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Biogz

'F'


     Back     Next

Here you will find some short biographies (biogz) of solo artists whose surname commences with this letter or bands with names commencing with this letter (omitting any commonly used prefix such as 'The').

Click on the name below or scroll down the page at your leisure.

Fagin
Fair Weather
The Fairies
Adam Faith
Faith Hope & Charity
Marianne Faithfull

The Falcons
Georgie Fame & The Blue Flames

Family

Family Sam
Fantasy
Chris Farlowe & The Thunderbirds

Noel Farrow
Fat Mattress

John Faulkner
The Federals
The Fence
The Fenmen

Shane Fenton (& The Fentones)

The Fife Reivers

Fife Strathspey & Reel Society
Fingerprintz
Archie Fisher

Cilla Fisher
Angus Fitchet
Flesh
The Flirtations
The Flowerpot Men

Flying Haggis

The Flying Hat Band

The Flying Pickets
Flying Squad
The Flys
The Focsle
Wayne Fontana

Wayne Foote
Dean Ford & The Gaylords

Emile Ford (& The Original Checkmates)

John Foreman
Forever Amber
Former Ladies of The Supremes
The Fortunes

The Foundations

400 Blows

Four in a Bush
The Four Just Men

The Four Kents

The Four Pennies

The Fourmost

49ers
John Fred & His Playboy Band

Freddie & The Dreamers

Alex Freer & His Plaza Band
Frenzy
Fresh

Tich Frier

From The Jam

Martin Fry
Ed & Finbar Furey

The Fureys
Billy Fury

 

 

Fagin

Ian Brock - vocals
Gordon Bennie - Hammond organ
Robert Strain - guitar
Rab McPhie - bass
Ian McCoy - drums

Also:
Tom Wigfield - guitar (from 1973)
Murray Ward - bass (from 1973 - 76)

Big Al - guitar then keyboards (from 1974)

Tam McGeady - vocals (from 1976)
Mike McMillan - drums (from 1976?)
George Picken - drums (from 1976)
Bobby Paterson - bass (from 1976)

Largely a covers band who played material by 'Santana', 'Chicago' & 'Stone the Crows'. They played several time at Clouds above the Apollo Glasgow and 12 times at the ballroom between 1974 and 1976. Pre 1973, their roadie was the infamous George Miller (or 'upside-doon heid' as Billy Connolly fondly named him), then came Brian Geary (the bear) in 1973 and Bob Finlayson in 1976.

Bobby Paterson later played with 'Set the Tone' & 'Love and Money'.

Murray Ward (bass) went down to London to join 'The Blue Max': Danny Peyronel (keyboards UFO and Heavy Metal Kids), Robin Millar (guitar - went on to produce hundreds of acts incl. Sadé) & Ross Elder (drums). They made one album on Charisma. He then went on to join 'Extraballe' with Danny Peyronel's brother on drums. They made a couple of albums (produced by Robin) and had top-ten chart success in France. Murray then returned to London where he did a lot of session work (incl. work for Robin Millar) before joining Ian Mitchell from the Rollers and toured with him and ex-Roller Pat McGlynn all over Europe and the Far East for a few years. They recorded an album under the name of 'Bachelor of Hearts'.  Murray now lives in Germany.

Tam McGeady was ex 'Heidi'.

McMillan later joined Brian Robertson (ex Heidi and Thin Lizzy) with Angie Antinori on guitar, Alan Campbell (Nicholson) on guitar and piano and the late great Kim Beacon (String Driven Thing) on vocals.  He left for London too where he played with several famous and infamous bands and artists of the 1970s.

I'm obliged to Robert Strain, Brian Geary (the bear), Murray Ward & Mike McMillan for much of the info above.

Ghoulz (2006/7/8/10)

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Fair Weather

Andy Fairweather-Low - guitar, vocals
Blue Weaver - organ
Neil Jones - guitar
Clive Taylor - bass
Dennis Byron - drums

Fair Weather was a British Rock group formed in 1970 when Amen Corner split. They soon charted in the UK in their inaugural year with a 7” ‘Natural Sinner’ which reached #6 in July and an album ‘Beginning From An End’ followed in 1970 too. Follow-up singles ‘Lay It On Me’, ‘Tutti Frutti’ and ‘Poor Man's Bum A Run’ failed to trouble the chart and they went their separate ways the following year.

Blue Weaver became a successful session musician while Andy Fairweather-Low’s solo career bore fruit with two UK top ten chart hits ‘Reggae Tune’ (1974) & ‘Wide Eyed & Legless’ (1975) before working with Eric Clapton, George Harrison and Roger Waters.

Ghoulz (2006/10)

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The Fairies

Dane Stephens – vocals/blues harp
John 'Akky' Acutt - lead guitar
John 'Freddy' Gandy - bass
Mick 'Wimps' Weaver - rhythm guitar, fiddle
John Charles 'Twink' Alder - drums 

Nick Wymer - vocals 

Formed in 1963 and originally called ‘Dane Stephens and The Deep Beats’; ‘The Fairies’ were a rhythm & blues outfit from Colchester. They changed their name at the point of signing a recording contract with Decca in 1964, which spawned a version of Bob Dylan's ‘Don't Think Twice It’s Alright’.

The following year they released two singles for HMV, ‘Don't Mind’ and ‘Get Yourself Home’, neither of which charted. The latter was recorded with temporary replacement vocalist Nick Wymer and has subsequently become something of a British rhythm & blues classic and has been known to change hands for sums in excess of £150.

The band split in 1966, with Twink joining ‘The In-Crowd’ (before they became ‘Tomorrow’) and later forming ‘The Pink Fairies’ with Steve Peregrine Took (following Steve’s sacking from ‘Tyrannosaurus Rex’) before collaborating with Syd Barrett in ‘The Stars’.

(John Alder had adopted the nickname ‘Twink’ as a result of receiving gifts of a home perm product of the same name for his long curly hair).

Ghoulz (2006/10)

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Adam Faith

Adam Faith was born Terry Nelhams on 23rd June 1940 in Acton, West London where he grew up.  Like many of his generation he began playing skiffle with some friends and managed to get a regular booking at the Two I's coffee bar where Tommy Steele had started his singing career. From there Adam managed to secure an appearance on Jack Good's 'Oh Boy!' rock and roll TV show. However, despite this and two singles released on the HMV label there was insufficient reaction to start a show business career and Adam found work as a film editor for a movie company in west London. His ambition at that time was to become a movie star- a 'British James Dean'.

However John Barry, who knew Adam through their association on TV (The John Barry Seven were a resident band on 'Oh Boy!') was looking for a suitable singer for a song that he'd acquired from Johnny Worth entitled 'What Do You Want?'. John Barry's superb backing and Adam's original vocalisation of the piece proved a winning combination and the record went to the UK number 1 spot at the end of 1959. A long string of hit records ensued and by changing his style to suit the new 'group' sound in 1963 he maintained his chart career until 1967.

Despite previous film appearances Adam was no thespian and it was with astonishment in some quarters that Adam switched his career to acting. Adam learned his trade the hard way, on the road with a repertory company. The roles that he played were usually minor ones until in 1971 he landed the lead in the television series 'Budgie'. The series was highly successful and re-established Adam in the public eye again.

During the 1970s Adam became increasingly involved with the management of other performers, particularly his association with singer Leo Sayer. However, although his career gradually moved away from acting Adam's focus moved towards the world of finance, not entertainment. Despite occasional setbacks- some very serious- Adam had been an intelligent investor and he became a popular source of financial advice in newspaper and television. He continued to function in this role despite undergoing major heart surgery during the 1980s.

Adam Faith returned to acting during the 1990s and most recently became a familiar figure on TV again in the series 'Love Hurts'.

Sadly, to the shock of his many fans and friends, Adam Faith died during the early hours of 8th March, 2003 in a Stoke-on-Trent hotel. He had appeared in a play at a local theatre the previous evening. At the time of writing, additional information about the death of this great entertainer and undoubted workaholic can be found at the BBC's web site- available by clicking the following link: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/music/2832977.stm It has also been brought to my notice by BBC Radio Stoke that Adam gave them an interview on the 4th March. The following link will take you to a page from which you may listen to what is probably Adam's last recording of all:- http://www.bbc.co.uk/stoke/news/2003/03/adam_faith.shtml

Info courtesy of: www.45-rpm.org.uk

During the period 1963 - 1965 Faith's backing band was 'The Roulettes'

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Faith Hope and Charity

Dani Behr - vocals
Sally Ann Marsh - vocals
Diana Barrand - vocals

Faith Hope and Charity were an all-girl three piece band, modelled on 'Bros' who shared the same manager (Tom Watkins) and were signed to WEA. Dani Behr is perhaps best known for presenting ‘The Word’ TV show while Sally Ann Marsh appeared in ‘Grange Hill’ and ‘Bodger and Badger’. Diana Barrand is also a TV actor.

The debut single 'Battle Of The Sexes' was a minor UK chart hit in Jun 1990 at #53 but  the follow-up did not chart and the band split.

Ghoulz (2006/10)

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Marianne Faithfull

   

Born on 29th December 1946 in Hampstead, London.

Marianne's early background would appear to have made her an unlikely candidate for pop stardom. Her father was a senior British army officer and her mother had been brought up as a member of the Hungarian aristocracy. Marianne's education had been provided at St. Joseph's- a girl's convent school in Reading, Berkshire and her musical taste ran along strictly classical lines.

Life changed for Marianne when she made a chance acquaintance- at a party- with Andrew Loog Oldham, who at that time had only recently helped steer the Rolling Stones to great fame as their manager. Through this she soon found herself within the circle of people who regularly partied with the Rolling Stones and other pop idols of the time. Swept along by the excitement of it all, she soon found herself acting out the clichè that is 'sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll'.

This was a time when Oldham was encouraging Mick Jagger and Keith Richards to extend their talents to songwriting. Although the pair were no Lennon and McCartney, they were able to produce some passable material- one of the earliest of which was "As Tears Go By". This song would not have been good material for the 'Stones but, with persuasion from Oldham, the song proved the ideal vehicle to launch Marianne into a musical career.

Although Marianne did not have a strong or rich sounding voice, her gentle style was well suited to the carefully selected material that she was called upon to record. Her first hit was followed by a failed attempt at Dylan's "Blowin' In The Wind". The hits flowed again with Jackie De Shannon's "Come And Stay By Me"- her biggest success- and John D. Loudermilk's "This Little Bird".

It is now difficult to be certain of the facts about her life with Mick and Keith at this time. Much of the publicity of the time was exaggerated and encouraged by Oldham who doubtless saw it as beneficial to the Stones' image. Much of what really went on remains either hidden or difficult to separate from the apocryphal. In any event, either despite- or because of- her success as a performer, Marianne became deeply involved with drug abuse. The end of the decade saw her life at the beginning of a downward slide. The 1970s were a generally bad time for her and it was surprising that she made such a strong recovery by the beginning of the 1980s.

