Paul MccCartney at the Odd Spot, Liverpool city centre, 962
OUT OF THE CAVERNS
Paul MccCartney at the Odd Spot, Liverpool city centre, 962
OUT OF THE CAVERNS
Spencer Leigh looks at the Merseybeat records that have been hiding in back rooms.
This feature from Record Collector in July 1997 has been overtaken by events and it prompted Liverpool's Viper Records to release three volumes of Unearthed Merseybeat. They are all excellent, both historically and in many cases, musically too. They contain full notes about the tracks too - commercial over!
When Mark Lewisohn published his definitive book on the Beatles' recording sessions in 1988, I was green with envy. Here was someone writing at length about tracks we would never hear. He wrote so well that I was itching to hear them. Then the Beatles changed their minds, perhaps, if I am cynical, because not even Paul McCartney could generate much interest for his new releases. The three double-CD sets which comprise the Beatle Anthologies have demonstrated the huge, worldwide market for previously unissued tracks and alternative takes from the 60s. Despite their denials, we are bound to see more anthologies in the future.
You only have to look at Record Collector's index pages to see the vast coverage that has been given to the Beatles outtakes. Rather than repeat this material, I want to look at the material from other Merseybeat bands which was not released in the UK at the time. This to me is the dream Merseybeat Anthology set, Of The Caverns, and it shouldn't be beyond some enterprising record company to put it together. Not only is this material known to exist, but I have a copy of everything listed and none of the tracks is in such poor condition as the Beatles' home recordings in 1960 released on "Anthology 1". Because Billy Fury came from Liverpool and recorded songs by Jimmy Campbell of the Kirkbys, I have included him on the CDs.
I've only included tracks that I have heard and among the other unreleased tracks are "I've Been Lovin' You Too Long" (Clayton Squares), "One And One Is Two" (Billy J.Kramer), "Spoonful" (Mojos), "For What It's Worth" (Searchers), "Ubangi Stomp" (Rory Storm and the Hurricanes, produced by Brian Epstein) and "I Still Love You" (Cilla Black, 1972 session produced by George Harrison). Johnny B. Great (Johnny Goodison) wrote a whole album for Billy J.Kramer that was never released, but Peter Skellern, who chanced upon the session, later wrote that it was the worst recording he'd ever heard! Quite apart from the famed Decca EP, there's a tape of the Big Three at the Cavern but the balance is wrong as it sounds like a long drum solo from Johnny Hutch. OUT OF THE CAVERNS
ALBUM ONE - FIRST CD - THE FORMATIVE YEARS (50.31)
(1) BUTTERFLY (Anthony September) - PAUL MURPHY AND JOHNNY GUITAR (1.24) It's 22nd June 1957 at Percy Phillips' recording studio in Kensington, Liverpool and the first known recording by any Merseybeat musician is being made by a key player, Johnny Guitar of Rory Storm and the Hurricanes. Paul Murphy had a pleasant voice and did make a few singles, but he was happier with artist management and record production.
(2) SHE'S GOT IT (Little Richard, John Marascalco) - PAUL MURPHY AND JOHNNY GUITAR (1.31) Just vocal and acoustic guitar but an energetic workout of the Little Richard B-side.
(3) GREAT BALLS OF FIRE (Jack Hammer, Otis Blackwell) - THE DOMINOES (1.58) The Dominoes had ten tracks recorded professionally at their pianist's house in Crosby. Arthur Baker takes the vocal but it's Sam Hardiee's pumping piano you remember on this cover of Jerry Lee Lewis' No.l record.
(4) BABY (Charlie Flynn) - THE DOMINOES (3.00) The Dominoes had ten tracks recorded professionally at their pianist's house in Crosby. "Baby" is an original song, although to be honest, the lyric is little more than "Baby, you're the one for me". It is influenced by the US doo-wop groups and still has a lot of charm. Charlie Flynn left the Dominoes for another Crosby group, Ian and the Zodiacs.
