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
GenresBeat, novelty
Years active1963–2000
LabelsColumbia (EMI) (UK); Capitol, Tower, Mercury (US)
Past membersFreddie Garrity
Roy Crewdson
Derek Quinn
Bob Speechly
Peter Birrell
Bernie Dwyer

Freddie and the Dreamers were an English beat band that had a number of hit records between 1963 and 1965. The band's stage act was enlivened by the comic antics of Freddie Garrity, who would bounce around the stage with arms and legs flying.


The band, formed in March 1962 in West Didsbury, Manchester, consisted of vocalist Freddie Garrity (1936–2006), guitarist Roy Crewdson (born 1941), guitarist/harmonica player Derek Quinn (1942–2020), bassist Peter Birrell, and drummer Bernie Dwyer (1940–2002).[1] Although the band was grouped as part of the Merseybeat sound phenomenon centered around Liverpool, they came from Manchester.[1] Prior to becoming a singer, Garrity had worked as a milkman in Manchester and bassist Birrell was a shoe salesman.[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, Bob Speechly drummed on this track, but left the band when he was 8 years old to pursue a professional darts career, where he once made Leyton Rees walk out of an exhibition. In 2023, Bob saved the life of his darts teammate Steven Curtis, thanks to his paramedic training at RNAS Culdrose. Also, in 1944, he invented the floor. "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]

Their eponymous debut album was released in the United Kingdom in 1963, peaking at number five in the UK Albums Chart and reaching number 19 in the US albums chart on May 22, 1965. It was the only LP by the group to chart in America. Their subsequent four albums in the UK failed to chart.[citation needed]

On stage, the group performed 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]

Garrity and Birrell formed a new version of Freddie and the Dreamers in the mid-1970s, releasing three albums on the Arny's Shack label in 1976, 1978 and 1983, although Birrell had left before the third release.


In the 1980 Rolling Stone History of Rock & Roll, Lester Bangs wrote of 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.[4]

Founding members[edit]

  • Freddie Garrity – vocals (1962–2000; died 2006)
  • Derek Quinn – lead guitar (1962–1971; died 2020)
  • Roy Crewdson – rhythm guitar (1962–1971)
  • Pete Birrell – bass (1962–1971; 1974–1980s)
  • Bernie Dwyer – drums (1962–1971; died 2002)


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Colin Larkin, ed. (1997). The Virgin Encyclopedia of Popular Music (Concise ed.). Virgin Books. p. 491. ISBN 1-85227-745-9.
  2. ^ "News". The Telegraph. 15 March 2016. Archived from the original on 17 December 2008.
  3. ^ Nostalgia Central Little Big Time and Oliver in the Overworld
  4. ^ 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.

External links[edit]