The turning point perhaps came with her only UK chart hit of the 1970s- "The Ballad Of Lucy Jordan". This disc achieved only a lowly #48 in November 1979, but it shows how much she had moved on musically despite the despair of the previous few years. She has subsequently shown herself to be a mature, original and compelling folk singer.

Info courtesy of: www.45-rpm.org.uk

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The Falcons

       
Images above from 'Bygone Dunfermline' dated Winter 2005 page XIV.

               
                                                                                                                           L-R
                                                                                                                           Vic Chappell
                                                                                                                           Bud Heeps
                                                                                                                           Trevor Forster
                                                                                                                           Jimmy Bryce
                                                                                                                           Roy Williams


Exclusive! - Brian Noble interviews Jimmy Bryce, Bud Heeps, Davie Porterfield and Trevor Forster of The Falcons in late 2005 in the function suite of The Sinclair Arms in Dunfermline filmed by Dunfermline Camcorder Club.


Exclusive! - Brian Noble interviews Davie Porterfield and Trevor Forster of The Falcons in late 2005 in the function suite of The Sinclair Arms in Dunfermline filmed by Dunfermline Camcorder Club.

Original line-up:
Dusty Love - vocals
Jimmy Bryce - lead guitar
Eric Ritchie - rhythm guitar
Peter 'Bud' Heaps - bass
Charlie York - drums

Others have included:
Vic Chappell - rhythm guitar
Trevor Forster - bass, lead & backing vocals (joined Feb 1961 originally on tenor saxophone)
Eric Murray - drums (from the Erle Blue Stars)
Allan Fraser – drums
Ross Gilmore – rhythm guitar, vocals

Roy Williams - drums (also manager)
Davie Dalrymple - vocals
Jim Brown - keyboards
Neil Gray – lead guitar
Pete Hunter - drums & vocals
Mark Ellen - drums
Davie 'Porky' Porterfield - rhythm guitar & vocals
Ronnie Lessels - lead guitar & vocals
Bobby Ross - keyboards
Tom Annan - drums
Raymond Wright – bass
Wayne Robertson - drums
Harry Currie – lead guitar
Marianne Baldie – vocals
John Malcolm – vocals, rhythm guitar
Barry Roberts – keyboards

Largely a top twenty covers band, originally modelled on The Shadows & Cliff Richard, The Falcons were formed in the Summer of 1960 and played at the 'Snake Pit' and 'The Burnside Club' in Rosyth in their early days (transporting their gear across the grassy park in a pram!). Trevor Forster (a Rosyth Dockyard electrician apprentice at the time) originally joined on tenor saxophone for six months in Feb 1961 (though he was a clarinet player who didn't then play sax - so he had to go out and buy one!) then took over vocals from Dusty Love when he left to join the merchant Navy in August 1961. The (semi-professional) Falcons rode the beat-group wave to local fame at The Kinema Ballroom (where they also rehearsed), playing there some 255 times in their purple suit jackets with an 'F' on the breast pocket.

They also played at US Air-Force bases on a French tour and while there they met a Colonel in the US Air force who was related to Frank Sinatra. He wanted to book the band for a six-month tour in Las Vegas! Unfortunately they had to decline because Trevor could not persuade his father to let him out of his apprenticeship at the Dockyard!

At one time they were able to play for four hours without repeating material.

They made their BBC Radio Scotland debut on 12th March 1964 with a 30 minute slot and appeared on STV's 'One Night Stand' a week later then they played US Air Force bases in France in August 1964.

Trevor left the band in 1964 for a position with The Red Hawks for a year before leading his own Edinburgh-based eight-piece band and rejoining The Falcons in 1967.

They band split in 1968 sometime after their last ballroom appearance on Sunday 18th of August, re-emerging as a fully professional outfit called 'The JB Memorial' (because Jim Brown and Jimmy Bryce had split) until late 1971.

Trevor then played bass and sang for ten years as a duo with Dougie Wright on guitar (and for a year as a trio with Ronnie Lessels - guitar as 'TDR') which evolved into 'Scope' in 1975. Scope ended up as a four-piece who won the Tennants Caledonian talent competition in Majorca. They changed their name to 'United State' in 1981 and again in 1988 to 'The Rebels' until they reverted back to the original name in 1996.

Following the 'Sixties Experience' gig to celebrate the fortieth anniversary of the building of the ballroom extension in 1964, Trevor was inspired to reform the band. He got some friends together in late 2004 / early 2005 and were unleashed to the public after some six months of rehearsals in late July 2005, with Falcons old & new, playing local venues with a repertoire including covers from the 60s, 70s & 80s by The Move, The Small Faces (or 'Wee Coupons' as Davie likes top call them), Pink Floyd, The Eagles ('their cousins'), The Hollies and many others.

Original bassist Peter 'Bud' Heaps now plays with rock n roll outfit 'Des & The Dingoes'.

They've recorded a couple of live albums which are now available.

Sadly, Pete Hunter (originally from Lumphinnans) died in the Victoria Hospice Kirkcaldy on December 18th 2007. He had moved house from Norwich to rejoin the band in 2006.  Early in 2008, drumming duties were taken up by relative youngster Wayne Robertson and the story rocks & rolls on ...

The Falcons celebrated their 50th anniversary year with a special gig at The Carnegie Hall on March 5th 2010 with several special guests including Dan McCafferty and Pete Agnew from Nazareth

Ghoulz (2006/08/11)

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Georgie Fame & The Blue Flames

Clive Powell was 16 years old when he signed to rock and roll impresario Larry Parnes. Parnes gave all his artists new names- Marty Wilde, Billy Fury etc. After a false start- the original suggestion of 'Lance Fortune' was adopted by another singer before Clive could seize it- Larry suggested 'Georgie Fame' and despite Powell's doubts the name stuck. At this time Georgie Fame was already pianist with the 'Blue Flames', the group that backed Billy Fury. His style was chiefly based on that of Jerry Lee Lewis- hardly the bluesy stuff he would become famous for later. Billy Fury split with this high quality rock and roll band because his own style became increasingly dependent on ballads. However, the Blue Flames went from strength to strength with Georgie becoming the regular on vocals as well as keyboards. The band's musical style also broadened becoming a jazzier blend of rock and roll with modern blues.

The band became so popular that Georgie actually charted with an LP a couple of month's before he did with a single. However, that single was such a smash hit that it finally fulfilled the prophecy set by his surname. Georgie Fame had a dozen UK hits including three #1s, one of which was the 'Ballad of Bonnie & Clyde' a record that also sold well in the USA. However by this time Georgie had started to steer his music away from its R&B roots towards jazzier middle-of-the-road material that would sustain his popularity on the cabaret circuit for many years. However, if you are lucky then you might hear Georgie singing the R&B material he started out with and still loves best. Keep an eye open for when he goes on tour as one of the 'Rhythm Kings' in the company of his friend, bassist Bill Wyman.

Info courtesy of: www.45-rpm.org.uk

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Family

Roger Chapman - vocals
Charlie Whitney - guitar
Jim King - sax & flute
Ric Grech - bass, vocals & violin
Rob Townsend - drums

Later:
John Weider - bass & violin
Poli Palmer - keyboards & vibes
John Wetton - bass & vocals
Tony Ashton - keyboards
Jim Cregan - bass & guitar

Family evolved from a popular Leicester R&B band formed in 1962 by Charlie Whitney called 'The Farinas' who recorded for Fontana. They changed their image (by donning 1920s gangster-style suits) and their name to 'The Roaring Sixties'. After moving to London in mid 1967 they met the producer Kim Fowley who persuaded them to change their name to (The) Family, lose the suits and adopt a more 'progressive' sound & stage presence.

They were now the contemporaries of Pink Floyd & Soft Machine in the 'underground' scene in London with their extensive use of smoke & lights and are often now hailed as one of Britain's best progressive bands.

In 1969, Grech left (during their first US tour) to join Steve Winwood and Eric Clapton in the much hyped, but short-lived 'Blind Faith'. Several other personnel changes followed and they continued to tour & record until Chapman and Whitney left to form 'Streetwalkers' in 1974.

Rob Townsend would reappear in 'Medicine Head' & 'The Blues Band'.

Ghoulz (2006/10)

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Family Sam

Ian  Hardy - vocals
Adrian Berezhuick - guitar
Cameron Mc Nair - drums
Mick Loftus (guitar)

Brian Geary - crew (1975)

What could loosely be termed a progressive group in 1973 had by 1975 become a full-blown pop covers  band.  Ian  Hardy had been with 'Silver' while Cameron Mc Nair played with 'Skin Deep' previously.

They used to rehearse every Sunday in the (now demolished) 'Oscars' disco in Coatbridge.

If you can add any further information to this piece please contact me here

My thanks to Brian Geary for the info above.

Ghoulz (2007)

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Fantasy

Sid Stoddart - vocals
Alan Dungar - guitar
??? ??? - bass &/or keyboards?
Fin - drums

Pop covers band from the Midlothian area of Edinburgh.

Material included: 'Dizzy', 'Love me Tender', 'Down the Dustpipe', 'Travelling Band', 'Proud Mary' etc.

If you can add any further information to this piece please contact me here

Ghoulz (2013)

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Chris Farlowe & The Thunderbirds

   

Chris Farlowe's first taste of real musical success occurred in 1957 while he was still John Deighton, and leader of the 'John Henry Skiffle Group'. Skiffle was then at its height and the group had won the All-England Skiffle Championship. However, the skiffle craze was replaced by the growing interest in Rock'n'Roll and the newly named Chris formed the Thunderbirds.

With a voice that was already rounded and mature the new group with its R&B sound soon became a very popular musical attraction in London and they obtained residence at the Flamingo Club in Soho.

Despite several attempts from 1962, none of his record releases had any great success until through his friendship with the group he obtained the song 'Out Of Time' from the Rolling Stones. With production by Mick Jagger, the record shot to the top of the UK chart. Several modest hits were to follow although Farlowe's vocal style was probably too far from the mainstream for most record buyers.

The Thunderbirds became a consistently popular R&B act despite frequent changes in personnel, although most of Chris Farlowe's recordings were done with session musicians. Despite the popularity of the group, Chris Farlowe changed his musical allegiances several times during the late 1960s and early 1970s. Perhaps this has prevented him from staying long enough in the public conscience to establish a niche. His magnificent voice should have given him greater success on record than he has enjoyed, but even to this day he remains a popular and respected stage act.

Info courtesy of: www.45-rpm.org.uk

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Noel Farrow

Noel Farrow was a folk musician and a member of 'The Great Fife Roadshow' with artists such as: Jimmy Hutchison, Rab Noakes, Pete Sheppard, Artie Trezise, Cilla Fisher, John Watt, Davey Stewart, Davie Craig, Noel Farrow and Jim Herd, playing folk clubs & village halls.

