Get this crazy baby off my head!


Georgie Fame

Georgie Fame - Shorty featuring Georgie Fame - 1970 - Epic

Georgie Fame remains one of the great British rhythm and blues and jazz singers. He is also a very talented keyboardist. Read his bio's for his many musical achievements. "Shorty featuring Georgie Fame" is a great live album, and showcases the guy's many talents. Among the nine tracks here are covers of the great Mose Allison's "Parchman Farm", and Willie Dixon's "Seventh Son". This Epic release from 1970 was not released in the U.K. Has anybody any info on venue? A.O.O.F.C would appreciate your comments. Check out his "Name Droppin' " album @ GFAME/ND


Oliver’s Gone - G. Fame
Bluesology - M. Jackson
Saskatchewan Sunrise - R. Jones / J. A. Ryan
Parchman Farm - M. Allison
Is It Really The Same - M. Garrett / M. O'neill
Seventh Son - W. Dixon
Somebody Stole My Thunder - J. A. Ryan / J. Lacey
Inside Story - G. Fame / J. A. Ryan
Fully Booked - G. Fame / J. A. Ryan


Georgie Fame - Lead Vocals, Keyboards
Colin Green - Lead Guitar
Brian Odgers - Bass
Harvey Burns - Drums
Alan Skidmore -Tenor Sax


Georgie Fame's swinging, surprisingly credible blend of jazz and American R&B earned him a substantial following in his native U.K., where he scored three number one singles during the '60s. Fame played piano and organ in addition to singing, and was influenced by the likes of Mose Allison, Booker T. & the MG's, and Louis Jordan. Early in his career, he also peppered his repertoire with Jamaican ska and bluebeat tunes, helping to popularize that genre in England; during his later years, he was one of the few jazz singers of any stripe to take an interest in the vanishing art of vocalese, and earned much general respect from jazz critics on both sides of the Atlantic. Fame was born Clive Powell on June 26, 1943, in Leigh, Lancashire (near Manchester, England). He began playing piano at a young age, and performed with several groups around Manchester as a teenager, when he was particularly fond of Fats Domino and Jerry Lee Lewis. In 1959, his family moved to London, where the 16 year old was discovered by songwriter Lionel Bart (best known for the musical +Oliver). Bart took Powell to talent manager Larry Parnes, who promoted British rockers like Billy Fury, Marty Wilde, Johnny Gentle, and Vince Eager. Powell naturally had to be renamed as well, and as Georgie Fame, he played piano behind Wilde and Eager before officially joining Fury's backing band, the Blue Flames, in the summer of 1961. (The Blue Flames also included guitarist Colin Green, saxophonist Mick Eve, bassist Tony Makins, and drummer Red Reece.) When Fury let the band go at the end of the year, Fame became their lead singer, and they hit the London club circuit playing a distinctive blend of rock, pop, R&B, jazz, and ska. Their budding reputation landed them a residency at the West End jazz club the Flamingo, and thanks to the American servicemen who frequented the club and lent Fame their records, he discovered the Hammond B-3 organ, becoming one of the very few British musicians to adopt the instrument in late 1962. From there, the Blue Flames became one of the most popular live bands in London. In 1963, they signed with EMI Columbia, and in early 1964 released their acclaimed debut LP, Rhythm and Blues at the Flamingo. It wasn't a hot seller at first, and likewise their first three singles all flopped, but word of the group was spreading. Finally, in early 1965, Fame hit the charts with "Yeh Yeh," a swinging tune recorded by Latin jazz legend Mongo Santamaria and given lyrics by vocalese virtuoso Jon Hendricks of Lambert, Hendricks & Ross. "Yeh Yeh" went all the way to number one on the British charts, and Fame started living up to his stage name (although the song barely missed the Top 20 in America). His 1965 LP Fame at Last reached the British Top 20, and after several more minor hits, he had another British number one with "Getaway" in 1966. After one more LP with the original Blue Flames, 1966's Sweet Thing, Fame broke up the band and recorded solo; over the next few years, his backing bands included drummer Mitch Mitchell (later of the Jimi Hendrix Experience) and the young guitarist John McLaughlin (Miles Davis, Mahavishnu Orchestra). At the outset, Fame's solo career was just as productive as before, kicking off with the Top Ten big-band LP Sound Venture (recorded with Harry South's orchestra); thanks to its success, he toured with the legendary Count Basie the following year. Several hit singles followed over the next few years, including "The Ballad of Bonnie and Clyde," which became his third British chart-topper in late 1967 and, the following year, his only Top Ten hit in America. But by 1969, his success was beginning to tail off; hoping to make inroads into the more adult-oriented cabaret circuit, Fame was moving more and more into straight-up pop and away from his roots. In 1971, he teamed up with onetime Animals organist Alan Price and recorded an album of critically reviled MOR pop, Fame & Price; the partnership produced a near-Top Ten hit in "Rosetta," but ended in 1973. Fame re-formed the Blue Flames with original guitarist Colin Green in 1974 and attempted to return to R&B, but his records for Island attracted little attention. He spent much of the '70s and '80s making ends meet by performing on TV and the cabaret circuit, as well as writing advertising jingles; he also continued to make records, to little fanfare. In 1989, Fame played organ on Van Morrison's Avalon Sunset album, which grew into a fruitful collaboration over the course of the '90s; Fame played on all of Morrison's albums through 1997's The Healing Game, received co-billing on Morrison's 1996 jazz album How Long Has This Been Going On, and even served a stint as Morrison's musical director. Meanwhile, Fame's own solo work during the '90s received some of his best reviews since the '60s, starting with 1991's jazzy Cool Cat Blues, which featured a duet with Morrison on "Moondance." 1995's Three Line Whip featured his sons Tristan and James Powell on guitar and drums, respectively, and 1996's The Blues and Me further enhanced his growing jazz credibility. In 1998, Fame split with Morrison to record and tour with former Rolling Stones bassist Bill Wyman's new group the Rhythm Kings, contributing organ and vocals to several albums. In 2000, now signed to Ben Sidran's Go Jazz label, Fame released the acclaimed Poet in New York, which established him as an impressive student of jazz's vocalese tradition. © Steve Huey, All Music Guide

