From Bumblies To Cryin’ Shames

By George Robinson  

Katie of the Cryin' Shames DuoKatie and I use the name the Cryin' Shames Duo because it is legally mine. The copyright of 'Please Stay' belongs to me and the other surviving members. Graham Cole, a solicitor from Weymouth pursued the legal problems created by Joe Meek's suicide on behalf of all Meek's groups. It took twenty-five years to get a settlement and still no money has ever been forthcoming. This was the same for the Tornados, Outlaws, Lord Sutch, John Leyton and many others.

I wrote the B-side of 'Please Stay' - 'What's News Pussycat'. That is definitely mine, although I am now forced to share composer rights with Bob Dylan (I ripped off the tune of 'On the Road Again'). I don't mind that! Apparently it is still getting plays on American TV stations, calling it 'Freakbeat' - other Cryin' Shames B-sides also share that distinction.

As a duo Katie and I play 1950s hits and rock 'n' roll (the music that influenced the Beatles). Katie studied music at Glasgow University and can play almost any instrument. Her specialty is saxophone and she plays keyboards a la Jerry Lee Lewis. For someone so young her favourites, surprisingly, are Johnny & the Hurricanes, Duane Eddy and, of course, the Beatles.

We have played all over the world but we recently moved to Wales and are nowadays happy to stay closer to home.

We did try working in Liverpool but the clubs seem to be all Bingo and Karaoke. Where did all the 60s people go?

We still do a supporting act at various venues around the country for some of the 60s bands, including the Searchers, the Merseybeats etc and it's nice to speak to them all.

I am doing what I always wanted to do from the very beginning. I play Duane Eddy, Chuck Berry, Fats and Jerry Lee etc. We drive a pink 1959 Cadillac - it's the 50s every day! Perhaps the Beatles will come again!

We have constructed a web site for Johnny & the Hurricanes, the only site on the web they have approved and not forcibly removed. We plan to create other sites for artistes of the era, with their approval.

Another bonus is that a number of people think the Bumblies were the group that recorded 'Nutrocker'. We don't argue and we feature the tune in our act, but I've never actually said it was us! People will expect Tchaikovsky, now I'm from the City of Culture.

Luckily, Katie can turn to Classical Music whenever the mood takes her, and run through the odd bit of Beethoven.

It must be obvious how I feel about events surrounding the Cryin' Shames. All of the surviving members feel the same. Charlie Gallagher says he has never seen his name anywhere on the web, or in any of the books relating to the 60s Mersey Sound. Even the record sleeve of the Joe Meek album, which shows pictures of all the featured artistes, has mistakenly inserted a picture of some other group.

Charlie Crane A television show was planning to screen a documentary about growing up in Liverpool during the 50s; one of the contributors to the programme explained in detail how he formed the Cryin' Shames after leaving school. When I wrote to the producer, explaining that this man was never a member of the group, and I would make a fuss, the show was scrapped.

Numerous CDs contain our recordings, but we don't receive a penny. C'est la vie! But my daughter is pleased to see me on vinyl - or is it plastic!

Charlie Crane is now dead, so too is Joey Kneen. Richie, after spending time in Atlanta, Georgia, now has a flourishing recording studio in the Wirral. Phil and Charlie G, are both successful businessmen. John B is in Australia having a great life. I continue to play as the Cryin' Shames Duo with my partner Katie. I am entitled as I was the founder member of first the Bumblies and ultimately the Cryin' Shames (plus I thought up both group names).

As a footnote, the Cryin' Shames were the last group to top the bill at the original Cavern Club.

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