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Freddie and the Dreamers

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The most good-natured of British Invasion groups, Manchester's Freddie & the Dreamers had three high-spirited American hits and a few more in the U.K. Frontman Freddie Garrity was older than his peers (29 during his US breakthrough in 1965), and considerably less sexy, making his trademark out of endearing goofiness (and Buddy Holly glasses). Though he recorded a few R&B covers, his real roots were in English music-hall and Tin Pan Alley pop. The rest of the group was virtually invisible, but for the record they were guitarists Derek Quinn and Roy Crewdson, bassist Peter Birrell and drummer Bernie Dwyer. Garrity's first group in 1958 was a skiffle group called the Red Sox (This was the first of two Boston coincidences in his history: The Dreamers later hit in the UK with a ballad, "I Understand", that was originally done by Boston group the G-Clefs). In 1961 he joined the Kingfishers who became Freddie & the Dreamers; their first UK hit came two years later with "If You Gotta Make a Fool of Somebody," an American soul tune that they borrowed from the Beatles who were playing it at the Cavern. This caused some friction, though the two groups soon made up. With the Merseybeat trend now in full swing, the group jumped in with "I'm Telling You Now," an infectious tune co-written by Garrity. This was a UK Top 10 as was its equally lively follow-up, "You Were Made for Me." History repeated itself nearly two years later when "I'm Telling You Now" was released as their US debut in March 1965 and went to Number One; once again "You Were Made for Me" was successfully released as the follow-up. Garrity's U.S. TV appearances drew attention for his onstage dancing, with its whoops, kicks and high jumps. This proved the perfect jumping-off point for a dance-craze record, "Do the Freddie," the next US hit for the Dreamers (though it was actually cut in America with session players). Chubby Checker, who knew a dance craze when he saw one, even jumped the bandwagon with a record called "Let's Do the Freddie." Their new US label Mercury made the most of his image, with back-to-back albums called Frantic Freddie and Fun-Lovin' Freddie. "Do the Freddie" was their last hit on either side of the Atlantic, though they came up with a cult classic on 1967's "Brown & Porter's (Meat Exporters) Lorry"-the closest they got to psychedelia, or at least Kinks-type whimsy. The group broke up in 1969 and the others retired from music while Garrity became a British TV fixture and continued touring with latter-day Dreamers. Faced with emphysema he retired in 2001,and lived out his last days in a Welsh bungalow known as Dreamers End.

Filmography

Movies

Credit
No Score Yet No Score Yet Disk-O-Tek Holiday Music Performer - 1966

TV

Credit
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Danny Kaye Show Guest 1965