Friday, February 23, 2024

High Numbers indeed

As regular readers will know I spend a lot of time at car boot sales and charity shops chasing down records of interest. Many of those I buy have little value, but are at least of some interest to me. But now and again I come across one that is a collector's dream - a rarity that is in great demand. When that happens, and i decide to sell it, I choose not to use eBay, which is my usual choice, but go to a specialist record selling site such as John Manship. A few years back I picked up a one sided Pink Floyd demo ('It Would Be So Nice') which sold for over £800. That one set me back 50p at a car boot sale in Hampshire. Last week I sold a 45 that I bought for a mere 20p some time in the nineties at a car boot in North London, again through John Manship. It was the highly sought after single by the High Numbers, an early incarnation of the Who, comprising 'Zoot Suit', a rip off of the Dynamics' 'Misery', and 'I'm The Face', a copy of Slim Harpo's 'Got Love If You Want It'. The record was aimed at the Mod market but clearly sold very few copies. But the band went on to become the Who. Today it is highly collectable and my 20p copy sold for around £1400.
I've got quite a few records that I picked up for next to nothing over the years and I am considering selling a few more as I am moving house soon, getting older and hardly ever play my rare records. The days when bargains fell into my lap at car boot sakles are pretty well over, although I will continue to keep my eyes open. You never know, I might just find another crock of gold in the form of a rare record that makes 'High Numbers' when I sell it.

Saturday, February 10, 2024

Jimmy Van Eaton RIP and others

It's time to catch up on a few significant music deaths in the last few days. The latest is that of drummer Jimmy Van Eaton, aged 86, one of the last of the original Sun artists. Born in Memphis, Jimmy, sometimes known as J M, formed a group called the Echoes and shortly after recording a demo for Sun he joined Billy Lee Riley's touring band. He went on to become Sun's session drummer, playing on a string of classic recordings. These included 'Whole Lotta Shakin' Going on'. recorded in a single take, 'High School Confidential', 'Down The Line', 'Raunchy', 'Lonely Weekends', 'Flying Saucers Rock and Roll', 'Uranium Rock', Ubangi Stomp', 'Great Balls of Fire' and 'Red Hot'. I saw Jimmy on several occasions. At the Ponderosa Stomp in 2015 he did an interview session about his time at Sun and played a set with Deke Dickerson on vocals. At Viva Las Vegas in 2018 he took part in a Stars of Sun segment, taking over from fellow drummer W S Holland to back Alton and Jimmy and Narvel Felts. The top photo shows him at the Stomp. Pictured below he is at Viva Las Vegas.
Another death is that of Tony Middleton (89), lead singer of doowop group the Willows who went on to be a signifant name on the Northern Soul scene. He joined a group called the Dovers (which also included famed New York Fury label owner Bobby Robinson) which changed its name to the Five Willows after Tony joined in 1952. Their first record was 'Please Baby' for the PeeDee label, followed by 'My Dear Dearest Darling' for Allen. Theit biggest success was 'Church Bells May Ring' after they had changed their name to the Willows. It was a hit in New York and would have been even bigger if it hadn't been covered by the Diamonds. The group made various other recordings before disbanding in 1965, but Tony moved into the soul scene, recording 'Paris Blues', recalling his time in France in the mid sixties. His recording of the Nat King Cole song 'To The Ends of the Earth' got a UK release on Polydor and is now highly collectable. He visited the UK on several occasions and I saw Tony with the Willows at the Long Island Doowop weekend in 2014 when he sang 'Church Bells May Ring' along with 'Only My heart' and 'Taste of Love' and again in 2016 and 2017 (pictured below).
One of the highlights of my trip to the Americana Fest in Nashville in 2019 was 'Mojo's Mayhem', an afternoon show at Roberts Western World bar where a host of acts gave brief performances, including the North Mississippi All Stars, Carlene Carter, Rosie Flores and the Mavericks. Hosting the event was Mojo Nixon, who has died aged 66. Mojo was a musician and actor best known for the novelty song 'Elvis is Everywhere', which became a regular on MTV. Mojo lampooned the music industry with 'Stuffin' Martha's Muffin' and 'Debbie Gibson is Pregnant with My Two Headed Love Child'. By a weird coincidence Mojo made his acting debut playing Jimmy Van Eaton in the 1989 Jerry Lee Lewis biopic 'Great Balls Of Fire'. Photo below shows Mojo at the Nashville event.
Fianlly the Vinyl Word pays tribute to Aston 'Family Man' Barrett(77) who played bass guitar with Bob Marley's band the Wailers and was the band's leader. Before joining the Wailers he had been with Lee 'Scratch' Perry's band the Upsetters. He was a key part of the Wailers' success throughout the seventies. His 'Family Man' name came about as a result of him seeing his band as a family, not because he was a father - although he went on to father 41 children, 23 daughters and 18 children, according to an interview he gave to the BBC in 2013. Also to Henry Fambrough, original member of the Spinners from its formation in 1954 until his retirement last year. RIP to them all.

