The Manhattans were a five piece band who worked the Manchester scene in the early sixties.
During a season at Butlins Pwllheli in 1965 the lead vocalist (Glenn South) became ill.
Pete Maclaine who was working in the office of our agent (Alan Arnison, Stockport) at the time, stepped in to fill the breach.
The Manhattans with Pete Maclaine
The Manhattans story Kindly provided by Russ Leeand updated by Alan(Al) Dickinson
Alan (Al) Dickinson (pianist and vocalist, son of Lou Dickinson, who had been a professional big band pianist and the landlord of the Marsden Cross Hotel Brierfield, Nelson Lancs) originally started the Manhattans back in 1957/58 as a quartet.
The line up was
Alan Dickinson (piano),
John Dunicliffe (Guitar),
Trevor Catlow (drums),
There was no bass player at this stage.
Ronnie left the group, and was replaced by Ivan Dixon (vocals) and Walter Oliphant came in on bass guitar. The rest of the line up was John Dunicliffe,
Alan Dickinson and for a while we had a tenor sax player whose name I cant remember.
This line up lasted until 1960/61? and was reformed with the line up that did Butlin Bognor in 1962.
Jack Beckett/Johnny Grant (vocals)
Brian Birtwell (drums)
Dennis Constable (bass)
Russ Lee/Lacy (guitar)
Alan Dickinson (keyboard)
This line up played Butlins Bognor in 1962 (swapping with a 2 week stint at Butlins Clacton). Then playing
Summer season at Butlins Pwllheli 1963
Christmas at Butlins Bognor 1963
Summer season Pwllheli 1964, when Alan Dickinson left and joined Neil Landon and the Burnetts (inc Noel Redding & Pete Kircher)in Germany.
Resident at Dolphin club Colne Weds.and Suns during the winter periods.
Alan Dickinson: Hohner Pianet ( the first electric piano in the area. Prior to this he had tried various piano mics with varying degrees of success)
Dennis Constable: Gibson SG bass. Non descript 30watt valve amp driving an 18" speaker .
JB ,Harmony Rocket guitar
Brian Birtwell: Premier kit with Zylgan Cymbals and Ludwig all metal snare drum.
Russ Lee: Gretch Anniversary guitar with bigsby trem ,and Fender Tremolux amp..
Alan left the group in the winter of 64 and was replaced by Trevor Bastow a virtuoso pianist, poached by JB from The Peter Hurley trio,an outfit working at Pwllheli at the same time as the Manhattans.
Brian Birtwell left the band because he needed to stay nearer his family and took a job backing cabaret artists at Rosegrove Cabaret Club. Sadly Brian died at 27 years of age.
Malcom Foster,a n excellent drummer,was approached, but would only join the band as long as he could bring his own bass player. Malcom Bateson was the man in question and, knowing his pedigree, we had to agree. Sadly we had to let Dennis go.
So for a short time the line up was:
Jack Beckett aka John Grant ( vocals)
Russ Lacy ( aka Russ Lee) Guit /vocal
Trevor Bastow ( Key board /vocals)
Malc Foster ( Drums/vocals)
Malcom (Beef) Bateson (Bass)
During this period Jack Beckett left and was replaced by Glenn South
The Manhattans Mk 2 1965
Glenn South (voclals,guitar and harmonica)
Russ Lacey aka Russ Lee ( Guitar,vocals)
Malc Foster (drums/vocals)
Malcom Bateson (Bass)
Trevor Bastow (Keyboards/vocals)
Great success,on the Mecca circuit nation wide
Went down to Kingsway studios London to record "You've got your troubles"
Agreed a simultaneous release date with The Fortune's management.
Went off to Butlins Pwllheli that summer anticipating the release of their record during that time.
The Fortunes released early. The rest is history.
Butlins season went well though. They brought the house down every night in the huge Viennese bar.
Half way through the season Glenn who was suffering from a serious bout of asthma had to leave the band. Pete Mclaine (late of "The Clan") joined on vocals.
The Season continued after some serious rehearsals , and Pete fitted in very well.
After the Season Malc Foster left the band .
The group finally fizzled out after a disastrous tour of South Wales, using a series of dep. drummers.
Russ took a job at Blackburn Locarno with the George Marino Quartet, and one day received a call from the Vic Rawlings agency inviting him to a free evening at Rosegrove Cabaret club.
He arrive to find that Jack Beckett had also been invited , and when the pair of them had been ushered into a private "box" in the circle, they discovered that the cabaret that night included The Manhattans.
