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Emma Kinsley

Published on 24 Feb 2017

The Merseybeats. The Cavern. Fortune Teller

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MA4xzg4fMX4

 

Interview with Tony Crane 10th September

Join Frankie Connor on BBC Radio Merseyside and hear Tony LIVE in interview today 12noon

 

 

Thank You ....... POP-60 – Helsingborgs 60-talsförening

 

 

 

 

Tony regrets leaving Brian Epstein

Newly-honoured Tony Crane MBE in conversation with David Parker

Courtesy of David Parker THE BEAT

Kingsley House Publishing

Tony regrets leaving Brian Epstein

Tony regrets leaving Brian Epstein

Newly-honoured Tony Crane MBE in conversation with David Parker

Tony: you were a teenager at the start your singing career, would you say you were walking into good fortune on stage in front of paying fans?
We were lucky being in Liverpool at the time. There were lots of great bands around, but at the very start ,we sang and played guitar for free. Getting paid was a bonus and we never thought anything would come of it, but everyone has dreams.

What was it like doing that first performance and making a hit record for the first time?
Our first gig was crazy. It was a boys club and to make the lighting more moody I painted a light bulb blue, but after two songs there was so much smoke in the room from the bulb, we had to evacuate the room as it had set the fire alarms off!

Making a hit record was so surreal and nerve-wracking. When we went to London to record for the first time, we had no idea what to expect!

However, we soon got to grips with the whole recording process. The management and music engineers were discussing everything with us along the way; we felt really important! It was a great experience.

I ask this because you made Top Twenty hits not covered by other artists.
I think choosing to record more ballads made us stand out more from the other artists at that time. We were extremely lucky that a few absolute world-class songwriters wrote for us – Bert Bacharach and Hal David among them – and it was also great to get our own compositions on record too.

What do you remember of the early days? Were you and the other Merseybeats plucked off the streets? How did it all begin?
We got our recording contract by accident. An A&R man from Phillips Records came to the Cavern Club to audition some bands, and arrived during our lunchtime session. On finishing our show, we were approached and asked if the other bands could use our equipment for the audition, which we agreed.

By the end of the audition the a&r man told me he didn’t like any of the other bands…so would like to offer the Mersey-beats a contract! I was stunned and replied: “But we haven’t even auditioned for you!”
He told us he had caught our lunchtime session before the auditions and we were just what he was looking for! Four weeks to that day, we had been to London, recorded four songs and our first single was released (Its’ love that really counts), and it went straight into the charts!

It felt extra special to have a hit with a ballad as no-one, especially from Liverpool, was recording ballads at that time. Friends of mine became 60s stars, but they told me it was heart-breaking and hard work, and there is no such thing as an overnight hit.

What age were you and who guided you and advised and managed you? And were they good to you or hard task masters?
We formed a group while I was working at the Royal Liver buildings as an insurance clerk at 16. We played around Liverpool as the mavericks until Bob Wooler saw us play and offered us a residency at The Cavern which would involve lunchtime sessions – a big decision as we would have to turn professional to do this. He changed our name to The Merseybeats and we subsequently left our jobs to fit all the gigs in.

Brian Epstein took us over for a while, but he didn’t buy us suits like The Beatles, so we ended up parting ways.
Our recording contract followed with Phillips and later Fontana. We were well-looked after and advised; we were young and learned a lot ourselves along the way. Looking back, I regret leaving Brian Epstein.

Were you always confident and had you set your ambitions to be a singer/songwriter musician or did it grow on you?
I wasn’t too confident and a bit shy, but I was determined to try and become successful as a singer, and later, as a musician as well. Singing at church and at family parties helped my confidence grow.

Did you have lessons and voice training and did you learn to play instruments or did you teach yourself?
No voice training or lessons: my brother in law Peter gave me some initial lessons to play the guitar after seeing Elvis. I then continued but mostly self-taught. This helped me when singing along to all the chart hits.

What was it like working with other artists who became the big bad boys of rock?
We’ve played with so many other artists over the years, under the same management. We did many gigs and tours with The Who, and we all became great friends, but Keith Moon was Keith Moon! He actually played the gong on the I Stand Accused recording! He was there watching us recording and was eager to be involved!

Some stars claim they were influenced by musicians of the era, or before. Did you have your own icons that you tried to emulate?
As a child Mario Lanza, was my first idol, until my sister took me to see Love Me Tender, then Elvis took centre stage. All the other artists of that era influenced me and the band, such as Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Berry, Fats Domino. They still influence me to this day.

Of all your hits, what was your favourite?
Probably Sorrow, because it has been liked by so many other artists, including The Beatles, even David Bowie, covering it. It made us very proud. It always goes down so well at our live shows to this day. It has stood the test of time.

