Music legend dies at 84


FORMER Warrington bandleader Eric Pep – who helped start the careers of local singers Edna Savage and Barbara Law – has died, aged 84.
Eric – real name Pepperell – was known locally for years as “Mr Music” and was a talented pianist and piano-accordionist who could have gone far in the music industry.
But he preferred to stay in Warrington, for many years running his own band, Eric Pep and his Music.
He played for years at the US Air Force base at Burtonwood, where his jazz-tinged music was a big hit with American servicemen.
But he also played at all the main venues in town, including the Parr Hall.
Promoter Dave Warwick, of David Anthony Promotions, said: “Eric was a highly respected musician and helped a lot of people early in their careers. But he was Warrington through and through. He did not want to leave the town.
“He was more interested in music than money.”
Guitarist Ron Picard, who ran the Five Knights dance band in the Sixties, said: “My band and Eric’s were often booked for the same event and I knew him very well.
“He was a brilliant musician and composer – in fact he composed quite a few tunes for my band which we recorded. He will be sadly missed.
“A few years ago he was still running a big band which played at some of the clubs around Warrington.”
Eric lived most of his life in Bewsey, but latterly moved to Grappenhall.
Best known of his protégés were Edna Savage – who made a number of records, one of which got to nine in the UK singles chart – and Barbara Law, who broadcast on radio and television as well as making many records.
When the dance band era came to an end, Eric Pep played solo piano at many venues, including the Lord Daresbury Hotel.
He also started a business making videos of weddings, writing his own background music and producing copyright free music for amateur movie makers. He was a long-time member of Warrington Cine and Video Society.
Colin Daniels, chief executive of Warrington Chamber of Commerce, said: “Eric was a great character and a highly respected musician.”
Picture ( courtesy of ) shows Eric Pep and his band.


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  1. Eric pep was such a lover of music and had such a wonderful talent for writing and playing it. He was one of the best freinds I ever had and he will be so sadly missed by so many .

    god bless you Eric sweet dreams.

  2. Tony

    Eric often talked about you in his emails to me. I never met you but he sent me photos.

    I talked to Eric every day via emails, and still listen for that little chime on my compter to tell me I have a new email from him…..god…… I miss that sound so much.

    What a wonderful man he was.he was a part of my daily life.

  3. I had the pleasure of playing on drums with Eric for ten years at Crosfields club Warrington,and then at 71 took him on the ships with me entertaining all over the world

    and in 15 years we never had a wrong word,

    He was a master of his craft and a wonderful mentor to all up and coming musicians

    His sense of humour was razor sharp and has left me devestated,

    The likes of Eric can never be replaced. Bless you and thank you Eric.

    It has certainly been a pleasure.

  4. Hi Brian thanks for your comment he mentioned you and others he had daily contact with on the world wide web, You all meant so much to him. Its just such a shock despite his age he was mentally and physically leaps and bounds of most 10 years his junior. Still really has not sunk in yet I rang him nearly everyday except weekends and I too miss checking my emails and not seeing [email protected] there anymore Im gonna print of all the emails Eric sent me it will make such a great read such a great sense of humour.

  5. I am leaving a message on behalf of the vocal group Mainstreet, of which I am the founder member.We will miss Eric so much.He was always a great friend and so supportive of us over many years,helping us to make contacts with bands and others who he thought would enjoy our music..Infact,we spent a wonderful evening in his company at a gig just a few short weeks ago.You may not be aware that Eric himself formed a vocal group in the past called the Polka Dots.It has come as a real shock to us all.Thank you Eric for your encouragement and friendship over so many years.You will be fondly remembered and greatly missed.RIP.

    • I have been trying to trace either of edna savage’s daughters.
      There was an appeal in the Warrington Guardian some years ago from one of her daughters for discs of Edna’s recordings. I responded that I had one but the Guardian did not come back to me so I had nowhere to send the 45 rpm disc. If you are still in contact I would be glad to send it to you. My E-Mail address is [email protected] .

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