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BIOG'S to '89
NATURAL HARMONY:  Trio formed in late-1960's with Roy Leask (vocals), Duncan Leask (12-string guitar/vocals) and John Thornton (bass/vocals)  Thornton was a cousin of Mott The Hoople'e Ian Hunter.  They added a drummer in early-70's (Davy Lowe, ex-Andy Reilly Trio) and evovled in to Topaz, Solitaire & Midas Touch.

The NEW GEORGIANS:  Jazz act from the mid-1960's featuring George Moncur (saxophone / violin / clarinet), Gus Russell (vocals), Johnny Sneddon (saxophone), John Arthur (trombone), Bill Hendry (piano, also with The Bill Hendry Trio), Walter Galloway (bass), Alex Doig (drums) & Dave Paton (guitar). Moncur later formed The George Moncur Quintet, whilst Arthur turned up in the Tommy Shirra Band.

The PACK:  Local R & B act from the 1960's featuring Bill Hastings (guitar, ex-Tommy & The Delmonts), Drew Templeton (bass/vocals), Lachie Innes (guitar) & Stewart "Bongo" Buchanan (drums, ex-Cherokees). The band specialised in blues, and played all over Scotland (and beyond), as well as being regulars at La Bamba. One such far flung date was a trip to Liverpool to play The Cavern, The Peppermint Lounge & The Blue Angel in one night, which the band took a bus load of fans with them. Hasting droppped his Vox AC30 amplifier down the stairs of The Cavarn, but luckily it was not damaged. Tempelton had a nosebleed, and played the whole night with cotton wool stuck up his nose!

The Pack were asked to perform at a showcase in Glasgow for a German Tour, and were good enough to win. However, the German promoter wanted them to take a female singer into the band, and being strong willed, they refused and blew their chance.  Sadly, Innes was killed in a car accident and the band wound up as it was just not the same without him, so they split in June 1966. Hastings & Buchanan then formed another group called The Leaves.

PASSIVE RESISTANCE:  Hailing from Bo'ness this 4-piece certainly started off young! Members were Tom SNEDDEN (drums), Ian SMITH (bass), Alistair FRASEER (guitar) & John MARTIN (guitar). Martin (now keyboards) formed the Just 2 duo with Davie Sharp (drums).

PHILTRA:  Local act from 1969 , who played at an open air date in Bell's Meadow, Falkirk.

Jimmy POW:  Not a solo act, but a respected drummer who broke out of the local area backing the likes of Shirley bassey & Frank Ifield. In 1967 he was seriously injured and blinded in a car crash in the Bahamas, and then died at the age of 28 in 1970.
The PRIZE CHUNKS:  Denny band from 1966 featuring Johnny McGrandles (vocals / guitar), Frank Ferrari (organ), Jim White (drums) & Charlie Dyer (bass). By 1967 Dyer had been replaced by Des McCaffrey (bass), and the band won the "Scene 67" competition at the Kelvin Hall, Glasgow. That summer they toured Germany. McGrandles later joined The Vendors, whilst Ferrari joined Friendship, McCaffrey joined Cargo, & Dyer joined The Heenan Froud Set.

The RAVENS:  Act from 1965.

The REBELS:  Bainsford based act from 1964 - 1966 featuring Jim Cordiner (drums). In 1964 they took part in the heats for the "Macbeat" competition, where they were disqualified for losing a guitar lead!

The ROADRUNNERS:  Act formed in 1963 by Bill Barclay (guitar), Pete Duncan (guitar, ex-Young Ones), Gerry Dickson (bass) & Sandy Drysdale (drums). Another early member was Ronnie Brooks (guitar), who was soon to join The Eddie Connors Combo. At the end of 1963 they were managed by Bob Fleming, who brought in vocalist Mary Anne from Glasgow in February 1964 (she was so serious about the band that she moved to the area). The band won a competition at Falkirk Town Hallto record demo tapes for EMI, Decca & Pye in London. The auditions were unsuccessful, and the band returned to the area. They soon returned to London in may, however, to take part in a national Beat Group contest on television, presented by Alan "Fluff" Freeman. In summer 1964 they supported The Animals, The Pretty Things & The Applejacks. The band were set to do a European tour of American air bases, but both Barclay & Drysdale were too young. 

