The Remo Four

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The Remo Four
Remo Four circa 1964.jpg
Remo Four publicity photograph, circa 1964
Background information
Origin Liverpool, England
Genres Beat, Rock 'n' Roll, British Invasion
Years active 1959–1970
Labels Pye Records, Piccadilly Records, Star-Club Records
Associated acts Johnny Sandon, Tommy Quickly, George Harrison, Ashton, Gardner & Dyke
Members Colin Manley
Philip Rogers
Don Andrew
Roy Dyke
Wayne Bickerton
Tony Waddington
Tony Ashton
Keith Stokes

The Remo Four were a 1950s-1960s rock band from Liverpool, England. They were contemporaries of The Beatles, and later had the same manager, Brian Epstein. Its members were Colin Manley (born Colin William Manley, 16 April 1942, in Old Swan, Liverpool, Lancashire died 9 April 1999) (lead guitar/vocals), Phil Rogers (rhythm guitar/bass guitar/vocals) (born Philip Rogers, March 1942, in Liverpool), Don Andrew (born Donald Andrew, in 1942, in Liverpool) (bass guitar/vocals), and Roy Dyke (drums) (born 13 February 1945, in Liverpool). Andrew and Manley were in the same class at school (Liverpool Institute for Boys) as Paul McCartney.[1]

Career[edit]

Manley and Andrew formed the Remo Quartet in 1958, with singer/guitarist Keith Stokes (born in 1942) and drummer Harry Prytherch (born in 1942). They progressed from playing local parties and contests to regular hall appearances, and turned professional, changing their name to the Remo Four in summer 1959. They played a mix of vocal harmony material (à la The Everly Brothers), and instrumental numbers in the manner of The Shadows, The Ventures, and Chet Atkins.

The Remo Four were voted Number Three Group in a 1961 Mersey Beat poll, and among their fans were The Beatles, fresh from a season in Hamburg, Germany. Both groups were among the regulars at the Cavern Club during 1961 and 1962, and both shared the bill with Gerry & The Pacemakers, Rory Storm and the Hurricanes, and Ted "Kingsize" Taylor and the Dominoes, at the 1961 "Operation Big Beat", a festival at New Brighton's Tower Ballroom.[2] While The Beatles travelled back and forth to Hamburg, the Remo Four began playing American Air Force bases in France, building their stage and musical experience. A highlight of their early career was sharing the stage with the Shadows, in the latter's only Cavern Club appearance. Johnny Sandon joined the band as vocalist in 1962, and stayed for two years.

Johnny Sandon & The Remo Four publicity photo, circa 1963

In early 1963, Prytherch decided to get married and find a regular job, and Roy Dyke took his place in the band. That year the band signed up with Epstein's NEMS Enterprises and acquired a new lead singer, Tommy Quickly, and a recording contract with Piccadilly Records, backing Quickly on "Tip of My Tongue" and other songs. The band also released instrumentals, including a driving rendition of Henry Mancini's Peter Gunn theme.

Different members came and went, including songwriters Wayne Bickerton and Tony Waddington (who later joined Pete Best in a group, that moved to America), and Tony Ashton (keyboards/vocals), who replaced Don Andrew, with Rogers moving to bass. Another NEMS artist, Billy J. Kramer, became a frontman for the band, which adopted the name "The New Dakotas" while backing him. Despite their talent and track record, the band's success in the record market was limited, and most of their work came as backing musicians, or as the house band in German clubs, including the Star-Club in Hamburg. They released an album, Smile!, on the Star-Club's own label in 1967, featuring elements of rock and jazz.

Late in 1967, Beatle George Harrison hired the Remo Four as his backing band for part of his first solo project, the soundtrack album to the movie Wonderwall. While the songs were mostly instrumentals, they did record one lyrical song, "In The First Place", with Harrison, which was left in the can until the 1990s. (Ashton, Gardner and Dyke later reworked the song and recorded it as "As It Was In The First Place".) They also became Billy Fury's backing band, in the late 1960s.

