Rowland and Fenderr bass
On stage with The Ramrods in 1961, 18 year old Rowland playing his beloved 1960 Fender Bass. Tragically the bass was lost in 1966 in transit on the way to a Manchester gig with David & Jonathon. 'I never got over the loss' says Rowland, I loved that Fender bass'


I was brought up in a musical household, one of seven children who all loved music. We had regular sing songs with mum on piano and dad leading the singing. Mum was musically educated, a gifted pianist, she could sight read the most difficult of music. As a young lady she played at her local cinema in Frome providing musical accompaniment for the silent movies of the day.

At age ten, I had classical piano lessons (not cool for a lad in those days) and sang in the church choir, but one day heard Elvis and Lonnie Donegan being played on a wind-up gramophone in the street outside the house and was instantly smitten.

Later, my older brother Harry became the singer in an art college skiffle group called 'The Vampires', who with the oncoming of rock'n'roll changed their name to 'Jimmy Francis and The Graduates. I was invited into the band on piano and I did my first gig age 14.

Jimmy Francis & The Graduates. Piano and later Bass guitar. 1958-59
Dale Rivers & The Ramrods. Bass guitar, founder member. 1959-63
The Burlington Berties. Bass guitar, founder member 1963-65.
David & Jonathon and The Issue. Bass guitar. 1966-68
The Bristol Comets. Piano. 1992-96
Country Pie. Piano, vocals. 1993-2000
FX 2000. Piano, vocals. 1994-2003
Rockola. Piano, vocals. 2001-2009


The Beach Boys 1966 British tour. My professional musical career started on The Beach Boys 1966 British tour. Playing bass guitar with David & Jonathon and the Issue (Hit song 'Lovers of the World Unite') as opening act. 'Good Vibrations' was at the top of the UK charts, very exciting times.

Performing at The Record Star Show, Wembley Empire Pool 1967 with David & Jonathon and the Issue. Also appearing were: Cream, The Kinks, The Troggs, The Move, The Tremeloes, Gino Washington, The Alan Price Set, Freddie & The Dreamers, Lulu, Chris Farlow & The Thunderbirds, Gene Pitney, Dave Berry & The Cruisers, Paul Jones, Julie Felix, The New Vaudeville Band.

Signed to Dick James Music 1968 with an exclusive three year songwriting contract.

Recorded two songs at EMI Abbey Road in The Beatle studio.


'Send for That Girl' recorded by 'Johnny Kid & The Pirates'.
Written by Rowland was the last single by Johnny Kid released in 1966 at the time of his tragic death.
This song is also featured on many Johnny Kid & The Pirates albums.

'Don't Cry on The Weekend' recorded by 'The Drifters'. Charted at No 3. A hit single B side
written by Rowland and brother Harry.

'The Cut is Deep and Wide' recorded by 'The Drifters'. Hit single B side.
Written by Rowland and brother Harry. Both Drifters tracks feature the main man Mr Johnny Moore on vocals and feature on Drifters Hits albums right up to this day.

'Such a Peaceful Day' single recorded by 'David & Jonathon' (pseudonyms of legendary songwriters Rogers Cook & Greenaway). Written by Rowland and produced by Sir George Martin.

'Anticipation Grows' single recorded by 'Roger Cook' written by Rowland

'Paperchase' single recorded by 'Roger Cook' written by Rowland

'Drink, Drink Yer Cider Up' recorded by 'The Wurzels'.
Written by Rowland, Harry and Roger Greenaway. Features on many a Wurzel album.

'Broken Wings' recorded by 'Ken Dodd'. Album track written by Rowland Barter & Chris Gunning.
They teamed up to write another 'Bridge Over Troubled Water' and this was the result.

'Wild Cat' single by 'Merlin' also an interesting version by 'The Troggs'. Written by Rowland & Harry.

'Part Of a Man is Broken' & 'Believe Me'
2 singles recorded by Rowland under the pseudonym 'Michael St John' written by Rowland & Harry.

Radio and TV Jingles. Rowland went on to write and produce jingles for major corporate clients including British Telecom.

'The Chew Valley Symphony' for Piano and Orchestra. Written and performed by Rowland during 2002/3.
Available on CD recorded at Jon Pope's Bungalow Studio. Produced by Jon and Rowland.

Rowland as Michael St John
Rowland released 2 singles in 1977 under the pseudonym Michael St John,
'Part of a Man is Broken' and 'Believe Me', both songs written together with brother Harry