If you can add any further information to this piece please contact me here

Ghoulz (2006)

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Fat Mattress Click here to go to 'Memories'

   


Neil Landon - vocals
Noel Redding - guitar & vocals
Jimmy Leverton - bass, keyboards & vocals
Eric Dillon - drums & percussion

Steve Hammond – guitar
Mick Weaver - keyboards

Martin Barre - guitar

Formed in late 1968, Fat Mattress attracted considerable interest due to the fact that Noel Redding was still a member of 'The Jimi Hendrix Experience' and both bands often played the same gigs. Leverton & Dillon previously played with 'Band O' Men' who were the backing band for Engelbert Humperdinck around 1967. Landon had also sung previously with 'The Flowerpot Men'.

Martin Barre was briefly a member in late 1968 en route to replace Mick Abrahams in Jethro Tull.

They appeared at the  Isle of Wight Festival in 1969.

Their eponymous album 'Fat Matress' (1969) was followed in 1970 by 'Fat Matress II' while singles released included: 'Magic Forest'/'Petrol Pump Assistant (1969), 'Naturally'/'Iridescent Butterfly' (1969), 'Highway'/'Black Sheep of the Family' (1970) & 'Magic Lanterns'/'Bright New Way' (1970).

After completing only five dates of a thirty date US tour and during the recording of the second album, Redding and Leverton 'disagreed' and Redding left. He was replaced by Steve Hammond and to allow Leverton to concentrate on bass & vocals, Mick Weaver was recruited.

They split before completing a third album.

Leverton joined Juicy Lucy while Mick Weaver joined The Keef Hartley Band.

Ghoulz (2006/10/13)

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John Faulkner

John Faulkner grew up in London and in the late fifties and early sixties (like most other young people of the time) was inspired by the Rock revolution. It was a revolution because rock and roll swept aside and dispensed with the insipid and ersatz popular music that had been a hang-over from the 1940's.

He also had a great interest in jazz, blues, old time American music and what became known as ‘skiffle’. Starting with the likes of Elvis Presley, Gerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard and Lonnie Donegan, bit by bit he worked his way backwards to the roots of where they had got much of their music. He discovered Robert Johnson, Leadbelly, Woody Guthrie and many others.

In 1964 he had the good fortune to meet the late Ewan McColl who was one of the most influential figures in the English Folk revival 1960's and 70's. MacColl was not only a great singer and excellent songwriter but also an outstanding folklorist. From working with MacColl and his partner Peggy Seeger (the renowned American folksinger and multi instrumentalist) he gained an insight and understanding of the vast body of folk music and songs of the British Isles and Ireland.

In the late 60's and 70's there were many excellent Irish traditional musicians living in Britain & he got to know many of the London based players like: Bobby Casey from West Clare (one of the best fiddle players of his generation), Tom McCarthy (pipes and concertina) who was a wonderful inspiration to scores of young players and the undisputed embodiment of the soul of Irish traditional music and Roger Sherlock (one of the great Sligo flute players). These people represent only a sample of the community of very fine musicians resident in London at that time.

John and Dolores Keane (the great traditional singer from Co. Galway) moved from London to live in Ireland in 1980. For Dolores it was a homecoming. For John it was like a spiritual homecoming. They made Galway their base but toured extensively in the USA, Canada, Europe and Australia and made a number of albums together.

He has also produced other artists' work and written music for films and TV productions such as the highly popular BBC children's animated puppet show, Bagpuss (with Sandra Kerr) which was voted Britain's best children's TV show of all time. Sandra was the voice of the 'Madeleine Remnant' character (a rag-doll) while John was 'Gabriel Croaker' (a banjo-playing Toad).

Info from: www.johnfaulkner.net

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The Federals

A UK instrumental group from Watford with Tony Kaye on organ. They were reminiscent of the Tornados and released at least 6 singles from 1963's 'Brazil/ In A Persian Market' to 1965's 'Bucketful Of Love/ Leah'.

Tony Kaye would later play with 'Yes'.

If you can add any further information to this piece please contact me here

Ghoulz (2006/10)

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The Fence

Rab McCauley - vocals
John McCulloch - guitar
Jimmy Corbally - Hammond Organ
Larry Cunningham - bass
Henry Wright - drums

Early 70s covers band performing all over Scotland from Strathpeffer to Eyemouth including frequent Kinema apperances, with R&B, soul & rock from such artistes as: Ray Charles, Chuck Berry, Otis Reading, Marvin Gaye, Booker T, Wilson Picket, Aretha Franklyn, Bob Dylan, Mose Allison, T-Bone Walker, Big Joe Turner and The Beatles etc.

They also played Kilmarnock Grand Hall 16.1.71.

Ghoulz (2013)

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The Fenmen

Alan Judge - lead Guitar
Wally Allen - rhythm guitar
Eric Willmer - bass guitar
Jon Povey - drums

The only group to reach the charts with 'Money', a song performed by many groups of the day, 'Bern Elliott & The Fenmen' formed in Kent in 1961. They spent a lot of the next two years playing the clubs of Hamburg before being signed to Decca in early 1963.

Although not from Liverpool, the group played in a similar style to the 'Merseybeat' bands and Elliott himself possessed a good R&B influenced voice. Their recorded output was small because the partnership did not stay together for long - going their separate ways in the middle of 1964, (before their ballroom show in November 1964 - Ghoulz).

Elliott put another group together named 'The Clan', while 'The Fenmen' carried on without him until 1968 when the band broke up. Povey and Allen both joined a later line-up of 'The Pretty Things'.

'The Fenmen' released four singles between 1964 & 1966.

Ghoulz (2006/10)

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Shane Fenton (& The Fentones)

Shane Fenton & The Fentones at The Kinema Ballroom Dunfermline       
'The Dunfermline Press'
Saturday 16th June 1962.

Johnny Theakston (as 'Shane Fenton') - vocals
Bernard Jewry (as '
Shane Fenton')  - vocals (later Alvin Stardust)
Jerry Wilcock - lead guitar
Mick Eyre - rhythm guitar
Walter (Bill) Bonny - bass
Tony Hinchcliffe - drums

George Rodda - drums
Bobby Elliot - drums

Bernard William Jewry was born on 27th September 1942 in Muswell Hill, London.

It is not uncommon for a singer to have two or more careers under different names, but such attempts are frequently all failures. However, Bernard Jewry managed to have successful chart careers under his adopted name 'Shane Fenton' during the early 1960s and also as 'Alvin Stardust' a decade later but Bernard was the second 'Shane Fenton' after Johnny Theakston who created the moniker, died of rheumatic fever.

Although he was born in London during World War II, Bernard spent his formative years in Nottinghamshire and has always regarded Mansfield as his home town. His musical career began through the demise of a vocalist who sang with a group originally calling themselves 'Johnny Theakstone & the Tremolos' and later 'Shane Fenton & the Fentones' during 1960. Bernard Jewry, as he then was, filled the vacancy and adopted the role & more commercial sounding name of Shane Fenton - he later made it his real name by deed poll. When the group got the chance of a radio broadcast on the BBC's 'Saturday Club' the backing group hurriedly became the Fentones.

The Fentones were a competent outfit, broadly similar to the Shadows and had Bobby Elliott on drums until he left to replace Don Rathbone in The Hollies. Their instrumental skills can be found on two Parlophone issued singles, which both made the lower reaches of the charts despite the absence of their vocalist.

Shane Fenton achieved four chart appearances with the group. After the last of these hits, which was the only one to get inside the top twenty- thus hinting at a possible future breakthrough, his following singles were issued without the Fentones. It seems unfortunate that he should have done this at the time 'Merseybeat' emerged and when a 'group sound' would appear to have been an essential for chart survival. The expectation was that he would slowly sink into obscurity during the next decade along with other pioneers of British rock and roll. In fact, he re-emerged as the black leather clad 'Alvin Stardust', riding high on the tide of 'glam' rock, managing to turn his former anachronistic style into a new fashion and appealing to a new younger audience.

The rest of the band soldiered on as The Fentones and ended up backing Duffy Power. Ginger Baker of Cream even guested on drums a couple of times before they finally split in September 1965.

Info courtesy of: www.45-rpm.org.uk & John Warburg

Ghoulz (2007/10)

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The Fife Reivers

Jim Laing - vocals, guitar
Maureen Laing - vocals
Russell Laing - tenor banjo, guitar, 12-string guitar, mandolin, violin

The Fife Reivers were a family group from Glenrothes. They were occasionally joined by Kevin Laing - autoharp and Kay Harris - bass, bongos, vocals. They recorded one eponymous album and a 45 'Dry Leaves' / 'Spring', both on Columbia in 1969.

Russell Laing was 12 years old & they allegedly toured with David Bowie in 1969!

Info courtesy of: www.nigelgatherer.com & 'The Tapestry Of Delights Revisited' by Vernon Joynson.

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Fife Strathpey and Reel Society

Members have included:

Bobby Crease
Bill Grubb
Jim Laing
Evelyn Ostrowska
Bunty Rowlands
Bob Willox

Fife Strathpey and Reel Society was created in March 1975 from about twenty players who answered an advertisement in the local press and met in the Wayfarers Inn, Markinch, Fife, following an idea by Bruce Turnbull who became their first conductor.  Many had been musicians for most of their lives, in some cases upwards of 40 years.

Their first rally was held in 1976 and they quickly became acknowledged as one of the top orchestras in Scotland, renowned for the unique quality of its sound. (In 1980 a group from the Society won the prestigious Golden Fiddle award, as the best in Scotland, in a never to be forgotten evening at the Usher Hall in Edinburgh).

A library of tunes and musical arrangements made by members such as Bill Grubb, Bobby Crease and Jim Laing has been assembled over time and played with dedication by the players including original members such as Evelyn Ostrowska, Bunty Rowlands, Jim Laing and Bob Willox.

The Society is able to subsidise concerts with the support of it's sponsors therefore keeping the costs to a minimum while raising thousands of pounds over the years for many organisations and charities and at the same time allowing us to fulfil our objectives of playing and carrying on the tradition of Scottish fiddle music.

Their patron is Lord Elgin, a descendant of Robert the Bruce, King of Scots.

www.fsrs.co.uk

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Fingerprintz

   

Jimme O'Neill - vocals, guitar
Cha Burns
- guitar
Kenny Alton
- bass
Bob Shilling (aka Bogdan Wiczling) - drums

Step Lang - vocals

Sadie "The Cat" (Jimme's wife)

Cha (later, guitarist with Adam and the Ants) and Jimme (who wrote for Lene Lovitch and Paul Young) formed Scottish new wave band Fingerprintz in 1978 and released a 12" single: ‘Dancing with Myself’ / ‘Sync Unit’ / ‘Sean's New Shoes’ in January 1979 followed in the September by their first album for Virgin, ‘The Very Dab’ and a number of 7” & 12” single releases over the next six years.

By the second album (Distinguishing Marks) Bob Shilling had become Bogdan Wiczling and the music became much more accessible with tracks such as ‘Houdini Love’, ‘Jabs’ and the famous ‘Bulletproof Heart’. The third album (Beat Noir) saw the line-up augmented by Sadie "The Cat" (Jimme's wife) and the sound began to evolve.