(5) I'M LEFT YOU'RE RIGHT SHE'S GONE (Stan Kesler, William Taylor) / HAVE I TOLD YOU LATELY THAT I LOVE YOU (Scott Wiseman) / YODELLING SONG (Billy Fury) - BILLY FURY (3.28) Only he wasn't Billy Fury then. Young Ronnie Wycherley wandered into Percy Phillips' studio around the same time as the Quarrymen to make a demo that his mother could send to rock'n'roll impresario, Larry Parnes. To his own guitar accompaniment, Billy sang four Presley songs (the two above plus "Playin' For Keeps" and "Paralyzed") and "Come Go With Me". Nobody had worked on young Ronnie and yet he sounds just like Billy Fury. The yodelling song at the end is amusing, a variation of "Indian Love Call". He never sang like that again.
(6) GOOD GOLLY MISS MOLLY (John Marascalco) - KINGSIZE TAYLOR AND THE DOMINOES (1.58) Teddy Taylor was a teenage delivery boy for the butcher, but the voice is unmistakably the Kingsize Taylor of the Merseybeat years. Sam Hardie gives his parents' piano a treatment that never could have been anticipated.
(7) ROLL OVER BEETHOVEN (Chuck Berry) - KINGSIZE TAYLOR AND THE DOMINOES (2.54) The best of the songs to be recorded at 18 Cambridge Road and putting the drummer at the top of the stairs was a master touch by engineer Bernard Whitty. Kingsize Taylor sounds so confident here: note the way he almost speaks some lines.(8) SAD AND BLUE (Sam Hardie) - KINGSIZE TAYLOR AND THE DOMINOES (2.20) Sam Hardie's matches Jerry Lee's glissandos on this cheerful song about someone contemplating suicide. Good vocal from Kingsize, but that goes without saying.
(9) YES SIR THAT'S MY BABY (Donaldson) - THE SWINGING BLUE JEANS (2.30) The Blue Genes came up in the trad boom but unlike the Merseysippi and Blue Magnolia jazz bands, they switched to rock'n'roll. In 1961, whilst still a jazz band, they went to Oriole for a recording test with John Schroeder. It's a lively energetic performance featuring banjo and an amplified guitar solo. I fail to see why they didn't get a contract.
(10) I'M SHY, MARY ELLEN, I'M SHY (unknown) - THE SWINGING BLUE JEANS (2.35) The other side of the Blue Jeans' recording test, this time with a lead vocal from Ralph Ellis. Their sound was such a ragbag of influences that it was both unique and highly enjoyable.
(11) PLEASE LOVE ME (Hal Carter) - BILLY FURY (2.05) In 1961 Billy's road manager, Scouser Hal Carter, wrote this song for him, very much in the vein of "Jealousy". Because Hal fell out with his employer, Larry Parnes, it was never released. "It was a bit bitchy," says Hal, "but that's the way he was."
(12) THE STRANGER (Norrie Paramor) - THE REMO FOUR (2.25) The Remo Four, recorded at the Iron Door in 1961, with a Shadows' hit. Don Andrew remembers, "It was a rehearsal on recorded on a little Grundig tape recorder and we did four tracks. My favourite is 'The Stranger'. Colin Manley used to play every note that Hank Marvin played, the way he played it, and if Hank Marvin made a mistake, Colin used to copy that. We used to repeat the mistakes night after night, even if they weren't meant to be there."
(13) TRAMBONE (Chet Atkins) - THE REMO FOUR (1.33) Wonderful country guitar picking from Colin Manley.
(14) BONAPARTE'S RETREAT (Traditional) - THE SWINGING BLUE JEANS (1.52) Recorded in the ladies' cloakroom at the Mardi Gras, the Swinging Blue Jeans merge country and jazz for this cover of a US hit by Billy Grammer.
(15) THE ISLE OF CAPRI (unknown) - THE SWINGING BLUE JEANS (2.55) Ralph Ellis takes the lead vocal on a jazz arrangement, which, oddly enough, sounds like "It's Not Unusual".
