Freddie and the Dreamers
This is a real dreamy kind of name for a rock band. These guys were British and they had a number of hit records back in the 1960s. Onstage they also put on an act with comic antics for everyone’s delight. They continued to play for their fans until December of 2000 playing for the last time at Margate Winter Gardens.
Freddie and the Dreamers were Freddie Garrity who did the vocals, Roy Crewdson on guitar, Derek Quinn on guitar and harmonica, Peter Birrell on bass and Bernie Dwyer on drums. These guys hail from Manchester and as with other British bands they got caught up in all the craziness of Beatlemania. The time prior to becoming a singer Garrity was delivering milk in Manchester. In the UK they have four Top 10 hits – “If You Gotta Make a Fool of Somebody”, “I’m Telling You Now”, “You Were Made for Me”, and “I Understand”.
Once on stage this band was well rehearsed with wild antics ready to go. They would perform synchronized, crazy dance routines. Following along with other bands they appeared in four British films – “What a Crazy World”, “Just for You”, “The Cuckoo Patrol”, and “Every Day’s a Holiday” (this movie’s US title was “Seaside Swingers”. When the craziness of singing and performing started to wind down, Garrity and Birell made appearances on a UK ITV show for children between 1971 and 1973. The band also made a guest appearance on the BBC sitcom “Dear John”.
As other English bands had done before them Freddy and the Dreamers seeing their popularity decline in the UK looked toward the U.S. Catching onto the great wave of the British Invasion. Unfortunately they couldn’t find any U.S. record label to sign them on so their releases appeared on assorted labels. Finally in the spring of 1965 their song “I’m Telling You Now” hit number 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. Their next hit wound up at number 18 and was titled “Do the Freddie” which was meant to inspire a dance craze. Along with their album “Do the Freddie” which was released at the end of 1965 you got diagrams made up by dance instructor Arthur Murray on how to perform the dance routines.
Some other songs by them include “I Love You Baby”, “In My Baby’s Arms” and “Feel So Blue”.
Freddie and the Dreamers had recorded a total of four albums and had one film soundtrack released. As this band continued to perform they changed their line-up many different times. They also appeared with other artists from the same era like Gerry and the Pacemakers, Peter Noone of Herman’s Hermits fame, and The Troggs.
Freddie Garrity finally retired in 2001 forced to do so because of pulmonary hypertension and died in 2006. As for the fate of the other boys in the band – Dwyer succumbed to lung cancer in 2002, Birrell left the stage lights and became a taxicab driver and Crewdson runs a bar called Dreamers in Tenerife. Nick Foti and Alan Edmondson who toured with 60s bands including Freddie and the Dreamers sing a lot of Freddie’s hits as well as the hits of other 60s bands and they perform under the title The 2 Most a solid sixties music tribute duo. Simon Clarke also an ex-band member of Freddie and the Dreamers performs solo acts singing music from the 60s. Even though he immigrated to Canada in 2003 he keeps alive the music of the British Invasion era.
© 2016 Gypsy Rose Lee
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