ru_rock70_rss (ru_rock70_rss) wrote,

Old Melodies ...

Old Melodies ...

She Came From Liverpool! (Merseyside Girl Pop 1962-68)

Posted: 13 Jan 2020 08:10 AM PST

In July 1961, the first issue of the Liverpool music paper Mersey Beat put
three items on its front page. One was a surreal article by John Lennon
titled Being a Short Diversion on the Dubious Origins of The Beatles.
Another was a photo of Gene Vincent “at the Rialto Ballroom earlier this
year, [signing] autographs for two young Liverpool beauties, Mary Larkin
and Terry Shorrock.” The third was a piece on “Swinging Cilla,” “a
Liverpool girl who is starting on the road to fame.” She has, readers were
told, sung with The Big Three and the Hurricanes.
Exactly two years after she became front page news for the first time,
Cilla Black auditioned at EMI’s Abbey Road studios and was signed – like
The Beatles – to Parlophone. One of the tracks from the July 1963 audition
features on She Came From Liverpool! - Merseyside Girl-Pop 1962-1968, a
25-track collection with a self-explanatory title. Alongside Cilla are
fellow Liverpudlians Beryl Marsden, The Vernons Girls and their various
spin-offs, and lesser-knowns like Tiffany and Nola York.That beat-era
Liverpool wasn’t all about male combos is attested to by a flick through
subsequent copies of Mersey Beat. Cilla crops up a lot. But there were also
The Pacemakers with their singer Rita – who, when Gerry and co caught on,
became Four Hits & A Miss and then Jeannie and the Big Guys, as whom they
are heard on She Came From Liverpool! In the 24 October 1963 issue, The
Beatles are pictured with the trio version of The Vernons Girls perched on
their besuited knees.
But really, the Liverpool scene was male dominated. Even so, She Came From
Liverpool! is a bold, hugely enjoyable and informative attempt to shift the
emphasis towards the female. In so doing, some gentle tweaking has been
undertaken. Jeannie and the Big Guys were from Chester. Although they
formed in Liverpool, The Liverbirds – the only all-female beat group as
such spawned by the city – moved to Hamburg and made all their records in
Germany. Sandy Edmonds was born in Liverpool but moved to New Zealand with
her family when she was 15. She recorded there. Glenda Collins, a totemic
name for Joe Meek fans, was born in London and spent a few childhood years
in Liverpool before heading back south.In this wonky world, once Cilla is
set aside – her brash, Fabs-penned debut single “Love of the Loved” opens
proceedings – the big stars are The Vernons Girls and what they begat.
Originally a 70-piece choir formed from members of staff of the Vernons
football pools company in 1953, they slimmed down to a 16-piece and debuted
on vinyl in 1957 as the Voices of Vernons, as back-up on an Eamonn Andrews
single. A sap-filled album as The Vernons Girls arrived in 1958. Change
came with Jack Good picking them up for TV and a concomitant rocking
makeover. Eventually, a trio became the most recognisable on-screen faces
and, when the pools company folded them in 1961, three of the group
continued in music with the name as session singers and recording artists.
Another trio from the ranks called themselves The Breakaways (later, they
sang on Hendrix’s “Hey Joe”).
On She Came From Liverpool!, nine tracks are Vernons related. “Only You Can
Do It”, credited on 45 to The Vernons Girls in 1964, is one of the best
British female singles of the Sixties and essential to any collection of
the era’s pop. Samantha Jones, the lead voice on that track, is also heard
solo with the spine-tingling and previously unissued “I Don't Want to be
the One”, which was produced in 1965 by New York’s Teddy Randazzo. The full
story of the Vernons dynasty is told in the booklet.The Liverbirds are as
interesting, and also responsible for one of Sixties pop’s greatest moments
with their hard-edged, folk-rock-come-R&B 1965 B-side ”Why do You Hang
Around me”. By the time it was released, they were a distant memory in the
their home city where developments in pop moved at atom-fast speed. After
members saw The Beatles in 1962 the band had formed as, initially, The
Squaws. Curiously, but logically in the light of their preference for R&B,
their closest allies in band-world were London-based outfits The Kinks and
The Rolling Stones. In May 1964, they arrived in Hamburg and went on to
make a ripping album and two singles. Before that and back at Liverpool’s
Cavern, John Lennon had told them “girls don’t play guitars.”
Of the other wonders collected, both tracks by Tiffany – she passed through
an early Liverbirds formulation – are fantastic. So is Jeannie & The Big
Guys’s thumping “I Want You”, The Three Bells’s churning “Someone to Love”
and Nola York’s dramatic, stirring John Barry-esque “I Don't Understand”.
Ultimately though, the thrilling She Came From Liverpool! - Merseyside
Girl-Pop 1962-1968 is about telling a story which has not been told before.
It was there, but it’s taken over 50 years to bring the pieces together.
Pity it took so long.
Track listing
01 Love Of The Loved - Cilla Black02 Long Tall Shorty - The Liverbirds03
Everybody Loves A Lover - Beryl Marsden04 I Want You - Jeannie & The Big
Guys05 Baby Don't Look Down - Tiffany with The Thoughts06 Someone To Love -
The Three Bells07 What's She Got (That I Ain't Got) - Beryl Marsden08 Only
You Can Do It - The Vernons Girls09 That Boy Of Mine - The Breakaways10
Something I've Got To Tell You - Glenda Collins11 Don't Understand - Nola
York12 ust For Him - Samantha Jones13 Am I Dreaming? - Tiffany14 ill He
Tells Me - Jacki Martin15 A Shot Of Rhythm And Blues - Cilla Black16 Sticks
And Stones - Jeannie & The Big Guys17 Why Do You Hang Around Me - The
Liverbirds18 I Don't Want To Be The One - Samantha Jones19 Sally Go Round
The Roses - Lyn Cornell20 Puppet On A String - The De Laine Sisters21 Dumb
Head - The Sharades22 Lover Please - The Vernons Girls23 Just Being Your
Baby (Turns Me On) - Cindy Cole24 Baby, You're So Right For Me - The Satin
Bells25 Come See Me - Sandy Edmonds
Ty To Original Sharer
"I hope for nothing, I fear nothing, I am free"
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