They were famed for playing an instrumental called "The Flame", which was the composition of Barclay. When they played that at the end the crowd would apparently go mental. In 1965 they were praised by the BBC's Jimmy Saville, whilst Barclay wrote a song for Jean Moir which was produced by George Martin for the Parlophone label. When Barclay left, he was replaced by Ian Horne (keyboards, ex-Staccatos), and the band supported Billy J. Kramer. A later member was Paul Serafini (guitar, ex-Eddie Connors Combo). In 1969 they changed their name to Slack Gut, whilst Barclay formed The Sonics in 1966.
In March 1966 Serafini played a one-off date with The Forth Valley All Stars at the Odeon Cinema, Falkirk. Another member was Pete Baldwin (drums) who later joined The Staccatos. Duncan turned up in a 1970's band called Bonnet Law, whilst Drysdale & Serafini re-joined him in Young Once over forty years later. Horne later played in 2000AD.  
Drysdale & Dickson later became art teachers, whilst Duncan started a business called Gas & Fluid, which later became Grangemouth-based Allied International.

The ROCKING BOYS:  One of the area's early R'N'R acts popular in the late-1950's/earlyp1960's and featured Peter Cullen (bass), Willie Thompson (guitar), Alex Anderson (vocals/guitar) & Charlie Gardner (drums).

The SAINTS:  Probably the leading local band from the early-1960's, featuring Eric Liston (guitar) and George Barr (bass) along with a female vocalist?. They took over from the Cochrane Brothers as the regular band at Larbert's Dobbie Hall. George now plays in the Zeneca Club band at weekends. Another member was Jackie O'Neill, who later formed The 20th Century Sounds, whilst Liston and another member, Stewart Wright, later joined the Johnny Kildare Orchestra.

The SAPHIRES:  Bo'ness/Linlithgow band from the mid-1960's featuring Tom Brown (drums). In 1967 they changed their name to The Haze.

The SCEPTRES:  Kincardine act (1965) featuring Dave Weir, Alex Marshall, Andy McGeachie & Billy Watters.

The SCOTSMEN:  German based act from 1966/1967 featuring local musician, Bill Hastings (guitar, ex-Leaves). They were contracted to play at some of the largest clubs in germany, where they played for the American troops on the basis of one month at each club, supporting the likes of Brenda Lee & Roger Miller.  After this Hastings went to Italy to live and work for a while, and was based in Rome. He played in clubs all over Italy, and appeared at festivals, did some TV work and recording, whilst writing for a singer called Rita Pavone. Whilst there he also met Keith Richards and hung out with Ian Anderson (later of Yes), & Alan Gorie & Owen MacIntyre (both later of The Average White Band). When he returned to Falkirk he joined Friendship.

The SECRETS:  1965-67 with John Buchanan (bass) & John Ferguson. Were on the BBC Light station in 1966.

The SENSATIONS:  Early name (1963) for the band that were to become The Cherokees.

SIDE 2:  Act from the 1960's formed by John A (drums, ex-Squad), Ian Horne (keyboards, ex-2000AD) & Ross Horne (guitar, ex-2000AD), & Johnny (vocals). The band rehearsed on a Tuesday in the back room of a pub in Fallin, and played all over the central belt, including a support to Jimmy James & The Vagabonds in Glasgow. The Horne brothers went on to play with a band called Beatroute in the 1970's.

The SINNERS:  Act from the early 1960's featuring Eric Liston (guitar) and Charlie Scott.

SLACK GUT:  Local act from 1969 fearturing Paul Serafini (guitar), who played at an open air date in Bell's Meadow, Falkirk. They were previously known as The Roadrunners.