Of all the tours and one-night stands all over the world, which were the ones you remember most – fondly and not so fondly?
All of these are remembered fondly. Each concert has been special or memorable in some way, notably the Empire Pool Wembley, NME poll concert, and our tours of Italy which ended up leading to our TV show over there in the 60s.

Of our recent tours, every Solid Silver 60s have been so well received: it’s just fantastic to see all the fans young and older enjoying our music .

Would you record again, given the opportunity?
Yes, we are planning a new album of Cavern Favourite, a collection of songs we performed during our time at the Cavern back in the 60s.

How do you spend your time nowadays? I’m told you have several business interests as you had invested your earnings wisely.
My time is split between The Merseybeats and running my property company. I take great pride and pleasure in restoring dilapidated but historic buildings around the north west. My four grandchildren keep me busy too!

What would you most like to be remembered for?
I’m delighted to be honoured with an MBE. This covers my dedication and love for services to music (56 years and counting), helping so many charities over the years to raise funds though our music and restoring building that have been neglected over the years.

What do you think of music in the charts these days? Memorable like the 50s, 60s, and 70s?
I feel that the music today is not different from any other era, it has memorable and not so memorable – good and not so good – music . Some will stand the test of time. Bands like The Killers are very creative and original and they stand out to me. July 2017

TONY AND BILLY Kinsley formed a duo in 1961 in Liverpool.Tony Crane was lead guitar, vocals, and Billy was on bass, vocals, working as an Everly Brothers-influenced duo around Liverpool clubs.

The duo added David Elias (rhythm guitar, vocals) and Frank Sloane (drums) and changed the name to The Pacifics, then The Mavericks.

Bill Harry was asked if they could use the name of his copyright newspaper, MERSEY BEAT, and he agreed.
The Mavericks became The Mersey Beats, and later THE MERSEYBEATS. Sloane was replaced by John Banks and Elias by Aaron Williams.

Merseybeats dates:
July Wednesday, 5 – Lowestoft, Gunton Hall – Warners Leisure Hotel
60’s Festival starring The
Merseybeats, Edison Lighthouse, The Fourmost, The
Cufflinks and more
Saturday 22 – Hayling Island – Mill Rythe
All Stars Summertime 60s Music weekender
August 5 Sweden – Helsingborg
September Friday 8 – Gloucester – PRIVATE FUNCTION
Thursday 14 – Liverpool – THE CAVERN L2 6RE
Friday 22 – Whitby LIVE
Tuesday 26 – Pakefield – Pontins


Courtesy of The Wirral Globe

http://www.wirralglobe.co.uk/

MBE for Wirral founder of

'The Merseybeats'

THE founder of '60s band The Merseybeats has said he felt 'happy and humbled' after being awarded an MBE for services to music, charity and the community in the Queen's Birthday Honours.

Tony Crane - who has been in the music business for more than 55 years and has also helped save historic buildings in Wirral and further afield - told the Globe that he was honoured to be among those to receive this accolade.

The singer and guitarist, who lives in Meols, admitted: "When the letter arrived telling me I had been awarded the MBE I thought it was a joke, at first.

"But when it finally dawned on me that it was true, I felt very humbled.

"I am humbled to be recognised with such an honour as this for my long, successful and continuing career in music, raising money for numerous charities along with restoring many buildings in my local area.

"Congratulations to all the people who have been honoured too, for all kinds of amazing and significant work.

"I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who have supported me in the past 56 years.

"It is difficult to thank everyone by name, and I hope that everyone will accept this as one big thank you".

The Merseybeats' many hits included Mister Moonlight, Really Mystified and Wishin' & Hopin'.

They also support Relate Cheshire & Merseyside, a counselling service for local families and young people, for which Tony is a patron, regularly organising concerts for the charity.

He has also helped restore many old buildings in Wirral and beyond, including the former town hall in Hoylake.

On his charity work, Tony – who was born in Liverpool and has lived in Wirral since 1965 - reflected: "I've had such a successful career and so it's only right to put something back to charity.

"I don't treat myself as an unsung hero; I just do what I do.

"I love playing all over the world and helping raise funds for charities.

"My philosophy is that if the music business has been good to you – as it certainly has with me – you should give something back.

"I only got involved in restoring buildings through my music career, and really enjoy it.

"If I see a 100-year-old building that's crumbling, I just want to save it."

Music is a family affair, with Tony's daughter Natalie running the management side of The Merseybeats. 

His son Adrian, who is also in a band, sometimes joins Tony in Merseybeats' shows and runs the property side of dad's business.

The Merseybeats first started performing more than 50 years ago at The Cavern Club in Liverpool, playing alongside The Beatles and many other bands around in that era. They still perform throughout the UK and internationally.

