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Page updated 26 February 2015

David St. John

   Call up the Groups 2



Please note that many images contained within this website may be subject to copyright, although many have been kindly sent to me and intended to be shared on this non commercial outlet.  If anybody wishes to use any of the same, then please get in touch as well as possibly giving credit where due as well as setting up reciprocal links if relevant to the actual content on any webpage. Please note that I am able to monitor any image-copying and if published on other websites. I would appreciate any contact to report broken/outdated links and any corrections to the text that accompanies any images herein.  Thank you and enjoy!


April 2008


This is a new page, following from Call Up the Groups as it is now creaking under the weight of so much information, photos etc!  As before, I have been overwhelmed by the ever growing interest as people discover these pages on my website and provided so much interesting snippets and images - it's great to be able to share it with the world instead of just languishing in scrapbooks, loft boxes etc! 

I am now giving more insight into the fantastic years of Southampton's music makers and shakers during the main Fifties and Sixties and I trust you will enjoy even more memory jerking bits and pieces.  Once again - if YOU have any input then please get in touch with any of your own stories or even rare photographs (jpeg format) and these can be added on.  I need to add more info to each image so please get in touch if you sent these in as I am finding it difficult to keep track of so many great e-mails with attached photos that get filed for some while.  Just identify the photo and let me know more about it as this really brings it all back for so many people.

I am also in the process of writing a book, which mirrors much of what you can find on my webpages,but in more detail and in a much different style of course.  It is very localised to the Hampshire area so I'm not expecting to outsell J.K. Rowling!  Very much a labour of love and I am looking to self publish it, hoping that I might break even.......  More news as and when.  I am also indebted to John Clare who posted a heavy package all the way from Australia and containing his amazing encyclopaedia known as Southern Roots - a veritable Holy Grail for any Hampshire based music fan!  Much of this extra information and photos are now being uploaded on my pages so please keep coming back as more info gets shared with the world


Please keep coming back to this page as I am adding new info all the time and have quite a backlog of stuff that has been kindly sent to me - please be patient if you have contributed!   I will just add different segments and some input is so good that it can be copied straight to the site, or I may have to edit/rewrite/enhance whatever crops up.  Again - thanks to everybody who has enjoyed these memory laden pages and helped in any way as well as looking forward to new readers who might 'stumble' across it whilst surfing and searching for a long lost relative or anything to do with the Southampton music scene of yesteryear.


What about this for a great start!  Amazing mid 60s photo of Johnny Dymond - 'legendary DJ' hosting a 'Juke Box Jury' style show as part of the International Teenage Forum (don't ask!) with the following celebrities as seated from L-R


             Bob James (Avenue Artistes)   Dave Dee  Martin 'Cuddles' Smith  John Roberts (MeddyEvils)


The Adam and Eve Club - Grand Opening Night 1964?

*February 2015*

'Lovable eccentric' Jimmy Savile  has now achieved notoriety as one of the worst UK serial sex offenders ever - the stories still emerging. I have therefore wiped out this sick grinning face from the above photo, but leaving Johnny and surroundings as a great image. Back in the Sixties-most of us just laughed at Savile's 'wacky' profile, and limited catchphrases that formed the basis of his lack of real talent. I only wish that this creepy mugshot could be deleted from the net, and see his memory confined to the dustbin of history.  They should have buried him face down- so that he could see where he's going.....

This small club was in Spa Road just behind the old Echo offices which stood in Above Bar Southampton city centre and many of us local groups played there or watched visiting bands.  Rather cramped but great atmosphere and I have mentioned this well loved venue on my Venues page etc.   Check out the news of the 2011 Adam & Eve Reunion Show at the Concorde Club on the blog 2011 page.

Johnny Dymond hosting a Pye Records promotion

Check out the pants - influenced by Jimmy Savile's hair??


Screaming Lord Sutch threatens JD with his big chopper!

Photograph courtesy Peak Picture 26 Holyrood Avenue - long gone!


JD spinning the platters at the Royal Pier - early 60s


Some old promo cards - waiting for the sender to redo individually





Pete York - popular 60s DJ


Tommy Kaye - another great DJ and character

Pictured below at Terry Rolph's wedding!


                                                                          Terry Rolph (Avenue Artistes)                     Tommy Kaye                                              Sylvia

Dig the hand coloured photo by none other than Johnny Dymond!

When Sylvia saw Tommy's outfit - she asked "Eh Tommy - is anything worn under the kilt?"

Tommy "No - everything is in perfect working order!"


Soul Agents 1964 promo - Terrific R&B band who also backed Rod Stewart

                 L-R  Don Shinn (org) John Keeping  (voc) Jim Sachs (bass) (front) Tony Goode (gtr)    Roger Pope (drums) later with Elton John band!

One of the best ever bands of the early 60s R&B boom aided by the amazing organ playing 'boy wonder'  Don Shinn at the Hammond organ plus obligatory Lesley speaker that was a prominent sound of the era.  Don's solo rendition of 'Gospel Train' still reverberates in the memories of those who saw him play back then and he is still playing these days after an illustrious career over the decades, working with many legendary artistes of all styles.