The SLAVES:  Denny act from 1965 - 1966 featuring David Mann (guitar), Peter Scobbie (drums), Phil Glen (vocals), Archie Strang (bass) & Dave Watson (guitar). In 1966 they were resident at the Shack, Denny. In March 1966 Mann played a one-off date with The Forth Valley All Stars at the Odeon Cinema, Falkirk.

The SLOOPYS:  All female act from 1966 - 1967.

The SONS OF ZEN:  Six piece act from 1967 featuring Robert Muirhead (guitar), Billy Erskine (vocals), Jimmy Milne (vocals), Shug O'Raugh (guitar), Gregor Risk (bass) & Tommy Edwards (Drums). Originally called Western Union, they changed their name at the request of manager Jim Drysdale, and modelled themselves on The Small Faces. In 1968 they changed their name to Chapter Six.

The SQUAD:  Band from 1960's with ex-members of The Moonbeats. Some of them went on to form Side 2.

The STACCATOS:  Band from the early/mid- 1960's featuring brother Ian Horne (keyboards/vocals) & Ross Horne (guitar), along with Hugh Flynn (vocals/guitar), Ian Torrance (bass) & George Bain (drums). They were managed by the Horne brothers father, Willie Horne. In 1964 they took part in the heats for the "Macbeat" competition. Bain later formed The Sonics, and was replaced by Pete Baldwin (drums, ex-Road Runners). Flynn left and was replaced by Ronnie Brooks (guitar, ex-Eddie Connors Combo) & David Harrower (vocals). Another drummer was Drew Wilson (ex-Fourth Dimension) who later joined The Sundowners. In 1965 they had a residency at Banknock Community Centre as well as at Camelon Juniors Social Club. The band also auditioned for a TV talent show in Glasgow, but without success, and also supported The Kinks, The Troggs & Billie Davis. Ian Horne also played with The Roadrunners, before forming 2000AD with his brother. At one point Derek Waters (guitar, also with The Sundowners) played with the band when Ross Horne was ill for a while.  A recollection from ian Horne: "I remember the stage at Camelon Juniors was so small that I had to play keyboard sitting at the side. This came to an end when one night somebody asked us "How does Ross get his guitar to sound like a saxophone?" Nobody knew I existed! What an ego blitzer! I was on the stage the next week. Camelon Juniors hall was jam packed every Tuesday and we had a great following when we played in Winchburgh, Bridgend, Linlithgow and the like. Many of our fans went with us and it was a great feeling to be so well appreciated."

The STATESMEN SYNDICATE:  Act from 1965 - 1966 featuring Ronnie Stewart (bass, ex-Tony & The Prophets), Douglas Pike (guitar) & Jack Lyon (guitar). In March 1966 Stewart & Lyon played a one-off date with The Forth Valley All Stars at the Odeon Cinema, Falkirk. The band split in May 1966.

Isla ST CLAIR:  Isla St Clair was born Isabella Margaret Dyce, in Grangemouth, on the 2nd May 1952. Her mother Zetta sang in folk clubs and wrote songs. The family moved to Aberdeen, where by the age of 12 Isla had appeared on television in "My Kind of Folk". When her parents divorced, Isla adopted her mother's maiden name, Sinclair, adapted slightly. Although St Clair fulfilled a childhood dream by becoming a groom in a holiday riding school, it was meeting Jeannie Robertson,and subsequently adopted much of her repertoire of traditional songs, that convinced her to become a professional singer. Another major influence was seeing The Corries. Hamish Henderson of the Scottish School of Studies hailed the young singer as the best of her generation and by 1971 Isla was voted Folk Singer of the Year by the New Musical Express. In the mid-70s, Isla presented a children's programme on Grampian television called "Isla's Island". In 1978 St Clair became the assistant to game show host Larry Grayson in "The Generation Game". Her Scottish accent was an accompaniment to Larry's camp ambivalence. In 1981 St Clair was contracted to appear in a series of programmes for BBC children's television, "The Song and The Story". This involved dressing up in historical costume and explaining the history of folk songs. She relished the opportunity to ride a horse again as the highwaywoman "Sovay". Maddy Prior of Steeleye Span was hired as a researcher, primarily for the songs, and was given a Researchers credit. The program won European television's "Prix Jeunesse". 
In 1982, following the demise of "The Generation Game", she was chosen to co-host the popular ITV Saturday morning kids' TV show "The Saturday Show" alongside Tommy Boyd. After two series she left in 1984 to concentrate on her music career.

