Rhythm and Blues Incorporated (Southport)

Line- up included

  • JOHN McCAFFREY - bass guitar
  • MIKE McKAY - guitar
  • ALAN MENZIES - drums
  • BARRY WOMERSLEY - lead guitar
  • GEORGE ECCLES - lead (replaced by Barry)
  • JOHN SURGUY - sax 


Louie Louie/Honey Don't - (Fontana TF 524) - 1965 

This Merseyside band from Southport, which included Pete Kelly (later of Pete Kelly's Soulution ) recorded a cover version of The Kingsmen's classic Louie, Louie , which is now rare and collectable. On the reverse they turned Carl Perkins' Honey Don't into a wild rocker.

Ollie Halsall, who was only in the group for a few months in 1964, was later in Timebox. Barry Womersley went on to play for Clayton Squares. George Eccles joined Jasmin T.

Compilation appearances include: Honey Don't on Mersey Beat (Dble LP), Pebbles, Vol. 6 - The Roots Of Mod (LP) and English Freakbeat Vol. 6 (CD). 


R and B Inc. were one of the great live bands of the era. I saw them many times in the summer of 1965 or 6 (probably 66) when they played a residency at a club in Edinburgh called The Place. They were striking for the time having a tenor sax in the band (as did another Mersyside band of the period, The Undertakers).

They also did some unusual material, of which I remember most vividly a roaring version of Bob Dylan's Maggie's Farm. Great musicianship added to a 'wild' stage act - much leaping about etc - knocked me (and a handful of others who there) out. They appeared once on Ready Steady Go miming to their single Louie Louie and I really thought they would crack it. But they didn't. One of the great 'should've made it' bands.

Robin Ramsay

Are you sure the Edinburgh residency was in the Place? (Victoria St) I'm sure it was Bungy's just off the High Street. Certainly I saw them there a few times. If they where on at Bungys I would be there. Not to be missed. I even sang with them once and they let us use their equipment once or twice. I was in a band then called The Beau Brummels. Yes we had the name before the US band!

Great guys. Great band. I saw them on Ready Steady Go. The Who though debuted on that show and stole the show..... Louie Louie just didn't cut it. It had been covered too much to be a hit single for them. Music tastes where changing away from Blues based bands. The rest is history.....

David Norwich - 1/10/09

My home town is Southport and I had some great Saturday nights in the 60s seeing the top bands of the era at The Floral Hall on the promenade. I bought the single Louie Louie on the Fontana label and have still got it. Its in good condition. How much is it worth?

Keith Williamson - 21/7/09

Yep I am still around. R and B Inc were a great band in all their line ups. I still play now with various Mersey bands. Keep on rocking!

George Eccles - 5/10/09

Yes I am from Southport and we all used to go to a club in Southport and thats when I first saw the group. Wish I could do it all again.

Harry Stanley - 18/8/10

R & B Inc used to play often at the Saint's Club Bellhouse Road Sheffield. They used to come home to my mum's to have beef curry.

Once my friend and I travelled to Southport and John Mccaffrey's mum put us up for the night . It must have been 1964ish. They really rocked.I have lost my copy of Louie Louie.

I think of them fondly - it was great fun - a great time. I have many memories of them. They once did an accoustic version of 'Move over Darling' for my mum sitting on her living room floor. I hope they are all well and happy. x

Jane Newton  - 17/11/10

I saw this band at the Place during the summer of 1964. Yes, 1964. It was a wonderful venue, typical of those days, massive noise from the band, an atmosphere of sweat from a packed house. They wouldn't allow the level of overcrowding these days but at least we experienced those times.

Our hosts were the Abershanto family (I never found out how to spell it) and we had come up from Northumberland. We spent many great nights in Edinburgh in those days and R&B Incorporated added to the enjoyment. The Gamp Club was another good venue too. Breakfast was always in The Stockpot and lunch in The Pied Piper. Fond memories.

Tony Brown - 14/6/11

Yes, Jane it was indeed 1964, and I was there every night the band was on. Do you remember they backed Champion Jack Dupree, who was also superb. Great atmosphere in the Place in 1964, no booze, no drugs, just the music (plus Coca Cola and sausage rolls, as I recollect !)

Rhythm N' Blues Incorporated were for me, in their incarnation in 1964, with Barry Womersley on lead guitar, the best live band I have ever seen, anywhere, any time, before or since (and I have seen many hundreds over the years. After Barry left, they weren't quite as magical IMO.

Murray Macleod - 22/8/11

I have had this 45rpm single of Louie Louie since 1965 and only now have found out where they where from, it was always one of my favourites, especially Honey Don't. I am sorry to be having the usual elderly clear out, as it is known, and this item will be on E-Bay from Saturday evening.

Ian Bailey - 28/10/11

Rhythm & Blues Inc. used to come to Carlisle Cumbria regularly. I remember their music and colourful stage performance. Yes it was a great time to be a teenager!

Patsy Abbott - 20/5/12

This group came regularly to Aberdeenshire brought north by Bert Ewen in the sixties. They were a great band saw them many times. What happened to the drummer Ian.

Isabel Rewick - 24/7/12

I was on holiday in Rimini Italy in about 1967 and saw an English band called Rhythm & Blues Inc. in a club, they were great dont know if it's the same band.

Dave - 5/9/12

Why has no-one mentioned Bill Lovelady? I must be cracking up but he was with John Mac, Pete Kelly and Mike when they came to Carlisle and Cumbria etc in '66 n '67 etc went up to Inverurie with them then.

Kathleen McAlindon - 7/11//13

The group of musicians listed at the top of the article all played together at around the early 60s. As both R + B Inc and the Music Students . They where a bit unfortunate that after a long record breaking run on Opportunity Knocks , through bad management they released the then unknown in the UK Louie Louie at the same time as an obscure London Band called The Kinks released it as their debut disk.

Sad to report that bassist extraordinaire Mike McKay passed away January 20014.  Drummer Ian McGhee someone asked about lives in Scandinavia he joined a later version of R+B the regular drummer was Alan Menzies. Pete Ollie Halsall who became a cult figure guitarist with the Kevin Ayres Band. Died the rock and roll death in the 80s, he played vibes for the Music Students . He and Billy went to Southport Art School together.  Barry Wolmersly who is a fantastic guitar player still plays occasionally and lives in Southport. Hope this helps

Mike Dolan - 10/1/14
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