(16) BABY WHAT YOU WANT ME TO DO (Jimmy Reed) - DENNY SEYTON AND THE SABRES (2.35) They were only young lads mucking about, so that's why they tried to turn Jimmy Reed's R&B classic into a comedy song. If you could get rid of the comic turn from the second vocalist, this wouldn't be too bad.
(17) KAREN (Bob Pryde) - DENNY SEYTON AND THE SABRES (1.43) This teenage ballad was written by local songwriter, Bob Pryde, and it was recorded by Mark and John for Decca in 1964.
(18) DIZZY CHIMES (Les Braid) - THE SWINGING BLUE JEANS (2.00) Bass player Les Braid wrote this catchy instrumental for the Blue Jeans. They did record it for Joe Meek, but that version is probably in the famed tea-chest tapes. This version was recorded in the Mardi Gras around 1961.
(19) SEND ME SOME LOVIN' (Little RIchard) - THE SWINGING BLUE JEANS (2.55) There is a full tape of the Swinging Blue Jeans on stage at the Cavern early in 1963. It is not their standard act as Ray Ennis can't sing due to a sore throat. They were still a jazz band but there are rock'n'roll overtones including the Ventures' "Walk Don't Run" and an impassioned vocal from Ralph Ellis on "Send Me Some Lovin'", which has some tough rock'n'roll guitar alongside a jazz banjo.
(20) TUTTI FRUTTI (Little Richard, Dorothy LaBostrie, Lubin) - THE DENNISONS (2.25) The Dennisons made a rehearsal tape in 1962. The drummer is Clive Hornby, who has been playing Jack Sugden in "Emmerdale" for the last 20 years.
(21) A PICTURE OF YOU (Peter Oakman, Johnny Beveridge) - THE DENNISONS (2.00) A cover of Joe Brown's summer hit, also performed on stage by the Beatles.
(22) SO HOW COME (Boudleaux and Felice Bryant) - THE MERSEYBEATS (2.19) Considering this is just a home recording from December 1962 of a young, new inexperienced group, "So How Come" sounds surprisingly good. Unfortunately, some idiot had recorded over part of the take, but luckily there are couple of false starts and so a completed version can easily be put together. Clearly, the Merseybeats were influenced by "A Date With The Everly Brothers" (released October 1960) as that is their main source of material.
ALBUM ONE - SECOND CD - THE MERSEYBEAT YEARS (45.21)
(1) LITTLE LATIN LUPE LU (Bill Medley) - DENNY SEYTON AND THE SABRES (2.32) Denny Seyton and the Sabres recorded in 1963 at, would you believe, Percy Phillips'.
(2) HELLO LITTLE GIRL (John Lennon, Paul McCartney) - GERRY AND THE PACEMAKERS (1.40) Unlike many NEMS acts, Gerry and the Pacemakers were not given an original Lennon-McCartney song to record - or were they? Gerry and the Pacemakers' version of "Hello Little Girl" emerged in 1992 on the UK release, "The Best Of The EMI Years", although it sounds as routine as the Beatles' version of "How Do You Do It". Possibly they cut it as a demo for the Fourmost who were in Germany at the time, but Brian O'Hara of the Fourmost has a tape of John Lennon performing the song for him. At the start of the tape, John says that he is recording it in the toilet as it is only quiet place available.
(3) MISERY (John Lennon, Paul McCartney) - THE MERSEYBEATS (1.35) The television programme, "ABC At Large", decided to have a battle of the bands, Liverpool v Manchester, with the Merseybeats and Deke Rivers. The Merseybeats did a song from the Beatles' album and a recording exists.
(4) I'M IN LOVE (John Lennon, Paul McCartney) - BILLY J.KRAMER WITH THE DAKOTAS (2.25) The presence of John and Paul in the control may have put Billy off, but he had great difficulty in getting this Lennon-McCartney song down. The song was passed over to the Fourmost, but Take 32 is pretty good. Released in 1991 on the US collection, "The Best Of Billy J.Kramer And The Dakotas".
