The Second Disc

Expanded and Remastered Music News

Archive for February 10th, 2014

RPM Collects Complete Singles of Beatle Pal Buddy Britten

with 2 comments

Buddy Britten - Long Gone BabyWho’s that guy holding the guitar with the Buddy Holly glasses?  Why, it’s Buddy Britten!  Geoffrey David Glover-Wright reinvented himself in the fashion of Buddy Holly after taking in a March 1958 concert, recalling his hero leaping about the stage “like a lunatic” and playing an “extraordinary” guitar.  And so Glover-Wright, a.k.a. Britten, joined the ranks of early British rock and rollers.  His short but exciting career from Merseybeat to psychedelia has recently been chronicled by RPM, an imprint of the Cherry Red Group, on Long Gone Baby: Complete Singles 1962-1967.

Glover-Wright had been playing with the colorful Vince Taylor when promoter Reg Calvert spotted him for a group that would eventually be known as a tribute act.  In Spencer Leigh’s new liner notes for RPM’s anthology, Glover-Wright recalls, “Reg said to me, ‘You’re thin and tall, you wear specs and you can sing and play guitar like Buddy Holly; you’ll be Buddy Holly and we’ll call you Buddy Britten!’”  And so when Decca released the young singer’s first 45 in 1962, it was credited to Buddy Britten.  That single, “Don’t Spread It Around,” was written by future “Georgy Girl” composer (and stage and screen star) Jim Dale, and its B-side, “The Beat of My Heart,” was Britten’s own work.  Buddy and his backup group, The Regents (not the American group of “Barbara Ann” fame, but a three-piece modeled after The Crickets, naturally, with Barney Peacock on drums and Pete Mist on bass) were on their way, and in June of 1962 were signed for a residency at Hamburg’s Star-Club.  Buddy befriended The Beatles and in particular, John Lennon; the future Fab would remember Britten years later and bring him on board Apple Publishing.  The “fruit” of his labor can be heard on RPM’s 94 Baker Street Revisited.

Following the Decca debut, Britten and the Regents moved to the Piccadilly label and then over to Oriole, where they remained through 1965.  Their first Oriole side, “If You Gotta Make a Fool of Somebody,” was recorded at Lennon’s suggestion but its success was curbed by Freddie and the Dreamers’ competing version for EMI.  Producer John Schroeder continued to allow the artist to continue selecting his own material, however, and other songs given the Regents treatment included Barrett Strong’s “Money” (of course, also recorded by The Beatles), the Pajama Game standard “Hey There,” Hoagy Carmichael’s “My Resistance is Low,” Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman’s “Sorrow Tomorrow,” and the Disney (and Phil Spector) favorite “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah.”  By the time of the group’s final Oriole single in 1965 (“Everybody Has Their Day” b/w “A Merry Go Round of Love”), the personnel other than Britten had changed, but the new Regents followed their leader back to Piccadilly for another few 45s including a cover of The Sir Douglas Quintet’s “She’s About a Mover.”

After the jump: Buddy forms the Simon Raven Cult!  Plus: the full track listing with discography, and order links! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

February 10, 2014 at 09:45