Tony said: "To be honest, The Merseysbeats have never stopped.

"As well as touring England, we also play in Germany, Singapore, America and Kuala Lumpur.

"We've still got a very big fan base, bigger than we had in the 60s.

“It's always great to meet them after the shows.

"We often play all over the world so it is nice to play for a home crowd and all my family.

"It's still a great feeling that we get from the audience."

 

 

Share a Cuppa Tea…Billy Kinsley of The Merseybeats

Posted in Back BeatNews BeatReview Beat


DEC 2010

Share a Cuppa Tea…Billy Kinsley of The Merseybeats

The Merseybeats had the best name for any pop group of the early Sixties.

Bill Harry, copyright owner of the newspaper Mersey beat, had given his blessing and approval to the band to use the name.

With their compelling tunes, their numerous appearances at the Cavern Club in Liverpool, and Brian Epstein as manager; they appeared to have it all, as the saying goes. All that was missing were the requisite posh suits, a “must have” in the 1960s. While Mr Epstein supplied suits for his other band, The Beatles, he failed to provide them for The Merseybeats.

And so began the artistic differences which grew into a dispute and led to the split between management and band.

The Merseybeats went on to great success with fashion, credited as Best Looking Group, and hit records including It’s Love That Really Counts, I Think of You, Don’t Turn Around, Wishin & Hopin’, and others.

Today we have an original Merseybeat, Billy Kinsley, with cuppa in hand so let us begin.

1) Do you sing in the shower?
I don’t sing in the shower as often as I used to, but if I have a new song going round and round in my head I might try it out!

2) What are you afraid of?
I am afraid of terrorism and the way it has affected the world in which we live. I worry about how or if it can be prevented.

3) Pacifics, Rockin’ Horse, Mavericks, The Merseys, The Cheats, The Pete Best Band, or Merseybeats?
You’ve forgotten Liverpool Express which was my most successful band. As well as charting in the UK, we were also very successful in Brazil and Uruguay – and many European countries.

4) What was the first record you bought?
“Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow” by the Shirelles. I still love that record.

5) Last book you read?
Philip Norman’s new biography of Paul McCartney which brought back many great memories as well as sad ones. Just about to read the new John Grisham book.

6) Have you ever had a broken heart?
I have had many a broken heart but not for love! Losing family members and so many close friends too early has been heartbreaking.

7) Do you have a tattoo?
No tattoos! I am from a generation where only sailors had tattoos!

8) What or who is/was your favourite:
a. word?
Capistrano. (This word was in a song I loved as a kid, “When the Swallows Come Back to Capistrano”
b. kiss?
Doris Day in “Calamity Jane”.
c. comic book ever?
The Dandy. ( I always visit the Desperate Dan statue when we play in Dundee as that was where it was published!)

9) Where do you keep your moral compass?
My heart dictates my moral compass. Kindness and understanding are central to living a good life.

10) The Beatles or The Who?
As much as I love the Who, as we shared a management team and toured with them many times, The Beatles were the best band I ever saw.

11) Who have you asked for an autograph?
In the late 50s, I waited outside the Liverpool Empire with my older sister who wanted Dickie Valentine’s autograph! He was the first pop star I ever met! I was 12 years old.

12) What question do you wish I’d asked you?
“Billy, where are all your song-writing and performing royalties? Do you want me to find them for you?”

13) If you could have invited anyone, living or dead, to this wee tea party, who would it have been?
John Sullivan. The writer of Only a Fools and Horses. I truly think he was the funniest guy ever. Sadly he died a few years ago.

14) Tell us a secret.
Brian Epstein had John Lennon’s Rickenbacker sprayed black. I was in the Cavern dressing room at a lunchtime session when a mutual friend walked in with it! He asked me to check if it was in tune, so I played it before John! Later, I watched John open the guitar case and drool over what would become one of the most famous guitars ever.

15) What’s new?
Lots of things to look forward to. I have been invited back to perform at the annual American Beatlefest again. Last time, it was Chicago, this time it is New York. Pete Townsend and Roger Daltry have asked for us to meet up with them on their next tour. I am sure we will have lots of memories of Kit Lambert and Chris Stamp to share. The Merseybeats have toured almost ever year on the sellout Solid Silver Sixties tour. Wonderful that so many audiences still want to hear sixties music.

What a joy it was to share a cuppa tea with Billy. Learn more about the fascinating Merseybeats at their website. www.themerseybeats.co.uk

© JANE QUINN
Mighty Quinn Management
www.mightyquinnmanagement.com

 

Tony Crane MBE

Radio Merseyside interview

Sean Styles interviewed Tony on Monday 20th June

Hear it again via Radio Merseyside - Sean Styles show Monday 20th June

 

The Queen's Birthday Honours 2017

I am delighted to let you know I have just been appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) ,

for services to Music, charity and the community in Merseyside.