Disbanding in 1970, Ashton and Dyke joined guitarist Kim Gardner, formerly of The Creation and The Birds (not to be confused with California rock band The Byrds),[3] to form Ashton, Gardner & Dyke, who later recorded a song called "Ballad of the Remo Four". Ashton later formed Paice Ashton Lord with members of Deep Purple. Manley became an accompanist for singers including Engelbert Humperdinck, and later joined The Swinging Blue Jeans. Don Andrew and Colin Manley appeared with Gerry Marsden (of Gerry & The Pacemakers fame) performing on stage in an episode of the UK TV soap "Brookside" in the 1990s. Manley died of cancer on 9 April 1999, and a memorial concert was held for him that June, with some of his former bandmates performing. Ashton also died of cancer, on 28 May 2001. Keith Stokes died on 19 June 2010, cause unknown. He was living in Wallasey and friends and relatives had been trying to trace him for 15 years, without success.

Discography[edit]

Lies/On the Horizon (with Johnny Sandon) (7 inch single)
Pye 7N 15542 (July 1963)

Magic Potion/Yes (with Johnny Sandon) (7 inch single)
Pye 7N 15559 (July/August 1963)

Tip of My Tongue/Heaven Only Knows (with Tommy Quickly) (7 inch single)
Piccadilly 7N 35137 (August 1963)

Kiss Me Now/No Other Love (with Tommy Quickly) (7 inch single)
Piccadilly 7N 35151 (1963)

Prove It/Haven't You Noticed (with Tommy Quickly) (7 inch single)
Piccadilly 7N 35167 (1964)

I Wish I Could Shimmy Like My Sister Kate/Peter Gunn (7 inch single)
Piccadilly 7N 35175 (1964)

You Might as Well Forget Him/It's as Simple as That' (with Tommy Quickly) (7 inch single)
Piccadilly 7N 35183 (1964)

Sally Go Round the Roses/I Know a Girl (7 inch single)
Piccadilly 7N 35186 (1964)

Wild Side of Life/Forget the Other Guy (with Tommy Quickly) (7 inch single)
Pye 7N 15708 (October 1964)

Humpty Dumpty/I'll Go Crazy (with Tommy Quickly) (7 inch single)
Pye 7N 15748 (1964)

Smile! (album)
Star-Club 148 577 (issued in Germany, 1967)

Wonderwall Music (with George Harrison) (soundtrack album)
Apple Records APCOR/SAPCOR 1, 1968

The Best of Tommy Quickly, Johnny Sandon, Gregory Phillips and the Remo Four (CD album)
See For Miles Records SEECD349 (1992) tracks:

  1. Kiss Me Now
  2. Tip Of My Tongue
  3. Prove It
  4. You Might As Well Forget Him
  5. The Wild Side Of Life
  6. Heaven Only Knows
  7. No Other Love
  8. Haven't You Noticed
  9. It's As Simple As That
  10. Forget The Other Guy
  11. Humpty Dumpty
  12. I Go Crazy
  13. Lies
  14. Yes
  15. (I'd Be) A Legend In My Time
  16. Sixteen Tons
  17. Donna Means Heartbreak
  18. On The Horizon
  19. Magic Potion
  20. Some Kinda Wonderful
  21. Everybody Knows
  22. Angie
  23. Don't Bother Me
  24. Closer To Me
  25. Please Believe Me
  26. Make Sure That You're Mine
  27. I Wish I Could Shimmy Like My Sister Kate
  28. Sally Go Round The Roses
  29. I Know A Girl
  30. Peter Gunn

(Tracks 1-12 feature Tommy Quickly, 13-20 feature Johnny Sandon, and 21-26 feature Gregory Phillips.)

