Marmalade ( U.K. band)
Original band – 1968
l/r: Dean Ford, Alan Whitehead, Graham Knight, Junior Campbell and Pat Fairley
|Origin||Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom|
|Labels||CBS, Decca, London, Target Records, Castle, Sanctuary, Union Square Music, BMG Rights Management|
The Marmalade was a Scottish pop rock band from the east end of Glasgow, originally formed in 1961 as The Gaylords, and then later billed as Dean Ford and the Gaylords. In 1966 they changed the band name to The Marmalade. The most continuous successful period for the band, in terms of UK and international chart success, was between 1968 and 1972, and this article predominately addresses the history of the band in this period and from inception. From the early 1970s, after the original players began to drift away, the band evolved with many further changes and a version of the band still exists to this day, touring the nostalgia circuit. With the departure of Graham Knight in September 2010, none of the original lineup have been members of the band. For the avoidance of doubt, all reference to the current touring band should be referenced to the website under the “External Links” section below.
- 1 History
- 2 Members
- 3 Current members
- 4 Discography
- 5 See also
- 6 References
- 7 Sources
- 8 External links
The Gaylords (named after the notorious post war Chicago Gaylords street gang) were originally formed by Pat Fairley and Billy Johnston in Baillieston, a suburb east of Glasgow, in 1961. Their initial line-up included Tommy Frew on drums and lead guitarist Pat McGovern, fronted by vocalist Wattie Rodgers. William Junior Campbell joined on his fourteenth birthday on 31 May 1961 replacing McGovern, and Rodgers was then himself replaced, initially by two new lead vocalists, Billy Reid and Tommy Scott, although Reid soon departed leaving Scott as the sole frontman. Bill Irving, from local Baillieston group The Cadillacs, then took over from Johnston on bass.
The group began gathering notice and in 1963 Thomas McAleese (who adopted the stage moniker Dean Ford) replaced Scott as lead singer. They then became known as Dean Ford and The Gaylords. Raymond Duffy, from Glasgow group The Escorts, then came in on drums after Frew departed. For a few months, they had an organist, Davey Hunter. By early 1965, Graham Knight, from the local group The Vampires, had displaced Irving on bass.
(Pictured; left to right: Bill Irving, Junior Campbell, Dean Ford, Ray Duffy and Pat Fairley (1964))
Becoming popular in Scotland, and under the management of Billy Grainger, in early 1964 they were championed by Scottish music journalist Gordon Reid, which led to them being signed to Columbia (EMI) by Norrie Paramor after auditions at Glasgow’s Locarno Ballroom. They went on to record four singles, including a cover of the 1963 Chubby Checker US hit “Twenty Miles”, which was a big seller locally but failed to chart nationally. The Columbia releases, although uncredited, were all produced by Bob Barratt, EMI staff producer, with Norrie Paramor as executive. Paramor played the celesta on “What’s The Matter With Me”; the b-side of “Twenty Miles”. In 1965, they played a long stint in Germany at the Storyville in Cologne and also in Duisburg. By this time The Gaylords had made themselves a top group in Scotland, borne out in music poll results. To try for success in the UK as a whole , they moved to London where they changed management and agency representation, as Billy Grainger had decided to remain in Glasgow.
Name change and the CBS era
On the recommendation of The Tremeloes, who had played with them in Glasgow, The Gaylords were invited to join the London-based agency Starlite Artistes, owned and managed by Peter Walsh. They then began to build up a club reputation as a tight, close harmony band and in 1966, finding themselves in the middle of the 1960s swinging London scene, they decided to update their image and instrumentation. On the advice of their new manager, they changed the band name to The Marmalade, eventually dropping “The”. Unusually, they now had two bass players, Graham Knight on 4 string and Pat Fairley on 6 string (Fairley having dropped the standard rhythm guitar normally associated with rock groups of the early 1960s).
With their EMI Columbia contract at an end, Walsh, with the help of John Salter, Walsh’s booking agent, was successful in signing the band to CBS Records with producer Mike Smith, who was having great success with The Tremeloes, now their agency stablemates. But their first few CBS singles also failed to chart in the UK.
Drummer Ray Duffy (who later played with Matthews Southern Comfort and Gallagher and Lyle) left in 1966 to return to Scotland to get married just after their first CBS release, “Its All Leading up to Saturday Night”. Former postman Alan Whitehead became their new drummer, debuting on their next single, “Can’t Stop Now”, which failed to sell despite the group’s performing it on a TV play, The Fantasist, written by Alun Owen, for the BBC Two Theatre 625 series.
