Although Birmingham has often promoted an industrious image, music has always pulsed through the heart of the city. From concrete urban landscapes to leafy suburban sprawl, the city continues to inspire some powerful musicians and bands.
Radio Caroline, The BBC and ‘A Whole Lotta Love’
Since the late 1950’s, young Birmingham Rock n Roll wannabes played along to the same American R&B records as the Beatles, Kinks and Rolling Stones, but the Brummie twang wasn’t really picked up on by the media until the mid 60’s.
Radio Caroline used the Fortunes ‘Caroline’ as their signature tune, The Move became the first bad boys of pop and provided BBC Radio 1’s first record ‘Flowers In The Rain’,
The Spencer Davis Group kept on running and The Moody Blues gave us ‘Knights In White Satin’.
“The whole scene in those days, was known as the ’Birmingham group scene’ and lots of musos, would meet after gigs, at such places as the Cedar, Rum Runner, Opposite Lock, Rebecca’s and after at Alex’s Pie stand, there was great camaraderie, and I just hope the present musos have something similar!” – writes Keith Law of 60’s Brumbeat group ‘Velvet Fogg’.
One such music venue to fuel this scene was ‘Mothers’ in Erdington, one of John Peel’s favourite nightclubs during the late 60’s. ‘Pink Floyd’ recorded much of “Ummagumma” there (Nick Mason being born in the city), The Who performed “Tommy”, Steve Winwood’s ‘Traffic’ staged their debut gig and ‘Black Sabbath’ aired some of their earliest songs.
It was also during this interest in the city that Jimmy Page recruited Robert Plant and John Bonham from The Band Of Joy to form Led Zeppelin.
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