Monday, July 31, 2017

Gallagher and Lyle




Benny Gallagher (vocals/guitar) and Graham Lyle (vocals/guitar) first played together in Largs, in Ayrshire, Scotland. They were skilled songwriters and soon asked to write for Dean Ford & the Gaylords (aka Marmalade). The single "Mr. Heartbreak's Here Instead," (1964) was a hit for the group Gallacher and Lyle’s first success as writers.



In 1967 the duo went to London and worked as writers at the Beatles’ Apple label. There they had a couple of minor successes with ‘Sparrow’ (B side of Goodbye) and ‘International’ which were both recorded by Mary Hopkin.







The duo continued to perform until they were asked to join McGuinness Flint in 1969. The group was formed after Tom McGuinness and Hughie Flint had left Manfred Mann and Tony Reeves (ex Coliseum) recommended his friends. The lineup was completed by Dennis Coulson (vocals), Paul Rutherford (trombone), and Tony Reeves (bass). Gallacher and Lyle wrote “When I’m dead and gone (1970) and Malt and Barley Blues (1971) which gave the group two sizable hits before Benny and Graham left in 1971 to pursue their own solo partnership.







McGuinness Flint continued with a series of lineup changes but never reached their previous popularity and eventually packed it in, in 1975. Tom McGuinness joined up Paul Jones (ex Manfred Mann) in a group called The Blues Band. The lineup included Hughie Flint, Dave Kelly. Paul Jones had previously “sat in” with Alexis Korner’s Blues Incorporated in 1962 before joining Mann-Hugg Blues Brothers (aka Manfred Mann). He had been offered to be the lead singer in the group Brain Jones was putting together, but declined. Paul went solo in 1966 and had a few hits before becoming an actor. In 1979 he and Tom McGuinness joined forces again in the Blues Brothers.



In 1974 Gallagher and Lyle joined Ronnie Lane's group Slim Chance but were still keen to have a solo career.



Their self-titled debut duo album was for Capitol, but when they switched to the A&M label for their second effort. A&M reissue of their debut album. These albums showcased Gallacher & Lyle’s flair for folk music but it was not until they released Breakaway which gave the duo two separate hits, I wanna stay with you (1976) and Heart on my sleeve (1976) which reached the charts.







Art Garfunkel covered the title track and took the single into the US charts. Other albums followed and despite successful tours and switching labels in 1979 the duo separated. Graham later found a new partner, Terry Britten and wrote What’s love got to do with it, and Just good friends recorded respectively by Tina Turner and Michael Jackson.







Gallagher and Lyle continued to work as session musicians and were reacquainted in 2007 when both appeared on an album by singer-songwriter Chris Tassone recorded at London's Abbey Road studios. The pair started performing together again at charity gigs in 2010 and undertook a Scottish tour two years later. Gallagher continues to tour the folk circuit.







Worth a listen

Gallagher and Lyle
I want to stay with you (1976)
Heart on my sleeve (1976)
Stay with you (1976)
Storm in my soul (1976)
Rock writer (1976)
Every little teardrop (1977)

McGuinness Flint
When I’m dead and gone (1970)
Malt and Barley Blues (1971)

Ronnie Lane’s Slim Chance
How come? (1973)

Art Garfunkel
Breakaway (1975)

Tina Turner
What’s love got to do with it (1993)

Michael Jackson
Just good friends (1987)

The Blues Band
Come on in
The Blues Band Song (1980)
Find yourself another (1980)
Nadine (1980)
That's all right (1980)
Itchy Feet (1981)
Come on (1981)
So bad (1982)
Blue Collar (1982)

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