Old Melodies ... | category: British Invasion | (page 4 of 5)


Old Melodies ...

Beat, Garage,Psychedelic... and much more in one place.

Bern Elliott &The Fenmen - The Beat Years & Money


The Fenmen made just four rare singles under their own name in 1964-1966, but were notable players in the British Invasion on a couple of counts. At the beginning of their recording career, they operated as the backup group in Bern Elliot & the Fenmen, who had U.K. hits in 1963 and 1964 with covers of "Money" and "New Orleans." Not long after their final single, two of their members became key components of the psychedelic lineup of the Pretty Things. Their meager recording legacy as a self-contained outfit shows them to be a good vocal harmony group strongly influenced by American stars the Four Seasons and the Beach Boys, though they didn't start to record original material until shortly before they broke up.

The Fenmen formed in early 1962 in a suburb in Kent, England, the act originally getting billed as Bern Elliot & the Fenmen. With Elliot as frontman, they had a number 14 British hit in late 1963 with the oft-covered "Money," and a smaller one with their follow-up, a version of Gary "U.S." Bonds' "New Orleans." They also did an EP and a couple live tracks on the compilation At the Cavern, their recorded repertoire dominated by covers of American rock and soul songs.

Elliot and the Fenmen separated in 1964, leaving the Fenmen to develop a different style heavily derivative of American pop/rock vocal harmony outfits. A couple flop Fenmen singles for Decca in 1964 and 1965 found the Four Seasons flavor especially strong, including a cover of the Seasons' smash "Rag Doll." The move to CBS for a couple of singles in 1966 was no more successful, including a cover of the Mamas & the Papas' "California Dreamin'" and, more impressively, the Wally Waller composition "Rejected," which showed the emergence of a more original style building off the group's vocal harmony base.

The Fenmen ended, however, at the beginning of 1967, when rhythm guitarist/singer Waller reconnected with childhood friend Phil May, lead singer of the Pretty Things. After the two wrote "The Sun" together, May invited Waller to join the Pretty Things, with Fenmen drummer/singer John Povey also joining the Pretty Things lineup. "The Sun" would appear on the Pretties' 1967 album Emotions, and Waller and Povey would be an important part of the band's transition from an R&B-oriented group to a far more psychedelic one in the late '60s and early '70s. The Fenmen's two Decca singles can be found on the Bern Elliot & the Fenmen CD compilation The Beat Years, while three of the four tracks they released on CBS (as well as some BBC sessions and unreleased recordings) are on the Fenmen compilation Sunstroke.

Band members
Bern Elliott - lead vocals
Alan Judge - lead guitar
John Povey - drums 
Wally Allen - rhythm guitar 
Eric Willmer - bass guitar

Bern Elliot & The Fenmen - The Beat Years (1993)

Twenty-three songs from 1963-65, including everything Elliot and the Fenmen recorded for Decca, together or separately: the Bern Elliot & the Fenmen singles, their EP and compilation tracks, the sole Bern Elliot & the Klan single, the Elliot solo efforts from 1965, and the first two singles the Fenmen recorded without Elliot. It's quite impressive that See For Miles went to all the trouble to tie up the loose ends for a band that was so marginal, even in the eyes of British Invasion specialists. Elliot & the Fenmen were a good rockin' combo, but one without any songwriting ambitions whatsoever, which limits the interest of the material here considerably, as it consists entirely of well-worn R&B/rock covers. Mildly unusual in this context are Elliot & the Klan's "Good Times," awith a more-poppy-Animals feel, and the Fenmen's "I've Got Everything You Need Babe," an obscure number that Al Kooper co-wrote. Unfortunately this disc doesn't have the Fenmen's 1966 CBS single "Rejected," the best thing they did, either with Elliot or on their own.