Sunday, February 04, 2024

Day 3 of the Rockin' Race

The sun came out in time for the car show at the Rockin' Race so we wandered down there and joined the crowds. Watched a bit of the Domestic Bumblebees from Sweden who seemed pretty good.
Day three of the festival itself was a decent one. First on were the Rimshots from Wales who played to a rather thin crowd (the place was heaving later). The singer has a strong voice and the material was a mix of country and fifties style pop.
On the small stage next were the Po' Rambling Boys, a very competent bluegrass band comprising four colourfully dressed guys and a gal.
I didnt stay long as the main stage then featured the amusing but very well performed hillbilly hokum of the Dave and Deke Combo who were accompanied on stage by a bunch of hillbilly extras. Dave Stuckey and Deke Dickerson played some decent country and hillbilly tunes amonst the mayhem including 'Corn Dog', 'Hillbilly Twist' and 'Hey Mae'. There was a tribute to Larry Collins with Deke assisting Kyle Eldridge on his double necked guitar and a wacky sequence with Deke and drummer Bobby Tribble doing a weird dance.
It was packed in the small stage area and I couldn't get in at first but I did eventually and I'm glad I did. Playing was double bass player Jimmy Sutton whose act ranges from jazz to wild rock and roll. I enjoyed his 'Don't Make Me Beg' and his encore of 'Don't You Just Know It' with a bit of 'Justine' was brilliant.
The high quality continued on the main stage with Big Sandy and the Fly Rite Boys who oozed class on some country flavoured rockabilly numbers including "It's A Mystery To Me", 'Spanish Style','Walk Me To The Door', 'Before The Last Teardrop Falls' and, as an encore 'Chalk It Up To The Blues'.
The next act, German band the Ray Collins Hot Club, went down a storm with the crowd. There were ten people on stage including three horns and together they produced an exciting show in the swing and jump blues genres. Very visual indeed. There was a genuine clamour for an encore at the end and they came back to perform 'Knockout Boogie'.
We stayed for the penultimate act the Reverend Horton Heat but we didn't stay long. Jim Heath's heavy guitar playing was not to our taste so we exited stage left quickly, thereby missing the final act Sonny George.

