Hillsiders Lead Liverpool C&W Breakthrough


Mersey Beat: December 19 1964

HillsidersCountry and Western music is again coming into prominence in Liverpool due to the newly-formed 'North-West Country Music Association.'

Discussing the Association, the Hillsiders, whose debut disc 'I Wonder If I Care As Much' was released recently by Decca, told us: "We have been members of the Association since May and the other members include the Blue Mountain Boys, the Dusty Road Ramblers, the Ranchers, the Kentuckians, Johnny Gold & His Country Cousins, the Travellers, Chris & Marie, the Miller Brothers and Hank Shelito. Honorary members include the Country Strings from London and Johnny Duncan and Pete Sayers.

"Because of the Association, C&W music is stronger in Liverpool than it ever was - and there are lots of C&W venues. Walton Lane Social club - affectionately called 'Ozzie Wades', is crammed chokka block every Monday and Wednesday when Country and Western music is played. Billy Kramer, Earl Preston, and Cy Tucker's Friars are among the beat group people who come along to 'Ozzie's' because they're looking for something different. In fact, there's a demand for a different kind of music and Country and Western fits the bill. Huntley & Palmer's hold a C&W jambouree every month - and at the last one there were over 2,000 people."

Discussing their own position in the field, the Hillsiders said, "Our disc has been released in the States and we believe there is great interest over there regarding it - because people have never heard of a Liverpool C&W group before. We even received a phone call from Minnesota and fan letters from the States. One review in the American press said that we were the first British group to feature a pedal steel guitar."

The group are interested in a career in Cabaret and have been booked to appear at the Garrick, Leigh and Liverpool Cabaret Club. They are also due to appear on Irish Television early next year.

Discussing their future in the disc world they told us; "We hope to be recording our next single in January - and we promise that the disc will have more of a true C&W flavour.

"One of our main ambitions is to make an LP featuring all of the 20 instruments we play - and ranging from Blue Grass to Folk, Mountain Music, Hillbilly and Commercial Country and Western, including a lot of our original compositions."

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