Freddie and the Dreamers

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Freddie and the Dreamers
Freddiedreamers bw.jpg
c 1963 Freddie and the Dreamers, left to right
Pete Birrell, Bernie Dwyer, Freddie Garrity, Derek Quinn, Roy Crewdson
Background information
OriginManchester, England
GenresBeat
Pop
Rock and roll
Years active1963–2000
LabelsColumbia (EMI) (UK); Capitol, Tower, Mercury (US)
Past members

Founding members
Freddie Garrity
Roy Crewdson
Derek Quinn
Peter Birrell
Bernie Dwyer

Later members

Alan Rose
Kev Ryan
Trev Bullock
Giorgio Uccellini
Alan Mosca
Brian Byng
Steve Smith
John D.D. Williams
Denis Smith
Tony Brooke
Stuart Simpson
Ritchie Madden
Spencer Montgomery
Paul Atack
Andy Wells
Gary Smith
Gary Rudd
John Denny jnr
Paul Maddern
Hugh Whitaker
Noel Walsh
Keith Roberts
Ray Barlow
Eamonn Carr
Nick Foti
Alan Edmundson
Simon Clarke
 
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Freddie and the Dreamers
Freddiedreamers bw.jpg
c 1963 Freddie and the Dreamers, left to right
Pete Birrell, Bernie Dwyer, Freddie Garrity, Derek Quinn, Roy Crewdson
Background information
OriginManchester, England
GenresBeat
Pop
Rock and roll
Years active1963–2000
LabelsColumbia (EMI) (UK); Capitol, Tower, Mercury (US)
Past members

Founding members
Freddie Garrity
Roy Crewdson
Derek Quinn
Peter Birrell
Bernie Dwyer

Later members

Alan Rose
Kev Ryan
Trev Bullock
Giorgio Uccellini
Alan Mosca
Brian Byng
Steve Smith
John D.D. Williams
Denis Smith
Tony Brooke
Stuart Simpson
Ritchie Madden
Spencer Montgomery
Paul Atack
Andy Wells
Gary Smith
Gary Rudd
John Denny jnr
Paul Maddern
Hugh Whitaker
Noel Walsh
Keith Roberts
Ray Barlow
Eamonn Carr
Nick Foti
Alan Edmundson
Simon Clarke

Freddie and the Dreamers were an English band who had a number of hit records between May 1963 and November 1965. Their stage act was based around the comic antics of the 5-foot-3-inch-tall (1.60m) Freddie Garrity, who would bounce around the stage with arms and legs flying. The group remained active until December 2000 when they played their final gig at Margate Winter Gardens. After that date, Garrity was told by his doctor that due to his pulmonary hypertension it was not advisable for him to continue working, and he officially retired from all work in February 2001. He died in Bangor, North Wales, on 19 May 2006.

UK history[edit]

The band consisted of Freddie Garrity (14 November 1936 – 19 May 2006),[1] vocals; Roy Crewdson (born 29 May 1941), guitar; Derek Quinn (born 24 May 1942, Manchester), guitar and harmonica; Peter Birrell (born 9 May 1941, Manchester), bass; and Bernie Dwyer (11 September 1940 – 4 December 2002), drums.

Although the band were grouped as a part of the Merseybeat sound phenomenon that The Beatles exploded around the world in the wake of Beatlemania, they came from Manchester. Prior to becoming a singer, Garrity had worked as a milkman in Manchester.[2]

They had four Top 10 UK hits: a cover of James Ray's hit "If You Gotta Make a Fool of Somebody", which reached number 3 in the UK Singles Chart in mid-1963, "I'm Telling You Now" (number 2 in August), "You Were Made For Me" (number 3 in November) and "I Understand", which hit the number 5 spot in November 1964.

Session guitarist Big Jim Sullivan played on a majority of the records, most notably on "Over You", "I Understand", "A Little You", "Thou Shalt Not Steal", "Just For You" and a cover version of Paul Anka's "I Love You Baby".

On stage the group performed pre-rehearsed, synchronised wacky dance routines. They appeared in four British films: What a Crazy World with Joe Brown, Just for You, The Cuckoo Patrol and Every Day's A Holiday (US title Seaside Swingers) with Mike Sarne, Ron Moody and John Leyton.

