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The Kingpins

The Kingpins Genre Rock

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Recordings:  

1. Diamond Girl

2. For Your Love

3. Living In The Past

4. Hurting My Pride

5. Maybe Sometime

6. You're My Girl

7. Baby I Need

8. Mysterious

9. Travelling Man

10. Do You Love Me

11. Raining In My Sunshine

12. Skinny Minnie

Recording date: 1965 - 1968

Group Members: Tony Martin (lead voc), Glyn Stephens (lead gtr), Ray Neale (lead vcls, rhythm gtr, lead gtr), Keith Neale (bass gtr, voc), Jimmy Barnard (drums), Geoffrey Coppens (lead voc), Red Reece (drums), John Wooloff (gtr), Les Warren (drums), Roger McKew (lead gtr), Andy Rosner (drums).

Additional Info:

 

1965 line-up: Tony Martin (vocs), Geoffrey Coppens (vocs), Ray Neale (gtr, vocs), Keith Neale (bass gtr), Jimmy Barnard (drums), Glyn Stevens (lead gtr).

The Kingpins originated from Addington, Croydon in South London. The band played ‘high society balls’ in and around the capital. According to the band, on one such occasion, they were asked to play a song by the Rolling Stones which was politely declined by the musicians. The request was made by his royal highness, the Prince of Wales! The band made their recording debut at R. G. Jones’ studios in Morden, Surrey on 31st May, 1965. The band recorded a version of The Yardbirds’ For Your Love and a group original written by Tony Martin, Diamond Girl. Record producer Jim Economides persuaded the band to perform chart covers for a proposed budget LP to be released on Ember records. The band were re-named Those Fadin’ Colours and a single was released under this name by the band. The record featured a version of (Just Like) Romeo and Juliet which was recorded at Pye studios in 1966. As soon as the single was issued, the band were free to become The Kingpins again. Glyn Stevens and Geoffrey Coppens (Tony Martin’s replacement) departed which now left Ray Neale, Keith Neale and Jimmy Barnard. Another recording session was hurriedly booked in April, 1966. Living In The Past, Hurting My Pride, You’re My Girl, Maybe Sometime were recorded, but again rejected by record companies.  The band returned to the same studios in June, 1966 to record Baby I Need and Wasting My Time. Although these later two songs were also rejected by record labels, the band were enjoying support slots with acts such as The Kinks, The Who, Manfred Mann, Small Faces, David Bowie, Cat Stevens and The Troggs. At this stage, Jimmy Barnard left to be replaced by Red Reece (ex-Georgie Fame and The Blue Flames drummer). They were also accompanied by John Wooloft on lead guitar and Colin Wood on piano. It soon became apparent that Red Reece was battling a drug addiction, but the band recorded with him at R. G. Jones with this latest session producing Travelling Man, Mysterious, Do You Love Me, Raining In My Sunshine recorded in February, 1967. Reece succumbed to his battle with drug addiction and was soon replaced by Les Warren (aka Cheswick). These latest recordings also failed to attract record company interest. As there was nothing happening for The Kingpins, Ray Neale took up an offer to join The Mojos, replacing Stu James. Actor, Lewis Collins and Aynsley Dunbar accompanied Ray Neale as The Mojos, but the band split shortly after as Dunbar joined up with Jeff Beck and The Mojos were out of favour with most listeners by 1967. Although The Kingpins had come to a halt with Ray Neale joining The Mojos, the band quickly regrouped with Neale returning and they continued as a three-piece. At this point, the band ventured into psychedelic territory and gained themselves a recording contract at last with Pye records in 1968. Pye issued their first single as the Orange Seaweed which the band had chosen as their new name to make themselves more topical and appealing (psychedelia). Jimmy Smith (A&R for the Harold Davison agency) was now handling the group and was responsible for their single. Smith recruited songwriter Peter Morris who penned both sides of their single, Stay Awhile b/w Pictures In The Sky. Morris would also assist a band called the Peep Show (see entry). Pye released Orange Seaweed’s debut in 1968. By this time, Les Warren had been replaced on drums by American, Andy Rosner. Two further recordings were made with this line-up as Orange Seaweed, these being: Skinny Minnie and Sunshine In The Morning. These were swiftly recorded as a possible follow-up single, but as there was not enough interest in the single, it failed to appear. Ray Neale’s next venture into the music world was to record a solo single for CBS records in 1971 (Morny b/w Josie On My Mind). After a brief hiatius, Ray Neale fronted The Ray Neale Band. Ray Neale, Keith Neale and ex-Searchers drummer, John Blunt toured places as far off as Uganda and Turkey and made a decent living under this name. The band continued gigging at home, but split shortly after their return. In the early 1980s, Ray Neale went on to join The Savages backing Screaming Lord Sutch before joining Bob Burgos (Matchbox) and other ex-Savages (Dave Briggs, Rob Murly) to form Shotgun, a popular rockabilly revival band.

 

Diamond Girl/For Your Love (Oak acetate) 1965. Living In The Past (Oak acetate one sided) 1966. Hurting My Pride/Maybe Sometime (Oak acetate) 1966. You're My Girl (Oak acetate one-sided) 1966. You're My Girl/Maybe Sometime (Oak acetate) 1966. Baby I Need/Baby I Need (edited) (Oak acetate) 1966. Stay Awhile/Pictures In The Sky (Pye 7N 17515) 1968 (as Orange Seaweed). Skinny Minnie/Sunshine In The Morning (acetate) 1969.

All recorded and photographic material kindly submitted by Janet Neale. 2012.

All recorded and photographic material copyright J. Neale/R. Neale. 2012.

Special thanks to: Janet Neale, (Wild) Bob Burgos, David Wells.

This page is dedicated to Ray Neale who passed away on 18/03/2012.

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