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Jools Holland
Jools Holland at the BAFTA's.jpg
Background information
Birth name Julian Miles Holland
Born (1958-01-24) 24 January 1958 (age 56)
Blackheath, London, England
Genres Boogie-woogie, jazz, blues, R&B, rock, punk rock
Occupations Musician, composer, television presenter, bandleader
Instruments Piano, keyboard, vocals, guitar
Years active 1974–present
Associated acts Squeeze
Jools Holland's Rhythm and Blues Orchestra
Website Official site

Julian Miles "Jools" Holland, OBE, DL (born 24 January 1958) is a British pianist, bandleader, singer, composer and television presenter. He was a founder of the band Squeeze and his work has involved him with many artists including Sting, Eric Clapton, Mark Knopfler, George Harrison, David Gilmour, Magazine and Bono.

Holland is a published author and appears on television shows besides his own and contributes to radio shows. In 2004, he collaborated with Tom Jones on an album of traditional R&B music. Since 1992, he has hosted Later... with Jools Holland, a music-based show aired on BBC2, on which his annual show Hootenanny is based.[1] He also regularly hosts the weekly programme Jools Holland on BBC Radio 2, which is a mix of live and recorded music and general chat and features studio guests, along with members of his orchestra.


Holland was educated at Shooters Hill Grammar School, a former state grammar school on Red Lion Gate in Shooter's Hill (near Woolwich), in the Royal Borough of Greenwich in South East London, from which he was expelled for damaging a teacher's Triumph Herald.[2]

Life and career[edit]

Holland played as a session musician before finding fame, and his first studio session was with Wayne County & the Electric Chairs in 1976 on their track "Fuck Off".[3]

Holland was a founding member of the British pop band Squeeze, formed in March 1974, in which he played keyboards until 1981 and helped the band to achieve millions of record sales, before pursuing his solo career.[3]

Holland began issuing solo records in 1978, his first EP being Boogie Woogie '78. He continued his solo career through the early 1980s, releasing an album and several singles between 1981 and 1984. He branched out into TV, co-presenting the Newcastle-based TV music show The Tube with Paula Yates. Holland achieved notoriety by inadvertently using the phrase "be there, or be an ungroovey fucker" in an early evening TV trailer, live across two channels, for the show, causing him to be suspended from the show for six weeks.[4] He referred to this in his sitcom "The Groovy Fellers" with Rowland Rivron.

Holland at the Tsunami Relief concert in Cardiff's Millennium Stadium, 22 January 2005

In 1983 Holland played an extended piano solo on The The's re-recording of "Uncertain Smile" for the album Soul Mining. In 1985, Squeeze (which had continued in Holland's absence through to 1982) unexpectedly regrouped including Jools Holland as their keyboard player. Holland remained in the band until 1990, at which point, he again departed Squeeze to resume his solo career as a musician and a TV host.

In 1987, Holland formed the Jools Holland Big Band, which consisted of himself and Gilson Lavis from Squeeze. This gradually became his 18-piece Rhythm & Blues Orchestra.[3]

Between 1988 and 1990 he performed and co-hosted along with David Sanborn during the two seasons of the music performance programme Sunday Night on NBC late-night television.[5] Since 1992 he has presented the music programme Later... with Jools Holland, plus an annual New Year's Eve Hootenanny.

In 1996, Holland signed a recording contract with Warner Bros. Records,[3] and his records are now marketed through Rhino Records.

Holland has a touring band, the Rhythm and Blues Orchestra, which often includes singers Sam Brown and Ruby Turner and his younger brother, singer-songwriter and keyboard player, Christopher Holland. In January 2005 Holland and his band performed with Eric Clapton as the headline act of the Tsunami Relief Cardiff.

Jools Holland and his R&B Orchestra performing at Guilfest 2012

On 4 June 2012 Holland performed at the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Concert outside Buckingham Palace in London. Also in June 2012, he presented a programme about the popular songs of London on BBC Two, on 9 June 2012.

Jools presents a weekly programme on BBC Radio 2, combining guests and chat, with recorded and live music.

Personal life[edit]

On 29 August 2005, Holland married Christabel McEwen, his girlfriend of 15 years (daughter of artist Rory McEwen. Between 1983 and 1995 she had been married to Edward Lambton, 7th Earl of Durham, before they divorced). The wedding, at St James' Church, Cooling, near Rochester, Kent, was attended by many celebrities, including Ringo Starr, Robbie Coltrane, Stephen Fry, Lenny Henry, Noel Gallagher, Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders.[6]

Holland lives in the Westcombe Park area of Blackheath in South East London, where he had his studio, Helicon Mountain, built to his design and inspired by Portmeirion, the setting for the 1960s TV series The Prisoner.[7] He also owns a house built in the medieval ruins of Cooling Castle in Kent.[8]

He received an OBE in 2003 in the Queen's Birthday Honours list, for services to the British music industry as a television presenter and musician. In September 2006 Holland was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant for Kent.[9] Holland was appointed an honorary fellow of Canterbury Christ Church University at a ceremony held at Canterbury Cathedral on 30 January 2009.[10] In August 2012, Holland was made honorary colonel of the Royal Engineers 101 (City of London Engineer Regiment), currently in the bomb disposal role.

