Friday, February 27, 2009

The Shadows

The Shadows

The Shadows are a British instrumental and vocal group from the 1950s to the 2000s.

Formed as a backing band for Cliff Richard, under the name The Drifters. The members were founder Ken Pavey (born 1932), Terry Smart on drums (born 1942), Norman Mitham on guitar (born 1941), Ian Samwell on guitar and Harry Webb (before he became Cliff Richard) on guitar and vocals. The original Drifters had no bass player. Samwell wrote the group's first hit, "Move It" which is often mistakenly attributed to "Cliff Richard and The Shadows". None of the original Drifters were in the group when they became The Shadows.

Shortly after first manager Johnny Foster discovered them, the name was changed to Cliff Richard and The Shadows due to a name clash with the American group The Drifters. They signed for Jack Good's Oh Boy! television series. Producer Norrie Paramor of EMI signed Richard, and asked Johnny Foster to recruit a better guitarist. Foster went back to Soho's 2i's coffee bar (famed for musical talent performing there, particularly in skiffle) in search of guitarist Tony Sheridan. Sheridan was not there but Foster's attention was caught by another musician, who was tall, good looking, played guitar well and had Buddy Holly glasses.

Hank Marvin was playing in a skiffle band with Bruce Welch. The pair had travelled from Newcastle and were surviving on little money. Foster offered Marvin the job, and he accepted on condition that Welch would also join. New manager Franklin Boyd could see the pair worked well and they were employed as lead and rhythm guitarists. Ian Samwell was moved to bass until he was replaced by the Most Brothers' bass guitarist, Jet Harris. Drummer Terry Smart left shortly afterwards and was replaced at Harris's suggestion by Tony Meehan. The Drifters' professional lineup was now complete, and they became The Shadows in early 1959. Johnny Foster continued for a time as Richard's manager, and Samwell wrote additional songs for The Drifters and The Shadows before writing and producing for others. Meehan recalled that Richard, backed by Marvin, Welch, Harris and himself had played together a year beforehand at least once at the 2i's.

The group started recording and performing with Richard and released two singles in their own right in 1959. ("Feelin' Fine"/"Don't Be A Fool With Love") and ("Jet Black"/"Driftin'"), The first two tracks were vocals and the second pair instrumental. Neither charted. A further (vocal) ("Saturday Dance"/"Lonesome Fella") also failed. The instrumental "Chinchilla" was included on a four-track soundtrack EP by Cliff Richard and the Drifters called Serious Charge released in early 1959 with the film of the same name.