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FREDDIE AND THE DREAMERS

800px-Freddie_en_The_Dreamers_(1964)

BIOGRAPHICAL DETAILS

Description: Band

Known For: Im Telling You Now

Music Styles: Rock , Easy listening

Location: Manchester, United Kingdom

Photo Comments: The photo above is a promotional photograph during the sixties.

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BIOGRAPHICAL PROFILE

Freddie and The Dreamers

Formed 1960, Manchester, England

Bass Guitar Drums Guitar Voice

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 enlivened by 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.

The band consisted of Freddie Garrity (14 November 1936 – 19 May 2006), 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.

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 couple of the records,”I Understand”, “A Little You”, “Thou Shalt Not Steal”, “Just For You” “.

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 1970 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.

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

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.

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.”

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 and the Pacemakers, The Troggs and Peter Noone of Herman’s Hermits and the Rockin’ Berries. Ritchie Madden, Spencer Montgomery, and Ray Barlow and Stuart Simpson 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 Nico

Simon Clarke is also a solo act and emigrated to Canada in 2003. Alan Edmondson is a music teacher.

Members Include

FREDDIE GARRITY – vocal/guitar
Born November 14,1940 – Died 19th May,2006.

DEREK QUINN – guitar
Born May 24,1942
Went to work for a soft drink factory.

ROY CREWSDON – guitar/piano/drums
Born May 29,1941
Bought a bar in the Canary Isles.

PETE BIRRELL – bass
Born May 9,1941
Birrell was last driving a taxi.

BENNY DWYER – drums
Born September 11,1940 – Died 4th December,2002

Noted Albums

FREDDIE AND THE DREAMERS – 1963
YOU WERE MADE FOR ME – 1964
FREDDIE AND THE DREAMERS – 1966

Noted Singles

IF YOU’VE GOT TO MAKE A FOOL OF SOMEBODY – 1962
YOU WERE MADE FOR ME – 1962
I UNDERSTAND – 1962
I’M TELLING YOU NOW – 1963

The band performed in all countries including Australia many times
also all major TV shows and including films.

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