I am so happy and most honoured to be receiving this accolade. I am humbled to be recognised with such an honour as this for my long, successful and continuing career in music, raising money for numerous charities along with restoring many buildings in my local area.

Congratulations to all the people honoured today, for all kinds of amazing and significant work.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who have supported me in the past 56 years.  It is difficult to thank everyone by name, and I hope that everyone will accept this as one big thank you.

Tony Crane MBE

                  Anthony Crane. For services to Music charity and the community in Merseyside. (Wirral, Merseyside)

 

 

Cheshire Life Logo

Merseybeats lead singer Tony Crane reflects on 50 years in show business

PUBLISHED:  September 2011

Merseybeats lead singer Tony Crane reflects on 50 years in show business

Merseybeats lead singer Tony Crane reflects on 50 years in show business

It's 50 years and counting for the Merseybeats and their lead singer Tony Crane, the saviour of Hoylake's heritage, as Paul Mackenzie reports:

Tony on stage earlier this year

Tony on stage earlier this year

Fifty years ago Tony Crane thought his music career had got off to the worst possible start. His band The Mavericks had been taken on by a new manager who, despite having reservations about their name, had assured them he would get them on the top of the bill in Liverpool that week.


I bought the paper and found the advert but we werent on the bill so I ran round to see him at The Cavern. I said were not there, theres just some group called The Merseybeats. He said Thats you, Ive changed your name.


At that time Merseybeat was a newspaper. We thought we might as well have been called The Daily Mails. But we stuck with it.


And this month Tony will lead the band back on to the stage at The Cavern to celebrate half a century since Bob Waller, the DJ at the legendary Liverpool club introduced them that first time.

Tony on stage earlier this year

Tony on stage earlier this year


The Merseybeats have retained a loyal fanbase and still perform a punishing schedule of gigs all over the world. This year alone they have toured the UK, have played in Germany and Scandinavia and have entertained on luxury cruise ships. They also have a new album Keeping the Dream Alive due out soon.


Tony, now a 66-year-old grandfather, is the only original member left and he has no plans to hang up his guitar just yet, in fact hes never been busier. When hes not on stage he can often be found in the studio where he is helping to produce an album for his sons band, who are about to undergo their own name change from Hudson Four to the Black Swans. And as if that wasnt enough, he also runs a successful property developing business from his home in Hoylake on the Wirral.


That started by accident, he said. Someone came up to me in the street and said they were concerned about Central Hall and asked if I could do something about it.


I said Id have a look and ended up buying it and renovating it. Then the council came to me and asked if I wanted to buy the Town Hall, the only offers theyd had were from builders who wanted to knock it down and develop the site. I bought it 1998, exactly 100 years after it was built and restored its beautiful features. I didnt know what to do with it when it was finished but the Department of Work and Pensions rent it from me now for use as a job centre.

Tony on stage earlier this year

Tony on stage earlier this year


After that a lot of other councils around the North West came to me with buildings they wanted me to buy. I didnt buy them all but there are some beautiful buildings around and they are a part of our heritage which I dont think we should lose. I think its disgraceful that people are willing to knock these wonderful buildings down.


Preserving historic buildings may seem a world away from the typical rock and roll lifestyle although his childhood ambition was to be an architect but Tony does enjoy the trappings of celebrity too, he has a place in Bermuda where his neighbours include Oprah Winfrey and David Bowie.


After leaving school aged 15 with no qualifications Tony took a job as an insurance clerk working in the Liver Building where his father was the maintenance man and his two sisters worked as shorthand typists. He had met his future wife Carole there too and his parents were hoping he would progress through the company ranks. But Tony had other ideas.


He was taking extended breaks to play lunchtime sessions at The Cavern and after just a year he left his secure job to become a full-time musician. My bosses thought I was crazy and my parents didnt talk to me. But I took great joy in going back to pick my dad up in my Facel Vega and made sure all my old bosses saw me.

Tony on stage earlier this year

Tony on stage earlier this year


It was one of the most expensive cars in the world at that time and there were only five others in the country the others were owned by Ringo, Lord Snowdon,

Stirling Moss and the Royals.

The hit parade

Singles released by The Merseybeats

1963
Its Love That Really Counts
I Think Of You

A teenage Tony performs

A teenage Tony performs

1964
Dont Turn Around
Wishin and Hopin
Last Night (I made A Little Girl Cry)

1965
Dont Let It Happen To Us
I Yes I Do
I Stand Accused

1975
American Dream

1981
This Is Merseybeat

The Merseybeats at The Cavern where they shared the bill with The Beatles

The Merseybeats at The Cavern where they shared the bill with The Beatles


And as The Merseys...

