Freddie and the Dreamers

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Freddie and the Dreamers
Freddie and the Dreamers in 1964. From left to right, Bernie Dwyer, Pete Birrell, Freddie Garrity, Derek Quinn, Roy Crewdson
Freddie and the Dreamers in 1964. From left to right, Bernie Dwyer, Pete Birrell, Freddie Garrity, Derek Quinn, Roy Crewdson
Background information
OriginManchester, England
Years active1963–2000
LabelsColumbia (EMI) (UK); Capitol, Tower, Mercury (US)
Past membersFounding members
Freddie Garrity
Roy Crewdson
Derek Quinn
Peter Birrell
Bernie Dwyer
Later members
Alan Rose
Kev Ryan
Trev Bullock
Giorgio Uccellini
Alan Mosca
Brian Byng
Steve Smith
John D.D. Williams
Denis Smith
Tony Brooke
Stuart Simpson
Ritchie Madden
Colin Pryce Jones
Dave Lawes
Brad Dallaston
John Tuck
Spencer Montgomery
Paul Atack
Andy Wells
Gary Smith
Gary Rudd
John Denny jnr
Paul Maddern
Hugh Whitaker
Noel Walsh
Keith Roberts
Ray Barlow
Eamonn Carr
Nick Foti
Alan Edmundson
Simon Clarke
Victor Long

Freddie and the Dreamers were an English beat band that had a number of hit records between May 1963 and November 1965. The band's stage act was enlivened by the comic antics of the 5-foot-3-inch-tall (1.60m) Freddie Garrity, who would bounce around the stage with arms and legs flying.

UK history[edit]

The band consisted of Freddie Garrity (14 November 1936 – 19 May 2006), vocals; Roy Crewdson (born 29 May 1941, Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Manchester), guitar; Derek Quinn (24 May 1942–22 Oct 2020, born in Didsbury, Manchester), guitar and harmonica; Peter Birrell, bass; and Bernie Dwyer (11 September 1940, West Didsbury, Manchester – 4 December 2002, Cheadle, Cheshire), drums.[1]

Although the band was grouped as a part of the Merseybeat sound phenomenon that the Beatles exploded around the world in the wake of Beatlemania, they came from Manchester.[1] Prior to becoming a singer, Garrity had worked as a milkman in Manchester.[2]

They had four Top 10 UK hits: a cover of James Ray's hit "If You Gotta Make a Fool of Somebody", which reached number 3 in the UK Singles Chart in mid-1963, "I'm Telling You Now" (number 2 in August), "You Were Made For Me" (number 3 in November) and a cover of The G-Clefs' "I Understand", which hit the number 5 spot in November 1964.[1]

Session guitarist Big Jim Sullivan played on several of their records: "I Understand", "A Little You", "Thou Shalt Not Steal" and "Just For You".[citation needed]

On stage the group performed pre-rehearsed, synchronised wacky dance routines. They appeared in four British films: What a Crazy World with Joe Brown, Just for You, Cuckoo Patrol with Kenneth Connor and Victor Maddern and Every Day's A Holiday (US title Seaside Swingers) with Mike Sarne, Ron Moody and John Leyton.[1]

Between 1968 and 1973, Garrity and Birrell appeared in the UK ITV children's show Little Big Time, a zany music/talent/adventure show with audience participation.[3]

US fame[edit]

As the group's popularity declined in the UK, Freddie and the Dreamers enjoyed a brief spell of fame in the US, riding the wave of the British Invasion when the American teen public was hungry for any British pop music.[1] Unlike many British EMI groups at that time, two singles ("I'm Telling You Now" and "You Were Made for Me") were released by EMI's American arm Capitol Records, but neither sold well and Capitol dropped the group; therefore, the Dreamers' 1965 releases and re-releases appeared on assorted labels. There were also recordings on Capitol's new subsidiary Tower, and Philips' Mercury label.

"I'm Telling You Now", which had been co-written by Garrity and Mitch Murray, reached number 1 on the US Billboard Hot 100 in spring 1965.[1] They were the first of three consecutive groups from Manchester to have number 1 hits that spring, the others being Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders and Herman's Hermits. Their next biggest US hit was "Do the Freddie" at number 18, intended to inspire 'The Freddie' as a dance craze.[1] The band's late 1965 album, Do the Freddie, included diagrams from dance instructor Arthur Murray on how to perform the routines.

At their US peak, a television series featuring the band and British actor Terry-Thomas was proposed, but never came to light.

