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|Also known as||Liverpool 5|
The 5 Liverpools
Los Cinco de Liverpool
Formed in England in 1963 as the Steve Laine Combo, the group comprised Steve Laine (lead vocals), Ken Cox (guitar and vocals), Dave Burgess (bass and vocals), Ron Henley (keyboards, sax and vocals) and Jimmy May (drums and vocals). Despite the name, none of the group members were from Liverpool; all were Londoners except Burgess, who hailed from Cumbria.
The group played in many major cities in Europe and Asia before achieving their greatest success in the United States, especially between 1965 and 1967. In Europe they recorded one album for CBS titled Tokio International, and a single "Tokio" / "SkinnyMinny", under the name '5Liverpools', a new name given to them by their German manager. While in Germany in 1964 the band successfully auditioned to tour Japan, and performed at the Tokyo Olympics. One UK single, "Lum D' Lum D' Lum High" / "Good Golly Miss Molly", as the 'Liverpool 5', was released on the Pye subsidiary label, Piccadilly Records in 1964.
After touring Asia, where few other British rock bands had been, they moved to the US West Coast where they re-settled as residents in California. From their new base, they played all over the US and Canada, sometimes by themselves and other times with such notable acts as The Lovin' Spoonful, Stevie Wonder, The Kinks and The Rolling Stones. One of the band's biggest US concerts was as a featured artist on the 'Beach Boys Summer Spectacular' at the Hollywood Bowl in July 1965, alongside The Beach Boys, The Righteous Brothers and The Byrds.
In the United States, under contract with RCA Victor, the group released a number of singles, together with two albums produced by Al Schmitt. In 1966 their recording of Chip Taylor's "Any Way That You Want Me" (b/w Oscar Brown Jr's "The Snake") would mark their only appearance on the national chart, spending one week on the Billboard Hot 100 at #98. They also played on many television shows such as American Bandstand, Where the Action Is and Hullabaloo, plus many music shows on local stations throughout the US. Local radio stations often sponsored their concerts. Some sources claim the group were the first to record "(I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone", although the first released version was by Paul Revere and The Raiders.
Two albums on RCA Victor, Arrive (LSP 3583) (1966) and Out of Sight (LSP 3682) (1967), were reasonably successful for the group, particularly in the Pacific Northwest. The group disbanded in 1968 and by then Freddi Dennis from Spokane, Washington had replaced Dave Burgess on bass.
In April 2008, Sundazed Records released a CD with eighteen of the group's RCA recordings, which were remastered and packaged as The Best of the Liverpool Five (SC11158). Also in 2008, two videos featuring the group turned up on YouTube. Each clip included three songs. The sites are "Nuggets from the Liverpool Five (Part 1) and (Part 2)". Part 1 includes "She's Mine", "If You Gotta Go, Go Now" and "Too Far Out". Part 2 includes "Sister Love", "She's Got Plenty of Love" and "Any Way That You Want Me". Since then, more of their recordings have been posted on YouTube.