Alby and The Sorrals
1961 – 1963 (April)



Originally started life as The Sorrals, based in the South of Liverpool, name change when took up residency late in 1961 at St Barnabas Church Hall, Penny Lane, where the promoters set up a theme of Alby & the Sorrals “Guest Nights”.

Line up consisted of

Keith Draper

lead gtr

 

Dave Foley

bass gtr

 

Brian Cox

rhythm gtr

 

Maurice Daniels

drums

 

Alby Ellis

vocals

 

and myself on drums; I also looked after bookings.  Sometime in early 62, we were joined by Pete Dobson (tenor sax), who came to us from Benny & the Black Cats.

We were one of only 2 groups at the time to feature a sax, the other of course were The Undertakers, who were our guests a number of times.

For the record this was one of the most popular suburban Saturday Night Hops in Liverpool and at its height was regularly sold out.  All the best known groups of the time from Merseyside, and many from Manchester were our guests with the exception of the Beatles. 

The two promoters, whose names I now forget refused to pay more than £15 for a band (we used to get £6) and the Beatles wanted £25 !!.

As I knew the guys well, I even obtained an agreement for them to play for an hour for £20, to link up with another booking, but the promoters still refused to pay.  This would be around Xmas 61, so when The Beatles got more popular later in 62, I was asked to see if I could get them for £25; No Chance  !!

One of the untold stories of their early career.

We were popular enough even to have a Fan Club, for whom we made a demo EP in Jan 63, which featured Runaway, Someday and two instrumentals; Golden Earrings and Chariot Rock.

Alby & the Sorrals (2)

Keith, Brian & Dave left seeking fresh ventures, and I formed the second A & S, with a friend from Hunts Cross, 

Rod Long

lead gtr

 

Frank Dudley

bass gtr

 

Brian (Smego) Johnson

rhythm gtr

 

Maurice Daniels

drums

 

Pete Dobson

tenor sax

 

Alby Ellis

vocals

 

Stayed with us for part of 1963, but left in the autumn, as I recall after getting married.
We continued as a 5 piece until mid 1964, when Alby decided he’d call it a day, though he did resume singing some years later. 

Rod Long

lead gtr

 

Frank Dudley

bass gtr

 

Brian (Smego) Johnson

rhythm gtr,

 

Maurice Daniels

drums

 

 Alby Ellis

vocals

 

We continued as a 5 piece until mid 1964, when Alby decided he’d call it a day, though he did resume singing some years later.

I have quite a good photo of ourselves on the Cavern in December 63; now there’s a good song title if I ever heard one !!, and when I get the chance will send it you.

Before Pete left, we made another demo with Philips Recording Studios, Kensington, who of course had recorded the Beatles before their fame, of a song I had written in late 62 called “Why” coupled with the old Johnny Kidd hit “Please don’t touch”.  For the record, a pal of mine had approached Gerry Marsden regarding using Why as a B side, but I gather he decided to record ” You’ll never walk alone” instead; what a no brainer!!

I note that your info re the group shows a record made Why, coupled with Foolin.  I have no knowledge of this, though I recall that Foolin was a song Brian Cox wrote with some later refinements with myself.

Following the breakup of A & S, Rod Long joined The Young Ones.  Their vocalist, Dave Wilcox and other members, including their drummer then joined up with Dave Foley, Keith Draper & Brian Cox and formed a group called “The Nocturnes”, who turned pro and obtained a part in a new and short lived musical by Lionel Bart “Maggie May”, this I assume was Barts’ cashing in on the Merseybeat boom, after he had written “Fings aint what they used to be” and before he wrote “Oliver”.

They played in both the West End and Broadway versions, and also made the record that you feature in your notes on them.

Discography

A couple of Acetates 1963

Runaway/ Someday/ Golded Earrings/ Chariot Rock (Welsby sound)
Why/ Please Don’t Touch (Kensington - Phillips)

Demo Recording
Why/Foolin recorded on a reel to reel

Art Davies
10/7/15

Add a Comment to this page

Please note: All comments are moderated and will not appear straight away. Please do not re-send.
Sorry ... but personal messages not related to the purpose of Manchesterbeat may not be added to the site
.


Comments (3)

Topic: Alby and The Sorralls
Rod Long says...
I played with a Liverpool group called Alby and the Sorrals and we played at the Cave in 1963. We did the first spot in Rochdale and the last spot in Oldham and the other way around.
2nd November 2014 8:18pm
Mike jones (Liverpool) says...
Hi Rod

I'm a 22 year old music graduate from Liverpool and a Merseybeat fan.
Do you still have your record of Runaway/ Someday/ Golded Earrings/ Chariot Rock ?
30th August 2017 8:14pm
Arty Davies says...
I have the full line up on Artysmerseypedia if you wish to get in touch
8th July 2015 7:12pm



Copyright © manchesterbeat.com
All rights reserved. Unauthorized use of any content is strictly prohibited.

Please read our Disclaimer/Copyright Notice