1966
Sorrow
So Sad About Us
Rhythm Of Love

1967
The Cat
Penny In My Pocket

1968
Lovely Loretta

The Merseybeats in 1962

The Merseybeats in 1962

 

 

 

Billy Kinsley

Billy Kinsley sings at Book Signing - YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yp5hJUccD7Y ?v=Yp5hJUccD7Y

 

 

......Archive Images......

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Image result for THE MERSEYBEATS FACEBOOK Image result for THE MERSEYBEATS FACEBOOK

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New Beatles Documentary Set For UK Release This May

The film Features rare interviews with The Beatles’ original drummer Pete Best, John Lennon’s sister Julia Baird, Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein’s secretary Barbara O’Donnell, Steve Diggle of the Buzzcocks, Beatles associate Tony Bramwell, Pattie Boyd’s sister Jenny Boyd, Hunter Davies, Simon Napier-Bell, Ray Connolly, Bill Harry, Philip Norman, Steve Turner, Andy Peebles, Freda Kelly, and The Merseybeats.

 

Kaleidoscope Entertainment has announced that it will release the new Beatles documentary It Was Fifty Years Ago Today! The Beatles: Sgt. Pepper & Beyond in UK cinemas on May 26th, Digital VOD on June 1st, and DVD on July 3rd.  On 1st June, 1967 The Beatles released their ground-breaking studio album, “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”. Described by Rolling Stone magazine as “The most important rock & roll album ever made…”, it left an indelible mark on the 60s and went on to become one of the biggest selling records of all time.  It Was Fifty Years Ago Today! The Beatles: Sgt. Pepper & Beyond examines the twelve months (Aug 1966 – Aug 1967) that would arguably be the most crucial in the band’s career, a year in which they stopped being the world’s number one touring band and instead became the world’s most innovative recording artists, pushing the boundaries of what could be achieved in the studio.  Unable to hear themselves perform and mired by controversy, the band decided to stop touring in August 1966. What followed was a period of extreme creativity and rebirth during which they embraced Swinging London, the ‘avant-garde’, LSD and the advent of the Summer Of Love. The result was the creation of their new alter ego, Sgt. Pepper, with the desire to create a pop music first, the concept album.

From Emmy-nominated director Alan G. Parker, and produced by Reynold D’Silva, and Alexa Morris, the film features incredible rare archival footage unseen since the 1960s. The film also features rare interviews with The Beatles’ original drummer Pete Best, John Lennon’s sister Julia Baird, Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein’s secretary Barbara O’Donnell, Steve Diggle of the Buzzcocks, Beatles associate Tony Bramwell, Pattie Boyd’s sister Jenny Boyd, Hunter Davies, Simon Napier-Bell, Ray Connolly, Bill Harry, Philip Norman, Steve Turner, Andy Peebles, Freda Kelly, and The Merseybeats.

“We’re combining first-hand accounts of the events that allowed ‘Sgt. Pepper’ to happen with rare and unseen footage that we’ve forensically unearthed from mainstream archives and private collectors,” said Parker. “The last days of touring…. the execution of the album…. and the aftermath that it left behind will, I hope, give the audience an intimate sense of the band, the time and the impact of this extraordinary album.”

July 3rd.

On 1st June, 1967 The Beatles released their ground-breaking studio album, “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”. Described by Rolling Stone magazine as “The most important rock & roll album ever made…”, it left an indelible mark on the 60s and went on to become one of the biggest selling records of all time.

It Was Fifty Years Ago Today! The Beatles: Sgt. Pepper & Beyond examines the twelve months (Aug 1966 – Aug 1967) that would arguably be the most crucial in the band’s career, a year in which they stopped being the world’s number one touring band and instead became the world’s most innovative recording artists, pushing the boundaries of what could be achieved in the studio.

Unable to hear themselves perform and mired by controversy, the band decided to stop touring in August 1966. What followed was a period of extreme creativity and rebirth during which they embraced Swinging London, the ‘avant-garde’, LSD and the advent of the Summer Of Love. The result was the creation of their new alter ego, Sgt. Pepper, with the desire to create a pop music first, the concept album.

From Emmy-nominated director Alan G. Parker, and produced by Reynold D’Silva, and Alexa Morris, the film features incredible rare archival footage unseen since the 1960s. The film also features rare interviews with The Beatles’ original drummer Pete Best, John Lennon’s sister Julia Baird, Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein’s secretary Barbara O’Donnell, Steve Diggle of the Buzzcocks, Beatles associate Tony Bramwell, Pattie Boyd’s sister Jenny Boyd, Hunter Davies, Simon Napier-Bell, Ray Connolly, Bill Harry, Philip Norman, Steve Turner, Andy Peebles, Freda Kelly, and The Merseybeats.

