Faron's Flamingos

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Faron's Flamingos
OriginLiverpool, England
Years active1960s, 1970s
LabelsOriole, Raw, Mastersound
Past membersRonald "Ronnie" Plimmer
Paddy Chambers
Dave Cooper
Nicky Crouch
Trevor Morais
Faron Ruffley

Faron's Flamingos were an English band. In spite of having a lack of success due to poor decision making, they remain an important part of the Merseybeat history. They also have the distinction of being the first major example of the Mersey Motown sound with their release of "Do You Love Me".

Background[edit]

Fronted by William “Faron” Ruffley, the group was considered one of the best live groups on the Merseybeat scene.[1] The Faron name came about as a result of the lead singer's antics on stage. Bob Wooler, the DJ from The Cavern nicknamed him Faron, 'the panda-footed prince of prance'.[2] Their blistering version of "Do You Love Me", according to Record Collector magazine was the first major example of the Mersey Motown sound.[3]

Career[edit]

The Hi-Hats and The Ravens[edit]

The group's history can be traced back to the Hi-Hats which came together at the Liverpool Mercury Cycling Club. The group then changed its name to Robin and The Ravens with the lead singer Robin dressed in a yellow silk suit and the band in pink jackets.[4]

The Flamingos[edit]

They made their first appearance at The Cavern in 1962 with the Beatles singing backup.[5] Also that year and with a growing following, they were offered a chance to go to France and play at the US army bases. Band member Eric London did not want to give up his job, so he did not travel. He was replaced by Dave Cooper. Bands touring France had to bring a female singer with them and they took a lady called Pam Connolly on tour with them. In spite of doing well, there were some issues with Billy Jones leaving the band. When the group returned to the UK, the line up was Nicky Crouch on lead guitar, Paddy Chambers on rhythm guitar, Faron Ruffley on bass and vocals and Trevor Morais on drums.

In May 1963, the group accepted an invitation to record some material for the album This Is Merseybeat.[2] Also in 1963, their version of "Do You Love Me" was released on the Oriole label. Their lack of success with this song may have had something to do with publishing company Leeds Music pushing the other side of the single which was "See If She Cares".[6] Writer Bill Harry and his wife Virginia were there at the Oriole Studio when the group recorded the song. It differed from the version that was recorded by the Contours. He said that John Schroeder asked them to go out to the street to ask some young folk to come in and dance to the recording. Some crates of beer were also brought in. People in the studio control room were surprised and everyone thought it had had chart hit written all over it and Schroeder said that it had the potential to top the chart.[7]

In 1965, Faron reformed the band and performed in France until the late 1960s.[8] He also had a version of the group running in the 1970s.[5] Later versions of his Flamingos have included Brian Jones, Arty Davis, Phil Melia, Ken Shalliker, Billy Burton, Arthur Hayes, Nicky Crouch, Bernie Rogers and others.[9]

Members[edit]

  • Ronald "Ronnie" Plimmer - Tenor Saxophone
  • Paddy Chambers - Guitar Paddy Klaus and Gibson, Big 3, Sinbad
  • Dave "Mushy" Cooper - Bass undertakers
  • Pam Connolly - vocals
  • Nicky Crouch - Guitar, vocals Mojos, Undertakers
  • Billy Jones - Guitar
  • Eric London - Bass Group One, Mojos
  • Trevor Morais - Drums Peddlers, Rory Storm Hurricanes, Quantum Jump
  • Bill "Faron" Ruffley - Vocals/bass Big 3, Gerry and the Pacemakers, TTs [10][2]
  • Peter Campbell- Bass guitar Fontanas
  • Vic Grace - lead guitar/ vocals secrets Hi Cats
  • David Harris - drums Replaced by C Padaccici
  • Pete Jones - lead guitar ex Renegades red Fire , alias Smith and Jones
  • Arty Davies - drums Pressure Points, Lee Curtis All Stars tempos, Korner Kafe, Knight Crew, Kingsize Taylor band, Chris Curtis
  • Keith Karlson - Bass guitar Mojos
  • Johnny Jay Rathbone- drums Mastermind's Almost Blues, Karl Terry cruisers
  • John Mitch - drums Stopouts ,Ice Cream Robots
  • Arthur Rigby - Bass guitar
  • Chris Evans - lead guitar Undertakers. Earl Preston TTs
  • Max Peckham - drums
  • Brian Jones - Tenor sax Undertakers, Gary Glitter band, Ykickamoocow
  • Mogsy Cook - Backing vocals
  • Peter Cook jnr - Bass guitar
  • Peter Cook - lead guitar Earl Royce and the Olympics ,Kansas City 5
  • Derek Smallridge - drums Four dees
  • Owen Roberts - Bass guitar Jeannie and the Big Guys
  • Dennis Collins - lead guitar
  • Steve Robinson - Tenor sax
  • Phil Melia - lead guitar Mojo Filter, Pete Best band
  • Ross Sullivan - keyboards Dad is Peter O’Sullivan, horse racing commentator
  • Steve Roberts - lead guitar Cliff Roberts rockers
  • Dennis Swale - Bass guitar - The Dimensions, Eddie Cave & The Fyx, Karl Terry & The Cruisers.
  • Colin Drummond - keyboards
  • Ronnie Plummer - Tenor saxophone
  • Bernie Rogers - drums Denny Seyton and the Sabres
  • Arnie Neale - Rhythm guitar Tempos Hy-Tones
  • Dave(Mac)McDowell- Lead guitar
  • Mike Rudd - bass guitar Avengers, Johnny Kidd and the Pirates, Karl terry Cruisers
  • Billy Burton - Tenor sax Pete Best Combo
  • Arthur Hayes - bass guitar
  • Nic Johnston - harmonica
  • George Fletcher - Lead guitar
  • Bill Good - bass guitar Buzz band Undertakers
  • Richie Ballard - bass guitar Wheels on Fire Cliff Roberts Rockers
  • Tommy Hughes - keyboards Kansas City 5, Swinging Blue Genes The Mojos
  • Will Lloyd - harmonica
  • Rachel Frost - vocals
  • Ritchie Perkins - lead guitar The tempos
  • Frank Hopley - keyboards The Mastersounds
  • Denis Malkin - Rhythm guitar
  • David Blackstone - Lead guitar The Tabs, Gerry Deville City king,s Big 3
  • Alan Hanson - Lead guitar The Brumbeats, Shane Fenton Fentones
  • Gary McInnes - keyboards/ gtr new Applejacks
  • David Morgan - Lead guitar Orig Fourmost , Dominoes
  • Bobby Cortes - Lead guitar pro Wrestler (Bobby Bold Eagle) New York session man
  • Phil Berube - keyboards/bass guitar Beach Boys, Monkees, Joe Cocker
  • Albie Donnelly - Tenor sax Clayton Squares, Fix, Supercharge
  • Al Peters - Harmonica Almost Blues
  • Barry{Basher}Robinson - rhythm/bass guitar/drums- Billy Heartbeats, Excerts,Gerry Deville City kings, The Kop, Georgies Germs
  • Mick Moon - keyboards
  • Phil Hopkins - Tenor sax Dominoes
  • Mike Jones - lead guitar/vocals

