(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.