Kathy performed for more than 25 years in rock and roll and country music bands and met her husband, Mac, at a gig when she accidentally stepped on his violin pretty much destroying it in the process. Together they own and operate the Mac Walter Productions Recording Studios in Baltimore with Kathy often providing background vocals and publicity photographs for the artists.
Another photographer on the team is John Hester, winner of a dozen awards for photojournalism from the New Jersey Press Association and the
Pennsylvania Newspaper Association. In addition to Beatle-related people, he has photographed the Dalai Lama (3rd place portrait winner, NJPA 1999), NJ Governors Christine Todd Whitman, Jim Florio, Tom Kean and Brendan Byrne, Isabella Rossellini, former Speaker of the House Tip O'Neill, Ivana Trump, Martin Short, Pope John Paul II and many others.
He was a Staff Photographer, later Chief Photographer, for the Hunterdon County Democrat Newspaper group from 1994-2000. His work has appeared on numerous websites including the Photo Cafe section of Calumet Photo (www.calumetphoto.com), where he was a regular contributor of photography-related articles. His New York City street photography was a regular feature of the Greenwich Village Gazette from 1998-99.
John has been taking photographs of numerous Beatle-related people which he presents on his Beatlefolks website.
Immense help in stories and anecdotes from the days of the Mersey Sound which help to illustrate the musical landscape of the city at the time is down to Billy Kinsley and Chris Huston. I’m hoping that other Mersey musicians will also provide additional recollections of venues, promoters, managers, fans and Liverpool itself as it was then for the benefit of readers.
One of our Liverpool researchers is Eddie ‘the Walrus’ Porter who was drummer with Johnny Reb & the Rebels in 1961/2. Apart from writing for numerous Beatles fanzines he organized the campaign for Beatle Streets in Liverpool in 1981. He has been a guide with Magical Mystery Tour for twenty years and Paul McCartney once told him, “You’ve been to my house (20 Forthlin Road) more times than me.”
Another Mersey-based researcher is Arty Davies, who is helping me to track down members of Mersey groups from the 1958 – 1965 era. Arty is a drummer who, despite being disabled through polio, has been performing in numerous Liverpool groups from the early Sixties to the present day. He has also developed his hobby of researching line-ups of bands from the North West of England.
Chazz Avery has been a great help as photo researcher, unearthing many unique photographs from the early days of the Liverpool Sound. He writes: “The first Beatles song that I remember hearing was "I Want To Hold Your Hand". Being from the U.S., I first learned of the Beatles at age six from an older sister of a friend of mine in late 1963 or early 1964. I anxiously anticipated their first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. On 9 February 1964, my life-long obsession with The Beatles began. I bought all of their records and anything else of interest that I could find. In the early 1970s, my interest became research which focused, mostly, on their recordings and general history.
”I can't remember exactly when I learned of their Mersey Sound’ or ‘Savage Young Beatles’ days but it must have been in the late 1960s from Hunter Davies' original authorized biography and the Tony Sheridan recordings. Throughout the mid 1970s I had seen the Cavern film of "Some Other Guy" and had heard some of their early BBC recordings. But, in 1977, my interest really deepened with the release of "Live At The Star Club" recordings and, around the same time, the unauthorized release of their Decca audition recordings.
My interest was really heightened in 1989 with Gareth Pawlowski's book "How They Became The Beatles" which was the first book to feature many previously unpublished photos from the early days and, also, provide a bit of accuracy. While my primary focus remains The Beatles, as I delved deeper into this era of The Beatles' history, I discovered that the Mersey Sound was a whole scene of musicians and other entertainers and how it was the seed of a musical style and attitude that is still branching out today.
Over the years, I found great enjoyment in viewing Beatles photos from the Savage era and imagined what it must have been like. In the late 1990s, I began to amass as many of those photos and info as I could. I soon discovered what I had really already known--there was no definitive resource for the photos and what was available was often labeled with misconceptions and inaccuracies. As I researched for specific info about the photos, I learned much more about the Mersey scene. Ultimately, my interest and research manifested themselves in my website ’The Savage Young Beatles’. I wanted to share my info with the world. Again, while the primary focus of the site is The Beatles, I have tried to give a general impression of the Mersey Sound scene for those of us who weren't there and a scrapbook for those of us who were lucky enough to have experienced it first-hand.”
I have also received aid from my researcher, Erich Weber.
Finally, not forgetting my muse, Virginia Harry, who has a remarkably good memory for events that took place all those years ago and shares my vision in continuing the Mersey Beat saga.
As more people offer to join the team I will add their profiles to The Team (Part Two). If you know of anyone who has personal memories of that era, or who were members of groups or performed as solo artists and are not yet featured on the site, please as them to get in touch.
Unfortunately, over the years my complete sets of Mersey Beats have been depleted due to damage during various moves. To help out the site I have been trying to obtain alternatives to the damaged issues, either by buying up copies or asking the owners of copies to photo stat them for me (for which I will pay all costs). I have had a great deal of help from Tracks, the company which specializes in Beatles memorabilia who
photo-stated a number of copies for me.
I would appreciate any help in obtaining or having photostats of the following missing issues, which are basically essential for the future entries on the Mersey Beat ‘archives’ section of the