Georgie Fame, with his much loved blend of Jazz and Rhythm & Blues, has consistently worked in the highest musical circles and is an icon of the British music scene.
The legendary keyboard player/vocalist has enjoyed a varied career for over 50 years, criss-crossing the musical boundaries of pop, rock’n’roll, jazz, rhythm & blues and swing and he is due to appear at The Apex early next month.
So far, there have been more than 20 albums and 14 hit singles, including the Number 1’s “Yeh Yeh”, “Getaway” and “The Ballad of Bonnie and Clyde”.
Add to this a long list of collaborations with some of music’s most famous names Muddy Waters, Gene Vincent, Bill Wyman, Eric Clapton and Van Morrison, amongst many others, and in Georgie Fame you have bona fide musical legend.
Born Clive Powell on June 26, 1943, Georgie began piano lessons at age seven, but didn’t stick too long with the formal training.
However, when rock and roll hit the scene a then teenage Clive began to take the piano more seriously. Fats Domino, Jerry Lee Lewis and Little Richard were among his idols and that was the basis of his earliest “professional” style.
By the age of 16, Georgie had toured Britain extensively, playing alongside Marty Wilde, Billy Fury, Eddie Cochran, Gene Vincent, Tony Sheridan, Freddie Canon, Jerry Keller, Dickie Pride, Joe Brown and many more.
During this time, Billy Fury selected Fame, for his personal backing group – the “Blue Flames”.
Georgie Fame and the Blue Flames took up a three-year residency as the house band at the Flamingo Club in London’s Soho district. The band’s reputation as “the epitome of cool” spread rapidly and in 1963 their first album, rhythm and blues at the Flamingo, was recorded live at the club.
A string of hit records included the No. 1 best sellers, “Yeh Yeh” (the first recording that knocked The Beatles off the number one spot in the charts), “Getaway” and 1967’s “The Ballad of Bonnie and Clyde”.
Due to his great popularity, Georgie Fame and the Blue Flames were the only UK act invited to perform with the first Motown Review when it hit London in the mid-1960s.
During this time, Georgie also pursued his interest in jazz, recording the milestone album, “Sound Venture”, with the Harry South Big Band. This led directly to successful tours of the UK and Europe in 1967 and 1968, which found Georgie singing with the Count Basie Orchestra.
From 1970 to 1973, Georgie Fame worked almost exclusively in a partnership with fellow musician Alan Price (former keyboard player for The Animals). The duo were featured in their own television series “The Price of Fame,” guested on countless others, and produced the hit single “Rosetta”.
In 1989 Georgie Fame joined forces with Van Morrison and continued to record and tour with Morrison throughout the 1990s.
In 1997, Georgie Fame became a founding member of Bill Wyman’s Rhythm Kings. Since that time, there have been five CDs and several tours, and The Rhythm Kings “reform” periodically to tour and record to the present day.
Georgie Fame performs at The Apex on Saturday, November 2, at 7.30pm, see www.theapex.co.uk or ring 01284 758000 for more information or to book tickets.