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I've cut some snippets from this article that concerns Jimmy & any Zep related pieces

PETER JAY & THE JAYWALKERS

One significant band member during this period was Terry Reid, a "nearly made it" man who holds the dubious distinction of once turning down the opportunity to join Led Zeppelin

CARTER-LEWIS & THE SOUTHERNERS

Perhaps the most significant (and certainly less wimpish) member of The Southerners was Jimmy Page – a red hot guitar gunslinger who achieved a reputation pre-Led Zeppelin as an in-demand session musician. In fact Page played on so many records during the early 60's that it's surprising to find him holding down a regular spot with any group from this period. Page certainly helped to beef up The Southerners insipidness, but despite appearing on a couple of singles in 1963 and, most notably, on a fine version of "Skinnie Minnie" in 1964, his tenure as a band member was so brief that I thought it unlikely that he could have played our home town. However, it has been suggested that Page's career with the Carter-Lewis conglomerate spanned a period that was just long enough for him to have played Bridgwater before promptly leaving the group directly afterwards though one would like to think that the two incidents are not related

6th April 1964

PAT WAYNE & THE BEACHCOMBERS

In November 1963 they returned to Abbey Road to record Chuck Berry's "Roll Over Beethoven." Strongly rumoured to feature Jimmy Page on guitar, Beachcombers chief axe-man at the time Geoff Roberts has suggested otherwise

The Beachcombers whose only significant contribution to pop's history during their latter stages was the brief inclusion of a young drummer called John Bonham in 1966. Bonham didn't last long however as he was far too aggressive for the band's music and was promptly dismissed for being too loud.

DAVE BERRY & THE CRUISERS

Most recorded a demo with the band which resulted in a Decca recording contract and in October 1963, The Cruisers reached into the extensive back catalogue of Berry's namesake to release a rather pasty version of "Memphis Tennessee". This resulted in a surprise No.19 hit, only 14 places below the original version. The single may have got the enigmatic lead vocalist noticed, but the backing band were deemed "not suitable" by Decca studio boss Mike Smith and they were replaced on record by the "new wave" of session men that included Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones.

Two more covers of familiar fare - namely "My Baby Left Me" and Bacharach/David's "Baby It's You" followed and whilst both reached the Top 30, the former was unspectacular despite the inclusion of the stellar musicians mentioned above and a sparkling Page solo, whilst "Baby It's You" probably deserved greater success.

JIMMY POWELL & THE FIVE DIMENSIONS

Music Guide states that Rod joined the band in 1964 and Powell has suggested that he remained a Dimension for a 12 month period so it could have happened. But unless anyone out there has any hard evidence we shall probably never know. Powell & The Dimensions signed to Pye Records during 64 and released a number of singles. The first of these, "That's Alright" (with Rod The Mod on harmonica) appeared in June whilst the second - a re-make of "Sugar Baby" featured Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones and drummer Clem Cattini was released in November

DOUG GIBBONS & THE OUTSIDERS

He was initially signed to Decca Records and in 1965 released his debut single, "I've Got My Tears To Remind Me", a ballad written by Jackie De Shannon & Jimmy Page. The Page connection was strengthened when Gibbons backing band The Outsiders also recorded two of the guitarist's compositions, apparently with the participation of Page himself

Alexis Korner encouraging a communal spirit at their Ealing Club performances, many other aspiring musicians such as Mitch Mitchell, Long John Baldry, Brian Jones, Keith Richards, Jimmy Page, Paul Jones

HEDGEHOPPERS ANONYMOUS

King quickly added the Anonymous bit (the "Hedgehopper" name was retained due to their local popularity) and after Decca, yes Decca, Records had signed them up, King, aided and abetted by Hedgehopper Mick Tinsley and a selection of “musicians” (which included chief session-eer Jimmy Page) recorded the song and were rewarded with a No.5 hit in September/October 1965.

