Friday, 27 September 2013


OK, yes I should have posted this first, but The Appreciations story was timely so thought I'd get the story out when I did! Anyway better late than never. These acknowledgements are relevent for the first 20 or so topics to be posted up here over the next few months, which will essentially be the contents of the softback. Any contributions to further additional material will be duly acknowledged within the text. First and foremost though, I must dedicate this work to my most lovely wife and daughter Annette and Caitlin for their immeasurable support and patience over the best part of a year. A huge thank you Annette for putting up with my endless hours of internet researching and emailing, and for your constructive criticism throughout. Forgive the occasional shirking of household duties. Cheers too, to brother-in-law David Brennan for proof reading the book.

This venture is not something I could have taken on alone. I needed the expertise of folk from both sides of the Atlantic. Rare soul and beach music collectors and DJs from the UK, Europe and the US were all invaluable: for filling gaps in my knowledge, provision of information on discographies, for stories behind how these sixties soul tracks were ‘discovered’ by DJs and collectors, and for how the records were introduced to an eager northern soul crowd. Thanks in this regard go to DJs Mark ‘Butch’ Dobson, Guy Hennigan, Arthur Fenn and Richard Searling. Other very knowledgeable rare soul collectors and DJs who assisted magnificently with information and label scans include Phil Shields, Chalky (Karl White), the ‘three Daves’ - Dave Moore, Dave Abbott and Dave Flynn, Bob Abrahamian, Andy Dennison, Ged Parker, Benji Schlamp, George Gell, Timothy Leonard, Mike Gibbs, Don Kitchin and Kev Roberts. Thanks again to Dave Flynn and also David Timperley from Poker Records / Cherry Red for permission to use liner note excerpts from their CD release of The Tempests LP.

I also of course have to acknowledge the guys involved in this project who gave us this music in the first place. I am so grateful for their willingness to tell of their contribution to the beach, soul and R&B scene of the 1960s: Anthony and the Aqua Lads, namely Ken Hatley, Roy Edwards, Tony Maner and Billy Ray Smith; Charles Harris (The Appreciations); Donny Trexler (Bob Collins and the Fabulous Five) and his wife Susan Trexler; Roger Scruggs and Chip Wood (The Greater Experience); Ronnie Grier (The Delacardos); Chris Cooke and Brian Mann (Novas Nine); Ron Moody (Ron Moody and the Centaurs); Eddie Miller and Chuck Shipton (The Generation); Rick Crider and Roy Thompson (The Chashers); Sam Camp (The Avalons); Wayne Womble, Doug Hyler and Tom Mathewson (The Soulmasters), Gerald Fleming (The Athens Rogues) and Tim Newell and Jack Kelly (The Soul Six). My greatest gratitude has to go to Nat Speir, founder of The Rivieras. Nat: Bill Bradford, your fellow SFB member from one of your more recent projects, told me you would be a storehouse of stories from that era and was he right! Huge thanks also to Nat’s long time friend Van Coble from The Tempests – between the two of you, you have been an immense help not only in telling your own stories and providing visual material but also in supplying contacts for other local bands of that era. I feel I have made a strong friendship here and know that there’s plenty more material I’m going to have to get out of you guys for the next edition!

I must also tip my hat to other stateside individuals for information and assistance: Bob McNair has been my Man in Havana - well Winston-Salem, North Carolina! Not only a ‘Connoisseur of Fine Swine’ (a Carolina barbeque pun I am taken to believe), Bob is a life long beach music collector who saw several of the local bands as a teenager. A perfect resource for getting the perspective of a Carolinian who lived through it all. Well almost...when I asked for stills of the 60s Embers all I got was “What? We were too busy drinking beer and chasing girls to take photos!” Thanks for all the sound file swaps, your beach for my northern! Other US contacts who require mention include Ted Hall (owner of Hit Attractions Booking Agency, Charlotte), Hattie Leeper (North Carolina’s first black female DJ and manager of The Appreciations), Harriet Coffey (contact for Hattie Leeper), Aaron Fuchs (for Soul-Tay-Shus Records / Tuff City Records), Amy Blakefield (for Gusto Records Inc.), Marion Carter (Ripete Records), Jason Perlmutter (Carolina Soul website), Chris Bishop (Garage Hangover website), John Hook ( and author of Shagging in the Carolinas), Jeanette Bleckley (information on Lamarr Collins), Sandy Williams and Emily Marriott (contacts for Eddie Miller of The Generation), Lu Rojas (contact at Oak Street Recording Studios for Roger Branch of The Tempests), Brandon Lunsford (Archival Services Librarian, James B. Duke Memorial Library at Johnson C. Smith University; contact for yearbook photos of The Appreciations), Mike Dugo (, Andy Patterson and Dave Strickland (Southern Garage Bands website) and Pete McKnight.

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