Jet Harris MBE 1939-2011

Jet Harris MBE 6 July 1939 – 18 March 2011

Jet Harris MBE, who helped pioneer British rock ‘n’ Roll as bassist with The Shadows has sadly passed away aged 71 after battling throat cancer.

Born Terence Harris, he received the nickname ‘Jet’ due to his prowess as a sprinter at school.

It was Harris who suggested that The Drifters – Cliff Richard’s backing band – change their name to The Shadows. Cliff Richard said of the bassist: ‘Jet was exactly what The Shadows and I needed – a backbone holding our sound together.’

Harris played bass on mega-hits such as Livin’ Doll, Apache and Kon-Tiki, before leaving The Shadows in 1962 and having solo hits with Besame Mucho and The Man With the Golden Arm. Joining forces with drummer Tony Meehan, Harris had a number one in 1963 with Diamonds.

Jet was awarded was awarded an MBE for services to music in 2010. The star died at home in Winchester, he leaves partner Janet Hemingway.