For the next ten years St Clair disappeared from the public eye while she raised a family. Then starting with "Inheritance" in 1993, she produced several albums devoted to Scottish folk songs. In 1997 she had a series on BBC Radio 2, "Tatties and Herrin'", devoted to songs from the North-East of Scotland. She has recorded many of the Child Ballads. In 2003 she released "My Generation", a collection of children's songs, many of them remembered from her own time in the playground. Isla St Clair's most recent album is called "Looking Forward to the Past". In 2003 she appeared in, and co-produced, a documentary film called "When the Pipers Play", about the Great Highland Bagpipe. The film was released by PBS Television in the United States and went on to win four film festival awards. Later that year she was asked to sing her mother's song "Dunkirk - Lest We Forget" at the Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall.
In 2003 Isla St Clair was awarded an honorary degree as a Master of the University of Aberdeen for her life long contribution to the traditional music of Scotland.
"Isla St Clair" (album, 1972)
"70 Golden Nursery Rhymes" (album featuring various artists, 1979)
"Child In A Manger" (7 inch single, Decca Records, 1979)
"Isla" (vinyl album, Decca Records, 1979)
"Songbird" (7 inch single, Ariola Records, 1981)
"Sings Traditional Scottish Songs" (vinyl/cassette album, Tangent Records, 1981)
"The Song and The Story" (vinyl album, Clare Records, 1981)
"Christmas Dream" (7 inch single, Stiletto Records, 1982)
"Still No Sign Of The Lifeboats" (7 inch single, Dingles Records, 1983)
"Inheritance" (CD/cassette album, Moidart Records, 1993)
"Scenes Of Scotland" (Cd/cassette album, Greentrax Records, 1996)
"Tatties and Herrin' - The Land" (CD/cassette album, Greentrax Records, 1997)
"Tatties and Herrin' - The Sea" (CD/cassette album, Greentrax Records, 1997)
"When The Pipers Play" (CD album, REL Records, 1998)
"Murder and Mayhem" (CD album, REL Records, 2000)
"Royal Lovers and Scandals" (CD album, REL Records, 2000)
"My Generation" (CD album, 2002)
"The Lady and The Piper" (CD album, 2002)
"Amazing Grace - anthems to inspire" (CD album, 2003)
"Looking Forward to the Past" (CD album, 2003)
"Scottish Connections - Live" (DVD, 2003).
The SUN:  Local act from 1969, who played at an open air date in Bell's Meadow, Falkirk. Their guitarist, George Orr (ex-Critix), joined Hog Farm the following year.

SUNDOWNERS:  Local group who existed from 1965 - 1971, featuring Drew Wilson (drums, ex-Stacattoes), Derek Watters (guitar), John McInaly (guitar) & Brian Watters (bass). Watters, Watters & Wilson later played in The Professionals. In March 1966 Brian Watters played a one-off date with The Forth Valley All Stars at the Odeon Cinema, Falkirk. Derek Watters helped out The Staccatos for a short while.

SUSAN RAM:  Not a female singer, but actually a blues band from 1969, featuring Richard Dow (drums, ex-Heenan Froude Set), Stuart Cuthill (vocals), Ian Ingles (bass) & Johnny Binnie (guitar). The band played at an open air gig that year in Bell's Meadow, Falkirk, and also supported Juicy Lucy. Inglis left and was later replaced by John Barrington (bass), whilst Dow left to join Aardvark, and was replaced by Hugh Dyer (drums). Cuthill then went on to form Natural Gasp, being replaced by Kenny Stewart (vocals, ex-Cargo). The band then changed their name to Aegis.