Keeping, Sachs and Goode had originally been with early pop group 'Gene Anthony and the Lonely Ones' another of the Avenue Artistes stable.  This band also featured Joey Bromley (bass) and Chris Warman (drums) with Gene mostly singing the ballads but Keeping on the heavier stuff that formed a great side to the earthy Soul Agents sound.  Roger Pope (mentioned elsewhere on my site) was originally drummer with The Countdowns/Layne Rogers and the Countdowns who featured the following musicians:   Ray Taylor (Layne Rogers) on  vocals/harmonica  Graham Medley (bass/voc) guitarists Roy Perry , Chris Tappin and John Hatch.  Hatch, Medley and Perry had previously been with the Jaguars with Hatch and Medley later working with The Missing Links.

Daisies/Missing Links

Ron Allen (Drums) and Roy Perry (middle) in top picture






Hatch left the Countdowns to join The Hobos and Roger left to become a Soul Agent with Taylor, Medley and Perry forming another much remembered band The Daisies as pictured above.  Their brightly covered hand painted wreck of a group van was a familiar sight chugging through the streets of Southampton before braving the open roads that led them all over the South!  The Daisies also featured Mike Rowthorn (keys) and Tony Taylor (drums) and were a long haired 'underground' outfit influenced by the Pretty Things - in fact they were given their name by Phil May of the very same London R&B band that outraged parents and the establishment even more than the Stones!  Taylor later went onto a minor taste of 'celebrity' when appearing on TV and having his long locks shorn off for some weird reason.


The Soul Agents really took off when becoming Rod Stewarts' backing group after he had left Long John Baldry's Hoochie Coochie Men and Bluesology etc - these bands had also played the legendary Concorde Club with the likes of a shy bespectacled piano player called Reg Dwight - later known as Elton John!)  Rod and the Soul Agents had a residency at the showpiece Marquee Club in Wardour Street London and they all enjoyed the delights of being in the middle of Soho as you can imagine!  The group had to collect Rod from his flat above a fish and chip shop in Brentford in a battered old Commer band before making their way to the club - I wonder if Rod remembers all this as he lies in his jacuzzi in his Essex mansion or any of his other homes around the world? 


                                                                                                Roger Pope     Don Shinn                Rod Stewart                  Tony Goode

July 2011- see this link on Rod Stewart's official fansite:




This is a copy of the article, reproduced with kind permission of Mike Walton ('Smiler' fan website)

Following on from the brilliant Rod The Mod Portsmouth stories from Dave Allen we can now move on to Southampton and Rodís days in local band The Soul Agents,

Local music scene expert David St. John who is Originally from Southampton but now based near Birmingham in the West Midlands - and has an amazing background in show business, having started out as a ten year old rock and roll singer in his home town of Southampton followed by being lead vocalist and frontman of several pop groups throughout the Sixties and early Seventies before going solo back in 1972. Has helped fill us in with a couple of stories and also shared a fantastic photo of Rod from his Soul Agent days

Southampton band The Soul Agents really took off when becoming Rod Stewarts' backing group after he had left Long John Baldry's Hoochie Coochie Men and Bluesology etc - these bands had also played the legendary Concorde Club with the likes of a shy bespectacled piano player called Reg Dwight - later known as Elton John!  Rod and the Soul Agents had a residency at the showpiece Marquee Club in Wardour Street London and they all enjoyed the delights of being in the middle of Soho as you can imagine! The group had to collect Rod from his flat above a fish and chip shop in Brentford in a battered old Commer band before making their way to the club - I wonder if Rod remembers all this as he lies in his Jacuzzi in his Essex mansion or any of his other homes around the world?

Gill Waters remembers Rod in the 60's,ĒHe went out with my friend who incidentally was a tall leggy blonde. She called herself Janet Pooley, she was a manager in C & A in Southampton, She became a model for Friend magazine in her early teens.
Rod used to stay with her at her mother's flat and I always thought he was most unattractive. She obviously supported the Soul Agents whereas I was fan club secretary for The Chances 'R'.-They often did gigs at the same venues... Rod used to put rollers in his hair, Yuk! Never in a million years did she or I think he would ever be a global phenomenonĒ.

Promoter Terry Rolph from Avenue Artistes told DavidÖ
Nice to hear someone from Star Combo is still about, .every Saturday night was a sell out with them!
Rod Stewart with the Soul agents only did a couple of Sunday nights for me at the Blue Indigo sadly and the crowds were never that great. Rod came down on the train and would stay at Lens house in Shirley and would go back the next morning-it was the first time anybody asked for ladies hair laquer!
I always got the acts to sign the wall at the club; they were all up there, Rod, Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker, Jack Bruce, John Mayall,, Chris Farlowe,,Graham Bond, Denny Laine (had Moody Blues week before they went to No1 with Go Now they drew 15 people!)
The wall is long gone the club is now flats-that wall would be worth a fortune now
Happy days we wonít see the like of them again

Another of Davidís friends from the time Gerry Hayne (aged fifty-nineteen) remembers...

