Hank, Bruce, Bert, Joe, Big Jim & More

BUY Hank, Bruce, Bert, Joe, Big Jim & More – The UK Instro Scene 56-61

The UK Instro Scene 1956-61

The “Golden Age” of the UK R&R/Beat Instrumental occurred very roughly between the late 50s and the very early 60s, peaking in 1961 on the back of The Shadows’ monumental breakthrough the previous year with the chart-topping ‘Apache’ (which spent five or six weeks at No.1, depending on which weekly Pop mag you preferred). Indeed, more than half the sides featured on this compilation were released in ’61, many of them in fairly blatant endeavours to duplicate The Shads’ irresistibly-twangy sound and style, thus affirming precisely how long a shadow they’d cast, in terms of influence, right from the get-go. Virtually everything about The Shadows proved both influential and inspirational, in fact; Hank’s salmon pink Stratocaster (the first Strat we’d seen first-hand in the UK), Jet’s Fender Bass (ditto), their evocative ‘dance’ steps (which Bruce nicked – conceptually, at least – from The Treniers), and Tony’s crisp, precise drumming (The Shads were never the same after Meehan left, despite what anyone tries to tell you!)

This compilation might accurately be subtitled “The Birth Of The Guitar Hero”, as it was The Shads’ very success which led to the sudden growth in the market for electric guitars in the UK. Up until their arrival, Pop records had sold mainly to teenage girls; but The Shads – and, indeed, the entire Instro scene – was almost entirely a bloke-driven phenomenon. And that generation of blokes went out and purchased guitars in their droves, formed groups, learned all The Shadows’ numbers, and desperately tried to imitate them. And a few of those budding young guitarists would, eventually, go on to make it themselves…

Instrumental music had, of course, always been hugely popular with the record-buying public, long before the arrival of Rock & Roll – and here in the UK we’d long boasted our own quaint array of favourites, ranging from pianist Winifred Atwell to trumpeter Eddie Calvert, not to mention an ill-assorted selection of Dance Bands and Jazz combos, with their own ‘featured instrumentalists’. But by the mid-50s, as ballroom dancing gave way to jiving, more strident, beatier instrumental styles began to emerge.

Although they were initially viewed as ‘novelty’ records, various American R&R/R&B Instrumental hits became popular here and were, of course, in keeping with the UK record industry’s standard modus operandi of the era, routinely covered by local artists. So although those original US hit versions were big sellers in the UK, we were treated to Anglified versions of numbers like Bill Doggett’s eternally-cool ‘Honky Tonk’, Bill Justis’s aptly-titled ‘Raunchy’, The Champs’ sleazy, yet booting ‘Tequila’ and Boots Brown & The Blockbusters’ percussive ‘Cerveza’, care of trombonist George Chisholm & The Bluenotes with guitarist Bert Weedon (their cover of ‘Honky Tonk’ was almost certainly the very first UK R&R Instro), saxophonist Ken Mackintosh & His Orchestra, Johnny ‘The Gash’ Gray (another honking sax man) with Ken Jones & His Orchestra, and keyboards vixen Cherry Wainer, respectively.

We even managed to squeeze out a few similarly-styled home-grown goodies, most notably Lord Rockingham’s XI’s rasping ‘Fried Onions’ which – inexplicably – dented the US Top 100 in 1958 (even more inexplicably, it was revived for a TV commercial for Options indulgence chocolate drink in December 2011), and the chart-topping ‘Hoots Mon’. Lord Rockingham – aka bandleader Harry Robinson – had formed his XI specifically for Jack Good’s TV show Oh Boy! and his band were all seasoned pros, including tenor sax man Red Price and organist Cherry Wainer (the latter, an unlikely Oh Boy! pin-up), both of whom played on these sides. Propelled by a powerful sax and organ riff, ‘Hoots Mon’ – which was based on an old Scottish reel – swung like the clappers and was by far the standout British Instro of its ilk. After receiving saturation coverage on Oh Boy! it topped the UK charts for 3-weeks in November/December 1958 – and in 1991, it was memorably used in a TV advertisement for Maynards Wine Gums – check out http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ho7gIb91Jc0&feature=related.

However, although the tenor sax (and occasionally, the organ) had thus far been the dominant musical feature of the Instro scene, as R&R and Rockabilly began to flourish in the United States, the guitar gradually took over as the genre’s de facto ‘lead instrument’, and so guitar-driven Instros began to emerge over here.

