THE ORIGINAL WISHFUL THINKING FAN CLUB
SYLVIA (CURTIS) MCMASTER – SYLVAN HOUSE – ALTON ROAD – FARNHAM – SURREY – GU10 5EL
26 September 2002
I guess that my interest in the band started from a booking back in the 15th February 1961 when I booked a band called "The Niteriders" for a fee of £6-10-0d for which they were due to play from 7-30 to 11-00pm. This band featured a singer called JOHNNY ARKELL and this was for my first effort of running a dance – a "Valentine Hop".
It was in this band that I met BRIAN ALLENDER and RICHARD TAYLOR (otherwise known as "SPUD").
Shortly after this in 1962, the band changed their line-up and still as the "NITERIDERS" but with new man on bass ROGER STANLEY they began to tour England. By this time, I had joined another local dance organiser who was managing the band and was thus present to see and hear them back the legendary BERT WEEDON and THE LANA SISTERS amongst others.
In 1963 came the release of their first instrumental record "THE KERRY DANCERS" and "LITTLE WHITE LIES" – HMV POP 1157. For this release their name was changed to "THE EMERALDS" and they began more touring with featured singers "MARK STEVENS" and "VICKI LAWRENCE".
With the release of this record and their success around the ballrooms it was thought that they should start a fan club and guess who was asked to do this by their manager – of course, little old me!
My first job was to provide some information and here I quote:
THE EMERALDS – ONE BY ONE
"On lead guitar (1) we have RICK TAYLOR – real name RICHARD TAYLOR. Born at Aldershot, Hampshire on the 25th September 1941 he has brown eyes, dark brown hair and stands at 6ft 1 inches. His likes include the colour green, casual clothes and steak, egg, mushrooms and chips. Naming Frank Sinatra as his favourite recording star, his own favourite occupation is relaxing, especially in front of a movie screen watching Peter Sellars. Besides playing the guitar he can also play the piano which helped immensely when he was arranging their record and he is, perhaps, the best musician in the group. His career began in 1959 when he became the leader of the "NITERIDERS" when they were featuring singer JOHNNY ARKELL. This group became very popular in the surrounding area and were signed by the Bob Potter Entertainment Agency which enabled them to become better known all over England. After several personnel changes they became the EMERALDS in 1963.
On lead guitar(2) we have ALAN ELKINS – real name ALAN EDWARD ELKINS. Born at Aldershot, Hampshire on the 24th January 1946 he has blue eyes, brown hair, and stands at 5ft 10ins. He names sleeping as his favourite occupation and other likes as being the colour blue, chips and beans, casual clothes and Chet Atkins. He first started playing the guitar in 1960 as a hobby and in 1962 joined a local group known as the "REGENTS" which enabled him to be more confident when playing before an audience. In March of this year (1964) he joined the EMERALDS and names his most embarrassing moment up to date as being his first appearance with them. His own personal ambition is to have a record somewhere in the Hit parade and this ambition is one which you, personally can help him to achieve.
On bass guitar is ROGER CHARLES, real name ROGER CHARLES STANLEY. Born at Plymouth on the 23rd December 1942 he has blue eyes, dark brown hair and stands at 5ft 11 inches. His likes include the colour blue, sleeping, eating (preferably steaks, mushrooms and pineapples) smart suits and casuals. Among his favourite personalities are Peter Sellers, Ray Charles, The Hollies, Eddie Cochran and Marvin Gaye but he admires most of all his mother and father. Pet hates of his are, "Getting up in the morning" and snobs. He first started playing the guitar in 1952 and whilst living in the London area, joined a group called "THE LYRICS". Also playing lead guitar, piano, drums and harmonica he is perhaps the most versatile member of the group. In the early part of 1962 he moved, with his parents to Frimley Green and therefore, had to leave the Lyrics. In September of the same year he joined the "NITERIDERS" taking the position of bass guitar and lead singer which group later became the "EMERALDS". Also naming driving as his favourite occupation, he has a secret ambition to drive in a car rally.
On the drums is Brian Allen – real name BRIAN GEORGE ALLENDER. Born at Woking, Surrey on the 18th June 1941, he has brown eyes, dark brown hair and stands at 5ft 112 ins. Like the colour blue, curry, Doris Day, Peter Sellers and Chet Atkins. His pet hate is Roger's driving but no longer has to endue it as he has recently bought himself a Jaguar. He names his favourite occupations as eating and sleeping, favourite clothes as pyjamas and suits and hobbies as tennis and snooker. He first started playing drums in 1959 as a hobby and is also able to play the bass guitar. His first engagement was with the "BLUE STARS" and then the "BANDITS" who were at the time backing MEL TURNER. After this in 1961 he joined the "NITERIDERS" which group became the "EMERALDS". He admires Paul Getty very much (for his money) and names his most embarrassing moment as disappearing through a hole in a drum rostrum whilst playing at an important engagement. At the moment his personal ambition is, like Alan's to have a record somewhere in the hit parade.
TO BE CONTINUED..................................................................Sylvia