Big Jim Sullivan
Out Of The Shadows (1959 - 1963)
|Ten tracks from my collection||
Best Songs |
(definitely BJS playing lead guitar)
Track 1 is "Blue Moon of Kentucky" and it has been taken from Marty Wilde's 1959 album "Wilde About Marty".
The hastily created album did not enter the UK charts.
Track 2 and BJS's first major hit is "A Teenager in Love" which entered the UK charts on 5 June 1959.
It reached number 2.
BJS had joined Marty's backing group, The Wildcats, in the early part of 1959 bringing two musicians : Brian Bennett and Brian Locking.
At that time Britain produced many clones of American Rock'n'Rollers and Marty and Cliff Richard were the most famous of them.
Cliff with excellent management, with better focus and with great songwriters proved to be more enduring.
Hank Marvin was the lead guitarist in Cliff's Shadows and history may have been different if songwriter
Jerry Lorden had offered "Apache" to BJS instead of Hank.
As BJS played on Jerry's own hits this could have easily happened.
Despite this BJS became the most important guitarist in Britain only a couple of years later.
Marty Wilde's single, "Bad Boy" is Track 3 and shows BJS at his best and it entered the UK charts on 11 December 1959 and reached number 7.
When Marty Wilde no longer needed a full time backing group The Wildcats became The Krewkats.
The next track, "The Bat", is impressive with BJS using lots of gismos.
After leaving Marty Wilde BJS became a full time session musician.
He was in company of the greats such as Eric Ford, Joe Moretti, Vic Flick and Judd Proctor.
He had just turned 20 years old.
On 17 August 1961 BJS Johnny Kidd's "Don't Bring Me Down" is recorded with BJS on lead guitar.
It was meant to and does sound very much like "Shaking All Over".
Even though it fails to chart.
Around this time BJS was often called on by maverick record producer Joe Meek to play on his records.
Track 5 has been considered to be the British best ever R&R record.
Unfortunately the singer was Michael Cox, a lightweight singer, and so this cover of "Sweet Little Sixteen" did not become a 1961 hit.
Other Meek productions included here are John Leyton's number 2 "Wild Wind" and Mike Berry's number 24 "Tribute To Buddy Holly".
These are Tracks 6 and 7.
He would also meet up with Ritchie Blackmore who was Joe Meek's house guitarist to whom he had given lessons a few years earlier.
He also would have bumped into Chas Hodges.
The next track is Jet and Tony with Jerry Lorden's "Diamonds".
It reached number 1 in the UK chart after being released on 10 January 1963.
BJS had suggested to Jet Harris that Jet's Fender VI six-string bass could be used as a lead guitar.
In fact it is probably BJS playing the main guitar on the record.
Joe Moretti played on the subsequent hits.
Jet and Tony had left The Shadows to be replaced by the previously mentioned Brian Bennett and Brian Locking.
John Paul Jones and John McLaughlin were in their touring group.
It is Jimmy Page's first serious session.
Jimmy had been enlisted because he was a player who was more in touch with rhythm and blues music.
A lot of session guitarist though excellent sight readers lacked this talent.
BJS and Jimmy Page would dominate the sessions from here on.
BJS became successful before the Beatles and he became even more successful after them.
You could say that he really came "Out Of The Shadows".
To emphasis this the last track is Brian Poole's "Twist And Shout" which peaked at number 4 in the UK singles chart on 4 July 1963.
Almost certainly BJS improved the guitar sound after the recording was made in the studio.
I don't own the copyright to the MP3s. I will remove any of them if the copyright owner objects.
Some other tracks in this era :-
Tony Hatch - "Out Of This World"
Bern Elliott & The Fenmen - "Money"
(BJS almost certainly improved the guitar part after the recording)