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Bry's Groovy Blues/R&B Page

Over 60 Links and Growing!


My earliest Rock, Blues and R&B memories:

As a pre-schooler in the 50s, I listened to some of my parents' stirring 78 rpm records at home, like: "Hamp's Boogie-Woogie" and "Bad Penny Blues" by Lionel Hampton.

Folk, rock & roll, rhythm, skiffle, jazz, big band and rockabilly styles were the music I grew up with.

I remember an amazing Gene Vincent performance about 1960 or 1961 It was with my brother's band, Little Tony and the Sundowners as the opening act - at the CORN EXCHANGE in Cambridge. It may have been his other band from that era: Johnny R&B Philips and the HI-Fis. I got to help set up the microphones & wiring for the evening. It was incredible. Gene Vincent in a skin tight leather suit was quite a sight, and man could he ROCK!

I also can't forget THIS: Approximately 1962 - seeing Jesse Fuller (one man band) at Brighton Town Hall, singing San Francisco Bay Blues etc. WOW!

In those days (around 1962 or 63) I went to see the AMAZING Johnny Kidd and the Pirates. This was a band that SHAPED and FORMED the sound of British Rock, WELL before the Beatles were famous. Their guitar player, John Weider (?) was THE role model for many British guitarists of the early 1960s.

Around 1962-64, I played in a group called 'The Swinging Vibros' in Cambridge. We were all 13 to 14 years old! We consisted of Nick Barraclough, John Anderson, myself and Willie (John Wilson) the drummer. Our songs were mostly ones by the Beatles, Stones and we also did a few other pop and folk tunes.

Here's all I can tell you about the Vibros, but in a bit more detail:


Nick Barraclough
Brian Carling
John Anderson
John "Willie" Wilson (Now with Pink Floyd)

We started as a trio in about January 1963 with Nick Barraclough (now a 
BBC Presenter, folk musician and music historian) playing guitar and responsible for much of the arranging. I remember he was great at 
dissecting songs and figuring out the chords. We copied the songs of the Beatles, Stones, etc. I Wanna Be Your Man, She Loves You, 
and also did a couple of lead-guitar oriented tunes we put together 
ourselves with no vocals.

Barraclough at the time lived on Blinco Grove in Cambridge, right in 
between the school we all went to until 1962, Morley Memorial
and on the other side, the church where the three of us learned to 
sing, as choir boys! We were in a boys choir at St. John the Evangelist 
Church in Cambridge until they kicked ME out for talking too much!

Anderson lived off Cherry Hinton Road just on the other side from 
where Blinco Grove interesects, on a dead-end street.
His mother had just won a refrigerator in a cereal box contest!

I lived on Glebe Road, and was inspired by my older brother, Ivan,  
who started playing professionally when he was 17 and I was 11.
He has never stopped playing, and is still seen around Camridgeshire 
on the weekends in small clubs and pubs (and now 56 years old and still rocking!)

John Anderson strummed the rhythm guitar,  usually acoustic.

Nick Barraclough was generally the lead singer, and not bad as a vocalist.
He played bass, and I played lead guitar (fairly badly)...

Our drummer from the Vibros was John "willie" Wilson, who later became 
the drummer for PINK FLOYD!

All of our guitars were acoustic at first. For one "gig" we managed 
to electrify as follows:

I borrowed my brother's nice EKO semi-acoustic and his amplifier.
WE had one mike for vocals fed into the same amp(!) and for one of 
the other guitars we just tossed a tape recorder mike into the thing 
through the round hole and connected it to a little FIVE WATT 
amplifer. It did work though!

That was  for a talent show at a girls' school somewhere in Cambridge 
around 1964.

Barraclough's first "BASS" was actually an ordinary 6-string guitar 
with the strings exchanged to 4 bass strings! It was all we could 
get!! The thing made an ungodly thumping sound!

That is all that comes to mind for now. Not very thrilling I know!

By the way, my brother, Ivan Carling knows almost everything about 
everyone who was ever a pop musician in Cambridge. He played in many 
of the groups there from 1964-1998!

