Author Topic: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s  (Read 120343 times)


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Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #510 on: August 25, 2019, 02:00:00 PM »
This your old mate Brian Matthews saying that's your lot for this week, see you again next week, it's . . .

149.  The Shadows - Foot Tapper

From : 24 – 30 March 1963
Weeks : 1
Flip side : The Breeze And I
bonus : How to play Foot Tapper

"Foot Tapper" would be final number one for The Shadows, but there was plenty of "Twang!" left in the old Hank . . .

In June 1963, they scored a #2 hit with 'Atlantis', and released two further singles that year : 'Shindig' (#6), and 'Geronimo' (#11).

In October 1963, bass player, Brian 'Licorice' Locking left to spend more time as a Jehovah's Witness. His final work with the Shadows was featured on the soundtrack album to the the third Cliff musical : 'Wonderful Life', released in the Summer of 1964.

A highlight was the absolutely cracking "On the Beach" - written by Marvin-Welch-Bennett - which became a well deserved top 7 single in July 1964.

Though heard on the album, Locking's place in the film, and in The Shadows, was taken by John Rostill.

A former bassist with the Zoot Money Quartet, Rostill combined the solidity of Brian Locking and the adventurousness of Jet Harris. Many of his bass lines were heavily syncopated and he developed a range of new sounds on the Burns bass during his time with the group, (a longer period than Harris and Locking put together). To many players, Rostill was ahead of his time and included double-stopping in his technique. Unusually for that time, Rostill sometimes played bass finger-style as well as with a plectrum, depending on the sound he wanted.

With Rostill, the band continued their chart success. The first and most successful single featuring the new line-up was  "The Rise and Fall of Flingel Bunt" - which hit #5 in May 1964. This was followed by 'Rhythm And Greens' (#22)  and  'Genie With The Light Brown Lamp' (#17).

The singles continued in 1965, with 'Mary Anne' (#17)  /  "Stingray' (b/w 'Alice In Sunderland') (#19)  /  "Don't Make My Baby Blue" (#10)  /  and  "The War Lord" (#18).

And in 1966 with "I Met A Girl" (#22)  /  "A Place In The Sun" (#24)  /  "The Dreams I Dream" (#42) / and "In The Country" (b/w 'Finders Keepers') with Cliff Richard (#6).

In December 1996, they appeared as puppets in the feature film 'Thunderbirds Are Go', backing "Cliff Richard Junior" on "Shooting Star". Live action footage featuring Cliff and The Shadows performing the song was recorded by Gerry Anderson and provided to the puppeteers to choreograph the band’s appearance in the film.

A 4-track EP was also released to promote the film featuring : Shooting Star  /  Lady Penelope  /  Thunderbirds Theme  /  and  Zero X Theme

They released their final chart bothering single of the decade with "Maroc 7" - a #24 hit in April 1967. The appropriately titled 'Tomorrow's Cancelled' released in September 1967 became their first flop, followed by another, 'Dear Old Mrs. Bell', in March 1968.

In October 1968, Marvin and Welch decided to disband the group following a concert at the London Palladium. In the event, only Welch left, but the Shadows had disbanded by the end of the year.

The group began 1970 by appearing on the BBC's review of the '60s music scene, Pop Go The Sixties, performing "Apache" and backing Richard on "Bachelor Boy", broadcast across Europe and BBC1, on 31 December 1969.

On 26 November 1973 Bass player John Rostill was found dead, aged 31, from barbiturate poisoning in his recording studio in Radlett, Hertfordshire by his wife and Bruce Welch. The coroner recorded a "verdict of suicide while in a depressed state of mind".

The group were chosen by BBC Head of Light Entertainment Bill Cotton to perform the Song for Europe in the 1975 Eurovision Song Contest. The Shadows recorded six songs, seen each week on a weekly television show 'It's Lulu'. Two of the songs - "No, No Nina" and "This House Runs on Sunshine" - were co-written by members of the group. The public voted for "Let Me Be the One", composed by Paul Curtis, to go to the Eurovision final in Stockholm. There, the group came second to the Dutch entry, "Ding-A-Dong" by Teach-In.

The packaging of hits in Twenty Golden Greats by EMI in 1977, which led to a number one album, prompted the group to re-form once more for a 'Twenty Golden Dates' tour around the UK, featuring Francis Monkman (soon to be in Sky) on keyboards and Alan Jones on bass guitar. Francis left after that tour and the line-up settled as Marvin, Welch and Bennett, supplemented on records and gigs by Cliff Hall (keyboards) and Alan Jones (bass). It was this line-up that reunited with Cliff Richard for two concerts at the London Palladium in March 1978.

The Shadows recorded an instrumental version of "Don't cry for me Argentina" from the west end production "Evita", released as a single at the tail end of 1978. The record eventually reached number 5 in the singles chart thereby giving the group their first top ten single since the 1960s, and in 1979, their version of "Cavatina" also became a top ten hit.

On 11 December 2008, Richard and the Shadows performed at the Royal Variety Performance, at the same time announcing their forthcoming 50th anniversary tour. A new album, Reunited, featuring mostly re-recorded versions of their own hits, reached number four in the UK album chart in 2009. "Singing the Blues", the first "Cliff Richard and the Shadows" single for 40 years, reached number 40 in the UK singles chart.

"Foot Tapper" was written by Hank Marvin and Bruce Welch, and produced by "The Fifth Shadow", Norrie Paramor.

It went to number one in the UK Singles Chart, and was The Shadows' last Cliff-less UK number-one hit.

For many years the tune was the signature tune and closing tune for the BBC Radio 2 programme Sounds of the 60s, before being dropped after Brian Matthew left the show in 2017.

Other Versions include : Bud Ashton (1963)  /  The Challengers (1963)  /  The Alan Moor Four (1963)  /  "Mon bonheur danse" by Petula Clark (1963)  /  Cliff Richard, Una Stubbs & Hank Marvin (1970)  /  Tonix (1975)  /  The Golden Guitars (1977)  /  Alex Bollard (1990)  /  The Cliffters (1991)  /  Lex Vandyke (1997)  /  Úrdel (2008)  /  Danny McEvoy (2011)  /  Michael Fix (2011)  /  Mike Wills (2014)  /  BurnsErnst (2015)  /  The Goodlingers (2016)  /  The ShellDoves (2018)  /  AJ Planas (2019)  /  a robot (2019)

On This Day :
27 March : Quentin Tarantino, film director, born in Knoxville, Tennessee
27 March : Dr Beeching, issues a report calling for huge cuts to the United Kingdom's rail network.
30 March : France performs underground nuclear test at Ecker Algeria.
« Last Edit: August 25, 2019, 04:38:28 PM by daf »

Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #511 on: August 25, 2019, 02:04:39 PM »
I think this is really good and has lasted better than Please Please Me IMHO. Still feels fresh and immediate.

Looking up John Rostill, he wrote maybe the best ever Cliff Richard and The Shadows tune,  "I Could Easily Fall (In Love with You)"

Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #512 on: August 25, 2019, 05:37:41 PM »
'She Loves You' and 'I Want To Hold Your Hand' are amazing songs and productions, with incredible energy for the time and there's no slacking in either production. I'd also add 'Twist and Shout'  from the first album, recorded on Feb 11, 1963, so only 6 weeks into the year.

I'd agree that Please Please Me and From Me To You are more your standard fare and that The Shadows singles of 1963 probably stand up better than they do.

agree with para #1, less so #2

Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #513 on: August 25, 2019, 05:56:22 PM »
The Lennon/McCartney songs on 'With The Beatles' (and the other later 1963 singles) show vast and rapid improvements from the previous stuff.
The leap between 'From Me To You' and 'She Loves You' alone proves how quickly they were progressing.