Money by Bern Elliott & The Fenmen was written by Janie Bradford, Berry Gordy and was first released by Barrett Strong in 1959

"Money" was a staple of the set of most British Invasion bands. Oddly, the only group to have a U.K. hit single with the song was the obscure one-shot outfit Bern Elliot & the Fenmen. Elliot's version entered the British Top Twenty near the end of 1963; it wasn't a patch on the Beatles' rendition (which had been released at about the same time on their second LP), but it was actually a pretty decent, soulful interpretation. Elliot and his backup group played in a sort of tough Merseybeat style (although they weren't from the Mersey), and Bern was a pretty decent R&B-influenced singer, somewhat along the lines of the Dave Clark Five's Mike Smith. Elliot & the Fenmen made a few singles and an EP without any more notable success; their reliance upon old R&B/rock tunes for the entirety of their repertoire made them almost instantly passe, although the songs were executed pretty well. Elliot fell out with the Fenmen in 1964, and briefly teamed up with the Klan, as well as putting out some orchestrated pop solo singles in 1965. the Fenmen went on their own and made a few singles for Decca and CBS in a harmony pop/rock style, highlighted by the original minor-keyed tune "Rejected." After the demise of the Fenmen, members Wally Allen and John Povey joined the Pretty Things, in time for that group's psychedelic recordings.

Bern Elliott & The Fenmen  - Money

Billy J. Kramer & The Dakotas - Do You Want To Know A Secret (1963-1983)

Billy J. Kramer & The Dakotas - Do You Want To Know A Secret (1963-1983)

      Billy J. Kramer & The Dakotas 
Do You Want To Know A Secret (The EMI Years 1963-1983)

One of the most popular Merseybeat singers, Billy J. Kramer (born Billy Ashton) was one of the most mild-mannered rockers of the entire British Invasion. He wasn't that noteworthy a singer, either, and more likely than not would have never been heard outside of northern England if he hadn't been fortunate enough to become a client of Beatles manager Brian Epstein. Even more crucially, he was gifted with several Lennon-McCartney songs in 1963 and 1964, several of which the Beatles never ended up recording. That gave him his entrance into the charts on both sides of the Atlantic, but Kramer couldn't sustain his success after the supply of Lennon-McCartney tunes dried up. Significant? No. Enjoyable? Yes. Even tossing aside the considerable value of hearing otherwise unavailable Lennon-McCartney compositions, his best singles were enjoyably wimpy, melodic pop/rock, offering a guilty pleasure comparable to taking a break from Faulkner and diving into some superhero comics.

It's been reported that George Martin was reluctant to produce Kramer because of the latter's vocal deficiencies, making sure to hide the cracks in his upper register with loud piano notes in Billy's cover of "Do You Want to Know a Secret." No matter -- the song made it to number two in the U.K. in mid-1963, followed by another Lennon-McCartney effort, "Bad to Me." "I'll Keep You Satisfied" and "From a Window" were other gifts from the Beatles camp that gave Kramer solid hits; one Beatles reject, "I'll Be on My Way," was even relegated to a B-side (the Beatles' own BBC version was finally released in 1994). All these tunes, it should be noted, represented Lennon-McCartney at their lightest and most facile, which to a large degree explains why they didn't record the numbers for their own releases, deeming them more suitable for Kramer's fairly bland approach.

Billy J. actually landed his biggest hit, the corny pop ballad "Little Children," without assistance from his benefactors; the single also broke him, briefly, as a star in the United States, where it and its flip side ("Bad to Me") both made the Top Ten. He appeared in the legendary 1964 The T.A.M.I. Show rockumentary film, and the Dakotas recorded some instrumental rock on their own, getting a Top 20 British hit with the Ventures-ish "The Cruel Sea." Early British guitar hero Mick Green, formerly with Johnny Kidd & the Pirates, was even a Dakota briefly. But after 1965's cover of Bacharach-David's "Trains and Boats and Planes," the hits ceased, as the Beatles and Epstein's attention was lost. Kramer continued recording throughout the '60s, even briefly venturing into hard psychedelic-tinged rock, without much success, and subsequently toured often on the oldies circuit.