Saturday, February 03, 2024

Linda Gail stars on day 2 of the Race

Linda Gail Lewis was the undoubted star of night two of the Rockin' Race. Assisted by daughter Annie Marie and guitarist Danny B Harvey she rocked her way through a selection of her own and brother Jerry Lee's numbers, pummelling the keyboard to within an inch of its life. Songs included 'Good Rocking Man', 'Wild Wild Wild', Down The Line', the excellent 'Kicking My Way Out Of Hell' from her new album, 'It's Been Seven Long Years' and 'Rocking My Life Away'. Other numbers included 'Roll Over Beethoven', 'High School Confidential' 'Whole Lotta Shakin' and 'Great Balls Of Fire" with 'Long Tall Sally as an encore. Annie Marie chipped in with 'Should I Ever Love Again'. It was high energy stuff throughout and very enjoyable.
It was also in contrast to the earlier acts, some of whom were somewhat disappointing. First act was veteran Spanish show band Los Sirex, formed in 1959, who did Spanish language versions of songs such 'Flying Saucers Rock and Roll' and 'Judy In Disguise'. Most of them are well into their seventies and they would not have been out of place on a budget cruise ship. But they tried hard and the locals enjoyed them.
First act on the second stage was of more interest. Theo Lawrence was born in France but is now based in Austin. He has a soft rock vocal style reminiscent of Ricky Nelson and his languid approach went down well. His version of Connie Francis's 'My Heart Has A Mind Of It's Own' was an unexpected treat.
Back on the mainstage The Country Side of Harmonica Slim stuck very much to old style country music with hints of Hank Williams but didn't do much for me. There was some high quality blues meanwhile from the UK's Big Joe Louis on the small stage.
An act that I had been looking forward to came next,Canadian instrumental surf guitar band the Surfrajettes. They looked good visually in matching pink dresses and it was great to have a female act after all the men, but the music got a bit boring after a while despite them being joined by the ubiquitous Deke Dickerson for one number. Deke also guested with Theo and Harmonica Sam. Despite that a rather average night overall, made special by the phenomenal Linda Gail. Long may she reign.

Friday, February 02, 2024

Rockin' Race day 1

Round this time of year I like to escape the English winter and head to Spain for a bit of sunshine and the ever entertaining Rockin' Race Jamboree. This year is no exception and although the weather in Torremolinos is rather cool this time the music at this sold out rock and roll festival is hot. The first evening saw a good mix of bands, although all of them were male, with several stand out acts. First up were the Barnshakers from Finland, a fairly bog standard rockabilly outfit, but they were followed on the smaller stage by US guitarist Kyle Eldridge (pictured above), who came highly recommended by Boston based friend Noah Shaffer, who it was good to see after a long time. Kyle didn't disappoint. He plays a double neck guitar with lightning speed, so much so that he blew his amp at one stage. His numbers have a bit of a bluegrass feel and included his forthcoming single 'Root Beer' and 'Washing Machine Boogie'. Back on the main stage it was the turn of a double headed act featuring Pike Cavallero and Charlie Hightone which, despite some classy vocal support from the Velvet Candles, was all a bit raucous.
I took a quick look at the Western Toneflyers on the second stage but things really took off with the next act Deke Dickerson and the Whippersnappers. Deke is a regular performer here and does not disappoint. The big crowd reacted enthusiastically to his top notch guitar work on a range of rockabilly and Country flavoured rockers. Stand outs included 'High Noon', 'Besame Mucho' and 'Honky Tonk Hardwood Floor' and he and his young band got two encores, culminating in 'Mule Skinner Blues'.
Next up was another popular act, James Intvelt, once of the Blasters, who put it an enjoyable and quite bluesy set which ranged from 'Brown Eyed Handsome Man' to an extended 'Polk Salad Annie'. By this time it was getting late but I decided to hang on to find out out who this year's 'surprise' band was. It turned out to be 70s favourites Matchbox, with Graham Fenton fronting, who launched straight into their hits including 'Rockabilly Rebel' and 'Buzz Buzz A Diddle It'. The audience, dwindling by this time, loved it and it was a great way to end the evening.