Oh yes I recall the Woolston and Rod who was with Long John Baldry etc plus of course our own local talent the Soul Agents. I later even went so far as to rent one of the keyboard player Don's "organs" from Terry at Avenue Artistes- a Bird Duplex I think - it was 2 manual and a sort of poor man's Hammond. I still have the Soul Agents record "45" with their hit "Seventh Son" and flipside "Letís make it pretty baby" - a record which went to number one in the juke box charts at Liverpool; so impressed by this were we that the band I was then with (Dave Chalk's 007s) went all the way up to the Cavern to see if they liked us as much - of course they didnít.....
I attended said Woolston regularly but on one occasion I took a rather special "lady" friend but, sad to report, when I last saw her she was riding the floating bridge with Rod on the roof !
Story of my life, since I took a gorgeous lady from Winchester to The Yardbirds gig at the Southampton Guildhall and she disappeared with young Eric Clapton (allegedly).
I went on to play with Johnny Watsons' Star Combo at the Bay Tree (Blue Indigo) [thanks Terry R] as the resident band and got to meet all the big band names who came and played there regularly. We used to time our breaks so that we could go downstairs and watch Morecambe & Wise - seriously we really did! The Combo also had the late John Murfitt, Mike Lewis (in Australia or NZ) Colin M (hopefully still local) Johnny Watson (Australia) and yours truly. Those were the days my friends we thought they'd never end.

David, also recalls a story about Rod getting the hump with someone at the Bay Tree Inn/Blue Indigo and jumping in a car to try and run him over outside the pub! Donít think he even had a licence thenÖ par for the course when Rod hit town!!!!!!!!



Just after the band appeared on the amazing 'Ready Steady Go' (remember Cathy McGowan?) John Keeping left the group to take over the family painting and decorating business back in St Marys Street Southampton, long closed down.  The band did another tour with blues legend Buddy Guy before going their separate ways with Don Shinn moving onto Dusty Springfield's backing group before going solo then followed by many years with different line-ups.  Roger Pope then joined the Andover band Loot then teaming up with Ian Duck (ex Classics) to form Hookfoot before leaving the area to tour the world with the likes of Elton John, Kiki Dee, Denny Laine,plus many recording sessions with Hall & Oates, Frank Zappa and many more!

Roger Pope


Keeping and Sachs later formed a 'social club' type band called Tapestry but left behind  a great legacy of the Soul Agents who released three singles on the Pye label:

I Just Wanna Make Love To You/Mean Woman Blues 1964

Seventh Son/Let's Make It Pretty Baby 1964





Don't Break It Up/Gospel Train 1965










Commercial Houses Sunday Cup Winners

Names from Terry Rolphe (Avenue Artistes)

Top Row-Chris Golden,Jack Monk,Renny Fletcher,Terry Rolphe, Brian Knight (Goalie) ,Dave Carson,Patrick Trant

Bottom Row-Phillip Trant,Fred Petley,James Trant,Dennis Hamilton,Chris Traynor

Dennis and Chris were both Avenue DJs and Chris's dad was Tommy Traynor Ex Southampton FC



From Chris Golden DJ- 2 December 2011

Hi David,

Here's the picture of Avenue Artists football team in 1974 ish. Dave Carson is standing 2nd from the right with long hair. I am standing on the left with the moustache and next to me is Jack (?)  Dave Carson's roadie. Next to him is Rene Fletcher my roadie. Terry Rolphe is standing next to the goalkeeper....and there are two Trant brothers in the team.

Dave sold me his mobile gear when he upgraded in 1971. We were at the Pier at the same time (post JD, so after 1970). Dave did Sundays/Mondays disco for the teenagers, and I did Thursdays/Saturdays with the Mecca band, plus Saturday afternoon discos for the young kids and all the private parties on Wednesdays and Fridays. That just left grab a grannie night on Tuesdays.


Dave Carson sadly passed away some while ago but I have just had a lovely e-mail from his grand-daughter Lucy, who recently found my webpages plus remembering Dave.  She is in the process of setting up her website and paying tribute to one of the most popular DJs from that era so I will let you know as and when- or just Google it yourself?

 Former DJ Paul Brixey thought that the wannabe George Best on the right of the goalie might be Dave Carson?  Paul wrote before Chris Golden's mail above: 

If I remember rightly the guy in the back row, second from the right was a DJ at the pier before moving onto DJ at Radio Victory I think. His name might have been Dave Carson but not too sure. I remember him as he used to laugh at me for being a DJ at the Adam and Eve who he looked down on as being very inferior. Other than that quite a good guy.



Dave Dee Dozy Beaky Mick & Tich promo card


The Panthers 1961  Shrubbery College for Girls Basingstoke- 'Saturday Hop'  (St Trinians type?)

                    Laurence McGowan (rhythm)  John Newman (lead)  Cecil 'Johnny' Houghton (voc)  Mike Lamb (drums)  Paul Donahoe (bass)

Probably booked via Len Canham and originally known as 'Johnny and the Panthers'

Thanks to original members Laurence and Mike  for namechecks.




Bob Pearce shaking his maraccas!

I have known Bob Pearce since 1964 when we both started out in the R&B group scene and he was lead vocals and great blues harmonica with the Footprints.  He later fronted many top rated Southampton bands and you can read all about him on my other pages - just check out the Group pages plus his own dedicated webpage.  Old musos will recognise the standard Reslo Ribbon microphone that we all used!  It was double sided so that two vocalists could share it although many mikes went through ropey p.a. systems in those early days - sometimes sharing inputs with guitars!   I recall havinh such p.a. amps as a Meazzi (Italian metal effort on legs) Geloso plus the good old Linear Concord amps with glowing valves encased in a mesh case.  Guitarists soon replaced home built amps with the classic Vox AC30 popularised by the Beatles and many more or the Vox T60 bass set -up with separate amp and speaker.  Drummers usually progressed to Premier, Ludwig and other kits as well as the whole p.a. systems improving with the likes of Watkins and Marshall amps, stacks etc.

