|Keith Powell and The Valets|
Years: 1963 - 1965
Styles: Beat, Garage Rock, Mod Rock
Mal Ford - Organ (in band: 1963 -)
Phil Gaynor - Saxophone (in band: 1963 -)
Mal Ritter - Drums (in band: 1963 -)
Keith Powell - Vocals (in band: 1963 - 1965)
John Allsebrook - Bass Guitar (in band: 1963 - 1965)
Colin Wood - Guitar (in band: 1963 - 1966)
Steve Horton - Bass Guitar (in band: 1966 -)
Dave Spencer - Guitar (in band: 1966 -)
Keith Powell saw musical limitations within The Jaymen and left to join another Birmingham group The Vikings and become their lead singer. By 1961, The Vikings were getting bookings all across the country and the pace was such that Keith Powell, feeling exhaustion, decided to take a few weeks off to rest.
During the interlude, Keith Powell experimented with songwriting but before long he was fronting a new group named The Valets - so called because they had originally assembled to back local singer Bobby Valentine as Bobby Valentine and The Valettes. Promoters usually ended up misspelling the name to "Valets" so to avoid confusion, the name was abbreviated to 'Keith Powell and The Valets'.
The Valets included keyboarder Mal Ford who had played in Pat Wayne's group The Deltas , John Allsebrook on bass guitar, saxophonist Phil Gaynor, drummer Mal Ritter, and Colin Wood on rhythm/lead guitar. The band quickly established themselves as a top live attraction in Birmingham and in June of 1963.
Despite touring all over the country and getting a great reaction from their stage-show, Keith Powell and The Valets were unable to get that all-important "hit record". By the end of 1964 after a third great single had somehow missed the charts, Keith Powell had decided on a solo career and signed to the Pye subsidiary Piccadilly Records label under Rockin' Berries producer John Schroeder who intended to capitalize on Powell's powerful and distinctive vocal talent.
Meanwhile, The Valets underwent some changes which included the replacement of John Allsebrook with Steve Horton from Denny Laine's old backing group The Diplomats. Also in 1966, guitarist Colin Wood left to go to Australia. Mal Ford later led his own band and eventually moved into promotion and artiste management, a business that he continues to operate successfully to this day.
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