Before the onset of beat groups the sharpest sound around in the UK was trad jazz. This was a highbred of traditional jazz but as post-war Britain entered a period of massive social change and upheaval the new music became the sound of a generation determined to enjoy itself. Key names emerged like Acker Bilk, Chris Barber, and Kenny Ball. All were consummate musicians who had mastered their individual instruments.
Many believe his larger than life stage performances were related to Sammy’s secret desire to be liked and to overcome prejudice. He finished his army days in the entertainment section traveling across the US, gorging himself on the joy of being liked. He looked for haters in his audience and gave his performances an extra burst of strength and energy to make them acknowledge him as an entertainer. Back in Civy Street he perfected his performances
Ronald Wycherley was born in 1940 and brought up in Liverpool. As a child he suffered rheumatic fever which left his heart weak but that did not stop him from becoming a consummate performer. In almost formulaic way his father bought him a guitar, (aged 14) and he taught himself to play. Whilst not the best guitarist he was quite good at writing songs and when he saw the Girl can’t help it (1956) and a friend told him he looked like Eddie Cochrane, he was sold on a career as a rock’roller.
Robert George Meek was born in 1929 in Newent, England. Joe’s mother wanted a girl and dressed him as a girl. Whilst his three brothers were outward going young Joe was introverted and enjoyed staging magic shows for other children and dressing up for his own elaborate theatre productions. His other love was old radios and record players. Joe began building his own electrical gadgets and would rig up speakers so the local cherry pickers could listen to the radio as they worked. Later he became a mobile DJ, travelling the area with his own mobile set up,
Geoffrey Arnold Beck was born in 1944, in Wallington, England. From the age of 10 he sang in the local church choir and as a teenager learned to play the guitar. Jeff like many other UK kids became fascinated with making guitars as well as playing them. In post war England the electric guitar was a rare commodity because import restrictions from the US prevented them from general sale. The UK guitarists keen on the sound were left to build their own.
Artemios Ventouris Roussos was born in 1946 in Alexandria, Egypt. His parents were expatriate Greeks and his father was an engineer and mother, an actress. Demis was a pet name for the young Artemois who was brought up in the middle of the Muslim city and from early childhood exposed to both Byzantine and Arabic influences. Attracted to singing, he sang with the choir of the Greek Byzantine Church and became a soloist for five years.
Marion Ryan was born in Middlesbrough, Cleveland, UK in 1931. As a professional singer she worked with the Ray Ellington orchestra which springboarded her recording career. She had a good singing voice and was capable of a wide rage of styles. Her glamous good looks earned her the title "the Marilyn Monroe of popular song," but despite her popularity her recording career was mediocre. She did have one UK Top Five hit with 'Love ne forever' (1958).
Antoine Dominique "Fats" Domino was born in 1928 in New Orleans, Louisiana. He learned to play the piano aged 7, and his style was influenced by boogie woogie pianists like Albert Ammons, and Meade Lux Lewis. Later his triplet piano play came from Little Willie Littlefield.
Harry Levy was born in Cheetham Hill, Manchester in 1926. From an early age, Harry had set his sights on show business. He sang as a cantor in the local synagogue, and by the age of 14 he was appearing on stage as a professional singer and comedian.
- In 1969
- Errol Brown
- Tony Wilson
- started writing songs together Tony Wilson was an established session musician and they were both signed to Apple as songwriters and demo singers The song writing duo penned hits for
- Herman's Hermits
- (Bet Yer Life I Do)
- version of
- Give Peace A Chance
- John Lennon