The Classics (Gosport) - around 1964. 

Line-up listed as:

Ian Duck  (voc/gtr/harm)

Paul Spooner (voc/harm)

Pete O'Flaherty (bass)

Tony Ransley (drms)

Ian Duck is still playing these days and had a great career with several top rated bands including Hookfoot, Meddy Evils/Quik, Mr Bloe ('Grooving with Mr Bloe' hit) and many more. Ransley and O'Flaherty joined Simon Dupree ('Kites' hit)

Ian Duck 2007


Dowlands and Julie Grant clippings - Imperial Ballroom Eastleigh  '64

Rob Chance and Chances 'R'



Another top band and featured much respected guitarist Tommy Bannister who was thrilled to be at the Concorde ReUnion show in February 2008. Sadly, Tom has been disabled for a few years but came along in his wheelchair and had the time of his life. Met so many old pals and loved the music being knocked out by the featured groups who reformed for this nostalgic night. Read all about it on the Back To The Sixties webpage via SiteMap  - Tommy sunk a lot of booze so cannot remember some of it!  It was great to meet up with Tom and he has sent me the following e-mail which I have tidied up and offers another glimpse into a long career of one of the most respected musicians around:


March 2008

Firstly I would like to thank you for keeping me updated by e-mails also your site. I started playing in a band onboard the Union Castle ships including the " Pendennis Castle in 1961 with the band that I formed out of Southampton lads. We called ourselves " THE INTRUDERS" and based our music on the Shadows. We played at the various ports of call (The Cape Run) around Southern Africa eg Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Durban, East London also to the first and second class passengers in their appropriate lounges. Later on moving to the Shaw Savill Line and the "Northern Star" ship for a three month cruise around the world!  Visited South Africa Australia, New Zealand, Acapulco, Panama and many more exciting places - someone had to do it!


I believe we were the first British band to appear in Australia even before the Beatles went there so that's our claim to fame!  Anyway, after the trip had ended and we got back home to Southampton I decided to leave the sea and have a go at the English audiences  and one of our first gigs was at the Banister Ballrooms (named after me?) in Hulse Road along side "Ricky and the Hilites" who had only just returned from Germany a polished and perfect pro band. We got so demoralised at their terrific show at their show that the rest of the band went back to sea on the Union Castle line!

I stayed ashore and joined the Transatlantic Seven , who later turned into Rob Chance and the Chances 'R' and one of our finest moments was entering the National Melody Maker Beat Contest.  We won all of our heats in Brighton and got a place in the Grand Final at the world famous London Palladium - a dream for any entertainer!  For some reason, Rob decided to sing the classic song 'Maria' from West Side Story as this had been covered by the amazing P.J. Proby (as well as 'Somewhere' from same musical)  This apparently lost us the contest which was really a 'beat' based programme so this was a bad choice of number although Rob thought it 'different' enough to stand out from the rest.  We lost but 'lost good' and nobody can take away the memory of appearing on the most famous stage in the world!  It was my ambition to play there, along with the band so it's good to look back on a fleeting glimpse of the big time.


The band then signed with Avenue Artistes in 1967 and then got sent across to Germany as did many UK bands, hoping to follow in the steps of the Beatles just a few years before.  Unfortunately, I was not able to go as my wife had just given birth to our first baby and we didn't have any family that could help look after her apart from having the responsibility of course.  I was asked to leave all my gear, p.a. and share of the van etc as they had a replacement lead guitarist to take my slot.

I was out of work in bands till 1971 and then joined a Country duo called Cimmaron who later went onto win the Southern Evening Echo Country Award for the Wildwood South Country Club in Millbrook.  After that, I teamed up with Doug 'Scotty' Scott who knows you well, for about five years as a successful duo.  I still keep in touch with Scotty who wants me back playing with him as and when my four year stroke wears off and I can (hopefully) regain some movement on my left side - body, arm and hand.  My left leg is also useless these days and its a never ending nightmare as any musician will understand as well as anybody else.  All those years of guitar and pedal steel guitar are just a memory and how I long to be back onstage - a long way off mate.....


I've got quite a few photos and Echo/Daily Sketch  cuttings to follow if you would like them and my missus kept a scrapbook of all the bands, gigs we used to do including the Bitterne Bowl (with Paddy Maxwell) the Park Ballroom, Guildhall with the Barron Knights, Sounds Incorporated etc. A lifetime spent with so many Southampton bands and the last one I played with was the "Q Tones" - Mick and Bob Williams group along with Scotty again.  This was before my stroke that put an end to it all, but I still love anything to do with the business.  You can borrow my precious scrapbook for any info/photos but please bring it back - it's very sentimental as you can imagine!


