Celebration of the Blackburn band who rocked the pop charts

The Four Pennies in their heyday

The Four Pennies in their heyday

First published in News Blackburn Citizen: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

A GOLDEN anniversary has evoked warm memories of a pop group discovered in Blackburn.

Wednesday marks half a century since The Four Pennies scored their famous number one single 'Juliet'. The song rose to the top of the UK chart on May 21, 1964, staying there for one week.

The track enjoyed a 15-week run in the top 40 and the group tasted further chart success until 1966 before splitting up a year later.

Written by band members Lionel Morton, Fritz Fryer and Mike Wilsh, the song was The Four Pennies’ second hit single following their debut with ‘Do You Want Me To’.

Along with drummer Alan Buck, the band formed in 1962 after a meeting above the Blackburn music shop owned by Marie Reidy in Penny Street.

Paul Nuttall, of Reidys Home Of Music, which is now located in Nab Lane, said: “My mum was the one who discovered them in 1962. It was a good tune, that was the thing. The impact the band had was that it made people in Blackburn realise that they could be discovered in the town.

“There were loads of northern bands around at the time because that type of band was very popular off the back of The Beatles. They were very big for a while after ‘Juliet’ because getting a number one was a huge deal.”

Sixties’ music collector Andy Robinson, 38, from Darwen, has spent 30 years building up records and memorabilia of the Blackburn band.

He said: “It’s very hard to find original copies of their songs these days. While they are not worth a lot in monetary value, they are worth a lot to the culture of Blackburn.

“Back then, every northern town had a Beatles-type band and The Four Pennies was Blackburn’s. There were a lot that didn’t make it but they did – at least for a few songs anyway.”

Comments (1)

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8:38am Tue 20 May 14

anotheroneofthe6000 says...

Went to see them at KGH shortly after Juliet hit No.1. They topped the bill and were supported by The Kinks (who stole the show), Herman's Hermits (Peter Noone), Shane Fenton (Alvin Stardust) and the Fentones, and The Stylos. Apart from The Stylos, who I'd never heard of then or since, all big name bands.
Cost of the ticket 4s 6d (23p)!!!
Went to see them at KGH shortly after Juliet hit No.1. They topped the bill and were supported by The Kinks (who stole the show), Herman's Hermits (Peter Noone), Shane Fenton (Alvin Stardust) and the Fentones, and The Stylos. Apart from The Stylos, who I'd never heard of then or since, all big name bands. Cost of the ticket 4s 6d (23p)!!! anotheroneofthe6000
  • Score: 2

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