Smile! (CD album)
Repertoire RR7034 (issued in Germany, November 21, 1996) tracks:

  1. Heart Beat
  2. Skate
  3. No Money Down
  4. Rock Candy
  5. 7th Son
  6. Roadrunner
  7. Brother Where Are You
  8. Jive Samba
  9. Nothin's Too Good For My Baby
  10. Peter Gunn
  11. Mickey's Monkey
  12. Live Like A Lady
  13. Sing Hallelujah
  14. Dancing And Singing
  15. Sing Hallelujah Alternate Take
  16. Live Like A Lady Alternate Take
  17. Live Like A Lady Instrumental Version

In the First Place (original Wonderwall Abbey Road mix)/ In the First Place (Wonderwall movie mix) (7 inch single)
Pilar PILAR02V (1998)

Beat-Club - The Best of '66 (video DVD)
Studio-Hamburg/Radio Bremen (Various Artists, issued in Germany, 2000) includes the following Remo Four performances recorded in 1966:

  1. Peter Gunn
  2. Super Girl (with Graham Bonney)

In The First Place (CD single)
Pilar PILAR01CD (2000) tracks:

  1. In The First Place (original Wonderwall Abbey Road mix)
  2. In The First Place (Wonderwall movie mix)

Fab Gear! Beat Beat Beat Vol.1 (The Mersey Sound And Other Mop Top Rarities 1962-1963) (double CD album)
Castle Music (Various Artists, 2001) includes the following Remo Four tracks:

  1. Lies*
  2. On the Horizon*
  3. Yes*
  4. Magic Potion*
  5. Kiss Me Now**
  6. No Other Love (Could Ever Be The Same)**

*with Johnny Sandon; ** with Tommy Quickly

In My Liverpool Home Volume 2 - Mereybeat Mania! (CD album)
Mastersound MSCD529 (2003) includes the following Remo Four tracks:

  1. Perfidia (recorded live, 1961) - as the Remo Quartet
  2. Sleepwalk (recorded live, 1962)

Unearthed Merseybeat (CD album)
Viper CD016 (Various Artists, 2003) includes the following Remo Four tracks:

  1. Trambone (recorded 1961)
  2. Walk Don't Run (recorded 1961)

The Remo Four - 40 Years of Music (CD album)
Mastersound MSCD581 (2005) tracks:

  1. Peter Gunn(recorded 1964)
  2. I Know A Girl (recorded 1964)
  3. Yes* (recorded 1963)
  4. Lies* (recorded 1963)
  5. The Wild Side of Life** (recorded 1964)
  6. Intro to "Tribute For Colin" (1 June 1999) by Billy Butler
  7. Walk Don't Run / Perfida by Dave Williams ("Tribute For Colin", 1999)
  8. Heartbeat by Paul Andrew (son of Don Andrew) ("Tribute For Colin", 1999)
  9. Intro 2 by Don Andrew ("Tribute For Colin", 1999)
  10. Runaway by Mike Byrne ("Tribute For Colin", 1999)
  11. Intro 3 ("Tribute For Colin", 1999)
  12. Rainy Days Come Often (composed by C Manley) by Paul Andrew ("Tribute For Colin", 1999)
  13. Intro 4 ("Tribute For Colin", 1999)
  14. Sleepwalk by Dave Williams ("Tribute For Colin", 1999)
  15. End applause ("Tribute For Colin", 1999)
  16. Sleepwalk (by original lineup, recorded 1992)
  17. Perfidia (recorded at The Iron Door, 1961)
  18. Walk, Don't Run (recorded at The Iron Door, 1961)
  19. Trambone (recorded at The Iron Door, 1961)
  20. The Stranger (recorded at The Iron Door, 1961)

*with Johnny Sandon; ** with Tommy Quickly

Beatschuppen - Essential Club Music From The 60s (virtual album - download)
Music Torrent (Various Artists, 2005) includes the following Remo Four track:

  1. Heart Beat (recorded at Atomic Cafe, Munich, date unknown)

References[edit]

External links[edit]