Monday, August 22, 2011

Are You Sure? It's The Allisons

Fifty years ago an Everly Brothers styled duo called The Allisons came second in the Eurovision Song Contest with Are You Sure? - one of the most tuneful UK entries ever in this annual competition. The record was a smash hit, reaching number one and selling a million copies. But the Allisons proved to be one hit wonders and despite several follow up singles and an LP they could not repeat their success and split up in 1963.

Last night at the Water Rats pub in Kings Cross the Allisons (Brian Alford and Colin Day) performed together again - the first time in well over 20 years by all accounts. Although now in their early seventies their close harmony singing was still effective as they reprised their big hit, along with a couple of Everlies numbers plus Tutti Frutti and Hello Mary Lou. An appreciative crowd gave them a rousing reception, and I must admit it brought back sweet memories of my youth.

The occasion was Tony Annis's 73rd birthday party and The Allisons were just one of a number of UK singers, both old and young, to take the stage. Backed by the excellent Tales From The Woods house band, there was a solid set of largely Elvis numbers by the ever youthful Danny Rivers, an out of tune blast by 'Rockin' Gerry Champion and songs by a couple of friends and family of Tony, including 'Lady Stardust', who performed creditably on the Shirelles' Mama Said and Will You Love Me Tomorrow. John Howard DJ'd the proceedings for what proved to be an enjoyable night, with the undoubted highlight being the return of The Allisons. Here's a YouTube clip of them from the 1961 Eurovision


At 4:21 pm , Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's hard to believe this was a eurovision entry when you compare it other early UK entries such as bryan johnson's looking high high high! This song is no longer considered to have 'officially' reached number one, would you believe? It went to the top on several of the recognised charts of the time, including the NME one I believe, but the one that's one considered the official chart of the time now (Record Retailer) lists it at number 2. Interesting geeky information from myself there! Daniel


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