Cliff Townshend
British musician
Cliff Townshend
Clifford Blandford Townshend was an English jazz musician noted for playing the saxophone in The Royal Air Force Dance Orchestra, popularly known as The Squadronaires. He was described by acquaintances as a quiet man with a wry sense of humor. He also played clarinet in the band and was respected by his peers as a talented and accomplished musician. His eldest son, Pete, gained renown as guitarist and principal composer for the seminal rock band The Who.
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    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 1986
    Age 69
    Died on June 29, 1986.
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  • OTHER
  • 1916
    Born
    Cliff Townshend was born to Dorothy (née Blandford) and Horace Townshend on 28 January 1916.
    More Details Hide Details The couple had been married in 1910 in Brentford, and were both musicians who played in Concert Party shows for the troops during World War I. Cliff showed an early interest in music and was in a band by 1932 while still attending Latymer Upper School in Hammersmith, London. Showing a streak of rebellion, he was expelled from school for playing at Bottle Parties while still a teenager, adult parties which featured smoking and drinking as well as innovative popular music. Later he played at such venues as the Stork Club and with the Billy Wiltshire Band. In 1939 World War II was declared in England, and in 1940 Cliff enlisted in the Royal Air Force. Before ending up with The Squadronaires, he played in a number of small bands as part of his duties, as the RAF high command recognized the high morale value of popular music. During the early days of the war, he met Betty Dennis (3 November 1923 - December 2010) the daughter of Emma and Maurice Dennis. Betty had enlisted in 1941 at age sixteen, and she drove a truck and sang with some of the RAF bands.
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