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The Staggerlees
 
 
 

Years active:

1959-1997

 
 

Location:

Redruth

 
 

Band Members:

Various line-ups (see below)

 
     
 

Line Up 1.  Dave Lee and the Staggerlees Group -1960
Amph Grigg (lead guitar), Redruth; Terry Venton (tea chest/bass guitar), Reduth; Morv Munday (drums), Redruth; Dave Lee (vocals), Redruth. Eddie Harris, (rhythm guitarist), Redruth missing from photograph.  Terry died not long after this photograph was taken.

 

Line Up 2.  Dave Lee and the Staggerlees 1962
John Chapman (bass guitar), Redruth;  Amph Grigg (lead guitar), Redruth;  Pete Bawden (rhythm guitar), Truro;  Merv Charleston (drums), Hayle; Dave Lee (vocals), Redruth.

 

Line Up 3.  Dave Lee and the Staggerlees 1962
Front - ,Amph Grigg (lead guitar), Redruth;  Pete Bawden, (rhythm guitar), Truro;
Back – John Chapman (bass guitar), Redruth;  Morv Munday* (drums), Redruth;  David Penprase (vocals) Redruth.   This is the group that won the 1962 Rock and Rhythm Championship.
*Morv Munday was the regular drummer but sometimes Merv Charleston would stand in

 

Line Up 4.  Dave Lee and the Staggerlees 1963
Front: David Penprase (vocals), Redruth;  Mick Partridge (pianist), Birmingham;  Stan Brown (drums), Plymouth.
Back:  John Chapman (bass), Redruth; Dereck Stentaford (rhythm guitar), Plymouth; Amph Grigg (lead guitar), Redruth – Group Recorded “Dance, Dance, Dance” and “Love Me”.

Line up 5. Dave Lee and the Staggerlees 1963

  left – right:  Mike Partridge (pianist), Birmingham; Lance Fortune (bass guitar), Liverpool; Stan Brown (drums), Plymouth; Amph Grigg (lead guitar), Redruth; David Penprase (vocals), Redruth.

 

Line Up 6.  Dave Lee and the Staggerlees 1964
Left to right: Lance Fortune (bass guitarist), Liverpool; Amph Grigg (lead guitarist), Redruth: Dave Lee (vocals), Redruth;  Tony Lee (drums), Hayle;  Clive Gunn (rhythm guitar), Camborne – Group Recorded,  “Sweet and Lovely” and  “Forever and Always”.

 

Line Up 7.  The Staggerlees 1965
Front – back: Tony Lee (drums and vocal), Hayle;  Amph Grigg (lead guitar and vocal), Redruth;  Lance Fortune (Bass and vocal), Liverpool;  Clive Gunn (rhythm guitar and vocal), Camborne. 

Line Up 8.  The Staggerlees January 1966 – October 1966
                         Back: Lance  Fortune (bass guitar – vocal)
Front left – right: Tony Lee (drums and vocal), Hayle; Amph Grigg (lead guitar and vocal), Redruth. 

Line Up 9.   The Staggerlees November 1966 - 1974
Left – right:  Bill Covington (drums and vocal), Plymouth; Lance Fortune (bass guitar and vocal), Liverpool; Amph  Grigg (lead guitar and vocal), Redruth.

2008 Dodworth, Yorkshire - First meeting in twenty-eight years of Eric Langman (ex-manager1962-1966), Lance Fortune (ex vocalist – ex bass guitarist), Amph Grigg (ex lead guitarist – ex vocalist).  Oh! And what stories were told. Their next manager was Michael Grade of the Grade Organisation

The Staggerlees were well known around the South West during the early-mid sixties. As the "Staggerlees Rock Unit" they competed in, and won, Truro's annual Rock and Rhythm contest in 1962.

Rock and Rhythm Contest 1962

 

The band were regulars at the Friday night “Beat Night” at Penzance’s Winter Garden. These teen dances were jointly promoted by the band and Teen Promotions, with the venue being hired from John Adams. They were soon also playing at the Saturday night ‘bops’ at the Drill Hall, at Chy-an-Dour. The band also promoted dances at Redruth’s Thornton Hall.

Thornton Hall, 1960

(With thanks to Morven & Craig Munday)

The band soon built up an extensive following within Cornwall & Devon and became one of the first professional Cornish beat bands. Thanks to manager Louey Instance they were packing out venues up and down Cornwall, including Tuesday night at Carbis Bay Memorial Hall, Wednesday night at Lane Village Hall. They were also bringing in the crowds at the many larger venues such as The Blue Lagoon and The Flamingo, while also supporting many of the big name touring bands.

1963

They supported Paul Raven (aka Gary Glitter) at a newly opened High-Fi Club. At St Johns Hall they supported  Jimmy Crawford, who was riding the top of the charts at the time with “I Love How You Love Me”, so many fans turned up the police had to take charge!

On another occasion they backed up a visiting Vernon Girls on at the Pavilion on the sea front. The band nearly didn’t make the gig, on the way back from a gig at Plymouth’s Black Cat Club they narrowly avoided a nasty crash in the Glyn Valley. Guitarist Anthony Grigg sustained a broken leg, but still managed to play the gig sitting in a wheel chair. None of the band could read music, so when presented with music from the Vernon Girls hits told the girls “you sing it and we’ll play it”. The band’s manager was horrified, but the gig still went down extremely well.