  • Gertrude Stein said that's enough.
Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #514 on: August 25, 2019, 09:59:54 PM »
'Foot Tapper' is a superb little track. Absurdly catchy. It's going to be in my head for the rest of the week now.
Other than the forgettable 'Kon Tiki', they had a good run of number 1s. A shame their popularity waned so much by the end of the decade, although not surprising.

Reading that bio reminded me of that fucking Eurovision song. Their vocal numbers were never very strong, but that one was absolute twaddle of the worst kind. Their early '70s stuff was a bit grim in places, with album titles like 'Rocking With Curly Leads' and 'Shades of Rock' (The Shadows did many things, but 'rock' was never one of them), and the thoroughly unappealing 'Specs Appeal' and 'Tasty'.

One final Shadows link before they depart the discussion forever: Themes from Eastenders & Howards Way, to file under 'Things That Shouldn't Exist'.


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Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #515 on: August 26, 2019, 03:58:16 AM »
Thought to myself "well I don't know that I would actually tap my foot to this" but then I looked down and I was tapping my foot. Quite heartily too. Had no idea I was doing it. Derren fucking Brown shit


  • some weirdo taking the piss
Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #516 on: August 27, 2019, 02:00:00 PM »
The Mars Bars are on me!, it's . . .

150.  Gerry and The Pacemakers - How Do You Do It?

From : 7 – 27 April 1963
Weeks : 3
Flip side : Away From You

Gerry and the Pacemakers were an English beat group prominent in the 1960s "Mersey Sound" scene. In common with The Beatles, they came from Liverpool, played at The Cavern, were managed by Brian Epstein, and were produced by "The Fifth Pacemaker", George Martin.

They are most remembered for being the first act to reach number one in the UK Singles Chart with their first three single releases. This record was not equalled for 20 years, until the mid-1980s success of fellow Liverpool band Frankie Goes to Hollywood.

Gerry Marsden was born at 8 Menzies Street, Toxteth, Liverpool, to Frederick Marsden and Mary McAlindin. His interest in music began at an early age. He remembers standing on top of an air raid shelter singing "Ragtime Cowboy Joe" and getting a great reception from onlookers. He formed the group in 1959 with his brother Fred, Les Chadwick, and Arthur McMahon.

They rivalled the Beatles early in their career, playing in the same areas of Hamburg, Germany and Liverpool. McMahon (known as Arthur Mack) was replaced on piano by Les Maguire around 1961. They are known to have rehearsed at the Cammell Laird ship yard at Birkenhead. The group's original name was Gerry Marsden and the Mars Bars, but they were forced to change this when the Mars Company, producers of the chocolate Mars Bar, complained.

The band was the second to be managed by Brian Epstein, who signed them to Columbia Records (not the US one - this was the sister label to the Beatles' label Parlophone under EMI).

Marsden remembered visiting a Hamburg brothel in Herbertstrasse with John Lennon : "We paid our money, went in and sat down. This guy came out with the biggest lady we had ever seen in our lives. She looked like a bus with a bra on. We ran out that door so quick we didn't hear it shut. I wanted to go back to get my money back but John said: 'No, we'd better not. Might cause trouble.'"

They began recording in early 1963 with "How Do You Do It?", and became a number one hit in the UK - the first by an Epstein-managed Liverpool group to achieve this on the later designated "Official" Record Retailer chart - though The Beatles 100% got there first on the more popular and influential NME and Melody Maker charts with 'Please Please Me' a month earlier.

Gerry : "The Beatles and ourselves – we let go, when we get on-stage. I'm not being detrimental, but in the south, I think the groups have let themselves get a bit too formal. On Merseyside, it's beat, beat, beat all the way. We go on and really have a ball."

"How Do You Do It?" was written by Mitch Murray, who offered it to Adam Faith and Brian Poole but was turned down.

George Martin of EMI decided to pick it up for the new group he was producing as the A-side of their first record. The Beatles recorded the song on 4 September 1962 with Ringo Starr on drums but the Band opposed releasing it, feeling that it did not fit their sound, but worked out changes from Murray's demo-disc version. These included a new introduction, vocal harmony, an instrumental interlude, small lyric changes and removal of the half-step modulation for the last verse.

Although Murray disliked their changes, the decision not to release the Beatles' version was primarily a business one.
Instead, "Love Me Do" became their first single. The Beatles' version of "How Do You Do It?" was officially released in November 1995 on the retrospective Anthology 1 album.

Gerry and the Pacemakers' version, also produced by Martin, became a number-one hit in the UK. Propelled by the 'British Invasion' tidal wave released by the The Beatles 1964 US breakthrough, The single entered the US charts on 5 July 1964, eventually reaching number nine.

Other Versions include : Daimi with Melvis and His Gentlemen (1963)  /  "Comment fais-tu?" by Claude François (1963)  /  Nicole Delarc (1963)  /  "L'effet que tu me fais" by Dick Rivers (1963)  /   Dick And Dee Dee (1963)  /  The Supremes (1964)  /  42 Years Later (2010)  /  Danny McEvoy (2010)  /  Mick Wilkinson (2012)  /  George Possley (2013)  / haleyinthetardis (2013)  /  A Cappella Trudbol (2014)  /  Paul Moody (2016)  /   Keith Johnson (2016)  /  Norman Fernandez (2017)  /  a robot (2017)  /  Jez Quayle (2019)  / 

On This Day :
7 April : Yugoslavia proclaimed a Socialistic republic
8 April : Julian Lennon, singer, born John Charles Julian Lennon in Liverpool, England
12 April : Police in Birmingham, Alabama, use dogs & cattle prods on peaceful demonstrators
13 April : Gary Kasparov, (chess world champion 1985-93), born in Baku, Azerbaijan, Soviet Union
15 April : "Sophie" opens at Winter Garden Theater NYC
16 April : Jimmy Osmond, singer, born in Canoga Park, California
16 April : Nick Berry, actor, born in Woodford, Essex
19 April : "Hot Spot" opens at Majestic Theater NYC
20 April : "Sophie" closes after 8 performances
21 April : The Beatles meet The Rolling Stones for the 1st time
22 April : Sean Lock, comedian, born in Chertsey, Surrey
23 April : Jerry Bock and S. Harnick's musical "She Loves Me" opens at Eugene O'Neill Theater NYC
27 April : Russell T. Davies, TV writer (Doctor Who), born Stephen Russell Davies in Swansea, Wales

Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #517 on: August 27, 2019, 03:14:06 PM »
Although Murray disliked their changes, the decision not to release the Beatles' version was primarily a business one.

The Beatles had been signed up in order to get publishing rights on John and Paul's songs so it made no sense for them to record Murray's number. A compromise would have been to put it on the B-Side of Love Me Do but Murray rejected that solution.

I think Gerry Marsden does a better job on the vocal than The Beatles did, mainly because this was his big chance whereas The Beatles had better options.

Lennon and Epstein had their notorious Spain trip in this period:


  • Gertrude Stein said that's enough.
Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #518 on: August 27, 2019, 04:30:42 PM »
Not a song I'm inordinately fond of, but the sound and energy are great, definitely fully into '60s mode now.


  • some weirdo taking the piss
Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #519 on: August 27, 2019, 04:44:53 PM »
Lennon and Epstein had their notorious Spain trip in this period:

It's all there on the first LP - hiding in plain sight :

Do You Want to Know a Secret - "I am Gay, but . . .
There's a Place - called Spain, where we can go and look at . . .
Boys - all day without getting duffed up. And in the evenings . . .
Love Me Do - (awkward silence) -
P.S. I Love You (note slipped under the hotel door)
Please Please Me  ". . . Oh, alright Brian, go on then. . ."
Twist and Shout - "Yarroo! not so rough!"
Misery - "Ooff! Me poor banjo string!"

