british soul 1960’s


The Exits [Bonici Archives]

“Widespread British interest in soul music developed after the advent of rock and roll from the mid-1950s and the subsequent interest in American music. In the early 1960s, rhythm and blues, including soul, was particularly popular among some members of the beat music boom, including the Beatles,[1] and among bands of who contributed to the British blues boom, including the Spencer Davis Group, the Small Faces, the Rolling Stones, the Kinks and the Who. Most of these were popular with members of the Mod subculture, out of which grew the northern soul movement, in which northern English youths avidly collected and played rare soul records.”

There was a plitria of American black soul singers and musicians who made deep impressions in modern western culture whilst lesser known British bands were putting their own stamp on “soul” music.

The Copycats [aka My Dear Watson] by Fiddler’s Bow at Port Knockie near their homes in neighboring Buckie, Scotland. Whilst The Copycats who trained under jazz band leader Alex. Sutherland and began with pop songs in ’63, were dubbed “instigators of soul in a British music magazine (Progressive, NS- 1 July ’67)  there were many British and American bands who toured Scotland and the UK. Like beat music, soul music became popular in Scotland as with the whole of the UK.

In 1968, American R&B and soul singer, Clyde McPhatter, was living in England and represented by Class Managements Ltd when performing around the UK. Years before he became a solo act, the Drifters were founded as his back up band. Thank You Love: Such A Night: Nothing But a Heartache The Flirtations were an American group who made an impression in the UK on tour. They became the resident vocalists on BBC’s, It’s Cliff Richard” in 1972″ [Nothing But A Heartache]

The Rolling Stones and the Animals are amongst top British band who injected soul into their unique sound. Alan Price who founded the Alan Price Combo, The Animals, and the Alan Price Set had a bluesy, soulful sound going on. I Put A Spell On You [Alan Price]:

Alan Price [top left]


Dusty Springfield who was first introduced in the British scene as folk singers The Springfields, was a fan of Motown and became known for her soulful tunes. “In 1964 Springfield became the first British Invasion act after the Beatles to chart well in the US.[4] A string of US and British hits followed.[4] In 1965 Springfield hosted a television show The Sound of Motown which has been widely credited with introducing what was called “The Sound of Young America” to British audiences.”

Equals became best known for their ’60s hit, “Baby, Come Back” though continued to develop a following in the early ’70s

Equals intro page sent to promoters in early 1970s


Though hailed from Bermudia and the USA, they were a ’60s r&b and soul band signed with Gale Agency London in early ’70s “best of contempory rhythm ‘n blues/soul and featuring the outstanding talents of Tina Ray”

from Southern Headway advert from Avenue Artistes Ltd announcing new discs from Dave Dee Dozy Beaky Mick & Tich [Fontana] and the Soul Agents “Don’t Break It Up” 1965 following their ’64 hit


The Foundations were amongst the British soul bands who performed in Scotland when mixed race bands were considered a novelty.


The foundations were featured on Top Of The Pops and became internationally known.


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

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