Releasing their first self-titled LP on Bell in 1974, this rock ‘n’ roll revival octet from Leicester spent 209 weeks in the UK Top 40 with 23 hit singles and ten hit albums. They had seven successive Top Five entries at the peak of their career with rousing revivals of old 1950s rock ‘n’ roll songs.
Named from the chanted phrase in the backing vocals of the Maurice Williams composition Little Darlin’ (1957) – a million-seller for The Diamonds – Showaddywaddy made Sha Na Na look authentic by comparison. Initially playing the cabaret circuit, the group appeared on the TV talent show New Faces and were signed to Bell.
During 1974 they had hits in Britain and Europe with Hey Rock ‘n’ Roll (#2), Rock n Roll Lady (#15) and Hey Mr Christmas (#13). Written by the group’s eight members, they were produced by Mike Hurst.
Later revivals, however, were drawn from the more diluted regions of late fifties and early sixties rock. Versions of Curtis Lee’s Under The Moon Of Love (their only #1), the Kalin Twins‘ When and Marv Johnson’s You Got What It Takes were Hurst’s final productions and from Dancin’ Party onwards the group’s records were self-produced.
Showaddywaddy’s commercial success reached a peak between1976 and 1978 when the band had seven successive Top Ten hits, concluding with cover versions of two 1961 songs, the Jarmels’ A Little Bit of Soap and Curtis Lee’s Pretty Little Angel Eyes.
The eighth album (and the last to feature the original line-up), Living Legends, was released by RCA without fanfare on 17 July 1983.
Vocalist Bill ‘Buddy’ Gask (who sang lead vocals on Showaddywaddy’s first hit single, Hey Rock ‘n’ Roll) passed away in 2011.
Bassist Al James died in hospital on Friday 17 November 2018, three weeks after suffering a fall at his Market Harborough home.
Bill ‘Buddy’ Gask
Vocals, bass, guitar
Vocals, guitar, keyboards, harmonica
Malcolm ‘The Duke’ Allured
Guitar, keyboards, bass, banjo