Hickory Smith (Tony Cooke) - Mount Rd to Jackson - a tribute

Bobby Dell and The Dellstars : The Ivan Brothers


I would like to thank my wonderful family and friends and everyone who knew Tony for all their support and tributes. Your memories and kind words are very comforting at this difficult time. Please keep his music alive!

Thanks - Barbara x


From Hickory's MySpace page:

I have been on the music scene since 1958, I was twelve years old, and had been playing the guitar for eighteen months, I played at Mount Rd Transport Club, Mount Rd, Levenshulme, Mc.

Me and Glynn Ellis (Wayne Fontana)used to be plonked in the cricket changing rooms with a lemonade and a packet of crisps, both of our parents liked a good night out at "the club" now and then we would be asked to sing and play on stage! before I left school at the age of fifteen, I had met Bobby And Eddie Crossland, Bob and Eddie both played the guitar and sang. So we formed our first band Bobby Dell and the Strangers, when we left school we changed the name to Bobby Dell and the Delstars.

I left that band in 1963, I tried to form a few bands with no success. at the age of nineteen, I formed a duo The Ivan Brothers, we rocketed to manchester fame and soon became known internationaly, we missed the boat a few times with various recording companies, including a meeting with Peter Asher at Apple, we chose the wrong material for him.

When I finaly split with Ivan, I went on the road by myself as Tony Dell and later changed my name to W Hickory Smith. I am still known as Hickory Smith to this day!

Why dont you take a look at my web site? Its http://www.bigbonghick.com ... You can dowload various songs of mine, some are for free, Especialy my war protest songs! also I have uploaded a video of me playing at a street party in Jackson, Tennessee, along with a brilliant backing band, with W S Holland on drums. W S Holland was Johnny Cash's drummer until Johnny died a few years ago. also I will put on this site a free download of The Muddy waters of the Mississippi, I recieved a letter of gratitude from the mayor of New Orleans (Ray Nagin) for writing this song and donating any US rights to use it, to make money for them poor people that got flooded out! I hope you enjoy my web site. I must add that I am very happily married,to my present wife of thirty one years, I have four children, and seven grand kids!

Having reached my sixties, I have calmed down a bit with my get up and go musical urge, However I still want to play on every show I wach live or on TV! So I spend most of my time writing and recording my own brand of music, like a cross skiffle trad jazz feel, and when I do get the chance I am right there on stage any time anywhere!

I recently (Aug) returned from Jackson, Tennessee, after spending a month there doing the Rockabilly Hall of Fame festival for three nights, it was great and I was on stage with top stars like Bill Haleys keyboard player Sonny Burgess, and Stan Perkins, son of Carl, W S Holland, drummer for 30yrs with Jonhy Cash and lots more!

Also I did three TVs and over twenty radio broadcasts.

On my first visit to Jackson, Tennessee, in 2004, I went for 1 month and stayed for three, and exactly the same thing happened in 2005. I was asked by Henry Harrison, the owner of the Rockabilly hall of Fame in Jackson, to play at the Festival, of wich I am very proud to be English!

It is great to be back here in the UK and getting a few radio plays! My latest song is a Christmas treat, called "I just want an Eccles Cake for Christmas". 

Hickory Smith


Tony Cooke (Hickory Smith) died suddenly, of a heart attack, July 2009.

Tony was a well respected Manchester musician, whose extensive career spanned many decades. In later years Tony spent much time songwriting, recording, performing, running his website and visiting the USA. 

In one recording of a tv show that Tony appeared on, his Manchester sense of humour showed through.He commented that on his first visit to New Orleans he thought the place was really rough looking, with very messy gardens and houses looked a tip. Worse than parts of Manchester, he thought.

Then he found out that a typhoon had hit the place :-)

Thanks for the music, Hickory.

Paul Mlynarz - 22/7/09

I just want to say tarar to a mate and partner for 10 years in the '60s.

We worked all over the world together from M.E.C.C.A.auditions in Audenshaw, to The Olympia Paris in front of 20,000 people. Working with all the great stars of the '60s, in cabaret clubs over here i.e. Princess, Domino, Cabaret club, and hundreds more.

What sticks in my mind was the daft things.

Like sat on the end of a railway platform in Germany, New Years Eve, freezing cold, sat with our guitars singing Homeward Bound to nobody, except a rail worker.

Trying to smuggle a very noisy mynah bird & African grey parrot we`d bought though customs at Dover.

Or the time the agent in Germany told us not to do our act, but change it to do Everly Bros songs for the American troops. We did, and died on our ass, apparently they`d had the real Everly`s the night before.

Just a few memories to show you that we both enjoyed our life at that time.

I just wanted to say goodbye to a good friend, we`ll miss you mate.. . .love to Barbara and family.


R.I.P Tony Cooke
You lived your life to the full,and enjoyed every minute of it.
Sleep in peace with the angels X

Cath Moore nee Conley




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