The 1960s opened with the Shadows and Cliff Richard dominating the charts. The Shadows, who began as the Drifters, only to change their moniker because of the American band of the same name, had their first hit with Apache. However, even that success pales when compared to Cliff Richard, who had six hits in 1960. A year later Elvis Presley had five top twenty hits, including four number ones, and Chubby Checker got everyone on the dance floor doing the Twist. By now, trad jazz was in full swing with hits for Acker Bilk, Kenny Ball and Dave Brubeck.
A dep turned up to a Shebeen gig once with a ludicrous amount of gear, he had at least four keyboards, a rack of amps and outboard equipment. He came highly recommended from another dep with the accolade of having once been in a well- known eighties British rock group, so we had huge expectations of the dude, but he turned out to be useless, all the gear and no idea.
To be a sort after and well employed function band musician you have to have a unique blend of versatility and humility, know all the popular tunes, or at least the rudiments and be adept with a multitude of rhythms, this fella didn’t, and unfortunately neither did some of the core members from the original line up of Superfly.
In the 1950s, the pop charts (introduced in 1951) were dominated by the likes of Frankie Laine, Johnny Ray, Rosemary Clooney, Doris Day, Tony Bennett, Dickie Valentine and Jimmy Young. On the whole these singers produced melodic, easy-listening tunes with not much there to frighten the horses. Then, in the mid-1950s Bill Haley and Elvis Presley burst on to the scene and popular music would never be the same again.