Georgie Fame and The Blue Flames to start off the week. Fans of the 60’s British invasion era will recognize Georgie Fame as soloist who scored a jackpot with two huge hits; Yeah-Yeah and Get Away. But Georgie Fame was much more than a solo British Invasion talent – he was one of the more influential and pivotal artists in the UK during that formative period where music was heading in different directions, bound for a mashup. It was his skillful mix of Jazz and Blues that became a jumping off place for a number of musicians who would go on to stellar careers with other artists (a brief stint with a drummer named Graham Mitchell, who would emerge later as Mitch Mitchell and go on to found The Jimi Hendrix Experience). Others included John McLaughlin.
In September 1963, they recorded their debut album Rhythm And Blues at the Flamingo which was produced by Ian Samwell, engineered by Glyn Johns and released on the UK Columbia label.
Rhythm And Blues at the Flamingo failed to enter the UK chart, as did the single ‘Do The Dog’ which was taken from this album and released in 1964. Two other singles ‘Do Re Mi’, and ‘Bend A Little’ were also released during 1964, achieving no commercial success.
In July 1964, Peter Coe replaced Johnny Marshall and was soon joined by baritone saxist Glenn Hughes and trumpet player Eddie “Tan-Tan” Thornton who had previously appeared occasionally with them and Colin Green rejoined the group in October 1964.
Reece became ill in 1964 and was replaced by Tommy Frost. Jimmie Nicol spent a brief period as drummer, then left to replace Ringo Starr for 13 days on a Beatles tour. Phil Seamen and Micky Waller sat in for Nicol until Bill Eyden became the band’s full-time drummer in September 1964.
In October 1964 the album Fame at Last reached No.15 in the U.K. album chart. The band’s version of the song Yeh-Yeh (or Yeah-Yeah as it was listed in the U.S. release) was released as a single in the U.K. on 14 January 1965 and reached No.1 on the U.K. Singles Chart for two weeks (out of a total of twelve weeks on the chart).
The song “In The Meantime” was released as a single in February 1965 and reached the U.K. Top Twenty, however the band’s next two single releases were not chart entries. Success followed with Fame’s self penned song Get Away (released on 17 June 1966), which climbed to the top of the UK chart for a solitary week in late-July. The song was originally written as a jingle for a television petrol advertisement (National filling stations). It was later used as the theme tune for a long-running travel and lifestyle show on Australian television called Getaway. The two subsequent singles, “Sunny” and “Sitting in the Park” reached chart positions of No.13 and No.12 respectively. After the album Sweet Thing (1966) was released, Fame signed to CBS and became a solo artist.
Still with us and still making great music, this one is a reminder of the earlier incarnation – recorded at The Camden Theatre in London on May 19, 1964.