Meet the Singer: Earl Preston

By Bill Harry  

July 9 1964

Earl PrestonEARL PRESTON – real name GEORGE SPRUCE - describes his career in his own words:

“I made my first public appearance at the age of 16 at Clubmoor Picture House. I was playing tea chest bass in a group who didn’t have a name. We were a bunch of lads who used to go around together.

“We used to practice all skiffle songs. I remember the first song I ever sang before an audience was at the Clubmoor and the number was ‘Oh Boy.’

“At this time I worked in Sayers (a Merseyside confectioners) and met fellow worker TONY WADDINGTON (who is now with THE PETE BEST FOUR). We got to talking and he invited me to his house where I heard him play guitar. I was knocked out by his playing!

“Tony then struck up a friendship with me and came and heard my group play. We entered a competition at the OPB and Tony came with us. In the competition we played ‘Bad Boy’, ‘Mean Woman Blues’ and ‘Living Doll.’ We came third in the contest and FARON won it!

“Tony asked me to form a group with him – THE COMETS. When I did join the group we changed the name to GENE DAY & THE DJANGO BEATS. I was with the group for 18 months and we used to play regularly at the Casbah and Lowlands.

“The group started to play more CHUCK BERRY numbers and thought that a lead vocalist wasn’t called for and asked me to leave.

“I left my full-time job and decided to go to sea – and went down to London. Unfortunately I couldn’t get a ship so I returned to Liverpool.

“One mid-day I happened to go down to the Cavern and got into conversation with BOB WOOLER. When he found that I wasn’t working with a group he placed me with the TT’s.

“The main venue in the early days of EARL PRESTON’s TT’s was, of course, Aintree Institute, where our main rivals were THE BEATLES.

“Time passed, we played many other venues – and then the Mersey Scene erupted due to THE BEATLES’ national success.

Earl Preston“Through BILL HARRY, we recorded for the Oriole album ‘This Is Mersey Beat,’ which entered the LP charts and soon after we signed a contract with Fontana.

“Bill took over the group for a brief period and handed us over to JIM IRELAND, my present manager.

“Due to rather different aims in music, rather than anything personal, the TT’s and myself split up, and I formed my present group, EARL PRESTON’S REALMS.

“After we had rehearsed for some time we signed with my original recording company – Fontana, and have our debut disc released this week.

“One of my main hobbies is songwriting, and I have already recorded some of my original compositions. I made my television debut on the AR-TV documentary ‘Beat City’, and hope that with my current disc I may have the opportunity of appearing in the major pop TV shows such as ‘Lucky Stars’, ‘Ready, Steady, Go!’ and ‘Scene At 6.30.’”

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