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!
From musician to deputy mayor and still playing - that’s Graham Pearson. A former Teesside musician who started in the 60’s with a band called The Zombeats is now enjoying his music with a Texas-based band called The Power Section and has just launched a new website.
Graham (above left) who is lead vocalist, guitarist and keyboard player, was born and raised in the north-east of England. He studied classical piano and the theory of music from the age of 5, resulting in a BA from the Royal Schools of Music (London) at the age of 18. At 12, Graham started learning acoustic guitar. By age 16, he was touring northern England and Scotland as a solo act playing in the popular folk clubs of the time. After immigrating to the States, Graham played with several bands that toured Canada and the USA. After moving to Fredericksburg, Texas in 1998, Graham put together “The Beat Goes On”, an annual event that recruits local musicians to perform for free in aid of cancer research. This gave him the opportunity to play with Riley Osbourn, keyboard player for Kenny Wayne Shepherd. Graham has been a guest performer at The RockBox, a showcase theatre in the heart of Fredericksburg, most recently for 22 performances of their 2013 Christmas show. Graham is a founding member of The Power Section. His full time job is deputy Mayor of Fredericksburg in Texas.
Middlesbrough born musician and former member of the Road Runners, Colin Bradley, has a brand new CD out titled "By Invitation Only" which is available on iTunes, Amazon and CD Baby. Colin also enlisted the help of his good friend and old band mate Paul Rodgers who collaborated with Colin on the Buck Owens classic "Cryin' Time", which most people identify with as a Ray Charles tune. Colin says:
"Recording this project was a delightful experience, and I had lots of help. I picked songs by writers and artists I really admire, so they are all "cover" tunes as such, but with my own take on their interpretation. The project was special for two reasons, because in addition to working with Paul on one track, I was able to fly in my niece Claire Flynn from Alberta to go into the studio with me and do some vocals. Claire was born in Billingham, emigrated to South Africa with her parents as a child, and subsequently moved to Canada in the mid '90's where she now lives with her husband and two children. Until 2012, we had not seen each other since she was a little girl. Everyone in the family had always told me what a great voice she had, and when we finally managed to connect during a trip I made to Alberta, we sang together for the very first time and the DNA kicked in. It was a magical moment. I was determined to get her into a studio with me and we were able to make a record I'm very proud of. The musicians I used on the project are all personal friends and are drawn from Toronto's "A" list of studio players. Drummer Mike Sloski worked with Dusty Springfield. Bass player Dennis Pendrith has toured and recorded with Gordon Lightfoot, Bruce Coburn and Murray Mclauchlan - all iconic Canadian artistes. Keyboard player Denis Keldie has played on more than 300 albums with a who's who of the music business. Conrad Kipping (fiddle and mandolin) and Howard Willett (harp) are staples on the Toronto music scene. My good friend and fellow guitarist Steve Briggs regularly works with Sylvia Tyson, and is a constant inspiration to me and is, in my opinion, one of Canada's finest guitarists. The album was engineered and co-produced by Dave Tufford at Chaplin Studio in St. Catharines Ontario, and Dave too is a fine multi instrumentalist. The CD is dedicated to my late brother Joe Bradley who, as well as managing the Road Runners, was a beacon in my life, and anything I ever did musically that was any good, is really all down to him."
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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