Ballad of Ballard Berkley

  • a hopeless vanity... a stupefyingly futile conceit
Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #520 on: August 27, 2019, 11:03:09 PM »
I sometimes think about how weird and confusing it must've been for second-tier beat groups such as Gerry & The Pacemakers and The Searchers during the white hot revolution of the '60s pop scene. One minute you're cheerfully knocking out hits in your smart suit and tie, the next you're an obsolete relic of a bygone age. Things just moved so fast in those days.

I suppose it's to their credit that, instead of jumping aboard a psychedelic bandwagon they didn't understand, they just quietly faded away when they were no longer fashionable. Still, I would've loved to have seen Gerry Marsden in a paisley kaftan singing about the perfumed gardens of his mind. Ersatz psychedelia is a blast.

Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #521 on: August 27, 2019, 11:23:45 PM »
I suppose it's to their credit that, instead of jumping aboard a psychedelic bandwagon they didn't understand, they just quietly faded away when they were no longer fashionable. Still, I would've loved to have seen Gerry Marsden in a paisley kaftan singing about the perfumed gardens of his mind. Ersatz psychedelia is a blast.
From taking a brief look at Gerry and his Pacemakers' discography, I spotted a "post-fame" 1966 single called 'The Big Bright Green Pleasure Machine", which I thought might have qualified as what you mentioned. But it turned out to be a cover of a Paul Simon number, alas.

Ballad of Ballard Berkley

  • a hopeless vanity... a stupefyingly futile conceit
Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #522 on: August 27, 2019, 11:34:21 PM »
From taking a brief look at Gerry and his Pacemakers' discography, I spotted a "post-fame" 1966 single called 'The Big Bright Green Pleasure Machine", which I thought might have qualified as what you mentioned. But it turned out to be a cover of a Paul Simon number, alas.

That almost qualifies, though, as it's an anti-consumer culture folk rock tune. A protest song, no less. They were definitely trying to get with the times by covering it: take that, Mr Business Man! I guess people in 1966 just weren't ready for Gerry getting all sociopolitical on their asses.

Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #523 on: August 28, 2019, 02:14:40 AM »
I must have seen Gerry on 'The Sooty Show' when I was 8 or 9 but have no memory of it:

In 1967 Gerry quit the Pacemakers to pursue a solo career, taking over the lead role from Joe Brown in the West End musical Charlie Girl, alongside Derek Nimmo and the legendary Anna Neagle.

He also starred in the West End production of Pull The Other One, a comedy set in a Christmas cracker factory.

His TV career included playing a reporter in Hold The Front Page and a regular slot on The Sooty Show!

Gerry said: "Performing in the West End was very daunting and different from what I had done before but during three years of Charlie Girl, Derek and Anna took me under their wing and taught me a lot.

"The Sooty Show was great – producer Daphne Shadwell asked me on to perform I Can Sing A Rainbow and liked it so much I kept getting invited back and did little bits of comedy with Harry Corbett and his son. But by 1974 I missed rock 'n' roll and decided to re-form The Pacemakers."

According to imdb, he made 41 appearances in the show.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2019, 02:25:02 AM by Satchmo Distel »

Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #524 on: August 28, 2019, 10:33:11 AM »
Pretty sure I remember seeing Gerry on 3-2-1 sometime in the 1980s. I suppose his Liverpool FC-related hits kept his profile high enough to ensure he was never shy of work.

Ballad of Ballard Berkley

  • a hopeless vanity... a stupefyingly futile conceit
Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #525 on: August 28, 2019, 11:09:32 PM »
Gerry must've made a tidy income from his hits. Writing Ferry Cross the Mersey couldn't have hurt. He's living - yes, still living - proof that a brief flush of toppermost of the poppermost fame can, unless you were mercilessly ripped off, provide you with a lifelong supply of Liverpool FC season tickets.

Fair play to the lad.


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Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #526 on: August 29, 2019, 06:32:12 AM »
I thought Gerry and the Pacemakers just did musical theatre ballads for football disaster charity ensembles, so this is a nice surprise. Sweet, perky, 5 words in the title, no more than 3 letters in any one of them. Lethal efficiency.

Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #527 on: August 29, 2019, 11:51:08 AM »
It's odd when you read this:

Gerry : "The Beatles and ourselves – we let go, when we get on-stage. I'm not being detrimental, but in the south, I think the groups have let themselves get a bit too formal. On Merseyside, it's beat, beat, beat all the way. We go on and really have a ball."

And then look at how MOR Gerry had become just two years later.

Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #528 on: August 29, 2019, 11:57:10 AM »
And then look at how MOR Gerry had become just two years later.
Not hard to imagine Gerry came out of those two hitmaking years with not that much money, despite the sales, and the "all-round entertainer" route was the only way to keep the wages coming in.


  • some weirdo taking the piss
Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #529 on: August 29, 2019, 02:00:00 PM »
Meet The Chuckle Brothers, it's . . .

151.  The Beatles - From Me To You

From : 28 April – 15 June 1963
Weeks : 7
B-side : Thank You Girl
bonus : Royal Variety 1963

The Story So Far : Hamburg
Alan Williams, a 29-year-old Liverpool businessman and promoter, had sent his leading group, Derry and the Seniors (later known as Howie Casey and the Seniors) to Hamburg, where they were enjoying success, and wanted to send an additional group. He initially tried to send Rory Storm and the Hurricanes, but Storm and his group were committed to a Butlins holiday camp and turned Williams' offer down, as did Gerry and the Pacemakers. Williams started promoting concerts for The Beatles in May 1960, after they had played at his Jacaranda club in Liverpool, and offered The Beatles the Hamburg bookings.

As they had no permanent drummer, McCartney looked for someone to fill the position . . .

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Pete Best was born Randolph Peter Scanland on 24 November 1941 in the city of Madras, then part of British India.

Returning to Britain, the Bests lived at 17 Queenscourt Road in 1948 for nine years, before moving to a large Victorian house at 8 Hayman's Green in 1957. The house had previously been owned by the West Derby Conservative Club, was set back from the road and had 15 bedrooms and an acre of land. All the rooms were painted dark green or brown and the garden was totally overgrown. Mona later opened The Casbah Coffee Club in its large cellar. The idea for the club first came from Best, as he asked his mother for somewhere his friends could meet and listen to the popular music of the day.

Best passed the eleven plus exam at Blackmoor Park primary school in West Derby, and was studying at the Liverpool Collegiate Grammar School in Shaw Street when he decided he wanted to be in a music group. Mona bought him a drum kit from Blackler's music store and Best formed his own band, the Black Jacks. Chas Newby and Bill Barlow joined the group, as did Ken Brown, but only after he had left The Quarrymen. The Black Jacks later became the resident group at the Casbah, after The Quarrymen cancelled their residency because of an argument about money.

In 1960, The Quarrymen, now known as The Beatles, were looking for a drummer. Harrison had seen Best playing in the Casbah with his own group, the Black Jacks, and it was noted that he was a steady drummer, playing the bass drum on all four beats in the bar, which pushed the rhythm. In Liverpool, his female fans knew him as being "mean, moody, and magnificent", which convinced McCartney he would be good for the group. After the Black Jacks broke up, McCartney persuaded Best to go to Hamburg with the group, by saying they would each earn £15 per week.

Best had an audition in Williams' Jacaranda club on 15 August 1960, and travelled to Hamburg the next day as a member of the group. (Williams later said that the audition with Best was unnecessary, as the group had not found any other drummer willing to travel to Hamburg, but did not tell Best in case he asked for more money). All five Beatles, Williams and his wife Beryl, her brother Barry Chang, and "Lord Woodbine" were in the minivan, along with Georg Sterner (translator and future waiter). As Williams had not obtained German work permits, they were detained at Harwich for five hours.

The Beatles arrived very early in the morning of 17 August 1960, but had no trouble finding the St. Pauli area of Hamburg, as it was so infamous. Unfortunately the Indra Club (64 Grosse Freiheit) was closed, so a manager from a neighbouring club found someone to open it up, and the group slept on the red leather seats in the alcoves. The group played at the club on the same night, but were told they could sleep in a small cinema's storeroom.

