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Merseybeat Nostalgia

The Merseybeats

The Merseybeats on stage at the Cavern

Line up:

Merseybeats - Cavern

Tony Crane - Lead Guitar/Vocals

Aaron Williams - Rhythm Guitar/Vocals

Billy Kinsley - Base Guitar/Lead Vocals

John Banks - Drums

In 1960, Tony Crane and Billy Kinsley formed a group called The Mavericks, the other group members where Dave Elias - rhythm guitar, Frank Sloane - drums and Billy Butler - vocals (Billy later became a top DJ on Radio City, Merseyside).

In February 1962, they asked Bill Harry, owner of the music paper Mersey Beat, for permission to use the name ‘The Mersey Beats’ to which he agreed. Later that year, Billy Butler left to join a group called The Tuxedos, Frank and Dave left to form the group The Nocturns, being replaced by Aaron and John. They had secured a residency at St.Johns Hall, Bootle on a Monday night and on one occasion had The Beatles as their guest group. In early 1963 they became the third group to be signed by Brian Epstein but left his management a few months later after a ‘dispute’. Later that year they signed a recording contract with Fontana Records and their first release, ‘It’s Love That Really Counts’ reached No. 24 in the UK charts and their second release, ‘I Think Of You’ reached No. 5. In 1964 Billy Kinsley left after disagreements with the other group members and formed his own group, ‘The Kinsleys’ and was replaced by Johnny Gustafson who was fired a few months later after making inquiries about the groups finances and was replaced by Billy Kinsley who had decided to rejoin them. This line-up remained until 1966 when Aaron Williams left the music business and John Banks joined Johnny Gustafson to form a duo. Before the break up, The Merseybeats’ (as they where now known) had a further five chart successes with ‘Don’t Turn Around’, ‘Wishing And Hoping’, ‘Last Night’, ‘I Love You Yes I Do’ and ‘I Stand Accused’. After the break up Tony and Billy became ‘The Merseys’ and had a hit in April 1966 with the record ‘Sorrow’ when it reached No. 4 in the charts. It is believed their version of the Feldman/Gottehrer song was one of Beatle George Harrison’s favorite recordings and it is also believed he took the line ‘long blonde hair and your eyes of blue’ to include it in the ‘Yellow Submarine’ album track ‘It’s All Too Much’ in tribute to his then wife Pattie.

Press ‘Play Button’ to listen to the original recordings.

I Think Of You - The Merseybeats

I Love You Yes I Do - The Merseybeats

It’s Love The Really Counts - The Merseybeats

Sorrow - The Merseys

Merseybeats - Original
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