The Poets began life in 1962 when George Gallacher (vocals) joined forces with Hume Paton (lead & 12-string guitar), Tony Myles (rhythm guitar), John Dawson (bass) and Alan Weir (drums) in Glasgow, Scotland.
One of the most creative and initially successful of the Scottish beat groups, they took Glasgow by storm with their take on rhythm and blues and soul sounds, and their striking image of high-heeled boots, velvet collars and ruffle-front shirts.
By the beginning of 1964, The Poets were the biggest live attraction all over Scotland, with many busloads of teenage fans regularly travelling to their gigs. George, Hume and Tony were also writing highly original material.
Andrew Loog Oldham auditioned the group after spotting a photo of them staring out from the cover of Scottish publication, Beat News, while he was up in Glasgow on an eloping mission to Gretna Green with his (in England) under-age bride to be.
Knocked out by what he heard at the audition – their highly original sound was described by writer Brian Hogg as “an ethereal Celtic drone” – and by the riotous scenes he witnessed at a Poets gig, he had them whisked down to London in quick time to record their debut single Now We’re Thru (1965) for Decca.
The single reached #30 but was to be their only taste of commercial success, despite a flurry of fine singles over the next couple of years, including the two-bass throb of the hard-rocking That’s The Way It’s Got to Be, the exquisite acoustic ballad I’ll Cry with the Moon, and a fiery cover of Marvin Gaye‘s Baby Don’t You Do It.
The Poets declined an offer from the Four Seasons producer Bob Crewe to move to the US and retreated to Scotland, where frontman George Gallacher decided to call it a day and showed his eventual replacement Andi Mulvey the ropes as he appeared alongside him for several gigs in a six-piece Poets.
George Gallacher suffered a heart attack and died on 25 August 2012 in Glasgow.