for Sunday 15th May 1966
On May 18th Radio London's MD Philip Birch announced that the Big L Fab Forty Show
was to be syndicated across the USA. Why the deal never came to fruition, is unknown.

Last
This
Presented by Ed Stewart
Week
Week
13
1
Wild Thing Troggs
5
2
Love Around The World David Ballantyne
10
3
Sorrow Merseys
8
4
Come On Home Wayne Fontana
20
5
Hey Girl Small Faces
7
6
I Hear Trumpets Blow Episode Six
22
7
When A Man Loves A Woman Percy Sledge
2
8
Shotgun Wedding Roy C
16
9
I Love Her Paul & Barry Ryan
1
10
Sloop John B Beach Boys
15
11
Come See Me Pretty Things
18
12
How Does That Grab You Darlin' Nancy Sinatra
24
13
Monday Monday Mamas & Papas
29
14
I Go To Sleep Truth
19
15
Nothing's Too Good For My Baby Stevie Wonder
3
16
Pretty Flamingo Manfred Mann
17
17
Can't Live With You, Can't Live Without You Mindbenders
18
Paint It Black Rolling Stones
26
19
Strangers In The Night Frank Sinatra
20
Rainy Day Women Nos 12 & 35 Bob Dylan
31
21
Promises Ken Dodd
4
22
(You're My) Soul And Inspiration Righteous Brothers
28
23
I Take What I Want Artwoods
24
Nothing Comes Easy Sandie Shaw
25
Not Responsible Tom Jones
26
Twinkie–Lee Gary Walker
32
27
Under My Thumb Wayne Gibson
37
28
I'm Gonna Put Some Hurt On You Philip Goodhand–Tait/Stormsville Shakers
29
Whatcha Gonna Do Now Chris Andrews
40
30
Message To Michael Dionne Warwick
30
31
Mother's Little Helper Gene Latter
35
32
Sad Songs Ed E Lynch
33
Gotta Find Another Baby Force West
9
34
Daydream Lovin' Spoonful
35
Look Before You Leap Dave Clark Five
36
I've Got So Used To Loving You Marty Wilde
37
Love's Made A Fool Of You Bobby Fuller Four
39
38
You Can Go Valerie Mitchell
39
Wonder Boy Bruno
40
Stay A Little While Barry Benson

Everyone in the top four of this week's Fab was a member of the Knees Club!

13
1
Wild Thing Troggs
5
2
Love Around The World David Ballantyne
10
3
Sorrow Merseys
8
4
Come On Home Wayne Fontana

The Troggs joined on June 24th, at High Wycombe Town Hall, Buckinghamshire.

David Ballantyne (whose chart story featured last week) signed up at The Target Club, High Wycombe, on Friday, March 18th.

The Merseys became members on Saturday, April 9th, during the Radio London Afternoon at London's famous Marquee Club, in Wardour Street.

The date and venue when Wayne Fontana was inducted inot the KC is not recorded, but it was somewhere around the end of May or beginning of June.

See the Knees Club 40th Annkneeversarknee feature for the full stories.

13
1
Wild Thing Troggs

Reg Presley, (#296), Chris Britton, (#293), Pete Stapleton, (#294), Ronnie Bond, (#295). I recall that at the Town Hall gig, that every number the group played started with a Wild Thing-style guitar twang, which achieved its goal of teasing the audience and setting the girls off screaming.

Having started out as a Big L climber on April 24th, Wild Thing went on to become a huge national and international hit. The song performed even better in the USA than the UK, where it hit #1 in September of '66.

For trivia-enthusiasts, the flute-like solo on Wild Thing is played on an instrument called an ocarina.

From Andover, Hampshire, the group formed as The Troglodytes in 1964. The Kinks' manager Larry Page signed them up, shortening the name to The Troggs. Vocalist Reg Ball also underwent a name-change. His choice of Presley, a decidedly more commercially-dynamic surname for a singer, also served to bring good publicity for the band.

Troggs autographs from June '66

At the time of joining the Knees Club, the contact address for the group was given as c/o the Sorrows' Fan Club, but the Troggs' connection with the Sorrows was not explained.

Reg Presley received a massive influx of royalties from the Nineties revival of his 1967 Iver Novello award-winning song, Love Is All Around, by Wet Wet Wet, which became a mega-hit after being played over the end credits of major British film success, Four Weddings and A Funeral. Until the end of 2011, the Troggs still toured throughout Europe, fronted by Reg, with Chris Britton on lead guitar. Newer additions were bassist, Pete Lucas, and Dave Maggs on drums. Having become something of a cult band, their appearances continued to attract thousands of fans, many born long after the Sixties. Sadly, in December 2011, Reg was taken ill during a German gig and was found to be suffering from lung cancer. He retired from the band and commenced chemotherapy, but sadly succumbed to ill-health in February 2013.

Full information on the Troggs can be found on their official website

The site includes a photograph of Reg Presley's three 1994 Ivor Novello Music Awards, for Love Is All Around, as International Hit of The Year, Best Selling Song and Most Performed Work. The Knees Club is proud to have signed up Reg at High Wycombe Town Hall as Member 296.

10
3
Sorrow Merseys Fontana TF 694

After the guitarist and drummer left the successful Merseybeats to carve new careers, the two remaining members, Tony Crane (#195) and Billy Kinsley (#196), formed breakaway duo, The Merseys. They had been a mere 19 days away from entering the nationals with their only national (as opposed to Radio London) hit, Sorrow, when they joined the Knees Club on April 9th. The duo returned to the Fab Forty in July, with So Sad About Us.

Also signing-up for the KC, were the Merseys' backing group. The Fruit Eating Bears ("Honestly!" as one bemused reviewer of the time remarked upon seeing the name), were Kenny Goodlass (#197), Ken Mundye (#198), Kris Findlay (#199), George Cassidy (#200) and Joey Molland (#201).