Known for his charity work, in June 2006 he performed in Southend for HIV/AIDS charity Mildmay,[11] and in early 2007 he performed at Wells and Rochester Cathedrals to raise money for maintaining cathedral buildings.[12] He is also patron of the Drake Music Project[13] and has raised many thousands of pounds for the charity.

Jools Holland's Rhythm and Blues Orchestra at Guilfest 2012

A noted fan of the 1960s TV series The Prisoner,[7] Holland owns costumes and props from the series and occasionally appears wearing the trademark brown-with-white-pipe blazer featured in it. In 1987, Holland demonstrated his love of the series and starred in a spoof documentary, The Laughing Prisoner, with Stephen Fry, Terence Alexander and Hugh Laurie.[7] Much of it was shot on location in Portmeirion, with archive footage of Patrick McGoohan, and featuring musical numbers from Siouxsie and the Banshees, Magnum and XTC. Holland performed a number towards the end of the programme.

Holland was an interviewer for The Beatles Anthology TV project, and appeared in the 1997 film Spiceworld as a musical director.

In 2008, Holland commissioned TV series Bangla Bangers (Chop Shop) to create a replica of the legendary Rover Jet 1 for personal use. Holland is a greyhound racing supporter and has previously owned dogs.[14]


His 2007 biography, Barefaced Lies and Boogie Woogie Boasts, was BBC Radio 4 "Book of the Week" in the week beginning 8 October 2007 and was read by Holland. He is the author or joint author of four other books.


Albums which charted and received certifications[edit]

Year Album Peak chart positions Certifications
(sales thresholds)
1996 Sex & Jazz & Rock & Roll 38
1998 Best Of
  • UK: Silver
2000 Hop The Wag
  • UK: Silver
2001 Small World Big Band 8 23
  • UK: 2× Platinum
2002 SWBB Volume Two: More Friends 17 44
  • UK: Platinum
2003 Jack O The Green (SWBB Friends 3) 39
  • UK: Silver
2004 Tom Jones & Jools Holland 5
  • UK: Gold
2005 Swinging the Blues, Dancing the Ska 36
2007 Best of Friends 9
  • UK: Silver
2011 Finding The Keys – The Best of 127[18]
2012 The Golden Age of Song 11[19]
  • UK: Silver


  • 1978 "Boogie Woogie '78" (EP)
  • 1981 Jools Holland and His Millionaires
  • 1984 Jools Holland Meets Rock 'A' Boogie Billy (U.S. release only)
  • 1990 World of His Own
  • 1991 The Full Complement
  • 1992 Together Again (single with Sam Brown)
  • 1992 The A-Z Geographer's Guide to the Piano
  • 1994 Solo Piano
  • 1994 Live Performance
  • 1996 Sex & Jazz & Rock & Roll
  • 1997 Lift The Lid
  • 1998 Best Of
  • 1999 Sunset Over London
  • 2000 Hop the Wag
  • 2001 Small World Big Band
  • 2002 SWBB Volume Two: More Friends
  • 2003 Jack O the Green (SWBB Friends 3)
  • 2004 Tom Jones & Jools Holland
  • 2005 Beatroute
  • 2005 Swinging the Blues, Dancing the Ska
  • 2006 Moving Out to the Country
  • 2007 Best of Friends
  • 2008 The Collection
  • 2008 The Informer (with Ruby Turner)
  • 2008 "The Informer" (single with Ruby Turner)
  • 2009 "I Went By" (single with Louise Marshall)
  • 2010 Rockinghorse
  • 2011 Finding the Keys: The Best of Jools Holland
  • 2012 The Golden Age of Song

Film and television[edit]

Current television programmes[edit]


  • "Rolling Stones": A Life on the Road (with Dora Loewenstein), Viking/Allen Lane (1998) (ISBN 0-670-88051-5)
  • Beat Route: Journeys Through Six Counties, Weidenfeld & Nicholson (1998) (ISBN 0-575-06700-4)
  • Ray Charles: Man and Music, (with Michael Lydon), Payback Press (1999) (ISBN 0-86241-929-8)
  • Hand That Changed Its Mind, International Music Publications (2007) (ISBN 1-84328-645-9)
  • Barefaced Lies and Boogie-woogie Boasts, Michael Joseph Ltd (2007) (ISBN 0-7181-4915-7)


