HENRY WRIGHT - MEMBER OF THE MIDNIGHTERS, NEW RAIDERS,
BLUES COUNCIL, SOCK IT TO 'EM JB, THE POWER & THE FENCE.
pics and narrative here from Henry Wright.
From left to right, Alec Scott, Stewart Dool,
Henry Wright, Dave Watson and the legs on the end are John McGinnes
I always wanted to be a drummer since my Dad
took me to see The Glen Miller Story and then The Benny Goodman Story,
so when I was 14yrs old I was lucky to meet George Hethrington who was
the drummer in a band called the Midnighters. George was always a great
singer and we liked the same music, Little Richard, Ray Charles, Gene
Vincent, Chuck Berry etc which he could do very well so he alternated
with the singer in the band as much as possible, preferring this to
playing drums. George started to teach me the rudiments of drumming so
when the singer didn't turn up one night I was drafted in. This band
soon broke up and George formed a new band called the Raiders.
"The Raiders" were
the resident band in the 60's at the Flamingo Ballroom in Cardonald for two nights a week. The line up
was myself Henry Wright drums, Dave Watson bass, a terrific guitarist called Stuart Dool and George on vocals. Unfortunately George hated the direction
that the band was going in and left to join an Irish Showband
called the Monarchs who had a sax player/vocalist called Van Morrison. I'm sure they both learned a lot from each other.
When George left we were lucky to get Fraser
Calder a brilliant vocalist and Alex Scott on rythm guitar. We
one night of the week as a five piecel group and on the other
night we augmented the band with additional musicians. Over
time, we had John McGinness on keyboards and
sax players Johnny Elliott, George McWhirter, and Billy
Lockhart (who later
formed Sol Byron & the Impacts). George
Alexander sat in
once - his real name being Alex Young brother of Angus of AC/DC
went to join the band Grapefruit that had some success
in the 60's
. We also had additional vocalists Bobby Coltart and Dawson
had an amazing falsetto voice. Our girl singer was Lulu who was
singing with the Bellrocks and the Gleneagles. The Raiders
broke up - Lulu stayed with the Gleneagles who changed their name
Luvvers and the rest is history.
After the Raiders, Fraser and I played in a another
group [no name given] for a very short time before we were asked to join
a new band to be based on the current London scene and was to be managed
by Alex Scott and Joe McCourtney who were looking to open a club in
Glasgow. The band was the Blues Council which was to be the first mod
band playing jazz tinged R&B, Ska & Blues and the club was the
'Allnighter' in West Nile Street.
The line up was Fraser - vocals; myself - drums; Bill
Patrick - sax; Leslie Harvey - guitar; Jimmy Giffen - bass; John
keyboards and George Carmichael also on sax for a short time. We
played Tuesday to Sunday 8.00 till 11.00 and 12.00 midnight to
4.00 Friday and Saturday, so you could say were got pretty tight in a
short space of time. This was the best band by far in
Scotland. Onnie McIntyre and Alan Gorrie told me many years
later that the Blues Council was a big influence when they
set up the AWB.
While with the Blues Council I was offered the chance to Join Lulu's Luvvers who were riding high with their first hit "Shout" and the chance was just too good to refuse so I left for London. I won't go into detail on this as the Luvvers are well documented elsewhere. The Blues Council had a great future but came to a tragic end when Fraser and Jimmy were killed in a car crash.
Top - Henry above Lulu
Below - Henry to left of Lulu
When I came back
to Scotland after my time with Lulu, John McGinnes and I formed
Sock "em JB which had Jimmy Dewer on bass, Billy Simpson on guitar, John on Hammond, Larry Quinn alto and another sax player who I believe was called Ronnie and of course Frankie Miller for a time. We played Burn's Cottage and opened Burn's Howff. We played all over Scotland including around Dunfermline where the future Nazareth guys supported us.
Henry - far right
When this band broke up we formed The Power with John, Jimmy, myself, Leslie Harvie and his girlfriend Maggie Bell. Unfortunately for me I got the offer of a job in sales that meant I had to go to London for six weeks training and it was only fair for them to find a replacement so I missed out when they went on to become Stone the Crows.
My last band before I left Scotland to live in England was The Fence with Jimmy Corbally on Hammond, Larry Cunningham on bass, Rab McCauley on vocals, John McCulloch (guitar), cousin of Jimmy later of Stone the Crows and Wings, and myself on drums. We worked for the Music and Cabaret agency run by Ronnie Simpson and Alex Scott my old band mate from the Raiders We played all over Scotland from Strathpeffer to Eyemouth.
Last thoughts on the above: All the bands covered the same R&B,
soul & rock - Ray Charles, Chuck Berry, Otis, Marvin, Booker T, Wilson
Picket, Aretha, Dylan, Mose Allison, T Bone Walker, Big Joe Turner
and also The Beatles etc. Why do bands break up? In most cases
we had run our course and key members moved on. A guess at the timescales - the New
Raiders probably 1960 to 62/63; Blues Council 1963 - 1964; The Luvvers
1964 to late 65/66; Sock'em JB 1966/67 - 1968; The Power 1968/69 and The Fence early 70's.