The SWEET THOUGHTS:  Denny based act from 1966-1967, which consisted of Gordon Neilson (also Four Favours), Ian Masson (drums), John Waller (vocals), George Waller (guitar) and Roy Filshie.

The THREE MUSKATEERS:  Act from 1966.

TOMMY & The DELMONTS:  Early-1960's act with Rod Harley (bass), Jim Marshall (guitar), Barry & Tom Bell (drums), who won a competition in 1964 at Falkirk Town Hall organised by local businessman, Peter Fallon. The prize was a week recording in London with EMI, Decca, & Pye, and the band took Bill Hasting (guitar, ex-Forthbeats) along for the trip. Travelling to London by coach, the band were also given a brief tour of EMI studios, missing the Beatles by a few minutes. They did, however, witness Gerry & The Pacemakers recording "You'll Never Walk Alone" in an adjoining studio. The band moved to Germany in November 1964, and split up there in June 1965. Aafterwards Hastings joined The Pack, whilst Marshall stayed in Germany with Manuela & The Dops. Tom Bell became a popular DJ on Radio Forth and still has a show on Radio (see photo).

TONY & THE PROPHETS:  Act from 1965 previously called The Ambassadors, featuring Tony Martin, Kazik Waluziak (guitsr) & Ronnie Stewart (bass), who later joined The Statesmen Syndicate.

The TRESPASSERS:  Act formed in June 1964 by ex-members of The Forthbeats (not to be confused with the Stitling band of the same name!).

TRIAD:  1969 Act with Roy Whittit, who played an open air gig in Bell's Meadow. Whittit later joined Thrush.

The TRYSTERS:  Folk act formed in April 1964 by Sheena Houston (vocals), Wilma Hendry (vocals), Helen Thompson (vocals), Tom Butters (vocals/guitar) & Andrew McKay (vocals/guitar). The following year they featured on the BBC Home Service. Houston later went solo.

The TURNSTYLES:  1969 Trio with Falkirk footballers Jim McLay & Charlie Smith and Stenhousemuir player Ian Laurie. Their demo record failed to impress any companies so they split-up!

The TWILIGHT ZONE:  1966 act with Davy Waugh (vocals) & Wattie Ore (guitar) who soon formed 2000AD.

The TUXEDOS ALL STARS:  Teddy Boy band from the late 1950's/early-1960's featuring drummer David Smith (Larbert), Hector MacLean (bass), Jimmy Wilson (saxophone), Chuck Aitken (vocals/piano), Albert Braccini (rhythm) & Big Tam Taylor (lead guitar). ALSO: Other members - Jimmy Russel (guitar), Bobby Lowe (drums) & Joe Hanson (drums).  Hector MacLean & Jimmy Russell went on to form the popular Tony & The Traders.  Later Hector MacLean formed Hector's House (70's).

The 20th CENTURY SOUNDS:  Formed in 1961 in Falkirk, their line-up took some time to settle as they were formed from a number of other local bands. The line-up included Marion Tennant & Jackie O'Neill (vocals), Alan Low (lead guitar/vocals), John 'Jinx' Jenkins (guitar), George Barr (piano/bass/vocals), John 'Cannonball' Bell (electric organ) & John O'Hagan (drums).  They were extremely popular and kept busy palying 4-5 nights a week, with residencies at Cowdenbeath Palais and Kirkaldy's Raith Ballroom.  They made several TV appearances and did some recording work (listen to them on the Home Page). Marion Tennant also sang with Alex Harvey & Tony & The Traders.

TWICE AS NICE:  Local act from 1969 featuring Brian Robertson (guitar), Donald Bates (guitar), Jim Vause (bass), Joe Dowell (drums) & Duncan Smith (vocals), who supported The Move & Marmalade in Newcastle. Robertson went on to play with Ninja.