THE MARK FOUR

Philips was a real whizz-kid guitar player, one of those pioneering musicians who heavily influenced the likes of Jimmy Page

The "bowing" of guitar strings was actually another Eddie Philips invention - two years before Jimmy Page used this method to good effect with both the Yardbirds and, most famously, Led Zeppelin

The Artists 1966

They came originpack01.jpgally from the tiny Wiltshire town of Calne and credential-wise were well-set, boasting the aforementioned Most as producer and future Led Zeppelin manager/henchman Peter Grant as “Business Manager”.

LES FLEUR DE LYS

In 1965, after being spotted at a London gig, they secured a recording contract with Andrew Loog-Oldham’s hip and happening Immediate label and, given Jimmy Page as a producer issued their first single, a version of Buddy Holly’s “Moondreams” which sank without trace. The band disbanded almost directly afterwards, but regrouped around drummer Keith Guster (in fact Guster is the only musician to have remained with the band until they broke up in 1969)circles1.jpg New recruits at this point included pianist Pete Sears, a musician who eventually played on almost every one of Rod Stewart’s solo albums up to 1975 and who later joined both Journey and Jefferson Starship and bassist Gordon Haskell – the same grey-bearded gentleman whose 2001 No.2 hit “How Wonderful You Are” became the single-most played record in Radio 2’s history prior to it’s release. Along with guitarist Phil Sawyer and with Page once again handling the production chores, this new 4-piece line-up released the excellent “Circles”, a Pete Townshend song that The Who had recorded but which was only included on the USA version of their debut album “My Generation”.

Jimmy Page, their recording manager, said the boys' debut disc should be a re-make of the old Buddy Holly ballad "Moondreams" The disc was duly released on Andrew Oldham's Immediate label last November - and was not a hit

The Concerts

1960

29/8/60 Johnny Kidd & The Pirates/Larry Boyd & The Davericks

5/9/60 Brian Fisher/Anne Beverley with the Four Strangers

12/9/60 Johnny Spencer & The Casuals/Gary Price/Pete & The Devils (local group)

26/9/60 Keith Kelly/Danny Davis/Lyn Tracey/Tex Roberg/The Strangers and The Semi-Tones (backing bands)

17/10/60 Dale Rivers & The Ramrods/Larry Boyd & The Davericks

24/10/60 Paul Hanford and The Rhythm Seekers/Clay Nichols & The Teenbeats

31/10/60 Barrie James & The Dominoes

14/11/60 The Brook Brothers/Barrie James & The Dominoes

28/11/60 Danny Hunter/Brian Fisher & The Strangers

5/12/60 Johnny Spencer & The Casuals

12/12/60 Michael Cox/The Hunters

1961

2/1/61 Danny Davis/Tex Roberg/The Nevitt Bros.

16/1/61 Lance Fortune & Screamin Lord Sutch

23/1/61 Johnny Spencer & The Casuals

30/1/61 The Nevitt Bros/Brian Fisher/Shirley Gaye

13/2/61 Sandra McCann/Johnny Gregg/The Antones/Mike Storm & The Comets

27/2/61 Dickie Pride/Pete Chester & The Consulates

6/3/61 Johnny Carr & The Cadillacs/Royston Jones & the Raiders

20/3/61 Vince Taylor & The Playboys/Di Mackay/Frank Kelly & The Crestas

27/3/61 Barrie James/The Nevitt Bros/Shirley Gaye

10/4/61 Danny Davis/Brian Fisher/Shirley Gaye with The Strangers

24/4/61 The Londons/Johnny Spencer & The Casuals

8/5/61 Johnny Carr & The Cadillacs/Dean Torrent & The Pressmen

15/5/61 The Brook Brothers/Barrie James

22/5/61 Billy Fury/Johnny Carr & The Cadillacs

4/9/61 Danny Davis/Brian Fisher/Shirley Gaye & The Semitones

11/9/61 The Antonnes/Sandra McCann/Mike Storm/Johnny Gregg & The Comets

18/9/61 Ricky Forde & The Cyclones

25/9/61 Johnny Carr & The Cadillacs

16/10/61 Johnny & Mike with The Shades featuring Jackie London

23/10/61 Paul Clayton & The Corvettes

13/11/61 Ricky Forde & The Cyclones

27/11/61 Duffy Power

4/12/61 Bobby Angelo & The Tuxedos

11/12/61 Royston Jones & The Raiders

18/12/61 Nelson Keene/Ricky Forde & The Cyclones/Carol Waterman/Dean Torrent & The Pressmen

