circa 1963

CopyCats [circa 1963] Note: Ali Ewan left band and The Copy Cats AKA My Dear Watson became a foursome. After John Stewart stopped touring, Ziggy Slater joined MDW on keyboards.

Johnny and The Copycats in their teens

Johnny and The Copycats had gained recognition for their first release, “I’m A Hog For You Baby” on Norco Records

Travelled far and wide to listen to Copy Cats/ My Dear Watson. Wish i could see them again.” Kate Reid [former resident of Morayshire]

“Here’s the popular Buckie group, The Copycats, in Elgin, 50 years after they started playing music. MEMBERS of a veteran Moray rock band will be hitting the road this weekend to celebrate the release of their latest CD. ‘Now in their 51st year, Johnny And The Copycats have entertained crowds for more than half a century. Consisting of Banff butcher John Stewart and his three bandmates from Buckie – lead guitarist Iain Lyon, bassist Bill Cameron and drummer Rob Lawson –Johnny And The Copycats were big names on the music scene in the 1960s and ’70s. They were due to stage a 50th anniversary tour last year, but ill-health put paid to the plan. However, having already performed a small number of gigs so far in 2013, the band are now ready to promote a recently recorded five-track CD called ‘50 Years On’. The CD will feature four new songs by John Stewart, as well as a cover version of John Haitt’s blues track ‘Memphis In The Meantime’.

‘The Copycats made an “impact on the British scene” and were “instigators of soul”… “having been on the brink of national success for three years”. [Progressive, NS- 1July67] During their career, they played with The Beatles, The Kinks, and several other top beat groups of the time. Here’s a “potted history” of the Copycats;

Several of the groups managed by Albert Bonici with guidance of resident band leaders Alex. Sutherland, Jimmy Martin, and Graeme Nairn, were regularly booked in the north of Scotland and paired with up and coming “out of towners” who scored with hit records on the pop charts. Besides bookings on US and UK  military bases in Germany and clubs around London, The Copycats who scored a number on in Germany with “Angela”, did dozens of gigs in Scotland along side many of the Beat bands who later became international stars.

The Copycats in Germany 1964

The Copycats in Germany 1964

The Copycats with Eddie LePard [and the Leopards]

The Copycats with Eddie LePard [and the Leopards]

Besides cutting singles and an unreleased album with Elton John on piano in 1970 [DJM Studios, London], they had also worked with The Easybeats on recordings in ’67 and ’68. Here is a list of guest bands who were billed with the Copycats when they performed around Scotland [as compiled by base guitarist Bill Cameron].

ccats gigs

Other posts about the Copycats:

Exerpt from Fit Like New York? Peter Innes [Aberdeen, Scotland] – for educational use only.

ccats article

fit copycats a

fit copycats b


My research began in 2007 as a visitor to the north of Scotland. Growing up a few miles from San Francisco, I would frequent the active music scene on weekends besides being a fan of British BEAT music and never missing Shindig! on television. When first visiting the small community of Elgin in 2007, I was surprise to learn how the Beatles and many other vocalist and musicians came to perform during the early days of their careers. In the early 1950s, Albert Bonici began promoting dances though it had been an ambition since his teenage years. When he and Henry Robertson co-organized a string of jazz dances in the north Scotland, they could not have predicted the enormous success of the venture. Albert Bonici became one of the most respected promoters in the UK having arranged a high volumn of music venues throughout the north of Scotland which delighted music lovers during the height of the jazz and beat music era. Whilst known for booking the Beatles at the beginning of their 1963 tours, Albert Bonici brought most of the top British acts to north-east Scotland besides working with Scottish musicians to boost their careers. SCOTBEAT was created to share a bit of history about the BEAT years in Scotland and also a tribute to a man with a vision who, with the help of his family and staff, created a happening that is still fondly remembered by those who attended dances and concerts. Albert A Bonici hosted many up and coming bands who went on to gain international acclaim for their contributions. Besides other local resources and interviews, SCOTBEAT presents exclusive photos, adverts, and documents from the A Bonici Archives [circa 1960s]. Unless otherwise agreed, materials are not to be used for financial gain and ask that you respect the terms below. Materials presented are not to be used for financial gain without consent. © 2014-2019 All rights reserved. No part of this web site may be copied, redistributed, broadcast or published in any form without crediting this blog and/or copyright websites mentioned. All correspondence, flyers, programs, and photos from the Bonici Archives are not to appear in print other than through the propietor of SCOTBEAT. Use of the site signifies your agreement to all of these terms without condition. Please reference when sharing materials found here as the site is continuously updated to present the subject matter accurately and as a historical resource. Thank you.

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Posted in 1960's pop music
3 comments on “THE COPYCATS
  1. excellent issues altogether, you just won a new reader.

    What would you recommend about your put up that you just made some days in the past?

    Any sure?

  2. […] behind the young piano player Reginald Dwight – by this time known as Elton John. See: for exerpt from Fit Like New York? regarding the lost album recorded at DJM studio with Elton John […]

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