Paul : "We lived backstage in the Bambi Kino, next to the toilets, and you could always smell them. The room had been an old storeroom, and there were just concrete walls and nothing else. No heat, no wallpaper, not a lick of paint; and two sets of bunk beds, with not very much covers—Union Jack flags—we were frozen."

John : "We were put in this pigsty. We were living in a toilet, like right next to the ladies' toilet. We'd go to bed late and be woken up next day by the sound of the cinema show and old German fraus pissing next door."

They were paid £2.50 each a day, seven days a week, playing from 8:30 - 9:30, 10 until 11, 11:30 - 12:30, and finishing the evening playing from one until two o'clock in the morning.

George : "The whole area was full of transvestites and prostitutes and gangsters, but I couldn't say that they were the audience ... Hamburg was really like our apprenticeship, learning how to play in front of people."

After the closure of the Indra because of complaints about the noise, the Beatles played in the Kaiserkeller, starting on 4 October 1960. Their playing schedule at the Kaiserkeller remained the same as it had been in the Indra.

John : "We had to play for hours and hours on end. Every song lasted twenty minutes and had twenty solos in it. That's what improved the playing. There was nobody to copy from. We played what we liked best and the Germans liked it as long as it was loud."

The Beatles had been used to simply standing still when they had performed in Liverpool, but the club owner, Bruno Koschmider, would come to the front of the stage and loudly shout "Mach schau, mach schau!" ("make show"). Harrison explained that this prompted Lennon to "dance around like a gorilla, and we’d all knock our heads together." As Best had been the only one to take O-Level German at school, he could communicate better than the rest of the group, and was invited to sing a speciality number called "Peppermint Twist" (while McCartney played the drums) but Best complained that he always felt uncomfortable being at the front of the stage.

In early October 1960, Rory Storm and the Hurricanes were free to travel to Hamburg, replacing Derry and the Seniors at the Kaiserkeller. They played five or six 90-minute sets every day, alternating with the Beatles. They were appalled at the living conditions the Beatles and other groups had to put up with.

Stuart Sutcliffe's high spot was singing "Love Me Tender", which drew more applause than when the other Beatles sang, increasing the friction between himself and McCartney. Lennon also started to criticise Sutcliffe; making jokes about Sutcliffe's size and playing. While Sutcliffe is often described in Beatles' biographies as appearing very uncomfortable onstage, and often playing with his back to the audience, Best denies this, recalling Sutcliffe as usually good-natured and "animated" before an audience.

The Beatles steadily improved during their time in Hamburg, and this was noticed by other musicians who were there at the time.

Paul"We got better and better and other groups started coming to watch us. The accolade of accolades was when Tony Sheridan would come in from the Top Ten Club or when Rory Storm or Ringo would hang around to watch us. ‘What'd I Say’ was always the one that really got them."

Sutcliffe wrote a letter to his mother saying : "We have improved a thousand-fold since our arrival and Allan Williams, who is here at the moment, tells us that there is no group in Liverpool to touch us."

Sutcliffe's girlfriend, photographer Astrid Kirchherr, is credited with inventing the Beatles' moptop haircut, although she personally disagrees : "All my friends in art school used to run around with this sort of what you call Beatles' haircut, and my boyfriend then, Klaus Voormann, had this hairstyle, and Stuart liked it very very much. He was the first one who really got the nerve to get the Brylcreem out of his hair and asking me to cut his hair for him."

In late October 1960, The Beatles left Koschmider's club to work at the Top Ten Club for more money, by doing so the group broke their contract. Koschmider then reported Harrison for working under the legal age limit, and Harrison was deported on 21 November 1960. As a snub to Koschmider, McCartney and Best found a condom in their luggage, attached it to a nail on the concrete wall of the room, and set fire to it in order to have light to gather their possessions. There was no real damage done, but Koschmider reported them both for attempted arson. 

Lennon's work permit was revoked a few days later and he went home by train, but as Sutcliffe had a cold, he stayed in Hamburg. Sutcliffe later borrowed money from Astrid Kirchherr for the airfare back to Liverpool in early January 1961.

After Harrison turned 18, the Beatles went back to Hamburg for another residency at the Top Ten Club, playing from 27 March to 2 July 1961. Tony Sheridan, later remembered the living conditions at the club: “John, George, Paul, Stuart and Pete and I were booked to open the smart Top Ten in the Reeperbahn. We moved into a dormitory over the club and slept in bunks. It was terrible really, now I look back. We all washed our own shirts and socks so the place smelt like a Chinese laundry. But we had great times and I’m afraid we used to tease the life out of the old lady who took care of us.”

Sutcliffe decided to leave the Beatles to concentrate on his art studies and to be with Kirchherr, so McCartney took over as bass player for the group. Sutcliffe later enrolled at the Hamburg College of Art under the tutelage of the pop artist Eduardo Paolozzi. Sutcliffe lent McCartney his Höfner President 500/5 model bass guitar but asked McCartney not to change the strings around, so McCartney had to play it with the strings arranged backwards, until he could buy a specially made left-handed Höfner bass of his own.

The matching lilac jackets, made by McCartney's next-door neighbour in Liverpool to be worn as stage clothes, were soon threadbare, as were any other items of clothing, so the group bought cowboy boots, jeans and black leather jackets and trousers. Lennon said : "We had a bit more money the second time so we bought leather pants ... we looked like four Gene Vincents."

The first recording of the Beatles ever released was the single "My Bonnie", recorded in Hamburg with Tony Sheridan, who also had a residency at the Top Ten club, on 22 June 1961. He recruited the band to act as his backing group on a series of recordings for the German Polydor Records label, the tracks were produced by the bandleader Bert Kaempfert.

Released by Polydor on 31 October 1961, "My Bonnie" (Mein Herz ist bei dir nur), appeared on the West German charts under the name "Tony Sheridan and the Beat Brothers".

Paul : "They didn't like our name and said, 'Change to the Beat Brothers, this is more understandable for the German audience.' We went along with it... it was a record."

The Beatles returned to Hamburg by plane to play at The Star-Club from 13 April to 31 May 1962. Upon their arrival, they were informed of Sutcliffe's death. After suffering blackouts and intense headaches, Sutcliffe was taken to a hospital on 10 April 1962 — Astrid Kirchherr rode with him in the ambulance — but he died before the ambulance reached the hospital.

In September 1961, Harrison had a German copy of "My Bonnie", which Sutcliffe had sent to him, as he was still in Hamburg. Harrison loaned it to Bob Wooler (The Cavern Club DJ) who played it at various venues, when the members of the group lent it to him. Requests for the record at the NEMS music store at Whitechapel Street, Liverpool, led the owner, Brian Epstein, to make his way to the Cavern Club in search of "The Beat Brothers", during lunch hour on 9 November 1961. He was initially repelled by the dark, damp club, but he congratulated them on their performance.

John : "We'd outlived the Hamburg stage and wanted to pack that up. We hated going back to Hamburg those last two times. We'd had that scene. Brian made us go back to fulfill the contract"

George : "I'd have to say with hindsight that Hamburg bordered on the best of Beatles times. We didn't have any luxury, we didn't have any bathrooms or any clothes, we were pretty grubby, we couldn't afford anything, but on the other hand we weren't yet famous, so we didn't have to contend with the bullshit that comes with fame."

The Story So Far : Brian Epstein
Brian Samuel Epstein was born on 19 September 1934 in Rodney Street, Liverpool. During World War II the Epsteins moved to Southport, where two schools expelled Epstein for laziness and poor performance, but returned to Liverpool in 1945. The Epsteins lived at 197 Queens Drive, Childwall in Liverpool, and remained there for the next 30 years.