By this stage we’d had the Skiffle boom in the UK (for edification, check out Freight Trains, Last Trains & Rock Island Lines, RHGB 23) which meant that there was already an entire generation of guitar-toting teenagers standing idly around, wondering what to do next. And so when these twangier records began to turn up in the UK, there was a ready-made cast of would-be twangers, all pumped and primed, eagerly waiting to cut cover versions.

Ironically, the first British guitarist to make the UK charts was ‘old timer’ Bert Weedon, whose cover of The Virtues’ million-selling US hit ‘Guitar Boogie Shuffle’ made the Top 10 in the Summer of ’59. Already in his very late 30s, Herbert Maurice William Weedon OBE (10th May 1920 – 20th April 2012) had been around the UK danceband scene since the 1940s, having played in the the bands of Mantovani, Ted Heath, Cyril Stapleton and George Shearing, among others, whilst he’d recorded with artists as collectively naff as Victor Silvester, Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland and Nat King Cole.

However, Bert had taken to the arrival of Rock & Roll like the proverbial duck to water, and by the late 50s he was established as an important R&R session guitarist, having played on records for artists like Tommy Steele, Marty Wilde, Billy Fury, Adam Faith, etc. Frequently namechecked by later generations of Rock guitarists as important an early influence as the mighty Lonnie Donegan, Bert published his celebrated Play In A Day guitar tutorial in 1957. It very quickly sold in excess of a million copies, rather more than any of his records from this era! Bert remained hugely popular live performer throughout his life and even had a No.1 LP, 22 Golden Guitar Greats, in 1976, whilst an earlier album, Bert Weedon Remembers Jim Reeves, went on to sell somewhere in the region of 250,000 copies.

Another ‘old school’ session man was Ernie Shear, whose playing on Cliff & The Drifter’s epochal ‘Move It!’ more or less guaranteed his immortality. His twanging that day (on which he’d been coached as to what licks to play by the song’s writer, Ian ‘Sammy’ Samwell – at that time The Drifters’ guitarist) effectively put down the roots for a dynasty. Ernie was another musician who’d come up through the dance bands, having got his first break as a teenager, with the Oscar Rabin Band. Although he never pursued a solo career, Ernie’s version of ‘Cannonball’ (recorded for a long-fogotten budget LP, on an equally long-forgotten budget label) was one of the earliest Duane Eddy covers (Woollies’ Embassy records – of which there are none on this set – excluded!).

Mention of The Drifters, of course, brings us to messrs Brian Robson Rankin (aka Hank B. Marvin, born 28th October 1941 in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne), Bruce Cripps (aka Bruce Welch OBE, born 2nd November 1941 in Bognor Regis), Terence Harris (aka Jet Harris MBE, 6th July 1939 – 18th March 2011, born in Kingsbury, North London) and Daniel Joseph Anthony Meehan (aka Tony Meehan, 2nd March 1943 – 28th November 2005, born in Hampstead, North London).

The Drifters had, of course, originally been formed by Cliff Richard (then still plain Harry Webb) and drummer Terry Smart, back in January 1958. Guitarist Ian Samwell had joined shortly afterwards, and when Cliff went out on his first package tour after he’d broken big with ‘Move It’, they were augmented on lead and rhythm guitar by the rather more experienced Marvin and Welch, whilst Samwell switched to bass. Shortly afterwards, Harris (bass) and Meehan (drums) replaced Samwell and Smart, thus completing the first professional Drifters’ line-up. Their first disc was a vocal, following which they cut the seminal – although ironically, unsuccessful – ‘Jet Black’/‘Driftin’’, in July ’59, which served to introduce what would become the celebrated “Shads’ Sound” (and has to go down as one of the best-known non-hits of the era).

As is well documented, following threats of an injunction from the already-established US R&B vocal group they of course changed their name to The Shadows, hitting their stride in the summer of 1960 with the aforementioned ‘Apache’ – a Jerry Lordan-penned number which had ironically already been recorded by Bert Weedon (whose original version is included herein). They consolidated with follow-ups ‘Man Of Mystery’ (November ’60) and ‘F.B.I.’ (February ’61), both of which made the Top 5 (the latter effectively becoming their signature tune), by which time they were probably very nearly as popular as their lead singer.

