Born in Redcar, Pete York attended the Nottingham High School and learnt to play the trumpet and snare drum in a school band, he also attended Trent College. Upon leaving school he embarked on a commercial apprenticeship. He was one of the original members of the Spencer Davis Group, along with Spencer Davis and the brothers, Steve and Muff Winwood. York stayed with the band until 1969. He left the Spencer Davis Group to form Hardin and York with Eddie Hardin.