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John Leyton

Hello Everybody,
Welcome to my October & November newsletter.

Girl on the floor aboveAs explained in my last news letter, my first time in the recording studio was to record ‘Tell Laura I Love Her’. Unfortunately Top Rank was taken over by EMI and my debut single release, perhaps viewed as competition for EMI’s own version, was quickly withdrawn from the market.
Needless to say it was a big disappointment for me, but clearly a decision that EMI considered worthwhile as their version by Ricky Valence went to the top of the UK Hit Parade.
I went back to Granada TV Studios in Manchester to continue making the TV series ‘Biggles’ thinking that my attempt to become a pop singer was not to be and that I should concentrate on my acting career, However my manager Robert Stigwood and Joe Meek were not to be put off so easily and had other ideas.
They went about finding another song for me to record as quickly as possible as I had received a lot of publicity with the ‘Tell Laura’ episode and I was still appearing on TV in a popular TV series.
‘The Girl On The Floor Above b/w Terry Brown’s In Love With Mary Dee’ was released in October 1960 on EMI’s HMV label and has today become a collectors item. I must admit that the song did not really inspire me but in those days Artistes were generally told what to record and we recorded it. At that time Joe was still moving into Holloway Road so I must assume that I recorded the song at either Olympic Studios or CTS Lansdowne Road, another studio that Joe was using at that time. The source of the song is somewhat of a mystery to me as the sheet music titles it in English and describes it in Italian as ‘La Ragazza Del Piano Sopra Di Me’ Italian Version by the New Quartetto Italiano. Words and Music by Len Paverman, to my knowledge an Englishman who also wrote songs that were recorded by amongst others 50’s Artiste Terry Dene. The Joe Meek experts inform me that Joe also saw the ‘continental’ market as an opportunity and earlier in 1960 had recorded an Italian version by Eve Boswell of ‘The Bridge of Avignon’ for release on the Durium label in Italy. Hence I also recorded an Italian version of ‘The Girl On The Floor Above’ and ‘Terry Brown’s In Love With Mary Dee’ but to my knowledge this was never released.
Whilst one is always hopeful, I was not surprised that the single did very little sales wise and I retreated into the world of acting. I thought at the time that this was the end of any ideas that anybody might have of me pursuing a career as a pop singer. However, it was decided in the summer of 1961 I would make a third and final attempt at a recording career. The result was life changing….But that’s another story!!

Craig Douglas
Craig DouglasSadly, it is now confirmed that Craig will be unable to perform in Concert again. His medical condition has resulted in him being confined to a wheelchair and no cure seems likely at the present time.
Tickets for the Craig Douglas Benefit Concert on Saturday 11th December at The Amersham Rock ‘n’ Roll Club are selling well, full details on the Gig Guide page, all the proceeds will be going direct to Craig to assist him purchase an item that will assist him with his disability. Should any of you wish to pass a message onto Craig please ‘e’ mail the website and we will ensure that Craig receives your message.
Legendary Radio Presenter David Hamilton and a good friend of Craig has kindly agreed to be our host for the evening. Craig is also very hopeful of being able to attend.

Hit Parade Heroes – Help For Heroes.
At the Hit Parade Heroes Concert on Saturday 5th February 2011 at Ferneham Halls, Fareham we will be presenting a cheque to the Help For Heroes Charity. This donation comprises of monies that have accrued from the sale of my World Cup CD single and monies donated by the artistes performing in the show. Full details of the concert are available on the Gig Guide. Hit Parade Heroes will be touring in 2011 and as Concerts are confirmed we will be updating the gig guide.

Gig Guide update.
Details of a New Year’s Eve gig have also recently been confirmed on the Gig Guide.

Friday 11th February 2011.
Hit Parade Heroes.
John Leyton, Jet Harris, Mike Berry and The Flames.
Theatre Royal,
12 Drury Lane,
West Yorkshire. WF1 2TE
Telephone: 01924 211311

The Great Escape.
A new website is now available for the many of you who are interested in this ever popular film. Don Whistance has spent time in Germany locating many of the original film locations and has recently started a website.
I am currently planning to visit many of the original locations. This will be a trip down memory lane for me and together with a film crew we will be filming for a possible future DVD release.
Whilst on the subject of films, the very popular film ‘Scandal’ has just been released on DVD. ‘Johnny Remember Me’ was part of the original film soundtrack.

CD News.
Currently The Flames and I are planning a 2nd Volume of ‘John Leyton & The Flames’ for release during the spring of 2011. We are in the process of selecting the tracks and rehearsing many new numbers. Also Lone Rider Records are working with me on a NEW CD for possible release in December of this year. More details as soon as we get them.

Lone Rider Records.

The Flames Now available from the website shop is the first Solo album from The Flames on Lone Rider Records. ‘The Versatile Flames’ contains 29 tracks in a mixture of 60’s Instrumentals, 60’s Rock & Pop and Rockabilly, plus an illustrated 8 page liner booklet. The versatile Flames Any of you who have seen the Flames in Concert will know how good the group are and I’m sure will want to purchase the CD.
A review of the CD by Trevor Simpson, Author and Broadcaster, is available on the website. Also available is a NEW CD by the ever popular Guitarist, Peter Williams. Titled ‘Walkin’ Back To Happiness’ it’s a collection of Peter’s favourite 50’s and 60’s songs performed as Instrumentals.

Always yours.

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