Epstein's parents moved him from one boarding school to another, including Clayesmore School in Dorset. He spent two years at Wrekin College in Shropshire, where he was taught the violin. Shortly before his 16th birthday he sent a long letter to his father explaining that he wanted to become a dress designer, but Harry Epstein was adamantly opposed, and after serving a six months' apprenticeship at another company his son finally had to "report for duty" at the family's furniture shop on a £5 per week wage.

In December 1952, Epstein was conscripted to do his national service as a data entry clerk into the Royal Army Service Corps, and was posted to the Albany Street Barracks near Regent's Park in London, where he was often reprimanded for not picking up his army pay.

After returning to Liverpool, he was put in charge of the Clarendon Furnishing shop in Hoylake and was made a director of NEMS (North End Music Stores) in 1955. In September 1956, he took a trip to London to meet a friend but after being there for only one day, was robbed of his passport, birth certificate, chequebook, wristwatch, and all the money he had on him. He did not want his parents to find out, so he worked as a department store clerk until he had earned enough money to buy a train ticket back to Liverpool.

Back in Liverpool, he confessed his homosexuality to a psychiatrist—a friend of the Epstein family—who suggested to Harry Epstein that his son should leave Liverpool as soon as possible. During the sessions, Epstein revealed his ambition of becoming an actor, so his parents allowed him go to London to study.

Epstein attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) in London. His classmates included actors Susannah York, Albert Finney, and Peter O'Toole, but Epstein dropped out after the third term, saying that he had become "too much of a businessman to enjoy being a student, and I didn't like being a student at all."

Back in Liverpool, his father put his son in charge of the record department of the family's newly opened NEMS music store on Great Charlotte Street. It became one of the biggest musical retail outlets in Northern England, and the Epsteins opened a second store at 12–14 Whitechapel, where Brian was put in charge of the entire operation. He often walked across the road to the Lewis's department store music section where Peter Brown was employed to watch his sales technique. He was impressed enough to lure him to work for NEMS with the offer of a higher salary and a commission on sales.

Epstein first noticed The Beatles in issues of Mersey Beat and on numerous posters around Liverpool created by his commercial artist associate Tony Booth, before he asked the editor of Mersey Beat Bill Harry who they were. (Harry had previously convinced Epstein to sell the magazine at NEMS, and The Beatles were often featured on the cover.)

The Beatles had recorded the "My Bonnie" single with Tony Sheridan in Germany, and some months after its release Epstein asked his personal assistant Alistair Taylor about it in NEMS. Epstein's version of the story was that customer Raymond Jones walked into the NEMS shop and asked him for the "My Bonnie" single, which made Epstein curious about the group. Taylor later claimed that he had used the name of Jones (a regular customer) to order the single and paid the deposit, knowing that Epstein would notice it and order further copies. Harry and McCartney later repudiated Epstein's story, as Harry had been talking to Epstein for a long time about the Beatles.

Paul : "Brian knew perfectly well who the Beatles were; they were on the front page of the second issue of Mersey Beat".

On 3 August 1961, Epstein started a regular music column in the Mersey Beat called "Stop the World—And Listen To Everything In It: Brian Epstein of NEMS".

The Beatles were due to perform a lunchtime concert at The Cavern Club on 9 November 1961. According to club owner Alan Sytner, Epstein had visited the club quite a few times previously on Saturday nights, once asking Sytner to book a group for his twenty-first birthday party. Epstein asked Bill Harry to arrange for Epstein and his assistant Taylor to watch the Beatles perform. The club allowed Epstein and Taylor to enter without queuing. They bypassed the line of fans at the door and heard Bob Wooler, the resident disc jockey, announce a welcome message over the club's public address system:  "We have someone rather famous in the audience today. Mr Brian Epstein, the owner of NEMS ..."

Epstein later talked about the performance: "I was immediately struck by their music, their beat and their sense of humour on stage—and, even afterwards, when I met them, I was struck again by their personal charm. And it was there that, really, it all started."

After the performance, Epstein and Taylor went into the dressing room (which he later described as being "as big as a broom cupboard") to talk to the group. The Beatles, all regular NEMS customers, immediately recognised Epstein, but before he could congratulate them on their performance George Harrison said, "And what brings Mr Epstein here?" Epstein replied with, "We just popped in to say hello. I enjoyed your performance.".

Epstein and Taylor went to Peacock's restaurant in Hackins Hey for lunch, and during the meal Epstein asked Taylor what he thought about the group. Taylor replied that he honestly thought they were "absolutely awful", but there was something "remarkable" about them. Epstein sat there smiling for a long time before exclaiming, "I think they're tremendous!" Later, when Epstein was paying the bill, he grabbed Taylor's arm and said, "Do you think I should manage them?"

The Beatles played at The Cavern Club over the next three weeks, and Epstein was always there to watch them. He contacted Allan Williams (their previous promoter/manager) to confirm that Williams no longer had any ties to the group, but Williams advised Epstein "not to touch them with a fucking barge pole" because of a Hamburg concert percentage that the group had refused to pay.

In an afternoon meeting with the group at NEMS on 3 December 1961, Epstein proposed the idea of managing the Beatles. John Lennon, Harrison, and Pete Best arrived late for the meeting, as they had been drinking at The Grapes pub in Mathew Street. McCartney also did not arrive on time because he had just got up and was "taking a bath", as Harrison explained. Epstein was upset, but Harrison placated him by saying, "He may be late, but he'll be very clean."

Lennon had invited Wooler to be at the meeting so that he could give his opinion of Epstein, but he introduced Wooler by saying, "This is me dad." Epstein was reticent throughout the short meeting, only asking if they had a manager. After learning that they had not, he said, "It seems to me that with everything going on, someone ought to be looking after you." He had further meetings with the group on 6 and 10 December 1961.

The Beatles signed a five-year contract with Epstein on 24 January 1962 giving Epstein 10 to 15 per cent of their income. They signed a new contract in October 1962 which gave Epstein 15, 20, or 25 per cent of revenues, depending on how much he helped the band earn. The Beatles would then share any income after various expenses had been deducted. Epstein then formed a management company, NEMS Enterprises, telling his parents that managing the group was only a part-time occupation and would not interfere with the family business.

In 1963, Epstein advised the creation of Northern Songs, a publishing company that would control the copyrights of all Lennon–McCartney compositions recorded between 1963 and 1973. Music publisher Dick James and his partner Charles Silver owned 51 per cent of the company, Lennon and McCartney 20 per cent each, and Epstein 9 per cent. By 1969, Lennon and McCartney had lost control of all publishing rights to ATV Music Publishing.

Epstein had no prior experience of artist management, yet he had a strong influence on the band's early dress code and stage demeanour. They had previously worn blue jeans and leather jackets, and they would stop and start songs when they felt like it or when an audience member requested a certain song. Epstein encouraged them to wear suits and ties, insisted that they stop swearing, smoking, drinking, or eating on stage, and also suggested the famous synchronised bow at the end of their performances.

Brian : "I encouraged them, at first, to get out of the leather jackets and jeans, and I wouldn't allow them to appear in jeans after a short time, and then, after that step, I got them to wear sweaters on stage, and then, very reluctantly, eventually, suits."

Epstein made numerous trips to London to visit record companies in the hope of securing a record contract. On 13 December 1961, at Epstein's invitation, Mike Smith of Decca travelled from London to Liverpool to watch the group at the Cavern, which led to an audition in London on 1 January 1962 . . .

The Beatles' third single, From Me To You, was written on 28 February 1963, recorded on 5 March 1963, produced by George Martin, engineered by Norman Smith, and released as a single on 11 April 1963.