1962

8/1/62 Johnny, Mike & the Shades

15/1/62 Danny Davis/Gary & Lee/The Paramounts

29/1/62 Sandra McCann/Mike Storm/The Antonnes/Lee Scott & The Comets

5/2/62 Johnny Carr & The Cadillacs

12/2/62 Ricky Forde & The Cyclones

19/2/62 Royston Jones & The Raiders

26/2/62 A Demonstration of the dance "The Twist"

19/3/62 Dean Prince & The Dukes

26/3/62 Barrie James/Sandra Laine/The Strangers

9/4/62 The Comets/Kim Taylor/The Antonnes/Mike Storm/Lee Scott

16/4/62 Ricky Forde & The Cyclones

30/4/62 The Shades

7/5/62 Mike Berry & The Outlaws

14/5/62 Dale Rivers & The Ramrods

21/5/62 Johnny Carr & The Cadillacs

28/5/62 Russ Sainty and the Fabulous Nu Notes

10/9/62 Duke D.Mond & The Barron Knights

17/9/62 Alan G.Read & The Statesmen

24/9/62 Colin & Bruce/The Detours

1/10/62 Barrie James/Pattie Knight/Gary & Lee/The Strangers

22/10/62 Dean Prince & The Dukes

29/10/62 Ricky Forde & The Cyclones

5/11/62 Johnny Carr & The Cadillacs

19/11/62 The Crestas with Mike Sagar

3/12/62 Erkey Grant & The Tonettes

10/12/62 Brian Poole & The Tremeloes

1963

7/1/63 The Barron Knights

14/1/63 The Federals with Tony Bolton

28/1/63 Dale Rivers & The Ramrods

4/2/63 Peter Jay & The Jaywalkers

11/2/63 The Tartans

18/2/63 Johnny Carr & The Cadillacs

25/2/63 The Dowland Bros with the Soundtracks

4/3/63 The Detours

11/3/63 The Original Checkmates

25/3/63 Nick Troy & The Trojans

8/4/63 Jerry Williams & The Violents

22/4/63 Gary Landis & The Rebels

29/4/63 The Dowland Bros and the Soundtracks

6/5/63 Peter Jay & the Jaywalkers

13/5/63 Johnny Milton & The Condors

20/5/63 Johnny Carr & The Cadillacs

27/5/63 The Barron Knights

2/9/63 Sounds Incorporated

9/9/63 The Fourmosts

16/9/63 Colin & Bruce with The Detours

23/9/63 Johnny Milton & The Condors

30/9/63 The Fabulous Tuxedoes with Bobby Angelo and Susan Terry

21/10/63 Wayne Fontana & The Mindbenders

4/11/63 Tania Day with the Rockin Rebels

11/11/63 Johnny Burnette

25/11/63 The Lonely Ones with Gene Anthony & Johnny Keepings

2/12/63 Shane Fenton & The Fentones

16/12/63 The Swinging Blue Jeans

23/12/63 Johnny Carr & The Cadillacs

30/12/63 Peter Jay & The Jaywalkers

1964

6/1/64 Carter-Lewis & The Southerners

13/1/64 The Rockin Berries

20/1/64 The Gamblers

3/2/64 Colin & Bruce with The Detours

10/2/64 The Dowland Bros with the Soundtracks/The Overlanders

17/2/64 The Rebounds with Vern Rogers

24/2/64 Chris Sandford and His Group

3/3/64 The Ramblers

17/3/64 Marty Wylde & the Wildcats

24/3/64 Eddie Langdon with the Cracksmen and "French Film Star" Brigitte Bond

6/4/64 Pat Wayne & The Beachcombers

13/4/64 Me & Them

20/4/64 Linda Laine with The Sinners

4/5/64 Robb Storme & The Whispers

11/5/64 The Barron Knights

25/5/64 The Rockin Berries

