Tributes to jazz musician Reg who was really ‘special man’

Tributes have been paid to a “talented and modest” musician who played in the Black Country for more than 50 years.

Tributes have poured in for Reg Keirle, comedian and jazz musician, following his death at the age of 85
Tributes have poured in for Reg Keirle, comedian and jazz musician, following his death at the age of 85

Fellow musicians, friends and family have spoken warmly about Wolverhampton-born pianist, comedian and jazz player Reg Keirle following his death, aged 85.

Linda, his wife of 18 years, paid the warmest tribute, describing him as a modest, talented man who did not seek the limelight and helped change her life.

She said: “We had both lost partners in the past and became friends at The Trumpet. We stayed friends until the very end, which I will miss the most.

“He really did change my life as he made me feel valuable and was the first man I’d ever met who didn’t want to change me or manipulate me or be domineering.

"He just accepted people for who they were and was a special man right to the end.”

The pianist and comedian was featured on the front page of the Express and Star's magazine Starlight in 1960 (Image by Anna Keirle)

Mr Keirle, who lived in Redditch, died on January 11 after a short illness, bringing to an end a life of music and laughter and fond memories for those who knew him.

He performed with the likes of Tommy Cooper and Les Dawson, as well as being the inspiration behind one of Slade’s biggest hits, Skweeze Me Pleeze Me.

It came after Jim Lea and Don Powell, from the band, saw him perform on a Sunday night at The Trumpet, in Bilston, a place he played at without charge for 50 years.

He also performed a charity show every year to raise funds for Guide Dogs for the Blind, a cause close to his heart.

Trumpet landlord Musti Bounneur paid tribute to Mr Keirle on the pub’s website, describing him as an amazing and talented man and said he would miss his playing, company and conversations in French.

Reg Keirle helped to inspire one of Slade's biggest hits when band members saw him playing (image by Anna Keirle)

Fellow musician Bev Pegg, who had played with Mr Keirle for many years, posted a tribute on his Facebook page.

He said: “Reg was a comedian who has made me cry with laughter on many occasions.

“He was a brilliant, articulate and observant funny man, besides being a fine pianist, vocalist and artist.

“I have so many happy memories of doing lots of gigs alongside him over the past thirty plus years.”

Other tributes from friends and fellow musicians spoke about his cheerful spirit and immense talent, while his daughter Anna, who followed him into comedy, said: “I always felt at home at the Trumpet because my dad was at home there.”

Most Read

Most Read

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.

Top Stories

More from the Express & Star

UK & International News