Shakin' All Over


Johnny Kidd & the Pirates

45-POP 753 1960
  Johnny Kidd born December 23rd 1939, Willesden, London

'Shakin' All Over' is one of the greatest Rock and Roll songs to have been written and produced in the UK. Its only significant British rival is Cliff Richard's 'Move It' of two years earlier.

Remarkably, like 'Move It' it was destined to be a 'B' side, because Johnny Kidd and the Pirates were fond of remaking very old standards and 'rocking' them up. 'Shakin' All Over' is backed by 'Yes Sir, That's My Baby'!

It was the guitar riff played by Joe Moretti that worked so well on 'Shakin' All Over' and helped it achieve the #1 spot. The follow up was 'Restless' which clearly tries to relive the same atmosphere as 'Shakin' All Over' but only reached a meagre #19.

However, the eye-patched Johnny Kidd remained popular and once more reached the top ten in 1963 with the 'Beat Group' sound of 'I'll Never Get Over You'. This was a remarkable achievement for an established Rock & Roller who was not from Merseyside.

Johnny Kidd died in a car crash near Manchester on October 7th 1966.




Bert Weedon

JAR-415 1960


  Bert Weedon born May 10th 1921, East Ham, London

This record shows how important it was to be quick to market with new records. In 1960 there were so many 'cover' versions of songs that it wasn't necessarily the best version that sold, but the first to be heard on the radio.

Bert Weedon belonged to an older generation than most of the Rock and Roll guitarists of the day, but the arrival of the new music had suited his style well. He managed the chart several times; his biggest success was Guitar Boogie Shuffle which reached #10.

'Apache' was an instrumental written by Jerry Lordan, a singer/songwriter who had charted himself with a couple of minor hits. Sadly for Bert, the 'Shadows', arguably superior, version got to market first and gave them their first hit independent of Cliff Richard. While they went to #1, Bert's version sank almost without trace, struggling to reach #24.

The TOP RANK label's output was a mixture of US imports and UK produced artists. Although it had reasonable chart success it became over-stretched and folded in late 1961. Most of its UK artists, like Bert Weedon, were transferred to HMV.


Hit And Miss


The John Barry Seven

45-DB 4414 1960
  John Barry born November 3rd, 1933 in York, England

John Barry's distinctive pizzicato strings were a popular backing on several early sixties successes; the best known probably being the output of Adam Faith.

The group were successful several times in their own right as instrumentalists. Their most frequently played number was their first hit featured here. Penned by John Barry himself it became popular as the theme music for the TV panel show 'Juke Box Jury'.

Juke Box Fury


Ozzie Warlock & The Wizards

  45-POP 635

Despite popular belief, the John Barry Hit was not the original theme tune to 'Juke Box Jury'. That claim to fame is held by Ozzie Warlock's band the 'Wizards'. I know nothing more about Ozzie so if any one can enlighten me I should be grateful.

The tune remained as the theme to 'Juke Box Jury' for just its first six editions. The composition of 'Juke Box Fury' is attributed to 'Warlock' as is the 'B' side of this rare 45 which is entitled 'Wow!'



Magic Wheel


Rodd-Ken The Cavaliers




Even more unusual than Ozzie Warlock are Rodd-Ken The Cavaliers. The label is much more interesting than the song. 'Triumph' was the ill fated label of the famous sound engineer/ record producer Joe Meek.

After one hit with 'Angela Jones' sung by Liverpudlian, 'Michael Cox', the label almost instantly disappeared and just a few obscurities can be found bearing this logo.

Joe Meek continued as an independent record producer and made many hits at his makeshift studio above a shop in Holloway London. His best known work includes John Leyton's 'Johnny Remember Me' and 'Telstar' by the Tornadoes.

Joe, who believed he had spiritual contact with Buddy Holly, died in a bizarre incident. After a period when successes eluded him, both he and his landlady were shot dead at his studio. The coroner's verdict indicated that Joe had committed the shootings. The date was February 3rd 1967; precisely eight years after Holly's demise.

Pretty Blue Eyes


Johnny Worth




This record is of interest because the Embassy label was ignored by collectors for many years on the grounds that it wasn't a 'proper' company. Records issued bearing this logo were sold only in the chain stores of F.W.Woolworth. The records sold for 2/6 which is equivalent to about 12½ pence in today's UK coinage. 'Proper' records from other shops were usually 6/7 or 6/8- three for one pound. The songs on these cheaper records were familiar enough, but the artists were pretty well unknown. The early 1950s were an era during which buyers thought the song more important than the singer. Since many of the best songs were often covered by very many singers then buyers were often happy whoever was singing on the version they'd bought. The records were frequently well crafted and played on by skilled musicians who had been paid a single session fee instead of a royalty in order to keep down costs.

However, as the 1950s progressed, record buyers became increasingly interested in the performers rather than the songs. Consequently, Embassy did not see out the 1960s.

Another reason this record is interesting is that it was recorded by Johnny Worth. He had already cut an unsuccessful single with Columbia, before becoming a regular contributor to the Embassy catalogue. However it was as a songwriter, not a singer that he would find success. Johnny Worth's first big success came with 'What Do You Want' a song that he'd written and had encouraged John Barry to record. Barry had then found Adam Faith to be the ideal singer to take it to the UK #1 spot.

Like many songwriters, Worth frequently used pseudonyms, the most well known being 'Les Vandyke'. It was in this guise that he wrote several successful songs for Eden Kane- a singer who Johnny Worth had a big part in promoting.

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