 The Dakotas were most closely associated with Liverpool-born singer Billy J. Kramer. They had a history before that, however, as well as a striking lineup on their own, separate from the developments in Kramer's career. The original group hailed from Manchester, and were put together as a backing band for Pete MacLaine. At that time, from 1962 through January of 1963, they were comprised of Mike Maxfield (lead guitar), Robin MacDonald (rhythm guitar), Tony Mansfield (drums), and Ray Jones (bass). In early 1963, just as the Beatles were finished with their second single, "Please Please Me," their manager, Brian Epstein, was looking for a backing band for his newest discovery, Billy J. Kramer. He had been playing and singing part-time with a band called the Coasters, but wanted to turn professional, at Epstein's insistence. The Coasters declined to follow him, and a new band was needed. Enter the Dakotas, who parted company with Pete MacLaine to sign with Epstein. He was not yet renowned as a world-beating success, but he did have two bands, the Beatles and Gerry & the Pacemakers, cutting records for Parlophone, one of which, "Love Me Do," had already charted modestly. It was an attractive offer, and they became Kramer's band. They were a very solid group, well able to adapt to the requisite Merseybeat sound not only as it had existed up to early 1963 but as the Beatles were altering it with their records and their success -- rock & roll balladry, with room for smooth vocals and even harmonies, became obligatory, along with a band sound that left room for some elegance as well as a good attack. Kramer hit with his first five singles, and in the process of becoming a star, the Dakotas also got their chance in the spotlight. They scored a success with their instrumental version of "The Cruel Sea," and also saw some action on "Magic Carpet." In July of 1964, the first major lineup change took place, as Ray Jones was pushed out on bass. Robin MacDonald, who had been playing rhythm guitar, shifted over to bass, and the Dakotas added a second lead guitarist in Mick Green. Green was a musician in a unique situation -- he had never inaugurated a band's sound, tending to come into lineups that already existed; when he did so, however, as in the case of Johnny Kidd & the Pirates, he inevitably boosted their sound by many decibels and punched up the virtuosity. He was among the first of a new generation of hot rocking British guitarists, separate from blues virtuosos like Eric Clapton, and able to attack his instrument with distinctive riffs and variations in several different idioms, all of which came out well in the studio and even better in concert. His arrival in the Dakotas' lineup gave the group a unique double-lead guitar configuration that made them a power to contend with on-stage, although ironically, he only played on one hit with Kramer, "Trains and Boats and Planes." Kramer's string of hits ended in mid-1965, but he and the Dakotas were still a major live act, in England and even more so in America, where "Trains and Boats and Planes" made the Top Ten. In August of 1966, Tony Mansfield left the band, and ex-Pirate Frank Farley joined on drums, lasting until September of 1967 playing the cabaret circuit after concert work disappeared. By that time, Kramer's star had faded, and the Dakotas split in late 1967. Robin MacDonald and Mick Green became part of Engelbert Humperdinck's backing band, while Kramer kept on working for a time with the Remo Four, a perennial replacement band, having succeeded the Searchers as Johnny Sandon's backing band. In the mid-'70s, Green and Farley became the core of a re-formed Pirates, who continued to perform and record into the '90s. 

Billy J. Kramer & The Dakotas - Do You Want To Know A Secret (1963-1983)