Monday, January 29, 2024

Dick Waterman RIP

I was sorry to hear of the death of Dick Waterman at the age of 88. Dick was a writer, photographer and manager of many blues artists and did much to draw attention to many of the great blues artists of the fifties and sixties. From the early sixties onwards he promoted shows by Mississippi John Hurt, Bukka White and Mississippi Fred McDowell and went on to rediscover Son House and represent other blues artists including Skip JamesEven more memorable was a visit to Dick's house in Oxford, Mississippi, in 2008. I was travelling through the South with my late girlfriend Maxine and had been to Tutwiler, famed as the place W C Handy found the blues. I was with a group of Woodies who were also visiting various blues locations. One of them, Alan Lloyd, had arranged a visit to Dick's house and Maxine and I set off to his house. The only problem was that we didn't have an address. By a complete fluke we came across the car containing the other Woodies on the outskirts of town which led us to his house. There we were made very welcome and were charmed by his stories and his many excellent photographs. I wrote at the time: 'From Tutwiler we went to Oxford, where one of the group, Alan, had arranged for us to visit the home of Dick Waterman, one of the pioneers of blues recording and management. We spent a fascinating couple of hours looking at his photographs of Son House, Buddy Guy, Muddy Waters, Bonnie Raitt (who he managed for 20 years), the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan and many more taken over the last 45 years. Dick is a great storyteller and seems a happy man, newly married as he is to Cindy at the age of 73. A fascinating man with so much to tell, and boy did he tell it.' RIP Dick. Top picture shows the Woodies group: L-R Paul Waring, Alan Lloyd, Brian 'Bunter' Clark, Bill Haynes, Ken Major, Maxine, Nick Cobban, Dick Waterman. Picture below shows Maxine with Dick and the second photo shows a few of his examples of blues art.
Another recent death is that of Melanie, an American singer/songwriter, at the age of 76. Melanie came to fame in 1970 with 'Lay Down (Candles In The Rain)' which was inspired by the Woodstock festival. She went on to have success with 'Brand New Key', 'Ruby Tuesday' and 'What Have They Done To My Song Ma'.

Saturday, January 20, 2024

Mary Weiss RIP Updated

Mary Weiss, lead singer of girl group the Shangri-Las, has died aged 75. The group had a run of magnificently broody and sometimes downright gloomy records in the mid sixties which epiomised teenage angst and emotion. Mary and her sister Betty came from Queens and joined with twins Marge and Mary Ann Ganser in 1963 to form a group which they named the Shangri-Las after a local restaurant. They were discovered by Artie Ripp who arranged a record deal with Kama Sutra records. Their first recordings included 'Simon Says' and 'Wishing Well' and in January 1964, when Mary was just 15, they met up with George 'Shadow' Morton who played their demo of 'Remember (Walkin' In The Sand') to Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, owners of Red Bird records. The record was a smash hit and was followed by any even bigger one with 'Leader Of The Pack', the archetypal 'death disc' which was a huge hit in the US, the UK and elsewhere. A succession of dramatic singles followed, including 'Give Him A Great Big Kiss', with its intro line 'When I say I'm in love you best believe I'm in love L-U-V', 'Give Us Your Blessings', the dramatic 'I Can Never Go Home Any More', 'Long Live Our Love', 'He Cried' and 'Past Present and Future', spoken over Beethoven's 'Moonlight Sonata'. Betty left the group for a while resulting in many photos showing just three members, but returned before the Ganser sisters eventually left and the group broke up in 1968. Mary retired from the music business and there was a final reunion of the Shangri-Las in 1989. She recorded an album for Norton Records in 2007 entitled 'Dangerous Game' and I saw Mary perform at the Ponderosa Stomp in 2008 (pictured above) where she sang several Shangri-Las songs including, of course, 'Leader Of The Pack'. RIP to Mary - and that's called Sad.
Another recent death is that of reggae singer Pluto Shervington. whose 1970s hits included 'Dat' and 'Ram Goat Liver'.
The bad start to the year has continued with the news that jazz, soul and blues singer Marlena Shaw has died at the age of 81. She began as a jazz singer but her career took off in the late sixties with her soul/funk version of 'California Soul'. She moved from the Cadet label to Blue Note and later to Columbia, Verve and Polydor as her career progressed, with her best known tracks including 'Mercy Mercy Mercy' and 'Go Away Little Boy'. I saw Marlena several times during the nineties, including one memorable night at the short-lived Rhythmic in Islington when she co-starred with Jean Carne. Photo below shows Marlena at the Jazz Factory in Camden in 1993.

