The Bo Street Runners were a R&B band that formed in Wembley, England. The band released four singles in their existence along with a rare EP. They gained prominence in England for winning the Ready Steady Go!musical contest, and for including future Fleetwood Mac drummer, Mick Fleetwood, and vocalist, Mike Patto. All of the group's recordings have been re-released on a compilation album.[1]

History Edit

The band began in 1964 as The Roadrunners, but changed their name to The Bo Street Runners when another local group was already recording with the name. The group's original lineup included Gary Thomas on lead guitar, Bob O' Brien on keyboards, Nigel Hutchison on drums, and Dave Cameron on bass guitar. They were heavily influenced by Bo Diddley in both style and playing, his name also being the inspiration to their name. They made a name for themselves playing on Sundays at a venue called the Railway Hotel, where The Who also gained their own following. In the spring of 1964, the band entered the Ready Steady Go! competition, a contest designed to find "the next Beatles", with the grand prize being $1,000 and a recording contract with Decca Records. The band fit the critera to enter which was having no recording history, and at least one original composition. On September 8, 1964 the band won the contest with their performance of "I'm a Bo Street Runner".[2] With the victory, the band signed to the Decca label for their only single with the company. The single, "I'm a Bo Street Runner" b/w "Tell Me", with all the publicity the band received from the show, managed to sell over 20,000 copies in England, but did not chart nationally. Along with the single, 49 copies of a rare EP was produced for the band to sell at their gigs which now had the group fronting acts like The Rolling Stones and Tom Jones.[3]

Following the band's single and EP, Decca sold their contract to Columbia Records in 1965. The band went through many personnel changes as band members did not like the changes in musical direction that the band was going to go through. Only Thomas and Cameron remained from the original lineup, and they were joined by John Dominic, Tim Hinkley, Fleetwood, and Patto. Fleetwood joined when he responded to an ad in theMelody Maker, almost immediately performing with the band. Their next single, derived more so in jazz and the blues, was "Baby Never Say Goodbye". The song brought favorable reviews from critics, and regional acclaim when it reached #36 on the Radio London Fab Forty.[4] The song was expected to reach the UK national charts; however, a workers strike at the record plant issuing the band's single so no more further copies were produced. Fleetwood left the band after the single and two more singles followed with less success. The final of the two, released in 1966, included on the A-side a soul-orientated cover version of The Beatles song, "Drive My Car", the only recording to feature Petto.[5]

The band toured one last time, but, with the lack of commercial success, they decided to disband in mid-1966. Fleetwood was the only member to achieve any notable success after the band broke up with the band, Fleetwood Mac. On November 17, 2014, the first compilation album devoted solely to the band's material was released, entitled Never Say Goodbye: The Complete Recordings 1964 - 1966. The album includes all of the band's recordings, including the EP tracks, all of their singles, and the version of "I'm a Bo Street Runner" that was played for Ready Steady Go!.[6]

References Edit

  1. Jump up^ Richie Unterberger. "The Bo Street Runners - Biography". Retrieved April 1, 2015.
  2. Jump up^ "Ready Steady WIN". Retrieved April 1, 2015.
  3. Jump up^ "Bo Street Runners Interview". Retrieved April 1, 2015.
  4. Jump up^ "Radio London Fab Forty". Retrieved April 1, 2015.
  5. Jump up^ Joe Marchese. "RPM Round-Up: Label Collects Mick Fleetwood’s Early Days with Bo Street Runners Plus Mark Wirtz, Pelican". Retrieved April 1, 2015.
  6. Jump up^ "Never Say Goodbye: The Complete Recordings 1964-1966 - Bo Street Runners". Retrieved April 1, 2015.
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