1/6/64 Rod & Caroline with The Solitaires

8/6/64 Dave Berry & The Cruisers

15/6/64 Wayne Fontana & The Mindbenders

22/6/64 Tony Bolton & The Federals

29/6/64 The Pretty Things

6/7/64 Ray Starr & The Cherokees

13/7/64 The Rebounds

24/8/64 The Cockneys

31/8/64 The Pickwicks

7/9/64 The Rustiks

14/9/64 The Original Checkmates

21/9/64 The Discs

28/9/64 The Escorts

5/10/64 Them

2/11/64 Wayne Fontana & The Mindbenders

9/11/64 The Mighty Avengers

23/11/64 Jimmy Powell & The Five Dimensions

30/11/64 Downliners Sect

7/12/64 The Paramounts

14/12/64 The Cymerons

28/12/64 Dave Curtis & The Tremors

1965

4/1/65 Wayne Gibson & the Dynamic Sounds

11/1/65 Pat Wayne & The Beachcombers

18/1/65 Wayne Fontana & The Mindbenders

1/2/65 The Long And The Short

8/2/65 Beat Merchants

15/2/65 Just Four Men

22/2/65 The Nashville Teens

1/3/65 Tommy Quickly & The Remo 4

8/3/65 Riot Squad

22/3/65 Naturals

29/3/65 Checkmates

12/4/65 Gamblers

26/4/65 The Who

10/5/65 Just Four Men

17/5/65 Peter Jay & The Jaywalkers

24/5/65 Toggery Five

31/5/65 Little Frankie & The Country Gentlemen

14/6/65 Shelley (Stuart, Richard, Geoff & James)

21/6/65 The Dennisons

28/6/65 Mike Sheridan & The Nightriders

5/7/65 Doug Gibbons & The Outcasts

12/7/65 Cops N'Robbers

19/7/65 The Measles

9/8/65 Lancastrians

16/8/65 The Riot Squad

23/8/65 The Mojos

6/9/65 Bo Street Runners

13/9/65 The Birds

20/9/65 Meddy Evils

27/9/65 The Cymerons

18/10/65 The Small Faces

1/11/65 The Downliners Sect

15/11/65 Gary Farr & The T.Bones

22/11/65 The Measles

29/11/65 The Emotions

6/12/65 Hedgehoppers Anonymous

13/12/65 The Mark Four

20/12/65 The Sorrows

1966

3/1/66 The Pack

10/1/66 The Swinging Blue Jeans

17/1/66 Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich

24/1/66 Les Fleur De Lys

31/1/66 The Alan Price Set

7/2/66 The Beatstalkers

14/2/66 The Meddyevils

21/2/66 The Hot Springs

28/2/66 The Mindbenders

7/3/66 The Eyes

14/3/66 The Carnaby One Plus Four

28/3/66 Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich

4/4/66 Tony Rivers & the Castaways

18/4/66 Paddy, Klaus & Gibson

25/4/66 The Action

9/5/66 The Nite People

16/5/66 Diane Ferraz & Nicky Scott

23/5/66 The Paramounts

6/6/66 The Quiet Five

13/6/66 The Sons Of Fred

20/6/66 The Troggs

27/6/66 The Knack

4/7/66 The Voids/Lindsay Dear

11/7/66 Danny Clark & The Force West

18/7/66 The John Bull Breed

15/8/66 Pete Budd & The Rebels

22/8/66 The Quiet Five

12/9/66 That Group with Bob Martin & Denise

19/9/66 The Ides Of March

26/9/66 The People's People

17/10/66 The Children

31/10/66 Rob Chance & The Chancers

14/11/66 Mike Raynor & The Condors

21/11/66 The Spectres

Edited by Conneyfogle
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History

