The Merseybeats

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The Merseybeats
Also known as The Mavericks (1961–1962), The Merseys (1966–1969)
Origin Liverpool, England
Genres Pop, beat
Years active 1961–present
Labels Fontana, various
Associated acts The Kinsleys, Liverpool Express
Website merseybeats.co.uk
Members Tony Crane
Billy Kinsley
Bob Packham
Lou Rosenthal
Past members See: Members

The Merseybeats (also related vocal duo The Merseys) are a band that emerged from the Liverpool Merseybeat scene in the early 1960s,[1] performing at The Cavern Club along with the Beatles, Gerry and the Pacemakers and other similar artists.

The current line-up is: Tony Crane MBE (founding member) lead vocals and lead guitar, Billy Kinsley (founding member) lead vocals and rhythm guitar, Bob Packham (joined 1974) backing vocals and bass guitar (born Robert Packham, 17 July 1944, Anfield, Liverpool) (ex The Galvinsers), and Lou Rosenthal (joined 2000) drums.[1]

Bands[edit]

The Merseybeats[edit]

Originally called the Mavericks, Tony Crane (born Anthony Crane, 17 April 1945, Anfield, Liverpool) and Billy Kinsley (born William Ellis Kinsley, 28 November 1946, at The Mill Road Hospital, Mill Road, Everton, Liverpool) formed their first band in late 1960 and became the Pacifics in September 1961.[1] They were renamed the Mersey Beats in February 1962 by Bob Wooler, MC at the Cavern Club. Later in April 1962, they became the Merseybeats. By now Crane and Kinsley had joined up with guitarist Aaron Williams (born James Aaron Williams, 23 June 1942, Liverpool) and drummer John Banks (born 23 September 1943, Liverpool – died 20 April 1988).[1]

They signed a recording contract with Fontana and had their first hit single in 1963 with "It's Love That Really Counts", followed in 1964 by their million-selling recording "I Think of You" which gained them their first gold disc.[1] They suffered a setback in February 1964 when Billy Kinsley left to form his own band, the Kinsleys.[1] He was temporarily replaced by Bob Garner (later of the Creation) and permanently by Johnny Gustafson, formerly of the Big Three.[1]

With Gustafson they had two more major hits, "Don't Turn Around" and "Wishin' and Hopin' ". Other successful recordings included "Last Night", "Don't Let it Happen to Us", "I Love You, Yes I Do", "I Stand Accused", "Mr. Moonlight", "Really Mystified" and "The Fortune Teller". Kinsley returned to the group in late 1964.[1]

The Merseybeats appeared regularly at Liverpool's Cavern Club, and they claim to have appeared there with the Beatles on more occasions than any other band from that era. They were also successful abroad, touring in Germany and the US in 1964, and having their own Merseybeats Show on Italian television.

The Merseys[edit]

After their initial success had waned, the band folded and in 1966 Crane and Kinsley formed a vocal duo called the Merseys.[1] They had a major hit with their first single, a cover of the McCoys' "Sorrow", which reached Number 4 in the UK Singles Chart.[1] The introduction on the record featured a bowed bass played by Jack Bruce. A line from this song, "with your long blonde hair and eyes of blue," is included in the Beatles' "It's All Too Much", released in 1969 as part of the Yellow Submarine soundtrack album. David Bowie recorded a single version in 1973 which reached #3 in the UK Singles Chart.[1] The duo split in 1968, with Crane and Kinsley both going on to front a number of other bands.

Tony Crane and The Merseybeats[edit]

During the 1970s Crane continued to tour and perform live as Tony Crane and the Merseybeats, with various line-ups.[1]

Liverpool Express[edit]

See Liverpool Express

The Merseybeats re-formed[edit]

The Merseybeats' founding member and drummer John Banks died on 20 April 1988, at the age of 44.

However, Kinsley and Crane re-formed the Merseybeats in 1993, and after celebrating 45 years in the music industry in 2006, they continued to tour and perform on the 'sixties circuit', and at venues in the UK, and across Europe.

Members[edit]

Current

  • Tony Crane – lead guitars, lead vocals (1961–present)
  • Billy Kinsley – rhythm guitars (previously bass), lead vocals (1961–1964, 1964–1974, 1993–2011, 2011–present)
  • Bob Packham – bass, backing vocals (1974–present)
  • Lou Rosenthal – drums (2000–present)

