Over the generations, the Manchester area has nurtured thousands of musical acts, ranging in styles as diverse as music hall and Madchester.

But it was the sixties that was the first to bring the music to the people.  There were groups in almost every street, kids playing their music without thought of fame - just fun.

Although many were adopted on a national scale, others were content to stir only local interest before their eventual demise.

Despite their lack of national commercial success, they were part of the tremendous Manchester area music scene that continues to play such a major part in our lives.

Proudly based in the sixties, these pages salute the groups, agents, disc jockeys, shops and clubs in the Manchester area that gave us all such a great time! Memories that have lasted a lifetime!

Enjoy the site. Add to it.  Revisit.

Recent Comments

Lesley Anne Jay-Nurdoch - Impact on 25th-Nov
Toni Mason - Tiffanys on 25th-Nov
Toni Mason - Tiffanys on 25th-Nov
alan titley - Impact on 25th-Nov
Sue Frome - Shops on 24th-Nov
Sue Frome - Shops on 24th-Nov
tony stamp - Beachcomber, Bolton on 23rd-Nov
graham - Beachcomber, Bolton on 23rd-Nov
Jay Peacock - Shops on 22nd-Nov
Joe Howley - Shane Fenton on 19th-Nov
John steggles - TD and The Shakeouts on 19th-Nov
Paul Stevens - Talk of the North on 19th-Nov
Frank Hunter - Talk of the North on 19th-Nov
Frank Hunter - Talk of the North on 19th-Nov
john Griffin - Magic Village on 16th-Nov
john Griffin - Magic Village on 16th-Nov
Brian Brittain - NDO on 16th-Nov
Charlie Darlington - The Hardrock on 15th-Nov
Trevor johnson - Offerton Palace on 14th-Nov
Peter Marsh - Offerton Palace on 14th-Nov
Ian Pennington - The Orphans on 14th-Nov
Dee Parker - Shops on 14th-Nov
Robin Shorrock - The Torrents on 14th-Nov
Rob Shorrock - Heaven and Hell on 13th-Nov
Robin Shorrock. - The Oddments on 13th-Nov
Trevor johnson - Offerton Palace on 13th-Nov
H. Vincent - The Domino Club on 13th-Nov
Jan Sheffield nee Wright - Blinkers/Phonograph on 11th-Nov
scott Jones - Mr Smith and Sum People on 11th-Nov
harry procter - The Broadway, Failsworth on 10th-Nov

Most Commented Pages

Guestbook (45)
Tiffanys (38)
Shops (35)
Browns (34)
Mr Smith and Sum People (30)
Beachcomber, Bolton (30)
Talk of the North (29)
Santa Fe Reunion (27)
The Broadway, Failsworth (27)
Dave Blakely (25)
Blinkers/Phonograph (24)
If you remember the 60s (22)
Venues page (20)
Guys n Dolls (20)
Offerton Palace (20)
Karl Denver Trio (17)
The Beat Boys (17)

Top Posters

Paul webmaster (54)
John H. Warburg (34)
Eddie shepherd (17)
Mick Ward (16)
paul stevens (16)
Jack Grimshaw (11)
ronnie carr (11)
Harry Procter (10)
Brian Pearson (10)


DJ Tony Prince has put together a superb history of the DJ. This is a link to a great episode The Pirate's last stand' but go to his website to watch the whole series. Well worth it!

Paul Stevens - ex Paul Stevens and the Javellins - Live at The Club Tropicana 2015.

Interested in sharing your memories?

Obviously Manchesterbeat is your first choice but have a look at a new site


James, who runs the site, says "Manchester has played such an important role in the history of British rock & pop music, and I am particularly keen to hear music fans memories of the 60’s and from people who there at key moments like Bob Dylan’s concert at the Free Trade Hall in ’66. "

John Kirkham memorial concert at Austerlands Cricket Club

One of Oldhams  most talented musicians John Kirkham, died on August 15th this year aged 71.Well known in the Greater Manchester area,

John was an extremely accomplished drummer and singer who,over a career spanning 6 decades,played in rock and roll and jazz groups in the late 50's,early 60's and later in resident bands at nightclubs in the 70's as well as touring with pop stars of the 60's and 70's such as Billy J Kramer and Jimmy Helms.During this time,he was also the driving force behind many local bands in Oldham,such as Snookie and friends,Ecoute and Dark Horses.

Many of the musicians who played with these groups over the years will be playing at a charity concert in his memory on Wednesday,23rd of September at Austerlands Cricket Club,starting at 8.00p.m.

There will be no admission charge but a collection will be taken during the evening,proceeds to be split as per Johns wishes,between the F11 ward at the Royal Oldham hospital and Dr. Kershaws.

Sad to hear of the passing of Roy Lowe, bass guitarist of The Stylos and eldest of the 3 Lowe brothers who were part of the group.

Who are they?

Any ideas?

For one night only come and join us at The Lantern Theatre Liverpool for the amazing tribute act of Leonard Cohen, where each song has been stripped back, desolate and sensual.

Performed by the talented Keith James who will be performing Cohen's classics as well as Poems by Federico Garcia Lorca and Leonard Cohen that Keith himself has set to music.