“We’re combining first-hand accounts of the events that allowed ‘Sgt. Pepper’ to happen with rare and unseen footage that we’ve forensically unearthed from mainstream archives and private collectors,” said Parker. “The last days of touring…. the execution of the album…. and the aftermath that it left behind will, I hope, give the audience an intimate sense of the band, the time and the impact of this extraordinary album.

The original lead singer of the British band The Foundations, Clem Curtis, has died at the age of 76.

clemcurtis.jpg

"Tony Crane pays tribute to friend and artist Clem Curtis"

I was very sad to learn last night that Clem had died, he had been a dear friend over many years, he often watched my performances on stage and we shared the usual artist banter.   In the late 80's we worked together and released a single "Ain't Nothing Like A House Party" under the group title THE CORPORATION  amusingly known as

"The Traveling Wrinklies"

Also with Mike Pender, Brian Poole and Reg Presley

Image result for the corporation record

"Many good memories"

 

 

Liverpool Rocks returns to rock The Cavern in aid of Strawberry Fields project

The Mersebeats headlined a reprise of the legendary event founded by the late Chris Finley

 

The spirit of the Swinging Sixties was revived in style at the Cavern on Sunday afternoon as some of the Merseybeat era’s top acts came together to raise money for a much-loved local charity and celebrate the life of one of the scene’s key players.

More than £3,000 was raised for the Salvation Army’s Strawberry Fields project as people flocked to the legendary Matthew Street for the special sold-out show featuring everyone from The Baby Faced Beatles and Beryl Marsden to The Kirkby’s, Frankie Connor’s The Hideaways and The Merseybeats. The event was a reprise of the long-running Liverpool Rocks series of events staged by Liverpool musician Chris Finley, who died in February 2016 after a glittering career playing with Herman’s Hermits, The Merseybeats, Gerry And The Pacemakers and The Hideaways. “It was a very special show, a fantastic tribute to our mate Chris, and raising money for Strawberry Fields is the icing on the cake,” said organiser of the event, Judd Lander, who has been a mainstay of The Hideaways and is a prolific session musician, having played harmonica for the likes of Paul McCartney, the Beach Boys, Culture Club and the Spice Girls.

Courtesy Liverpool Echo

Liverpool's Strawberry Field, the inspiration for one of the Beatles  greatest hits, is to be revived.

The former Salvation Army children’s home, where John Lennon played as a child, is to open its gates to the public under new plans to redevelop the historic site.

 

The Immortal Jukebox

A Blog about Music and Popular Culture

The Beatles & Bowie agree: The Merseybeats are Fab!

Posted on April 14, 2015

British Beat – Some Other Guys:

The Beatles appearance on the Ed Sullivan show on February 9th 1964, viewed by some 73 million people (!) was an epochal moment in the history of popular music and indeed of global popular culture. The world would never be quite the same again. Additionally, their Sullivan show debut red letter marked a new, wholly unanticipated, chapter in the, ‘Special relationship’ between the peoples of Britain and The United States Of America.

Following in the wake of The Beatles overwhelming chart triumphs and virtual colonisation of the hearts and imaginations of an entire generation of American youth battalions of British Beat groups began packing their bags and stared dreamily at their atlases as they wondered what the fabled cities of New York City, Chicago and San Francisco were really like. Could it true that they were on their way there and that when they arrived they would be screamed at by hordes of gorgeous young women, celebrated for their ‘cute’ accents and garlanded as members of a wholly welcomed invasion?

For some like the Rolling Stones and The Who, Field Marshalls of the Invasion, this was indeed the case and they would go on over the following half century to pursue storied careers now commemorated in DVDs, Box Sets and epic myth making tours. But while the Generals and Staff Officers of any army always grab the lion’s share of the glory and the headlines, others in the ranks – the regulars, the foot sore infantry, sometimes have their fleeting moment(s) in the sun too.

The, ‘Some Other Guys’ series will feature posts on the lesser lights of the British Beat era who nevertheless made some great records that endure as fine music as well as being emblematic of the times.

So, today I showcase The Merseybeats/Merseys – a group who played hundreds of times at Liverpool’s legendary Cavern club in the early 1960s, alternating as headliners with the Beatles. In many respects they were like younger brothers of The Beatles – sharing their enthusiasms if not the overwhelming charisma and depth of talent of the Fab Four (but then who did!).