Sorrow proved a successful choice for Knees Club recording stars. The Merseys made #3 in the Fab and #4 in the Nationals with it, while Bowie's recording reached one place higher in 1973.

In 2001, Tony Crane and Billy Kinsley continued to tour with the then current version of the Merseybeats as they celebrated 40 years in the music business.

Photo of the Merseys with the Fruit Eating Bears from the official Merseybeats website.

In 2010, we heard from a Fruit Eating Bear! "My name is Kenny Mundye and I am number #198 Knees Club member, signed in at the Marquee 9th April 1966 (sigh, all those wonderful years ago). I was the drummer with the Merseys." Ken who now lives in Edenbridge in Kent, (website) runs percussion workshops and is resident drum teacher at Hextable Performing Arts College and Northfleet Technical College. He has kindly contributed a poem of 1962 memories.

The day broke, I awoke, the dawn chorus, the aroma of the Kardoma, memories of Whitechapel, the 55 bus.
A bacon buttie, game of footie, shoes with side laces, dashing home for People and Places,The Beatles' first tele appearance (much to the annoyance of my parents).
Leather jackets, strange harmonies... a cellar full of memories.
What happened to Come Dancing... Oh please love me do...
Me dad lit his pipe, Three Nuns was his delight... I can hear him say Pete Best was OK... me dad knew them all.
The Undertakers, King Size Taylor, The Remo Four... he once won a tenner on Spot the Ball, went down the pub, a brown mixed or two... it was a good year was '62.

Liverpool's Cavern Wall of Fame has a brick for every artist or band who performed at the famous club - whether at the original or the reconstructed version.

Click on the righthand photo to spot some of the musicians named in Ken's poem.

29
14
I Go To Sleep Truth PYE 7N17095

The duo called Truth were Steve Gold and Frank Aiello, who chose their moniker from a Ray Charles song, Tell The Truth. In a race to grab some chart success with Beatle-cover Girl, Truth had battled St Louis Union. The two groups remained neck-in-neck in the Fab, as they raced to joint #11, but it was quite a different story in the nationals. Truth struggled to #27, while St Louis Union narrowly missed the Top Ten, at #11. I Go To Sleep, mint copies of which change hands for around £40, was the Truth's follow-up single, penned by Ray Davies of the Kinks. Disappointingly, despite the being able to issue a second single that had been penned by a top songsmith, Girl remained Truth's only national chart entry. I Go To Sleep continued to do its Rip Van Winkle impression till 1981, when the song was awoken by the Pretenders and finally escorted into the Top Ten.

Truth's follow-up release, Jingle Jangle, appeared as a climber for one week on Nov 6th, but failed to chart.The group made a better impression on the Fab in March 1967, taking their cover of Left Banke's Walk Away Renee to #13, but still could not manage to break into the Nationals. The Four Tops were the ones who took the song to #3 in December 1967.

Besides climbers that were played at the time of the broadcast of the Sunday Fab Forty, Alan kept a note of others he heard later in the week and incorporated them into his list.

DJ Climbers:    
To Make A Big Man Cry P J Proby Chris Denning
See If She Cares Gidian Dave Dennis
Solitary Man Neil Diamond John Edward
Playboy Freddie & the Dreamers Graham Gill
Sam, You Made The Pants Too Long Barbra Streisand Duncan Johnson
You Can't Buy Love Ernestine Anderson Paul Kaye
Baby (You're My Everything) Hedgehoppers Anonymous Mike Lennox
I Can't Rest Fontella Bass Mark Roman
Love's Funny Second City Sound Keith Skues
Opus 17 (Don't You Worry 'Bout Me) Four Seasons Ed Stewart
Listen People Sarah Jane Tony Windsor

See If She Cares Gidian Columbia DB7916

Gidian first appeared on the climber list in February 66 with There Isn't Anything. Despite having been picked as Dave Dennis's climber, See if She Cares also failed to make the Fab Forty. Its B-side Fight for Your Love (penned by Gidian) appears on Mix a Fix Floor Fillers Vol 2. Spot the name of the Big L DJ on the sleeve? Yes, it's Mike Quinn, who worked for the station ashore.

Gidian finally made the lower reaches of the Fab Forty in October 66, with his third single, Feeling, for which he had written both the A- and the B-side, Don't Be Sentimental. Sadly for him, it was not a case of 'third time lucky' in the Big L chart and Feeling stalled at #31.

Climbers:  
Sweet Talkin' Guy Chiffons
Lady Jane David Garrick/Tony Merrick
For A Moment Unit 4 + 2
Remember The Rain/Truly Julie's Blues Bob Lind
Misty Morning Eyes Barry Mason
Surrender Carrolls
River Deep Mountain High Ike & Tina Turner
Little Man In A Little Box Barry Fantoni
We'll See It Through Moonlighters
Disc of the Week:  
Don't Bring Me Down Animals
Album of the Week:  
Over The Rainbow Pattie LaBelle & the Belles

Left, is the Fab Forty chart that appears in the Belgian magazine Jukebox, dated 01/06/66. However, it is actually the chart for this week – 15/05/66. Click on the small version to check it against our list. (Thanks to François Lhote and Hans Knot for the scan. See our full feature on Jukebox and the Fab Forties it published)

The red additions to the climbers indicate singles listed in Brian Long's book 'The London Sound' based on information typed in the Curzon Street offices.
Alan Field did not hear them played or announced as climbers.


The Caroline 'Countdown Sixty' chart (south ship) for this week is here

This week's Radio City 'City Sixty' on the Pirate Radio Hall of Fame is here

Tune in next week for another Field's Fab Forty!

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