Former

  • David Elias – rhythm guitar, backing vocals (1961–1962)
  • Frank Sloane – drums (1961–1962)
  • Aaron Williams – rhythm guitars, backing vocals (1962–1966)
  • John Banks – drums (1962–1965)
  • Bob Garner – bass guitar, lead vocals (1964)
  • Johnny Gustafson – bass, lead vocals (1964)
  • Kenny Mundaye – drums (1965–1966, 1969–1974; a member of "The Fruit Eating Bears" during the time of "The Merseys")
  • Allan Cosgrove – drums (1974–2000)
  • Colin Drummond – keyboards, violin (1986–1993)
  • Dave Goldberg – keyboards (1993–2000, 2009–2011)
  • Adrian Crane – keyboards (2000–2009)
  • Chris Finley – keyboards (2011)
  • Toni Baker – keyboards (2011)
  • Alan Lovell – rhythm guitars, lead vocals (2011)
  • Rocking Johnny John Houghton -Lead guitars, backing vocals(1979-1981)

The Fruit Eating Bears (Merseys' backing band; 1966–1969)

  • Joey Molland – guitars
  • Chris Finley – keyboards
  • George Cassidy – bass
  • Kenny Goodlass – drums
  • Kenny Mundaye – drums

The Merseybeats discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

  • 1963: Oriole – This Is Merseybeat
  • 1964: Fontana – The MerseybeatsUK #12
  • 1966: Wing – The Merseybeats
  • 1977: Look – The Merseybeats Greatest Hits
  • 1978: Crane Productions – Tony Crane Sings Elvis Presley
  • 1982: Edsel – The Merseybeats Beats & Ballads

[2]

EPs[edit]

  • 1964: Fontana – The Merseybeats on Stage
  • 1963: Fontana – The Merseybeats/I Think of You
  • 1964: Fontana – Wishin' and Hopin'
  • 1966: Fontana – I Think of You (French)

Singles[edit]

  • 1963: Fontana – "It's Love That Really Counts" / "The Fortune Teller" – UK #24
  • 1963: Fontana – "I Think of You" / "Mr. Moonlight" – UK #5
  • 1964: Fontana – "Don't Turn Around" / "Really Mystified" – UK #13
  • 1964: Fontana – "Wishin' and Hopin' " / "Milkman" – UK #13
  • 1964: Fontana – "Last Night" / "See Me Back" – UK #40 [3]
  • 1965: Fontana – "Don't Let it Happen to Us" / "It Would Take a Long Long Time"
  • 1965: Fontana – "I Love You, Yes I Do" / "Good Good Lovin'" – UK #22
  • 1965: Fontana – "I Stand Accused" / "All My Life" – UK #38

[2]

CDs[edit]

  • 1990: Fontana – The Merseybeats
  • 1992: Trace – The Merseybeats
  • 1993: Amadeus – I’ll Get You
  • 1993: Amadeus – I’ll Get You (Extended)
  • 1996: Javelin – The Merseybeats
  • 1997: Karussell – The Very Best of the Merseybeats
  • 1999: Crane – The Merseybeats Greatest Hits
  • 2002: Bear Family Records – I Think of You – The Complete Recordings
  • 2003: Crane – The Merseybeats Greatest Hits
  • 2003: Merseybeat – Anniversary Tour 2003
    • 12-track compilation with The Swinging Blue Jeans and The Fourmost; The Merseybeats' four tracks – "Sorrow" / "This Time" / "Don't Ask Me to Be Friends" / "Poor Boy from Liverpool"
  • 2003: This Time – "This Time" / "Don't Ask Me to Be Friends" / "Poor Boy from Liverpool"

Cassettes[edit]

  • 1977: Crane Productions – The Merseybeats Greatest Hits

Videos[edit]

  • 1999: The Merseybeats in Concert
  • 1999: Tony Crane Sings Elvis Presley

The Merseys discography[edit]

  • 1966: Fontana – "Sorrow" / "Some Other Day" – UK #4
  • 1966: Fontana – "So Sad About Us" / "Love Will Continue"
  • 1966: Fontana – "Rhythm of Love" / "Is It Love"
  • 1966: Fontana – Rhythm of Love (EP)
  • 1967: Fontana – "The Cat" / "Change of Heart"
  • 1967: Fontana – "Penny in My Pocket" / "I Hope You're Happy"
  • 1968: Fontana – "Lovely Loretta" / "Dreaming"
  • 1973: Philips – "Sorrow" / "I Think of You"

[2]

The Merseys under the pseudonym Crackers[edit]

  • 1968: Fontana – "Honey Do" / "It Happens All the Time"

CDs[edit]

  • 2005: Merseys, The A & B Sides, Rarities & More: 1964-1968[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Biography by Bruce Eder and Richie Unterberger". Allmusic.com. Retrieved 25 October 2009. 
  2. ^ a b c Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 361. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  3. ^ "See Me Back" is erroneously called "Send Me Back" on the cover of the CD sampler The Merseybeats I Think of You and at the Merseybeats' official website.
  4. ^ The first 14 tracks on this CD are by The Merseys. The rest are songs by other ex-members of The Merseybeats, like Johnny Gustafson, or by one or other backing group of The Merseys.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]