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Georgie Fame & The Blue Flames

Originally formed in England in the late 1950s, as Colin Green’s Beat Boys by guitarist Colin Green and piano player Georgie Fame (real name: Clive Powell), the R&B and jazz combo originally backed American rockers Gene Vincent and Eddie Cochran during their UK tours before being hired as Billy Fury’s backing band the Blue Flames. When Fury’s manager dismissed them in 1961 for being ‘too jazzy’, the band kept their name and brought in Alan ‘Earl’ Watson as lead vocalist. In 1962, Green and Watson left the band and the renamed Georgie Fame was promoted to vocalist and bandleader. The line-up of Georgie Fame & the Blue Flames would continue to change during the band’s short lifetime. Influenced by Booker T. & the MG’s, Georgie Flame focused on playing the Hammond organ which transformed the band’s sound. Their debut album, Rhythm and Blues at the Flamingo, was recorded in September 1963 but failed to chart. A year later, they released Fame at Last EP, which reached Number 15 on the UK chart. Their next single, “Yeh, Yeh” (1965), was a world-wide success, briefly making Georgie Fame & the Blue Fames one of the most successful British rhythm and blues bands in the world. Two more successful singles – “Sunny” and “Sitting in the Park” – were released, followed by the 1966 album Sweet Thing. At the end of 1966, Georgie Fame brought an end to the Blue Flames and went solo. He revived the band’s name a few times over the course of his career although the original band never reunited.

©Copyright Music Story Stephen Schnee 2023


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