Alan Caddy

Also known as Alan Caddy Orchestra And Singers, The, Allan Caddy, Caddy, Gemini (78)

Discography of Alan Caddy:

# Release title Total tracks Type of release is Imprint date Label
1 England's Top 20 Smash Hits - 2 10 Audio 1974 Pronit
2 England's Top 20 Smash Hits - 1 10 Audio 1974 Pronit
3 Alan Caddy Plays & Sings Gilbert O'Sullivan 12 Audio Musidisc
4 Workout 2 Audio His Master's Voice
5 World Hits For Lovers 12 Audio Maritim
6 England's Top 20 Smash Hits - 1 10 Audio 1974 Pronit
7 Six Top Hits: Alan Caddy Orchestra & Singers 6 Audio 1971 Avenue

Born: 2nd February 1940, Chelsea, London, UK.

Died: 16th August 2000.

Caddy was a UK guitarist, session artist and prolific arranger/producer of covers of popular hit songs and melodies, primarily with [l=Avenue Recordings].

He began his career as a founder member of the "Tornados", serious challengers to the Shadows as most popular British instrumentalists of the 1960s and best remembered for the million-selling "Telstar" single of 1962. The band scored three more instrumental entries with "Globetrotter", "Robot" and "Ice Cream Man" in 1963's domestic Top 10, before the advent of Merseybeat and its emphasis on vocals rendered their style passé.

Unlike the other band members Caddy was classically trained, serving as head chorister and leader of the school orchestra at Emanuel School, Battersea, a treble in Westminster Abbey choir and studying violin the Royal Academy of Music. His break came when he joined the "Five Nutters" skiffle group, who were omnipresent at their own KKK Club in Willesden. After a transitional period as "Bats Heath and the Vampires", they went professional as "Johnny Kidd And The Pirates" in 1958. One of the few UK 'homegrown rock 'n' rollers' regarded with awe, the band's TV debut was on ITV's "Disc Break" in 1959 with "Please Don't Touch". Much of its charm emanated from Caddy's galvanising riffs although, because Caddy was riven with self-doubt about his abilities, another guitarist picked the staccato lead on the band's climactic "Shakin' All Over". Whilst the single knocked Cliff Richard from the top spot in August 1960, it netted Caddy only a standard session fee of 15 guineas. Within a year "Johnny Kidd & The Pirates" were becalmed outside the Top 50 and Caddy, along with fellow Pirates, abandoned ship to retain their stage costumes as the "Cabin Boys" behind Tommy Steele's brother, Colin Hicks, a huge attraction in Italy.

Caddy flew home from Italy after Hicks proved a difficult employer, landing on his feet after responding to a 'Melody Maker' advert with pal Clem Cattini as a mainstay of the Tornados, along Heinz Burt, George Bellamy and Roger LaVern. The band was originally assembled to back Ken Charles, Pamela Blue, John Leyton, Mike Berry and other protégés at the console of boffin Joe Meek in his RPM Studio in London's Holloway Road. Following a miss with "Popeye Twist", written by Caddy and drummer Cattini, the ethereal "Telstar" was taped as a routine backing track - albeit with a poignant "second subject" plucked by Caddy - hours before a show with Billy Fury in Great Yarmouth. Meek had transformed it overnight into the quintessential 1960s instrumental. Although later dismissing Meek's RPM sound as "unadulterated lift music", Caddy remained a Tornado throughout their period of greatest celebrity as respected sidemen, hit parade contenders and patron saints of myriad combos created in the same image - notably the "Volcanos" with "Polaris". The band's decline began with the departure of their 'teen factor' bassist Heinz Burt, shortly before the comparative flop of "Dragonfly" in 1963. Caddy then departed after the release of 1964's "Away From It All", an album containing four of his compositions.

Although well-placed to become a star in his own right Caddy preferred a 'back seat'. As Clem Cattini suggested: "He never achieved his potential because he didn't believe in himself." Caddy took a job as house arranger and producer for Avenue Records, a budget label specialising in covers of current hits where he performed as the [a400202]. He next moved to a similar post in Canada and emerged back in England in 1975. Caddy was involved in a remake of "Telstar" by a reconstituted "Tornados", but chose not to return to the public stage - although he was persuaded to pitch in occasionally when attending 'RPM Appreciation Society' evenings. It was at one such event in Lewisham in 1991 that Caddy gave his last public performance, playing the timeless "Telstar".

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