Friday, 26 February 2016

Fredd!e @nd The Dre@mers - 1965 - A W!ndm!ll In 0ld Amsterd@m

 I Wonder Who The Lucky Guy Will Be/A Windmill In Old Amsterdam/Do The Freddie/A Love Like You

Freddie and the Dreamers were an English band who had a number of hit records between May 1963 and November 1965. Their stage act was enlivened by the comic antics of the 5-foot-3-inch-tall (1.60m) Freddie Garrity, who would bounce around the stage with arms and legs flying. The group remained active until December 2000 when they played their final gig at Margate Winter Gardens. After that date, Garrity was told by his doctor that due to his pulmonary hypertension it was not advisable for him to continue working, and he officially retired from all work in February 2001. He died in Bangor, North Wales, on 19 May 2006.

The band consisted of Freddie Garrity (14 November 1936 – 19 May 2006), vocals; Roy Crewdson (born 29 May 1941), guitar; Derek Quinn (born 24 May 1942, Manchester), guitar and harmonica; Peter Birrell (born 9 May 1941, Manchester), bass; and Bernie Dwyer (11 September 1940 – 4 December 2002), drums.
 Although the band were grouped as a part of the Merseybeat sound phenomenon that The Beatles exploded around the world in the wake of Beatlemania, they came from Manchester. Prior to becoming a singer, Garrity had worked as a milkman in Manchester. They had four Top 10 UK hits: a cover of James Ray's hit "If You Gotta Make a Fool of Somebody", which reached number 3 in the UK Singles Chart in mid-1963, "I'm Telling You Now" (number 2 in August), "You Were Made For Me" (number 3 in November) and "I Understand", which hit the number 5 spot in November 1964.

On stage the group performed pre-rehearsed, synchronised wacky dance routines. They appeared in four British films: What a Crazy World with Joe Brown, Just for You, The Cuckoo Patrol and Every Day's A Holiday (US title Seaside Swingers) with Mike Sarne, Ron Moody and John Leyton. Between 1970 and 1973 Garrity and Birrell appeared in the UK ITV children's show Little Big Time, a zany music/talent/adventure show with audience participation. The group made a guest appearance in the BBC sitcom Dear John.

As their popularity declined in the UK, Freddie and the Dreamers enjoyed a brief spell of fame in the US, riding the wave of the British Invasion when the American teen public was hungry for any British pop music. Unlike many British EMI groups at that time, two of their singles ("I'm Telling You Now" and "You Were Made for Me") were released by EMI's American arm Capitol Records, but neither sold well and Capitol dropped them; therefore, the Dreamers' 1965 releases and re-releases appeared on assorted labels. They recorded on Capitol's new subsidiary Tower, and Philips' Mercury label.

"I'm Telling You Now", which had been co-written by Garrity and Mitch Murray, reached number 1 on the US Billboard Hot 100 in spring 1965. They were the first of three consecutive groups from Manchester to have number 1 hits that spring, the others being Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders and Herman's Hermits. Their next biggest US hit was "Do the Freddie" at number 18, intended to inspire 'The Freddie' as a dance craze. The band's late 1965 album, Do the Freddie, included diagrams from dance instructor Arthur Murray on how to perform the routines.

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