St. Louis Union
St. Louis Union were a 1960s, short-lived, freakbeat rock band from Manchester, England, who formed part of the mod rock scene. They were formed by singer Tony Cassidy, guitarist Keith Millar, tenor saxophone/flute player Alex Kirby (left 1965; replaced by Lenni Zaksen and Bernie Brown), keyboardist David Tomlinson, bassist John Nichols and drummer Dave Webb.
They formed initially as The Satanists and then, after they changed their name, they won theMelody Maker National Beat Contest in August 1965 at Wimbledon Palais, leaving a fledgling The Pink Floyd (later known simply as Pink Floyd) in a lower placing, and obtaining a recording contract with Decca Records. Their first single, a cover of the Beatles song "Girl", was a success in the UK Singles Chart, where it reached #11 in February 1966. The single also had an American release on Parrot. The band were popular in the Manchester area.
However, after "Girl", there were no more hits, despite singles such as "Behind The Door" and "East Side Story" being released. They performed "East Side Story" plus "Things get better" and "Don't worry girl", on Top of the Pops on 1 November 1966 plus two songs in the film The Ghost Goes Gear also in 1966. The band split up in 1967.
Guitarist Keith Millar (born 15 April 1947, Manchester) subsequently joined the Rod Stewart's band, but died on 17 May 2005. Singer Tony Cassidy also died around the same time after a career in teaching. In the 1970s he was the youngest head teacher in the UK. David Tomlinson had a role in the subsequent new wave scene, under the stage name of Dave Formula, as a member of Magazine, Visage, Ludus and Luxuria, and working with Howard Devoto and Tuxedomoon's Winston Tong. Bassist John Nichols has since developed a career as an Actors Headshot Photographer in Manchester UK, and has won the prestigious Heist Award. Bernie Brown continues to play Saxophone in Spain and the Costa Del Sol with cover bands. Dave Webb currently plays drums in the Wigan based band, The New Soul Messengers.
All released in 1966 on Decca Records
- "Girl" (b/w "Respect") UK release 6 January 1966 - US release on Parrot Records, a division of London Records
- "Behind The Door" (b/w "English Tea") UK release 22 April 1966
- "East Side Story" (b/w "Think About Me") UK release 21 October 1966
- Eder, Bruce. Biography of St. Louis Union at AllMusic. Retrieved 11 April 2009.
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 479. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
- Fans magazine, Spain, 19 December 1966. Article by Alvaro Rubio y ya son famosos en toda el área de Manchester (and they are famous in all Manchester area)
- Manchesterbeat.com - page 4