It was at round about this point that serious “Instromania” broke out in the UK, big time. The market was immediately flooded with soundalike releases, and virtually every R&R singer who had a regular backing group found himself having to take a temporary back seat whilst they had their own stab at success. Instro groups began turning up from everywhere and the record companies were climbing over one another to record them. A lot of great discs were released during this period although sadly, very few of them were commercially successful.

Meanwhile, The Shadows continued to go from strength to strength; indeed, the first week of October ’61 they had the No.1 single (‘Kon-Tiki’), EP (Shadows To The Fore) and LP (The Shadows), the very first time that any artist had ever topped all three UK charts simultaneously. Within a couple more years they’d become so popular that they even survived Beatlemania and the Beat Boom, and although they’ve ceased trading several times over the decades, they’ve reformed for several ‘farewell’ or ‘anniversary’ tours, most recently in 2010 with Cliff, for their 50th Anniversary.

Although arguably as good as – if not better than – The Shads, Marty Wilde’s Wildcats, whose most celebrated line-up comprised Big Jim Sullivan (lead gtr), Tony Belcher (rhythm gtr), Brian ‘Licorice’ Locking (bass) and Brian Bennett (drums), were rather less fortunate, record-wise. But they were bloody good, as Marty attests: “That was a fabulous band, without doubt the best Rock & Roll group in Britain at the time. I remember the jolt of excitement I used to get every time they started up behind me…”

Sullivan (14th February 1941 – 2nd October 2012) was born James George Tomkins in Uxbridge, Middlesex and came up to London as a seventeen-year old, spending several months playing with the Soho Skiffle Group, who had a residency at the 2Is Coffee Bar, before being recruited by Vince Eager for his backing group, The Beat Boys. Their rhythm guitarist was one Tony Belcher, who was a year or two older than Jim and had previously been a member of Colin Hicks’ Cabin Boys and Rory Blackwell’s Blackjacks. During early ’59, Marty Wilde had been booked onto a lengthy package tour to help promote his current hit, ‘Donna’, and needed an experienced backing group in a hurry. His manager, Larry Parnes – who also managed Eager – simply solved the problem by appropriating Vince’s backing group en masse, to become Marty’s new Wildcats. After a couple of months the rhythm section and pianist upped and left (they formed a new band to back Billy Fury) and were replaced by Locking (born 22nd December 1938 in Bedworth, Warwicks) and Bennett (born 9th February 1940 in Palmer’s Green, North London), who’d been working together as a rhythm section for some eighteen months or so, initially in Vince Eager & The Vagabonds, followed by Vince Taylor & the Playboys and the Tony Sheridan Trio.

But, “a fabulous band” or not, the following year Marty decided to kick them out in order to become a ‘proper’ singer: “I’m approaching twenty-one now, and I think it’s about time to branch out. I want to drop most of the Rock stuff and do the real class stuff like Sinatra.” Presumably, this volte-face had been engineered by manager Parnes – whatever the case, it abruptly terminated Marty’s career as a hitmaker – and the lads discovered that they’d been unceremoniously dumped. Contractually unable to call themselves The Wildcats, they opted to stay together as The Krew Kats and cut a pair of magnificently-twangy Instro 45s, ‘Trambone’/‘Peak Hour’ (which was hugely popular, spending nearly 3-months in the Top 50 in the early Spring of ’61, peaking at No.33) and ‘Samovar’, a few months later. A third single, ‘The Bat’, was recorded, but not released at the time. They also played on a number of sessions, notably for indie producer Joe Meek and his arranger, Charles Blackwell, recording the equally-twangy ‘Tom Tom Cat’ for the latter, on which they were billed as The Tom Cats. In need of a regular dayjob, they briefly became Johnny Duncan’s Blue Grass Boys and also toured with Tommy Steele, whilst they were simultaneously trying to get something going for themselves over in France (where ‘Trambone’ had been a huge hit). But when Bennett was offered the outgoing Tony Meehan’s drum stool in The Shadows, they broke up; the following year Locking would join Bennett in The Shads, by which time Big Jim had begun to establish himself as the UK’s ultimate session guitarist.

