Kennedy Street Artistes/Kennedy Street Enterprises - Kennedy House, 14 Piccadilly
The big guns in the northern agency field.
Danny Betesh and Associates built the agency up with Manchester acts Herman's Hermits, Freddy and the Dreamers, Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders, etc, in the early 60s.
Later, they were still holding strong with a number of newer name acts including 10CC, Herd, Solomon King, Who (for a short time).
During the mid-late 60s local bands Life 'n 'Soul, Sunshine and my own band Phoenix City Smash prospered under this office, which also ran the Saturday night at New Century Hall (and the earlier Monday nights with the Mockingbirds).
Tony Fletcher was Phoenix's main booker, manager of Sunshine and a very pleasant guy. Sad to hear of his death - whilst managing Manchester band The Chameleons.
I also remember Rick Dixon who I always felt was extremely miserly in his strictness of the "no women in the dressing room" rule at New Century Hall. Rick has a major place in the history of Manchester bands, one of the earlier owners of the Oasis club.
Barry Perkins was another ex-Kennedy St booker, who later set up his own organisation.
The Kennedy Street story would fill a book, as they say. Is there anyone out there who can add to my brief comments on this major Manchester music icon?
I was a temporary telephonist - as a student at Kennedy Street - I remember Danny Betesh. I can still remember Freddie Garrity and Peter Noone's mother calling me to check when their money was coming! I also remember - listening to 10CC's Donna for the first time...I didn't like it and said that it would not do well! But I also remember being in love with Eric Stewart. I was only 19! The house was enormous and the Telephone exchange was at the top.
There was music playing throughout and it seemed like going up to heaven every day!
Gosh - memories...and now 35 years on ...it still seems like yesterday and I was the wee blonde thing in hot pants and suede boots!
Tony Fletcher ran a great football club called Kentmere Rangers. We were privileged enough to watch great acts such as Boney M, ABBA, Barry Manilow, 10cc, Sad Cafe, Rush and Doctor Hook.
I worked for Jim O'Farrell in the 60s and remember Geoffrey Canter, Danny Betesh and Phil Science. They were all great bosses at Kennedy Street. Wayne Fontana used to chase me around the office.
Freddy Garrity will never be forgotten, he was a great guy and all the Dreamers. Ian Crawford said he was the son of Crawford Films in Australia (CF deny this) but he never really made anything over here.
Its great to know that Danny and his family are still promoting the best acts. I would really like to meet them all again.
My group "The Mighty Avengers" were managed and represented by Kennedy Street from 1960-1965 ish. Our recording manager at that time was Rolling Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham.
Only notable minor hit was the Jagger/Richard song "So much in love". Guesting on the Regent Sound recording were John Paul Jones (Piano) and Jimmy Page. Other Jagger/Richard tracks recorded were "Walking thro' the Sleepy City" and "When Blue Turns to Grey" (Before Cliff did it)
I was privileged to have had a good friend in the late Tony Fletcher. I used to help him run Kentmere Football team and he would also find me a job with many of the bands he represented - ABBA. 10cc, Barclay James Harvest, Gary Newman, Hawkwind, Boney M, and we always had a laugh with Bob Williamson
I was with a band called "Spicee". The manager we had was Harry Rawden (I'm not sure whether I spelt that right). He was brilliant; he rehearsed us once a week and gave us the basics in becoming professional entertainers, his input and advice was priceless. I wonder if the young acts of today have the same grounding. You can't get away from the basics. He made us rehearse for six months to produce just a one hour show before he would let us out on the road; and the last two weeks we rehearsed 9.00 to 5.00 Monday to Friday and then it took us about another month on the road; doing two shows a night before we be came really tight.
Wow what an experience. It was the hardest and best work I have ever done in my life; we even rehearsed packing the van (no roadies in those days).
Colin Masterson 15/1/11
We were under contract to Harry and Derek Rawdon -"Father and Son". As The Martell Brothers -we toured Britain and Europe - Athens -Istanbul - Weissbaden - Frankfurt - Italy - USA BASES across Europe,etc . Three of us then split and formed "The James Boys". Danny Betesch would drop in to watch our act in Liverpool, etc. We were on £300 a week and HERMAN and the Hermits commanded £3000 for five nights.
Dave Berry, 10CC - STRAWBERRY STUDIOS was built especially for home grown talent. Derek was living in America - the OFFICE told me recently.
I am presently Reporting online - Crown Court Cases - ie Blake Fielder -Civil - Mr Amy Winehouse - now the centre of Media attention.
Still performing New Innovative Contemporary Poetry and Prose.
