Alan Price was born on 19 April 1941 in County Durham, England. From the age of eight, he taught himself to play the piano and guitar and began playing with local bands.
His first significant band performed under a number of names – The Kansas City Five, The Kontours, The Pagans and finally, The Alan Price Rhythm & Blues Combo. This band eventually became the more commercially named The Animals.
In May 1965 Price left The Animals at the peak of their success.
The official reason given was a fear of flying which prevented him from touring, but in reality, he was frustrated at the musical direction – enjoying a more varied and sophisticated musical palette than the rest of the band.
The Alan Price Set debuted three months later with Any Day Now which enjoyed only moderate success.
The follow-up – a stirring version of the Screaming Jay Hawkins song I Put A Spell On You – performed much better and by 1967 he had two major hits; Simon Smith and His Amazing Dancing Bear and The House That Jack Built.
In 1970, Price teamed up with Georgie Fame and also wrote the score for two stage musicals.
As a result, he was commissioned to write the score for the Lindsay Anderson film, O Lucky Man! (1973), for which he won a BAFTA Award.
While his vaudeville-style recordings had effectively pigeon-holed him into an older audience, he went against the grain in 1974 and hit the charts with Jarrow Song. In 1974 he starred in Alfie Darling – the notional sequel to Michael Caine’s Alfie (1966) – and won the Most Promising New British Actor award.
Price took part in two abortive Animals reunions in 1977 and 1983 and continues to perform throughout the UK and Europe.