Another highly-rated guitarist was The John Barry Seven’s mercurial Vic Flick (born 14th May 1937 in Worcester Park, Surrey), whose first professional gig had been with Les Clark & The Music Maniacs at Butlins, Skegness. He subsequently joined the Bob Cort Skiffle Group, who played (way down the bill) alongside John Barry’s band as support acts on Paul Anka’s first UK tour. One of the few early Rockers who could (gulp) read music, Flick made a huge impression on Barry and the following year, was invited to join the prestigious JBS. He played on dozens of their recordings and can be heard to good effect on their cover of The Ventures’ ‘Walk Don’t Run’ (both versions made the UK Top 10 in October ’60, the JBS version peaking at No.6) and the ‘Beat Girl (Main Title Theme)’ movie soundtrack the same year (Beat Girl – which starred Adam Faith, Gillian Hills, Delphi Lawrence and Noelle Adam – remains one of the cult movies of the era, particularly revered for Barry’s dramatic soundtrack). Vic later famously played the guitar riff on ‘The James Bond Theme’ and went on to establish himself, alongside Big Jim Sullivan, as one of the most in-demand sessions guitarists of the 60s.

Although he (of course!) ultimately made it as a singer, the mighty Joe Brown MBE (born 13th May 1941 in Swaby, Lincolnshire) – a man who also played on many-a-session for John Barry, incidentally – cut a handful of highly-regarded Instros early on in his career. He’d first shot to fame as the guitarist in the Boy Meets Girls house band, his shock of spiky blond hair ensuring that he stood out from all the other musos, and he very quickly established himself as the visiting American R&R performers’ favourite guitarist of choice (Ronnie Hawkins, no less, desperately tried to get Joe to return to Canada with him). Whilst his record companies (initially Decca, followed by Pye/Piccadilly) were in the process of trying to break him as a singer, he recorded the occasional Instrumental B-side, notably ‘Swagger’ (February ’60) and ‘The Switch’ (December ’61). Joe also liked to indulge in the occasional spot of moonlighting (i.e. playing sessions incognito, for cash-in-hand – presumably so that he wouldn’t have to split his fees with manager Larry Parnes!) which is almost certainly how he came to turn up on The Sneaky Petes’ bluesy ‘The Savage (Part 2)’ (January ’60), and – in unlikely tandem with Tommy Steele – on an even more obscure B-side, ‘Drunken Guitar’ (believed to have been recorded in early 1960, although not released until the following year).

Talking of ‘Joes’, we briefly touched on maverick indie producer Joe Meek earlier. The UK’s first successful independent Pop producer, Instros were a major facet of the Meek oeuvre – indeed, in 1962 he would write and produce the UK’s all-time biggest-selling, most famous Instrumental, ‘Telstar’; but unfortunately, that particular gem falls outside the parameters of this compilation (wait for Vol.2!) The oldest RGM production herein is Chico Arnez & His Orchestra’s eerie ‘Yashmak’ (May ’59 – a tune which Meek would recycle a couple of times for different projects, most notably his celebrated I Hear A New World space odyssey). Elsewhere, besides doubling as singer Mike Berry’s backing group, The Outlaws, from North London, were successful recording artists in their own right. Their initial line-up comprised Billy Kuy (lead gtr), Reg Hawkins (rhythm gtr), Chas Hodges (bass) and Bobby Graham (drums) and they were an exceptionally fine unit, operating as Meek’s ‘house band’, on and off (and through wholesale personnel changes), for some four years. They made the lower reaches of the UK charts with each of their first two singles, ‘Swingin’ Low’ (April ’61) and ‘Ambush’ (June ’61 – indeed, they registered their first hit several months before their lead singer got his own first taste of chart action) whilst their LP, Dream Of The West, remains one of the most sought-after artefacts of the era.

Another popular Meek act were The Flee-Rekkers (originally The Fabulous Flee-Rakkers) from Putney, whose sound and style was pitched somewhere between Johnny & The Hurricanes and The Champs. A sextet, their personnel comprised Peter Flerackers (tenor/baritone sax), Elmy Durrant (tenor sax), Dave ‘Tex’ Cameron (lead gtr), Alan Monger (rhythm gtr), Derek Skinner (bass) and Mickey Waller (drums) and they were a hugely-popular live draw. Their debut 45, the brash, booting ‘Green Jeans’, provided the first chart entry for Meek’s shortlived Triumph label, in May 1960, whilst their haunting ‘Lone Rider’ marked the first time on wax for songwriter Geoff Goddard (June ’61 – the song would, of course, subsequently be recorded as a vocal, by John Leyton). The Moontrekkers, from Holloway, originally auditioned for Meek as The Raiders, but Joe didn’t think much of their singer (Rod Stewart – yes, that Rod Stewart) and sent him packing, replacing him with an organist. Their revised personnel – Gary LePort (lead gtr), Jimmy Raither (rhythm gtr), Peter Knight (kbds), Pete Johnson (bass) and Tony White (drums) – recorded Gary’s atmospheric ‘Night Of The Vampire’, which Meek adorned with special effects and in November ’61, were rewarded with a Top 50 entry. However, the BBC – in their infinite wisdom – banned the disc, and Radio Luxembourg airplay alone wasn’t enough to drive it up the charts and it dropped out after just one week.

