The Shadows
Original backing band for Cliff Richard

The Shadows, Cliff Richards backing group that carved a career for themselves, and started a trend lasting till todayThe Shadows,looking very dapper indeed! (From Left) Bruce Welsh, Tony Meehan, Jet Harris and Hank Marvin, very early promo shot.

The Shadows Were the Most Influential Band in the Pre Beatle Era

Ah, The Shadows !

Like every other kid who was a budding guitarist, The "Shads" were by far my biggest influence. They were by far the most influential U.K. group of its kind, in an era dominated by the single artist. The original line up of Hank Marvin, (lead guitar) Bruce Welch, (rhythm guitar), Jet Harris (Bass) and Tony Meehan on drums. This line up helped turn a generation of 50’s and 60’s kids into homegrown rock and rollers.

The Shadows Hits Begin

The most famous guitar of the 60's! The Shadows Hank Marvin showing his Fender Stratocaster in the early 1960's

Hanks shiny red Fender on display!

Aided by Hank Marvin’s shiny red fender guitar, his horn rim glasses and the three step “Shadows Step” the band became a worldwide sensation. Originally named “The Drifters” Cliff Richard found them in the Two I’s coffee bar in Soho.                                                            Changing their name to The Shadows to avoid confusion with the U.S. vocal group, they recorded “Apache” after 2 flop singles.

“Apache” went to number 1 on the U.K. charts in1960 and was the forerunner of a sting of classic records over many decades. The Shadows other number 1 hits included “Kon Tiki”, “Wonderful Land” “Dance On” and “Foot Tapper” all between 1961 and 1963.

It was a magic moment when I came home from school one day to find the bright red cover of “The Shadow Greatest Hits” waiting for me. A reward for not failing grade 7!.

The Shadows Line Up Changes

The Shadows in another early publicity shot. The original line-up of Bruce Welsh, Tony Meehan, Jet Harris and Hank Marvin.

Yet another publicity session, Bruce, Tony, Jet and Hank.

Jet Harris joined Tony Meehan after their departure from the Shads with two hit records, "Diamonds" (January 1963) and "Scarlet O'Hara" in April 1963. Tony Meehan had developed a drinking problem, and was suffering depression on hearing Cliff was having an affair with his wife.

Harris had five sons and a daughter. He moved to Bembridge, Isle of Wight. He was a heavy smoker and died on 18 March 2011, two years after being diagnosed with throat cancer, at the home of his partner Janet Hemingway, in Winchester.

And More Lineup Changes For The Shadows

The Shadows with their two new members: John Rostill, and Brian Bennett.

John Rostill, 2nd from left, joins the band with Brian Bennett next to him.

Brian “Liquorice” Locking joined The Shadows on bass; he was then replaced with John Rostill. John remained with the band until his death at 31 in November 1973.

Various bass players have sat it with the Shadows since, including Marc Griffith, formerly of Mathews Southern Comfort. Brian Bennett became the drummer and is with them to this day. Strangely, I still think of Brian as "the Shadows new drummer"!

How many years has he been there?

The Shadows with Cliff Richard filming 'Espresso Bongo" in 1959.

Cliff filming Expresso Bongo, with the Shads.

The Shadows backed Cliff Richard on all his hit records, and appeared in the films “Wonderful Life”, “The Young Ones” and “Summer Holiday”. 

They recorded classic albums “The Shadows”, (cover notes by Cliff), “Out of The Shadows”, “Dance With The Shadows”, and “The Sound Of The Shadows”

The boys having a Knees Up!Not really the famous "Shadows Step", but an enthusiastic performance for this 60's publicity shot. (L to R) Hank, Bruce, Tony and Jet.

How often have you heard a Shads classic on the radio, and thought….”ah, great tune this……is it “36-24-36”? Or is it  "The Frightened City”? Maybe its “The Savage”? Its not that they all sound the same, sure they all sound like the Shadows, but there are so many of them. And, speaking of names, how about some of their tune’s names?
"Stars Over Stockton"! "Rise and Fall of Flingel Bunt", "Genie With The Light Brown Lamp", "Tales Of The Raggy Tramline" and mt fave, "36-14-36"!

After Beatlemania, the Shadows took a break. Marvin, Welsh and Australian Bass player from The Strangers formed Marvin, Welsh and Farrar in 1971. Welsh also worked with Olivia Newton-John.

Jet Harris joined Tony Meehan after their departure from the Shads with two hit records, "Diamonds" (January 1963) and "Scarlet O'Hara" in April 1963.

The Shadows on Vinyl

The "Very Best" Shadows album.

The Shadows ....At Their Very Best

is a collection of all the bans greatest recordings. It has "Apache", "Man Of Mystery", "The Boys" and "The Savage". Twenty classic tracks in all.

"The Best Of" album.

Or you could try this similar album. released 18th May 2012. Among the  tracks are" See You In My Drums" ( instrumental featuring original drummer Tony Meehan) "Frightened City" and the jazzy "Nivram". Excellent album

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