Sunday, January 14, 2024

Jo-El Sonnier and Bill Hayes RIP

I was rather shocked to hear of the death of Cajun singer/songwriter and accordionist Jo-El Sonnier at the age of 77 as it's only a few months since I saw him at the New Orleans Jazzfest, when he seemed in top form. Born in Rayne, Louisiana, he first recorded for the Lake Charles based Goldband label in 1967. Three albums were released at the time - 'Hurricane Andy', 'The Scene Today in Cajun Music' and 'The Cajun Valentino'. He recorded many tracks in the Cajun and country fields between 1980 and 2005 and had chart success with songs such as 'No More One More Time', 'Tear Stained Letter' and 'Rainin' In My Heart'. His final album was the Cajun French album 'The Legacy' in 2013 which earned him his fifth Grammy nomination. I first saw Jo-El at Jazzfest in 2013 when he guested with Michel Doucet, leader of the Cajun band Beausoleil (pictured below). When I saw him last year I wrote: 'Final act was the rocking Cajun accordion player Jo-El Sonnier. This was high quality and at times exciting stuff with songs including 'Knock Knock Knock', Fats Domino's 'You Hurt Me So', 'Tear Stained Letter', 'Raining In My Heart', 'Jole Blon', 'Louisiana 1927' and Cleveland Crochet's 'Sugar Bee'. A good way to close the day.' Top photo shows Jo-El at Jazzfest in May of 2023.
Another less surprising death was that of Bill Hayes at the age of 98. When I was at primary school I knew all the verses of his biggest hit 'The Ballad of Davy Crockett'. His version of the song, originally sung by Fess Parker, who played Crockett in the film 'Davy Crockett - King Of the Wild Frontier', was a major hit, outselling Fess's version and one by Tennessee Ernie Ford. Everyone my age knew that Davy was 'born on a mountain top in Tennessee', so when I visited the Davy Crockett State Park in 2019 I was disappointed that there wasn't a mountain anywhere in sight. Bill's hit sold over two million copies but he failed to replicate his chart success although 'The Legend of Wyatt Earp' did quite well. But he was successful as an actor, including a long running role in 'Days Of Our Lives'.

Tuesday, January 09, 2024

Larry Collins RIP and other recent deaths

It's time to catch up on some recent music deaths. The latest is rockabilly guitarist Larry Collins at the age of 79. Originally from Tulsa, he was just eight when he began playing with his older sister Lorrie as the Collins Kids, appearing on US TV programmes such as 'Town Hall Party' and 'Tex Ritter's Ranch Party'. Together they recorded numerous records including 'Hop Skip and Jump', 'Whistle Bait' and 'Beetle Bug Bop' way back in 1957 and 1958. Larry said: 'We were apprentice to the best. Bob Willis, Johnny Horton, Lefty Frizzell and Johnny Cash.' His mentor was guitarist Joe Maphis and like him Larry played a double neck guitar. 'Joe Maphis was 'king of the strings' and back-stage I learned to finger-pick watching Merle Travis', Larry said. The Collins Kids stopped playing together in the mid sixties but reunited in 1993 to play at the Hemsby festival in the UK. I saw them at the Ponderosa Stomp in 2008 (pictured below) and Larry appeared solo at Viva Las Vegas in 2017 where he was on stage with Deke Dickerson and Ashley Kingman, both of whom also played double neck guitars. I wrote at the time: 'Highlight of this segment was Larry Collins, once a child star in the Collins Kids, who came on stage with a double neck guitar, as did Deke Dickerson and the house band's Ashley Kingman. Larry showed that he's an excellent guitarist with dramatic flourishes which created a moody sound. Numbers included the death song '1955' and the Bo Diddley flavoured 'Hoy Hoy', when he was joined by Ruby Ann. He ended with 'Rockabilly Forever'. For a superb tribute to Larry I suggest you seek out Deke's recent Facebook item.
Here's a photo of Larry with Deke and Ashley, and another with Deke.
Another recent death is that of Red Paden, owner of Red's juke joint. Red's in something of an institution in the capital of the blues, Clarksdale, MS , and despite being frequented by many blues fans from out of town it remains a genuine juke joint, with great blues, basic facilities and twinkly Christmas lights. I first went there in 2005 when I drove down from Memphis with Alan Lloyd and Ken Major to catch Pinetop Perkins at the Hopson Plantation (he didn't perform as it was a Sunday!). In the evening we went to Red's where Bob Stroger was playing. I've been many times on subsequent visits and the photo shows local blues man Lucious Spiller in 2017. I can only hope that Red's survives and is still operating when I visit Clarksdale later this year. The second photo shows Red at a synmposium on juke joints at the King Biscuit Festival in 2015.
Another recent death at the age of 88 is soul/jazz pianist and vocalist Les McCann. Also David Soul, aged 80, who was one half of Starsky and Hutch and who had huge pop hits in 1977 with 'Don't Give Up On Us' and 'Silver Lady'. RIP to them all.