The Top Twenty's Bridgwater story begins in 1960 but leading up to it's debut a quick thumb through the Bridgwater Mercury's archives confirms that for a small industrial town in the middle of Somerset, Rock N'Roll did not exist. "Trad Jazz" was supposedly the choice of music amongst young people at the time and even though it enjoyed a brief renaissance in the U.K. during the early 60's it was only as an alternative to the pop music that was still dominating the British singles charts. In June 1960 the Bridgwater Round Table put on an "Open Air Festival of Modern & Traditional Jazz" at The Rugby Ground at Taunton Road with Johnny Dankworth and his Orchestra as headliner. The festival was a financial disaster and reported a loss of £250.00, undoubtedly a lot of money in those days. As the Mercury reported "The festival had everything - except cash customers. Two top-line bands were engaged and every detail of organisation was perfect. But only 1,000 people passed through the turnstile instead of the 2,000 needed to clear expenses or the 6,000 hoped for. Mr.G.E.Horsey an officer from the Table told the Mercury "We thought we were giving the modern teenagers what they wanted, but we were wrong. Whether they don't want live shows and prefer their entertainment canned all the time I just don't know" There could have been several reasons for the lack of interest shown but I would guess that the Round Table had simply misjudged what the "modern teenager" was actually listening to. Trad Jazz's resurgent popularity coincided with the appearance of Dankworth in our home town but as a "modern" culture it may have been marketed as a "young person's" music but it's image of bowler-hatted beardies wearing dickie bows and sparkly multi-coloured waistcoats always seemed far too square and middle-aged.

There was, it seemed, a gap in the teenage market but it took an individual from Wiltshire to fill it. At first my impression was that the Top Twenty must have been a locally-run operation but this was not the case. The main instigator, Graham Alford, was based in Trowbridge and in fact there were Top Twenty's in their home town on a Friday, at the Chippenham Neeld Hall on the Saturday - the biggest "Top Twenty" venue, and in Stroud on the Wednesday. Add to that the intermittent concerts held in Bath, Banbury, Cirencester, Salisbury and Watchet and you are talking about a full-time occupation.

Bridgwater was chosen as a Top Twenty venue becuase of it's similarities in size and population to Trowbridge and the fact that it was only 40 miles from Alford's Wiltshire residence. Graham paid a visit to Taylor's Record Shop and met Stan Barnett who was Taylor's record manager at the time. Stan was asked if he would like to get involved, primarily in a promotional capacity, though he was also responsible for providing the music that was played at the Top Twenty's gigs and was occasionally employed as a taxi driver for some of the artists, most of which arrived in Bridgwater by rail. However, Bridgwater's other record shop, Acland's, were also involved at least initially. Johnny Kidd, the first artist to be booked at the Town Hall, made an "in-store appearance" at Aclands and it appears that the intention was for subsequent bookings to be given the same treatment.

With customary aloofness, the arrival of the Top Twenty was not heralded at all by the Bridgwater Mercury. It's "entertainment" section incorporated sport as well as the arts back in those days, consequently there seemed to be more interest in the exploits of Bridgwater Town Football Club and the latest local skittle league scandals - reviews were only provided for the terribly highbrow Bridgwater Arts Centre's "music club" concerts.

In the Mercury's 23rd August 1960 edition, headlines on the front page were shared by stories about a female charged at Bridgwater Crown Court with infanticide and a "shock horror probe" tale of assault under the film-noirish title "Midnight Scene at Saltlands Avenue". These were placed either side of a photograph of young women parading their plum puddings outside the Brent Knoll Inn (I kid you not.) Lost forgotten films "The Challenge" and " Never Let Go" were appearing at the Odeon whilst "Goliath" featuring Steve Reeves - advertised under the banner "1000 women dream of his embrace" - was showing at the Palace (or the "Flea Pit" as it was lovingly known.) Also included was the advert below advertising a brand new venture. Regardless of any disinterest the local press may have shown for the club, The Top Twenty began with an absolute belter and Monday nights were never quite the same again for the next 6 years.

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