Freddie and the Dreamers

Freddie and the Dreamers were a British musical band who had a number of hit records between May 1963 and November 1965. Their act was based around the comic antics of the 5-foot-3-inch-tall (1.60m) Freddie Garrity, who was famous for bouncing around the stage with arms and legs flying.

The band consisted of Freddie Garrity (born Manchester, Lancashire 14 November 1936 died –19 May 2006), vocals, Roy Crewdson (born Manchester May 29, 1941 ), guitar, Derek Quinn (born Manchester May 24, 1942, ), guitar and harmonica, Peter Birrell (born Manchester May 9, 1941), bass, and Bernie Dwyer (born Manchester September 11, 1940, died – December 4, 2002), drums.

Although the band were grouped as a part of the Merseybeat sound phenomenon that The Beatles exploded around the world in the wake of Beatlemania, they came from Manchester. Prior to becoming a singer, Garrity worked as a milkman in Manchester.

They had four Top Ten UK hits: a cover of James Ray's hit "If You Gotta Make a Fool of Somebody", which reached number 3 in the charts in mid-1963, "I'm Telling You Now", (number 2 in August), "You Were Made For Me", (number 3 in November) and "I Understand", which hit the number 5 spot in November 1964.

Super session guitarist Big Jim Sullivan played on a majority of the records most notably on "Over You", "I Understand", "A Little You", "Thou Shalt Not Steal", "Just For You" and best of all, a cover version of Paul Anka's "I Love You Baby".

The group would appear on stage and perform pre-rehearsed, synchronised wacky dance routines. They appeared in four British films: "What a Crazy World" with singer Joe Brown, "Just for You", "The Cuckoo Patrol". & "Every Day's A Holiday" (U.S.A. title "Seaside Swingers")with Mike Sarne, Ron Moody and John Leyton
Between 1971 and 1973 Garrity and Birrell appeared in the UK ITV children's show Little Big Time, a zany music/talent/adventure show with audience participation
As their popularity declined in the UK, Freddie and the Dreamers enjoyed a brief spell of fame in America, riding the wave of the British Invasion when the American teen public was hungry for any British pop music. As happened with many British EMI groups at that time their recordings were refused by EMI's American arm Capitol Records, and the Dreamers' 1965 releases and re-releases appeared on assorted labels. They recorded on Capitol's new subsidiary Tower, and Philips' Mercury Records label.

"I'm Telling You Now", which had been co-written by Garrity and Mitch Murray, reached Number 1 on the US charts in Spring 1965. They were the first of three consecutive groups from Manchester to have Number 1 hits that spring, the others being Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders and Herman's Hermits. Their next biggest US hit was "Do the Freddie" at number 18, intended to inspire "The Freddie" (sic) as a dance craze. (The band's late 1965 album, Do the Freddie, even included diagrams from legendary dance instructor Arthur Murray on how to perform the routines exactly.)

At their US peak, a TV series featuring the band and British actor Terry-Thomas was mooted but never came to fruition. In the 1980 Rolling Stone History of Rock & Roll, writer Lester Bangs paid tribute of a kind to the group: "... Freddie and the Dreamers [had] no masterpiece but a plentitude of talentless idiocy and enough persistence to get four albums and one film soundtrack released ... the Dreamers looked as thuggish as Freddie looked dippy ... Freddie and the Dreamers represented a triumph of rock as cretinous swill, and as such should be not only respected, but given their place in history."
In an interview, Paul McCartney said that the Freddie and the Dreamers version of James Ray's "If You Gotta Make A Fool Of Somebody" was actually copied from an arrangement performed by The Beatles at a show in Manchester. The Dreamers released their copied version of the song as a single which made it into the UK Top 5, leaving the Beatles uncredited for their arrangement. Because of this incident, the Beatles decided to concentrate on their own compositions instead rather than cover versions. The Beatles later forgave the Dreamers and invited them to do a guest appearance in their 1964 Christmas Special.

Freddie and the Dreamers, with a few different line-ups of newer Dreamers, remained a touring band into the 1990s. They appeared with other artists from the same era such as Gerry & The Pacemakers, The Troggs and Peter Noone of Herman's Hermits.

Garrity retired due to pulmonary hypertension, and died on 19 May 2006. Drummer Dwyer died on 4 December 2002 of lung cancer; Birrell became a taxicab driver. Crewdson now runs a bar in Tenerife, while Quinn lives in Cheshire and is in distribution.

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