Wednesday June 3rd @ 7.30pm
Tickets £12
Call 0151 703 0000 or buy online at www.lanterntheatreliverpool.co.uk 

The Lantern Theatre 
57 Blundell Street
L1 0AJ

BB King

Sad to hear of the passing of Blues legend BB King. 

Back and front cover of the programme for the B.B. King concert at the
Free Trade Hall 16th October 1972.

Thanks to Chas. Eastwood
Bassist ‘’The Silks’’ and ‘’The Stuart Charles String Band''


The Purple Gang

Following hot on the heels of publication of the history of the Purple Gang – “Taking the Purple” (http://www.amazon.com/Taking-Purple-extraordinary-story-Granny-ebook/dp/B00KLOEOIO) – ex Purple Gang members Gerry Robinson and Joe Beard have just released a compilation of “music the Purple Gang never recorded – with memories of those who inspired it.”

Entitled “We Meant No Harm” the album contains a number of tracks written by the original Purple Gang songwriting team of Joe Beard and Geoff Bowyer with more recent compositions from Joe and Gerry.

For Purple Gang fans and Gerry and Joe this would be a great stocking filler for Christmas.

Further info from Joe at chrisjoebeard@gmail.com

Future Bubblers Salford Launch
13th May 2015 @ The Islington Mill 

Following on from the launch event in Nottingham last month, Brownswood Music and Gilles Peterson’s new talent discovery and development big idea, Searching For The Perfect Beat: Future Bubblers' is back with more live music vibes and the official Salford launch of the project on Wednesday 13th May at one of the UK’s leading independent Art Hubs, The Islington Mill.

Performances on the night from Free Wize Men, El Statiko, Contours and Pareidolia plus an introduction to the project. 

If you’re a musician, producer, beat maker or songwriter, head along to find out what it’s all about and how to become a Future Bubbler. If you can’t attend then head online and find out more www.futurebubblers.com

To attend RSVP hello@futurebubblers.com

Check out the line-up in advance:

Free Wize Men [Live]
EL Statiko [who is a current DMC finalist - so a real nice focus on the angle of us helping/being an opportunity for DJs too]
Contours [DJ]
Pareidolia [live]

50 years ago this month Manchester groups dominated the US Charts!

Just look at this!

In April 1965, Freddie & The Dreamers biggest hit reaches no.1 in the USA, almost 2 years after being a no.2 hit in the UK.

It stays there for 2 weeks before being knocked off by fellow Mancunians Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders with The Game Of Love.

Then Herman's Hermits knock them them off the USA number 1 spot with the single 'Mrs Brown You've Got A Lovely Daughter', where it stays for 3 weeks.

Over in the UK, The Hollies reach UK no.1 with the single 'I'm Alive', where it stays for 3 weeks in May, selling over 250,000 copies. It was originally written for Wayne Fontana & The Mindbenders.

April 10 I'm Telling You Now
with Hermans Hermits at No. 3 with Can't You Hear My Heartbeat
Freddie And The Dreamers
April 17
April 24 Game Of Love
Amazingly this week, WF at No. 1, HH at No. 2 and Freddie at No. 3
Wayne Fontana & The Mindbenders
May 01 Mrs. Brown You've Got A Lovely Daughter
HH also at No. 8 with Silhouettes
Herman's Hermits
May 08
May 15

For those who have forgotten how HUGE Herman's Hermits really were, in a period of just 4 weeks they had three hits in the US Top Ten - two No.1's and a No. 2.

To celebrate, here's HH with a film trailer for their film Mrs. Brown You've Got A Lovely Daughter.  Lots of options on Youtube to see the whole film.

Go and see Herman's Hermits - still touring, great harmonies and a great show full of hits.

Info courtesy Natalie at BBC Radio Manchester - our thanks

It just screamed out for an understated Daily Mirror (northern edition) headline: " Manc Men Massacre Merseyside! Man U or City vs Liverpool or Everton? Nothing so trivial or transient - though it was a hat-trick. Fifty years ago this month (and into May), three Manchester rock/pop outfits, one after the other, soared to No. 1 on the U.S. charts ... besting the Beatles, punking Gerry and the Pacemakers, scragging the Searchers. So to speak.  

Freddie and the Dreamers (maybe Britain's lamest band of all time) debuted it with "I'm Telling You Now;" Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders followed with "Game of Love;" Herman's Hermits wrapped up the stunning run with "Mrs. Brown, You've Got a Lovely Daughter." Brit-side, for a clean sweep, the Manchester-area (Stockport) Hollies (clinical, over-polished, emotionless, white-boys-can't-dance) were at No. 1 for three weeks with "I'm Alive." Though it was hard to tell.

On a personal, for-what-it's-worth (probably not much) note, my stepmom got to know the chatty Freddie Garrity years later, at the greengrocer's in Gatley. They were both shopping for cauliflower. She thought it was one of my old mates: "He looked so familiar."

I was introduced to the totally gracious Wayne at Manchester hotspot Blinkers one night. A glassy-eyed George Best was slowly sliding under the other end of the table.

