The Olympics
aka
Jackie Fordell and The Olympics
1959-63
Info courtesy Bob Hoath/Ted Lee
   

Line-up

1959-1961  
Jack Mumford (Jackie Fordell) vocals
Keith Gresty lead
Ted Lee bass
Alan McKnight rhythmn
John McKnight drums
   
July 1963 (as per Oasis info)  
Jack Mumford (Jackie Fordell) vocals
Ted Lee bass
Alan McKnight rhythmn
John McKnight drums
Keith Gresty lead
   
At the end  
Keith Gresty lead
Alan McKnight rhythmn
John McKnight drums
Bob Hoath bass
   

Bob Hoath writes:

Based in the Clayton–Droylesden area, the Olympics were a showband style group, performing Presley type production numbers.

As the band’s style and repertoire changed, Jackie Fordell retired and the band carried on as a four piece, with Bob Hoath replacing Ted Lee on bass.

The Olympics were originally managed by Ric Dixon, who ran  the Oasis, where the Olympics had a lunchtime residency with resident dj’s Dave Lee Travis and Mac Lacy.

When Ric joined Kennedy Street Enterprises he took the Olympics with him. KSE people at the time included Danny Betesh, Geoffrey Cantor, Rice and band managers Roy Williams and Geoff Baker.

KSE had an interest in the Guys and Dolls club close to their offices in Kennedy Street (hence the name) and the Three Coins. Consequently we often used these places for rehearsal.

At one time, Geoff Baker put together an enormous group that he called ‘Group North’. It included Pete Bocking, Richard Harding and, I think, Trevor Morais amongst its members.

In late 1963, the band’s management renamed the group the ‘Chaperones’ and they became the backing band for Rochdale based singer Lorraine Gray.

Lorraine Gray and the Chaperones toured for a couple of years. Lorraine released two singles on Fontana and eventually emigrated to Australia.

Keith Gresty and Ted Lee became members of Sunshine Cake, the resident band at Tiffany’s after the Nocturnes.

pic

Read this copy of Beat Scene
July 1963 - number 13

 

Ted Lee comments:

Most of the above information is incorrect - take it from me I was in the band from its concept until 1964 when by then most of the Olympic events were over.

We were never a showband style group and performed very few Presley numbers. David Bowker remembers it well when he said we were a typical Shadows type band.

We were initially managed by Bill Fearniough who owned the Klub Koquette in Stockport and later Ric Dixon became our manager.

I have an Oasis Beat Scene that puts us together in July 1963 and I can well remember doing a couple of early gigs with Lorraine Gray but in 1964 I decided it was time to move on to greener pastures. So at the tail end of it all Bob Hoath took over on Bass til its end soon after. Much much more to add and will do this at a later date. Many stories to add.

 

I was married to Alan Mcknight from 1968.  We met in 1959. I would just like to say to Bob Hoath ,who I remember joining the group.they were a Shadows band and not Presley.

Lynda Mcknight
21/2/12

 

THE DIXON AGENCY June 1962
THE OLYPICS WITH JACKIE FORDELL
JUNE ITINERY
       
Fri 1st Club Koquetts, Stockport As Usual 10-0s-0d
Sat 2nd St. Alban's Youth Club As arranged 12-0s-0d
Wed 6th Mirrlees Apprentices' Club As previously arranged 11-0s-0d
Fri 8th Oasis To arrive and be set up for 7.30 p.m. 10-0s-0d
Sat 9th Moss House To arrive at 7.00 p.m. approx. to be set up and ready to commence playing. 10-0s-0d
Sun 10th Oasis (backing Dickie Pride) Rehearsal 5.30 p.m.  
Wed 13th Oasis As Usual  
Thur 14th Mirrlees Apprentices' Club As previously arranged 9-0s-0d
Fri 15th Stanley Street Club As arranged 12-0s-0d
Sat 16th Kings Hall As arranged 10-10s-0d
Wed 20th Oasis As Usual  
Fri 22nd Cavern Club, Matthew St, Liverpool To arrive not later than 7.00 p.m. 10-0s-0d
  Into Liverpool City Centre and anyone will tell you where the Cavern is.  Do not leave any valuables in the van and be sure that everything is locked.
Sat 23rd Dukinfield 7.30 p.m. - 8.00 p.m.
8.30 p.m. - 9.15 p.m.
10.00 p.m. - 10.45 p.m.
15-0s-0d
Sun 24th 3 Coins As previously timed 10-0s-0d
Tue 26th Oasis Must be here by 7.00 p.m. at the latest  
Fri 29th Cresta Ballroom, Newton Heath As arranged 8-10s-0d
Sat 30th St. Alban's, Offerton To arrive prior to 7.30 p.m. 12-0s-0d
       
Dates so far in July    
Tue 3rd Oasis    
Wed 4th Adswood    
Fri 6th Brinnington Youth Club    
Sat 7th Kings Hall    
Sun 8th Three Coins    
Mon 9th Kings Hall    
Thu 26th Top Ten Club, Stockport    
Sat 28th Kings Hall    

 

olympics

   

Memories

They were a very popular group - they were in the Manchester  Evening News lists damned near every night. I remember how they would put the name of the band  several times  in the ad with the name on top of each other "Tonight,  Bodega " Olympics! Olympics!Olympics! This had to be early 60s.

I think they based their stuff on Shadows instrumentals , and Jackie was  Cliff Richard .. but maybe they modernised a bit later. They gigged probably more than any of us! 

David Bowker

I'm originally from Dukinfield, and I saw Jackie Fordell & The Olympics at The Jubilee Hall several times in 1962, (part of Dukinfield town hall).
At the time I was a 16 year old aspiring guitar player who was totally knocked out by the bespectacled lead guitar player I know now to be Keith Gresty.

Thanks Keith!

Kevin Parrott
12/8/10

I used to work as a police dog handler with Alan Mcknight and loved the stories of my old mates gigging days.  Sadly Alan passed away some years ago as did his brother John who had kept reel to reel recordings of every rehearsal session The Olympics did.

Rest in peace Alan and John  - thanks for the memories.

Dave Hughes
18/3/11

I remember the Olympics very well, I used to sit in and listen at rehearsals, learned a lot from them , great Shadows covers and lots of Buddy Holly, Eddie Cochran kind of material, sorry to hear that Allan and John have passed away. When Jack (Mumford ) joined them they took off, were always great and Ted was always making something.

Eric Massey
8/5/13

 

 

 

 



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