Their third CBS single, the self penned “I See The Rain“, written by Junior Campbell and Dean Ford, was praised by Jimi Hendrix as the ‘best cut of 1967’. It became a chart-topper in the Netherlands the same year. Graham Nash of The Hollies contributed to the session, but it too flopped in the UK, although the track, with its distinct 1960s feel, has since attained a cult following and been resurrected recently by artists such as Susanna Hoffs of The Bangles and Matthew Sweet. (see Under the Covers, Vol. 1)
19 January 1967 proved to be a turning point in the band’s progress when they made their debut at London’s Marquee Club where they supported Pink Floyd. Two weeks later, on 3 February, they supported The Action. After that, they never supported anyone again at the Marquee and on 16 March 1967 they began a long residency which carried through to the autumn of the following year, building a reputation and following, including touring with The Who, Joe Cocker, Traffic, Gene Pitney and The Tremeloes. This culminated with summer appearances at the Windsor Jazz and Rock Festival, directly preceding Jerry Lee Lewis, and Festival of the Flower Children Woburn Abbey.
CBS, concerned at Marmalade’s lack of commercial success, threatened to drop them if they did not have a hit. So after the failure of another self-penned single later that year, “Man in a Shop”, they were urged to record more chart-orientated material. They rejected “Everlasting Love“, which became a No. 1 for Love Affair, but later gave in to pressure and recorded “Lovin’ Things” written by Artie Schroeck and Jet Loring in 1967 and arranged by Keith Mansfield for Marmalade. It reached No. 6 in the UK Singles Chart in the summer of 1968. This was covered by The Grass Roots in the US in 1969, using virtually the same arrangement. Marmalade’s debut album, There’s A Lot Of It About, featured a mix of some of their singles and cover versions of current popular tunes, and was released in 1968.
Marmalade made a cameo appearance on the big screen in the film Subterfuge that year.
After a lesser hit with their follow-up single “Wait For Me Mary-Anne” (written by Alan Blaikley and Ken Howard), which made No. 30, they enjoyed their biggest UK success with their cover of The Beatles‘ “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da“, which topped the UK chart in January 1969, the group becoming the first ever Scottish group to top that chart. Their version of “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” sold around half a million in the UK, and a million copies globally by April 1969. This was followed by further success with “Baby Make It Soon” (written by Tony Macaulay), which reached No. 9 in the summer of 1969.
In February 1969 the band appeared on the BBC’s flagship program Colour Me Pop, (precursor to The Old Grey Whistle Test) performing a halfhour slot. They also appeared on the BBC’s review of the 1960s music scene, Pop Go The Sixties, performing “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” live on the broadcast on BBC 1 on New Year’s Eve 1969.
In November 1969 the band was signed to Decca Records by Decca head of A&R, Dick Rowe. Under an advance deal allowing them to write and produce their own songs, in their very first Decca recording session, they recorded Reflections of My Life, which would become their biggest worldwide hit. Topping the charts in Europe (also Top 10 in United States and No. 1 in most of South America), it was written by Campbell and Ford, and featured a “backwards” (backmasking) guitar solo by Campbell.
“Reflections of My Life” has recorded over two million sales, and the writers were awarded a Special Citation of Achievement in 1998 by BMI in attaining radio broadcast performances in excess of one million in the US alone.
Other UK hits for Decca included “Rainbow” (UK No. 3 and US No. 51) and “My Little One” (UK No. 15)., “Cousin Norman” and “Radancer” (both reaching UK No. 6).
Their first Decca album, Reflections Of The Marmalade was released in the US as Reflections Of My Life on Decca’s London Records subsidiary. Their US singles during this era likewise came out on London. But their manager, Walsh, turned down an offer to tour the US opening for Three Dog Night, thus blowing an opportunity for further exposure there. To be fair to Walsh, he did not much care for the fact that Marmalade would have had to pay a substantial dollar premium to do so, a practice common in the US but totally alien to Walsh’s traditional UK management and agency style.
After Junior Campbell, who co-wrote most of the group’s original material with Ford, left the band in March 1971 for a solo career, and to study orchestration and composition at the Royal College of Music, they began a series of line-up changes, including the loss of drummer Alan Whitehead.
