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Archive for the ‘Merseybeat’ Category

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Did you ever wonder about what The Beatles were up to on a week-to-week basis?  Are you a Beatles trivia buff?  Test your knowledge at PlanetRetro’s “Beatles This Week” as you look at what happened to The Beatles in a specific week in time.

December 7, 1963 – “With The Beatles” topped the British charts and remained there for 21 weeks.

December 12, 1963 – The Beatles became the first ever act to knock themselves off the UK charts when “I Want To Hold Your Hand” replaced “She Loves You.”

December 9, 1964 – “Beatles For Sale” entered the LP charts at Number 1.

December 12, 1965 – The band played at the Capitol Centre in Cardiff.  It was the final show of their last British tour.

December 8, 1980 – John Lennon was killed outside his home in the Dakota building in New York City.  He was shot four times at close range by Mark David Chapman.

Taken from PlanetRetro’s “Beatles This Week”

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intro_ill_rsrg_thumb5_thumbEven the most music interested among us can sometimes get lost in all the different labels music journalists and record companies choose to put on recordings. This glossary may help you find your way in this label jungle. As you can see from the text above here this glossary is from 1979 and as this is a retro blog that works alright for me. Besides, any music styles that has emerged since then is of little interest to me, with the possible exception of neo-classic country. I’m sorry to say that dance, trance, hip-hop, rap and the rest simply don’t do it for me – Ted


You’ll find Glossary A – B here

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117400_iatzIan & the Zodiacs had one of the longest histories of any band working in Liverpool, which makes their utter obscurity in that city even more of a puzzle, considering that they had a cool name and played R&B well enough to become stars in Germany. The band’s roots go back to the Zodiacs, a trad jazz (i.e. Dixieland) outfit formed in 1958 as a sextet that included future Fourmost drummer Dave Lovelady — they switched to rock & roll soon after.

The original Zodiacs stayed intact through the spring of 1960, when lead guitarist Pete Pimlett exited and Ian Edwards, late of the Deltones (who attended the same school as the Zodiacs) came aboard, along with Charlie Flynn, from Kingsize Taylor & the Dominoes. The core lineup of Ian & the Zodiacs, as they were named in 1960, was Edwards on guitar and vocals, Pete Wallace on lead guitar, Charlie Flynn on bass and vocals, Cliff Roberts on drums, and Geoff Bethell at the piano. This was the lineup that held for much of the early ’60s, through 1964, when Bethell and Roberts left.

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It was in 1964 that, after years of languishing in obscurity in Liverpool, the band went to Germany and became major stars — they were supposed to stay for a few weeks and didn’t really leave for three years. Their lineup was still a bit fluid, with ex-Lee Curtis All-Stars drummer Joe Walsh eventually settling in, until he left, and Wallace and Flynn exited for the Connoisseurs, to be replaced by Arthur Ashton (lead guitar), Freddie Smith (drums), and Tony Coates (bass). By that time, the group had cut three LPs (that’s one more than Gerry & the Pacemakers, who’d topped the charts in England, got to do) that were released exclusively in Germany on the Star Club label, which was part of Polygram, and two albums of Beatles covers issued under the name the Koppykats.

Text from “answers.com

Only four videos uploaded. It was not easy to find live videos of the band

Ian & The Zodiacs – Why can’t it be me
Ian & The Zodiacs – All of Me
Ian & The Zodiacs – Living Loving Wreck
Ian & The Zodiacs – Face in the Crowd

On the other hand, I got two LP’s (see above) with Ian & The Zodiacs released on the Star Club label that I have transferred to MP3 already, so I might drop one of them in the box widget later on if anyone is interested – Ted



Other Merseybeat and beat classics that might turn up at a later point in time are:
King Size Taylor & The Dominos,
Johnny Kidd & The Pirates, The Searchers, The Liverbirds, The Swinging Blue Jeans, Merseybeats, The Paramounts, Roadrunners, Johnny & The Hurricanes, Freddy & The Dreamers, Colin Anthony & His Beat Combo, The Applejacks, The Undertakers, The Roulettes, The Remo Four, The Pete Best Combo, The Fourmost, The Beatstalkers, The Big Three and  The Nashville Teens

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Billy J. Kramer (born William Howard Ashton, 19 August 1943, in Bootle, Liverpool, England) was a British Invasion / Merseybeat singer. He is known today primarily as the singer of various Lennon-McCartney compositions that The Beatles did not use.

The performing name Kramer was chosen at random from a telephone directory. It was John Lennon’s suggestion that the “J” be added to the name to further distinguish him by adding a ‘tougher edge’. Billy soon came to the attention of Brian Epstein, ever on the look-out for new talent to add to his expanding roster of local artists. Kramer turned professional but his then backing band, The Coasters were less keen, so Epstein sought out the services of a Manchester based band, The Dakotas, a well-respected combo then backing Pete MacLaine.

Even then, the Dakotas would not join Kramer wihout a recording deal of their own. Once in place, the deal was set and both acts signed to Parlophone under George Martin. Collectively, they were named Billy J. Kramer with The Dakotas to keep their own identities within the act. Once the Beatles broke through, the way was paved for a tide of “Merseybeat” and Kramer was offered the chance to cover a song first released by the Beatles on their own debut album, Please Please Me. The track had been allegedly turned down by Shane Fenton (later Alvin Stardust) who was looking for a career reviving hit.