John : "The night Paul and I wrote From Me To You, we were on the Helen Shapiro tour, on the coach, travelling from York to Shrewsbury. We weren't taking ourselves seriously – just fooling around on the guitar – when we began to get a good melody line, and we really started to work at it. Before that journey was over, we'd completed the lyric, everything. I think the first line was mine and we took it from there. What puzzled us was why we'd thought of a name like From Me To You. It had me thinking when I picked up the NME to see how we were doing in the charts. Then I realised – we'd got the inspiration from reading a copy on the coach. Paul and I had been talking about one of the letters in the 'From You To Us' column."

Helen Shapiro : "I remember John and Paul coming up to me to ask if I would like to hear a couple of songs that they had just written. They were looking for opinions because they were undecided about which should be their next single. We crowded around a piano and Paul played, while the two of them sang their latest composition. One was Thank You Girl, and the other was From Me To You, which I liked best."

Roger Greenaway of The Kestrels : "The Beatles at this time had had their first number one, and John and Paul were writing songs at the back of the coach. Kenny Lynch, who, at this time, fancied himself as a songwriter, sauntered up to the back of the coach and decided he would help John and Paul write a song. After a period of about half an hour had elapsed and nothing seemed to be coming from the back, Kenny rushed to the front of the coach and shouted, 'Well, that's it. I am not going to write any more of that bloody rubbish with those idiots. They don't know the music from their backsides. That's it! No more help from me!' The song that John and Paul were writing at this time was a track called 'From Me To You'."

John : "We'd already written Thank You Girl as the follow-up to Please Please Me. This new number was to be the b-side. We were so pleased with it, we knew we just had to make it the A-side."

Paul : "There was a little trick we developed early on and got bored with later, which was to put I, 'Me' or 'You' in it, so it was very direct and personal: Love Me Do; Please Please Me; From Me To You – we got two of them in there . . .
That was a pivotal song. Our songwriting lifted a little with that song. It was very much co-written. We were starting to meet other musicians then and we'd start to see other people writing. After that, on another tour bus with Roy Orbison, we saw Roy sitting in the back of the bus, writing Pretty Woman. It was lovely. We could trade off with each other. This was our real start."

Paul : "That middle eight was a very big departure for us. Say you're in C then go to A minor, fairly ordinary, C, change it to G. And then F, pretty ordinary. But then it goes, 'I got arms...' and that's a G minor. Going to G minor and a C takes you to a whole new world. It was exciting."

The idea of singing the song's opening lick—the "da-da daaa, da-da dum-dum daaa" part—was suggested by producer George Martin.

George Martin : "I asked them for another song as good as 'Please Please Me', and they brought me one—'From Me to You.' ... There seemed to be a bottomless well of songs."

Originally titled "Thank You, Little Girl", the B-side, "Thank You Girl", was written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney as a tribute to the band's many female fans. McCartney said, "We knew that if we wrote a song called, 'Thank You Girl', that a lot of the girls who wrote us fan letters would take it as a genuine 'thank you'. So a lot of our songs were directly addressed to the fans."

Written “eyeball to eyeball", a phrase Lennon and McCartney would later use to describe their early formulaic writing sessions, "Thank You Girl" demonstrates how they were able to produce a song from scratch by working in total partnership. Lyrically, Ian MacDonald suggests that Lennon probably wrote the first line of each verse, allowing McCartney to use his flair for word play and inner-rhyming in completing it.

Both "From Me to You" and "Thank You Girl" were credited to "McCartney–Lennon", as were eight of the songs on the Please Please Me album. It would be permanently changed to the more familiar "Lennon–McCartney" songwriting credit for their next single release.

The song was recorded in thirteen takes, the same number of takes needed to perfect "From Me To You" on 5 March 1963. This recording session is also notable because it marks the first studio appearances of two Lennon–McCartney songs that would not be released until much later in the band's career: "One After 909" and "What Goes On". Although both songs were rehearsed, only "One After 909" was recorded, and even then the results were deemed unsatisfactory for release.

John Lennon overdubbed the harmonica without the other Beatles eight days later. According to multiple sources, John came to the session directly from bed due to a severe cold.

The stereo mix of the song included on the Capitol LP The Beatles' Second Album is noticeably different from the original single mono mix in the middle 8. In the stereo version, a couple of extra harmonica lines can be heard, as well as at the very end of the song. In addition, this stereo mix contained reverb added by Capitol. The unadulterated stereo mix was released for the first time on the 2009 remastered CD Past Masters.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

On 11 April, Parlophone released "From Me to You" in the UK as a single - kicking off a twenty-one week run in the British charts, reaching number one on 4 May, a position it would retain for seven weeks.

This was the first Beatles song to officially reach number one in the UK. The previous single, "Please Please Me", had reached the summit on almost every chart, but it was only number two on the 'Record Retailer' chart, (later designated the only 'official' chart by some tedious jobsworths - despite it's relative obscurity at the time).

Paul : "The first time I thought we'd really made it, was when I was lying in bed one morning, and I heard a milkman whistling 'From Me to You'. Actually, I'm sure that I once heard a bird whistling it as well. I swear I did!"

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

On 18 April 1963, the Beatles were one of 15 acts to play at Swinging Sound '63, an all-star concert at the Royal Albert Hall in London presented by George Melly & Rolf Harris. They played "From Me to You" and "Twist and Shout". Del Shannon was also on the bill that night.  After the concert, he told John Lennon that he was going to record "From Me to You" to give the group some exposure in America.  At first, Lennon was flattered, but he quickly changed his mind, realising that a cover version by Shannon might hurt the Beatles' chances of having a hit in the States. 

In early June, Bigtop Records released Shannon's version of "From Me to You" as the follow-up to "Two Kinds of Teardrops". It entered the Billboard Hot 100 on 29 June, becoming the first Lennon–McCartney composition to make the American charts. It spent four weeks on the chart and peaked at number 77.
Shannon : "At that time no one had heard of the Beatles here, but I knew they were great writers so I just picked up on one of their songs."

Other Versions include : The Typhoons (1963)  /  "Des bises de moi pour toi" by Claude François (1963)  /  "Ich komm nicht los von dir" by Gina Dobra (1963)  /  The Crickets (1964)  /  Bobby Vee (1964)  /  The Johnny Mann Singers (1964)  /  "Zbog nje" by Bijele strijele (1964)  /  "Adresát neznámý" by Karel Gott (1964)  /  "Meidän yhteinen" by Ann Christine ja Johnny (1964)  /  "Cambia tattica" by Ricky Gianco (1964)  /  "Para ti" by Los Gatos Negros (1964)  /  George Martin and His Orchestra (1964)  /  "Lo tendrás, amor" by Los Diablos Negros (1964)  /  The Chipmunks (1964)  /  Jack Nitzsche (1964)  /  The Hollyridge Strings (1964)  /  The Ravers (1964)  /  "De mi para ti" by Los Impala (1965)  /  Mae West (1966)  /  Jerry Inman‎ (1967)  /  The London Jazz Four (1967)  /  The Torero Band (1969)  /  Debby Boone (1977)  /  Café Crème (1977)  /  "Quaccosa 'e cchiù" by Shampoo (1980)  /  Bobby McFerrin (1986)  /  Bob Fox (2000)  /  Danny McEvoy (2010)  /  Virginia Labuat (2011)  /  SistersGoldenHair (2012)  /  Children Medieval Band (2012)  /  Gabbriela (2012)  /  Kelly Valleau (2012)  /  Walk off the Earth (2013)  /  Amy Slattery (2015)  /  Adam's Wedding (2015)  /  Jess Thristan (2015)  /  Futurebirds (2016)  /  Paul Moody + Dad (2016)  /  a fab robot (2016) 

