The Solitaires (Bury) 

Line-up included 

  • Chris Holt - lead
  • Barry Greenhalgh - drums
  • Billy Bedford - bass
  • John Gray - vocals
  • Dave - rhythm 
  • Rob Wayne - bass 

The Solitaires

The lineup in the picture is the one that Bury kids seemed enthusiastic about in 1964/5 .... Chris Holt (lead); Barry Greenhalgh (drums); Billy Bedford (bass); John Gray (vocalist); Dave(? rhythm)

I've occasionally thought about putting the Solitaires up but didn't have a great deal to say -- even though for about 18 months during 1964/5 the band was all we thought about - and we were working several nights every week - Jimmy Reed Chuck Berry Sonny Boy Williamson Muddy Waters etc AND a few ballads written for us by Peter Skellern who was a schoolmate of our lead guiter. When I recently saw The Solitaires had been mentioned a couple of times my interest picked up - but the odd thing is that the new page seems to have been created by someone I don't know, and the only name mentioned in the LineUp, Rob Wayne, is again not someone I knew.

Any chance of putting the picture I sent (and attached again here) up on the page in case any former followers remember us? It's not a great picture, but it could easily be the only one in existence! Our manager spent most time and effort on his more experienced older band (we were 17/8 at the time), Ian Dean & The Brystals ....

... and he had us working regularly one night each week at Bury Palais,

For a period we did a couple of nights each week at a place mentioned on your list of requests for information ---- the Fusiliers Arms: the Fusiliers used to stand on the roundabout that was then at the top of Cross Lane in Salford. The Fusiliers was a rough gig --- sailors from Manchester Docks used to drink their way up Cross Lane and arrive (often with the ladies they'd met on the way up) at the Fusiliers either very happy, or the opposite. In 1965 there was a (then rare) video jukebox there that played a film loop along with the selected record --- all I can remember the sailors playing on it was Screaming Lord Sutch. I recall other regular venues -- Bolton Palais with its revolving stage, Darwen Baths, the Boneyard (was that in Rochdale or Oldham, I forget ...) and lots of one-nighters I've just forgotten, it would be nice for someone to remind me!

  • Chris went off to Bolton Art School and joined British Airways later as a top designer.
  • Barry joined the army -- it was his leaving that (as I recollect it) broke the band up -- he was a great drummer.
  • Billy (who worked at Antler) became, I understand, owner of a chain of luggage shops all over the UK.
  • John (me) went off to Uni and ended up working in FE colleges
  • Dave, a bit older than the rest of us (and a good influence :)), was a copper, I guess he carried on being.
John Gray - 4/5/16




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