Jeffrey “Jeff” Lynne was born on 30th December 1947 in Birmingham, UK. He formed an interest in music while still at school, influenced by artists such as Del Shannon, whose concert at the Birmingham Town Hall made a lasting impression on young Jeff and was to change his whole future, Roy Orbison and, of course The Beatles.
When he was fifteen, Jeff was given a plastic guitar by his father. Though it had only one string and cost about two pounds, he practised every spare minute. Jeff spent much of his time in the front room of his parents’ council house in Shard End, Birmingham, which he had taken over with his guitars, amplifiers, tape recorders and piles of records. After he had left school, he took on a number of jobs none of which lasted more than a few weeks. Playing guitar in one or two local groups like The Chantelles and The Andycaps, Jeff was always looking for the chance to turn professional. In 1966, at the age of nineteen, he joined a local Birmingham band called The Nightriders, who were looking for a guitar player through an advert. He amazed his fellow band members with his stunning guitar technique and proved to be a good singer and harmonizer, too. The band subsequently changed their name to The Idle Race and made young Jeff their front man. Soon he wrote most of the band’s songs and became the producer of their second LP as well .The Idle Race released two albums, The Birthday Party (1968) and Idle Race (1969) plus a couple of singles, but never really enjoyed the success they were aiming at.