The band enjoyed several high profile supports including ‘Rachel sweet’,  ‘The Skids’ & ‘Bill Nelson’s Red Noise’. They never achieved much in the way of public success though they were more popular in the states.

The band then split in 1985 and Jimme and Cha returned to their native Scotland to form The Silencers in 1986 with Martin Hanlin and Joe Donnelly (a cousin of Jim Kerr) though before they eventually chose the definitive name for the band they pondered over names such as ‘My Granny's Green Armchair’, ‘See Gong Planet’ or ‘The Hot Dog from Hell’.

Ghoulz (2007/10)

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Archie Fisher

Born in Glasgow on 23rd October 1939, Archie Fisher comes from a musical family background – his sister Cilla Fisher was a successful folk singer-songwriter who is now better known for her involvement in the "Singing Kettle" series of children’s entertainment shows while his sister Ray Fisher also has a folk singing career.

Archie is an international folk singer-songwriter and a multi-talented broadcaster who presents his BBC Radio Scotland programme "Travelling Folk" regularly along with many other events. His first musical influences go back to the days of skiffle in the fifties though his heart lies in Scottish folk, as demonstrated in his sixties and seventies TV appearances with his sister Ray.

1968 saw his first album completed with John McKinnon on fiddle and mandolin and John Doonan on whistle. A partnership with Dundee musician Allan Barty was forged in the seventies, joined later by Tommy Makem and Liam Clancy with whom he produced a series of albums in addition to those he produced for Silly Wizard.

Radio became his calling during the 1980s with Radio Tweed and Radio Scotland where he could ‘spread the word’.

Ghoulz (2006/10)  & John Warburg

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Cilla Fisher

Cilla Fisher comes from a musical family background – her brother is Archie Fisher (the international folk singer-songwriter) while her sister Ray Fisher also has a folk singing career. Cilla (a Glaswegian by birth) first appeared on BBC Radio and family recordings aged just nine! In 1974 she turned professional with her husband, Artie Trezise from St Andrews.  Artie started out his professional life as a teacher before deciding to add professional commitments to his family ones.

Together they have appeared in many festivals throughout the world including Europe, the Far East, Australia, Canada and America and released several albums during the seventies culminating in the award for ‘The Melody Maker Folk Album of the Year – 1979’ for ‘Cilla and Artie’. They were both members of 'The Great Fife Roadshow' with artists such as: Jimmy Hutchison, Rab Noakes, Pete Sheppard, Artie Trezise, Cilla Fisher, John Watt, Davey Stewart, Davie Craig, Noel Farrow and Jim Herd, playing folk clubs & village halls.

Cilla Fisher and Artie Trezise are now better known for their "Singing Kettle" series of children’s entertainment shows.

Ghoulz (2006/10)

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Angus Fitchet

Angus Fitchet (born in Dundee in 1910) was one of Scotland's foremost fiddlers and bandleaders who began playing at the tender age of five. At the ripe old age of twelve he stood-in for an absent violinist at a local cinema showing silent films and was soon making five shillings a week. He could also squeeze a tune from a saxaphone. He wrote his first tune, a march ‘Mr Michie’ (still popular today) at the age of 16 in 1926.

In the late 1930s he went to Largs to join a five-piece orchestra in a restaurant there and in 1945 Angus joined Jimmy Shand’s Band. Working with Jimmy Shand's Band gave him a taste for Scottish band work and he later formed his own highly successful Scottish Dance Band, driving all over Britain in an old Dodge Red Cross ambulance run on half petrol half paraffin. They played many live broadcasts, made records, and toured Scotland and England, playing dances both large & small.

Eventually he returned to playing solo fiddle, touring with Will Starr and Robert Wilson. He was renowned for his note-perfect sweet tone despite very modest instrumentation, describing one as “an auld bit o' stick”. He did however insist on a good bow.

He was in his late sixties when he joined Jimmy Blue, whose band travelled full time with Andy Stewart. Andy loved Angus' humour and many a time "dried up" onstage because of Angus' witticisms. Andy Stewart's weekly TV show, "Scotch Corner", was going out nation-wide at that time. Angus was also often a guest with Bobby Crowe and his Band at venues all over Scotland and in the North of England.

He was still performing into his early eighties and completed a broadcast for the BBC at age 80. His reel, "J.B. Milne", has probably been broadcast more than any other Scottish tune. Andy Stewart wrote a twenty-three verse poem entitled ‘On Angus Fitchet’.

When asked, in his eighties, how he would like to be remembered, Angus considered for a few moments, then replied: "Angus Fitchet, fiddler".

Info from: www.footstompin.com

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Flesh

           

Coral Gordon
Douglas MacIntyre
Janice Hoyte
Stephen Mark Lironi

Also?
Chyna Whyne

Later:
Sharon Martin

Flesh released two 7" singles: 'You Can't Help (Sentimental Sunday) / 'Dreams That Money Can Buy' (Sept 1985) & 'The 2nd Choice' / 'Sell Yourself' (March 1986) on London Records.

Stephen Lironi & Douglas MacIntyre re-emerged in 2011 to release a Flesh album 'Sick Electricity'.

Lironi was drummer and guitarist with Altered Images

Ghoulz (2012)

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The Flirtations

Viola Billups
Ernestine Pearce
Shirley Pearce
Betty Pearce

Loretta Noble

US all-girl group from South Carolina, who formed as 'The Gypsies' in 1962, (Lestine Johnson & sisters; Betty Pearce, Ernestine Pearce And Shirley Pearce) and released five singles before renaming as The Flirtations for around another twelve singles and an album ('Nothing But A Heartache' - 1969). They had little chart success though they continued through to the late eighties.

Ghoulz (2007/10)

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The Flower Pot Men

Tony Burrows - vocals
Neil Landon - vocals
Robin Shaw - vocals
Pete Nelson - vocals
Ged Stone - guitar
Carlo Little - drums
Nick Simper - bass
Jon Lord - organ

Sometimes billed as 'The Flower Pot Men and Their Garden', this four-piece were really the brainchild of John Carter and Ken Lewis who then, along with Tony Burrows, had just abandoned their group 'The Ivy League'. However, on this occasion Carter and Lewis decided to restrict their participation to management and songwriting rather than having to go on the road again. In fact the group's road band also included Carlo Little, Peter Nelson ('Peter's Faces') and Robin Shaw ('The Faces') as their backing musicians. They were actually a very competent outfit despite the transient opportunism of their only significant single ('Let's Go To San Francisco' - a UK #4) which inspired the formation of a band to perform the song.

The band split in 1970 and Neil Landon went on from the Flower Pot Men to join 'Fat Mattress' and Tony Burrows to 'Edison Lighthouse', 'The First Class', 'White Plains', 'Brotherhood Of Man' and 'The Pipkins'. Nick Simper & Jon Lord went on to found 'Deep Purple'.

The 1980's band 'The Flowerpot Men' is unrelated.

Info courtesy of: www.45-rpm.org.uk &

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Flying Haggis

Flying Haggis is a Scottish ceilidh dance band based in Central Scotland whose typical instrumentation line-up includes: Accordion, Fiddle, Scottish Small Pipes / Highland Bagpipes and Guitar.

If you can add any further information to this piece please contact me here

Ghoulz (2006)

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The Flying Hat Band

   

Pete Hughes - vocals
Glenn Tipton - vocals, guitars, organ
Andy Wheeler - bass
Trevor Foster - drums

Later:
Frank Walker - bass
Peter 'Mars' Cowling - bass
Steve Palmer - drums

From Birmingham and originally called 'Shave N' Dry', featuring Glenn Tipton (keyboards & guitar), Dave Shelton (bass), Pete Hughes (vocals) & Barry 'Spence' Scrannage (drums), they became 'Merlin' before renaming again as 'The Flying Hat Band' in 1971. Pete Hughes soon left to join the RAF in Anglesey and Frank Walker replaced Andy Wheeler on bass in 1971 and stayed until mid 1973.

Their brand of heavy metal featured the usual fantasy lyrical content & they recorded an album for Vertigo in 1971 which has never seen the light of day, reputedly due to similarities with Black Sabbath?

They ended their short life as a power trio of Tipton, Cowling & Palmer & supported Deep Purple on a European tour, though disbanded in May 1974 after Glenn Tipton joined fellow Midlands outfit Judas Priest.

Mars Cowling went on to join The Pat Travers Band around 1975 & Steve Palmer is brother to Carl Palmer of 'Emerson, Lake & Palmer'.

Many thanks to Frank Walker for some corrections / additions.

Ghoulz (2007/8/10)

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The Flying Pickets

Brian Hibbard
Ken Gregson
David Brett
Red Stripe
Rick Lloyd
Gareth Williams
Ron Donachie
Christopher Ryan

Later:
Dylan Foster
Hereward Kaye
Gary Howard
Nick Godfrey
Lex Lewis
Ricky Payne
Henrik Wager
Paul Kissaun
Fraser Collins
Gavin Muir
Andrea Figallo
Damion Scarcella
Andy Laycock
Simon John Foster
Michael Henry

Formed in 1982 by members of the 7:84 Theatre group, a socialist fringe theatre group who used a cappella singing in a production called One Big Blow, the story of the 1982 miner's strike in England, from the miner's point of view. They enjoyed the singing so much that they started to work around the pubs and clubs of London at a time when nobody else in the UK was performing pop/rock based a cappella, and found immediate success.

The first recording was a live show 'Live at the Albany Empire' on the group's own label, which sold so well that they soon came to the attention of Virgin Records, who signed the group in 1983.

The very first single with Virgin, "Only You", a cover of a song by Yazoo, went straight to number 1 in the UK charts and was to remain there for five weeks over the Christmas of 1983 before going on to repeat the success throughout almost every country in Europe. The Lost Boys album in 1984, The Flying Pickets Live in 1986 and Waiting For Trains in 1988, soon followed this.

In 1989 the group were commissioned to write a musical theatre production for the Theatre Royal Stratford in London, a whole show based on songs about the working life, which they performed for a successful 4-week season. Around the same time, the group also performed the musical score on the BBC TV series Porterhouse Blue.

In 1991 the group recorded the Blue Money album, which had huge success throughout Europe, which has continued through the nineties with the albums The Warning (1994), Politics Of Need (1996) and Vox Pop (1998). In November 2003 Live in Hamburg is distributed in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, while the band is expanding its boundaries exploring overseas countries like Taiwan and South Africa.

The Pickets regularly tour in the region of a hundred shows a year, from small clubs to discos, from cultural centres to the biggest theatres.

Info from: www.pickets.co.uk

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Flying Squad

   

Ian Muir - vocals
Monty McMonagle – guitar
Alex Calder – guitar
George Crossan – bass
Jimmy Kelly - drums

Flying Squad was originally a Scottish hard rock band formed by Monty McMonagle and Alex Calder in Milton, Glasgow around 74/75 called 'Rogue'. Their line-up changed a few times, as did their name to 'The Boyz' (around 1976 when Ian Muir joined from 'Downtown Flyers') but they had to change name once more when another 'Boyz' band of the same name in the states was discovered.

