Saturday, 4 February 2017
Yellow River/Down The Mississippi Line/San Bernadino/Country Boy
In addition to Jeff Christie (born Jeffrey Christie, 12 July 1946, Leeds, Yorkshire, England) their vocalist, bassist and songwriter; they initially included guitarist Vic Elmes and drummer Mike Blakley (born Michael Blakley, 12 January 1947, Bromley, Kent, England brother of Alan Blakley).
Jeff Christie had initially worked with several bands, including The Outer Limits, who released "Just One More Chance" / "Help Me Please" (1967) and "Great Train Robbery" / "Sweet Freedom" (1968).
In 1970, Jeff Christie offered his composition "Yellow River" to The Tremeloes. They recorded it to release as a single but changed their minds as they were going more progressive as the seventies started. At the same time Tremeloes member Alan Blakely's brother Michael had a little group called the Epics and Alan wanted to give his brother a break. They decided to get Jeff Christie to come down from Leeds and let him use the Tremeloes backing track. The Epics became Christie with Jeff as the lead vocalist and the result was a UK number one hit in June 1970, and subsequently #23 in the U.S., also accumulating more weeks (23) on the Hot 100 than any other entry on that chart completely inside 1970. It was a worldwide hit and was number one in 26 countries with global sales of over 30 million.
Lem Lubin (ex-Unit 4 + 2) was added to the line-up after the release of Iron Horse (1972), but the title track proved to be the band's final hit single. The departure of Fenton and Lubin hastened the demise of the original line-up, but Jeff Christie returned with new members Terry Fogg (drums) (born Terrence George Fogg, 25 September 1945, Chesterfield, Derbyshire), Roger Flavell (bass), and Danny Krieger (guitar). A 1974 single "Alabama" / "I'm Alive" failed to resurrect the band's fortunes, and new members Tony Ferguson (guitar) and Roger Willis (drums) were brought in to join Christie and Flavell. "JoJo's Band", written by Elmes, was a major hit for Christie in Argentina and Brazil, while the last Christie hit, "Navajo", was Number 1 in Mexico. In 1982 Vic Elmes enlisted Mick Blakely and Peter Morrison Of NYPL, to tour Germany on a package tour. At the end of the tour, the band folded. The band recorded an Elmes song, Deep In The Night, produced by Alan Blakely.