The Bo Street Runners - Never Say Goodbye

Known mostly for the brief presence of a young Mick Fleetwood as a member, the Bo Street Runners were one of many London-area R&B-based rock bands during the British Invasion. Though they didn't come close to a hit, they did manage to release about an album's worth of material between 1964-1966 on four singles for Decca and Columbia, and a rare limited-edition EP. While their sound was fairly derivative and unremarkable compared to the top R&B-leaning British Invasion bands, much of their limited output was at least respectable, with a couple above-average songs that will be of interest to British Invasion collectors.
the Bo Street Runners got on the map with a residency at the Railway Hotel, the same venue at which the early Who played numerous gigs and built their following. In spring 1964, they entered a competition of the British pop music TV show Ready Steady Go for which they had to make a demo. This ended up being a four-song, self-titled EP, pressed in a quantity of only about a hundred copies, and sold to fans at gigs. Though largely standard-issue R&B, it did include a good track, "Bo Street Runner," that was very much in the early Rolling Stones/Pretty Things style. The band actually won the competition in October 1964, the prize including, among other things, a contract with Decca Records. But they managed just one Decca single, a slightly tamer version of "Bo Street Runner," before moving on to Columbia, for whom they recorded three 45s in 1965 and 1966. Moving into a somewhat more soul-jazz-influenced sound on these, the best of the tracks by far was "Baby Never Gonna Say Goodbye," which a choked organ sound and bossa nova beat that made it sound a bit like a more tense Georgie Fame. The song was written by Tommy Moeller of Unit Four Plus Two (who shared management with the Bo Street Runners), who'd also penned that group's hit "Concrete and Clay"; drumming on the single was Mick Fleetwood, who'd previously been in the Cheynes. But the single didn't get anywhere, and after Fleetwood moved on to Peter B's Looners, the Bo Street Runners made one last stab with a soul-oriented arrangement of the Beatles' "Drive My Car," backed by the odd, minor jazzy waltz "So Very Woman" and featuring new singer Mike Patto. the Bo Street Runners broke up shortly afterward, Patto going on to a brief solo career before doing spells in the Chicago Line Blues Band, Timebox, Patto, and Spooky Tooth.

The Bo Street Runners - Never Say Goodbye
 The Complete Recordings 1964-1966

As 1965 moved along into Spring it was evident that the Bo Street Runners second release was bound for the graveyard of forgotten singles and for the three newest members of the band disillusionment was rapidly setting in. The first to quit was saxophonist Dave Quincy whose 'be bop' solos had never really fitted into the band's style. He continued to develop a distinguished career as a jazz and jazz-rock musician.
However the group continued a busy round of gigs, mainly in the provinces, playing more and more in clubs specialising in blues and soul rather than on the more lucrative dancehall circuit. London venues were a rarity but for a month or so they managed to secure a Tuesday night residency at the legendary '100 Club' jazz spot.
The most memorable aspect of this stint on home ground was the fact that in the support band, 'Bluesology', was a young bespectacled keyboard player by the name of Reg Dwight; in later years was to metamorphosis into Elton John!

During this period the overall management and publishing side of Bo Street Runners Ltd was transferred to Apollo Music, a much less significant organisation in the world of popular music than the band's previous prestigious agency and publisher.

Eventually the time came when drummer Glyn Thomas and keyboard player Roy Fry decided that enough was enough and handed in their notices. So, once again, it was necessary to find replacement musicians.

Through an ad placed in the 'Musicians Wanted' of the Melody Maker a young, unknown but talented keyboard player was uncovered. Tim Hinkley was to become the third, and last, of the Bo street Runners organists and the one who was to go on to have a long and successful life in music.
Finding a replacement drummer was not so easy but whilst in a Charing Cross Road music shop singer John Dominic spotted a card put there by someone looking to drum with a band. The drummer in question, Michael Kells Fleetwood, was auditioned and joined the group. More commonly known to the world as Mick Fleetwood was of course the sole Bo Street Runner to go to achieve international fame and recognition.
So the Mk V version of the band was born and once again the search was on for a song to record for their third single.
With the two new musicians, Mick and Tim, now in place the group's style underwent yet another change; less jazzy and back towards an R&B feel. Also now with two teenagers on board a younger image! An account of Mick's traumatic initiation into life on the road with the group can be read in Bob Brunnings book 'Blues-The British Connection' (Blandford Press, 1986).
Amongst the artistes signed to Apollo Music were two songwriters, Tommy Moeller and Gregg Parker who, with their group Unit Four +2, had had a huge hit with their song 'Concrete and Clay'. The Bo Street Runners were offered another of their songs to try out and possibly record. Although the number was totally outside the bands style of music it was just too tempting to resist with its contemporary Latin feel and catchy melody. So in late June into the studio went the new lineup to record baby 'Never Say Goodbye'; this was Mick Fleetwood's first recording experience;
This time, unlike their previous offering, the disk was given favourable reviews and even chosen by pirate radio station Radio London as one of their records to plug heavily reaching N° 36 in their Big L chart on 25th July. But again luck was running out for the Runners for just as a demand for the record was building a strike at Decca's pressing plant meant that copies were not going into the shops and the band once more failed to chart nationally