Alan Dickinson had formed a trio and they were truly awful. To cut a long story short Vic Rawlings brought Jack Beckett , Russ and Alan together, had them rehearse, and then sent them off to Turkey in the winter of 1966.
Although musically, the tour was a success, Alan was dropped as soon as the group got back to the UK. Russ and JB became a duo and for a while the name Manhattans was dropped.
Sometime in the early 70s Russ answered an ad. In the local paper.The Thornton Manor, Thornton in Craven, was looking for a resident trio. He replied to the ad and got the job. Unfortunately he did not actually have a group at that time.
Luckily JB was just returning from Dublin where he had been doing the Olympia Theatre. They had broken up in 69 after their last Mosney season as "Russ and Johnny".
The Manhattans name was reborn and with dep drummers, they took up the residency at the Thonton Manor.
Shortly after Tony Mirando ( a rrummer out of the pit orchestra at Butlins) came over from Dublin and joined the Manhattans.
So the 70s Manhattans comprised of :
Tony Mirando (Drums,vocals and flute)
JB (vocals and Bass)
Russ (Vocals and Guitar)
When this outfit broke up in the late 70s the name was dropped again for a while.
The name was revived by JB and Graham Cockett some time later………….
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The Manhattans were actually reborn in1976 with the line-up as follows; Drums,Tony Morando, Bass guitar and vocals John Grant aka Jack Beckett Lead/Rhythm guitar an vocals.The group worked the local club & pub circuit(Burnley, Nelson, Colne) throughout 1976/77. during early 1978,an audition in Bradford for local agent Owen Hammond resulted in four consecutive summer seasons at Butlins in Minehead.The winters during those years were spent touring for the same agent the first was a lengthy tour of Norway followed by numerous tours of South Wales and The North East of England.In 1982 the Manhattans were booked to appear at Butlins in Filey,but the drummer pulled out and the remaining two spent the summer season in Minehead again but this time at the Red Lion Hotel.The Drummer returned to the group for the following year which found them in Minehead yet again, this time Minehead Football Club was the venue for the summer.1984 was once again spent at Minehead F.C. but by this time the ... Read More
The Manhattans were actually reborn in1976 with the line-up as follows; Drums,Tony Morando, Bass guitar and vocals John Grant aka Jack Beckett Lead/Rhythm guitar an vocals.The group worked the local club & pub circuit(Burnley, Nelson, Colne) throughout 1976/77. during early 1978,an audition in Bradford for local agent Owen Hammond resulted in four consecutive summer seasons at Butlins in Minehead.The winters during those years were spent touring for the same agent the first was a lengthy tour of Norway followed by numerous tours of South Wales and The North East of England.In 1982 the Manhattans were booked to appear at Butlins in Filey,but the drummer pulled out and the remaining two spent the summer season in Minehead again but this time at the Red Lion Hotel.The Drummer returned to the group for the following year which found them in Minehead yet again, this time Minehead Football Club was the venue for the summer.1984 was once again spent at Minehead F.C. but by this time the drummer had left the Manhattans for good and returned to his native Dublin. Tony passed away in November 2010, he was 71.John and Graham carried on performing as the Manhattans and in 1985 the hard work finally paid off with a very successful 6 month gig at the Gulf Hotel in Oman.Two summer seasons at Pontins Middleton Towers, A summer season at the Sunshine Hotel in Jersey and three more Summers at Butlns in Minehead, the last one in 1993.John and Graham last performed as the Manhattans at the Higham Village hall Lancashire on the 7th. November1998. John passed away 11 years ago this February. Graham is still playing in a 60's group alongside Malcolm Bateson,ironically the original bass guitarist of the Manhattans!!
Hi, I know you said no personal messages but I have been trying to find an old friend of mine for a very long time. John Grant or his singing partner Graham Foster. Any help would be greatly appreciated xxx
HiI am Trevor Bastow's brother. Sadly, Trevor died in 2000, but prior to that he had a successful career writing for films, doing a lot of sessions, producing tons of library music, and doing a lot of TV shows and tours. He was musical director for Tom Jones for a while. A lot of his material is being rediscovered and postedon YouTube. Very nostalgic to see the Manhattans inf o - I just about remember this phase of his life (I was very young!)
We too would love info if you get any. Our last recollection of the Manhattan Trio was at Butlins Minehead, Graham, Tony and John (Grant we think). The following year they split and Tony left. We found them at the pub just round the corner from Butlins. I have a lovely sketch drawn by them which they gave us. Please contact if you have any more info. Thanks Nicky