'READY, STEADY - WIN ! '
Original DECCA RECORDS LK 4634 from 1964
~ A TOP ARTIFACT FROM THE SWINGING SIXTIES ~
With the British music scene TOTALLY buzzing with new life, from Merseybeat, Mod, R'n B, Ska and Beat to the apex of great pop-art and fashion -
there came catalysts that fed and bred among this vibrant new young cultural explosion. Nowhere in the WORLD was living and breathing it like
England, and the rest of the planet seemed to revolve around that hub - with the media focusing on London and Liverpool.
Beatles performed for royalty at The London Paladium, irreverent comedy abounded on tv like never before, the skirts got higher and the
dances got crazier with a newly developed careless abandon. The Stones brought blues with controversy and hype... and Decca Records excused their
profligacy in missing out on The Fab Four, by giving chances to everyone else! A good result indeed.
THE big pop platform in 1964 was 'Ready Steady Go', a television program that let them all strut their stuff - and they gave view to Manfred Mann, The Who, The Kinks, The Hollies, Small Faces, The Troggs, and every young new group - ready, willing and able!
To illustrate this further, they even held 'battle of the bands' showcases like on this album, which features; The Thyrds, The Harbour Lights, Bo Street Runners, Tony Knight and the Live Wires, The Deltones with Tony Lane, Falling Leaves, Echolettes, Dynamos, Jimmy Royal and The Hawks, Planets, Five Aces, Scene Five, Vibrons, Jaymes Fenda and The Vulcans, Olympics (not the American black doo-wop group), and The Leasiders.
Some of these bands went on to become staples of the burgeoning foundations of British R'n B, Freakbeat, Psych, Psychedelia and 'underground' Prog rock. Not least, The Bo Street Runners - who drew their first record contract from this. EMI soon picked them up when Decca lost interest, and they took it from then to become The Chicago Line Blues Band, Timebox, Patto, and Boxer (thru' one incarnation or another).
Here's more of the story;
In the Spring of 1964 the production team of the legendary Friday evening rock show Ready Steady Go! came up with the idea of launching a talent competition to find 'the group that would replace The Beatles' A modest aim!
The main criteria for groups aspiring to this ambition was that they
could perform at least one original number and that they had no
previous recording contract.
The prize being offered by the TV company was £1,000 to buy instruments
and equipment, a recording contract with Decca records, a publishing
deal with Keith Prowse Music (KPM) and an agency deal with a leading
London entertainment agent Harold Davidson. A package that, with a
sprinkling of luck, had all the ingredients to secure the winning group
a rosy future in the music business. The runners-up would win a new van
and 3rd band in the finals £250.
It seems, in retrospect, to be strange that the members of the Bo
Street Runners showed no interest in the announcement of the
competition. Perhaps thinking that replacing The Beatles with their
brand of raw RnB was something of a tall order. However, unbeknown to
the band, the mother of Dave Cameron , the group's bass player, had
sent in an application form with a copy of their EP to the competition
organisers. The first thing the Runners knew about this was when a
scout from the Ready Steady Win team came to check them out at their
Sunday RnB club at the Railway Hotel .
It seems that the group got over this hurdle and on the 20th May
were invited to a formal audition at Associated Rediffusion's Kingsway
TV studios where they were deemed good enough to enter the competition
proper. The first of the knockout heats that the Runners competed in
took place on the 16th June at the company's Wembley Park studios and
included in the panel of four judges was the dancer/choreographer
The shows were broadcast live, unlike Ready Steady Go! itself that at
this time was still pre recorded. An exciting feature of these live
heats was that each of the competing groups were allowed to invite a
number of fans to the studios who were, in turn, encouraged to whip
themselves into a frenzy when their group was performing.
By the 24th August the Bo Street Runners had reached the semi-final
of the competition where they unexpectedly came second but this was
good enough to send them through to the final that was held on the 8th
The panel of judges at the final were, the Beatles manager, Brian
Epstein, rock n roll legend, Bill Haley, singer Georgia Brown and DJ
Brian Mathews. Thanks, in no small part, to the manic support given by
their fans the group were declared winners.
As the result was announced and mayem erupted on the floor of the
studio the group was whisked away to a hospitality suite to meet the
judges. Over a celebratory glass Brian Epstein expressed an interest in
becoming involved with the band. Inexplicably this offer wasn't
followed up by the Runners. How different their future might have been!
From this brief moment with the celebs the Decca Records machine took
over the controls and in order to capture the moment, and get a single
out ASAP, the band and their equipment were taxied away to Decca's
recording studio in central London. For next chapter in the saga see 'I'm a Bo Street Runner'
Was their win justified? Who can say, but their uncompromising gutsy
R&B style made them stand out over their competitors' largely
Merseybeat sound and singer John Dominic's charisma was certainly a big
factor in their success. Readers can judge for themselves if they can
hunt down a copy of the Ready Steady Win compilation album. Details can
be found at the Discography page.
1964 ended with a bang for the Runners when they performed at the
'Ready Steady Go!' New Years Eve party that was broadcast live from the
Rediffusion studios. On the bill were, Sandie Shaw, Manfred Mann, Dusty
Springfield, Freddie and the Dreamers and, sharing their dressing room,
Sadly this was to be their last appearance on television.
The Single-sleeve COVER is VG+ with some wear.
The VINYL grades VG+ , plays through nicely and sounds great.
The maroon lables are EX with just a couple of spindle-marks only.
WINNER PLEASE ADD; £1.50 UK P&P 1st Class delivery, £6 EU, and £9 Rest of World.
Additional postage requirements are extra. Please do not pay until invoiced
PLEASE ALSO SEE MY AUCTIONS FOR OTHER COLLECTIBLE RARE GEMS