Peter Noone lived a few miles away when I was a teen (while down the road were the decidedly low-rent premises the Gibb  family  had vacated for Down Under).

Hardly seems like 50 years. But, uh, time is fleeting, madness takes its toll ...

Jack Grimshaw
Southern California

Latest bits from the Manchesterbeat office

Just adding some of John H. Warburg's fine research (sorry for delay, still got LOADS to do).

John Mayall's Powerhouse Four -


More sad news.  Tony Manton passed away and will be cremated at Carleton Crematorium, Stocks road, Carleton near Blackpool. Fri 20th March 11am. Funeral directors are CT Hull Poulton le Fylde. (please note the change of time).  RIP.

Karen, his daughter, would welcome old friends of Tonys to attend.


The Pressmen will reunite again and this time, their 53rd anniversary of the bands original formation. In aid of the Teenage Cancer Trust the event takes place at the Miners Welfare Kirby Road, Leigh WN7 4EF on March 28th 2015.

The band are recommending buying tickets in advance as there is a limit of 300 tickets and last year was sold out with many people unable to gain entry.

Support comes from ex Twisted Wheel and Beachcomber D.J. Bob (Bobby Dee) Derbyshire.

This time sadly there will be one band member missing as one of the bands vocalists, Tommy Perry, sadly passed away last December with Cancer and the evening will be dedicated to him.


The Rumble Fat Band are privileged to have been asked to play a massive Soul/Northern Soul/Motown event at The Printworks in Manchester  - August Bank Holiday. This is looking like a huge event.


Just added Radcliffe group, Johnie and the Conteurs/Dougie and The Conteurs - thanks to Norman Shields.

Just too good not to include. 
Those of us who played in groups would remember the occasional quiet nights.  My worst? FINALLY ... top of the bill at New Century Hall but the quiet Saturday between Christmas and New Year - plus thick fog - meant the place was half empty.  Mind you, hard not to be top of the bill when the only group on.

I digress.  Have a look at the group. Merseyside based, bass player appears left handed.  Not great quality but certainly identifiable.  Goes to show we can all have quiet nights!

The vinyl revolution returns to

Junction 9 of the M60 – next to the Trafford Centre.

With vinyl records on a comeback, music fans, in the North West, are in for a treat at the beginning of February when the UK’s biggest Record Fair organiser returns to the area.

Take a massive sports hall, fill it full of buyers and sellers of records, cds and memorabilia and you have the VIP RECORD FAIR.

Visitors will be able to browse through the biggest selection of rare and deleted vinyl, laid out on over fifty tables. In addition, CDs, books, and memorabilia will be on sale!

At the VIP RECORD FAIR, all genres are on sale from prog to Presley, punk to Pink Floyd and soul to the Sex Pistols - the whole spectrum of rock, pop and dance music.

To look at as much retail music you would have to travel thousands of miles around the world. On this unique occasion music fans only have to travel to this one, easy-to-find venue. Furthermore, the show boasts Internet prices without postal hassles and gives buyers a rare chance to meet expert sellers face to face.

Based in Davyhulme, the George Carnall Leisure Centre is a perfect location for the VIP Record Fair visitor.  Situated next to the motorway system (junction 9 of the M60), it’s easy to get through from the North West and beyond. The fair takes place in a large, bright hall with easy access for buyer and seller alike. FREE PARKING for all visitors and an all day Record Fair café!

VIP Events began Record Fairs in the early 1980s and were solely responsible for promoting regular events such as the mind blowing Electric Ballroom in Camden and the TUC Hall off Tottenham Court Road, in London.

The 1990s saw VIP develop major shows at the NEC, SECC and WEMBLEY – the latter seen by many music fans/collectors as the best fair of it’s type.

Back to the late 1980s, VIP was the first organiser to remove ‘Record Fairs’ from it’s title (!) and add ‘Music Fairs’. A bold move but one which reflected the divergence of music formats arriving for sale. This year the MD, Rob Lythall, reverted back to VIP Record Fairs!! Again, a bold move but one which truly reflects the resurgence of vinyl records now on sale at the VIP Fairs around the UK. 


Admission – £3.00 Doors open 10am.

It is with great sadness we have learnt of the passing of Pete Oliver. A man who has had such a great impact on so many people - he will be sorely missed. 

This is evidenced by over 40 emails in just a few hours advising of the sad news.

Just added a new section under FEATURES - the package tour.  Many of us would have been drawn to the local Odeon to experience 6 or more acts, thrown on stage in a 90 minute show, twice nightly. Sadly I missed out on the fabulous tour show with Otis, saw Stevie Wonder at the Palace and even two tours with Gene Pitney.  A bit later I caught Sparks, Hot Chocolate and Pilot on a bleak theatre stage in Liverpool and George McRae with Linda Carr and the Love Squad (there's a story there) in Chester.

I do have some stuff, scattered around the site, which I will add to the pages but would love you to add your memories. Just go there to add your memories.

Copyright © manchesterbeat.com
All rights reserved. Unauthorized use of any content is strictly prohibited.

Please read our Disclaimer/Copyright Notice