  1. ^ "BBC Later With Jools Holland". Retrieved 2011-04-13. 
  2. ^ How does he do it? From Adele to Paul Weller: After 21 years, Later... With Jools Holland is still the only show every musician wants to be on. Author: Jon Wilde. Publisher: Daily Mail. Published: 26 October 2013. Retrieved: 8 April 2014.
  3. ^ a b c d "About Jools – Official site". Retrieved 4 July 2007. 
  4. ^ "Laughing Policeman Wireless Society: History of Swearing". Retrieved 2011-04-13. 
  5. ^ "Sunday Night" episodes No. 104 (1988), No. 113 (1989), No. 114 (1989), No. 121 (1989)
  6. ^ "Entertainment | Wedding bells for Jools Holland". BBC News. 30 August 2005. Retrieved 2012-12-18. 
  7. ^ a b c "About Jools – Biography – Official site". Retrieved 11 November 2010. 
  8. ^ Stevens, John (16 August 2013). "Jools Holland strikes discord after building medieval-style wall in his garden without permission | Mail Online". Dailymail.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-03-29. 
  9. ^ Farndale, Nigel (19 November 2006). "A man in touch with his inner anorak". (Interview with Jools Holland) (London: Telegraph.co.uk). Retrieved 2009-08-19. 
  10. ^ "Widdecombe, Holland and Underwood are appointed honorary fellows". Canterbury Christ Church University. 3 February 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-19. 
  11. ^ "Jools Holland rocks the Park for Charity". Retrieved 5 December 2007. [dead link]
  12. ^ "Jools Holland To Play UK Charity Concerts". 25 January 2007. Retrieved 5 December 2007. 
  13. ^ [1][dead link]
  14. ^ Racing Post Greyhound TV, Racing Post, 11 January 2013.
  15. ^ [2][dead link]
  16. ^ "UK Top 40 Chart Archive, British Singles & Album Charts". everyHit.com. 16 March 2000. Retrieved 2012-04-12. 
  17. ^ Steffen Hung. "Discography Jools Holland". charts.org.nz. Retrieved 2012-04-12. 
  18. ^ "Chart Log UK: New Entries Update: Chart Date 18 June 2011". Zobbel.de. Retrieved 2012-12-18. 
  19. ^ "Official UK Albums Top 100 – 22nd December 2012 | Official UK Top 40 | music charts | Official Albums Chart". Officialcharts.com. Retrieved 2012-12-18. 

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jools_Holland — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.
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icky thump is a great song, and the white stripes are an awesome band.

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Check it. Content (c) BBC.

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Their Peel Session (/full gig) from July 2001 was totally excellent btw 0:00 ...Hotel Yorba 2:22 Fell In Love With A Girl / Let's Shake Hands with broken str...

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329 news items

Northamptonshire Telegraph
Mon, 01 Sep 2014 06:24:19 -0700

Jools Holland at Kelmarsh Hall. Jools Holland took his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra to Althorp House at the weekend. He appeared with special guest, ex-Spice Girl Melanie C. Published on 1st September 2014. Latest; Most Popular; News; Sport; Lifestyle.

Northampton Chronicle & Echo

Northampton Chronicle & Echo
Tue, 12 Aug 2014 23:22:30 -0700

Gig-goers due to see Spice Girl Melanie C and pianist Jools Holland team up at Althorp House in Northamptonshire are being told the venue has changed to Kelmarsh Hall. Organisers Live Promotions say the venue for the event on Saturday, August 30, has ...
Leicester Mercury
Thu, 28 Aug 2014 01:40:33 -0700

A few hours ago I wrote, via Jools Holland's official website, to clarify this – pointing out that most carers who take people to events like these are not able to enjoy it in the same way as other ticket holders, as quite a lot of time and attention ...

The Star

The Star
Thu, 14 Aug 2014 03:18:45 -0700

Leigh said: “The night borrows the format of BBC2's Later With Jools Holland. There's a rotating line-up of Sheffield's finest musicians performing two songs at a time with me taking on the role of Jools and keeping things moving. “It's a unique ...

East London Advertiser

East London Advertiser
Fri, 29 Aug 2014 01:15:00 -0700

The recently opened night-spot which combines fine dining, a whisky bar and cigar room welcomed its own musical patron Jools Holland onto the stage with his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra and a steady procession of talented guests. Nobody from the ...
Northamptonshire Telegraph
Thu, 07 Aug 2014 06:52:30 -0700

He appeared with special guest, ex-Spice Girl Melanie C, on Saturday, August 30, for an open-air event in the grounds of the historic house. Continue the story. Upload your photos or videos on this story and we'll publish the best. send a photo upload ...
Northamptonshire Telegraph
Thu, 07 Aug 2014 06:52:30 -0700

Jools Holland's was awarded an OBE in 2003 for his services to the British music industry, and achieved huge success with his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra and their exuberant live performances. Melanie C has enjoyed a successful solo career since the days ...

Birmingham Mail

Birmingham Mail
Sun, 31 Aug 2014 01:15:00 -0700

Then he disappeared again, only to resurface as a guest vocalist on Jools Holland's 2013 tour, which reignited his love of performing. “It is a pleasure to play now,” Roland says. “Back then I was dealing with record companies, who can take the fun out ...

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