BIO (Wikipedia)

Georgie Fame (born Clive Powell, 26 June 1943, Leigh, Lancashire) is a British rhythm and blues and jazz singer and keyboard player. At sixteen years of age, he entered into a management agreement with Larry Parnes, who gave artists new names such as Marty Wilde and Billy Fury. Fame was already playing piano for Billy Fury in a backing band called the Blue Flames, which later became billed as "Georgie Fame and the Blue Flames". The band had great success with rhythm and blues. Fame's greatest success was "The Ballad of Bonnie and Clyde" in 1968, which was a number one hit in the United Kingdom, and No.7 in the United States; Fame also had UK number one hits with "Yeh Yeh" (1965) and "Get Away" (1966). Although he enjoyed regular chart success with singles in the late 1960s, it was a peculiar quirk of chart statistics that his only three Top 10 hits all made number one. Fame continued playing into the 1970s, having a hit, "Rosetta", in 1971. He suffered from some bad publicity, as a result of being convicted of possessing drugs and then being named as co-respondent in the divorce case of the Marquess of Londonderry. In 1972, he married the former Marchioness of Londonderry, Nicolette (née Harrison); she committed suicide in 1993. Georgie Fame recorded "Rosetta" with a close friend, Alan Price, ex-keyboard player of The Animals, and they worked together extensively for a time. He has also toured as one of the Rhythm Kings, with his friend, Bill Wyman, playing bass. From the late 1980s, until the 1997 album The Healing Game, Fame was a core member of Van Morrison's band, as well as his musical producer, playing keyboards and singing harmony vocals on tracks like "In the Days before Rock 'n' Roll", whilst still recording and touring as an artist in his own right. He frequently plays residences at jazz clubs, such as Ronnie Scott's. He has also played organ on Starclub's album. Georgie Fame and the Blue Flames were the only act from the UK to be invited to perform with the first Motown Review when it hit London in the mid-'60s. Fame has also collaborated with some of music world's most successful music names. He played organ on all of the Van Morrison albums between 1989-1997, and served as the musical director. Fame was also founding member of Bill Wyman's early band Rhythm Kings and he has also worked with the likes of Count Basie, Alan Price, Gene Vincent, Eddie Cochran, Eric Clapton, Muddy Waters, Joan Armatrading and the band The Verve.


