Meet The Searchers


Liverpool was already emerging as a beat music mecca with the “Mersey sound” in 1962 when this promo photo of the Searchers was taken for Photo-Cast [1963/64] Tony Jackson was lead singer when The Searchers became a quartet in ’62 (after Johnny Sandon left to join the Remo Four). They became recording artists and released their first album, “Meet the Searchers” in August 1963 Tony Jackson: lead vocals, bass
John McNally: rhythm guitar, vocals Mike Pender: lead guitar, lead vocals Chris Curtis: drums, lead vocals. When they played the Ballerina Ballroom [April/’68] the line up was John McNally — Mike Pender — Frank Allen — John Blunt (drs/voc)

The band was a big hit with young beat music fans in the north of Scotland when they first came up on tour in March 1964 and finished at the Capitol Theatre on a tour from England to Scotland with Dusty Springfield. They returned the following year and delighted the Elgin fans when the performed at the Two Red Shoes Ballroom.

The Searchers with Scottish fans [copyright Aberdeen Journals March 1964]

Searchers with Scottish fans [copyright Aberdeen Journals March 1964]

Searchers with Scottish fans [copyright Aberdeen Journals March 1964]

Promotional photo from Bonici Archives

Promotional photo of Searchers from Bonici Archives



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
One comment on “Meet The Searchers
  1. Gail Taylor says:

    Very impressed David :))

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