Originally based in East Anglia (they formed at a Norwich college), The Jaywalkers pre-dated the British Beat Boom but scored a minor hit in 1962 with Can Can ’62. Despite an unquestioned competence, their rather stilted act became increasingly anachronistic.
They attempted a more contemporary image with several R&B-based releases, including borrowing Where Did Our Love Go? from some obscure American trio called The Supremes, and recording it before it was a Stateside hit, honest guv.
They also cheekily made a play for Pirate Radio airtime by calling the B-side Caroline. But for some reason, the pirates insisted on playing The Supremes instead.
In 1966 a re-structured line-up emerged under the name Peter Jay and The New Jaywalkers.
Now reduced to a quintet, the band featured vocalist Terry Reid, but – despite an impressive appearance on The Rolling Stones‘ UK tour – their star was not ascending.
Reid left The Jaywalkers in 1968 to form his own band. He built up a good reputation in the clubs with a powerful act that included his versions of Summertime Blues and Bang Bang and, with his cheeky smile and bright white sweater, he seemed set for stardom.
His real success came in the States where his rough and rocky blues albums Bang Bang You’re Terry Reid and Terry Reid (produced by Mickie Most) were big sellers.
Peter “Buzz” Miller