Monday, January 29, 2018

Tommy Quickly (Remo Four and Ashley Gardner and Dyke)

Thomas Quigley was born in Liverpool, in 1943. He sang lead with the Challengers from Liverpool until he was spotted by Brian Epstein. Epstein signed him to NEMS Enterprises and Quigley became Tommy Quickly. He was given a backing band, The Stops (formerly the Remo Four). Tommy was an R and B singer but because of his effervescent personality Brian Epstein recorded him singing pop ballads. His first single was written by Lennon and McCartney entitled, "Tip of My Tongue." The single flopped.

The original line-up of the Remo Quartet was Colin Manley (lead guitar/vocals), Philip Rogers (rhythm guitar/bass guitar/vocals), Keith Stokes (bass) and Harry Prytherch (drums) and was formed in 1958. Don Andrew (bass guitar/vocals), and Roy Dyke (drums) replaced Stokes and Prytherch respectively and the band, now the Remo Four turned professional in 1959.

During 1961/62 they were regulars at the Cavern. The band toured the American Air Bases in France and Johnny Sandon joined the band as vocalist in 1962, but Roy Dyke took over in 1963 when the band signed with NEMS Enterprises. Now called the Story they recorded the backing for “Tip of my tongue.” The Remo Four also recorded with Johnny Sandon and released a couple of singles.

Despite Tommy Quickly’s larrikin appeal and vibrance on stage his singles failed to sell well. Tommy Quickly toured the UK, US and Australia throughout the British Invasion but his lack of chart success and grueling work schedule left him depressed. He did enjoy short Top 40 chart success with "Kiss me now," and his version of "Wild Side of Life."

The singer supposed to record "No Reply," by Lennon and McCartney. However, the session ended badly when Quickly was unable to sing in tune. It is oft cited John Lennon plied the singer with whiskey whether for devilment is unknown but the song was eventually recorded by the Beatles and appeared on the Beatles for Sale album (1964). Tommy Quickly retired from the music business in 1965 and had a nervous breakdown a year later. The Remo Four released several instrumentals, including a driving rendition of Henry Mancini's Peter Gunn theme (1964).

Tommy Quickly and the Remo Four do appear in a documentary movie called Pop Gear (Go Go Mania in US) (1965). The film showcased the best of the British Invasion.

Tommy Quickly also wrote "(You) Might As Well Forget Him" which recorded by the Tams.

By the mid-sixties the Remo Four were playing at the Star Club in Hamburg, Germany. Tony Ashton was now playing organ and the group played soul-jazz fusion. Despite their undoubted talent they continued to have limited commercial appeal and worked as much sought after session musicians. George Harrison hired them as part of his backing band for UK part the soundtrack album for Wonderwall Music (1968).

They also became Billy Fury’s backing band in the late 1960s before disbanding in 1970. Colin Manley continued as a session musician before joining The Swinging Blue Jeans.

Eventually Ron Dyke, Tony Ashton (guitar) and Kim Gardener (bass) formed the trio Ashton, Gardner and Dyke. They fused R&B and jazz to produce a unique sound and had a Top Ten UK single success in 1971 with "Resurrection Shuffle."

The band produced three albums but broke up in 1973.

Worth a listen
Tommy Quickly
Tip of My Tongue (1963)
Kiss Me Now (1963)
Prove It (1964)
You Might as Well Forget Him (1964)
Wild Side of Life (1964)
Humpty Dumpty (1964)

The Remo Four (with Johnny Sandon)
Lies (1963)
Magic Potion (1963)
The Remo Four
Peter Gunn (1964)
Sally Go Round the Roses (1964)

Ashton, Gardener and Dyke
Resurection Shuffle (1971)

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