(5) HEY JOE (Boudleaux Bryant) - THE SEARCHERS (2.25) The Searchers, recorded live at the Star-Club in Hamburg, just before they found fame.
(6) NEVER IN A HUNDRED YEARS (unknown) - KINGSIZE TAYLOR AND THE DOMINOES (2.05) This was released as a B-side in Germany and has since been neglected. Kingsize glides into falsetto with the ease of Frankie Valli.
(7) HIPPY HIPPY SHAKE (Chan Romero) - DENNY SEYTON AND THE SABRES (1.26) Denny Seyton and the Sabres were asked by an American record company to cover the hits of their contemporaries for an album called "It's The Gear!". They were told they could have a percentage of the royalties or £200. They listened to what they had recorded and took the money. This is a workmanlike version of "Hippy Hippy Shake" although it lacks the excitement of the Swinging Blue Jeans' hit.
(8) I'LL FIND A WAY (Bob Pryde) - BILL KENWRIGHT (2.05) Showbusiness impresario and former "Coronation Street" star, Bill Kenwright spent his teenage years going down to the Cavern and performing when given a chance. This demo is from around 1964. In the late 60s he cut several singles although none of them made the charts.
(9) HALLELUJAH I LOVE HER SO (Ray Charles) - GERRY AND THE PACEMAKERS (2.42) One of four tracks recorded in 1964 and yet not released by EMI until the MFP collection, "The Very Best Of Gerry And The Pacemakers" in 1984. Excellent backing from the Pacemakers, notably Les Maguire on piano.
(10) BYE BYE JOHNNY (Chuck Berry) - THE SEARCHERS (2.39) Typical Searchers, typical Merseybeat, typical Chuck Berry - and there's nothing wrong with that. Recorded in January 1964, but not released until the 3-CD Searchers set on Sequel in 1992.
(11) BACK AGAIN TO ME (Earl Preston) - EARL PRESTON AND THE TT'S (1.57) Songwriting by numbers - this catchy song from 1964 contains every element of the Merseybeat sound. Great fun.
(12) IT HAD TO BE YOU (Earl Preston) - EARL PRESTON AND THE TT'S (1.52) More cheerful Merseybeat and it's surprising that this band only released one single. Even more so when you consider Joey Spruce's good looks. Oh, that's Earl Preston to you.
(13) WHAT'S SO GOOD ABOUT GOODBYE (Smokey Robinson) - THE UNDERTAKERS (2.25) The Undertakers were normally more raucous than this but this pleasant cover of a Smokey Robinson song deserved to be a single.
(14) GOOD MORNING LITTLE SCHOOLGIRL (Demarais) - IAN AND THE ZODIACS (2.46) The Crosby group, Ian and the Zodiacs, cut this blues song in Germany but it comes out as straight Merseybeat. It was released in Germany, but not in the UK because the Yardbirds beat them to it. Notwithstanding Eric Clapton, this version is much better but, coming from Crosby myself, I'm probably biased.
(15) YOU'VE GOT LOVE (Little Johnny Wilson, Roy Orbison, Norman Petty) - THE SWINGING BLUE JEANS (1.53) A goodtime track that lay in EMI's vaults until the 1992 US collection, "Hippy Hippy Shake".
(16) THE THINGS I WANT TO HEAR (unknown) - THE MERSEYBEATS (2.15) Given the chance, the Merseybeats would have recorded an album, "The Merseybeats Salute The Shirelles". They had success with covers of "It's Love That Really Counts" and "Don't Let It Happen To Us", and this song is so good that you wonder why the Shirelles only put it on the B-side of "Baby It's You" and why the Merseybeats' version was never released.
(17) (YOU DON'T HAVE TO) CRY ME A RIVER (unknown) - THE MERSEYBEATS (2.00) I don't know where the song comes from but it's a powerful soul ballad from the Merseybeats.
(18) HOUSE OF BAMBOO (unknown) - DENNY SEYTON AND THE SABRES (2.22) This 1964 Merseybeat revival of an Andy Williams B-side was scheduled as a single to follow "The Way You Look Tonight" but Mercury Records then changed its mind. This performance was never released but it could easily have been a Top 20 hit. The following year they made an album of Lally Stott's songs with George Martin but only a single, "Just A Kiss", was released.