The Instro scene enjoyed huge grass roots popularity and many of the bands had massive, fiercely-loyal fanbases. London-based Nero & The Gladiators were very much a case in point, playing to sellout crowds at dancehalls, and proving virtually impossible to follow onstage whenever they appeared down the bill on package tours. Comprising Colin Green (lead gtr), Mike O’Neill (kbds), Rod ‘Boots’ Slade (bass) and Laurie Jay (drums), they often dallied with classical pieces, which led to problems with the BBC, who generally banned their discs. But they nonetheless managed to make the lower reaches of the charts with each of their first two releases, ‘Entry Of The Gladiators’ (February ’61) and ‘In The Hall Of The Mountain King’ (June ’61 – the latter featuring legendary session guitarist Joe Moretti on lead). They were also hugely popular in mainland Europe, particularly France, where a surprising number of British Instro groups enjoyed cult status.

Another combo with a strong following were The Hunters – Brian Parker (lead gtr), Norman Stracey (rhythm gtr), John Rodgers (bass) and Norman Sheffield (drums) – who originated from Cheshunt, in Hertfordshire, from the same Skiffle group who’d begat Cliff & The Drifters (i.e. the Dick Teague Skiffle Group). Indeed, in February 1960 The Hunters were called upon to deputise for The Shadows, when Cliff flew back to England in the middle of a U.S. tour (leaving The Shads in New York) to play the NME Pollwinners Concert at the Empire Pool, Wembley, and Sunday Night At The London Palladium. They later backed Dave Sampson and Danny Rivers, both live and on record (the latter produced by Joe Meek – they also recorded with other Meek artists, including Michael Cox and Gerry Temple). And although they tasted chart action with both Sampson and Rivers, in hindsight it seems inexplicable that neither ‘Teen Scene’ (November ’60) nor ‘The Storm’ (August ’61) were able to provide The Hunters with a twangular hit of their own.

Elsewhere, Peter Jay & The Jaywalkers, from Great Yarmouth, were another hugely popular live outfit; they would grab their brief taste of chart glory in 1962 with the truly gruesome ‘Can-Can 62’ (a Joe Meek production), whilst the rather more enjoyable ‘Mistral’ was an early demo, recorded whilst the band were still semi-pros. A group who’d found themselves in something of a state of limbo were The Checkmates. Having backed Emile Ford on the million-selling ‘What Do You Want To Make Those Eyes At Me For’ and five further big hits (their line-up included two of Emile’s step-brothers) they’d already established a considerable reputation. But like The Hunters they were never quite able to get a record away for themselves (their revivals of ‘Caravan’ and ‘Yep’ come from their sole, eponymously-titled 1961 LP).

Conversely, The Packabeats (with ‘Gypsy Beat’, February ’61) and Rhett Stoller (‘Chariot’, January ’61) were classic ‘One Hit Wonders’, although both are rather better known for other tunes; The Packabeats would later cut ‘Theme From The Traitors’ for Joe Meek, which remains one of the latter’s benchmark Instros, whilst Rhet Stoller famously went on to write and record the theme music for BBC TV’s Match Of The Day.

Indeed, theme tunes of films and/or TV shows would provide an importance source of repertoire for the Instro scene. Pianist/composer/conducter Max Harris enjoyed a wholly unexpected Top 10 record with the theme tune to Anthony Newley’s surreal/cult Strange World Of Gurney Slade TV series in December ’60, whilst Red Price chalked up a ‘near-hit’ with the ‘Theme From Danger Man’, and The Ted Taylor Four clocked up considerable airplay with ‘Cats Eyes’, the theme tune to their own brief BBC Light programme radio series. A further trio of goodies which belong in this pigeonhole are Johnny Gregory & His Orchestra with the theme from the Richard Boone/George Hamilton movie A Thunder Of Drums, whilst The Rustlers’ ‘High Strung’ and The Volcanos’ ‘Theme From Tightrope’ came from long-forgotten, contemporaneous TV series.

