THEY ALSO SERVED
PRESTWICH-BORN keyboardist VIC
EMERSON (b.c.1949) had played in cinemas and on the club circuit before joining spiritual prog band Mandalaband. In 1976 he co-founded Manchester soft rockers Sad Café, remaining with them for five longplayers and co-writing 1979’s commercial zenith, the Number 3 hit Every Day Hurts, before he departed in 1984. He also played on 10cc’s Ten Out Of 10 (1981) and Windows In The Jungle (1983) albums. A long-time resident of France, in 2000 he took part in a Sad Café reunion after the sudden death of their vocalist Paul Young.
BASSIST AL JAMES (b.1946) was, alongside vocalist Dave Bartram and drummer Romeo Challenger, a member of Choise, who joined forces with the Golden Hammers group to co-found long-running Leicester rock’n’roll revivalists Showaddywaddy in 1973. Coming to national attention on the TV talent show New Faces, the group went on to have 15 Top 20 hits from 1974 to 1979, including the 1976 Number 1 cover of Curtis Lee’s Under The Moon Of Love. Still a live draw after the hits dried
up – James said his favourite gig was the Glasgow Apollo – he retired in 2008.
SKA/ROCKSTEADY voice NORRIS WEIR (b.1946) was a member of The Merricoles, who changed their name to The Jamaicans when they recorded singles for Duke Reid. Their first success came in 1967 with Things You Say You Love: the same year they won the national Festival Song Contest with BaBa Boom, which Weir co-wrote. Later singles included Are You Mine?, I Believe In Music and Black Girl, later reprised by Boney M for their 1978 hit Brown Girl In The Ring. Weir later became an evangelist.
BASSIST JOSH FAUVER (below, b.1979) joined maverick Atlanta indie rockers Deerhunter in 2004. In 2013, band frontman Bradford Cox noted that ex-members of his band tended to meet “horrible fates”. Sadly, this now extends to Fauver, who left the band in 2012 just prior to the recording of the Monomania album (Cox maintains Fauver never told him why) after playing
on its four predecessors. Subsequently the popular musician focused on his label, Army Of Bad Luck, releasing records by Pleasure Cruise, Battlecat and Finally Punk, and a solo project, Diet Cola.
SINGER BABS BEVERLEY (left, b. Babette Chinery, 1927) was one third of sibling group the Beverley Sisters, along with her surviving twin Teddie and older sister Joy. Brought up in Bethnal Green in east London, the sisters starred as “Bonnie Babies” in wartime Ovaltine adverts, had their own TV show and went on to be one of the most successful harmony groups of the 1950s, with hits including I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus, Little Drummer Boy and Little Donkey. Babs and her sisters were made MBEs in 2006.
REGGAE VOICE TREVOR McNAUGHTON (b.1941) was a founding member of The Melodians, one of the most popular groups of the rocksteady era. Born in Greenwich Farm, Jamaica in 1941, he formed the group with Brent Dowe and Tony Brevett in 1963, recording with producer Duke Reid at Treasure Isle between 1966 and ‘68. Two of their most famous songs, Sweet Sensation and By The Rivers Of Babylon, feature on the soundtrack to
The Harder They Come, the latter becoming a wedding reception smash for Boney M in ‘78. As the last surviving member, McNaughton continued to lead The Melodians, releasing a final album in 2017.
BARCELONA-BORN soprano and international opera star MONTSERRAT
CABALLÉ (below, b.1933) grew up in poverty during the Spanish Civil war era. Her young talent was nurtured by a benefactor who paid for her to attend the city’s Liceu Conservatori where she won a gold medal in 1954, going on to become one of opera’s most revered singers. When ardent admirer Freddie Mercury asked her to work with him on a theme for the 1992 Olympics, their collaboration became the 1988 album Barcelona, and her crossover success was assured.
NEW ZEALAND GUITARIST TAMA RENATA
(b.1954) was best known internationally as the composer of the Stratocastershredding theme to 1994 film Once Were Warriors, which he also appeared in. The self-proclaimed “speed king of NZ guitar” was born in Tokomaru Bay, north of Gisborne, played the ‘70s club circuit with his own Tama Band and was go-to guitarist
for a range of NZ artists before making his own recorded debut, Workshop, in 1989. He was inducted into the New Zealand Music Hall of Fame in 2012 for his membership of NZ reggae legends Herbs.
POLITICAL SINGER, humanitarian and distinguished sociologist ROY BAILEY (b.1935) began his singing life in the folk clubs of the south coast, performing with his wife Val. Emboldened by the ’60s’ cultural ferment, he would become, in the words of his collaborator politician Tony Benn, “the greatest socialist folk singer of his generation”, singing of class consciousness, anti-militarism and the struggle against injustice. He would perform with Pete Seeger, Billy Bragg and Benn, with whom he released the 2004 live CD The Writing On The Wall, and also found success in the ‘70s when he formed the group The Band Of Hope with Martin Carthy and Dave Swarbrick. He was awarded an MBE in 2000 and returned it six years later in protest at UK foreign policy. His last public appearance was in Sheffield, celebrating his 83rd birthday in October. Jenny Bulley, Danny Eccleston and Clive Prior