(19) THAT'S WHAT LOVE WILL DO (Mayfield) - DENNY SEYTON AND THE SABRES (2.04) Gentle Merseybeat sounds on this version of a Curtis Mayfield song.
(20) CHARLIE NO-ONE (unknown) - THE MERSEYBEATS WITH KIKI DEE (2.02) The coupling of these two Fontana acts was never released but it should have been. It is a novelty song but it has more whimsy and less humour than "Come Outside". Kiki Dee is from Bradford, but she can be a guest on this imaginary compliation.
(21) SOLDIER OF LOVE (Cason, Moon) - THE MERSEYBEATS (2.15) The British beat groups plundered Arthur Alexander's repertoire ("Anna", "You Better Move On", "A Shot Of Rhythm And Blues"), but surprisingly no-one released the barnstorming "Soldier Of Love" as a single. The Beatles performed it on "Pop Go The Beatles" but the Merseybeats' version was never released. Great Merseybeat harmonies and solid drumming from John Banks.
ALBUM TWO - FIRST CD - THE MERSEYBEAT YEARS (56.28)
(1) LET THE FOUR WINDS BLOW (Fats Domino, Dave Bartholomew) / AIN'T GONNA KISS YA (P.J.Proby) - THE SEARCHERS (5.05) Chris Curtis introduces two songs from a fine live performance in Stockholm in 1964.
(2) A MESS OF BLUES (Doc Pomus, Mort Shuman) - LEE CURTIS AND THE ALL- STARS (2.20) Lee Curtis was out of time - too late for Elvis, too early for Tom Jones. He sounded dated in 1963 but this is a strong cover of one of Elvis' best numbers, which was only released in Germany.
(3) GOODBYE (Billy Kinsley) - THE KINSLEYS (2.09) Billy Kinsley left the Merseybeats as he was getting married and preferred to be at home. He formed a band to play in the Liverpool clubs, but he rejoined the Merseybeats before they had a record out
(4) DO ME A FAVOUR (Swinging Blue Jeans) - THE KINSLEYS (1.55) A second track from the Kinsleys and this song was later rewritten as "Promise You'll Tell Her" by the Swinging Blue Jeans.
(5) IN THE MOOD (Garland, Razaf) - THE SWINGING BLUE JEANS (5.35) There are very few extended instrumental solos on Merseybeat recordings, but the Swinging Blue Jeans allowed their drummer, Norman Kuhlke, to have full rein on this lively treatment of Glenn Miller's "In The Mood".
(6) IT'S NO GOOD FOR ME (unknown) - LEE CURTIS AND THE ALL-STARS (2.49) Impassioned beat-ballad from Lee Curtis, who sounds like P.J.Proby on this unissued cut.
(7) ALONG CAME JONES (Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller) - DENNY SEYTON AND THE SABRES (2.52) Denny Seyton and the Sabres liked to include comedy in their act and this comedy song from the Coasters' repertorie was ideal for them. It was released in German.
(8) DON'T YOU WANT ME NO MORE (Jimmy Campbell, Joe Marooth) - THE KIRKBYS (2.10) An excellent track with the group's songwriter, Jimmy Campbell, being very influenced by the Byrds. Perhaps Jimmy should have passed the song to the Searchers. This was a great live favourite for the Kirkbys.
(9) DREAMING (Jimmy Campbell, Joe Marooth) - THE KIRKBYS (2.27) The Merseybeats recorded this song and this is where they got it from.
(10) SHAKE A TAIL FEATHER (unknown) - EARL ROYCE AND THE OLYMPICS (2.20) A frenzied performance by the group that was in the film, "Ferry Cross The Mersey".
(11) TOSSIN' AND TURNIN' (Ritchie Adams, Malou Rene) - EARL PRESTON AND THE TT's (1.58) After backing Eden Kane for a Fontana session, there was some time left so the Merseyside band put down some tracks themselves. They weren't released but this energetic cover version of the US hit by Bobby Lewis is as good as any of the records they made. Great high-pitched oo's from Cy Tucker.