The beginnings of Georgie Fame started on June 26, 1943 when he was born as Clive Powell in Leigh, Lancashire. By 1957, at the age of 14, he had joined a local pop group called the Dominoes, as a pianist. In 1959 the group won a talent contest put on by bandleader Rory Blackwell, at which point Blackwell offered Clive a job playing piano with his band. Clive accepted, and soon after moved into a London flat, which he shared with members of the instrumental group Nero and the Gladiators. It was during a routine show with Blackwell's band at the Islington Ballroom (where the band had a residency) that Clive was spotted by songwriter Lionel Bart, who urged him to audition for beat group/record mogul Larry Parnes. Well, Parnes liked what he saw and snapped up Clive as his new 'discovery', and then changed his name to Georgie Fame. Most of Parnes' talent roster also had odd names; Marty Wild, Vince Eager, and Duffy Power for examples. 'Georgie' was employed as a back-up musician for many of these singers as well as for touring American artists like Gene Vincent and Eddie Cochran. Georgie then joined Billy Fury's first back-up band, The Blue Flames, with whom he stayed until late 1961. At the end of that year he switched from piano to organ and formed his own Blue Flames with Colin Green (guitar), Mick Eve (sax), Tony Makins (bass), and Red Reece (drums). The Blue Flames line-up, however, was fairly flexible and changed throughout their career. By 1963, Georgie Fame and The Blue Flames were playing R&B and had switched managers to Rik Gunnel. Andrew Oldham became the publicist. '63 turned out to be an important year for Georgie when the group became the first resident act at London's subterranean Flamingo Club, on Wardour street in Soho. The Flamingo, owned by Ember Records boss Jeffrey Kruger, was one of the most famous R&B/jazz clubs at the time, and was frequented by the hippest of London's mohair-clad modernists, as well as black U.S. servicemen and West Indian immigrants. By the summer of that year, Georgie Fame had added another saxophone and a conga player to the lineup and was drawing on a number of influences including Jimmy Smith, Mose Allison, James Brown, Motown, R&B and the ska/bluebeat rhythm (which was probably picked up from the West Indian immigrants at The Flamingo). The band's song list of R&B faves like 'Night Train', 'Get On The Right Track, Baby', 'Do The Dog', 'Green Onions' and 'Shop Around' packed the club most nights and gained Georgie Fame a sort of cult following among London's booming mod underground. With all of the mop-top Beatle-types battling each other for a little chart action (nothing against the Beatles), Georgie Fame and The Blue Flames' hip 'Hammond and Horns' sound was indeed an alternative to the Rickenbacker/Hofner onslaught. Georgie also became something of a style-setter in his madras and seersucker jackets. The group was cool, sophisticated, and sharp as hell, which made it no surprise·when they became favorites of the mods and one of the most popular white R&B acts on the circuit. With this growing army of supporters, Georgie Fame was finally signed to a record contract by Columbia in 1963. The first three singles, released in 1964, 'Do The Dog', 'Do Re Mi', and 'Bend A Little', didn't go very far. This isn't to say that they were bad at all, in fact the B-side of 'Do Re Mi' .was an amazing rendition of 'Green Onions'. Also released in '64 was an e.p. titled 'Rhythm and Blue Beat'. The first track on this record was a cover of 'Madness', which leads one to wonder if Georgie Fame anticipated 2-tone by about 15 years (?). In any case, this record didn't go very far either. But Georgie didn't have to wait too long for Fame, because in December of '64 his cover of Jon Hendricks' 'Yeh Yeh' hit number one on the charts in the U.K. and was a minor hit in the U.S. as well which made Georgie Fame big news at the age of 21. The success of 'Yeh Yeh' also earned Georgie an appearance on Ready Steady Go! to promote the record. Around this time an album was released- a live set from The Flamingo Club titled, appropriately enough, 'R&B At The Flamingo'. The next two singles, 'Something' (Oct. '65), and 'In The Meantime' (Dec. '65) didn't equal the success of 'Yeh Yeh', but 'In The Meantime' did make the top twenty. Perhaps people were thinking that Georgie Fame was just another one-hit-wonder, because it was another six months before his next single, 'Get Away', was released in June 1966. But once again, it went straight to number one and everyone knew that he was back. 'Get Away' was a smash, as was the album 'Sweet Things'- released around the same time. However, many of Georgie Fame's original mod followers had left him because they felt that he was becoming too commercial. Even though a drug bust had made him cooler in the street credibility department, that didn't keep many of these fans, who preferred his earlier, more authentic R&B sound. After this second number one, Georgie Fame disbanded the Blue Flames in September 1966 and decided to go solo. This pretty much signaled his move away from strict R&B to a more mainstream pop approach (not that 'Get Away' and 'Sweet Things' weren't in that direction anyway). He continued to have a string of hits with a version of Bobby Hebb's 'Sunny' in October 1966, and Billy Stewart's 'Sitting In The Park' in December 1966. Georgie then switched over to CBS records and continued the hits with 'Because I Love You' in April 1967, and a third number one with 'The Ballad Of Bonnie And Clyde' (December '67), which was the theme song for the movie of the same name. This song was also a hit in the U.S. and can occasionally be heard on oldies stations. After this, his music, and consequently his career, went downhill. He teamed up with Alan Price for a variety show act. In recent years he has spent time writing jingles. When he was in his prime, there wasn't another British artist working in the same field that could touch Georgie Fame for great R&B sounds. Georgie's music has been re-issued and is available at Amazon and on iTunes. IMDb Mini Biography © Daniel Geddes , © 1990-2008 IMDb.com, Inc., www.imdb.com/name/nm0266600/bio