In spite of this setback the Bo Street Runners ploughed on, now performing more on the RnB/Blues club circuit rather than at the more lucrative dance hall/pop venues. However these still kept popping up and in September they played at the 'Top Twenty Club' in Bridgewater, Somerset. Like many small town provincial gigs this was held on Saturday nights at the Town Hall and hosted a string of current and past Pop acts. A fascinating and detailed history of 'The Top Twenty Club' has been compiled by local archivist Dave Edney and can be seen at [] He has even unearthed the band's autographs signed after their performance!
Shortly after this, realising that Pop fame and fortune was not going to be found with the Bo Street Runners, drummer Mick Fleetwood decided to quit and return to the group led by his old friend Peter Bardens, 'The Cheynes'. From there he moved to the John Mayall band which in turn evolved into Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac and the rest, as they say, is history.
He was replaced, for a brief period, by drummer Alan Turner.

The Rockin' Berries - They're in Town: The Pye Anthology

The Rockin' Berries - They're in Town: The Pye Anthology


Chuck Botfield lead guitar
Terry Bond drums
Clive Lea lead vocal (left 1967)
Geoff Turton lead vocal, guitar
Roy Austin bass guitar (left 1965)
Bobby Thompson bass guitar (joined 1965)
Rod Clarke bass guitar (joined 1967)
Despite a couple of British Top Ten hits in 1964-65, the Rockin' Berries made no dent in the U.S. market at the height of the British Invasion. Much of the Berries' output reflected the lighter pop-rock face of the British beat boom, emphasizing catchy, carefully constructed tunes supplied by British and American songwriters, with high harmonies indebted to the Four Seasons and the Beach Boys. The Berries wrote little of their own material, and this, combined with the wimpiness of some of their recordings, doomed them to little recognition, and little critical respect, even among British Invasion aficionados. For what they were, however, their best pop-rock outings were pretty respectable. A career strategy that put an eye on the "all-around entertainer" niche, ... Read More...

The Rockin' Berries - They're in Town: The Pye Anthology (2006)

The Rockin' Berries - They're in Town: The Pye Anthology

The Rockin' Berries - They're in Town: The Pye Anthology

Disc: 1 1. I Didn't Mean to Hurt You
2. You'd Better Come Home
3. He's in Town
4. Flashback
5. What in the World's Come Over You
6. You Don't Know What You Do
7. Let's Try Again
8. Ich Liebe Dich [Ecstasy]
9. Brother Bill (The Last Clean Shirt)
10. Without Your Love
11. All of Me
12. Crazy Country Hop
13. All I Want Is My Baby
14. Lonely Avenue
15. Shades of Blue
16. Follow Me
17. Ain't That Lovin' You Baby
18. Funny How Love Can Be
19. Poor Man's Son
20. You're My Girl
21. If You Find Somebody to Love
22. From One Who Knows
23. What Can I Do
24. Across the Street
25. Water Is Over My Head
26. Doesn't Time Fly
27. Take a Giant Step
28. Barterers and Their Wives
29. Without the One [Backing Track]
30. That Lucky Old Sun
Disc: 2 
1. Everything I Do Is for You
2. Harvest of Love
3. Way You Look Tonight
4. I Know an Old Lady
5. Happy to Blue
6. Iko Iko
7. When I'm Cleaning Windows
8. I Need You
9. Laughing Policeman
10. My Little Red Book
11. I Could Make You Fall in Love
12. Land of Love
13. Midnight Mary
14. Money Grows on Trees
15. Sometimes
16. Needs to Be
17. Smile
18. Breakfast at Sam's
19. Dawn (Go Away)
20. She's Not Like Any Girl
21. When I Reach the Top
22. Pain
23. Mr. Blue
24. Yellow Rainbow
25. Miss Fortune [Backing Track]
26. Oh Gosh
27. Joe Barla
28. Goodnight