(12) BONY MORONIE (Larry Williams) - CY TUCKER (2.15) Cy Tucker rasps through the Larry Williams classic. Cy is backed by the TTs and it was recorded at the same session as "Tossin' And Turnin'".
(13) BEAUTIFUL DELILAH (Chuck Berry) - EARL PRESTON AND THE TT'S (2.47) Shortly before his death in 1989, lead guitarist Lance Railton gave some mildewed tapes with wine spiilt over them to drummer Ritchie Galvin. It turned out to be the group's first recording session from May 1963 and once Ritchie had cleaned them, they sounded fine. Lance used to put two banjo strings on his guitar so he could bend them further. This is a good example of his lead guitar work and with a strong lead vocal by Earl Preston, this is a fine track.
(14) THE LAST BUS HOME (Billy May) - STEVE DAY AND THE SYNDICATE (2.30) In Beatle books, you often come across a reference to Wump and his Werbles being one of the first beat groups at the Cavern. Sadly, nothing by Wump is to hand, but the group did become Steve Day and the Syndicate and this 1964 acetate features "The Last Bus Home" and "You Ask Me Why". Songwriter Billy May is a member of another Liverpool band, the Pathfinders. Sign of the times: no-one would write a song about the last bus home these days as everyone goes by car.
(15) I WONDER IF I CARE AS MUCH (Don Everly) - THE DIMENSIONS (2.50) Most Merseybeat bands had some Everly Brothers material in their repertoire and this version featured some very tight harmonies. The Dimensions made records with a Chester girl. Tiffany.
(16) LEND ME YOUR COMB (Kay Twomey, Ben Weisman, Fred Wise) - RORY STORM AND THE HURRICANES (1.45) Rory Storm and the Hurricanes made very few records and even fewer demos are around. This song, originally recorded by Carl Perkins, was ideal for Rory, who put his blond quiff in place with a large comb. The demo was recorded in 1965 but sounds earlier, and on its B-side, Rory says, "And now it's time for the star of our little show, Britain's answer to Duane Eddy, the magnificent, the sensational, the fabulous Johnny Guitar". On this playing of "Green Onions", however, Duane has little to worry about.
(17) HE WAS A FRIEND OF MINE (Roger McGuinn) - TONY JACKSON GROUP (3.02) Tony Jackson formed the Vibrations after leaving the Searchers and with a change in line-up,they spent some time in Portugal, even recording an EP there. This track, a lament for President Kennedy, shows how similar the Byrds' sound was to the Searchers'. Eventually released in the UK on the Tony Jackson CD, "Just Like Me", on the Strange Things Are Happening label in 1992.
(18) ONCE UPON A TIME (Strouse, Adams) - THE SEARCHERS (2.02) The Searchers excelled at melodic ballads: this reminds me of their B-sides, but it wasn't released until the 1992 Sequel set.
(19) IF YOU CAN'T GET HER (Wayne Bickerton, Tony Waddington) -PETE BEST COMBO (3.20) This single was released in the UK in 1964 and credited to "Peter Best, formerly of the Beatles". The record showcases the early songwriting and performing abilities of Wayne Bickerton and Tony Waddington, who later wrote and produced the hits for the Rubettes. The Liverpool accent is so to the fore that it sounds like a male version of the Vernons. First released in the UK on "Beyond The Beatles, 1964-1966" on Cherry Red records last year.
(20) CASTIN' MY SPELL (E. Johnson, A. Johnson) - THE PETE BEST COMBO (1.50) The original Johnny Otis record was a favourite with British beat groups, but few of them recorded it. This was released in the US and did not get released in the UK until "Beyond The Beatles, 1964-1966" on Cherry Red Records.