Saturday, January 06, 2024

US package shows of the sixties

I have been to many superb music shows featuring American fifties and sixties artists over the last 40 years or so (although those days are now sadly over as most of them have now retired or passed on). But back in the early sixties, when I first became obsessed with music, it was a different matter. There was little pop music broadcast on mainstream TV or radio. Awareness of new records only came about via Radio Luxembourg or, later, the pirate stations. What TV shows there were, such as Oh Boy! and Boy Meets Girls, mostly featured the bland UK pop acts of the day. American artists struggled to get a look in and we often didn’t even know what they looked like. So when a US music package tour came to town I did my best to see it.

I was too young to see Buddy Holly live or Jerry Lee’s disastrous 1958 tour, and only saw Eddie Cochran on TV. The first genuine package tour that I became aware of was by Bobby Darin, Duane Eddy and Clyde McPhatter but I didn’t get to see it. After that I tried to ensure that I did, and from 1962 to the mid sixties I caught quite a few that have gone down in music history. Living near Croydon as I did, they tended to be around that area or a little further away at the Granada cinema in Tooting, which hosted some of the best. Here are a few that I remember going to. Most had UK acts on the bill as well, but with a few exceptions, they were of no interest to me, so I won’t mention them unless really necessary.

10/2/62 Tooting Granada - Bobby Vee, Tony Orlando, Clarence Henry. This was the first US package show that I went to I think, although there may have been others that I don’t recall. Bobby was flying high from ‘Take Good Care Of My Baby’, Tony from ‘Bless You’ and the Frogman from ‘But I Do’.

8/4/62 Tooting Granada - Gene Vincent, Brenda Lee. I saw Gene several times during the sixties, including one or two when he was past his best, but I didn’t see Brenda Lee live again until Viva Las Vegas in 2017.

6/5/62 Tooting Granada - Johnny Burnette , Gary US Bonds, Gene McDaniels. His rockabilly years well behind him, Johnny enjoyed great pop success with ‘Dreamin’’, ‘You’re Sixteen’ and ‘Little Boy Sad’ but sadly died young in a boat accident. Gene contributed one superb track recorded during this tour – ‘Another Tear Falls’ – to the otherwise dreadful album ‘It’s Trad Dad’. Gary is still going strong of course.

29/9/62 Tooting Granada – Dion, Del Shannon. Buzz Cliffford. Dion is still great today and I’ve seen him several times in recent years. Del committed suicide in 1990. Both were big favourities of mine. Buzz was a one hit wonder with ‘Baby Sittin’ Boogie’.