The Cambridge Evening News once did a massive article about the 
history of pop music in Cambridge and he was described as the "Grand 
Old Man of Rock and Roll" for the area!

He played in the Vikings, the Sundowners, Vogue Sound, Jokers Wild, Chameleon etc.
His bands usually opened for all of the big acts that came to town 
for a number of years.

He has produced recordings for the Soft Boys and others.

As for me, I was always around musicians. I went to school with the likes
of Tim Renwick, Dave Gilmour Roger Waters etc. in England, 
and later repaired guitars, amplifiers, mixers and organs in Nashville for everyone from Charlie Daniels and Crystal Gayle  to the Christ Is The Answer Band 1972-1976. During that time I also played electric lead guitar in two Christian Musical productions, and also played acoustic guitar and sang two Ken Gulliksen songs to my wife as she walked down the aisle in our wedding!

I remember listening to the wonderful blues records of Lightning Hopkins, and also: Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee

Later I enjoyed John Mayall and also Fleetwood Mac, Eric Clapton & others in their Blues Days.

I like ALL styles of music if it is done well: Blues, Skiffle, Bluebeat, Rock & Roll, Zydeco, R&B, New Wave, Jug Band, Bluegrass, Classical, Gospel, Folk etc.

Do YOU remember any of the more OBSCURE artists listed here??? E-mail me what you know about them!

Rhythm'n blues was pioneered in England by Alexis Korner, Cyril Davies, and Chris Barber. As well as playing R&B in his traditional jazz band, Barber promoted British tours by Big Bill Broonzy, Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee, and Muddy Waters - and the sight of these American giants prompted Korner and Davies to form BLUES INCORPORATED, playing a style of music unheard of in British clubs. Unable to get suitable gigs, they opened their own club, known as The Ealing Club, in premises beneath the ABC tea-shop near Ealing Broadway underground station on March 17th 1962......a couple of weeks before Clapton's 17th birthday. The club was packed solid every week, with many aspiring musicians taking the stage for a blow, and within a few months, other R&B bands began to creep out of rehersal halls... like the Mann-Hug Blues Brothers, Georgie Fame and the Flames, and the Rolling Stones.

Music digital files come in several formats. The most popular ones are WAV files and MP3 Files. WAV files are just like what is on an audio CD. You can make WAV files of your own voice or from the stereo LINE INPUT on your sound card with MUSIC MATCH JUKEBOX. Then you can record, play and edit songs and make your own program sequences too!

Want some GREAT MP3 files from the web?
Everyone has heard of www.mp3.com, BUT they mostly have music by obscure new artists. There is an alternative though:
NAPSTER IS THE VERY BEST PLACE TO GET MP3s! Download the NAPSTER program and start sharing your cool MP3 files with other people all over the world day and night! It will even download files for you while you are asleep! Napster also has a built-in MP3 file player. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Now to make your OWN MP3 files and convert them to WAV files and vice versa you want to use MUSIC MATCH JUKEBOX. This program will help you prepare files for making audio CDs on your CD burner. (I use the NERO CD Burner Program)
There are some other AUDIO PLAYERS out there, but MUSIC MATCH is one of the best. You might find IUMA to be a useful resource too.

TO EDIT your WAV files you need either WHAM or COOL EDIT. These programs let you ad special effects, remove parts of WAV files etc. They both work extremely well!

It's easy to set up your own BROADCAST STATION using these player and edit programs. Just connect the LINE OUT from your sound card to the inputs of an FM stereo Broadcaster and away you go! Your computer can do the rest using the programs above! Let your neighbours know what great music they SHOULD be listening to!

Other favorite 70s, 80s and 90s musicians:
(It's HARD for me to list these names without putting adjectives like "THE AMAZING" or "THE INCREDIBLE" before each one!!)

From the 60s I like:

Early on, from THE 1950s, I enjoy:

Please drop me an e-mail if you remember anyone listed above!

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