Marmalade recruited guitarist Hugh Nicholson, an ex-member of The Poets, to replace Campbell, and after the first post Campbell release, “Cousin Norman”, it was Nicholson who insisted on them sacking Whitehead and recruiting his friend and colleague from The Poets, Dougie Henderson. This caused Marmalade to suffer adverse publicity from the UK’s News of the World after an embittered Whitehead gave them stories of the band’s experiences with groupies.
Marmalade released Songs in November 1971, with Nicholson taking over most song compositions, which met with limited success. However, Nicholson penned two of their last hits, “Cousin Norman” (brass arranged by Junior Campbell) and “Radancer”, as well as the lesser hit “Back on the Road”, on which he sang lead vocal.
Pat Fairley quit the band circa 1972 to run the group’s music publishing company, then Nicholson, who was discouraged over the failure of their Songs album, also left in 1973 to form Blue (not to be confused with a later boy band of the same name). Ford, Knight and Henderson carried on with Marmalade. Nicholson was eventually replaced by Mike Japp, a rock guitarist from the Welsh band, Thank You.
The group returned to EMI and released a new single, “Wishing Well”. But Knight left during the recording of their next album, Our House Is Rocking (which showcased a heavier rock sound and was delayed until the autumn of 1974) and the group was briefly a trio before Joe Breen (ex-Dream Police) came in on bass. Refusing to play most of the band’s old hit records on stage, the group slowly came to a standstill.
In 1975 Knight linked up with former drummer Alan Whitehead to form ‘Vintage Marmalade’ with Sandy Newman (vocals, guitar, keyboards) and Charlie Smith (guitar). They were reunited with their old manager, Peter Walsh, to play all the hits on stage and had a full date sheet.
Later in 1975, after Ford and the remaining members called it quits, Knight and Whitehead took over the name Marmalade with the new line-up, fronted by Newman. They signed a deal with Tony Macaulay‘s Target Records and in 1976, had what turned out to be their final Top 10 hit with the ominously entitled, Macaulay penned song, “Falling Apart at The Seams”. The song also reached the easy listening charts in the U.S. and made the Top 50 of the Billboard Hot 100, becoming the group’s last charting single on the U.S charts. Subsequent singles failed to chart. One of these was “Talking In Your Sleep“, produced by Roger Greenaway and released in January 1978, six months ahead of the Crystal Gayle version of the same song, which became well known worldwide.
Sandy Newman (ex-The Chris McClure Section, 1968–1970) has continued to front Marmalade since 1975, releasing a further eleven singles in the UK (excluding re-releases), seven of which were via Target Records, none of which have charted in the UK or US, and today they continue to tour the nostalgia circuit performing the band’s full hit repertoire.
Charlie Smith departed in 1977 to join Nicholson in Blue and Garth Watt-Roy came in briefly for Marmalade’s Only Light On My Horizon Now album, before leaving for the Q-Tips in 1978. He was replaced by guitarist Ian Withington, who appeared alongside Knight, Newman and new drummer Stu Williamson for the next album Doing It All For You (1979).
Alan Whitehead left the band in 1978 to manage other pop groups and singers, which he has continued to do. He also appeared in the 2010 TV series Take Me Out and ran a lap dancing club.
Charlie Smith returned in 1980, as the band’s drummer this time. Alan Holmes (vocals, guitars, keyboards), a former member of the Bristol-based band Federation, succeeded Withington. A 1980 US only album, Marmalade, on G&P Records, featured a re-recorded mix of their Decca, EMI and Target material, alongside some Junior Campbell-penned tracks. Another unsuccessful album, Heartbreaker, came out in the UK in 1982 on the Spectra label.
Graham Knight remained as the sole original band member touring the nostalgia circuit with Newman, Smith and Alan Holmes. In 1982, Glenn Taylor replaced Smith on drums, though Smith returned from 1989 to around 1998, before Taylor took over permanently.
Dave Dee began appearing as guest singer for Marmalade in 1987 and recorded a single with the band, “Scirocco”, in 1989. He continued to make live guest appearances with them until his death in 2009.
In September 2010, Graham Knight, the last remaining member of the original band, departed. Drummer Taylor also left to join The Fortunes. The new players were drummer Damon Sawyer and bassist Mike Steed. In 2011, guitarist and vocalist John James Newman joined, making the band a quintet once again.
2013 saw the current Marmalade line-up release their first new studio album since 1979. Entitled Penultimate and released in CD and vinyl formats, it featured six new compositions, together with re-recordings of many Marmalade songs. The album was launched on 4 October 2013 to coincide with the start of a 52-date UK tour.