Their eponymous and only album 'Flying Squad' was recorded at IBC Studio in London, Threshold Studio London and at the Visilord Phonogram Studio in Hilversum, Holland and produced by one Francis Rossi of 'Status Quo' in 1978 for the Epic label after they were 'found' by CBS.

Singles 'Drive On' and 'Backroom Boys' were overlooked at the time by press & punters in favour of the punk phenomenon and the record company agreed. They split soon after and Ian Muir (later 'Finn' Muir) went on to form and front 'Waysted'. Monty McMonagle and George Crossan formed a band called 'The Difference' and released three albums between 1979 and 1982.

Ghoulz (2010)

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The Flys

   

Neil O'Connor - vocals, guitar
David Freeman - guitar, vocals
Joe Hughes - bass, vocals
Pete King - drums

This Coventry, based band, were originally called Midnight Circus (their image was slightly hippy). Singer and guitarist Neil O'Connor (brother of Hazel O'Connor ) met school kids David Freeman (guitar, vocals) and Joe Hughes (bass, vocals) in the mid-70s, and recruiting Pete King on drums.

After a name change to The Flys The band recorded a demo in 1977 that failed to attract much attention from record companies, so they formed their own Lama label and put out an EP, Bunch of Five, around the end of the year. That caught the fancy of EMI, which signed them up in a hurry and put out the EP's "Love and a Molotov Cocktail" as a single. The album Waikiki Beach Refugees appeared in 1978. Several Flys singles appeared in early 1979, culminating in the release of the second album, Own.

Internal quarrelling had led to King's departure and the arrival of Graham Deakin, the former drummer of John Entwistle's Ox. A move to Parlophone Records did little to salve the bickering, and the Flys broke up in 1980. O'Connor joined his sister Hazel's band and then took his skills behind the scenes as producer, arranger, and engineer; Freeman performed on Alison Moyet's Raindancing album, played briefly with Roddy Radiation and the Tearjerkers, and then formed The Lover Speaks with Hughes; Pete King went on to join After the Fire before his untimely death at age 26.

Info from: punkmodpop.free.fr

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The Focsle

The Focsle were from Falkirk.

If you can add any further information to this piece please contact me here

Ghoulz (2006)

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Wayne Fontana

Born Glyn Geoffrey Ellis on 28th October 1945 in Manchester, Wayne Fontana took his name from the drummer D.J. Fontana and not his record label as is sometimes supposed. He and his group, the Mindbenders, were one of the many talented acts to come out of Manchester during the 1960s 'beat boom'. Wayne was an accomplished R&B singer and soon gained a useful following of female admirers in the north of England.

The band had immediate chart success with their first single, but its lowly #46 position and the failure of its follows up were disappointing. However, their fifth and sixth releases made the top 5, though 'Game Of Love' was held back from the top spot by 'I'll Never Find Another You' by the Seekers.

Sadly, by the end of 1965, although the hits had continued, Fontana decided to go solo. This appears not to have done him too much harm because he managed to achieve four more hits without the aid of his former backing musicians. However, he faded from the scene rapidly after 1968 and although he continued on the club rounds he fell into obscurity for many years. Fortunately, after putting personal problems behind him, he was persuaded out of his retirement during the late 1980s and can still be found at 1960s nostalgia concerts occasionally.

Info courtesy of: www.45-rpm.org.uk

He was charged and found guilty of 'arson with intent to endanger life' (by setting fire to a car with a debt collector inside) in 2007. He was diagnosed with having a paranoid illness & depression.

Wayne Fontana only ever played the ballroom as a solo artist without The Mindbenders though he was billed to appear with them on Wednesday 17th February 1965 but they didn't turn up. It has been alleged that one too many 'refreshments' at The City Hotel may have played a role in their non appearance!

Ghoulz (2006/10)

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Wayne Foote

Funk / Soul vocalist (ex vocalist from USA band 'Slave') released 'Uncool' (1986)

Ghoulz (2012)

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Dean Ford & The Gaylords

Dean Ford (Tommy 'Nippy' McAleese) - vocals
William 'Junior' Campbell - lead guitar
Pat Fairlie - guitar/6 string bass
Bill Irving - bass
Raymond Duffy - drums

Later:
Graham Knight - bass
Alan Whitehead - drums

This Glasgow band started life in the early 1960s as a four piece called 'The Gaylords'. After the addition of Tommy McAleese (aka Dean Ford) in 1963, this band of sixteen year-olds were the first Scottish beat group signed (to EMI around 1963/4) though the first beat group single was by The Athenians.

They shortened the name once more to simply 'The Gaylords' in late 1965 and moved to London around 1966. Duffy quit to be replaced by Alan Whitehead (a postman from Orpington). Duffy guests on The Poets' 'Wooden Spoon' and later joined Mathews Southern Comfort and Gallagher and Lyle.

Around 1968 they became Marmalade and had 12 hit singles including the No 1 (Lennon-McCartney penned) 'Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da' and 7 other top ten hits.

Singles:
'Dean Ford & The Gaylords'
'Twenty Miles' / 'What's The Matter With Me?' (April 1964)
'Mr Heartbreak's Here Instead' / 'I Won't' (Nov 1964)
'The Name Game' / 'That Lonely Feeling' (June 1965)

'The Gaylords'
'He's A Good Face But He's Down & Out' / 'You Know It Too' (Dec 1965)

Ghoulz (2006/10)

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Emile Ford (& The Original Checkmates) Click here to go to 'Memories'

Emile Ford - vocals, guitar
George Sweetman - bass & other misc instruments
Ken Street - guitar
John Cuffley - drums

Later with:
Dave Sweetman - saxophone
Pete Carter - guitar
Les Hart - saxophone
Alan Hawkshaw - keyboards
'The Fordettes' vocal trio
Michael Snow - keyboards

The first British number one hit single of the 1960s, 'What Do You Want To Make Those Eyes At Me For?' became the United Kingdom's first platinum selling disc selling over a million copies. The recording was also unique for its time because its singer, Emile Ford, also produced it.

Emile Ford was born Michael Emile Telford Miller in Castries, St Lucia on October 16 1937, the son of Frederick Edward Miller, a parliamentarian of distinction. Heralding from a musical family, Emile’s grandfather was an Orchestral Conductor; his grand uncle was a Concert Violinist. His mother, Madge Murray, a Concert Soprano and Emile himself along with his siblings were all violin students.

Educated at St Mary's College, St Lucia, Emile eventually moved to England and completed his studies at Paddington Technical College. In 1958 he initially formed a contemporary pop-duo (signed to Lou and Leslie Grade as their agents) with his half-brother George Sweetnam of which several television appearances and a failed Pye Records audition followed. By the time he formed his group, The Checkmates in 1959, Emile had become vocalist while George played bass guitar. The pair were joined by Ken Street on guitar and John Cuffley on drums and they had their our own TV spot for six weeks on 'The Sunday Serenade Show'.

Emile, who from his own admission is first and foremost a sound scientist before a singer, had the ability of getting the best sounds from his musical arrangements. A knack that won the band a distribution deal at 1959’s Soho Fair talent competition with their song 'Buena Sera'.

Originally recorded by Ada Jones and Billy Murray in 1917, 'What Do You Want to Make Those Eyes at Me For?' (written by the team of Joseph McCarthy, Howard Johnson and Jimmy Monaco) was already considered a standard by 1959, but wasn’t Pye's first choice for a single.

Don Gibson’s 'Don’t Tell Me Your Troubles' was recorded with Michael Barclay overseeing the session. After three hours, Barclay went to lunch while Emile and the Checkmates proceeded to record 'What Do You Want to Make Those Eyes at Me For?' in two takes over fifteen minutes.

Emile combined the arrangement of Johnny Otis and Marie Adams version of 'Ma He’s Making Eyes at Me' to get the finished result. The production, engineered by Adrian Kerridge , combined Emile’s gentle vocals against a slow retro shuffle, tight vocal backing and false musical endings.

On hearing the finished recording, Michael Barclay described the recording as "Crap" because of the short time it had taken to record it. The record was then rushed to the pressing plant by Les Cox and subsequently released on the Pye Nixa label.

Ultimately Emile and The Checkmates were still unsigned by Pye at the end of the session as the company felt a multi -racial band would not appeal to record buyers. Following several plays on Radio Luxembourg, 'What Do You Want to Make Those Eyes at Me For?' entered the British chart on October 30, 1959.

With its catchy sing-a-long chorus, the record reached Number One on 18 December 1959, where it shared pole position with Adam Faith’s 'What Do You Want?' for one week. Tipping Adam from the top spot in time for Christmas, it remained there a further five weeks, notching over a million sales in the United Kingdom. The recording also later made the top of the charts in Australia.

Emile and The Checkmates achieved many firsts with this release. They were:
the first artists to sell a million copies with their first record in the UK alone,
the first band to produce their own first recording of a hit single,
the first multi-racial band in the UK,
the first unsigned band to make a hit recording,
the first artistes to use their own speaker system on stage,
the first artistes to have stereo sound on stage in the UK,
the first recipients of Great Britain’s first Gold Disc for sales in Great Britain alone and at that time it was the fastest selling single to reach 1 million.

The recording spent 25 weeks on the record chart, and even if Pye were embarrassed by the releases success, several further hits by Emile and the Checkmates followed including 'On A Slow Boat To China' (1960 - No.3), 'Them There Eyes' (1960 - No.18) and 'Counting Teardrops' (1960 – No.4).

Their popularity with the record buying public was assured when they were voted the Best New Act of 1960 by The New Musical Express.

During this time the group expanded to a seven piece band with the notable additions of Alan Hawkshaw on Keyboards and a female trio that added vocal backing called The Fordettes.

Live appearances were frequent and they twice shared the bill at The Tower Ballroom, New Brighton, Wallasey (in November 1961 and April 1962) with a then largely unknown group from Liverpool, The Beatles.

However, by 1963, when The Beatles started impacting the British pop charts, Emile and The Checkmates hits had all but dried up. While the band became The Original Checkmates with Alan Hawkshaw, Emile himself continued to record and perform resulting in a further Number One in Sweden with 'Still'.

Emile also set up a studio in Barbados with the help of his father, this is still used today by Eddy Grant. He also continued to develop his craft as a sound scientist. His work in recent years has involved developing a unique Web-Fi sound application, accessed by many musical artists including Michael Jackson, Sting and Madonna.

'What Do You Want To Make Those Eyes At Me For?' remains a popular recording and was taken into the UK charts again in 1987 by Shakin’ Stevens with an arrangement not to dissimilar to Emile Ford’s self produced version.

Sources: Christine Jones & http://andyhowells.suite101.com/emile-ford-and-the-checkmates---first-number-1-stars-of-the-1960s-a279109

After Emile went solo, Dave & George Sweetman formed 'The Original Checkmates' while the others formed 'The Excheckers'.