They did however produce a classic record in 1966, ‘Sorrow’. Both The Beatles and David Bowie were fond of the group and, ‘Sorrow’ in particular. The Beatles directly quoted from the song in their, ‘It’s All Too Much’ and former fan club member Bowie had a substantial hit with his sometimes camp, sometimes impassioned, wholly Bowiesque, version of the song which appeared on his early 70s covers album, ‘Pin Ups’.

The Merseys version, below, intimates that that the unreachable beauty, the longed for lover with the long blonde hair and the eyes of blue, may well turn out to be not an angel but the Devil’s daughter and the cause of long lasting sorrow as well as momentary joy. Or so it so often seems in the overheated imaginations of hormonally ravaged, emotionally immature, teenage boys! Later, spurned, the young man may come to realise that thinking about his fate might well be an illicit pleasure in its own right and cue up, ‘Sorrow’ time and again until the next love of his life appears.

The charmingly morose vocals are by the key duo of the Merseybeats/Merseys – Tony Crane and Billy Kinsley who also respectively played rhythm and lead guitar. The record label assures us that the track was produced by Kit Lambert (then manager of The Who) though I am inclined to hear more profoundly the influence of John Paul Jones (later of Led Zeppelin fame) who played the opening bowed bass figure and surely arranged the horns which feature so effectively.

The great Clemente Anselmo Arturo ‘Clem’ Cattini, the doyenne of UK session drummers, plays with the professional expertise he brought to over 40 British number 1 singles. ‘Sorrow’ will take up permanent residence in your musical memory. I’d like to feature two more songs to illustrate the worth of the Band. First, the Merseybeats 1964 million selling ballad, ‘I Think Of You’ which in addition to the aforementioned Crane and Kinsley has Aaron Williams on guitar and the late John Banks behind the drum kit.

This swooner with its attractive guitar figure was surely meant to play as the mirror ball scattered its indiscriminate temporary glamour over local dance floors. Perhaps many of the dancers as this song played thought of, ‘the one who got away’ even as they held close the one they were dancing with that night. The record is contained and contentedly wraps us up in satisfying angst. Finally a more dramatic and weighty performance from 1965, their version of Tony Colton and Ray Smith’s magnificent cri de couer, ‘I Stand Accused’ (later to be given a thrilling, amphetamine rush version by Elvis Costello). Tony Colton, as secret hero of the UK Music scene, will feature later in this series.

The above performance reveals an altogether grittier, sweatier, side to The Merseybeats. This, surely, is how they would have sounded in stygian gloom of The Cavern as the crowd, packed way beyond capacity, urged them on for chorus upon chorus before they all needed to groggily come up for air.

Few glossily illustrated, footnoted tomes will be written about the Merseybeats yet they surely left their mark on the 60s musical landscape and with, ‘Sorrow’ that mark is likely to prove indelible.

Notes: The original version of, ‘Sorrow’ was written and produced in 1965 in a hazy folk-rock style by the New York City wise guy team of Bob Feldman, Jerry Goldstein and Richard Gottehrer for The McCoys which featured guitar wunderkind Rick Derringer. Feldman, Goldstein and Gottehrer issued records under the name The Strangeloves including the garage rock staple, ‘I Want Candy’.

Richard Gottehrer is very likely to feature here on The Jukebox later as he went on to be an important figure in the New York New Wave scene (producing records for Richard Hell and Blondie) and co-found Sire Records.

‘Some Other Guy’ a raucous 1962 R&B by Richard Berry (written by Leiber & Stoller) has, as the the more astute among you will have already figured out, provided the inspiration for the, ‘Some Other Guys’ series. It was frequently played live by The Beatles in their Cavern days.

Archive footage

(copyright)

courtesy of Phil Chittick formally of THE MERSEYBEATS - LIVERPOOL EXPRESS

1975

 

1976

Tony Crane - Jersey

Batley Variety Club August 1976

 

Tony Crane - Elvis Show 1978

The Merseybeats - Dubai 2000

All the above images courtesy of Phil Chittick formally of THE MERSEYBEATS - LIVERPOOL EXPRESS

 

Image result for the pacemakers with tony crane

Tony Crane of The Merseybeats and his son, Adrian, with Jimmy Cricket

FROM THE PAPERS:

The Merseybeats play charity concert

For the third successive year, Liverpool band The Merseybeats will perform a charity concert to support Relate Cheshire & Merseyside.

The 60’s music themed night will help raise funds for expanding relationship counselling to local families and young people, as well as support efforts to promote Relate’s wider vision of encouraging conversations about wellbeing and healthy relationships.

Following the success of previous events, this year’s charity concert will be once again held at The Floral Pavilion in New Brighton on Tuesday 18th October, starting at 7.30pm.

merseybeats picture

 

Tony Crane, lead singer and guitarist of the Merseys, says he and the band are very keen to show their support Relate Cheshire & Merseyside. “I had known friends of mine, famous people, who had problems with their relationships and had been greatly helped by Relate. It is a very good charity and it is a very good cause to raise money for”.