A.O.O.F.C said...


p/w aoofc

Slidewell said...


This looked to be something I'd like, but I'm sad to say it's a little too all-over-the-map for my taste. Too many different styles that don't quite go together. And Georgie's vocals are flat, both emotionally and technically. But, let me also say that this is a rare occurance here at AOOFC where otherwise I have found loads and loads of great, great music! thanks for all your hard work! BTW, did you check out the Headstone album upload? I'd love to hear what others have to say about that one.

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hey,Slidewell. Georgie Fame didn't appeal to everybody. Personally, I like the blend of styles. I agree his vocals could be better. I'd still like more details about the album. Have you heard his "Going Home" album? Take it easy, Slidewell, & ttu soon

heup said...

hi aoofc,
thanks for your blog - i just found it, and i'm very pleased to find shorty! I own the original Lp on Epic, from 1970 - it's in a very poor state, so i'm very happy to have a good rip.
on the back of the cover are notes written by Blossom Dearie (who wrote the song Sweet georgie fame) and she reveals the musicians on this lp: collin green lead guitar - alan skidmore tenor - brian odgers bass - harvey burns drums
to quote her: "the five people on this album are also attractive, bright and handsome young men"
but that was 39 years ago!
bye from another attractive bright and handsome old man

A.O.O.F.C said...

Cheers heup, or is it William! That is fantastic information, and thank you very much. Very interesting that Blossom Dearie wrote some sleeve notes. I've amended post to include your information. Please keep in touch with A.O.O.F.C, and remember, "The older the fiddle, the sweeter the tune"!

pj said...

was a great Georgie Fame fan in the 60's and remember listening to a then risque calypso-type number called Dr Kish (presumably after his guitarist) - any ideas whwre I can this track please.

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi, pj. I think the song you mean is Dr. Kitch. It is on an album called "Georgie Fame For Cafe Apres-Midi". It is also on Georgie Fame & the Blue Flames 1966 album "Sweet Thing". Both albums are hard to come by. They are probably for sale on amazon.com I hope this helps. Thanks, and keep in touch

Jean-Paul Séculaire said...

Dr. Kitch is a cover version. The original is by Lord Kitchener and is far, far superior. You should check it out. It came out in the UK on a Jump Up 45 (a subsidiary of Island Records) and isn't too difficult to get hold of (should cost about £15). I am a Georgie Fame fan, but in my opinion this is one of his weaker tracks from the classic 60s period. I just don't feel he pulls off the calypso vocal style very well at all. I quite like his attempts at ska though. His Rhythm & Blue Beat EP is pretty good.

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi, Jean-Paul. Thanks for info. There is a great clip of Lord Kitchener singing the song on utube. It's the first time I've seen it, and it's expertly done