The Bands' pages are dedicated to the groups from Hartlepool and Teesside who were operating in the 1960's. If your band is not mentioned here and you'd like to be considered, send me an email with all the details. If we don't know about you, we can't mention you!
Teesside performer Claire Hamill will be spending a lot more time in the north east over the coming months as she sets out to make a video based on a song she's written about Hartlepool. The video is being filmed by Masspro Productions, of Park Road, in Hartlepool and some of the locations being used include Ward Jackson Park, Burn Valley Gardens, Redheugh Gardens, the Croft and Northgate.
The song "Hartlepool" is a "boy meets girl" story. A young girl finds herself alone in Hartlepool and is befriended by a young boy who shows her around the town. As they take in the sights, Hartlepool weaves it's magic and they fall in love.
"She was lighter than snowflakes
He was darker than clay
She made a King for the seasons
And he made a Queen of the day".....
Also taking part in the video are students from the Debbie Barrass Academy of Performing Arts in Murray Street. They will perform a dance routine in one of the town's parks.
Claire, who's originally from Port Clarence but now shares her time between Billingham and St. Leonard's in Sussex, has been active in the music business since the tender age of seventeen. In 1971, she was launched as one of Britain's first female singer-songwriters and compared by several commentators to Joni Mitchell.
Few British singers can boast performing with some of the most exciting musical talent the UK has seen – bands such as Wishbone Ash, Procol Harum, Jethro Tull, John Martyn, and King Crimson as well as collaborations with Vangelis, Gary Numan and many, many more.
It's expected that the Claire Hamill video, together with a new album, will be released sometime during late spring but the song "Hartlepool" is getting its first airplay on the John Foster Show on BBC Tees, on December 17th, when Derrick Rowbotham, of Masspro, is an after 2.00 guest.
Colin Draper, the original bass player with The Delmonts has returned to the band after 45 years. Baz Norton, after a great career playing bass for many decades, has sadly had to leave the group because of ill health.
When the Evening Gazette, in Middlesbrough, printed a story about The Zephyrs in March 2009, it certainly created a lot of interest. So much so that Paul Delplanque, who writes the "Remember When" column in the paper and has an on-line blog, has written more features based on the 'beat boom' of that era - When Teesside Really Rocked - and some wonderful articles on The Blue Caps, Barbara and the Vampires, The Condors and The Globe Theatre. Then, in April 2010 Paul wrote about some personal thoughts from Keith Roberts of The Crestas and The Johnny Taylor Five were featured in June the same year. The School of Rock from June 2011 was a wonderful article on The Crawdaddies and Plainsmen and we musn't forget The Milestones in May 2012. Then we had quite a long feature on The Denvers in February, 2013 and the latest feature on the bands is the Road Runners from March, 2013. What are your memories of those glory days and do you have photographs that you'd like to share? You can either email me or contact Paul at the Gazette. "Remember When" is the most popular non football blog in the Trinity Mirror Group and the eighth most popular overall (out of over 500). It also attracts more readers than all the blogs on the Scottish Daily Record combined.
How it all started: For almost fourteen years I lived on the Costa Blanca in Spain. Following a visit I made to my hometown of Hartlepool in June 2004, it was suggested to me to start a web page featuring some of the old bands, or groups, that graced the pubs and clubs of the area back in the 1960's. The idea started after Billy Crallan, George Hart and Ed Saul all joined forces to play some of the old songs to help celebrate Ron Blair's 60th birthday. Billy Crallan, Ron and I played together in The Trakkers and George, of course, was the original lead guitarist of The Hartbeats. The photograph above shows George, Billy, me and Ron at Hartlepool Cricket Club. So, what started as an idea has now expanded into many pages - and is dedicated to the great bands of that era and the friendship we all enjoyed. Photograph © Marion Crallan.
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