Tommy Bannister


What a great mail! If you check out my later Group pages you can find more on Groups 9 and I can now outline more about Tommy's bands as I am now poring over the most amazing piece of Southern Roots that was sent to me all the way from John Clare in Australia!  This massive collection of background and photos was compiled over many years of painstaking research and the original draft of 1980 was sent to me by Beau Dinnage and served as the inspiration for my ever expanding webpages!  This is the entry on the Chances R:


Chances R/Rob Chance and Chances 'R'


1st line-up:

Rob Chance (voc)

Jim Bourne (drms)

Pete Cortez aka Pete Scott (rhythm g)

Tom Bannister (lead gtr)

Ron Calloway (bass gtr)   


                                                                     Tom Bannister             Ron Calloway              Rob Chance       Jim Bourne      Pete Cortez (Scott)

Later line-ups included:

Mike Davis (voc)  

Graham 'Spike' Waters

Dave Cardy (drms)

Ivor Elliot (bass)

Glen Conway ( voc)

One of the best of the Southampton Sixties pop groups with great staying power, lasting four years 64-68 and surviving many line-up changes!  The first line-up played the London Palladium and came third in the Melody Maker Beat Contest and also made two 1965 records at Hamiltons Studio (London Road) "Until Eternity" and "Little Angel" (penned by Chance) but neither were released. Then Jim Bourne switched to manager with drummer 'Spike' Waters and Mike Davis (2nd vocals) joining the band as it was the 'in thing'  to have two singers at the same time (Nashville Teens, Turtles etc).  Tom, Spike and Ron all got married within a year so left the group and that time the lads had two residencies.  Southampton Ice Rink on every Friday and then Bournemouth Ice Rink on the Wednesdays. This picture below looks like one of those Ice Rinks.

                                                                Graham 'Spike' Waters              Rob Chance    Tom Bannister    Pete Cortez    Mike Davis   Ron Calloway


The band then went under the management of Avenue Artistes with Jim Bourne becoming road manager.  Drummer Spike was replaced by Dave Cardy (of Tony Benson & Skylanes) and then made three singles for CBS under the name of Rob Chance and the Chances 'R' in 1967                     These were:

'Talking out the back of my head/I aim too high' 

'Turn a new leaf over/Do it yourself'

'At the end of the day'




                                                                                                      Spike                          Rob           Pete Cortez               Mike Davis

Photographed on the steps of Southampton Guildhall




When the last record failed to make it, Chance then gave up the ghost and dropped out of the music game for  a few years (although Rob planned  a 'comeback' in early 82 with Fifth Avenue)


Rob was then replaced by vocalist Glen Conway and bassman Ivor Elliot.  They did a Norwegian tour and backing Jack Daley - a big U.S. star at that time but lasted just five months before splitting in 68 thus ending some memorable years of the ever changing Chances R who were just one of so many local bands that 'nearly made it'.  I know that Tommy Bannister will be really chuffed to see his own memories on this page and it was so good to meet up with him at the Concorde ReUnion night back in February. He was visibly moved by seeing so many old pals and it was quite an emotional but fantastic evening as he relived the memories and lapped up the classic Sounds of The Sixties in which he was very much a part of.   Let's hope that his condition improves and pray that one day we will see him get up there and do his stuff as one of the most respected musicians around.


Just backtracking as I can feature some more great photos/info of the original Transatlantics/Transatlantic 7 from their early days at sea, before returning to shore where Tom joined the new line-up.  This is taken from Southern Roots -a veritable encyclopaedia of the Hampshire music scene and will provide much more in the near future as I plough through it all.  I'm sure it will provide more memory jerking moments for anybody involved in the music business that was such an exciting time for us all.

TRANSATLANTICS - first line-up

                                                 Back row:                 Mike Davis    Brian Cottington         Jim Bourne       Ricky Storm         Dave Glaspool

                                                 Front:                                           Steve Gerard                                                       Glen Matthews

Ist line-up (1961) from SR names guitarists Mike Davis (Denny Lone) and  Brian Cottington  Dave Glaspool  (bass) Glen Matthews (keys/vocals)  vocalists Ricky Storm (Brian Eldridge)  and Steve Gerard plus 'Big Jim Diamond' (Jim Bourne) on drums.  Later line-ups include Colin 'Angel' Wilshire (bass) Rob Chance (voc/keys) Alan Rowe (sax) Ron Calloway )bass) Sylvia Gale a rare female vocalist in early 60s bands!


The Transatlantics were originally formed by Mike Davis and Jim Bourne onboard the old 'Franconia' ship which sailed out of Southampton in the very busy days of ocean liners.  They had just left shore based Bill Bevis and the Sunsets and this first line-up was a Rock n Roll showband that played onboard the ship and both sides of the Atlantic - hence the name.   The Transatlantics also appeared on CBS television in Montreal and one of their strong features was having two great vocalists out front with Ricky Storm covering the uptempo songs of Cliff and Elvis style with Steve featuring the ballads so quite a perfect profile.

Line-up 2 with S.S. France in the background at Southampton Docks

             Back Row:                          Brian Cottington          Colin Wilshire                      Jim Bourne             Mike Davis                   Rob Chance

             Kneeling:                                                         Alan Rowe                                                                           Ricky Storm

Must credit the photographer- H.G. Armitage A.I.B.P.   A.R.P.S. 19-21 Queensway Southampton tel: 22960  (don't try ringing it!)