Billy J Walker 5/8/11
My band The Angelettes were represented by Kennedy St between 1972 - 1974, after we'd made our debut single for Decca ("Don't Let Him Touch You"). We went on to do three more singles. I think they weren't quite sure where to book us though - four 6th-form schoolgirls who sang harmonies and played guitars, but Tony Fletcher did a great job and managed to get us bookings all over the UK and also in Germany.
He organised our "B-side" recordings at Strawberry Studios for us too - great fun. One of the funniest memories I have of Tony was the way he dealt with difficult callers on the phone - just held the phone away from his ear, carried on with the conversation in the room and occasionally said "yeah" or "oh" down the phone! But it worked - loved the guy so much and had some good times.
Jools Hammersley (previously Julie Abbott) 20/5/12
Thanks so much for adding my bit to the website; I have fond memories of the folks at Kennedy Street. Tony was the poor unfortunate who got tasked with looking after us - four very difficult teenage girls who thought they knew it all at the time!
It was Tony who put us in touch with our backing musicians, starting with Graham Hirst (bass player, whom I was subsequently married to for several years) plus Paul Burgess (Graham's friend) - Paul was also just starting to work with 10cc at the time. Both the guys toured the UK and Germany with us and it was Tony who also organised our chaperone (yes, to work Germany we had to have a chaperone as three of us were under 18!) - Tony found us a guy called Mike Glazer (Candian chap) who was Tony Christie's tour manager. We kept in touch with Mike for a little while, but I don't know what happened to him - maybe some of your website contributors may know of him?
Tony was a lovely guy and he did die very young indeed.
Whilst writing, there is another band that doesn't seem to get mentioned much and that's Hornblower. I think they were probably very late sixties (poss early seventies?) with band members Graham Hirst (bass), Paul Burgess (drums), Kevin Bowden (keys), Nick Fairbrother (guitar), Alan "Doris" Doyle (guitar), and Grayden - don't know the surname - (guitar). I think "Doris" replaced Nick possibly. Also, Tony Woolley may have been on drums at some point, but all of them well known musos in the area. I know they played the Stockport area (Spectrum/The Brookfield) and also did a long stint in Bergen, Norway.
Kind regards - Jools - 5/6/12
I worked in the office at KSE with Tony Fletcher, I typed the contracts and was always late in the mornings so got called to Danny's (Betesh) office a few times !! I worked with Barry Perkins and Ric Dixon and then Harry Rawden. So sad Tony died, he helped me when I was stuck with anything and had the patience of a saint.I met up again with Fred Ayres ( Caldwells) football commentator. I loved my job and met so many people - I left when I got engaged but really missed my lovely job - I didn't realise then just how lucky I was - happy happy days ! A big thank you to KSE.
Bernadette Jones - 25/7/12
l met Solomon King in St Helier Jersey in aprox 1967. I was early 20s. He came to see me on stage. He said I was good and he would get me a record deal and managment with Harry and Derick Rawden Kenedy St. He also liked a song I wrote and he wanted for me to write his songs.
When I went to one of his shows, he introduced me as his song writer and singer to the audience. He liked me and offered me a job as song writer and singer and as his personal assistant driving his Bentley. Sounded good but I had to do other things? so I declined. That was the end of my career with Kennedy St.
Later I became an APPLEJACK in the late 60s. I had a good band but Freddie Garity was looking for new members so my guys sent a tape of my voice, said it was them so they became Dreamers. Not for long though as when he found out it was not there voice he got shut. Never realy worked for KS pity. I have a good SJA THE APPLEJACKS band now with my recordings worldwide and to download. Its hard to get bookings just now but I keep going doing solo gigs till my AJs get more bookings.
Stuart Jackson Applejack 23/10/13
Gentle Pulse was my pop group in the 70's. We toured Manchester and Cheshire, appeared on Pete Sharret's BBC radio programme and BBC TV's "We'll call you" (infamous Stuart Hall!!!!) Being a songwriter, Harvey Lisberg signed me up and the single "Tooday" was released on PYE (see it on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aa5EYEo1OZA).
Harvey passed me on to Jeff Kruger (Sparta) who flew me to United Western Studios in Hollywood. Half way through the album, his label (Ember Records) went bust!
Gentle Pulse has it's own website now www.gentlepulse.com and the music writing continues. In chatting to Penny Duncanson at SonyEMI, her wry comment was "Oh yes, I know Harvey Lisberg."
"Tooday" by the way was recorded at the Manor Studios in Oxford and used the drummer from 10ccs. Graham Gouldman lived close by us just outside Prestbury
Dr John Pollard 28/11/13
- Solomon King playing at the Ukranian club in Manchester about 1978 Solomon King playing at the Ukranian club in Manchester about 1978
- Danny Betesh Danny Betesh
- Ad Sept 1963 Ad Sept 1963