When adding together Liverpool, Birkenhead which is just a short boat ride away over the Mersey from Liverpool's Pier Head then head onwards up the coast to posh and snooty Southport. All that area, much to the hate of those posh people who lived in Southport, in the late 60's was know as Merseyside.
Watch the above video collage of rare photo's, the song featured is "Cover Girl from the Perfumed Garden".
Back in 1968 some weeks passed from the recording session at Cam records before the song in the video was finally rejected by the Perfumed garden.
Now almost 45 years later after sitting at the bottom of other recordings the dust has been blown away and the result...."Cover Girl" has now been remastered and is available on Rare Mod Volume 4.
Rare Mod is a series of compilation album's available in several formats including CD. Vinyl LP & MP3 download.
Go to www.acidjazz.co.uk for more details or buy direct from Amazon. HMV. I Tunes. Acid Jazz Ebay and many more retailers throughout the Uk and beyond. Go Get your piece of history today.
During the late 60's within the Mersey region, it was claimed Bob Wooler had totted up a total of about 400 bands and groups in the Merseyside area. Well what ever the number of groups and bands I never got round to adding up the exact number myself, but I do know the number of groups was in the hundreds.
All these groups started out pumping out their idea of Merseybeat or the Merseysound as some liked to call it with don't forget a bit of soul music mixed in, How many groups did you hear doing Midnight Hour or My Girl?. As the 60's moved on and styles changed and groups like Pink Floyd and Mr Jimi Hendrix came on the scene Psychedelic Rock was the new sound to be doing.
Back to basics, hundeds of groups there was but no matter, because all these 60s bands started out the same way doing endless rounds of scruffy pubs and church halls even the odd Wedding often for no more than a few quid a night.
Once these groups had a bit of fan base behind them they swiftly moved up the ladder away from pubs looking instead for work at many of Liverpool's clubs including The most famous club in the world! "the Cavern club", together with the many other Liverpool clubs like the Mardi Gras, Dino's, The Downbeat / The Victoriana, The Beechcomber, Babaloo, and Iron door, not to mention the odd grand appearance at some of the posh Ballrooms of the late 60's like the Grafton, Orral Park in Aintree and Southports Floral Hall.
The next step for any group was making a record, but by the mid to late 60's getting a record deal was no push over, nevertheless a few mid to late 60's groups did get lucky on the record front they included to name a few...
The Escorts " head to toe ". The Cryin Shames, " Please stay ". The Signs " ain't you got a heart ". The Seftons " I can see through you ". The Perishers " How does it feel ". The Washington Soul Band changed names to The Selofane and came back with " A Girl call fantasy ". The Curiosity Shoppe " Baby I need you ".
The Klubs on the other hand got turned down by Decca but on their return to Liverpool made a record on the local CAM record label called "I found the sun" the down side for the Klubs, the record was only ever sold locally.
So, a few of the rumoured 400'ish groups, like the Seftons as the their CBS picture did head down the M1 for London. Those above apart from the Klubs, all returned with a big smile and record deal under their belts.
But many, many more also went down the smoke as London was known in the 60's only to return, with long faces and empty hands or to be clear, no record deal. So towards the later 60's after the early first wave of the Mersey Beat, no longer was it a push over, getting a record deal.
Even for the lucky groups getting a record deal was one thing. But often due to poor management and little promotion, even the few groups that did return with record deals, the resulting records as good as some were, once outside the Merseyside fan base area the records simply failed to get the sale's numbers needed for chart entry. So in the end there was no instant success and Rolls Royce to drive around in.
With the exception of The Cryin Shames to name but one group from the mid 60's who did manage minor success. The first record from the group was a cover of a Drifters soul classic called Please Stay. The Cryin shames got to number 24 in the national charts with the song, but later down the line they couldn't repeat that success with the next two singles.
All might of taken another course for the Cryin Shames, but the success with Please Stay was it seems cut short due to, (if the stories are true), an unfortunate encounter at the famous Adelphi Hotel Liverpool between the Cryin Shames, their producer Joe Meek and Mr Brian Epstein himself no less.
What ever the truth of what happened in the Adelphi Hotel that day, one things for sure after that meeting and once Please Stay had headed south in the charts the Cryin Shames soon found themselves all but back where they had started. The final record release on DECCA from the Cryin Shames "September in the Rain" also didn't sell in any great numbers.