                                 Final line-up:                         Brian Cottington  Ron Calloway   Mike Davis  Sylvia Gale  Rob Chance  Jim Bourne


Stop Press:  Just had yet another local ex group member get in touch - John Langford from the Hythe area. In his teens and early Twenties he was with a band called The Falcons and later adding a female vocalist to become:



                                           Back row:       Malcolm Collier     Diane Maynard       Rod Chainey

                                                  Kneeling:         John Langford                                           Terry Collier

Four Hits and a Miss were also represented by Len Canham's Avenue Artistes and dealing with Bob James and Phil Blake who played keyboards with the group.  They worked all over the South Coast and further afield reaching the Midlands areas as well - no motorways then!  The group's main years were from 1962-1969 and guitarist John Langford emigrated to Ontario Canada in 1970 followed by bass player Terry Collier (not to be confused with Tony Collier) who settled in Toronto so still in touch with his old buddy.  John has mentioned that he has loads of old photos etc so looking forward to adding even more nostalgic stuff to the webpages and this is a great image above, showing the the classic Strats and Precision bass plus a Premier drumkit!


I have just checked with Southern Roots and the following information lists the following line-ups:

Nicky James (voc)

John Langford (gtr)

Danny Churchill (bass)

replaced by

Terry Collier (bass)

Terry's brother? (drums)

Then various 'Misses'  !!!

Quote: 'Four Hits and a Miss - Hythe band, lasted quite a while and there were several 'Misses' as the girls all became a 'Mrs' or pregnant!  Collier and Langford formed the change after the final 'Miss' (became Mrs James) left with the horn section from the Anthony James set'.  A later band- the Fleurs De Lys were formed from the 4 Hits line-up and you can find more information on them as well as noting a superb biography of this superb group- called 'Circles' by Damian Jones and Paul 'Smiler' Anderson.  See my other webpages (blogs) or search on Amazon etc- it is a very good read and conveys those times so well- especially for lovers of 'mod' culture.



June 2008 - just received an e-mail from former bandmate Ernie Fagg who sent the following photo of the Earth Angels before I joined them, replacing Melvyn Day as lead vocals + harmonica. I left the Unforgiven in 1966 and spent a short while with this great Mod band named after a rare record by the Penguins.


                                                                                                                         L to R , Barry  Melvyn Derek Roy  Ernie.






MELVYN DAY (previous voc)




RAY COOPER (gtr) replaced by

MELV McRAE (gtr)


''Young R&B band from mid Sixties who played obscure soul numbers picked up from import 45s,  a few blues  plus some Who songs.  They built up a fair following on the youth club circuit before disbanding. Day joined Combustion and later worked the Northern clubs.  Edmonds and McRae also joined Expression and Fagg went onto the Midnight Movers and Bob Pearce Blues Band"


I enjoyed my year with the Earth Angels as we featured unusual numbers mixed with Who style numbers and had a good sound during the Mod era although I was riding motorbikes at the time instead of the obligatory scooter!  This did confuse people as I wore Mod clothes but rode a 250cc Francis Barnett with 'Harley' handlebars so everybody asked me "Are you a Mod or a Rocker?"  I replied "I'm a Mocker!"  This is me and my small 'chopper'


Ernie's mail:

Hi Dave,

I have just come across your web site, excellent work, really brings back the memories. First let me introduce myself to you I am Ernie Fagg, I played bass in the Earth Angels. The rest of the band were Melvin Macrae, lead guitar.  Barry Morrow, rhythm guitar. Derek Edmunds, drums. As far as I remember Bob Pearce who was our manager got you to take over from Melvin Day. We had some good times you could certainly play that harmonica and you were a good laugh. Anyway when we broke up,  Derek,and Melve Macrae  joined John Drevars Expression with Colin Engel taking over on bass, but I  cant remember who else was in the band.

 I donít know what became of Barry Morrow. I settled down and got married. The strange thing though, after about a year or so I joined a band from Eastleigh/ Fair Oak area,  called the Midnight Movers, Pete Rackam was lead guitar.  Graham ??? sax + keyboards.  Ritchie? Sax.  Me, bass.  I canít remember the drummer name.  The singer ÖÖ.was     Dave Drevar , Johns brother!!! 

We used to practice at the Clock Inn,  Fair Oak. It was ok for a while, but in the end  we went our separate ways.

I didnít have any more to do with playing for about 10 years or so,  when out of the blue Bob Pearce  got in touch and asked me to  join him in his Blues Band,  we played mainly at the infamous Onslow pub in Bevois Valley. This went on for a while, it was a great place, lots of atmosphere  too, but gradually as Bob got more bookings I decided to call it a day as I didnít want to play as much as that.Hope some of this is of interest to you,and if you have any other info perhaps you could email me when you get time. Keep up the good work.


August 2008:  Another Earth Angel has got in touch!  Here is Derek Edmond's e-mail

Hi David

What an interesting site! I was a drummer in the mid to late 60's with bands in Southampton.

 Expression got a recording contract with MGM in 1967 and - managed by Lance Barratt - who also joint-managed The Troggs - we were packed off to Paris with Jimi Hendrix and then Germany for stints in Frankfurt, Hamburg and Berlin.

 The band line up included John Drever, me on drums, Melvyn Mcrae on guitar, Colin Wilsher, bass, Richie Hayes keyboards and Barry Palmer with Keith Bennet on saxes. Keith had been with the Big T show and Richie and Barry with Chris Shakespeares Globe Show.

