Saturday, May 20, 2006

RIP: Freddie Garrity

Okay, it's exercise time here at PowerPop. Stand up. Now, lean to the right from the waist, lifting your left leg straight out to the side. Don't bend your knee! Next, lean to the left, lifting your right leg out in a similar fashion. Repeat. Now, repeat while singing: "I'm telling you now, I'm telling you right away. I've been telling you for many a day, I'm in love with you now." You don't need to do much with your arms: if you're doing it right, you should even be able to play an instrument while dancing.

Congratulations. You have just done The Freddie.

We here at PowerPop were sad to learn of the passing of Freddie Garrity, lead singer of the British Invasion band Freddie and the Dreamers.

Born in Manchester, Freddie - a former milkman - came to prominence in the early 1960s. He became famous as much for his zany approach to rock 'n' roll as for his music. His wild and wacky antics on stage and television endeared him to millions of fans all over the world.

Freddie and the Dreamers - the other members were Roy Crewsdon, Derek Quinn, Pete Birrell and Bernie Dwyer - had their first top ten succes with a cover of the James Ray US chart hit If You Gotta Make A Fool Of Somebody.

It was followed over the next two years by a string of hits including You Were Made For Me, Over You, I Love You Baby, I Understand and the US chart-topper I'm Telling You Now. The band also starred in a number of low-budget musical films.

Freddie and the Dreamers were one of the really, really fun bands from the heady days of the British Invasion. Like Herman's Hermits, the goofiness was part of the act. Freddie had a whole Buddy Holly thing going on, and how can you not love a band which has its own dance?

In the 70's, Freddie had one of those weird H.R. Pufnstuff kind of kid shows on Brit TV called Little Big Time. The segment Oliver in the Overworld was supposed to be exceptionally freaky.

Nostalgia shows and performances filled much of the 80's and 90's (again calling on the Herman's Hermits parallel--Peter Noone just played here in my town last week.)

Garrity has been ill and out of the public eye for five years or so, but reading about him this morning has made me pause and remember the fun of the first dance I ever learned.

Don't mind me; I'll just be over here doing The Freddie.

UPDATE: Thanks to The Kenosha Kid! (I completely forgot about the awkward arm-flapping for those *not* playing an instrument!) Do the Freddie with Frankie and Annette!


The Kenosha Kid said...

Do the Freddie!

watertiger said...

I'm doing the Freddie right now!!!

QL in NY said...

Oh man, thank you for that. Notice, btw, that Annette's hair does move. I think I probably saw that at the time it was first aired. I know all the words to the song.

QL in NY said...

Oy, her hair DOESN'T move.

Anonymous said...

What a great video - they don't make them like that anymore! Freddie and the Dreamers were a great hit over here in the UK; I saw them in 1963 and I was luckly to catch them in Nottingham in 1999. They have a great collection of songs and at one stage were only upstaged by the Beatles and The Kinks. We'll never forget you Freddie. Your music lives on forever.

Curly said...

Freddie was a "happenin" dude

Ace said...

Freddie RULED!!!! RIP Freddie...we'll miss ya'

Joe el Misterioso said...

Yes, I remember watching those Freddie and Co on the telly in Chili (place I come from) in the mid 60's.

Bizarre how we lost Grant MacLennan and now this guy in a few weeks...

Cheers from Montpellier, France

ksm said...

My dad used to do the Freddie for us kids! I'm going to teach my son the Freddie, because my dad certainly would have. Now I'm going to go practice so I can get those awkward arm movements just right.

SteveAudio said...

I also posted about Freddie & Ian Copeland over at my place the other day.

I work in the recording studio business, am old enough to have "seen it all" and I still loves me the power pop.

FWIW, my buddy John Amato has posted some of my links in his Late Night Music Club. You might like this link about Jake Shimabukuro, the Eddie vanHalen of the Ukulele.

Of course, I also write about political stuff, including Paste-Eater and his waving his dingus at decency re: you & Thersites.