The Overlanders - Michelle (The Pye Anthology) ... PLUS

The Overlanders - Michelle (The Pye Anthology) ... PLUS

The Overlanders - Michelle (The Pye Anthology) ... PLUS

The Overlanders were a highly underrated group whose history took them from the prime years of the British Invasion into the Summer of Love -- their one U.K. hit -- a chart-topping British single of the Lennon-McCartney song "Michelle" -- usually gets them pegged as a cover band, while their origins as a folk group specializing in harmony vocals often gets them lumped in with Silkie, the Ivy League, and other vocal ensembles. And their being put into Castle Records' sunshine pop series Ripples also gives the group a slightly lighter-weight veneer than they deserve. Their actual sound was a beautifully wrought synthesis of folk-inspired vocals and Merseybeat-style harmonies, rhythms, and instrumentation -- they were comparable, in some ways, to the Searchers, with whom (not coincidentally) they shared the same producer, Tony Hatch. They started out as part of the early-'60s British folk boom, initially as a trio made up of Paul Arnold on piano and guitar, Lori Mason on piano and harmonica, and Peter Bartholomew on guitar, all three sang. Their sound was somewhere between the Easy Riders and the Kingston Trio, drawing mostly on an American repertory, including parts of the latter group's song list, along with the compositions of Woody Guthrie, among others, and originals authored by the trio themselves. Their singing, however, had a bold edge that, combined with their exquisite harmonies, lent the resulting music a raw power that most rivals on the college folk circuit utterly lacked. 

They were signed to Pye in early 1963 and, with Tony Hatch producing, debuted with a single that July: "Summer Skies and Golden Sands" b/w "Call of the Wild." Both sides of the single were powerful songs within a folk revival idiom that could have made the jump to the rock & roll audience, with crisp rhythm playing and forceful lead guitar (for folk-styled recordings) on their respective breaks; the lead guitar on "Summer Skies and Golden Sands" was simultaneously reminiscent of early-'60s teen pop, and the work of such Joe Meek-produced bands as the Tornados and the Outlaws. From the very beginning, the Overlanders' sides were as much a step toward the development of folk-rock in the U.K. as the music of the Searchers. 

They followed their debut up three months later with the even more beat-oriented "Movin'" b/w "Rainbow": the A-side had crisper rhythm and lead guitar parts (the latter very angular and catchy in its off-kilter way) and Merseybeat-style harmonies; the B-side had a flashy, rippling lead guitar part. Additionally, those early sides were all originals by the three members, of whom Arnold (writing as Paul Friswell) proved the most prolific. It was their third single, and the first to be based on an outside composition: that was the charm, albeit a peculiar one -- their cover of Chad & Jeremy's "Yesterday's Gone," with its Beatlesesque harmonies, was a minor hit in the United States, appearing at just the right moment when all things British could get airplay and sales in America. Their record rose to Number 75. It was hardly a smash, but its' charting was enough to give the group a tiny place in the British Invasion tally books.

That was to be the group's sole success in America, and their last chart action anywhere for more than a year. The group released six more singles, including the catchy and eminently danceable "Don't It Make You Feel Good," (their update of the Nancy Whiskey/Chas McDevitt hit "Freight Train"), and their original, "Room Enough for You and Me." Their work engendered positive critical responses without the sales to match. Amid these pop efforts, their B-sides kept the group within the folk idiom, utilizing lighter textures and richer, traditional folk-based melodies. It was around this time, in 1965, that they also toughened up their sound, adding Terry Widlake on bass and David Walsh on drums -- they were now fully a beat group, which positioned them for their eventual breakthrough. The group was rescued in late 1965 following the release of the Beatles' Rubber Soul album. Rival acts had always cherry-picked the best album tracks from the Liverpool quartet, but Rubber Soul was to yield a bumper crop of notable and hit covers by other bands: the Tremeloes' rendition of "Good Day Sunshine," the Hollies' cover of "If I Needed Someone," Truth's recording of "Girl," and the Settlers' version of "Nowhere Man." And right in there, briefly rivaling the Tremeloes' record, were the Overlanders, with "Michelle," which bumped the Spencer Davis Group's "Keep on Runnin'" from the Number One spot on the British charts, and rode the top spot for three weeks.

