Juicy Lucy is a blues-rock band officially formed on 1 October 1969. After the demise of The Misunderstood, vocalist Ray Owen, steel guitarist Glenn Ross Campbell, and saxophone player Chris Mercer formed Juicy Lucy. The group later recruited guitarist Neil Hubbard, bassist Keith Ellis, and drummer Pete Dobson.
The band name was inspired by the character in The Virgin Soldiers (1966) by Leslie Thomas.
The band immediately notched a UK Top 20 hit with their cover version of the Bo Diddley perennial “Who Do You Love?” Their self-titled debut album then fell just shy of the Top 40 in the UK Albums Chart. The album’s cover featured a burlesque dancer named Zelda Plum, naked except for a covering of fruit.
Line-up changes were quickly afoot as ex-Zoot Money singer Paul Williams, guitarist Micky Moody, and drummer Rod Coombes replaced Owen (who exited for a solo career), Hubbard, and Dobson for 1970’s Lie Back and Enjoy It (#53 – UK Albums Chart).
In May 1970, the band appeared at the annual NME poll-winners concert. Another bassist, Jim Leverton, assumed Ellis’ duties for the follow-up, 1971’s Get a Whiff a This.
In August 1971, Juicy Lucy appeared on the bill at the Weeley Festival near Clacton-on-Sea, Essex.
The constant turnover clearly took its toll on the group both creatively and commercially, with co-founders Campbell and Mercer, plus Coombes exiting prior to the fourth Juicy Lucy album, 1972’s Pieces.
This was recorded by a makeshift line-up of Williams, Moody, keyboardist Jean Roussel, and the former Blodwyn Pig rhythm section of bassist Andy Pyle and drummer Ron Berg. Juicy Lucy disbanded shortly thereafter.
Micky Moody (born 30 August 1950, in Middlesbrough), later joined the inaugural Whitesnake line-up in 1978. Before then he was a member of another rock outfit Snafu between 1973 and 1976. Moody also released the bluesy solo album I Eat Them For Breakfast in 2001. Plus, Juicy Lucy’s version of the song “Who Do You Love?” was featured in Shellshock: Nam ’67.
Founder member Ray Owen revived the name in 1995 for the album Here She Comes Again which found Mike Jarvis (guitar), Andy Doughty (bass), and Spencer Blackledge (drums) rounding out the band.
A couple of years later this version of the band broke up but Owen wanted to keep on going, especially when he formed a musical partnership with a guitarist known as Mr. Fish. Legal problems kept the new band from using the Juicy Lucy name, so they gigged as Ray Owen’s Moon (Moon being the title of Ray Owen’s 1971 solo album).
By 2004, bassist Fudge and drummer Fletch had joined the band and the legal issue was settled. The new Juicy Lucy spent 2006 working on a new album (subsequently titled Do That And You’ll Lose It), and touring the UK with fellow rock veterans Nazareth.
They played the Cambridge Rock Festival in 2007. The link with the past though is not forgotten, and the modern day Juicy Lucy still plays “Mississippi Woman” and “Who Do You Love?” from their first album. In 2009, a new line-up formed as, due to health problems, Owen was unable to continue on a regular basis.
The band was then fronted by singer/guitarist Mr Fish, Fletch (drums) and James (bass), and continued to tour the UK. Owen now performs occasionally as Ray Owen’s Juicy Lucy, accompanied by Mike Jarvis and Spencer Blackledge from the 1990s incarnation of the band. As of September 2012, Frank Cokayne joined on bass guitar, whilst in March 2013, Michael Phillips (bass) joined Fish and Fletch.
Juicy Lucy were featured in early 1970’s Rotosound advertising.