Music – 1960s

Ventures, The

Original lead guitarist Bob Bogle, alongside fellow masonry worker Don Wilson, founded The Ventures in Washington State in 1958, performing at local clubs and bars (originally as The Versatones). They pressed a twangy, rocked-up version of Johnny Smith’s Walk Don’t Run on their own Blue Horizon label, which was later picked up by Dolton Records. It became(…)

Vernons Girls, The

Vernons Girls, The

The Vernons Girls were assembled in Liverpool by the Vernons football pools company in the 1950s when Vernons – employers to 8,000 female coupon checkers – decided to collect together female members of staff to form their own choir. The original number was 70 members but gradually, over the years, the choir was reduced in(…)

Vince Eager

Grantham’s Roy Taylor was a self-confessed “turnip wrangler from the Redneck Riviera” until he was enflamed by skiffle and touched by the transformative wand of the UK’s first pop impresario, Larry Parnes. On his first night in the mogul’s “Stable of Stars” he was nearly touched by something else of Parnes’s, and only a night of sleepless vigilance(…)

Vince Taylor

Vince Taylor was born Brian Maurice Holden on 14 July 1939 in Isleworth, Middlesex, England. He was raised in New Jersey (USA) but returned to the UK to create the finest fleeting moments in British rock ‘n’ roll. Taylor looked and sounded like Gene Vincent, cutting loose with two 50’s Parlophone singles – including Brand New Cadillac (later(…)

Vipers, The

The Vipers, featuring a young singer called Wally Whyton, became the first group to earn a residency at the famous 2i’s coffee bar in London’s Soho. Wally Whyton was also a successful TV presenter. He died from lung cancer in January 1997.

Viscounts, The

British group The Viscounts – Gordon Mills, Don Paul and Ronnie Wells – were a trio of variety entertainers in the tradition of The Mudlarks, certainly unlikely to ever make the trek to Hamburg to titillate the Reeperbahn punters. They went in for cover versions of American hits and ‘cash-in’s’ (such as Mama’s Doin’ The Twist). Nevertheless,(…)

Vogues, The

This Pittsburgh group formed in 1960 and produced a series of wholesome lite-garage/pop hits with You’re The One (#4), Five O’Clock World (#4), Magic Town (#21) and The Land Of Milk And Honey (#29) before transforming into a viable alternative for fans of The Lettermen with their hits Turn Around, Look At Me (#7) and My Special Angel (#7). Bill Burkette Don Miller Hugh Geyer Chuck Blasko

Walker Brothers, The

Walker Brothers, The

They weren’t British, they weren’t brothers and their real names weren’t Walker, but Californians Scott Engel, John Maus (a one-time child actor) and Gary Leeds were briefly huge stars in England, and small ones in their native USA, at the peak of the British Invasion. Engel and Maus were playing together in Hollywood in 1964 when(…)

Wanda Jackson

Wanda Jackson started her career as a dare. Her church friends dared her to audition for a local radio station’s talent spot when she was 12 years old. She took the dare and won, and ended up with a regular 15-minute slot on radio KLPR in Oklahoma City. In the late Fifties and early Sixties,(…)

Warm Sounds

Warm Sounds were a harmony duo comprising Barry Husband (aka Barry Younghusband), formerly of Tuesday’s Children, and Denver Gerrard. The pair teamed up just in time to greet the Summer of Love with a psychedelic-pop classic called Birds & Bees, released on Decca’s quasi-progressive Deram label. The song reached #27 on the national chart in England and hit(…)

Waylon Jennings

Following the break-up of The Crickets, Jennings played bass for Buddy Holly. During a particularly harsh winter in February 1958 while touring with Holly, Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper, 21-year-old Jennings offered up his seat on a chartered light aircraft to a flu-ridden Big Bopper, volunteering to travel in the freezing tour bus in his place. As they(…)

Wayne Fontana & The Mindbenders

Wayne Fontana was born Glynn Ellis in Manchester, England, on 28 October 1945. He started his musical career at school with a skiffle group called The Velfins, and later formed a Rock & Roll outfit called The Jets, with whom he worked the pubs and clubs of Greater Manchester. In 1963 the group was spotted playing in(…)

Wayne Newton

Who, The

The Detours formed in Shepherd’s Bush in 1964 as a local youth club band. Pete Townshend, Roger Daltrey and John Entwistle (who originally called himself John Allison) founded the band, and having jettisoned Colin Dawson (vocals) and Doug Sandom (drums), recruited Keith Moon as a replacement for the latter. The restructured quartet was adopted by manager(…)

Wild Cherries, The

The Wild Cherries were formed in 1964 by Melbourne University students John Bastow (vocals), Rob Lovett (guitar and vocals), and Les Gilbert (bass). Local bluesman Malcolm McGee soon joined on lead guitar and vocals, and the original line-up was completed by Geoff Hales on drums (although he was replaced by Kevin Murphy almost immediately). Lovett(…)

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