Between 1971 and 1973 Garrity and Birrell appeared in the UK ITV children's show Little Big Time, a zany music/talent/adventure show with audience participation.[3]

The group made a guest appearance in the BBC sitcom Dear John.

US fame[edit]

As their popularity declined in the UK, Freddie and the Dreamers enjoyed a brief spell of fame in the US, riding the wave of the British Invasion when the American teen public was hungry for any British pop music. Unlike many British EMI groups at that time, two of their singles ("I'm Telling You Now" and "You Were Made for Me") were released by EMI's American arm Capitol Records, but neither sold well and Capitol dropped them; therefore, the Dreamers' 1965 releases and re-releases appeared on assorted labels. They recorded on Capitol's new subsidiary Tower, and Philips' Mercury label.

"I'm Telling You Now", which had been co-written by Garrity and Mitch Murray, reached number 1 on the US Billboard Hot 100 in spring 1965. They were the first of three consecutive groups from Manchester to have number 1 hits that spring, the others being Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders and Herman's Hermits. Their next biggest US hit was "Do the Freddie" at number 18, intended to inspire 'The Freddie' as a dance craze. The band's late 1965 album, Do the Freddie, included diagrams from dance instructor Arthur Murray on how to perform the routines.

At their US peak, a television series featuring the band and British actor Terry-Thomas was proposed, but never happened.

Legacy[edit]

In the 1980 Rolling Stone History of Rock & Roll, writer Lester Bangs paid tribute (of a kind) to the group:

"Freddie and the Dreamers [had] no masterpiece but a plentitude [sic] of talentless idiocy and enough persistence to get four albums and one film soundtrack released ... the Dreamers looked as thuggish as Freddie looked dippy ... Freddie and the Dreamers represented a triumph of rock as cretinous swill, and as such should be not only respected, but given their place in history."[this quote needs a citation]

In an interview, Paul McCartney said that the Freddie and the Dreamers version of "If You Gotta Make A Fool of Somebody" was copied from an arrangement performed by The Beatles at a show in The Cavern. The Dreamers released their copied version of the song as a single, leaving the Beatles uncredited. Because of this incident, the Beatles decided to concentrate on their own compositions, rather than cover versions. The Beatles later forgave the Dreamers, and invited them to do a guest appearance in their 1964 Christmas Special.

Freddie and the Dreamers remained a touring band into the 2000s; with a few different line-ups of newer Dreamers which included: Paul Atack, Ray Barlow, Brian Byng, Trev Bullock, Tony Brooke, Eamonn Carr, John Denny jr., Spencer Montgomery, Alan Mosca, Alan Rose, Gary Rudd, Kev Ryan, Stuart Simpson, Gary Smith, Giorgio Uccellini, Paul Madden, Ritchie Madden, Hugh Whitaker, Noel Walsh, and Andy Wells. They appeared with other artists from the same era, such as Gerry & the Pacemakers, The Troggs and Peter Noone of Herman's Hermits. Ritchie Madden, Spencer Montgomery, and Ray Barlow also toured as Herman's Hermits backing group.

Garrity retired in February 2001, along with his last Dreamers (Nick Foti, Simon Clarke and Alan Edmundson), due to pulmonary hypertension, and died on 19 May 2006. Drummer Dwyer died on 4 December 2002 from lung cancer; Birrell became a taxicab driver. Crewdson now runs Dreamers bar in Tenerife, while Quinn lives in Cheshire and is in the distribution business. Eamonn Carr heads The New Dreamers touring band. Nick Foti is to be seen playing all Freddie's hits and other sixties hits as The 2 Most Simon Clarke is also a solo act and emigrated to Canada in 2003. Alan Edmondson is a music teacher.

Discography[edit]

Singles[edit]

EPs (UK)[edit]

Albums (UK)[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Matthew Bannister (26 May 2006). "Freddie Garrity". News & Current Affairs: Last Word. BBC. Retrieved 6 January 2007. 
  2. ^ Daily Telegraph 'Dreamers' star Freddie Garrity dies. 20 May 2006 Accessed August 2007
  3. ^ Nostalgia Central Little Big Time and Oliver in the Overworld

External links[edit]