Their version of "Michelle" was similar to the Beatles' rendition, but with a moodier vocal performance with more prominence to the beat. The B-side, "Cradle of Love," a ballad built on nursery rhymes, had a hauntingly beautiful melody and exquisite harmonies, as well as a bluesy guitar break that made it well worth a listen. Alas, they were never able to follow "Michelle" up with a successful LP, an American release of remotely comparable popularity, or another British hit. They still made very good records, but the public wasn't buying them later in 1966, and by 1967, with the psychedelic era supplanting the beat boom, the Overlanders seemed increasingly out-of-date -- they tried covering "Go Where You Wanna Go" (very nicely, actually) to no avail, and even turned back to their folk roots with singles such as "Circle Lines Blues" (a London take on the Kingston Trio's "MTA"), then veered back to pop/rock with "Love Is Strange." Paul Arnold left the group to pursue a solo career and was replaced by Ian Griffiths on vocals and guitar, but the Overlanders' fate was sealed with the advent of the Summer of Love. The record company didn't help matters any when, in mid-1967, they had the group record an LP jointly with their Pye Records stablemates the Settlers, in which they returned to their roots, doing versions of "Pick a Baile of Cotton," "Goodnight Irene" and other folk and folk-related songs. By October of 1967, they were history -- Widlake, in conjunction with fellow late-era Overlanders' member Vic Lythgoe, cut a pair of singles for Deram Records as part of the Cuppa T, and Widlake was later a key member of Roy Orbison's backing band. Another alum, Paul Brett, became a member of Tintern Abbey, whose Deram single, "Beeside" b/w "Vacuum Cleaner," earned them a permanent place in the psychedelic/freakbeat firmament. Meanwhile, Paul Arnold's solo career never took off, and he later formed a reconstituted folk group, the New Overlanders, who found a performing niche in '70s folk audiences. In 2001, 34 years after they broke up, Castle Records issued a CD assembling the Overlanders' complete released recordings, entitled Michelle: The Pye Anthology.

The Overlanders - Michelle (The Pye Anthology) ... PLUS
The Overlanders - Michelle (The Pye Anthology) ... PLUS

Paddy, Klaus & Gibson - 10'' Same & The Eyes - Star-Club Years

Paddy, Klaus & Gibson - 10'' Same & The Eyes - Star-Club Years

Gibson Kemp, Klaus Voormann, Patrick Chambers

Paddy, Klaus & Gibson were a trio with connections, direct and indirect, to the Beatles long before they ever got together--and it is mostly because of those connections that the group is remembered. A distant offshoot of King Size Taylor and the Dominoes, they'd started out as a Liverpool-based quartet called the Eyes, who developed a following in Hamburg. Lead singer/guitarist Paddy Chambers, bassist Klaus Voormann, and drummerGibson Kemp, became Paddy, Klaus and Gibson when Eyes guitarist-singer John Frankland and saxman John Phillips exited that group's line-up on their return to Liverpool. Gibson Kemp had previously been a drummer in Rory Storm and the Hurricanes, occupying a position that Ringo Starr had filled before being asked to join the Beatles. Klaus Voormann had started the 1960's as a successful young designer, who was a friend of the Beatles during their Hamburg period (and whose girlfriend had been engaged to ex-Beatle Stu Sutcliff, and later to Gibson Kemp, and had turned to playing bass in 1964; he'd proved proficient enough at it to rate a place with a trio, where there was no hiding any deficiencies.