A number of other groups released excellent 45s which racked up significant radio play, but they were unable to convert to record sales. The Scorpions, a trio from South-East London, fit into this category, being desperately unlucky with their splendid revival of ‘(Ghost) Riders In The Sky’, which missed out to The Ramrods’ US hit version, whilst their self-penned ‘Scorpio’ was another great release, a few months later. Both The Jetstreams (with their cover of Preston Epps’ percussive US hit ‘Bongo Rock’) and The Cannons (with their Duane Eddy ripoff ‘I Didn’t Know The Gun Was Loaded’) were popular ‘turntable hits’, which came within a cat’s whisker of making the charts, a fate which also befell The Barons, whose ‘Samurai’/‘Whirlwind’ was a superb coupling, either side of which sounded as though it could have been a biggie.

Old school session players and bandleaders were regularly drawn to the Instro scene, presumably in search of extra pocket money, which usually resulted in some interesting collectors’ 45s. Among these were guitarist Eric Ford’s ‘Main Line’, which appeared as a one-off single credited to The Staccatos, Rex & The Minors’ onomatopoeic ‘Chicken Sax’ (‘Rex’ being renown saxman Rex Morris), alto sax-player (and Oscar Rabin Band leader) David Ede’s cover of The Mar-Keys’ US hit ‘Last Night’, and The Werlwinds’ (in reality, the Martin Slavin Orch’s) ‘Winding It Up’. Judd Proctor – another classy session guitarist, with Jazz leanings – cut a handful of much-loved Instro 45s; ‘Clearway’ comes from an acetate demo, although he would record a full studio version of the track a year or so hence. And whilst no-one knows for sure, The Vampires’ handclap-driven, drumtastic ‘Clap Trap’ (another one-off release) is believed by many Instro collectors to be the Eric Delaney Band.

Drummer Pete Chester (the son of Music Hall favourite Charlie Chester) hung around the fringes of the scene for many years, flirting with success, although was never quite able to carve out a major breakthrough hit. His first band, The Five Chesternuts, had famously included Hank B. Marvin and Bruce Welch in their pre-Drifters/Shads incarnation (indeed, both had made their recording debuts as a member of the Chesternuts) and he’d charted very briefly a couple of years later with his next group, The Consulates, whose (wholly risible) ‘Ten Swinging Bottles’ spent one week at the foot of the NME Top 30 in December ’60. ‘Three Old Maids’, credited to The Pete Chester Group, was effectively the follow-up, although another 45, ‘Man In Space’, credited to The Vigilantes, appeared around the same time, featuring exactly the same personnel (even more mysteriously, its flip, ‘Eclipse’, was the subject of a contemporaneous cover by Arthur Greenslade & The Gee-Men). Mind you, by then, Chester had co-written Cliff’s No.1 ‘Please Don’t Tell, with Bruce Welch, so he probably wasn’t short of a bob or two!

But for every popular, or well-known Instro group, there were at least a couple of dozen obscure equivalents, desperately trying to make headway, hoping for a hit – or at the very least, a break. The Apex Group, from Yorkshire, were very much a case in point; their local pressing of their self-penned ‘Yorkshire Relish’ is an absolute stonker of an obscurity, which clearly deserved to reach a wider audience. Very nearly as impressive are sides like The Ikons’ revival of Johnny Mercer’s ‘Rio Grande’, taken from an ancient acetate, The Planets’ jaunty ‘Jam Roll’, and singer/guitarist Jeff Rowena’s driving ‘Bullfight’ (he also cut a couple of vocal 45s around this time).

Finally, a disc that has been baffling UK Instro collectors for decades: The Ravens Rock Group with their saxy, twangy classic, ‘The Ghoul Friend’, which appeared on the Pye International label in April ’61. Absolutely nothing is known about this one-off release, except that it’s one hell of a great record! And that, my friends, is what collecting UK Instros is all about!

Groper Odson

Big Thanks to Trev Faull and Pete Frame
Acknowledgments also to Cilla Proudbottom, Dave Burke, Alan Taylor and Rob Bradford

Essential reading:-
The Restless Generation by Pete Frame (Rogan House Publishing, 2007)
A Collectors Guide To 60s Brit-Pop Instrumentals by Trev Faull (self-published, 1999)

This compilation is dedicated to the late Bernard Futter