Friday, October 17, 2008

The Escorts - From The Blue Angel

Terry Sylvester - guitar/vocals (born January 8th 1947, Liverpool)
John Kincade - guitar/vocals
Mike Gregory - bass guitar
Kenny Goodlass/Pete Clarke - drums
A distinctly lower-echelon Merseybeat band, the Escorts' commercial impact was slight indeed. Only one of their six singles made the British Top 50, and at number 49 at that. They covered "Dizzy Miss Lizzie" before the Beatles, and the single made some noise in Texas, but besides that they were unheard beyond their Liverpool hometown. Their 45s were pleasant, moderately catchy, and featured close harmonies, but were basically unmemorable. The Escorts lacked a distinctive sound and wrote virtually none of their own material (many of their A-sides were tame covers of U.S. rock and R&B hits; many of their B-sides were shallow Merseybeat numbers written by their manager). After a lineup change in 1966, the group recorded their sixth single with Paul McCartney on tambourine, showing a much more pronounced soul feel. Guitarist Terry Sylvester left the Escorts near the end of their recording career to join the Swinging Blue Jeans, and eventually replaced Graham Nash in the Hollies in the late '60s.
1 Dizzy Miss Lizzy 2:11 2 All I Want Is You 1:49 3 The One to Cry 1:55 4 Tell Me Baby 2:16 5 I Don't Want to Go on Without You 2:23 6 Don't Forget to Write 2:21 7 C'mon Home Baby 2:05 8 You'll Get No Lovin' That Way 1:57 9 Let It Be Me 2:19 10 Mad Mad World 2:05 11 From Head to Toe 2:32 12 Night Time 2:53
The only Escorts LP, this compiles both sides of their six 1964-66 singles. It's lovingly packaged, complete with a four-page history of the group, but one has to wonder whether the effort was really necessary for such a slight band.
Ringo Starr arranged for The Escorts to have a residency at the Blue Angel Club, Liverpool, in 1962. The following year they entered a talent competition, the judges, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, voted them the top group out of the eighty who entered. The prize included a television appearance and a recording contract with Decca. It later transpired Decca said the prize was only a recording test and didn’t take an option on the group. They made their recording debut on the Fontana label recording ‘Dizzy Miss Lizzy’ /‘All I Want Is You’ but it failed to make the charts. The groups second release, ‘The One To Cry’/‘Tell Me Baby’ reached No.49 in the charts. The third release, a version of the Drifters, ‘I Don’t Want To Go On Without You’/‘Don’t Forget To Write’ , was also covered some days later by the Birmingham group The Moody Blues and it was their version which entered the charts. Terry Sylvester left the group and joined the Swinging Blue Jeans eventually moving to the The Hollies, replacing Graham Nash. In 1965, The Escorts released a forth record ‘C’mon Home Baby’/ You’ll Get No Lovin That Way’. Two more records where released in 1966 ‘Let It Be Me’ / ‘Mad Mad World’ and ‘From Head To Toe’ (Paul McCartney played tambourine) / ‘Night Time’ this release also failed to make the charts. The group broke up some time later.

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