(21) WE'RE HERE AGAIN (Ralph Ellis) - THE SWINGING BLUE JEANS (1.35) The Swinging Blue Jeans never wrecked hotel rooms - quite the reverse, when they returned to a hotel they might put another show for the patrons. Ralph Ellis wrote this pastiche of a music hall song for those occasions. It contains the same humour as the Beatles Christmas records for the fan club. "How much was that suit then?" "25 guineas." "Good god, you could have got a new one for that."
ALBUM TWO - SECOND CD - END OF AN ERA (56.31)
(1) OVER THE RAINBOW (Harold Arlen, Yip Harburg) - THE NEWTOWNS (2.50) Very nice, light beat treatment of the Judy Garland standard, recorded at Unicord Overseas Promotions, 34 Moorfields, Liverpool 2. At the same session, the Newtowns covered Sandie Shaw's "Tomorrow" and the Drifters' "Please Stay".
(2) MAKE UP YOUR MIND (The Connoisseurs) - THE CONNOISSEURS (3.00) The Connoisseurs did a recording test for George Martin, who decided not to offer them a contract. A few months later they acquired a new lead singer in Vince Earl, which could have made the different. This mid-paced demo was made with Vince in Stockport and has good harmonies and instrumentation, although the song is repetitive. "I haven't heard it for a million years. The mixing could have been better but it's not bad," says Vince, who now plays Ron Dixon in "Brookside".
(3) SORROW (First session) (Feldman, Goldstein, Gottehrer) - THE MERSEYS (2.20) After the Merseybeats, Tony Crane and Billy Kinsley went the way of the Walker Brothers with "Sorrow". The single made No.4, but that was recorded at the second attempt. The first session featured Jack Bruce, Clem Cattini, John Paul Jones and Jimmy Page, but Fontana thought it was too heavy and had them recut it with an orchestral arrangement. Pity.Lots of Merseybeat bands sang this Arthur Alexander song.
(4) NOTHING CAN CHANGE THIS LOVE (Cooke) - THE MERSEYS (1.55) This Sam Cooke song is a close cousin to "Bring It On Home To Me" and the call-and-response between Tony and Billy on this revival is first rate. The Merseys never did much beyond "Sorrow" but this could have made the Top 10.
(5) KEEP ME WARM ('TIL THE SUN SHINES) (Jimmy Campbell) - THE SWINGING BLUE JEANS (2.28) In 1966 the Swinging Blue Jeans showed they were capable of keeping up with the Beatles via this piece of psychedelia. The excellent song was written by Jimmy Campbell of the Kirkbys and was produced by Paddy Chambers of the Escorts and Paddy, Klaus and Gibson. EMI refused to sanction its release because it wasn't made by one of their staff producers. Ironically, Jimmy didn't know that the Blue Jeans had recorded his song until I told him a couple of years ago.
(6) MICHAELANGELO (Jimmy Campbell) - THE KIRKBYS (2.21) The Kirkbys try a few psychedelic tricks on "Michaelangelo" and the introduction of the trumpet can only mean that someone has been listening to "Penny Lane". Good song, and Jimmy Campbell recorded a song about Van Gogh on his album.
(7) LET ME IN (unknown) - THE CRYIN' SHAMES (2.38) The Cryin' Shames had a UK hit with "Please Stay", produced by Joe Meek, but Meek's suicide meant that several tracks went unreleased. "Let Me In" has a driving rhythm track with a kitchen-sink arrangement, subsequently added by Meek. Good track but more typical of Meek than Merseybeat.
(8) HOLD ON I'M COMIN' (Isaac Hayes, Dave Porter) - THE UNDERTAKERS (2.05) The Undertakers copying Sam and Dave's original and making a good job of it.
(9) MAKIN' WHOOPEE (Walter Donaldson, Gus Kahn) - RAY SCRAGG (2.23) When Ray Scragg left the Dennisons, he cut some demos to his own piano accompaniment. He has a good R&B feel on "Makin' Whoopee", clearly inspired by Ray Charles' version.
