TV Radio & Gigs
Promo shot for 'Lee Cooper' Jeans
With Kenny Lynch at EMI House 1965
On September 9th '64 S&J plus their new backing group, also from High Wycombe, ‘The Wye Four’ set off for a tour of Scotland. (Their original backing band The Ricochets from Romford, although very good, proved unsuitable). Tain Town Hall was their first venue, taking in The Beach Ballroom, Aberdeen and The Two Red Shoes, Elgin amongst many others. On September 20th they left the group in Glasgow and flew to Dublin for a tour of Ireland with show band The Drumbeats, taking the time out to do another TV show, ‘Pickin’ the Pops’. before finishing the tour on 30th September.
Eventually a suitable follow up single was found and during a session on 1st January 1965 ‘Only once’ was recorded along with ‘Come around’ which remains unfinished. When their second single ‘Only once’ was finally released on the 19th February 1965. All the impact of the first record had been lost! Perhaps due to the long gap between records the TV and radio companies were less keen to book the pair. They did a BBC2 show ‘Gadzooks It’s all happening’ (The Nashville Teens were on the bill) on 15th February. 5 o’clock club’ on 16th with Dave Dee etc. and ‘ATV today’ on the 18th. Although written by Kenny Lynch and Mort Schumann the song was not strong enough to catch the ear of the record buying public and was not a hit. As a consequence, S&J decided to go back to ‘day jobs’ for a while until things picked up. A third single was released on 20th August 1965. (Recorded 16th June).
Fortunately the live work started to come in via their agency West One Entertainments, a stint in Paris working the USAF camps plus some cabaret dates, so at least S&J were truly professional artistes at last! For a while they were trundling around in an old Ford 100E van with friend and bass player Tony Bailey until Tony decided he wished to pursue an academic career in music and left High Wycombe for a position at Norwich University. After a pretty bad accident on the return journey to their digs at ‘The Biz’ hotel in Manchester from The Ritz Casino club in Brighouse on Saturday night 16th October ‘66, the old van (written off) was changed for a 1200cc Cortina estate. What luxury! They kept that car until mid 1970 when they took a gig on board a cruise ship for a year!
More about that later.
During 1966 and ‘67 another two singles were issued by Parlophone, neither were hits.
Naturally Shirley and Johnny’s contract with EMI was not taken up for a further period.
Outside the Hotel Mont-Joli in Paris with Opportunity Knocks winners 'The Headliners'
Norman 'Hurricane' Smith (Producer) during 'And I don't want your love' session 1967