High noon for Bev Pegg's charity country and western nights?

Stourbridge News: Bev Pegg. Buy photo: 241409J Buy this photo Bev Pegg. Buy photo: 241409J

BIG-hearted Bev Pegg and his cowboy band could be heading off into the sunset quite soon as the veteran musician fears his annual charity country and western nights could be coming to a close.

Bev has been organising the events since 1998 on behalf of Stourbridge Rotary Club.

But this year, he and his band went their own way and donated the proceeds to Age UK in memory of his friend Harry Rowlands, who who died last year.

Bev explained: "We've been organising two shows a year with the Rotary Club, one of country and western and another of jazz.

"Every Rotary Club president has their own charity and the proceeds went to that.

"This year, the Rotary Club didn't want to do the country and western night, so we did it ourselves."

The event, which took place at Hagley Community Centre, sold out three weeks prior to the evening and raised £650, which has already been donated to Age UK.

Bev said: "I'm 72 years old now and it takes a great deal of work to organise these events.

"We're still happy to appear, providing someone else is prepared to organise them. But unless someone does step in, then I think we'll just fade away. I don't want the hassle of organising and playing anymore."

Over the past 16 years, Bev and his band have raised more than £24,500 for good causes, but he is quick to play down his achievements and insisted: "There's a lot more people around who are much more charitable then me, but it is nice to be able to give a few quid if there's any left over after everyone's been paid.

"I'm happy enough being paid for doing something I love.

"I got involved with my first band back in 1957 and had several opportunities to go fully professional but by dad always insisted I should stick to a proper job."

Bev's band, however, has stood the test of time. He went to school with base guitarist Roy Perry while drummer Ken Wright has been with him since 1961 - the pair of them having featured with Clifford T Ward.

Pedal steel guitar Maurice Hipkiss has played with Glen Campbell, while Led Zeppelin legend Robert Plant has featured with the band on many occasions.

Bev quipped: "I'm a bit like a football manager as I've got a squad of 15 to 16 musicians that I can call upon and all of them are quality musicians in their own right."

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