Saturday, May 20, 2006

Tribute to Freddie Garrity

I was very sad to hear of the death of Freddie Garrity. Those of a certain age may remember him as the lead singer of "Freddie and the Dreamers" with hits like "You were made for me" and "I'm telling you now". His trademark was that he used to swing his legs around like mad during the instrumental break of the songs. While he was signing he and his group did a sort of backward out-swing with their legs. I wouldn't be surprised if Monty Python based their "Silly Walks" on the way he used to swing his legs. It was unique and was dubbed "The Freddie", as celebrated in a song of the same name. Together with his (also) trademark glasses, he was a zany but much-loved and highly entertaining figure. His cheerful and boyish persona made a refreshing change from the somewhat grumpy prima-donnas amongst Sixties popstars. He had a tea-time series on the BBC called "Little Big Time" which we used to watch. That was an example of how he managed skilfully to "crossover" from pop music into more mainstream entertainment. Despite his self-effacing personality, Freddie and the Dreamers were serious stars of the day. They had a number one in the US with "I'm telling you now". Robbie Williams would no doubt give several of his back teeth for such an achievement.

Another little chunk of the sixties goes heavenward!

You can see Freddie's unique dance here as he and the group sing "I'm telling you now". And here they are with some imitators on the US TV show Hullabaloo. What a classic clip!

Here they are singing "I understand".

There was an excellent obituary of Freddie by Adam Clayson in the Guardian here.

The BBC's news story of Freddie's death is here and their biography is here.

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