On This Day :
2 May : Children's crusade begins in Birmingham, Alabama.
8 May : Terry Christian, Radio/TV presenter, born in Stretford, Old Trafford, Lancashire
10 May : Decca signs Rolling Stones on advice of George Harrison
12 May : Race riot in Birmingham, Alabama
16 May : Gordon Cooper completes 22 orbits in Faith 7, ends US Proj Mercury
18 May : "Beast in Me" closes at Plymouth Theater NYC after 4 performances
21 May : Kevin Shields, (My Bloody Valentine), born in Queens, New York
24 May : Elmore James, blues guitarist, dies of a heart attack, aged 45.
25 May : "Hot Spot" closes at Majestic Theater NYC after 43 performances
25 May : Mike Myers, comic actor, born in Scarborough, Ontario, Canada
1 June : Mike Joyce, (The Smiths), born Michael Adrian Paul Joyce in Fallowfield, Manchester
3 June : Pope John XXIII [Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli], 261st Pope (1958-63), dies at 81
4 June : 1st transmission of "Pop Go the Beatles" on BBC radio
5 June : British Minister of War John Profumo resigns due to Christine Keeler scandal
7 June : Rolling Stones release 1st single - "Come On"
7 June : ZaSu Pitts, silent film actress, dies at 69
8 June : "Mr President" closes at St James Theater NYC after 265 performances
9 June : Johnny Depp, actor, born in Owensboro, Kentucky
11 June : Buddhist monk Thích Quảng Đức immolates himself at a Saigon intersection.
12 June : "Cleopatra" directed by Joseph Mankiewicz and starring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton premieres in NYC.
15 June : "The Sound of Music" closes at Lunt Fontanne Theater NYC after 1443 performances
« Last Edit: August 29, 2019, 03:49:43 PM by daf »

Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #530 on: August 29, 2019, 02:15:24 PM »
From Me To You, was written on 28 February 1963, recorded on 5 March 1963

'kin 'ell

Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #531 on: August 30, 2019, 12:26:09 AM »
Excellent podcast on how it was produced, with several extracts from the tapes:


  • some weirdo taking the piss
Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #532 on: August 30, 2019, 04:02:40 PM »
Thanks for that - good listen!


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Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #533 on: August 30, 2019, 07:43:27 PM »
Good "hoooo!"s.

"Quaccosa 'e cchiù" by Shampoo (1980)

Had no idea they'd been around so long before 'Trouble' took off.

Jess Thristan (2015)

Oh NO we're entering the era of songs that get the 2010s wispy white girl John Lewis cover treatment. The "Other Versions" sections are minefields from here on in.


  • some weirdo taking the piss
Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #534 on: August 31, 2019, 02:00:00 PM »
Psssssssst!, it's . . .

151b. (NME 152.)  Billy J. Kramer with The Dakotas - Do You Want to Know a Secret
        + (MM 100.)  Billy J. Kramer with The Dakotas - Do You Want to Know a Secret

From :  8 - 21 June 1963 (2)
        + 15 - 21 June 1963 (1)
Weeks : 2
Flip side : I'll Be On My Way

Billy J. Kramer was born William Howard Ashton on 19 August 1943 in Bootle, Lancashire.

He grew up as the youngest of seven siblings and attended the St George of England Secondary School, Bootle. He then took up an engineering apprenticeship with British Railways and in his spare time played rhythm guitar in a group he had formed himself, before switching to become a vocalist.

The performing name Kramer was chosen at random from the TV sitcom Seimfeld a telephone directory. John Lennon suggested that the "J" be added to the name to further distinguish him by adding a "tougher edge".

Geoff Hogarth saw him perform at The Iron Door Club on a number of occasions : "Ted Knibbs, Billy's manager would have made sure he was booked in. The one thing I remember about Billy he was always immaculate on the stage and would go off in between numbers and change into another suit. I don't know how many suits he would bring along, however, he used to say to me "Would you like me to wear my gold or silver or orange suit."

Kramer 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 group, The Coasters, were less keen, so Epstein sought out the services of a Manchester-based group - The Dakotas.

The group's name arose from an engagement at the Plaza Ballroom in Oxford Street, Manchester. Their manager asked the group to return the next week dressed as Indians and called the Dakotas, founded in September 1960 by rhythm guitarist Robin MacDonald, with Bryn Jones on lead guitar; Tony Bookbinder (Elkie Brooks older brother, also known as Tony Mansfield) on drums, and Ian Fraser on bass. Ray Jones joined the band as bassist replacing Ian Fraser, and Mike Maxfield joined the band in February 1962 as lead guitarist replacing Bryn Jones.

From February 1962, the group backed Pete MacLaine, however, in January 1963, Brian Epstein, who was managing Billy J. Kramer, made the Dakotas an offer to become Kramer's backing band, which they accepted.

The Dakotas would not join Kramer without a recording contract of their own, so a deal was set and both acts signed to Parlophone under George Martin. Collectively, they were named 'Billy J. Kramer with the Dakotas' (not 'and') to keep their own identities within the act. The group and with Billy J. Kramer then went to Hamburg to perfect their act.

Once the Beatles broke through, the way was paved for a tide of Merseybeat and Kramer was offered the chance to cover "Do You Want to Know a Secret?", first released by the Beatles on their own debut album, Please Please Me. The track had been turned down by Shane Fenton (Alvin Stardust) who was looking for a career-reviving hit.

In addition to backing Kramer on his hits, the group itself is perhaps best known for their instrumental single called "The Cruel Sea", a composition of Maxfield that reached No.18 in the UK charts in July 1963. The track was re-titled "The Cruel Surf" in the U.S., and was subsequently covered by The Ventures.

With record producer George Martin, the song "Do You Want to Know a Secret?" was a number two in the Record Retailer Chart, but number one in the NME and Melody Maker charts in June 1963, backed by another tune otherwise unreleased by the Beatles - "I'll Be on My Way".

Clearly inspired by Buddy Holly, 'I'll Be On My Way' was an early Lennon-McCartney collaboration. Believed to date from around 1961, the song's touchingly naive lyrics rhyme "June light" with "moonlight", and speaks of a place "where the winds don't blow and golden rivers flow".

John 1980 : "That's Paul, through and through. Doesn't it sound like him? Tra la la la la [laughs]. Yeah, that's Paul on the voids of driving through the country."

Paul : "It's a little bit too June-moon for me, but these were very early songs and they worked out quite well."

Although a part of the group's early live repertoire, 'I'll Be On My Way' wasn't performed at either The Beatles' audition at Decca or their first EMI session, suggesting it had largely fallen out of favour by 1962. Nevertheless, The Beatles performed 'I'll Be On My Way' on 4 April 1963, for the BBC Light Programme series Side By Side. and later broadcast on 24 June.

"Do You Want to Know a Secret", written in autumn 1962, was primarily composed by John Lennon but credited to Lennon–McCartney. The 1963 version by Billy J. Kramer with the Dakotas credited the composition to "McCartney–Lennon".

The song was inspired by "I'm Wishing", a tune from Walt Disney’s 1937 animated film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs which Lennon's mother, Julia Lennon, would sing to him as a child. The first two lines of the song in Disney's movie ("Want to know a secret? Promise not to tell?") come right after the opening lyrics ("You'll never know how much I really love you... You'll never know how much I really care...").

McCartney has said it was a "50–50 collaboration written to order", (for Harrison to sing), but Lennon, who always claimed the song as his own, explained in a 1980 interview that he had realized as soon as he had finished writing the song that it best suited Harrison.

John : "I can't say I wrote it for George. I was in the first apartment I'd ever had that wasn't shared with fourteen other students – gals and guys at art school. I'd just married Cyn, and Brian Epstein gave us his secret little apartment that he kept in Liverpool for his sexual liaisons separate from his home life. And he let Cyn and I have that apartment.

"My mother was always... she was a comedienne and a singer. Not professional, but, you know, she used to get up in pubs and things like that. She had a good voice. She could do Kay Starr. She used to do this little tune when I was just a one- or two-year-old... yeah, she was still living with me then... The tune was from the Disney movie – 'Want to know a secret? Promise not to tell. You are standing by a wishing well.'