Dave Lee (aka Dave Penprase)

During the mid-60s the band starting to make the transistion from beat group to club/entertainment act. In 1965 they played the summer season in Cornwall. Monday-Saturday would see the band playing around all the holiday records, including a two night residency at Newquay's Blue Lagoon.

On Sunday the band would head to Torquay to play the Princess Theatre, where they could be found in the same bill as Morecambe & Wise, Tommy Cooper, The Kinks and The Seekers. These Sunday night dates were in fact a series of auditions for Michael Grade of The Grade Organisation. The organisation decided to take the band on, which would result in the Staggerlees performing less in their native Cornwall. In July 1967 the band started a five month engagement at the Prince of Wales Theatre.

Through a contact they moved even further afield, playing around the more lucrative Northern Working Men's Club circuit and basing themselves in Sheffield. This also lead to gigs around Germany were they share the bill at the Top Ten Club with Dave Dee and The Bostons (who became DDDBMT) and Jimmy Powell & The Jumping Jacks amongst many others.

Through the bands involvement with an agent in Sheffield they scored a deal with Oriole records, where they recorded two great beat singles. Unfortunately neither singles received much airplay and failed to take off.

By Summer 1964 Dave Lee was no longer in the band, which continued as The Staggerlees. The three piece continued playing the club circuit until fairly recently. Dave set up a folk club back in his native Redruth in the early 70s before embarking in a successful 25 year long career in photography.

Lance Fortune Biography

Chris Morris, better known by the stage name Lance Fortune (b. 1940, Birkenhead) was an English pop singer.

Morris was classically trained on piano. He signed to Pye Records as a solo artist under the name Lance Fortune, and released four singles, two of which became hits in the UK Singles Chart in 1960. “Be Mine” that went to No 4 was Joe Meek’s first chart success. While signed to Pye, he was managed by Larry Parnes, who had come up with the name Lance Fortune. In April 1960, Fortune replaced Eddie Cochran on Gene Vincent/Eddie Cochran UK tour when Cochran was killed in a car crash.  After Fortune's popularity waned in 1963 he joined a group that had backed him and he had worked with both in the UK and Germany called The Staggerlees.

View Lance on Youtube by clicking here

thanks to Dave Stone

 

Apache - Crigglestone Working Men's Club. 7th Jan 1984  

 

This Old House - Crigglestone Working Men's Club. 7th Jan 1984  

 

The Wonder of You - Crigglestone Working Men's Club. 7th Jan 1984  

I Believe

Yank my doodle it's a dandy

Finale

 

Lance Fortune

 

 
     
 
 
  Recordings  
 
 
SINGLES

 
     
Dance Dance Dance / Love Me (Oriole CB1864. 1963)  
Sweet And Lovely / Forever And Always (Oriole CB1907. 1963)  
Sweet And Lovely / Forever And Always (Swe disc SWES 1027. 1964)  
     
Dance Dance Dance  
Love Me  
Sweet and Lovely  
Forever and Always  
   

 
   
 
Promotional EP (Hollick & Taylor Recording Company. HT/EP 1441. 1974)  
     
Going Out Of My Head  
I Believe  
Medley  
 

 

The following singles are often attributed to the band, but are in fact not related to the Cornish Dave Lee & The Staggerlees:

Take Four / Five To Four On (Decca F11600) 1964
Adam Adamant / Georgia's Theme (Fontana TF723) 1966

     

     
ARCHIVE RECORDINGS  
     
As well are being one of the very few Cornish bands to release a commercial single, the band also made a number of personal recordings during their long history. I'm happy to be able to share some of those recordings with you here.
 
     

     
These recordings were made during the early days of the band. Recorded at the now demolished Porthtowan Hotel in 1960 on a personal tape recorder, these songs show the band developing from rock & roll into pre-Beatles pop.  
     
Pointed Toe Shoes  
Bad Boy  
Instrumental  
Running Bear  
Be-Bop-A-Lula  
Slow Boat To China  
Instrumental  
Twenty Flight Rock  
The All American Boy  
Mean Woman Blues  
Unchained Melody  
 

     
Here are some vintage live tracks that shows the type of material the group formed September 1964 (Line-up 7) experimented with over the coming twelve months when trying to decide whether they were a pop group, or a stage act.  The exact venues and dates of the tracks are unknown.
     
Tutti Frutti  
Stoned Out of Their Minds  
Way Down  
Shakin’ Rattle Your Memories  
At the Hop  
Sing me a song  
All right now  
Instrumental  
Four Seasons Medley  
You and I  
     
     
 
 
  Further vintage live Staggerlees recordings: 1964 onwards  
         
  Rockin' All Over The World    
  Danny Boy    
  Just The Way You Are    
  Tonight I Celebrate My love    
  All In Love Is Fair    
  Dancing Party/Teenager In Love    
  Old Man River    
  Bridge Over Troubled Water    
  The First Man Told His Story    
  Zing    
  Amen    
         
 
 
     
 

Links to other bands:

 

 
     
     
Did you play in this band? If so please get in touch!
 

 
     

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