(10) I'LL TAKE YOU HOME AGAIN KATHLEEN (T.Westendorf) - THE DIMENSIONS (3.39) The Dimensions became a cabaret band and worked with Dickie Valentine, who encouraged them to get a record contract. Nothing came of it, but this demo shows the lead singer's sensational voice, like Karl Denver in overdrive. Of all the unreleased tracks I have played on BBC Radio Merseyside, this one has attracted the most attention.
(11) LOVE ME (Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller) - GUS TRAVIS AND THE MIDNIGHTERS (2.35) Gus "Crazy Legs" Travis never got a recording deal but he has been playing the Merseyside clubs since the 50s. This is from a live recording from the late 60s: Gus had got the Midnighters back as they'd been Freddie Starr. As Elvis imitators go, Gus Travis is pretty good and I love his Elvis-styled asides on this cut.
(12) PROMISCUITY (Sidney Hoddes, Roger McGough, Mike McGear) - SCAFFOLD (2.20) Wonderful lyric: "Promiscuity, promiscuity, it isn't a sin or a vice / I don't even it's good for me, I just do it because it is nice." Scaffold recorded this witty calypso for EMI but even in the late-60s, it was considered to be a risqué lyric and the track stayed on the shelf.
(13) GETTIN' SENTIMENTAL OVER YOU (Jimmy Campbell) - BILLY FURY (2.30) Another Jimmy Campbell song, this time a lilting country song that sounds like a standard. Fury gives a fine performance and I like the honky tonk piano.
(14) MR BUSDRIVER (Bruce Channel) - JASON EDDIE (1.57) Billy Fury's brother, Albie Wycherley, with a cover of Bruce Channel's "Mr Busdriver". I think Albert will take it as a compliment when I say this sounds like Billy.
(15) GOING BACK TO LIVERPOOL (Jackie Lomax) - JACKIE LOMAX (3.07) The former lead singer of the Undertakers, Jackie Lomax, was signed as a solo artist to Apple Records and made an album, "Is This What You Want?", to which the public unfortunately answered no. This outtake was a bonus track on the CD reissue in 1991and features George Harrison (lead), Billy Kinsley (bass), Billy Preston (organ) and Pete Clarke (drums).
(16) HERE WE GO AGAIN (unknown) - PADDY CHAMBERS AND BERYL MARSDEN (3.45) Two Merseybeat stalwarts get together for a slow soul version of the Ray Charles classic, produced by Tony Hall. Other unreleased sides from the same session are "You And Me" and "Take Me In Your Arms Again".
(17) GREEN EYED AMERICAN ACTRESS (Jimmy Campbell) - BILLY FURY (2.29) Fury recorded several of Jimmy Campbell's songs and this excellent ballad should have been released.
(18) THAT'S RIGHT, THAT'S ME (Jimmy Campbell) - BILLY FURY (3.24) Opening lines: "Judas Iscariot loaned me his chariot / Mad Jack gave me a loan" - and get's weirder. Intriguing song about losing your money at cards (I think).
(19) I'M AN OLD ROCK'N'ROLLER (Mickey Jupp) - THE SWINGING BLUE JEANS (2.35) If Chuck Berry had been writing songs in 1980, they might have turned out like this. The Swinging Blue Jeans with a good Mickey-take written by Mr Jupp: "I'm backstage drinking and watching the clock, And nobody knows that I'm too old to rock."
(20) RUNNING BEAR (J.P.Richardson) - CLOUDS (2.40) Joey Bower, Dave Lovelady and Billy Hatton of the Fourmost formed Clouds to work social clubs, and they hoped to get a recording deal with a revival of "Running Bear", although it never happened. Clouds enjoy the war whoops and there's some great drumming from Dave Lovelady.
(21) SHANGHAI SURPRISE (George Harrison) - GEORGE HARRISON AND VICKI BROWN (4.30) Let's put a Beatle in here. Madonna's 1986 film "Shanghai Suprise" was a disaster in every way but one - the theme song. George Harrison recorded his song with another Liverpool singer, Vicki, the wife of Joe. Because the film immediately sank, the single was cancelled, but it's one of George's best songs and a good companion to "Hong Kong Blues".