Ghoulz (2006/10/12)

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John Foreman

John Foreman, born near Euston Station, regards himself as a true ‘London Cockney’. In spite of the Wartime "Blitz", he says he had a happy childhood in the city streets. Most of John's songs were learned from his parents, but he also acquired others from visiting the old Music Halls, "whenever he had a bob or two". He got more from watching, listening and performing at Unity Theatre, which was established between Camden Town and King's Cross as a working man's theatre. It was there he learned The Four Horse Charabanc from Laurie Davies.

For a time he worked as a doorman at The Metropolitan in the Edgware Road, and, for a time, was a bottler with a Punch-and-Judy man, Professor Alexander. (The bottler collects the money, does front-of-house and bangs the big drum to draw a crowd). Frequently John has operated as a busker and sold song-sheets in "Petticoat Lane". He has taught in many different types of school in London, prints his own song-sheets and broadside collections. He is a founder member of The British Music Hall Society and helped to dismantle Collin's Music Hall when it was burned down.

Being a printer by trade, he is also known as ‘The Broadsheet King’ and is also a well-known folk entertainer and singer of London Music Hall songs that he still performs at pubs and clubs regularly.

Info From: folktrax

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Forever Amber

   

Michael Richardson - vocals
Anthony Mumford - bass guitar, vocals
Richard Lane - lead guitar, vocals
Christopher Jones - rhythm guitar, vocals
Christopher Parren - electric organ, piano, harpsichord & vocals
Barry Broad - drums
John M. Hudson - piano & electric harpsichord

Elements of Forever Amber’s sound have been described as sounding something similar to early Beatles and The Zombies. They released one album, ‘The Love Cycle’ in 1969.

If you can add any further information to this piece please contact me here

Ghoulz (2006/10)

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Former Ladies of The Supremes (aka FLOS)

The Supremes were originally:
Florence Ballard
Mary Wilson
Diana Ross
Barbara Martin

Later:
Cindy Birdsong
Jean Terrell
Lynda Laurence
Sherrie Payne
Susaye Greene
Karen Jackson

FLOS

Originally:
Sherrie Payne
Cindy Birdsong (briefly)
Jean Terrell
Lynda Laurence

Later:
Sundray Tucker
Freddi Poole
Joyce Wilson-Vincent

Formed in Detroit from 'The Primettes' (Barbara Martin, Diana Ross, Florence Ballard and Mary Wilson) in January 1961, they were the most commercially successful all-female vocal group of the sixties and one of the top five acts of the decade.  After a few problems with parental permissions they settled into a contract with Berry Gordy having auditioned unsuccessfully for William 'Smokey' Robinson in the previous year and completing some backing work and a couple of their own recordings.

Gordy needed a new name for them and Ballard suggested 'The Supremes'.  Their first singles, 'I Want a Guy' and 'Buttered Popcorn' were unsuccessful thought the next three broke the top 100. Barbara Martin left to be married in 1962.

Things improved slightly with a #23 hit in 1963 but they were hardly setting the world on fire, however fame was just round the corner and soon they had a #1 smash with 'Where Did Our Love Go' and their world changed overnight.

With the change of lead vocal from Ballard to Ross came personal tensions, however in the September of 1964 came 'Baby Love', one of their defining hits and another #1 in both the USA & UK where they became the first all-girl group to reach #1.

'Stop in the Name of Love' marked them as the first ever group to have 4 consecutive #1 hits on the Billboard Hot 100.

The #1 hits continued with 'Back in My Arms Again' (1965) followed by many other huge hits such as 'Nothing but Heartaches', 'I Hear a Symphony', 'My World is Empty Without You', 'Love is Like an Itching in My Heart', 'You Can't Hurry Love', 'You Keep Me Hanging On', 'Love is Here and Now You Are Gone' and 'The Happening'.

Ballard's discontent grew and after a couple of no-shows she was replaced by Cindy Birdsong and the group was renamed 'Diana Ross & The Supremes'.  With this came diminishing success and what was once a trio became more of a solo with a backing group.

Ross split in 1970 to be replaced with Jean Terrell and in 1972, Birdsong left to be replaced with Lynda Laurence who was subsequently replaced by others such as Sherrie Payne and Susaye Greene after Birdsong returned briefly.

Wilson left in 1976 and was replaced by Karen Jackson but 'The Supremes' officially split on Sunday June 12 1977.

Wilson, Ross & Birdsong reformed The Supremes for a performance at Motown's 25th Anniversary TV show in 1983 and they were inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame in 1988.

Jean Terrell, Sherrie Payne and Lynda Laurence then formed 'Former Ladies of The Supremes' in 1986 to record & tour and it was this line-up that appeared at the ballroom on Monday 27th November 1989.

In 1992, Jean Terrell left and was replaced by Sundray Tucker (Lynda Lawrence's sister). They continued to record & tour, though Sundray was replaced by Freddi Poole in 1996, Freddi was replaced by Joyce Wilson-Vincent in 2009 and recently they have toured as 'Scherrie Payne and Lynda Laurence: Former Ladies of The Supremes'.

Ghoulz (2008/10)

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The Fortunes

Rod Allen - lead vocals, bass
Glen Dale - guitar
Shel Macrae - vocals, guitar
Barry Pritchard - guitar
David Carr - keyboards
Andy Brown - drums

The Fortunes were probably aptly named because they were one of the few groups to transfer their hit-making prowess through the transition from the 1960s to the 1970s. They were also successful at recording jingles for advertising like Coca Cola's 'It's The Real Thing', however their best known jingle should probably really have been their first hit single. 'Caroline' was adopted by the pirate radio station 'Radio Caroline' and it consequently got plenty of airplay as its main introductory jingle. This probably didn't help the sale of the record at all at the time, because few listeners were aware that it was in fact any more than a jingle, and the pirate's interest was hardly encouragement for other stations, particularly the BBC, to add it to their play lists. However the record has subsequently become almost as well known as other of the Fortunes' singles that enjoyed more immediate success. 

The group first came together as the 'Clifftones' but changed their name at the time they secured a recording contract with Decca. All their early singles were of good quality, but they struggled for a chart presence until they cut the Cook- Greenaway composition 'You've Got Your Troubles'. They managed a total of five chart hits, four of which reached the top ten and the last of which was in 1972. Although the group had no hits during the last years of the 1960s, their popularity is beyond question- for Decca would not otherwise have re-issued the appropriately named 'Here It Comes Again' during 1969.

The group continued with a few changes of personnel along the way and have survived (off and on) until the present time when they can still be found working in nostalgia concerts and cabaret.

Info courtesy of: www.45-rpm.org.uk

I saw them at The Carnegie Hall on Saturday 28/10/06 with The Barron Knights and they were 1st class. Their current line-up includes Badfinger's keyboards player Bob Jackson and they included a couple of Badfinger tunes in the set.

Ghoulz (2006/10)

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The Foundations

Clem Curtis - lead vocals
Alan Warner - lead guitar
Peter Macbeth - bass guitar
Tim Harris - drums
Tony Gomez - keyboards
Pat Burke - tenor saxophone, flute
Mike Elliott - tenor saxophone
Eric Allandale - trombone

Colin Young - lead vocals

This unusually diverse London group rose to fame rapidly after securing a recording deal with Pye. Besides being a highly competent band they were fortunate to be intercepted by the songwriters Macaulay and McLeod at the height of their skills. This pair co-wrote 'Baby Now That I've Found You' which became a huge hit on both sides of the Atlantic, reaching the UK #1 spot in October 1967. It would remain in this spot until being displaced by yet another Macaulay/ McLeod number; 'Let The Heartaches Begin' sung by Long John Baldry. The songwriters never managed to repeat this feat but did keep up a supply of good material. In fact the Foundation's next biggest hit was to be 'Build Me Up Buttercup', which was co-written again, but this time by Macaulay in the company of new Manfred Mann singing recruit, Mike D'Abo.

The band managed several more chart appearances until the appropriately named 'Born To Live, Born To Die' in 1969, after which they went into rapid decline and split up during 1970. The members all went their separate ways although several attempts to revive the group have been tried, the best known being 'The New Foundations' led by Clem Curtis.

Info courtesy of: www.45-rpm.org.uk

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400 Blows

Edward Beer
Scott Fraser
Rob ?

Later:
Anthony Lea
Anthony Thorpe

Formed in London in 1981 they played an unusual fusion of reggae, funk, African and disco, later turning to acid house. After the first single 'Beat The Devil' / 'If I Kissed Her, I'd Have To Kill Her First' they were branded as misogynists

Their cover version of 'Movin' (a number 23 hit for Brass Construction in 1976) peaked at no 54 in the UK chart in 1985 and it was in June 1986 they appeared at Night Magic.

If you can add any further information to this piece please contact me here

Ghoulz (2006/10)

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Four in a Bush

Elaine Stewart -vocals
Charlie Wishart - vocals
Pete Mylles - lead guitar
Norrie Monaghan - guitar
John 'Clum' McKean - bass
Steve Wilkie - drums

Band from Dundee active in the 1970s who later became 'Five in a Bush' and frequently appeared at the JM Ballroom in Dundee, and Arbroath’s Marine Ballroom.

They recently reformed and played at the Craw's Nest in Carnoustie on Saturday April 24th 2010 to celebrate Norrie Monaghan's 65th birthday and to raise funds for leukaemia research.

Elaine Stewart has appeared many times on TV and Radio and spent twenty years in the London area’s club, wedding and corporate circuit with bands such as 'Ironik', 'Bliss' and 'Shot T Funk' but she has now returned north and has teamed up with musicians from 'Mafia', 'Peppermint' (Johnny Ramsay , Peter Myles & Steve Wilkie), 'Ces la Vie' and 'Stagefright' to play music from the 1950s to the present day.

Pete Mylles has refurbished Norrie’s old guitar to improve their chances of authenticating their original sound.

Ghoulz (2010)

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The Four Just Men


(L-R Dee, Larry, John & Keith)

Dee Fenton (Demetrius Christopholus) - rhythm guitar, vocals
Johnny Murphy - lead guitar, vocals
Pete Turner - bass

Larry Arendes (aka King) drums, vocals

Later:
Keith Shepherd - bass
John Kelman
- lead guitar
Stuart Sirrett
- bass
Barry Ashall - bass
Frank Garland - rhythm guitar
Mal Hoyland - bass guitar
Arty Davies - drums

The Four Just Men were part of the second wave of Liverpool groups to emerge. Their roots, however, date back to the early '60's when they formed as 'Dee Fenton & The Silhouettes'. The change of name occurred in 1963 when, in order to avoid confusion with other similarly-monikered bands, they adopted the name of a popular television series.

In 1964 they secured a contract with EMI/Parlophone and released 'That's My Baby' / 'Things Will Never Be The Same', A good record which failed to make the deserved breakthrough. Their second and last release came in 1965 with 'There's not one thing' / 'Don't come any closer'.