Once back in the port city, the trio became the first group ever managed by Tony Stratton-Smith, a former sports journalist turned talent manager and the future founder of Charisma Records (and the future manager of the Nice and Genesis). They were unusual as a trio in a period dominated by four- and five-piece bands, and Stratton-Smith got them booked into the Pickwick, an upscale nightclub where they were seen by the Beatles. Paul McCartney took a hand in producing one of the three singles they released through Pye Records, which signed them in 1965. The Beatles also persuaded Brian Epstein to acquire them for his stable artists, and Epstein duly bought out their contract from Stratton-Smith.

Unfortunately, by that time, Epstein wasn't at this most effective as a manager, and few of his clients from that period other than the Beatles fared very well. The trio was history by May of 1966. Before that, however, Voormann had designed the cover for the Beatles' Revolver album, thus ensuring him a place in the history of that band. Voormann and Kemp also knew Epstein socially, and were known to have joined the Beatles manager, dropping acid and experimented with various recreational drugs during the period around 1966. Voormann subsequently moved on to play bass in Manfred Mann, succeeding Jack Bruce in the latter spot, and also briefly passed through a couple of Hollies recording sessions. He didn't become truly well known outside of English music circles, however, until 1969, when he became the bassist with John Lennon's Plastic Ono Band.

Paddy, Klaus & Gibson - 10'' Same & The Eyes - Star-Club Years

Paddy, Klaus & Gibson - 10'' Same & The Eyes - Star-Club Years

The Fabs -The Fabulos (1968)

The Fabs -The Fabulos (1968)

British girlsl band The Fabs somehow ended up releasing an LP in Mexico in the late sixties! The story that must go behind that must be a hoot! But yes the group consisted of Sarah Johnstone on guitar and organ (plus writing duties on occasion!), Maria Kaye on guitar, Margaret Lewis on bass and Lynne Barry on drums. The record includes mostly covers of popular songs of the time, including Bread and Butter! Plus two originals, "Fabulous" being one of them. What a great theme tune for the band to have!
The Fabs -The Fabulos (1968)

The Fabs -The Fabulos (1968)

VA - The British Invasion (The Sullivan Years) 1990 + Video online

Ed Sullivan's variety show was in its day the most popular variety show on television. Many of the world's most loved musical artists got their big break in America playing on Sullivan's show. This release compiles memorable musical moments from that show dating from the mid sixties. The Rolling Stones, The Supremes, Tom Jones, The Animals, The Mamas & the Papas, The Association, and others perform their biggest hits.

Probably the best of TVT's Sullivan series. Sullivan can actually take a good deal of the credit for breaking the British Invasion in the United States, featuring most of the top bands on his show in the mid-'60s. This compilation has 16 songs from 1964-1966 broadcasts by the Searchers, the Animals, Billy J. Kramer, Peter & Gordon, Gerry & the Pacemakers, Herman's Hermits, and Freddie & the Dreamers. Occasionally, it's obvious that they're singing to a backing track, but most of the performances are totally live and make for a pleasant listen, though they don't match or redefine the studio versions; the Animals come off the best. Presumably, material by the Beatles, Rolling Stones, and the Dave Clark Five -- all of whom played on the show several times -- was unavailable for licensing.VA The British Invasion - The Sullivan Years


Graham Bonney - Supergirl (1966)

A great career started with that № 1 in Grmany and Top Twenty hit in Great Britain

He was born in Basildon, Essex, and worked as a child actor before forming his first group when at school. In 1961 he joined the Espresso Five, followed in 1962 by The Ambers, with whom he performed at the Star-Club in Hamburg. In 1964 he became lead singer with The Riot Squad, a band put together by manager Larry Page.

After three unsuccessful singles for Pye Records in 1965, Bonney left the band for a solo career. He started writing songs with Barry Mason, and his second solo single "Super Girl", issued on the Columbia label, reached no.19 on the UK singles chart in 1966. It proved more popular in Europe, reaching number 1 in some German charts and remaining in the top 10 there for several months, reportedly selling over 1 million copies

Its Very Rare album and true gift from Jancy..

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