BANDS - FROM HARTLEPOOL & TEESSIDE IN THE 60'S
The Delmonts are letting all their followers know that the band will be back on the road after the summer holidays with a brand new show fronted by their new singer. This follows the departure of lead vocalist Norman Craggs during mid-July. Bass player, Colin Draper, says that they now have a better reinforced professional sound system to lift the vocals above the drum and bass and new songs to add to the old favourites. The Delmonts are looking forward to being with you as they prepare to roll out the show and will be coming to place near you soon. Photograph © Copyright IRB Photography.
John Rogan, former member of The Hartbeats and later with Adam Faith and The Roulettes, paid a visit to his hometown of Hartlepool towards the end of June. The last time we saw each other was at the New Musical Express Poll Winners Concert at the Empire Pool, Wembley, on April 21st, 1963. After 53 years we had a lot to talk about!
How nice it was to meet up with Graham Pearson, a former Teesside man, who now lives in Fredericksburg, Texas. Originally from the Oxbridge area of Stockton, he played with The Zombeats around the area about 1964/65, and is still going strong after all these years as lead vocalist, guitarist and keyboard player with a band in Texas called The Power Section. Graham, who is on the right above, studied classical piano and the theory of music from the age of 5, resulting in a BA from the Royal Schools of Music in London at 18. At 12, he started learning acoustic guitar and by 16 he was touring as a solo act playing in the popular folk clubs of the time. On a brief visit to the area he visited his hometown before popping down to Hartlepool - having a meal in the Traveller's Rest - before heading for Tyneside and then on to Scotland. Many years ago he moved to the United States to live and is now the Deputy Mayor of Fredericksburg, Texas.
An excellent and informative new website on the Teesside band The Freelanders titled "There Is A Story To Tell" is now published - and what a story! It has been created by John Blench and covers their career from start to finish from their biography to music. It's their highs and lows, the many laughs and the 'occasional' differences they had and the chance to see, and hear, the experiences of the band as they moved from being a semi-pro outfit to a professional one.
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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