70 Music Artist Watch: Bay City Rollers

It is hard to convey  to people who do not know this group to tell you that in 70s music this group was the 70s version of Beatles mania, yes they were that big. But after the fame and the "money" things went so bad that the Rollers just seemed to have vanished from history, but as you will read here they were the 70s.

They were formed in 1966 as The Saxons, but changed the name after looking at a map of America, it was that easy. The brothers Alan and Derek Longmuir formed the group, and as group members came and go, and some went to join Pilot, another Scottish group.

Jonathan King produced the first Rollers hit in 1971 called "Keep On Dancing" on Bell records along with the   other group member Gordon Clark, and  the record was a cover version of a 1965 hit by the Gentrys.

Move on a few years and two new members joined the Bay City Rollers, they were  Eric Faulkner and Stuart Wood, and they lost Clark who left. So now in 1974 the next hit charted called "Remember (Sha-la-la)" from the album "Rollin". 
This was a number 6 hit in the UK, and suddenly the "Rollers"  exploded and the music of the 70s belonged to the Rollers, with three more hits from the "Rollin" album the first being "Shang-A-Lang"  that got to number two, followed by "Summerlove Sensation" that charted at number three. The last single of that year a was  "All Of Me Loves You", just pure fun pop.

The term "Rollermania" was now born, as this group were now huge, not only in hit singles but also the fact they had a huge pop TV show on the ITV network named after the single "Shang-A=Lang".

From the album "Once Upon A Star" came  two more  singles, both got to number one, the first being "Bye Bye Baby" a cover version of a mid 60s record by the Four Seasons, although their record was a little slower to say the least.

The second number one was "Give A Little Love", which you cannot help but sing with, just try.
The last UK single of 1975 was "Love Me Like I Love You" reaching number four, and  although the Rollers were massive in UK and Australia, the US was to follow  in 1976 with the hit "Saturday Night" that did not chart in the UK but was number one in the US and Canada.

The next worldwide hit for 1976 was "Money Honey".

This was followed by" Rock "N" Roll Love Letter" in most territories,followed by the worldwide hit "I Only Want To Be With You" originally a 1960s hit for the late Dusty Springfield, which was the last single hit that year in the UK, but singles were still charting in the US, but not that high.

1976 saw  the departure of one group member Pat McGlynn, who left not long after, which gave them a boost for 1977 with more huge top hits  "Its A Game", originally a hit for String Driven Thing, and  "You Made Me Believe In Magic" 
Really that was the last hit single for the Rollers, although they released a few more nothing really charted, but they did have a US TV show for a while in 1978. Lead singer  McKeown left the group in 78 and the bands manager Tom Paxton  who died in 2009, his life was full of controversy including alleged gay rape against one of the group, drugs, child pornography. 

So the Rollers left the 70s as a finished group, but they had made millions hadn't they? Well the millions is still being looked for, and the group split and the chase of the missing monies is still going through the courts now.

Here is an interview by pop group Arrows with the Bay City Rollers


1 comment:

  1. really enjoyed this read about the bay city rollers. Very interesting and so much I never knew. Now to check out the rest of your blog and there is so much. I hope I can catch up.


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About Me

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I am one of those baby boomer's, who had the pleasure, and the FUN to grow up in the 1970s. The 70s music was so diverse, and the charts were for everyone from 8 to 80. That was when POP was fun, and the top forty really meant something as it was a shared experience. I have tried in this site to bring back the memories of the 70s, not just the pure pop, but also the heavy guys like Floyd and Black Sabbath. Everything had a place in the music of the 70s, and everything has a memory for one of us 1970s boomers.