currently married to Carole, with whom he had two children; Thalia (born 1973) and Ben (born 1975).[9]

Since 1986, Marvin has lived in Perth, Western Australia. He has made impromptu appearances on stage when musician friends visit the area, such as in February 2013 when Cliff Richard held a concert at Sandalford Winery. He is a Jehovah's Witness.[10] Marvin runs a recording studio, Nivram studios, part of Sh-Boom studios in Tiverton Street, Perth, owned by Trevor Spencer and Gary Taylor.


Marvin influenced many British rock guitarists, including Syd Barrett, George Harrison,[11] Eric Clapton,[11] David Gilmour,[11] Brian May,[12] Mark Knopfler,[11][13] Peter Frampton,[14] Steve Howe,[15] Roy Wood,[16] Tony Iommi,[17] Pete Townshend,[18] Ritchie Blackmore and Jeff Beck.[19]

In Canada, Cliff Richard and the Shadows had top 10 hits, especially from 1961 to 1965. Canadian guitarists Randy Bachman and Neil Young credit Marvin as influential.[20][21]

Early group personnel

  • 1956 Riverside Skiffle group Crescent City Skiffle Group: Marvin (banjo), John Tate (guitar), Derek Johnson (guitar), Joe Rankin (bass), Mal Malarky (mandolin), and Howard Muir (wb), John Clayton (guitar)
  • 1956–1957 The Railroaders (#1): Marvin (guitar), Welch (guitar), George Williams (guitar), John Clayton (guitar), Jim (drums)
  • 1956–1957 The Railroaders (#2): Marvin (guitar), Welch (guitar), Eddie Silver (guitar), George Williams (bass), and Jim ? (drums)
  • 1958 The Vipers (aka The Vipers Skiffle group) live concert: Wally Whyton (vocals), Johnny Booker (guitar), Hank Marvin (guitar), J. Harris (bass), and Johnny Pilgrim (wb)
  • 1958 The Five Chesternuts 7" single ("Jean Dorothy" on Columbia): Gerry Hurst (vocals), Marvin (guitar), Welch (guitar), Neil Johnson (bass), and Pete Chester (drums)

UK solo tours

  • 1994 – w/Brian Bennett (drums), Ben Marvin (guitar), Warren Bennett (guitar/keyboards), Mark Griffiths (bass)
  • 1995 – w/Ben Marvin (guitar), Warren Bennett (guitar/keyboards), Mark Griffiths (bass), Matthew Letley (drums)
  • 1997 – w/Ben Marvin (guitar), Warren Bennett (guitar/keyboards), Mark Griffiths (bass), Matthew Letley (drums)
  • 1998 – w/Ben Marvin (guitar), Warren Bennett (guitar/keyboards), Mark Griffiths (bass), Matthew Letley (drums)
  • 2000 - w/Ben Marvin (guitar), Warren Bennett (guitar/keyboards), Mark Griffiths (bass), Peter May (drums)
  • 2002 – w/Ben Marvin (guitar), Warren Bennett (guitar/keyboards), Mark Griffiths (bass), Fergus Gerrand (drums)

Production credits

  • Spaghetti Junction Work's Nice – If You Can Get It/Step Right Up Columbia DB 8935
  • Des O'Connor – Another Side Des O'Connor – LP – NSPL 18559.
  • Flair – Stop Look & Listen – LP – MLP 15611.
  • Flair – Fair – LP – CC 227324
  • Flair – Fair Play – LP – CC 327224

Duets and guest appearances

  • 1972: Spaghetti Junction Work's Nice – If You Can Get It/Step Right Up Columbia DB 8935
  • 1976: Evita: guitar on "Buenos Aires"
  • 1977: Dennis Waterman Waterman (also features Brian Bennett)
  • 1977: Roger Daltrey One of the Boys – guitar on "Parade" and "Leon"
  • 1978: Des O'Connor Another Side of Des O'Connor
  • 1979: Wings Back to the Egg – "Rockestra Theme" and "So Glad to See You Here"
  • 1982: British Electric Foundation Music of Quality and Distinction Volume 1, guitar on "Anyone Who Had a Heart" with Sandie Shaw and "It's Over" with Billy MacKenzie
  • 1983: Tracey Ullman You Broke My Heart in 17 Places: guitar on "Move Over Darling" and "You Broke My Heart in 17 Places"
  • 1983: Leo Sayer Have You Ever Been in Love : guitar on "Don't Wait Until Tomorrow"
  • 1984: Shakin' Stevens "Teardrops" single
  • 1985: Dire Straits plays "Going Home" ("Local Hero's Theme"), with the band, as a special guest at Live at Wembley
  • 1986: Cliff Richard and The Young Ones "Living Doll" (UK charts No. 1)
  • 1988: Jean Michel Jarre Revolutions guitar on "London Kid" (UK charts No. 52)
  • 1989: Jean Michel Jarre Destination Docklands: guitar on "London Kid" and "Rendez-Vous IV"
  • 1992: Brian May We are the Champions Instrumental cover
  • 1995: Alan Jones A Shadow in Time album: guest on title track "A Shadow in Time"
  • 1998: Jane McDonald "You're My World" single
  • 2004: The Strat Pack: guitar on "The Rise and Fall of Flingel Bunt," "Sleep Walk" and "Apache"
  • 2005: Richard Hawley "I'm Absolutely Hank Marvin", B-side of "Coles Corner" single
  • 2007: Peter Frampton Fingerprints: guitar on "My Cup of Tea" (also features Brian Bennett)
  • 2007: Jean-Pierre Danel "Nivram" (French Charts No. 15, No. 8 Norway, No. 86 Germany) + Blues jam session on DVD
  • 2008: Jason Donovan "Let It Be Me" on Dreamboats and Petticoats
  • 2008: Le QuecumBar Patrons "Stars of Gypsy Swing" ("Coquette", "Noto Swing")
  • 2010: Jean-Pierre Danel "M Appeal" (Norwegian charts No. 7, Finland No. 99)

