Leigh's veteran rocker relives the 1950s and 60s
4:40pm Thursday 31st October 2013 in NW
EVERGREEN musician Rockin’ Ronnie Carr just keeps on rolling along.
The 78 year-old guitarist from Leigh, who has helped raised thousands of pounds for charity, is the face of a generation of musicians depicted on the cover of a newly-published book.
Social history author Keith Gildart selected The Beat Boys founder as a subject to interview for “What’s On” which delves into the world of popular music from 1955 to 1976 and focuses on performers from the industrial regions of the North West.
Former miner Ronnie was a perfect choice for his studies having worked on the face and on development work underground at Leigh’s Bedford Colliery.
“Workmates at Wood End (Bedford) used to call me the Lemon Drop Kid and that gets a mention in Keith’s book,” said Ronnie who used to pretend his miner’s shovel was a guitar and strum it for fellow workers.
Ronnie was surprised to find himself on the cover of the book on a photo taken at Bolton Palais when The Beat Boys were a top act bringing in the fans from miles around.
“Our line-up then was John Hodkinson lead singer, Kenny Fillingham lead guitar, Jimmy Bilsbury on piano, drummer Eric Eastham, Colin Timperley on rhythm guitar and me playing bass,” he recalled.
“The Leigh area was famous for its groups made up of ordinary working class lads. The Dominoes evolved into The Beat Boys and we had a recording contract with Decca and appeared with The Rolling Stones.
”We played on TV shows Thank Your Lucky Stars and Ready, Steady Go and appeared with The Ronettes.
“The area was alive with music in the early days with Mike O’Neill’s Wabash Skiffle Group, The Teenage Rebels from Atherton, The Falcons, Johnny Lea and The Seekers and Ricky Dean and The Phantoms. Happy days!”
*The book is available from Amazon.
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