27/10/62 Tooting Granada - Little Richard, Sam Cooke, Jet Harris, backed by Sounds Incorporated. This was a real highlight. Sam Cooke, my favourite singer then and now, was great and Little Richard was the most exciting live performer I ever saw. What’s more I got to go back stage and get their autographs.

21/3/63 ABC Croydon - Chris Montez, Tommy Roe, The Beatles. Chris and Tommy had enjoyed big hits with ‘Let’s Dance’ and ‘Sheila’ respectively. The Beatles, bottom of the bill, were having a huge hit with ‘Please Please Me’ and were very popular with the audience it seemed. I wonder whatever happened to them.
28/5/63 Fairfield Hall, Croydon - Jerry Lee Lewis, Gene Vincent, Heinz backed by the Outlaws. Jerry Lee, making his big comeback after his previous curtailed tour, was superb, as was Gene. Heinz was roundly booed by the predominantly rocker audience.

1/6/63 Tooting Granada - Roy Orbison, The Beatles. Those pesky Beatles again! I was there to see Roy Orbison.

1/10/63 Odeon Streatham - Bo Diddley, Everly Brothers, the Rolling Stones. Bo Diddley, along with The Duchess and Jerome was great, as were the Everly Brothers. Strangely though, many in the crowd seemed more interested in the support act, the Rolling Stones. Again, I wonder what happened to them.

8/10/63 Fairfield Hall, Croydon – ‘American Negro Blues Festival’ with Muddy Waters, Lonnie Johnson, Sonny Boy Williamson, Big Joe Williams, Willie Dixon, Memphis Slim , Victoria Spivey, Matt Guitar Murphy and Otis Spann. The first of several superb blues shows to be held at the Fairfield Hall prompted by the blues boom in the UK.

October/November 1963 West Wickham – ‘Wickham Goes Pop’ festival with the Konrads. The Trubeats and other local groups. I only mention this because West Wickham is where I grew up and many of these local groups played at the weekly Justin Hall music gig. I only found out much later that David Bowie was a member of the Konrads and Peter Frampton was the leader of the Trubeats, later the Herd.

21/11/63 Fairfield Hall, Croydon - Duane Eddy, Gene Vincent, The Shirelles. Another chance to see Duane Eddy and Gene Vincent and the first time I saw the Shirelles.

10/5/64 ABC Croydon - Chuck Berry, Carl Perkins, Animals. Chuck was in the middle of his comeback and put on an excellent show. Carl Perkins was very good and the Animals weren’t bad either.

19/10/64 Fairfield Hall, Croydon – Lightnin’ Hopkins, Howlin’ Wolf, Sleepy John Estes, Hubert Sumlin, Sugar Pie Desanto, Sunnyland Slim, Sonny Boy Williamson, Willie Dixon. Another great folk blues show in the series that took place in Croydon in the sixties.

4/11/64 Fairfield Hall - Tommy Tucker, the Animals, Carl Perkins, Nashville Teens, Elkie Brooks.

29/1/65 Fairfield Hall - Chuck Berry, Long John Baldry, Moody Blues, Graham Bond Organisation.

11/10/65 Fairfield Hall - Big Mama Thornton, Roosevelt Sykes Buddy Guy, J B Lenoir, Dr Ross, Eddie Boyd, Mississippi Fred McDowell. Last of the great run of folk blues shows in Croydon as far as I know.

27/3/67 Fairfield Hall - Otis Redding, Sam and Dave, Arthur Conley, Booker T and the MGs, the Mar-keys, Eddie Floyd. . This Stax concert was one of last great US package shows as stadium shows and open air festivals took over. Sam and Dave were the highlight of a brilliant show but Otis was excellent as well. I wrote a review for my paper the Croydon Advertiser (see The Vinyl Word, December 9, 2015).

Before the advent of MTV and Youtube these shows were just about the only way of seeing our music heroes performing live in the early sixties. They mostly stuck to their hits and in many cases only performed a couple of numbers. But what magical events they were. If only I had the photos to remind me!