Discography (selective)[edit]

Singles
Title Catalogue Year Notes #
"See If She Cares" / "Do You Love Me" Oriole CB 1834 1963
"Shake Sherry" / "Give Me Time" Oriole CB 1867 1963
"Let's Stomp" / "I Can Tell" Columbia Records 4-43018 1964 B side is by Rory Storm and the Hurricanes
USA release
"Bring It On Home to Me" / "C'mon Everybody" Raw RAW 27 1978 As Faron's Flamingoes
Album
Title Catalogue Year Notes #
Faron's Flamingos 1963, See If She Cares Mastersound MS CD.585 1963 Compilation
Appears on
Act Album title Catalogue Year Song Notes #
Various artists Take Six from "This Is Merseybeat Oriole EP-7080 1963 "Let's Stomp" EP
Various artists This is Merseybeat Volume 1 Oriole PS 40047 1963 "Let's Stomp", "Talkin' 'bout You"
Various artists This is Merseybeat Volume 2 Oriole PS 40048 1963 "Sherry Sherry" / "So Fine"
Various artists The Exciting New Liverpool Sound (The Authentic Mersey Beat) Columbia CL 2172 1964 "Let's Stomp", "Talkin' 'bout You" [11][12]

Documentary and film[edit]

List
Title Director, Producer, etc Year Credit Notes #
Beat City Charles Squires (dir) 1963 On-screen participant [13][5]
Chasing Rainbows - A Nation and Its Music Jeremy Marre (prod) 1986 Themselves as Faron and his Flamingoes
Merseybeat Magic Wally Scott (host) 1989 Themselves

References[edit]

  1. ^ Liverpool Echo, 23 June 2013 - Flashback: Remembering Merseybeat 50 years on By Catherine Jones
  2. ^ a b c The Beat Makers: The Unsung Heroes of The Mersey Sound, By Anthony Hogan - -
  3. ^ Record Collector' - MERSEY MOTOWN
  4. ^ Nostalgia Central - Faron’s Flamingos
  5. ^ a b c Liverpool Echo, 23 JUN 2013 - Flashback: Remembering Merseybeat 50 years on By Catherine Jones
  6. ^ Motown Encyclopedia, By Graham Betts - DO YOU LOVE ME - THE CONTOURS (SINGLE)
  7. ^ Record Collector - MERSEY MOTOWN
  8. ^ AllMusic - Faron's Flamingos Artist Biographyby Bruce Eder
  9. ^ The Beat Makers: The Unsung Heroes of The Mersey Sound, By Anthony Hogan - -
  10. ^ Nostalgia Central - Artists - F Faron’s Flamingos
  11. ^ Schwann Monthly Guide to Stereo Records, Volume 16, Issues 4-6 - Page 150
  12. ^ The Beatles in Canada: The Origins of Beatlemania!, By Piers Hemmingsen - - April 1964 -
  13. ^ British Film Institute - Beat City (1963), Fil Details, Cast & Credits

External links[edit]