The Flee-Rekkers

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The Flee-Rekkers
Flee-rekkers.jpg
Background information
Also known as The Fabulous Flee-Rakkers
Origin London, England
Genres Rock and roll, instrumental rock
Years active 1959–1963
Labels Triumph, Top Rank, Pye, Piccadilly
Associated acts Ricky Wayne
Past members Peter Fleerakkers
Dave Cameron
Alan Monger
Elmy Durrant
Derek Skinner
Mickey Waller

The Flee-Rekkers - also known as The Fabulous Flee-Rakkers - were a British instrumental rock and roll band in the late 1950s and early 1960s. The spelling of the group's name varied between records. They were fronted by tenor saxophonist Peter Fleerakkers (or Fleerackers), and their records were produced by Joe Meek. Their biggest hit was "Green Jeans" in 1960.

History[edit]

The group was influenced by saxophone-led bands like Johnny and the Hurricanes. They started under the names The Ramblers and The Statesiders, before taking a more permanent name derived from that of their leader, whose father was Dutch. Other members of the group were Dave Cameron (lead guitar), Alan Monger (rhythm guitar, baritone sax), Elmy Durrant (tenor sax), Derek Skinner (bass), and Mickey Waller (drums).[1]

They were spotted playing at a ballroom in Putney, west London, in late 1959, and successfully auditioned for record producer Joe Meek.[2] He produced their first single, "Green Jeans", a rocked-up version of the traditional "Greensleeves" released on Meek's own label, Triumph Records, in early 1960. The record reached #23 on the UK Singles Chart,[3][4] but demand outstripped Meek's capacity to supply copies. After the Triumph label collapsed, the record was reissued on the Top Rank label, which itself was then taken over by EMI.[1][2][5] The group also featured on a single, "Hot Chick-A-Roo", by singer Ricky Wayne (born Learie Carasco), who became a prominent bodybuilder and, later, a noted writer and broadcaster in Saint Lucia.[5][6]

The Flee-Rekkers released several more singles and an EP with less success, at first on the Pye label, and then on Piccadilly.[5] According to the liner notes of their EP, they "were the first 'rock' group to be signed for a long term contract with Mecca after making appearances at their ballrooms up and down the country, and in the London area."[7] They toured Britain extensively in the early 1960s, with a reputedly "wild" live act.[1] Their final single in 1963, "Fireball", a version of the theme music to the animated TV series Fireball XL5, arranged by Tony Hatch, is regarded as one of their best.[1][8]

The group broke up in 1963. Fleerakkers played in various unsuccessful bands before leaving the music business in the late 1960s. Cameron, Monger and Durrant formed a new group, The Giants, who mainly performed in Germany. Skinner became a member of the Spotnicks.[2] Waller became a leading session drummer, playing with such musicians as Cyril Davies, Long John Baldry, Rod Stewart, Brian Auger, John Mayall and Jeff Beck; he died in 2008.[1]

A CD containing most of the group's recordings was issued by C-Five Records in 1991, and later in expanded versions by See For Miles Records and Castle Records.[2]

Discography[edit]

Singles[edit]

Date Artist Credit A-side B-side Label Info
Mar 1960 The Fabulous Flee-Rakkers "Green Jeans" "You Are My Sunshine" Triumph RGM 1008
Apr 1960 Ricky Wayne And The Flee-Rakkers "Chick A'Roo" "Don't Pick On Me" Triumph RGM 1009
Aug 1960 The Flee-Rakkers "Green Jeans" "You Are My Sunshine" Top Rank JAR 431
Aug 1960 Ricky Wayne And The Flee-Rakkers "Hot Chick-A-Roo" "Don't Pick On Me" Top Rank JAR 432
Sep 1960 The Flee-Rekkers "Sunday Date" "Shiftless Sam" Pye 7N 15288
Jan 1961 The Flee-Rekkers "Blue Tango" "Bitter Rice" Pye 7N 15326
Jun 1961 The Flee-Rekkers "Lone Rider" "Miller Like Wow" Piccadilly 7N 35006
May 1962 The Flee-Rekkers "Stage To Cimarron" "Twistin' The Chestnuts" Piccadilly 7N 35048
Oct 1962 The Flee-Rekkers "Sunburst" "Black Buffalo" Piccadilly 7N 35081
Feb 1963 The Flee-Rekkers "Fireball" "Fandango" Piccadilly 7N 35109

Extended Play[edit]

Date Artist Credit Tracks Label Info
1961 The Fabulous Flee-Rekkers "Isle Of Capri"
"Brer Robert"
"Hangover"
"P.F.B"
Pye NEP 24141

Albums[edit]

Year Title Label Info
1991 Joe Meek's Fabulous Flee-Rekkers C-Five Records, C5CD 564
1997 Joe Meek's Fabulous Flee-Rekkers (re-issue) See For Miles
2007 Green Jeans : The Anthology Castle CMQDD 1457

[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Biography by Bruce Eder at AllMusic
  2. ^ a b c d de Heer, Dik. "This Is My Story". BlackCat Rockabilly Europe. 
  3. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 205. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  4. ^ "Green Jeans - Flee-Rekkers". Chart Stats. Archived from the original on 2012-07-22. 
  5. ^ a b c d 45Cat.com: Discography
  6. ^ Rick Wayne website: Discography
  7. ^ Image of record sleeve, The Fabulous Flee-Rekkers EP
  8. ^ The Flee-Rakkers at 45-RPM.org