From Bumblies To Cryin’ Shames

By George Robinson  

The Cryin' ShamesA few weeks after the completion of the recording, John Bennett left the group and Richie Routledge joined. Richie had been with the Aztecs. Richie played or song on all subsequent records.

The album we recorded was not released because 'Please Stay' never achieved a high chart position. This was my understanding at the time, but I do have some of the tracks we recorded on tape in my possession. Time has not been good to them.

Some of the other tracks are in the infamous 'tea chest tapes'. These are the tapes sold off after Joe Meek's death, and are being kept somewhere in London, allegedly in a tea chest and left to rot, and they are the subject of lengthy fighting between John Repsch (Meek's biographer) and the present owner of the tapes.

It was a great disappointment when 'Please Stay' did not make us rich, but I think it was more complex than just short supplies. As regards Brian Epstein, Eppy controlled the whole business then and one doesn't tell the most powerful man in the biz to 'F*** Off!

I don't believe they were the only reasons for our early demise, we were not as talented as some of the bands who had gone before. I don't think any of the second generation bands matched those earlier bands, nor did we have the experience of the Beatles, Searchers, Remo etc. Hamburg gave them something the later groups lacked.

The many and various band members quoted in numerous places are incorrect. When the Cryin' Shames broke up, various people tried to exploit the name and cash in on the limited success that we had enjoyed and worked hard for. 

One person quoted as a member, who wasn't, was Brian Norris who was a musician who married Frieda Kelly, the Beatles fan club secretary. He was the bass player with Earl Preston's Realms. Norris, along with Chris Findlay, Espie, Byrne and Commerford backed Charlie Crane who illegally used the name Cryin' Shames and was forced to change it to Paul and Richie and the Cryin' Shames. A different group altogether.

The only other people who spent legitimate time with the Bumblies were Barry Davidson on harmonica, Jimmy Marr on drums, Dougie (?) on guitar, John Tague on vocals - and they were with us for only a short time.

The real and only Cryin' Shames were the seven members I have mentioned previously.

There were people on Merseyside who envied and begrudged us the small success we had, but were only too glad to jump in and try to capitalize on the name when it was all over, and 'ought to hang their heads in shame' (a quote from Charlie Crane's letter to the Liverpool Echo).

Charlie left the whole 'Shames' thing behind after a few weeks and joined Gary Leeds and Joey Molland as the group Rain. Molland then joined Pete Ham and formed Badfinger.

I have seen a website which claims that the Cryin'Shames name was changed to Paul & Richie and the Cryin' Shames to avoid confusion with an American group of the same name. This isn't true.

Katie and I have played in Spain. While we were there we met a Liverpool singer who claimed to have sung 'Please Stay' on the record. We have worked in the Scilly Osles where I spoke to a man from Three Butt Lane. He told me he was the bass player on the recording and described it to me in detail, not knowing who I was. That incident would make a story on its own.

I know there is a singer performing in the Liverpool clubs at present who claims he sang on the record.

The deaths index on the Merseycats website cites an ex-Cryin' Shame I have never heard of, alongside the names of Charlie and Joey. If all these people were present, Joe Meek's tiny recording studio must have been like the black hole of Calcutta that day!

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