Real name Clive Powell. Born Leigh, 26 June 1943. Survived attempt by impresario Larry Pames to launch him as teen-idol in 1960. Following year, as pianist, joined Billy Fury’s backing group.
Was most successful performer to emerge from London’s Flamingo R & B Club, where between 1962 and 1965 he played several times a week with his Blue Flames: Colin Green (gtr), Tex Makins (bs), Red Reece (drms) Mick Eve (tnr sx). Other members during that period included John McLaughlin and ‘Mitch’Mitchell.
Fame’s unique style was mixture of American R & B and soul, West Indian blue beat, Mose Allison’s singing, and Jimmy Smith’s organ. Recorded (1) and (2) before he had a hit single, Yeh Yeh, which made No.1 January 1965.
By 1966 he had broken up Blue Flames and was able to fulfil his ambition to sing with big band, working with the Harry South Band and Count Basie. Continued to release pop singles, however, and had second No.1 with Get Away mid – 1966, followed later in year by two Top 20 soul cover versions, Sunny (originally by Bobby Hebb) and Sittin’ In The Park (Billy Stewart).
In December 1967/January 1968, after a comparative lull, Fame was again at No.1 in charts with The Ballad Of Bonnie And Clyde. From that point, though, Fame’s fortunes went on decline. He formed a somewhat uneasy partnership with former Animals organist Alan Price (11) and together they assembled an unashamedly MOR act for TV and cabaret, hitting charts spring 1971 with the dire Rosetta.
The pair parted company late 1973, and in mid – 1974 Fame made an attempt to reform Blue Flames (Colin Green was only surviving original) and rediscover R & B roots under patronage and backing of Island boss Chris Blackwell, (13).
Sadly, Blue Flames Mk. II made minimal impact, and Fame is probably best known in the late seventies for his appearances in TV coffee commercials.
(2) Fame At Last (Columbia 1964)
(3) Sweet Thing (Columbia 1966)
(4) Sound Venture (Columbia 1966)
(5) Hall Of Fame (Columbia 1967)
(6) Two Faces Of Fame (Colombia 1966)
(7) Third Face Of Fame (CBS 1968)
(8) Seventh Son (CBS 1969)
(9) Georgie Does His Thing With Strings (CBS 1970)
(10) Going Home (CBS 1971)
(11) Price And Fame Together (CBS 1971)
(12) All Me Own Work (Reprise 1972)
(13) Georgie Fame (Island 1974).
(14) Georgie Fame (Starline 1969)
(15) Fame Again (Starline 1972)
(16) Bonnie and Clyde (Embassy 1973)