Later down the years other late 60s bands who like all the others above, I had also shared many a dodgy stage with. Those groups included...
The Arrival who actually made the big time from their own efforts and talent.
While The Real Thing (formally Vocal Perfection), and Candlewick Green both needed the help of Opportunity Knocks to crack the big time.
Nevertheless all three of these 60s groups went on to have at least one top ten record that resulted in what back then, was the ultimate prize for any unknown group, "a spot on BBC's Top of the Pops" no less.
But while the few found their five minutes of bright lights and short lived success. For the great majority of groups to which this site is dedicated, despite trying their hardest, they all got nowhere.
At the time, getting nowhere was a big disappointment for those groups who failed. But in the overall scheme of things today it didn't matter because what did matter, was the contribution they made to the music scene of the late 60's because that contribution, one way or another still lives on today.
Just two prime example of it living on today 40 odd years later.
In 1967 it was big smiles all round for the Seftons and Yanni Tsamplakos the groups guitarist who at that stage like the rest of the Seftons was no more than a teenager. With Yanni second from the left The Seftons sit for the groups CBS photo ready for the launch of their one and only single under the name of the Seftons "I can see through you".
Today Yanni Tsamplakos now aged 60 is still pounding the beat in great demand with his latest group The Merseybeat Ledgends.
Maybe not pounding the beat anymore but the late 60's group The Curiosity Shoppe still attract tons interest more than 40 years or so after they packed up.
In 1968 Curiosity Shoppe made one record on the Deram label. At the time the record sold in record shops for only six shillings and eight pennies (34p today) so little money yet in 1968 you couldn't give the record away.
In hindsight, today a battered 1968 copy of the "Curiosity Shoppe Baby I Need You" will now sell for hundreds of pounds on Ebay.
Recently on YouTube in just a few weeks before it was taken off, the Curiosity Shoppe and their one recording got over 20,000 hits with endless rave reviews.
So much so there is now a band called "The Bee Side" on YouTube covering the Curiosity shoppe record, why not take a look some time!.
During the mid to late 60's over a five year period being in several groups myself I had the great pleasure of not only seeing many of the groups close up performing, but I also got to meet and know many of the group members on a personal level.
Sadly back then as those of us who were there know, the 60's even the late 60's was still light years away from the days when we would be walking round with laptops under our arm let alone the day when everyone would be carrying at least one camera phone and even video recorder in our pockets.
So a great many opportunities to capture the moment were sadly sadly missed, nevertheless my scrap book is loaded with all sort of memories which will be shared on this site with much more that's been found during the research process that now appear in my book Cavern After Hours available world wide from all good internet and high street book stores.
New Out Blues at the Cavern only £7.99 + P&P order your copy today
here on Cavern after Hours....
Blues at the Cavern – A Moment in Time
Ray David’s new book, ‘Blues at the Cavern’ is a fascinating journey through these times and is a story that has never before been told. Ray’s recollections of Liverpool in the 50s and 60s are worth reading in their own right and brought back many happy memories for me.
The book contains many new facts about the bands and personalities of the era and makes for a fascinating read. If you love the Blues, this book is a must for your collection.
Dave Fergy Editor liverpoolbeat.com
An intriguing socio-historical record of a forgotten era. ‘Blues at the Cavern’ captures the very essence of a unique period of the Liverpool blues music scene of the 1960s. This is a thoroughly enjoyable account, written by a man who was at the centre of this exciting time and who played alongside some of the world’s greatest US bluesmen with his Cavern-based band, the St Louis Checks. Marvellous memories.
Albanov Journal Critic
‘Blues at the Cavern’ was reviewed on BBC Radio Merseyside by a live interview with the author. ‘Smokestack Lightning’ by Howlin’ Wolf played the programme in and Jimmy Reed’s, ‘Bright Lights, Big City’ rounded it off.
Can you help us further?
There must be thousands of pictures and snippets out there related to the 60s music hidden in scrap books at the bottom of a draw.
Maybe now is the time to dig them out and email them in to us.
Have a look at our gallery page see what's been found so far as well as what I have posted from my scrap book.