On January 19, 1989 the group made a guest appearance performing "I'm Telling You Now" in the American version of the sitcom Dear John, airing on NBC-TV (Season 1, Episode 11).[4]


In the 1980 Rolling Stone History of Rock & Roll, writer Lester Bangs paid tribute (of a kind) to the group:

Freddie and the Dreamers [had] no masterpiece but a plentitude [sic] of talentless idiocy and enough persistence to get four albums and one film soundtrack released ... the Dreamers looked as thuggish as Freddie looked dippy ... Freddie and the Dreamers represented a triumph of rock as cretinous swill, and as such should be not only respected, but given their place in history.[5]

In an interview, Paul McCartney said that the Freddie and the Dreamers version of "If You Gotta Make A Fool of Somebody" was copied from an arrangement performed by the Beatles at a show in the Cavern. The Dreamers released their copied version of the song as a single, leaving the Beatles uncredited. Because of this incident, the Beatles decided to concentrate on their own compositions, rather than cover versions. The Beatles later forgave the Dreamers, and invited them to do a guest appearance in their 1964 Christmas Special.

Freddie and the Dreamers remained a touring band into the 2000s; with a few different line-ups of newer Dreamers which included: Paul Atack, Ray Barlow, Brian Byng, Trev Bullock, Tony Brooke, Eamonn Carr, John Denny jr., Spencer Montgomery, Alan Mosca, Alan Rose, Gary Rudd, Kev Ryan, Stuart Simpson, Gary Smith, Giorgio Uccellini, Paul Madden, Ritchie Madden, Hugh Whitaker, Noel Walsh, and Andy Wells. They appeared with other artists from the same era, such as Gerry and the Pacemakers, the Troggs and Peter Noone of Herman's Hermits and the Rockin' Berries. Ritchie Madden, Spencer Montgomery and Ray Barlow and Stuart Simpson also toured as Herman's Hermits backing group.

Garrity retired in February 2001, along with his last Dreamers (Nick Foti, Simon Clarke and Alan Edmundson), due to pulmonary hypertension, and died on 19 May 2006. Drummer Dwyer died on 4 December 2002 from lung cancer; Birrell became a taxicab driver. Crewdson now runs Dreamers' Bar in Tenerife, while Quinn lived in Cheshire and was in the distribution business, but sadly succumbed to COVID-19 on the morning of 22 October 2020. Eamonn Carr heads the New Dreamers touring band. Nick Foti is to be seen playing all Freddie's hits and other 1960s hits as Nico.[6] Simon Clarke is also a solo act and emigrated to Canada in 2003. Alan Edmondson is a music teacher.


Albums (UK)[edit]

  • Freddie and the Dreamers (Columbia 33sx 1577, 1963)
  • You Were Mad for Me (Columbia 33sx 1663, 1964)
  • Sing Along Party (Columbia Sx1785, 1965)
  • In Disneyland (Columbia Scx 6069, 1966)
  • King Freddie and His Dreaming Knights (Columbia Sx 6177, 1967)
  • Oliver in the Overworld (Starline Srs 5019, 1970)
  • The New Freddie and the Dreamers (Arny's Shack AS 007, 1976)
  • Breaking Out (Arny's Shack Records, AS 025, 1978)
  • Greatest Hits & Latest Bits (Arny's Shack AS 055, 1979 )

Albums (US)[edit]

  • I'm Telling You Now (Tower T 5003 (Mono)/DT 5003 (Stereo), 1965)
    Featuring Freddie & The Dreamers and other Tower Records artists
  • Three at the Top (Tower T 5007/DT 5007, 1965)
    Featuring Freddie & The Dreamers, Tom Jones and Johnny Rivers
  • Freddie & the Dreamers (Mercury MG 21017 (Mono)/SR 61017 (Stereo), 1965)
  • Do the "Freddie" (Mercury MG 21026/SR 61026, 1965)
  • Frantic Freddie (Mercury MG 21053/SR 61053, 1965)
  • Seaside Swingers (Soundtrack, Mercury MG 21031/SR 61031, 1965)
    Featuring two tracks by Freddie & The Dreamers
  • Fun Lovin' Freddie (Mercury MG 21061/SR 61061, 1965)

EPs (UK)[edit]

  • If You Gotta Make a Fool of Somebody (Columbia Seg 8275, 1963)
  • Songs from "What a Crazy World" (Columbia Seg 8287, 1964)
  • You Were Made for Me (Columbia Seg 8302, 1964 )
  • Over You (Columbia Seg 8323, 1964)
  • Just for You (Columbia Seg 8349, 1964)
  • Ready Freddie Go (Columbia Seg 8403, 1965)
  • Freddie and the Dreamers (Columbia Seg 8457, 1965)