 They were hampered by having to change their name again when another group laid claim to their choice. This resulted in them juggling the words around and coming up with "Just Four Men".

They released one more 45 during 1965, but their misfortunes were sealed, when, pursuing original material they passed on an option to release their version of "Trains And Boats And Planes", only to see Billy J. Kramer & The Dakotas achieve a sizeable hit with the song.

They were dropped by EMI but re-emerged in '66 as psychedelic band 'Wimple Winch'.

In the seventies John Kelman formed a new band called 'The Four Just Men' with Frank Garland (rhythm guitar, Mal Hoyland bass guitar and Arty Davies on drums).

Info courtesy of: www.geocities.com & http://www.manchesterbeat.com/groups/fourjustmen/fourjustmen.php

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The Four Kents

Members included:
George Chandler
Rudy Rollins
Charles (boom) Cannon
Stanley Evans
Charles Hilton Brown

Live instrumentalists ('Submarines') included:
Carl Viola - sax
Walter Dawkins - sax
Bill Maher - guitar
Griggson Pickens - bass
Dino Kappa - bass
Rino Dimopoli - keyboards
Mauro Paoluzzi - drums
Umberto Tognon - keyboards
Roger Warwick - baritone saxophone

American vocal soul group ‘The Four Kents’ were formed in 1966 from U.S. military servicemen stationed at the NATO base in Vicenza in northern Italy.  They recorded, appeared on television and performed live concerts and club dates all over Italy, Spain, France, Sicily and Switzerland.

George Chandler (formerly a founding member and front man of 'The Olympic Runners') later joined ‘Londonbeat’.

Roger Warwick had played with the Tornados, Screaming Lord Sutch and Freddy Mack before moving to Italy.

Ghoulz (2006/10/11)

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The Four Pennies

The Four Pennies
My thanks to Stuart Prentice for this image

Lionel Morton - vocals, rhythm guitar
Fritz Fryer - lead guitar
Alan Buck - drums
Mike Wilsh - bass, keyboards, vocals

David Graham - lead guitar

This north of England four-piece were proficient song writers and their first two singles had been co-written by the group. They had originally called themselves the 'Lionel Morton Four' but adopted their new name before beginning their recording career. Their first release just scraped into the chart, but they hoped for better luck with their second, 'Tell Me Girl' which was penned by Wilsh and Fryer. However it was the proposed 'B' side 'Juliet', which Lionel Morton also shares credit for, that proved of such interest to record buyers that they took it to #1.

The group went on to have a reasonably successful chart career, failing to reach the chart with only three of the seven singles they then made before Buck left the group. Two more singles were issued under the abbreviated line-up of 'Fritz, Mike And Mo', but the group then split. Morton had a brief attempt to start a solo career, but when this failed he decided to move his career into production.

Info courtesy of: www.45-rpm.org.uk

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The Fourmost

Brian O'Hara - vocals, lead guitar
Mike Millward - rhythm guitar, vocals
Billy Hatton - bass, vocals
Dave Lovelady - drums, vocals

This four-piece were derived from a group that came together in 1959 in Liverpool as The Blue Jays, then The Four Jays. They were Brian O'Hara, Joe Bower, Billy Hatton and Brian Redman. These later became the 'Four Mosts' because they discovered another group calling themselves by the same name. By the time that Brian Epstein 'discovered' them they had become 'The Fourmost' and the line-up had evolved to that shown above. Epstein's connection with the Beatles proved to be of great value, and just as he'd done with Billy J. Kramer, he managed to secure 'surplus' songs from Messrs Lennon and McCartney. The first of these gave the group a good start and they then had a string of substantial hits during the golden era of 'Merseybeat'. The group's Merseyside connections were never in doubt and they even appeared in the Gerry & The Pacemakers movie 'Ferry Cross The Mersey'.

Sadly, Mike Millward died from cancer quite suddenly during early 1966 and, after several others had briefly filled the spot, his place was taken by former 'Jay', Joe Bower. However, as the beat boom began to recede during 1966 so too did their chart presence. However, they continued to produce singles up until the end of the decade. One of their last uncharted issues was 'Rosetta'; produced by Paul McCartney and is alleged to feature the great man on piano.

Info courtesy of: www.45-rpm.org.uk

Sadly, Brian O'Hara took his own life in 1999.

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49ers

Gianfranco Bortolotti
Pieradis Rossini
Alysha Warren
Josy Gil Persia
Dawn Mitchell
Ann-Marie Smith

The first single to be released by 49ers was Die Walküre in 1988. At this time, Pieradis Rossini was a part of the team. He was also behind all the hits from the first album : Don't You Love Me, How Longer, Touch Me (with samples from tracks Rock-A-Lot by Aretha Franklin and Touch Me by Alisha Warren), I Need You, and Girl To Girl, which all reached top ten places in the charts worldwide.

In 1991, Gianfranco Bortolotti of Media Records was searching world-wide for a new singer for 49ers. Over a period of 6 months, a total of 5 singers came to Italy from America and the UK to audition for the new album. The voice had to be perfectly suited and Gianfranco didn't find what he was looking for. The search continued. Finally G.F.B. reached Michael at MCA, who was a personal friend of Ann-Marie Smith's manager. After hearing a demo-tape of her voice Gianfranco knew that the search was over.

Immediately after, Ann-Marie came to Italy to begin work on the new 49ers album. Her desire to succeed made her all the more popular with the production team of Media Records who find her a joy to work with. The first single from the album Move Your Feet stormed the charts all over Europe and America reaching the first position on the world-wide charts.

Summer 1992 was the time for a double production, double success. 49ers released another great mix Got To Be Free obtaining big results from sales and press but it's with The Music Is Moving, the first track made with Fargetta, that she became the queen of the summer. The song was played in every radio, in all kinds of clubs and Ann-Marie was invited to many shows to promote the song and the new album, Playing With Me Heart, released in the Autumn 1992.

She is still at the first position with The Music Is Moving when Media Records released a new single of 49ers The Message which followed the others in success. In December she toured Japan with Mig and Cappella (both artists from Media Records) for a big media event. Then, a new production with Fargetta. This time she made new an old record by John Miels Music! Her powerful voice gave a different interpretation to this classic, giving the new generations the possibility to know it, love it and dance to it.

February 1993, the new single Everything got to the #1 position in 120 Italian radios and scheduled to be released by London Records. Within the first week of may, that got right away in the record mirror club chart at #5.

July 1993: Keep Your Love, a single that had very good response by the audience all over Europe. October 1994: The single Rocking My Body is following the bright walk of success like the previous ones. March 1997: The single Baby, I'm Yours was released, followed by another single called I Got The Music.

The 49ers hoped that the powerful Let The Sun Shine In wouuld bring them more success. This track had got strong vocals and was very suitable for the clubs. Ann Marie Smith at her best ! But it probably did not get the success expected, since afterwards, everything became very quiet around 49ers. The Media records team were busy with other productions.

2002 : on October 28th, a new single was released in Italy. Called My Heart, it included the B-side (Escape) My Heart.

2010 : in June, ZYX release some 2010 remixes of 49ers's hits Touch Me and I Got It. In November, after almost 10 years of silence, 49ers were back with an single reminding of electro/retro style of Yolanda Be Cool & DCUP We No Speak Americano. It sampled the theme and voice of Charlie Chaplin's singing Je cherche après Titine in his movie "Modern Times" in 1936.

Info from: http://www.eurokdj.com/search/eurodb.php?name=49ers

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John Fred & His Playboy Band

John Fred - vocals
Andrew Bernard - baritone saxophone
Ronnie Goodson - trumpet
Charlie Spinosa - trumpet
Jimmy O' Rourke - guitar
Harold Cowart - bass
Tommy Degeneres - organ
Joe Miceli - percussion
Hal Ellis - guitar 
Billy Johnson - bass
Lester Dodge - drums

John Fred Gourrier was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in 1941. By age 15 he had formed his first band, The Playboys and they recorded with some minor success in the 50s, but basically they worked as jobbing musicians whose high point came with the release of “Judy In Disguise” which became an American # 1. (The band had been renamed due to the fact that another load of Playboys fronted by Gary Lewis had become popular.) There were no further hits but John (6 foot 5 inches tall by the way) continued to work in the music business. He died on 15th April 2005 after a long illness.

Info courtesy of: www.geocities.com

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Freddie & The Dreamers

Freddie Garrity - vocals
Roy Crewsdon - guitar
Derek Quinn - guitar, harmonica
Peter Birrell - bass
Bernie Dwyer - drums

These five Mancunians first came together as a musical group during 1961 supplementing their bookings, in common with many others of the period, with stints in Hamburg playing rock and roll. They also found work during the summer season at various British seaside resorts and, possibly because of this, became much more than just a singing group. The inclusion of comedy in their stage act had become important before they were known nationally through their recordings.

They struck lucky with their first release, 'If You Gotta Make A Fool Of Somebody'; the original James Ray version of which aroused no interest in the UK. This hit gave them a good start and the outrageous stage antics of Garrity soon became familiar to British TV viewers. Their second release, 'I'm Telling You Now' consolidated their credentials as big hitters. Garrity's zany comedy also turned out to have appeal in America and his exposure on TV there resulted in further US chart entries. The Americans found a name for Freddie's high stepping dance routine- 'The Freddy' which was turned into a US hit, and even covered by 'twister' Chubby Checker. However, it was never issued at home, and by the end of that year- 1965, the Dreamers' UK chart career was over.

Despite their lack of continued success on record their 'over-the-top' stage act maintained sufficient appeal to keep them in plenty of live bookings until the end of the 1960s. Garrity has since resurfaced with new 'Dreamers' and could still be seen throughout the 1990s, despite the passage of many years, prancing and dancing in a manner likely to 'do himself a mischief' as they say in Manchester. However, following a heart attack during 2000, the otherwise irrepressible Freddie was forced into unscheduled retirement.

Info courtesy of: www.45-rpm.org.uk

Sadly, Freddy died of emphysema in hospital aged 69 on 21st May 2006.

Ghoulz (2006/10)

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Alex Freer & His Plaza Band

Alex Freer - alto saxophone, violin
Frank Smith - trombone
Jim McDowall - trombone
George Wilder - alto saxophone
Ben Daniels - alto saxophone
Jack Daniels - tenor saxophone
Eric Spencer - piano
Willie Wilder - guitar
Alec Bell - bass
Harold Schofield - drums
Billy Kelso - violin
Bertie Shaw - violin

Alex freer was born on 26th April 1906 and died on 27th February 1968. Alex Freer and his band were resident at the Plaza Ballroom in Glasgow from the late 1920's until 1939 (except for the 1932-1933 season). 

In both 1932 and 1938 he took his band to the Astoria, Charing Cross Road in London for the summer months and he shared broadcasts from the Astoria with Jack White's Band. there is some reference to the Freer Band playing at the Locarno Streatham and the Kit Kat. 

He recorded two sessions for Decca in May 1934.

