Beryl Marsden: Photo Feature


Beryl in action (photo by David Conlan)Some time later she returned to Liverpool and the 1970s she returned to her career as a vocalist and formed a group called Sinbad with Paddy Chambers (there are several tracks recorded by Beryl and Paddy Chambers which have never been released. They include ‘Here We Go Again’, ‘Take Me In Your Arms Again’ and ‘You And Me.’) 

Beryl then moved permanently to London, at one time appearing with her group, the Gamblers and also doing a lot of session work. She then appeared as a member of Martha & the Vandellas.

In 1978 she discovered Buddhism and was to become district manager for the Nichiren Shoshu Japanese Buddhist movement, during which time she became a close friend of another singer, Sandie Shaw.

Leading songwriter Barry Mason, impressed by her talent and story, stated that he was going to write a musical around her.

After nearly forty years she has issued her first album ‘One Dream.’ Beryl has funded and co-produced the CD with Frances Haines. It hasn’t come through a record company, and comprises eight tracks: ‘One Dream’, ‘A Love Like I’, ‘To Love Somebody’, ‘Touched By Love’, ‘Baby It’s You’, ‘Prayer’, ‘Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow’ and ‘Prayer’ (Dance Mix).

Beryl used to belt out numbers such as ‘I Know’ and was regarded as Liverpool’s answer to Brenda Lee, but this album shows she has mellowed and presents her in a ballad mood.

Currently she leads her own Beryl Marsden Band and is quite popular in Germany.

Returning to the birth of her musical career, Chris Huston of the Undertakers was to recall: “We first saw Beryl at the OPB. She was at the front of the crowd that surrounded the stage. They were inebriated, or as we Scouse would say, sloshed and she was being 'egged' on by several other girls to get up and sing. 

The Beryl Marsden Band"After a bit of backward and forward chat we hauled her up onto the stage. The first song that she ever sang with us (and most probably the first she ever sang in public) was Wanda Jackson's "Let's Have a Party". She was an instant hit with the crowd. It wasn't the alcohol that gave her courage, we soon found out, she really had a great voice and an equally great personality. Next time we played at the OPB she was there and she got up with us again. After a couple of weeks, she started coming to gigs with us, in the van. She would usually meet us at our first gig, remember we had to come over from Wallasey, and then go with us to our other shows. Pretty soon we had a good half dozen songs that we could do with her. Brenda Lee was really popular at the time, so her records were a natural for Beryl to learn.” 

Recalling the Undertakers, Beryl says: “I sang with them for a dare and they asked me to stay. I was earning one pound a night – good money at the time. They went to Germany after six months but I was too young to go with them. So I went to work at Woolworth’s, but I couldn’t stick it.”

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