Will Cornell talking about the Brits invasion of America.

Hey Alan: here’s our own version of the song that “the Four Pennies” did in “Pop Gear” ST. It’s a very old song…unfortunately the vidcam here did not pick up the banjo and mandolin very well…it was about 20 degrees outside and we had 0 visitors to the museum that day…had to build a fire in the potbelly stove. It’s one of the few songs I can remember lyrics to!

Around the same time your 4 Pennies did this the Sir Douglas Quintet over here had a regional hit with it. Interesting both versions borrow from Leadbelly’s version, not so much Bill Monroe’s. Mine kinda takes from all of them, even Mickey Newbury’s.

Was Sir Douglas (Doug Sahm) known over there at all? It’s a hilarious history he has….child prodigy fiddle and steel guitar player in the early 50s, by the 60s he had R&B bands around the state, then when the Beatles hit the US, Cajun nut-case and record “producer” Huey Meaux locked himself into a hotel in Houston for a weekend with a stack of “Brit invasion” group 45s and a portable record player. He tried to figure out what they were doing that was making them so huge. After a few bottles of liquor he called Doug Sahm in San Antonio and said “Grow your hair long and let’s do this shit!”. Renamed The Sir Douglas Quintet, Huey thought he’d trick the public into thinking this Texas band was from England. The Album jacket featured only backlit silhouettes because two of the members were Chicanos and while their hair could make them pass for being Brits, the brown skin and facial features were a giveaway. Another thing that (temporarily at least) succeeded in fooling the public was that Augie Meyer had just about the only Vox organ in the US. He paid an arm and leg to import it. So they HAD that aspect of their sound down enough to sound like they may have been another Brit Invasion band. “She’s About a Mover” was a huge regional hit and deservedly so…like most of Doug Sahm’s output, it combines every kind of Texan music you can think of but the German accordion sounding part being done by the Vox organ might have fooled only a few into thinking “Hey another Brit band!”.

A collection of 16 Tamla Motown Big Hits


supplied by Mick Bolton

Mick Bolton…..I bought this album in 1964, the same year that I saw Stevie Wonder, Martha and the Vandellas, The Supremes and Smokey Robinson and the Miracles at the ABC Cinema in Wigan. There were less than 100 people there, but it was a fantastic show. The tour was called the Tamla Motown Review – it was the first time any of them had been to the UK. Because it was so poorly attended, they brought in Georgie Fame as a guest artist but even that didn’t help in Wigan. I was 15 years old and I went to the show alone as none of my friends had ever heard of anyone on the bill. Great memories though.

Leigh Wieland Boys…..Wigan?! Amazing that it is now synonymous with Northern Soul!!

Mick O’Dowd….This was the first album released on Tamla Motown in Britain.

John Storer…..What a great track listing! Incidentally, no true Northern Soul fan would listen to Motown … way too commercial. Wigan Casino does get all the plaudits as the home of northern soul but the not-so-young soul rebels of Stoke on Trent would tell you that their Golden Torch was its true spiritual home

The Spooks – 1964


supplied by Colin Fox

In Worthing at the Sussex Beat Group Championship. The Spooks came first in the heat but were beaten in the final. The Alexanders and Tony Kenward and The Defiants, both from Eastbourne, also took part. L to R: Colin Fox, you can just see the drummer, (John Atkins with dark glasses), Dave Shaw, Chris Putland and John Brooker.

Peter Millington….Well I wonder who won? The attached photos explain what a great night the final was at Elizabeth Hall, Eastbourne, at least it was for a Hastings group – The Confederates. L-R Tony Goodman, Ginger Millington, Dave Saunders, Johnny Conroy and Trevor Spears



The crowd at the Evening News Sussex Beat Competition. All supporting their favourite groups – Circa. March 1964


all photos supplied by Peter Millington

Peter Millington…Another cutting with more details of the finalists. The Evening News National competition in London didn’t materialise. The Four Pennies appearance was changed from Portsmouth to Broadstairs and they didn’t bother to turn up!!!! The Confederates had to do the gig on their own, great fun? Four Pennies fans were a bit p****d off to say the least.

Alan Esdaile….Can you remember what you spent the £50 on Pete?

Peter Millington…..Split 6 ways including our manager/driver/van owner, (£8.00 each with £2.00 in the kitty, no not the cat). My share put towards my HP payments for the new blue Fender Precision Bass and the Vox amplifier. No change left for pleasures of the flesh unfortunately LOL