Wes Paul

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Not to be confused with Les Paul.
Wes Paul at The Willow Club, Toxteth performing the P. J. Proby number 'Somewhere'. December 1965.

Wester Paul Gerrard (Wes Paul) (born 28 March 1943) is an English guitarist and singer.

Wes Paul grew up in Lodge Lane, Liverpool. Between 13 November 2005 and 2 September 2007 he was the stage manager and compère of Sounds of the Sixties Cavern Showcase which ran every Sunday at The Cavern Club, Liverpool. The organisation was started by Kingsize Taylor, his wife Marga and Wes Paul, who took on the extra roles of booking the bands and managing the website. Every week five bands, or more, appeared performing music primarily from the '50s and '60s. These acts ranged from young bands just starting out to original Merseybeat groups such as The Undertakers and The Mojos.

Early years[edit]

He attended Tiber Street Infant School in Lodge Lane, Liverpool, before going to Princes Park Secondary Modern School in Sefton Park Road. He left school at 15 to work as an apprentice block maker at John Holmes Blockmakers in Liver Street in the city centre. Wes had an early interest in music and in 1955 purchased his first guitar for £5 at Gerry Allan's record shop in Lodge Lane. In that year he formed a skiffle group (Whiskey Skiffle) with some friends and played on the street corners for money. At the age of 14 he formed a band called Westy's Wise Jives - the band had this emblazoned on the backs of their leather jackets - they played at school assemblies and local events - their influences being Hank Williams and Elvis Presley. Wes Paul made up for his lack of guitar skills by becoming the lead singer.

At the age of 16 Wes signed up for the Merchant Navy and spent ten weeks on the Vindicatrix, the latter part of this time as Bos'un (Boatswain). After returning, July 1959, to Liverpool he signed on as deck boy on the Sylvania and sailed across the Western Ocean to Quebec. He was now a "Cunard Yank". On 30 September 1959 he sailed on a Blue Funnel Line ship called the Lycaon as Junior Ordinary Seaman and sailed to the Kiel Canal[1] stopping a week in St. Pauli, Hamburg, a city which was to play a major role in the formation of the famous Merseybeat sound a few years later and the home of the Indra, the Star-Club, the Kaiserkeller and the Top Ten.

Education[edit]

Wes Paul graduated in 1982 with a Bachelor of Arts degree. His profile included The History of Mathematics, Database and Database Management and Synthetic Chemistry, and in 1993 with a Bachelor of Science Hons degree, he was also awarded a post-graduate certificate in project management. Research towards further honours has thus far included the medical profession in Liverpool and the poor in Victorian London (Henry Mayhew, Charles Booth, Beatrice Webb) as well as research in family history and demographics.

Cavern Showcase[edit]

Sounds of the Sixties Cavern Showcase was started by 60s musician Kingsize Taylor, his wife Marga and Wes Paul and was born out of a desire to revive and continue the now legendary Cavern sessions of the early 60s. They agreed that any money raised from the shows would go towards helping 60s musicians who had fallen on hard times. The shows were hugely successful, attracting weekly audiences of over 200 people from all over the world. Every Sunday night there were four to five bands playing music from the 50s and 60s. The night showcased original 60s bands and new up and coming bands, giving them a chance to perform on the famous Cavern stage. Wes Paul's band played on the showcase every week and as a result he appeared on the Cavern stage a total of 86 times. He is also possibly the only musician to have played both Cavern stages on the same night.

The Manchester to Memphis Tour[edit]

In 2009 The Wes Paul Band recorded an album in Sun Studios, Memphis, Tennessee featuring Memphian drummer Jason M. Vawter, called Manchester to Memphis to coincide with their American Tour of the same name. Other songs included Elvis Presley's "That's All Right Mama", "Baby Let's Play House", Lawdy Miss Clawdy, Blue Suede Shoes as well as amongst others - Johnny Cash's "Folsom Prison Blues", "Stripes" and Jackson. Their US trip included Memphis, Tennessee, Jackson, Tennessee and Gatlinburg in Tennessee; the birthplace of Hank Williams, Montgomery, Alabama, and then Elvis' birthplace, Tupelo, Mississippi, before driving back to Memphis for their final two gigs and flight home to Calderdale.

The Route 66 Tour[edit]

In 2010 Wes and his band embarked on their second tour of America with the intention of playing in all of the places that were mentioned in the popular song Route 66' They flew into Chicago to pick up their group equipment and play their first gig in Berwyn, Illinois. Berwyn was once twinned with Cicero the notorious hang-out of Al Capone. The Route 66 Tour had begun. After playing several gigs in St Louis the band the made its way south to Montgomery, Alabama to play the Hank Williams 88th birthday memorial in The Hank Williams Museum. They also recorded an album of mainly Hanks William's best known songs. They then headed back crisscrossing the Mississippi River visiting many famous places on the way to West MemphisArkansas before getting back onto Route 66 for the rest of the tour. The band toured 5,500 miles in total in just under five weeks.

Wes Paul Today[edit]

Wes Paul currently plays guitar and sings in his own group, The Wes Paul Band, who gig around the Yorkshire and Lancashire area. Band members include Wes Paul - Guitar and Vocals, Becky Simpson - Bass Guitar and Vocals, Paul (Smiley) Galvin - Pedal Steel, Keyboard, Lead Guitar, Bass and Backing Vocals.

Actor[edit]

Wes Paul is also a keen actor who has appeared in productions such as Across the Universe, The Ruby in the Smoke, Shameless, the Red Riding trilogy, the latest Guy Ritchie movie Sherlock Holmes, East is East sequel West is West and the latest Nike commercial. He recently appeared in a theatre production (The Hippodrome) with Becky Simpson (Rebecca Paul), his partner, in a stage production of Mack & Mabel, the musical by Jerry Herman about the silent movie producer Mack Sennett and his lover Mabel Normand. This was followed by an appearance in the theatre production of Tom's Midnight Garden.

Wes Paul's latest venture is a short film which was written by his partner, Becky Simpson, entitled Girl Talk, which is being filmed in Manchester. Several scenes being shot in the notable Canal Street Taurus Club. Diane Whitley is the executive producer, Becky Simpson is the producer, Ric Forster Holly Oaks is the director and Wes Paul is the assistant producer.

Artist[edit]

Wes Paul has been an artist in Oil since 1980 shortly before graduating with a Bachelor of Arts (1982). He recently began specializing in Watercolours and Acrylics, he has just been nominated - Webmaster of Todmorden Art Group

References[edit]

  • [1] Information about the ships Wes Paul sailed in.
  • [2] Biography of Wes Paul on CalderCats.com
  • [3] Information about Cavern Showcase. Kingsize Taylor.com
  • [4] MySpace Cavern Showcase.
  • [5] Cavern Showcase gig list. Compère: Wes Paul.
  • [6] Dominoes 50th Anniversary. Compère: Wes Paul.
  • [7] Images from 50th Anniversary of the Cavern Club. Compère, Stage Manager, Photographer: Wes Paul.
  • [8] Biography of Wes Paul on LiverpoolHome.com

External links[edit]