Ghoulz (2006)

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Frenzy

Colin Paterson - vocals
Nikki Mckeon - guitar
Douglas Keane - keyboards
Jonnie Moir - bass
Steve Hannigan - drums

Crew
John Gardner, John Hannah 1974 - 1976
Brian Geary, Allan Moir, Kenny McClary 1976 - 1979
Manager - Frank Lynch

Frenzy were formed in 1973 in Clydebank where they
all went to Clydebank High School and were initially a pop covers band at the time when 'The Bay City Rollers' ruled the world.

They played 4/5 nights a week from Caithness to Guernsey and towards the later years the musical style was that of Elvis Costello meets The Alex Harvey Band!

One of their original songs, 'Poser' was heard by London record boss, Dick James.  He signed them to his DJM label and in late 1975 'Poser' / 'Things You Do To Me' peaked at #65 in the charts.  In early 1976 a follow-up single 'Lady of Spain' was recorded at DJM in Oxford street.  Frenzy were not happy about the very poppy direction Dick James was pushing them in and as a result the second single was not released and the band's style was now following the emerging New Wave.

With no management or label they toured extensively until 1978 when a major line–up change forced Moir and Paterson to rename the new line-up 'The Models'.

A further two years on the road failed to find them any commercial success and they drifted apart.

Douglas Keane went on to manage Eddie Reader in 1995.

Their single can be heard here: http://crazeekids-music.blogspot.com/2008_06_01_archive.html

My thanks to Brian Geary who wrote the piece above.

Ghoulz (2007/10)

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Fresh

Dougie Cochrane - vocals
Jake Dourley - lead guitar
David Paton - bass
Ronnie Hogg - drums

Fresh were formed around 1970/71 by musicians from: 

'Tandem’ - Dougie Cochrane and Jake Dourley
'The Bay City Rollers’ - David Paton
'Circle' - Ronnie Hogg

They performed covers as well as their own songs and after a name change to 'Christian', then another to 'Christyan', recorded a 7" single 'Nursery Lane'/'Desperate Dan' released in 1971.

My thanks to Neil McIntosh for personnel clarifications

If you can add any further information to this piece please contact me here

Ghoulz (2006/13)

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Tich Frier

It's more than forty years since Scottish folksinger, songwriter & humourist, Tich Frier started singing folk songs in his home town of Edinburgh. In that time he has established an enviable reputation as a first class entertainer.  He is held in high regard for his powerful and passionate singing, skilled guitar work and inspired sense of fun.

In a long and varied career which started with '70s folk stars Bitter Withy, he has led those zany retro-skifflers; The Vindscreen Vipers, appeared in pantomime with 7:84 Theatre Company, supplied guitar and vocals for '60s legend P.J. Proby and shared stages with the likes of The Dubliners, The Fortunes, Freddie & The Dreamers, Elvis Costello, Lindisfarne and comedy stars such as Andy Cameron, Johnnie Beattie, The Greatest Show On Legs, Roger De Courcey and Nookie Bear, George Duffus and too many stars of the British folk scene to mention.

He is a popular guest at Burns Suppers for his acclaimed "Address To A Haggis", "Toast Tae The Lassies", "Holy Willie's Prayer" and renditions of the songs of Scotland's national bard and is a fine chairman of these events. His voice also features on Linn Records epic production; "The Complete Songs of Robert Burns". His solo Burns show; "One Man's Burns" has been joyfully received wherever it has been performed.

Tich's repertoire can best be described as eclectic. It ranges through traditional and modern Scottish songs, Burns, his own compositions, hilarious parodies and music hall songs to contemporary classics all linked together with his inventive off the cuff stories.  Recently he has played at "Pipefest" in Switzerland with The Tich Frier Band.
He also plays guitar in "Scot Reel and the Ferry Operators" Ceilidh Band and is in constant demand as an erudite and more than competent MC.

Mainly, of course, he is one of the country's finest solo performers.

"INSPIRED AND ENERGETIC" (The Herald).
"SPIKED WITH HUMOUR AND FULL OF HEART" (The Scotsman).

TICH FRIER has played folk festivals in: Shetland, Orkney, Thurso, Wick, Ullapool, Inverness, Poolewe, Carrbridge, Stonehaven, Newtonmore, Celtic Connections, Dunure, Arran, Milnathort, Lanark, Burns An A' That - Ayr, Killin, Bute, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee, Irvine, Battlefield Tryst; Newtongrange, Dalmellington, Strathaven, Dumfries, Rothbury, Durham, Saltburn, Fylde, Redcar, Whitby, Swinton, Middlewich, Cleckheaton, Upton upon Severn, Cheddar and Jersey.

He has performed overseas in: Bangkok, Bangladesh, Canada, Denmark, Dubai, Holland, Iceland, Norway, Poland, France, Spain, Switzerland and Vietnam.

Ghoulz (2006/10/11)

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From The Jam

       

Russell Hastings – vocals / guitar
Bruce Foxton – bass / vocals
Rick Buckler – drums

David Moore – keyboards/guitar

Woking outfit ‘The Jam’ split in 1982 with Paul Wellar convinced that the band had run it’s course and promptly formed ‘The Style council’ with Mick Talbot (ex ‘Merton Parkas’) and has pursued a hugely successful solo career since 1989.

Bruce Foxton initially tried his hand at a solo career (releasing one album) and was involved in several collaborations before being invited to join ‘Stiff Little Fingers’ where he stayed until 2006.

Rick Buckler joined the short-lived ‘Time UK’ in 1983 who had some limited success before reuniting with Foxton in the even shorter-lived ‘Sharp’.  He then retired from music for many years to build & restore antique furniture as documented on Granada TV's ‘After They Were Famous’ series.

1994 saw Foxton & Buckler together once more to work on a Jam biography called ‘Our Story’ and thereafter Foxton joined Bruce Watson & Mark Brzezicki of Big Country and Simon Townshend of ‘The Who’ to form ‘The Casbah Club’ around 2006.

Foxton & Buckler met again in 2006 and Foxton agreed to play with Buckler’s band ‘The Gift’ (playing Jam material) which he formed with Russell Hastings & David Moore in late 2005.  ‘The Gift’ would later evolve into ‘From The Jam’ in early 2007.

In 2008 the band released a live DVD of a sold-out show ‘A First Class Return’.

They have toured the UK, USA, Canada, New Zealand & Australia.

In January 2009 ‘From The Jam’ returned to a three-piece format following Moore’s departure.

Though the majority of the FTJ live set consists of classic Jam material, several songs from an anticipated album of new material are played live too.

Set lists have included:
In The City
All Mod Cons
The Modern World
David Watts
The Butterfly Collector
News of The World
That’s Entertainment
Start
'A' Bomb In Wardour Street
Eton Rifles
Going Underground
Down In The Tube Station
The Gift
Town Called Malice

 

Ghoulz (2009)

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Martin Fry

Martin Fry was born 9 March 1958 in Manchester.

He became a music journalist and fortuitously he interviewed the band Vice Versa for his fanzine Modern Drugs. They adopted Fry as lead vocalist and changed their name to ABC in 1980. The press of the day labelled them as part of the New Romantic movement. They have enjoyed various levels of success and still appear today, however the era of their UK #1 chart debut album ‘The Lexicon Of Love’ (1982) has never been equalled. Martin’s trademark smooth persona complete with gold lame suit gave them an enduring image. They have enjoyed 19 UK chart singles and eight UK chart albums while three singles and three albums have peaked in the top ten. Reasonable success was also achieved in the USA.

In 1984 Fry was treated for Hodgkin's disease but happily, returned to recording and performing. ABC split up in 1992, and Fry toyed with some solo work, however used the band's name in 1997 for the album 'Skyscraping'. On Wednesday 15th December, Martin became the last live performer at the ballroom in the year 1999.

Fry still appears using the name ABC and a reunion was attempted in 2004 but only David Palmer agreed. A new ABC album ‘Traffic’ is scheduled for release early in 2007 following a US tour.

Ghoulz (2006/10)

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Eddie & Finbar Furey / The Fureys

Eddie Furey
Finbar Furey

Paul
Furey
George
Furey

The Furey family were originally travelling people who settled in Dublin. Music was in their blood from the get go and they played and sang from a very early age as they had no television.

Ed & Finbar started appearing with their father Ted in O'Donoghue's bar with Ronnie Drew who would later form The Dubliners. The brothers went on to tour the Folk Clubs, Pubs, Colleges and Universities of the UK and Europe both in support of established acts and in their own right, becoming particularly popular in Germany. It was during this period that they made their first of three appearances, at the ballroom in 1967. They would then return in the following year as ‘The Fureys’.

They became legendary as they introduced an entire continent to Irish folk music, paving the way for all those who would become inspired to follow both within and out with the genre. As their reputation and audience numbers grew, the USA and the rest of the world beckoned and they didn’t disappoint the growing legion of fans. Following a road accident they decided to join with their younger brothers Paul and George and Davey Arthur from ‘The Buskers’ to form ‘The Fureys with Davy Arthur’ with whom they would frequently record and perform.

In 1993, their lead singer Finbar left to pursue a solo career and sadly on Sunday 16th June 2002, Paul Furey died.

In 2003, ‘The Fureys’ celebrated their 25th anniversary by touring throughout Europe, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, the USA and Canada with good friend and former member Davey Arthur.

Ghoulz (2006/10)

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Billy Fury Click here to go to 'Memories'

Billy Fury at The Kinema Ballroom Dunfermline
Dunfermline Press 1st July 1961

Billy Fury was born ‘Ronald Wycherley’ on April 17th 1940 in Liverpool. A member of the Larry Parnes stable of singers in the late 1950s/early 1960s, he was one of the UK's most underestimated performers. Although he has usually been portrayed as a rock and roller because of his beginnings, and his association with Larry Parnes, Billy Fury was an exceptional ballad singer. His soft style exuded a sexuality, which even managed to find its way on to his vinyl, and can be traced on many of his best recordings- like 'Halfway To Paradise' and 'Jealousy'.

His professional singing career began after a brief audition for Parnes who immediately signed up the youngster and renamed him. Billy had brought his own songs to the audition- unusual for the time- and used one of these for his first single. Larry Parnes was very aware of how valuable Billy was to his 'stable' and made sure that competent musicians always backed him. These included the 'Blue Flames' (with pianist Georgie Fame), and the 'Tornados' who became famous for the Joe Meek instrumental 'Telstar'.

Billy Fury was Decca's most charted recording star of the 1960s and only three of the 45 rpm singles that he recorded with Decca failed to reach the chart, although he never actually got a #1. However, he was unable to repeat this success with EMI; none of his Parlophone releases succeeded although they were of good quality. Unfortunately, Billy Fury was plagued by poor health- the result of a childhood illness that left him with a weakened heart. He was given major heart surgery in 1971 and his career slowed down during that decade and even included a couple of 'retirements'. Sadly, Billy Fury suffered a fatal heart attack during 1983 and Britain lost one of its most original and talented performers who would otherwise surely have gone on to further musical success.

Info courtesy of: www.45-rpm.org.uk

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