Single (A-Side, B-Side)
Both sides from same album except where indicated
U.K. U.S.
Year Label & number UK Singles Chart[7] Album Year Label & number U.S. Hot 100 Album
"If You Gotta Make a Fool of Somebody"
b/w "Feel So Blue" (Non-album track)
1963 Columbia DB 7032 3 Freddie and The Dreamers N/A A: Non-album track
B: Do The Freddie
"I'm Telling You Now"
b/w "What Have I Done To You"
1963 Columbia DB 7086 2 A: Sing-Along Party[B]
B: Non-album track
Capitol 5053
Tower 125

I'm Telling You Now[A]
"You Were Made for Me"
b/w "Send A Letter To Me" (Non-album track)
1963 Columbia DB 7147 3 A: Sing-Along Party[B]
B: Non-album track
1963 Capitol 5137 Three At The Top[A]
"Over You"
b/w "Come Back When You're Ready"
1964 Columbia DB 7214 13 Non-album tracks N/A
"You Were Made for Me"
b/w "So Fine" (By The Beat Merchants)
N/A A: Sing-Along Party[B]
B: Non-album track
1964 Tower 127 21 A: Three At The Top[A]
B: Non-album track
"I Love You Baby"
b/w "Don't Make Me Cry"
1964 Columbia DB 7286 16 Non-album tracks 1964 Mercury 72285 Non-album tracks
"Just for You"
b/w "Don't Do That To Me"
1964 Columbia DB 7322 41 Non-album tracks 1964 Mercury 72327 Do The Freddie
"I Understand (Just How You Feel)"
b/w "I Will"
1964 Columbia DB 7381 5 Non-album tracks 1965 Mercury 72377 36 A: Freddie & The Dreamers
B: Non-album track
"A Little You"
b/w "Things I'd Like To Say"
1965 Columbia DB 7526 26 Non-album tracks 1965 Mercury 72462 48 Do The Freddie
"Do The Freddie"
b/w "Tell Me When"
N/A A: Non-album track
B: You Were Mad For Me
1965 Mercury 72428 18 A: Do The Freddie
B: Freddie & The Dreamers
"Send a Letter to Me"
b/w "There's Not One Thing" (By Just Four Men)
N/A 1965 Tower 163 123 A: Three At The Top[A]
B: Non-album track
"Thou Shalt Not Steal"
b/w "I Don't Know"
1965 Columbia DB 7720 44 Non-album tracks N/A A: Fun Lovin' Freddie
B: Non-album track
"I Don't Know"
b/w "Windmill In Old Amsterdam"
N/A 1965 Mercury 72487 A: Non-album track
B: Frantic Freddie
"If You've Gotta Minute Baby"
b/w "When I'm Home With You"
1966 Columbia DB 7857 Non-album tracks 1966 Mercury 72548 Non-album tracks
b/w "Some Day"
1966 Columbia DB 7929 Non-album tracks N/A
"Some Day"
b/w "Short Shorts"
N/A 1966 Mercury 72604 A: Non-album track
B: Frantic Freddie
"Turn Around"
b/w "Funny Over You"
1966 Columbia DB 8033 Non-album tracks N/A A: Non-album track
B: Fun Lovin' Freddie
"Hello, Hello"
b/w "All I Ever Want Is You"
1967 Columbia DB 8137 N/A
"Brown & Porter's (Meat Exporters) Lorry"
b/w "Little Brown Eyes"
1967 Columbia DB 8200
"Little Big Time"
b/w "You Belong To Me" (Freddy Garrity solo track)
1968 Columbia DB 8496
"It's Great"
b/w "Gabardine Mac"
1968 Columbia DB 8517
"Get Around Downtown Girl"
b/w "What To Do"
1969 Columbia DB 8606
"Susan's Tuba"[C]
b/w "You Hurt Me Girl"
1971 Philips 6006 098
"Susan's Tuba"[C]
b/w "She Needs Me"
N/A 1970 Super K 146 Non-album tracks
"Here We Go"
b/w "I Saw You"
1978 Polydor 2059 041 Breaking Out N/A
  • A Albums featuring Freddie & The Dreamers and other Tower Records artists
  • B Tracks from the Sing Along Party album are featured in medleys.
  • C "Susan's Tuba" features only Freddie Garrity with instrumentation augmented by members who would form 10cc, including co-writer Graham Gouldman.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Colin Larkin, ed. (1997). The Virgin Encyclopedia of Popular Music (Concise ed.). Virgin Books. p. 491. ISBN 1-85227-745-9.
  2. ^ "News". 15 March 2016.
  3. ^ Nostalgia Central Little Big Time and Oliver in the Overworld
  4. ^
  5. ^ Anthony ed DeCurtis; James Henke; Holly George-Warren (1992). The Rolling Stone Illustrated History of Rock & Roll: The Definitive History of the Most Important Artists and Their Music. Random House. ISBN 978-0-679-73728-5.
  7. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.

External links[edit]