 We didn't do many gigs in Southampton - the Royal Pier, Banisters ballroom and a few others - as we were being booked through Harold Davison in London and "chasing fame" on the clubs/ theatre circuit. Lots of London clubs and big city gigs. Didn't do us much good tho' - thoroughly fleeced financially and always broke!

 The Inflatable Toy grew out of John Drevers and was a 4 piece playing our own stuff in the style of Nice etc. Did some nice university gigs with Jeff Beck, Rory Gallagher, Rod Stewart, Yes and Idle Race, but again couldn't make a real go of it. We all split in 1970. I believe Melvyn died in an accident and Colin played in a band called Joker in Southampton but I've rather lost touch living up here now.

 I am now a drum teacher in Newport Pagnell and recognise loads of the people on your site - wonderful reading. If you want to know more please let me know.

 Regards Derek Edmond

 5th October 2009 Another e-mail from an Earth Angel!


Hi David,
My name is Dave Ward. You don't know me personally but I have just come across your webpages re Southampton Music Scene. ...I was knocked out to read all this stuff. God it has brought back so many memories. And I certainly look forward to your book being published. Is there by chance a I could be added to a list of people you can notify when it is published?
I came to live in Southampton from Portsmouth when my dad left the navy. We had The Bridge Tavern at Six Dials in St Mary's Street right next to The Shirt King. I remember buying a lot of my clothes in there as well as Sydney's and Henry's Record Shop was a favourite haunt of mine.
When I was at school, I met Ernie Fagg and he became my best mate. We hung around a lot together going to places like The Checkpoint, and The Kasbah in London Road, a venue for mods... always loads of scooters outside! Ernie and I each bought an acoustic guitar and started to teach ourselves to play with the idea we would form a group. It transpired that I was the vocalist and rhythm guitarist and Ernie took up bass. I remember Ernie bought a Hofner violin bass like Paul McCartney's { really cool} while I bought a Rickenbacker. We had a drummer for a short spell but he never turned up to practice songs so that was short lived, however we did play a couple of gigs using the name The Locking Chains. Once at The Broadway Bingo Hall and a 21st birthday party at The Royal Hotel in Winchester.

After trying to get other musicians to join us Ernie decided we were not going anywhere and told me he wanted to find another band. At that time I was distraught. Ernie made it clear to me that it was only the band he was breaking up, not our friendship.... I was in a position then, that I had a Rickenbacker that was breaking me financially to keep up HP payments and no amp to plug into. {I always plugged into Ernie's} I realise now that I was not mature enough to realise that Ernie was a damn good musician and I was holding him back from getting on in the music scene, so through no fault of Ernie we split up...... This is something I have regretted for years.  When he joined the Earth Angels in 1966 I saw him with the band at The Railway Hotel in Woolston {now The Bridge} I was doing some 'roadie' work for some of my other school mates who had a blues band. I don't recall what they were called now but in the line up there was Tony Curtain on vocals,harmonica and sometimes lead guitar. Ivor Elliot on bass and Pete Hunt on Drums, can't remember the lead guitarist. That was the last time I ever saw Ernie but I remembered how knocked out I was by his bass playing.... he was amazingly fast. He had certainly became a very talented guy. 
Several times over the years I have tried to locate Ernie with the view of meeting up again to catch up.... I have tried Telephone Directories, Friends Reunited and Facebook but up to now have been unsuccessful..... My hopes were certainly uplifted when I saw your webpage and the email Ernie sent you.
Now David I would like to ask you a very very big favour...... It would really mean a lot to me to meet up with Ernie again. Could you EITHER let me have Ernie's email address so I can contact him.  {I do realise and understand that you may not want to do this for reasons of confidentiality.} OR would you be so kind as to forward this email  to him with the hope that he would want to meet up with me again after all these years.I would be really grateful if you could do this for me.

Once again- I have been able to put old pals in touch on my MUSOS REUNITED pages!           (©MUSOS REUNITED=copyrighted)

Hi Dave

Thanks for passing the email on to Ernie. I hope he answers it, it would be fantastic to see him again and talk about the old times. About my Rickenbacker..... as I said I was being financially crippled paying HP instalments and I had only paid off the interest so I still owed the full cost of the guitar which was 169 guineas at the time, I bought it from John Beirnes Music Shop in Shirley. But it was a fantastic guitar... it had a tremelo arm and an 'F' hole as a opposed to the slash shaped soundhole that was more common. Because I still owed the full amount of the purchase price, obviously I couldn't sell it so I had to give it a way to someone who would continue the HP instalments.... something I have always regretted.

I have since bought another 60's Rickenbacker off ebay but it has the slash soundhole and no tremelo arm.... I might have a photo of me playing it in my back garden somewhere, if you want I'll try and find it.
When me and Ernie used to go round to see different bands, our favourites at the time were The Hobos and Fleur De Lys... do you remember them?



Colin (Angel) Wilsher   Derek Edmond

Richie Hayes   Melv McCrae


Photographed on Southampton Common 1969 for promoting 'Concerto'


John Drevar's Expression Frankfurt Germany 1968

Check:    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JGBp8lRahN0


"The photo was taken at 4.20 in the morning at the K52 club in Frankfurt on June 3rd 1968. That was a hell of a gig - 30 days of 5.00pm until 5.00am - 2 bands alternating. It nearly finished me off!!"               Derek




This photo sent by Ernie and shows the Bob Pearce Blues Band at the Onslow(?)