2000AD:  Act formed in the mid-1960's by Davy Waugh (vocals, ex-Twilight Zone), Wattie Ore (bass, ex-Twilight Zone), Ian Horne (keyboards/vocals, ex-Staccatos/Roadrunners) & Ross Horne (guitar, ex-Staccatos). The Horne Brothers then moved on to Side 2, whilst Waugh formed The Heenan Froude Set.

UNIT ONE:  Act formed in 1964 by Dave Cochrane & John Cochrane (both ex-Cochrane Brothers). They also featured vocalist Bob Barie and Betty Adam.

The VENDORS:  Local act from 1969 featuuring Johnny Grand (vocals/guitar, ex-Prize Chunks). Grand later went solo, appearing extensively on the Cabaret Circuit and cruieses.

The V.I.P's:  Act from 1965.

The WEDGEWOODS:  Kincardine act from 1965.

WESTERN UNION:  1960's six-piece with Robert Muirhead (guitar), Billy Erskine (vocals), Jimmy Milne (vocals), Shug O'Raugh (guitar), Gregor Risk (bass) & Tommy Edwards (Drums). They changed their name to The Sons Of Zen at the request of manager Jim Drysdale, and modelled themselves on The Small Faces.

Tommy WHITTLE:  Grangemouth born jazz saxophonist Whittle joined the Ted Heath Orchestra in 1946, at the age of 20. Six years with Heath established his name in UK circles, and he left to further his solo playing desires and, in fact, bacame a featured soloist with the BBC Showband. This time also saw him winning the Melody Maker & NME polls as a featured soloist. In 1956 he was involved in exchange tours of the US, and released a string of albums and singles for the Esquire label, leading his own quintet. In the early 1960's Whittle was musical director for the Dorchester Hotel before joining Jack Parnell's ATV Orchestra. He has recorded sessions with many acts including Bing Crosby, Peggy Lee, Barbara Streisand, Georgie Fame, Paul McCartney & Caravan, whilst continuing to release his own recordings.

IN 1975 Tommy returned to the area for a one-off date at the Metro Jazz Club, backed with the regions finest musicians.  
As recently as 1990 and 1991 when he won the British Jazz Award for Top Tenor Saxophone.  In 2005 Tommy was awarded a silver medal for his distinguished career in jazz by the Worshipful Company of Musicians in London.
"Martini" (78 rpm single, Esquire Records, 1954)
"Waxing With Whittle" (vinyl album, Esquire Records, 1954)
"The Tommy Whittle Quintet" (vinyl album, Esquire Records, 1955)
"The Tommy Whittle Quintet" (7 inch EP, Esquire Records, 1956)
"How High The Moon" (78 rpm single, Esquire Records, 1956)
"Spotlighting Tommy Whittle" (vinyl album, Esquire Records, 1956)
"Lullaby & Rhythm" (vinyl album, Esquire Records, 1956)
"The Finsher" (7 inch single, HMV, 1957)
"The Tommy Whittle Quartet" (7 inch EP, HMV, 1957)
"New Horizons" (vinyl album, Temp Records, 1960)
"Why Not" (vinyl album, Alamo Records, 1979)
"Jig Saw" (vinyl album, Alamo Records, 1979)
"More Waxing With Whittle" (vinyl album, Esquire Records, 1987)
"Warm Glow" (CD / cassette album, Teejay Records, 1992)
Tommy Whittle & Alan Barnes:
"Straight Eight" (vinyl album, Miles Music, 1986)
Tommy Whittle & The Bob Hudson Trio:
"Encore!" (cd album, Sine Records, 1998).

The YOUNG ONES:  Act from the early 1960's featuring Alan Godfrey (guitar), Pete Duncan (guitar) & Paul Serafini (bass), along with drummers Archie Buchanan & Dave Johnston (not at the same time!). The band played covers of tracks by The Beatles, The Rolling Stones & Cliff Richard, at church hall dances, scout halls & youth clubs. Duncan joined The Roadrunners in 1963, whilst Serafini joined The Eddie Connors Combo.

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