Added videos with Billy J. Kramer & The Dakotas:
Billy J. Kramer & The Dakotas – It’s Gotta Last Forever
Billy J. Kramer & The Dakotas – I Call Your Name
Billy J. Kramer & The Dakotas – Tennessee Waltz
Billy J. Kramer & The Dakotas – Trains & Boats & Planes
Billy J. Kramer & The Dakotas – From A Window
Billy J. Kramer & The Dakotas – Bad to me
Billy J. Kramer & The Dakotas – I ‘ll Keep You Satisfied
Billy J. Kramer & The Dakotas – Little Children

And you’ll find these mersey beat classics on “British Classics 2” on my vodpod pages and in the Vodpod widget in the right column here on the blog – Ted

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Box Widget Update

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I’ve long been aware of the fact that the theme I use for my blog have a “box” widget, but I’ve never really understood what practical use it had until I found one on friend’s blog the other day and saw that I could upload mp3’s on it and that you could play them. So here’s a folder with a collection of merseybeat classics from the early 1960’s for you, just click the mp3 icon to play. The uploaded songs are:

Gerry & The Pacemakers – How Do You Do It
The Fourmost – A Little Loving
The Swinging Blue – Good Golly Miss Molly
Billy J.Kramer & The Dakotas – Do You Want To Know A Secret
Tiffany – I Know
Earl Royce and The Olympics – I Really Do
The Valkyries – Rip It Up
The Black Knights – I Gotta Woman
The Dimensions – Tears On My Pillow
The Kubas – Magic Potion
The Fourmost – The In Crowd
The Valkyries – What’s Your Name
Billy J.Kramer & The Dakotas – Little Children
Earl Royce and The Olympics – Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be)
Gerry & The Pacemakers – I Like It
The Dimensions – You Don’t Have To Whisper
The Black Knights – Angel Of Love
Rory Storm & The Hurricanes – America
The Kubas – I Love Her
Gerry & The Pacemakers – Ferry ‘Cross The Mersey
Tiffany – Am I Dreaming
Billy J.Kramer & The Dakotas – Bad To Me
The Swinging Blue Jeans – The Hippy Hippy Shake
Beryl Marsden – Break-A-Way
Gerry & The Pacemakers – You’ll Never Walk Alone

Let me know if you find this interesting as I have converted more than 2000 of my LP’s and CD’s into mp3’s so I have a lot to choose from – Ted

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117237_mindb4This time I give you The Mindbenders, The Merseybeat group formed by Wayne Fontana in 1963. The name of the group was inspired by the title of a 1963 film, starring the British actor Sir Dirk Bogarde, called The Mind Benders.

There will be more Merseybeat bands in the time to come as this is still one of my favourite kinds of music. I know, I’m slowly loosing it – Ted 😉


The uploaded videos are:
Wayne Fontana And The Mindbenders – Just A Little Bit Too Late
Wayne Fontana & The Mindbenders – Stop, Look and Listen
The Mindbenders – The Morning After
The Mindbenders – In The Midnight Hour / C.C. Rider
The Mindbenders – Its Getting Harder All The Time
Wayne Fontana & The Mindbenders – A game of love/Just a little bit too late
The Mindbenders – Groovy kind of love

You can also read the whole story of The Mindbenders on my article series “From Liverpool to Wembley” here

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117213_lbThe Liverbirds were a British all-female beat group, based in Liverpool, active between 1963 and 1968. The hard-rocking quartet (consisting of vocalist-guitarist Valerie Gell, guitarist-vocalist Pamela Birch, bassist-vocalist Mary McGlory and drummer Sylvia Saunders) was one of the very few female bands on the Merseybeat scene. Indeed, they were one of the few self-contained all-woman rock and roll bands anywhere in the world at the time.

117213_lb2The Liverbirds (sometimes spelled Liver Birds) were one of the more distinctive outfits in Liverpool (and anywhere else, for that matter) by virtue of the fact that they were a hard-rocking all-girl group, self-contained instrumentally and focused on rhythm-and-blues. They weren’t too successful musically in Liverpool, but in 1963 they went to Hamburg, where they became one of the most popular acts ever to play the Star Club.

The band took their name from the liver bird, a fictional creature which is the symbol of their native Liverpool.

Gell, Saunders and McGlory formed the band in 1963, along with guitarist Sheila McGlory (Mary McGlory’s sister) and vocalist Irene Green, both of whom quickly left to join other bands and were replaced by Birch.

117213_lb3They achieved more commercial success in Germany than in their native land. Early in their career, they followed in the footsteps of fellow Liverpudlians such as The Beatles and Rory Storm and the Hurricanes and made their way to Hamburg, Germany. The Liverbirds were one of the top attractions at Hamburg’s Star-Club and they released two albums and several singles. One of those singles, a cover of Bo Diddley’s "Diddley Daddy" rose as high as #5 on the German charts. They broke up in 1968, after a tour to Japan. They last played together in 1998.

Three members of the band settled in Germany permanently. Only Sylvia left and currently resides, with her husband John, in Alicante Spain.

Mary McGlory now runs a Hamburg-based company called Ja/Nein Musicverlag (which translates as "Yes/No Music Publishing.") She is married to one of her former colleagues from the Star-Club: the German singer and songwriter Frank Dostal. Her husband is also currently vice chairman of the German performance rights organization GEMA.

Pamela Birch (born Pamela Anne Burch, 9 August 1944, in Kirkdale, Liverpool), also settled in Hamburg and worked for many years in the city’s clubs. She died on 27 October 2009 at the age of 65, at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf.

Text from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 

 

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