• The Vibe

Tony Waddington - Liverpool Bay


Liverpool Bay is the brand new single from Tony Waddington. Written and performed by Tony, produced by Tony & Dan Donovan Is a thought provoking song with lyrics indulging in enjoyable recollection of past events.


“The song takes a reflective look at Tony’s London life as an adult, in contrast to the carefree world of his teenage years in Liverpool and the vast magnificence of the Liverpool Bay. “ Tony Waddington


“Tony Waddington is a legend of British popular music and if I could write a song with him then my career would be complete.” Gary Osborne


Counting names such as Sir Tom Jones, The Rubettes, Benny and Bjorn, and Petula Clarke among his impressive roster of collaborations, Tony Waddington has been at the centre of the pop music industry for decades.

Born and bred in Liverpool, Tony spent his formative years in the music industry, rubbing shoulders with the Beatles. Where Tony guitarist in the Lee Curtis & The All Stars band and then after The Original All Stars, changing the band name to the Pete Best Four when Pete join them. And, when this defining music movement swapped Liverpool for the legendary Hamburg gig scene, Tony was there, a key part of this emerging music movement – and witness to the creative madness and lifestyle that went along with being a British band in 60’s Hamburg.

Tony would come to be in huge demand with record labels, as a singer-songwriter and all-round collaborator, who could work his magic on songs, and create many of the lyrics and melodies that we know and love today.

Tony wrote hit after hit. His most famous song is Sugar Baby Love with The Rubettes. The song’s addictive melody and lyrics would result in Tony winning his first Ivor Novello award, among many other plaudits..

More recently, Tony has reunited with The Flirtations, with whom he first produced the 1969 hit Nothing But A Heartache.


THE EARLY YEARS

Born in Liverpool, music was always present in his home, with many in his family playing musical instruments.

When Tony was five, he attended the local Catholic School, which brought him into contact with fine choral singing for the first time, and also the theory of musical opera. He was creative and artistic and had an eye for detail, but was also fascinated by Science Fiction and Literature.

CLASSICAL GUITAR

At home, Tony began to learn the piano and was also tutored in classical guitar by Pierre Bethel, one of the premier music teachers in Liverpool at the time.

But, at the age of 7, Tony had become interested in how songs were constructed. Tony comments: “I was quite young when I realised that the popular songs of the day that I adored, had some kind of magical indefinable quality about them. So, I began to analyse why one was more enjoyable than another.” And, so at the age of 13, he wrote his very first song.

Tony’s classical guitar talent started to get noticed by his school and his private tutor encouraged him to pursue a career as a classical guitarist and perform at venues such as the Royal Philharmonic Hall in Liverpool. The news of his exceptional guitar skills was spreading locally and, at the age of 12, Tony was even invited to teach the classical guitar to adults at a nearby Liverpool College.

LIVERPOOL CLUBS

By 1956, Elvis Presley was making his mark with rock and roll, which heralded a new kind of popular music from America.

In a few years, the attraction of this music would become all-consuming for Tony, eclipsing his ambition in the field of classical guitar. At the time, both modern and traditional jazz were popular and, at only 15 years old, Tony was playing gigs in Liverpool’s modern jazz clubs. The city’s influential Club Owners started to notice his guitar skills and he was later recruited by one of the top rhythm and blues bands of the time (which was?)

The port of Liverpool was a major hub for bringing American music trends to the attention of Liverpool’s gig scene. By the early 60s, the American sound had dramatically caught on: Liverpool was erupting with the Merseybeat – rhythm and blues and beat music was replacing skiffle and jazz.

A little-known group called The Quarrymen were starting to make a name for themselves at the Cavern Club in Liverpool and were signed by Brian Epstein in 1960. They renamed the band “The Beatles”, with Pete Best as their drummer.


THE PETE BEST COMBO

In 1963, Tony was playing in a band called The All Stars with Lee Curtis as the lead singer. When Pete Best was told to leave The Beatles, he joined forces with Tony and became the drummer in The All Stars. They later became the Pete Best Combo, with Tony also taking over the role of lead singer, replacing Lee Curtis. They then got signed by Decca Records, a major record company at the time.

Prior to signing to Decca, Tony recorded with the famous producer Joe Meek (Decca) from whom Tony learned a great deal of skill. Robert George “Joe” Meek was an outstanding English record producer and songwriter, remembered for the Tornados’ hit Telstar, which became the first record by a British group to reach No 1 in the US Hot 100.

THE RUBETTES

Tony wrote the song Sugar Baby Love. Originally submitted for the Eurovision Song Contest, the song was turned down, and subsequently offered to a well-known group at the time called Sha Waddy Waddy, who also declined. Not to be defeated, Tony got the session musicians together to form a band and defy the rejected demo-tape: they called themselves The Rubettes.

Sugar Baby Love

became a Number 1 hit in 1974 in the UK (knocking the Eurovision song from the top place), then Number 1 in Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Austria, Belgium and Australia! And No 2 in South Africa and No 37 in the US charts.

Tony went on to write a string of hits for The Rubettes, such as Tonight, Juke Box Jive and I Can Do It. The success led to Tony co-founding record label State Records in 1975.

STATE RECORDS

State Records soon became a leading record producing company. Within a short space of time, they opened Odyssey Studios at Marble Arch which became the top recording studio of its day recording Cliff Richard, Roxy Music, The Who, Kate Bush and many other popular artists.

Between 1974 and 1977 Tony wrote 9 top 50 UK hits and produced countless more.

LIVERPOOL BAY, written and performed by Tony, produced by Tony & Dan Donovan Is a thought provoking song with lyrics indulging in enjoyable recollection of past events.

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