The Merseybeats first started performing over fifty years ago at The Cavern Club, Liverpool’s hottest nightclub in the 60’s, and played alongside The Beatles and many other bands around in that era

 

 

The Solid Silver 60s Show Tickets at Southport Theatre & Convention Centre,

 

Aboard the MS Oosterdam a cruise ship,

Photographs courtesy of Len Orford,

 

The Merseybeats performed with the legendary James Burton and Glen D Hardin

at the Floral Pavillion, Wirral on Friday 29th July


Guitarist James Burton has performed with the greats such as Elvis Presley, Ricky Nelson, Roy Orbison to name but a few. However, this was the first, and hopefully not the last performance with The Merseybeats!
Glen D Hardin, keyboard player for The Crickets, and Elvis, has also performed with many of the legends through the years.
The Merseybeats were all thrilled to be performing with James and Glen. They were also backed by the singing duo The Pashionettes, who got their first break when backing Tony doing his second Elvis show, also at the Floral, back in 1997. They now perform all over the world backing numerous performers, and are soon to be back on tour with of Suzie Quattro.
On Friday night Tony was delighted to include some songs from his Elvis show, such as the Wonder of You and Lawdy Miss Clawdy to specially feature James Burton.
After the show James and Glen told Tony they cannot wait to come back to the U.K and play with The Merseybeats again. A great time was had by all!

Photographs celebrating the events held in Liverpool:



 

Keith Emerson


Keith Emerson, the co-founder and keyboardist of progressive rock group

Emerson, Lake and Palmer, has died aged 71.

Below is a fabulous photograph of Keith with The Merseybeats,

Keith had popped in to catch up with his friends during The Merseybeats UK Tour.

Dave Goldberg - Lou Rosenthal - Billy Kinsley - Keith Emerson - Tony Crane - Bob Packham

Photograph taken 2009

 

 

News Posted Thursday 18th February 2016

CHRIS FINLEY

"Our dear Friend"

50 years association with

THE MERSEYBEATS

This is a very sad day for all of us,

our dear friend and colleague has sadly died.

Chris Finley has been a member and been associated with The Merseybeats since 1966,

In 1966 Tony and Billy formed a vocal duo called simply The Merseys and with their backing band, The Fruit Eating Bears, they achieved their greatest ever recording success with ‘Sorrow’ which has become a sixties classic and mentioned as a favourite by many artists, David Bowie later recorded a version for his 'Pinups' album. The original line-up of the unique 'two drumming band' the Fruit Eating bears was Joey Molland, guitar; Chris Finley, keyboard;

George Cassidy, bass and Kenny Goodlass and Kenny Mundye on drums.

The Merseys had run their course, during the years 1969 - 1974 Tony Crane and Billy Kinsley with Kenny Mundye on drums played

The Merseybeats, as a trio.   Touring extensively playing the Cabaret circuit which was often referred to as 'chicken in the basket' because that was the type of  food served in those venues.  They were headline performers at the 1971 Merseybeat Reunion Concert held at the Top Rank Ballroom, Liverpool.

Tony Crane continued to lead the group working on the cabaret circuit under the name of  Tony Crane & The Merseybeats 1971 -74 with Tony Coates (Bass) , Chris Finley (keyboard), Derek Cashin (drums)

And in more recent years................ Chris has been our keyboard player sharing performances with Adrian Crane.

This photo taken just days before we lost Chris

 

Tony Crane & The Merseybeats 1971 -74

(Chris Finley - 3rd from the left)

Tony Coates - Dereck Cashin - Chris Finley - Tony Crane

 

 

Ain't Nothing But A Houseparty - Corporation - YouTube

tTV interview from 80s with group that became knon as the wn as

Travelling Wrinklies Mike Pender, Brian Poole, Tony Crane

https://youtu.be/a3KStp4wqZo

 

DAVID BOWIE

After the shock news this morning, glowing tributes have been paid to David Bowie,

one of the most influential musicians of his era.

The musician had a career spanning decades. Bowie's hits include

Let's Dance, Space Oddity, Heroes, Under Pressure, Rebel, Rebel, and Life on Mars.

David Bowie did not cover many other artists songs, but he did make a hugely successful cover of

The Merseys hit recording 'SORROW' 

I was delighted and flattered that he chose to record our version on his 'Pinups' album. 

The song has become a classic and one of David's favourite songs of the 1960s.

  

In the early days he would often pop along to see us performing,

a musical icon that will be sadly missed.

My sincere condolences to his family and the world of music.

Tony Crane

The Merseybeats - The Merseys