In 2015 Jan Robinson (vocals, bass) and Chris North (drums, percussion) were brought in as the new rhythm section, in place of Steed and Sawyer.
Original Band-50 Years On
2011 saw the release of “Fine Cuts–The Best Of Marmalade” on the Union Square Music BMG Salvo label (SALVOMDCD26), a double album containing all of the Marmalade original studio recordings between 1966 and 1972, including all of their chart hits. The complete catalogue was made available via digital download.
Dean Ford was one of many lead vocalists contributing to The Alan Parsons Project. He is living in Los Angeles. Although for some years he withdrew from the music industry and battled alcoholism, settling in Los Angeles (after a brief spell in New York ), he has become active in music again and released a single called “Glasgow Road” with Joe Tansin (ex-Badfinger) in 2012. He has since recorded a poignant version of “Reflections Of My Life” and in 2016 released a PledgeMusic album entitled Feel My Heartbeat available for digital download.
Pat Fairley also moved to Los Angeles in the late 1970s having worked in music publishing for the RSO Group Robert Stigwood and for the band Yes. He retired from the music business many years ago and has a bar and music venue called The Scotland Yard Pub, in Los Angeles.
Alan Whitehead continues in artist management.
Graham Knight has retired and has homes in Sussex and Spain.
Junior Campbell became a successful solo recording artist, songwriter, television and film composer, record producer and music arranger, and lives in Sussex. He manages all of the master rights to the original band recordings on behalf of the whole band, which they retain, and their publishing rights.
- Sandy Newman – lead vocals, lead guitar, keyboards (1975–present)
- Alan Holmes – vocals, acoustic/electric guitar, keyboards (1980–present)
- Jan Robinson – vocals, bass (2015–present)
- Chris North – drums, percussion (2015–present)
- John James Newman – vocals, acoustic guitar (2011–present)
Dean Ford and the Gaylords singles
|Title||Cat No.||Release Date|
|“Twenty Miles” c/w “What’s the Matter with Me”||Columbia DB7264||April 1964|
|“Mr Heartbreak’s Here Instead” c/w “I Won’t”||Columbia DB7402||November 1964|
|“The Name Game” c/w “That Lonely Feeling”||Columbia DB7610||June 1965|
|“He’s a Good Face (But He’s Down and Out)” c/w “You Know It Too”||Columbia DB7805||December 1965|
|UK Singles Chart||US Billboard Hot 100 Chart||US Adult Contemporary|
|1966||“It’s All Leading up to Saturday Night”
|1966||“Can’t Stop Now”
|1967||“I See the Rain”
(William Campbell/Thomas McAleese)
|1967||“Man in a Shop”
(William Campbell/Thomas McAleese)
(Jet Loring/Artie Schroeck)
|1968||“Wait for Me Mary-Anne”
(Alan Blaikley/Ken Howard)
|1969||“Baby Make It Soon”
(Barry, Robin & Maurice Gibb)
|1969||“Reflections of My Life”
(William Campbell/Thomas McAleese)
(William Campbell/Thomas McAleese)
|1971||“My Little One”
(William Campbell/Thomas McAleese)
|1971||“Back on the Road”
|1973||“The Wishing Well”
|1973||“Our House Is Rockin'”
(Thomas McAleese/Mike Japp)
|1974||“Come Back Jo”
(Thomas McAleese/Mike Japp)
|1976||“Falling Apart at the Seams”
|1976||“Walking a Tightrope”
|1976||“What You Need Is a Miracle”
|1977||“The Only Light on My Horizon Now”
(Tony Macaulay/Geoff Stephens)
|1977||“Mystery Has Gone”
(Sandy Newman/Graham Knight)
|1978||“Talking in Your Sleep”
(Roger Cook/Bobby Wood)
|1979||“Made in Germany”
(Medley of previous hits)
Marmalade studio albums
- Original band
- There’s a Lot of It About (1968) CBS
- Best Of (1969) CBS
- Reflections of the Marmalade (1970) Decca Records
- Additional/ later line-ups
- Songs (1971) Decca Records
- Our House Is Rocking (1974)
- The Only Light on My Horizon Now (1977)
- Hello Baby (1978)
- … Doing It All for You (1978)
- Heavens Above (1979)
- Marmalade (US only) (1980)
- Heartbreaker (1982)
- Penultimate (2013)