The Solitaires


Line-up included  
Chris Holt lead
Barry Greenhalgh drums
Billy Bedford bass
John Gray vocals
Dave rhythm
Rob Wayne bass

I've occasionally thought about putting the Solitaires up but didn't have a great deal to say -- even though for about 18 months during 1964/5 the band was all we thought about - and we were working several nights every week - Jimmy Reed Chuck Berry Sonny Boy Williamson Muddy Waters etc AND a few ballads written for us by Peter Skellern who was a schoolmate of our lead guiter. When I recently saw The Solitaires had been mentioned a couple of times my interest picked up - but the odd thing is that the new page seems to have been created by someone I don't know, and the only name mentioned in the LineUp, Rob Wayne, is again not someone I knew.

Any chance of putting the picture I sent (and attached again here) up on the page in case any former followers remember us? It's not a great picture, but it could easily be the only one in existence! Our manager spent most time and effort on his more experienced older band (we were 17/8 at the time), Ian Dean & The Brystals ....

... and he had us working regularly one night each week at Bury Palais,

For a period we did a couple of nights each week at a place mentioned on your list of requests for information ----  the Fusiliers Arms: the Fusiliers used to stand on the roundabout that was then at the top of Cross Lane in Salford. The Fusiliers was a rough gig --- sailors from Manchester Docks used to drink their way up Cross Lane and arrive (often with the ladies they'd met on the way up) at the Fusiliers either very happy, or the opposite. In 1965 there was a (then rare) video jukebox there that played a film loop along with the selected record --- all I can remember the sailors playing on it was Screaming Lord Sutch. I recall other regular venues -- Bolton Palais with its revolving stage, Darwen Baths, the Boneyard (was that in Rochdale or Oldham, I forget ...) and lots of one-nighters I've just forgotten, it would be nice for someone to remind me!

The lineup in the picture is the one that Bury kids seemed enthusiastic about in 1964/5 .... Chris Holt (lead); Barry Greenhalgh (drums); Billy Bedford (bass); John Gray (vocalist); Dave(? rhythm)

Chris went off to Bolton Art School and joined British Airways later as a top designer.
Barry joined the army -- it was his leaving that (as I recollect it) broke the band up -- he was a great drummer.
Billy (who worked at Antler) became, I understand, owner of a chain of luggage shops all over the UK.
John (me) went off to Uni and ended up working in FE colleges
Dave, a bit older than the rest of us (and a good influence :)), was a copper, I guess he carried on being.

John Gray

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Comments (4)

Topic: The Solitaires, Bury
Frank Garrett says...
Dave Parr would remember names (very popular at the Bury Palais) One thing regarding this group was PETER SKELLERN (Bury) was writing tunes and they played one or two as he was at school with Dave Parr and the guitarist from the group at Derby High ... Read More
11th January 2015 1:20pm
John Gray says...
Indeed, I used to sing them! Chris Holt, our lead guitar, used to bring Pete Skellern and his songs down to our Solitaires practices in the canteen of the mill we used to practice in at Bury Bridge. Skellern's songs (we regularly performed two ... Read More
3rd May 2016 9:24pm
Paul Bradshaw says...
Hi Frank. I was at the Derby School with Dave Parr and he was in a group called The Strangeways. In fact he taught me the intro to Too Much Monkey Business by Chuck Berry and it was all over. Spent 10 years playing full time in Sydney and am now ... Read More
13th May 2016 4:32am
John Gray says...
Here's the Solitaires lineup of 1964/65 when the group were often at Bury Palais .... left to right

Chris Holt (lead); Barry Greenhalgh (drums); Billy Bedford (bass); John Gray (vocalist); Dave(? rhythm)image
3rd May 2016 9:45pm

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