"So, I had this sort of thing in my head and I wrote it and just gave it to George to sing. I thought it would be a good vehicle for him because it only had three notes and he wasn't the best singer in the world. He has improved a lot since then, but in those days his singing ability was very poor because (a) he hadn't had the opportunity, and (b) he concentrated more on the guitar. So I wrote that – not for him as I was writing it, but when I had written it, I thought he could do it."

Lennon recorded a demo while in a Hamburg nightclub's toilet; he claimed it was the only place quiet enough to record in. At the end of the demo, (now sadly lost), he pulled the lavatory chain.

Other Versions include : The Beatles (BBC version 1963)  /  Mike Redway (1963)  /  "J'ai un secret à te dire" by Lucky Blondo (1963)  /  Tommy Scott and The Boys (1964)  /  The Hollyridge Strings (1964)  /  "Salaisuuteni" by Eero ja Jussi & The Boys (1964)  /  The Ray Charles Singers (1964)  /  Santo & Johnny (1964)  /  "Daraus mach ich kein Geheimnis" by Didi and His ABC-Boys (1964)  /  Keely Smith (1964)  /  The Johnny Mann Singers (1964)  /  Sonny Curtis (1964)  /  Los Mustang (1964)  /  Bob Leaper (1964)  /  The Chipmunks (1964)  /  Count Basie and His Orchestra (1966)  /  Sally Boyden (1977)  /  Fairground Attraction (1989)  /  Sharon Clark (1997)  /  Danny McEvoy (2010)  /  SistersGoldenHair (2010)  /  Nikki Jean-verve (2012)  /  Kirty Kaylor (2012)  /  Chiara Phillips (2012)  (turned out nice again!) Brulee n' Brownie (2013)  /  Carolyn Miller (2014)  /  Peter (georgiarose16) (2014)  /  Peter Crighton Music (2014)  /  Boghrat Sadeghan (2015)  /  Paul Moody (2016)  /  Hiroshi Masuda (2016)  /  Mary Jane Mitchell (2017)  /  a fab robot (2017)  /  Beatles Guitar Secrets (2017)  /  The Fab Four (2018)
« Last Edit: August 31, 2019, 03:31:17 PM by daf »

Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #535 on: August 31, 2019, 04:40:33 PM »
The Beatles' version of "I'll Be On My Way" is far superior to Billy J's B-side:

Kramer's version is too fast.

Bonus: UB40 cover

When does daily service resume?
« Last Edit: August 31, 2019, 04:51:20 PM by Satchmo Distel »


  • some weirdo taking the piss
Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #536 on: August 31, 2019, 05:06:46 PM »
When does daily service resume?


Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #537 on: August 31, 2019, 07:48:06 PM »
Thanks for all your work here. Really looking forward to the resumption of the daily classics.


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Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #538 on: September 01, 2019, 01:11:07 AM »
Hey! It's that fucking NERD Billy Kramer! Get over here so I can BEAT the SHIT out of you! Fucking PUSSY!

John Lennon suggested that the "J" be added to the name to further distinguish him by adding a "tougher edge".

Oh shit... oh shit it's Billy J Kramer... fuck. Sorry. No fucking with this guy. Absolutely means business. Don't hurt me dude. Please. Sorry. Fuck. Shit


  • some weirdo taking the piss
Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #539 on: September 01, 2019, 02:00:00 PM »
Making Murray a Mint, it's . . .

152.  Gerry and The Pacemakers - I Like It

From : 16 June – 13 July 1963
Weeks : 4
Flip side : It's Happened To Me
bonus : Live

Gerry and the Pacemakers were major force on the Merseybeat scene, a musical genre that developed in Liverpool during the late 50s. It has been estimated that there were around 350 different bands active in Liverpool at the time.

Les Maguire (keyboards) : "Someone reckoned there were actually 600 bands, a lot anyway. In 1961 it really kicked off when the Cavern Club moved from doing mainly Jazz music to doing more rock ‘n’ roll. There would be about five bands on a night and we all used to double or treble up, so in an evening we would do up to three gigs in various clubs around Liverpool. There was a sense that the music scene was special to Liverpool but you never thought nationwide or globally it was any different. That never entered anyone’s heads. The bands all knew each other but all the crowd knew you as well. There was no hysteria, it was all first name terms and very civilised. It was just a club where everybody met, the bands were part of the community, that’s how it felt."

Early in their career Gerry and the Pacemakers rivalled The Beatles, playing in the same areas of Liverpool and Hamburg.

Les : "In 1961 we first went to Germany, The Beatles went a little bit earlier to Hamburg and that’s where bands really learnt their trade. We would play for eight hours a night with only a few short breaks. We had a massive repertoire, Jerry Lee, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, we did everything."

Gerry : “John Lennon was my best pal. We’d mention each other in interviews, take the mickey. I’d say the Beatles were rubbish! It was just great banter and all part of the Scouse aura. The Americans didn’t recognise the humour, but they learned. I remember telling one interviewer that before I became a musician I’d been a boxer, and I’d come from a whole family of boxers apart from my brother – he was an Alsatian. The interviewer just didn’t get it!”

The Beatles’ had started to make it big across the Atlantic when I Want to Hold Your Hand was released in late 1963, and their ground-breaking visit of February 1964 cemented Beatlemania in the States.

Gerry : “The whole thing changed because of Brian Epstein. Cliff had never made it in the States, Billy Fury hadn’t. Brian said, it’s a business now. He said the same to the Beatles. Brian said ‘lads, go to the United States’ and we said, you’re kidding! The Beatles opened the door. If it wasn’t for them we’d never have made it in the States so early.”

"I Like It" was the second single, and second number one in a row by Liverpool band Gerry and the Pacemakers. Like their first number one, it was written by Mitch Murray.

The song reached number one in the UK Singles Chart on 20 June 1963, where it stayed for four weeks. It reached No. 17 in the American charts in 1964.

Other Versions include : Johnny Lion with The Jumping Jewels (1963)  /  "Je tremble" by Orlando (1963)  /  "To léto' by Karel Gott (1964)  /  The Rezillos (1978)  /  Depeche Mode (1980)  /  Eddie Large (2010)  /  Danny McEvoy (2011)  /  Mick Wilkinson (2012)  / Stevie Riks (2018)

On This Day :
19 June : Valentina Tereshkova, 1st woman in space, returns to Earth
21 June : Pope Paul VI (Giovanni Battista Montini) succeeds John XXIII (Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli)
22 June : "Little" Stevie Wonder aged 13 releases his first single "Fingertips"
23 June : US President John F. Kennedy tours Western Europe
23 June : Detroit Walk to Freedom, the largest civil rights demonstration in America up to that point
25 June : George Michael, (Wham!), born Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou in East Finchley, London
26 June : Harriet Wheeler, (The Sundays), born in Henley-on-Thames
26 June : US President John F. Kennedy gives his famous "Ich bin ein Berliner" speech in West Berlin
28 June : USSR First Secretary, Nikita Khrushchev visits East Berlin
29 June : "Little Me" closes at Lunt-Fontanne Theater NYC after 257 performances
30 June : Yngwie J. Malmsteen, guitarist, born in Stockholm, Sweden
1 July : The Beatles record "She Loves You" and "I'll Get You"
2 July : Mark Kermode, (Cult Film Corner), born Mark James Patrick Kermode in Barnet, Hertfordshire
3 July : Tracey Emin, artist, born in Croydon, Surrey
5 July : Wimbledon Men's Tennis: American Chuck McKinley wins his only Grand Slam singles title beating Fred Stolle of Australia 9-7, 6-1, 6-4
8 July : Wimbledon Women's Tennis: Australian Margaret Smith wins her first of 3 Wimbledon titles beating American Billie Jean Moffitt 6-3, 6-4