14 Dec 1974 – Series Three (13)

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Johnny Stafford. Image © The Stage Media Company Limited

The selected panel for heat thirteen were Tony Hatch, George Elrick, John Smith and Alan A. Freeman.

Hoping to impress and book a place on the second All Winners Final just a few weeks later were;

  • Aura (boy / girl duo) from London
  • M3 (harmony trio) from Aylesbury
  • Abbey Road (four-piece group) from Liverpool
  • Tony Baars (vocalist) from Chesham
  • Ken Brookes (comedian) from Stockport
  • Jo Peters (jazz singer) from Surrey
  • Johnny Stafford (comedian / harmonia) from Manchester

The winning act were harmony trio M3, sisters Maureen, Mary and Marilyn Stevens, who would be seen again in the All Winners show on the 4 January 1975.

Johnny Stafford was not only a very funny comedian but a fine musician as well. Before appearing on the show he had made TV and radio broadcasts, made records, and was a former member of the famous Morton Fraser Harmonica Gang who he had appeared with at the London Palladium.

In August 1975 Johnny joined fellow New Faces contestants, Tony Maiden, Lee and Marie Grant, Scarlet Jade and Geoff Taylor in the Robert Luff and Louis Benjamin New Faces show, hosted by Norman Vaughan, at Morecombe’s Winter Gardens.

Liverpool group Abbey Road. Image: Kindly provided by Chas Hughes

Finishing fourth on the scoreboard were the four-piece group named after a 1969 Beatles LP, Abbey Road. The group members were Barry Woods (lead guitar), Eddie Gibbons (rhythm guitar), Charlie Hughes (bass) and Eric McIntosh (drums).

They chose to play one of their own songs Going To London, written by Eric Gibbons, and their TV appearance earned them lots of work after the show aired.

In June 1974 Abbey Road were one of twelve groups that performed on some of the 52 floats that assembled for the Liverpool Lord Mayor’s parade. They were invited to join the procession by Allan Williams, ‘the man who gave The Beatles away’, to publicise his book about Liverpool’s most famous foursome.

Abbey Road played their own tribute to the Fab Four as they travelled travelled through the rain soaked streets of the city on a parade float by performing She Loves You to draw screams of delight from the crowd that lined the route. They later also performed at a Beatles Revival show at a city hotel and received the same great reception.

Tony Baars later changed his stage name to Paul Rainbow. Image © Trinity Mirror.

Vocalist Tony Baars, by day a 24 year-old metal polisher, from Chesham finished third in the heat singing a ballad called In My Own Way.  Just six months later was performing under the new name of Paul Rainbow, because he felt it was more commercial.

The former apprentice draughtsman started singing at the age of 14 but initially joined an instrumental group, in the style of The Shadows, called The Spartans and then joined a group called The Zenons.

After short spells in a number of progressive music groups from the late 1960s onwards he took the decision to go solo and started singing in nightclubs between cabarets.

Credits: Special thanks to Eric McIntosh and Chas Hughes (both Abbey Road) for the images and additional information, left in the comments, on their appearance on this show.

9 thoughts on “14 Dec 1974 – Series Three (13)

  1. A blast from the past i was the bass player in abbey road and being on new faces was a great experience lost touch with the other members which is a shame we were together for a few yrs got a great pic of abbey road on the set of new faces to look back on

    Like

    1. Hi Chas
      Glad you found the page for your show. If you don’t mind sharing that photo I’d love to include it on this show page. You can contact me via the option on the site of you can help

      Like

  2. Was the drummer for Abbey Road when we played on New Faces. The group consisted of Barry Woods on lead guitar, Eddie Gibbons on rhythm guitar, Charlie Hughes on bass guitar and Eric McIntosh on drums. We played one of our own songs called ‘Going down to London’. Although we came 4th we got a lot of work from appearing on the show.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Eric. Thanks for the extra information, which I’ve now updated the page with and given you a credit. Really appreciate you sharing your memories of the show.

      Like

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