“Halfway to Paradise, Britpop 1955 – 1962″ by Spencer Leigh with illustrations by John Firminger. Finbarr International (1996) ISBN 5 026363 000049
Price £8 (UK), $15 (US), €13 (EU).
This book tells the story of British popular music before the Beatles and features 150 interviewees. Joe Brown talks about how badly the tours were planned: Frankie Vaughan reveals that Marilyn Monroe wanted to bed him, and Anthony Newley says that President Kennedy would make love to his song, ‘Bee-bom’. As well as rock’n’rollers like Cliff Richard, Marty Wilde and Billy Fury, the book covers balladeers like Ronnie Hilton, Ronnie Carroll and Liverpool’s first pop star, the wonderful Lita Roza. It has had steady sales since it has been published and everyone seems to like it.