In addition to the above, Marvin also plays guitar on the following tracks of library music recorded for Bruton Music:

  • "Fighter Plane" (with Alan Hawkshaw) on Top of the Range
  • "Conquest of Space" (with Alan Hawkshaw) on Grandiose Impressive Panoramic
  • "Human Desert" (with Alan Hawkshaw) on Human Desert


See also: The Shadows discography


(V) – Vocal

Compilation albums

  • 1987 Would You Believe It...Plus (reissue of 1969 LP with bonus tracks)
  • 1994 The Best of Hank Marvin & the Shadows No. 19
  • 1995 Handpicked (no chart position)
  • 1997 The Very Best of Hank Marvin & the Shadows: The First 40 Years No. 56
  • 1998 Another Side of Hank Marvin (no chart position)
  • 2001 The Singles Collection: The 80's & 90's Hank Marvin & the Shadows (no chart position)
  • 2004 Shadowing the Hits (no chart position)
  • 2004 Guitar Ballads (no chart position)
  • 2007 Hank Marvin & the Shadows Play the 60's (no chart position)
  • 2008 The Solid Gold Collection (no chart position)

See also

  • Biography portal
  • England portal
  • Rock music portal
  • List of guitarists
  • List of people from Newcastle upon Tyne
  • Rhyming slang


  1. ^ "No. 42885". The London Gazette. 4 January 1963. p. 197. Retrieved 17 June 2009. 
  2. ^ a b c Hank Marvin – Guitar God.
  3. ^ http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/music/music-news/6231899/Hank-Marvin-We-should-have-taken-Harrisons-advice-and-sung.html
  4. ^ Barnes, Jim; Dyer, Fred; Scanes, Stephen (1986). The Book Top Forty Research 2nd Edition 1956-1985 (doc)|format= requires |url= (help). Top Forty Research Services, N.S.W. Australia, after having been "discovered" by two DJs at 2WG Wagga Wagga. 
  5. ^ "H". London Slang. 4 May 2010. Retrieved 31 December 2011. 
  6. ^ "'Hank Marvin' stars in new Mattessons advert". MusicRadar. 21 June 2012. Retrieved 17 December 2012. 
  7. ^ "Actor Hurt leads Queen's honours". BBC News.
  8. ^ "The tragic family rift that proves blood is not always thicker than water". The Independent. Retrieved 21 December 2014. 
  9. ^ Nick McGrath. "Hank Marvin: My family values". the Guardian. Retrieved 21 December 2014. 
  10. ^ Ross, Deborah (17 March 1997). "Specs, God and rock'n'roll". The Independent. London. 
  11. ^ a b c d "Hank Marvin: Everyone Has To Move On". ultimate-guitar.com. 25 September 2007. Retrieved 24 June 2014. 
  12. ^ Balmer, Paul (2007). The Fender Stratocaster Handbook: How to Buy, Maintain, Set Up, Troubleshoot, and Modify Your Strat. MBI Publishing. p. 7. ISBN 0760329834. Hank Marvin had a huge influence on guitarists such as Brian May of Queen... 
  13. ^ Mark Knopfler introduced him as one of his all-time favourite guitar players at the Dire Straits' 1985 Wembley concert where Hank duetted the song 'Going home' from the movie theme Local Hero (album); https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5MfD0nPAqro
  14. ^ Whitaker, Sterling C. (2003). Unsung Heroes of Rock Guitar. Booksurge. p. 111. ISBN 1591097584. 
  15. ^ Prown, Pete; Sharken, Lisa (2003). Gear Secrets of the Guitar Legends: How to Sound Like Your Favorite Players. Hal Leonard. pp. 63, 66. ISBN 1617745014. 
  16. ^ Marten, Neville; Giltrap, Gordon (2010). The Hofner Guitar: A History (2 ed.). Hal Leonard. p. 40. ISBN 1423462742. 
  17. ^ Gulla, Bob (2009). Guitar Gods: The 25 Players Who Made Rock History. ABC-CLIO. pp. 133–134. ISBN 0313358060. 
  18. ^ Giuliano, Geoffrey (2002). Behind Blue Eyes: The Life of Pete Townshend. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 16. ISBN 0815410700. 
  19. ^ Clayson, Alan (2002). The Yardbirds: The Band That Launched Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page. Hal Leonard. p. 46. ISBN 0879307242. 
  20. ^ Bachman, Randy (2012). Randy Bachman's Vinyl Tap Stories. Penguin. p. 155. ISBN 0143185772. 
  21. ^ Gulla 2009, p. 237
  22. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 264. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 

External links

  • Hank Marvin at AllMusic

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