The Stargazers (1940s–1950s group)

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The Stargazers were a British vocal group, jointly founded in 1949 by Cliff Adams and Ronnie Milne. Other original members were Marie Benson, Fred Datchler and Dick James. Very shortly after the group made their first broadcasts with BBC Radio on such programs as Workers' Playtime, Dick James decided to resume his career as a solo vocalist, left the group, and was replaced by Bob Brown. Ronnie Milne took care of the musical arranging, while Cliff Adams became its manager, in addition to contributing scores for the group. In September 1953, Milne left the Stargazers to emigrate to Canada, and was replaced in the group by Dave Cary. The group served as backing vocalists for Petula Clark on her first recordings.

The Stargazers enjoyed considerable commercial success during the 1950s, including two United Kingdom number one hit singles on their own, "Broken Wings", which was the first recording by a British act to top the UK Singles Chart,[1] and "I See the Moon", along with a third number 1 hit with Dickie Valentine on "Finger Of Suspicion", and were much in demand for back-up work and broadcast work.[2]

In 1954, The Stargazers recorded "The Happy Wanderer" by F.W. Möller on the UK Decca label (Decca records 78rpm DR.18656/F.10259) with Syd Dean and His Band. Other UK chart hits included "Close the Door", which reached number 6 in September 1955, and "Twenty Tiny Fingers", which reached number 4 in November 1955.[2] They were voted "most popular vocal group" by readers of the New Musical Express five years running.

Stargazers' member Fred Datchler went on to form The Polkadots, who enjoyed success in their own right. Beyond their own hit singles and albums, which included a cover version of "April In Paris", they recorded extensively with Jo Stafford, Peggy Lee and Frank Sinatra. One of Datchler's sons is Clark Datchler of Johnny Hates Jazz.

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References[edit]

  1. ^ Roberts, David (2001). British Hit Singles (14th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 28. ISBN 0-85156-156-X. 
  2. ^ a b Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 524. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.