                                                           L-R:  Vernon Chuter   Ernie Fagg                                          Barry Freeman                       Paul Bryer

                                                                             Thanks to Bob Pearce for confirming this line-up - He was probably at the bar during a lead break?



John Drevar was a very talented vocalist who had left Eastleigh's Planets group in 1965 when Beau Dinnage (then rhythm gtr) and myself joined the newly named Unforgiven line-up which featured Eddie Harnett (voc/gtr)  Graham Medley (bass) Dave Bunney (drums) replaced by Ronnie Allen.  See my Biography page to learn more.


                                                                        Back row L to R Keith Bennett  Colin Angel (Wilsher)   Barry Palmer    Melve Macrae   Richie Hayes    Derek Edmonds   


John formed his Expression which was linked to the much respected Globe Show fronted by Chris Shakespeare and both bands managed by Dave Jay.  JDE specialised in soul, Tamla Motown and mod type music and the often changing line-up included former Earth Angels Derek Edmond (drms) and Melvyn McCrae (gtr) along with Colin 'Angel' Wilsher (bass) Geoff Vaughan (organ) and Keith Bennett (sax) the latter helping to knock out a terrific sound.  Melvyn Day (EAs) replaced John for a short while with  Bennett and Shaw previously featured with The Big T Show.  Shaw was then replaced by Ritchie Hayes (ex Chris Shakespeare Movement) then Drevar moved onto the Globeshow whilst the remaining lads became the Inflatable Toy (!) minus Bennett.  McCrae went onto the heavy band Refuge with Wilsher moving onto Joker then Tramp.  I am informed that Barry Palmer (Sax) joined Expression with Richie Hayes (keyboards) when Geoff Vaughan left the ever changing line-up!




Inflatable Toy did a rock version of Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto no. 1 in Bb minor - similar to the 'Nice' style of Keith Emerson and co.   'America' still an incredible sound to this day, and you will note that Keith was influenced by the innovative talents of Don Shinn (Soul Agents) and other bands.

Richie Hayes informs me that they had to play it in Am- an easier key for guitarists!  This great sound was due to be produced by John Peel but he fell ill and passed it over to Gus Dudgeon but sadly the record never saw the light of day.  These musicians and singers were very much respected within the Southampton music scene but the varying combinations never took off in the way that everybody expected such is the nature of the music industry. Check out this latest You Tube clip of the Inflatable Toys:         http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qDYluD5zQkA&feature=related



This information is taken from Southern Roots and quotes a 1967 record release on MGM "The closer she gets/When I come home" and this photo below is copied from the same SR listing:


After Expression broke up another single was issued on Polydor - What Greater Love b/w I've Decided which failed to make any impact in the charts but was issued a few years in the 70s and a minor hit.





June 2008

Another interesting e-mail from Jimmy Keys who has had an amazing career since leaving our shores for the USA!  Check out his website which is a great showcase with loads of comedy and musical stuff:


Hi David,

WOW I have just been browsing your web site plus all the amazing history of the Southampton bands and musicians.  I take my hat off to you, what a superb job you have done pulling all this information and photos together, it is mind blowing!

I was born Jim Hewson & originally from Gravesend Kent (which along with the Dartford area, also produced many great musicians and famous bands) but moved down to Southampton in the 70's.

I was originally in a band with Southampton guys Rick Champion (great bass player/vocalist who has lived and still plays in bands in Las Vegas) Eddie Harnett (guitar) & Ronnie Allan (drums). I am still in touch a lot with Rick Champion, I will tell him to get in touch with you as many musos in Soton will know him. I know he drops back there from time to time to see family and friends. Also later with Steve Faithful whom I am certain you know. We played around town quite a bit through the 70's under various band names including: We Three/Parrot/Lazy Face we also worked a lot in Holland, Germany & Scandinavia as well as on a cruise ship out of Southampton called "The Monte Toledo"..Aznar Line.  We also were the backing band for the great female singer/comedienne Marti Caine  & played many of the top northern clubs. 

In 1981 I went solo and had a stage name of Jimmy Keys, which I later legally changed my name to and after many years of living and performing in Bermuda I moved to the States where I still live, now in Naples SW Florida. I perform about 120-130 shows a year all over the States, Canada, Bermuda & other countries. 

I would love to be in touch with any musicians from Southampton that remember me!! I also used to jam a lot with various guys around the pubs in the area, and recognise quite a lot of the names from your great website.

My website is:

www.jimmykeys.com (made that up all by myself!) plus see video clips on you tube at:


I will try and dig out some old photos and more info for you.

Cheers mate,




OK -that's it for now, so watch out for the next Call Up The Groups pages !  I have a backlog of so many e-mails, info and photos which are so good to receive and then get them onto my pages so that they can be shared with those that were there and everybody else.  If you wish to get in touch with anybody on this and other webpages, then please e-mail me and I will endeavour to bring old pals together again.  I get a buzz out of writing these pages although very time consuming but the good feedback makes up for it and maybe pave the way for future shows in which we drag certain musos back out of 'retirement'.  The talent is always there and deserves to be shared so I hope that more good things will arise and thanks again to all sources that help to construct this ever growing compendium of Southampton's finest musicans.  In fact, I've just thought of a name for it - we've had MerseyBeat and BrumBeat so how about...............


(My copyright!)





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