THE ORIGINAL WISHFUL THINKING FAN CLUB
SYLVIA (CURTIS) MCMASTER – SYLVAN HOUSE – ALTON ROAD – FARNHAM – SURREY – GU10 5EL
26 October 2002
After the release of their first single it became clear that the band needed a resident singer and thus a young man who was fronting another band "DANIEL BOONE and the RENEGADES"started to guest with the EMERALDS. Daniel (Real name Roy Spreadborough) had made a TV appearance on "For Teenagers Only" from Birmingham and had a following of his own. Demand for this line-up gradually increased and finally, Roy joined the band as the singer and they became a five piece.
One event was to bring them to the notice of many people, it was on Whit(sun) Monday 18th May 1964 and this was the 3rd Annual Beat Festival held at Botwell House in Hayes in Middlesex. From the souvenirprogramme I can see that there was quite a "line up" – Jimmy Royal and the Hawks, The Sorrows, Eden Kane and the Downbeats, Screaming Lord Sutch and The Savages, The Animals, Migil Five, Julie Grant and Daniel Boone and The Emeralds, Cliff Bennett and the Rebel Rousers, Georgie Fame and The Blue Flames,The Gamblers, The Searchers, The Interns, Chris Sandford and The Coronets and The Undertakers. What a show this was, I stood as proud as punch as the lads dressed in smart suits took the crowd by storm. When they came offstage, I was delighted that they were surrounded by people asking them for autographs (and have the photos to prove it).
Sometimes as a fourpiece (without Alan) and sometimes as a five piece they were steadily obtaining more and more bookings which took them around the country. In June they appeared as THE EMERALDS with DANIEL BOONE, other times as just the EMERALDS and others as DANIEL BOONE and the EMERALDS.
On Sunday 31st May1964 I took my normal coach load of local people to a show at the Empire Pool at Wembley called "Pop Hit Parade". On the bill were Adam Faith, Wayne Fontana and The Mindbenders, Freddie and The Dreamers, Julie Grant, The Hollies, Eden Kane, The Barron Knights with Duke D'mond, The Merseybeats, The Mckinleys, The Rolling Stones, KEVIN SCOTTand The KINSMEN, The Swinging Blue Jeans and The Undertakers.
I had met the Undertakers when they had appeared at one of the dances with our boys and had been told to go back stage at Wembley for a coffee and a chat. This was a great day as I kept bumping into people that I knew.
One such band was KEVIN SCOTT and The KINSMEN – a band from Southampton who had played at the Agincourt at Camberley (the local residency) on several occasions.
Later that year with the fourman line up they went into the studio and cut nine tracks which were to be sent as a "demo" to the record companies. They backed Brenda Lee whilst she was on tour in the UK and they themselves went on tour in Germany. By this time Alan Elkins had left the band as he found the work too heavy to continue with both his main line of work and the band.
Christmas and New Year 1964/65 found them with five write-ups in local newspapers, one confirming that Decca had shown interest and they had recorded something in the Decca studios.
The fan club was gradually growing. It cost 5/- (shillings) to join and it was my job to answer all the letters, send out the signed photos and regular news-letters.
The 5/- went to their Manager and he provided me with the photos and information, somehow I never did get the money for the postage but, then by this time I was actually a fan so what did it matter!
In February 1965, I was to issue my first news-letter which really did have some news. Their first release on Decca called "Don't Listen to your Friends" c.w. "Say You're Mine" was to be released on the 5th March 1965 under the name of The EMERALDS.
From the newsletter I quote:
"the top side is a four partharmony number written by Jerry Lordan and produced by Tony Meehan. Both sides are really great – I can't decide which side I like best so I shall just sit and play first one side and then the other until it is completely worn out and I have to buy another copy." (uugh! was I a true fan or not?!)
By this time I had many honorary members of their fan club – yes really – Peter Sellers, Mick Jagger,The Spotniks, Eden Kane, Jerry Lee Lewis, The Kinks, The Hollies had alljoined. Enclosed with the newsletter was a made up cross-word all about the band with a prize to the lucky winner.
A poetry competition wasarranged and the winner was a Miss D. Bone of Blackwater with the following lines:
There are four boys who play and sing
For them I'd do most anything
They have so many fans
Who try to seem them when they can.
Their first record I will tell you here
"Don't Listen to your friends"– its really gear
If I win this record and autograph
I'll sit down and have a good laugh.
Daniel please let me win
For Roger I'd do anything
Ricky do this just for me
Brian please send this record to me.
On this note, I will close this news-letter of 2002. Publicity on the record and what happened next will follow in November.
to be continued..................................