1 May 76 – Series Four (20)

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Duo Bren & Dee toured Algeria in 1974. Image © The Stage Media Company Limited

As the series reached episode twenty there were just two places in the next All Winners show to be decided and the professional panel with the responsibility of selecting the next act who would progress another stage further in the series were Mickie Most, Lionel Blair, Alan A. Freeman and Jimmy Henney, who it is assumed had now recovered from his operation.

The seven acts looking to secure the fifth slot in the All Winners show were;

  • Our Kid (four-piece harmony group) from Liverpool
  • Eve Bridger (vocalist) from Norwich
  • John Moore (vocalist / guitarist)
  • Pawnshop (five-piece group) from North Wales
  • Paul Fox (juggler) from Coventry
  • Bren & Dee (girl / boy guitar vocal duo) from Widnes
  • Frank Yonco & The Everglades (six-piece country & western group) from Somerset

There was total agreement from the professional and viewers panel on the winner of the show as Liverpool teen group Our Kid booked their place on the next All Winners Show.

Dressed smartly in matching suits and complete with a perfectly synchronised routine, they performed their new single You Just Might See Me Cry, which had been recorded just a few months earlier, and scored 118 points out of a possible 120. Their song was written by Barry Mason, who’s previous song credits included the hits The Last Waltz and Delilah, and Roger Greenaway, who wrote the New Seekers hit, I’d Like To Teach The World To Sing (In Perfect Harmony).

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Our Kid, the young group from Liverpool were the unanimous winners. Image © The Stage Media Company Limited

Originally known as Four in Harmony the group changed their name in February 1976 to Our Kid, a tie-in with their own television series that would be screened later in the year.  The foursome were Terry McCreith and Terry Baccino, both aged 15,  Brian Farrell, aged l3 and Kevin Rowan, who was aged just 12.   Even before their appearance they were lining up tours of Italy and the United States and had secured a summer season in Great Yarmouth at the Wellington Pavilion along with Frank Ifield and Ken Goodwin.

Show judge Lionel Blair summed up the group, “They are younger and more of a team than the Osmonds and just to give you an idea of what a grand bunch of kids they are: After they had won on New Faces, they went round to every artist in all the other acts on the show and actually apologised for winning.”

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Vocalist & guitarist John Moore. Image © The Stage Media Company Limited

According to an advert in The Stage, vocalist and guitarist John Moore seems to have sung Who Loves You Baby and in the advert his manager, Garry Franks is quoted, ‘You sing like a bird, swing like a cat, in three minutes you can’t show all that, but you’re a knockout act.’

Juggler Paul Fox is the son of Wyn Foxwell, the comedy juggler who had a successful appearance on Opportunity Knocks in 1972.  Paul is also the cousin of comedy juggler Eddie Idris who appeared in show eighteen of series three of New Faces.

There is limited information available about the vocal duo Bren & Dee but they were advertised as playing shows with jazz group The Vintage Syncopators in 1974.  This was the same year that they had a successful tour of Algeria extended from the original two to five months.

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Pioneers of English country music, Frank Yonco & The Everglades. Image: Image © The Stage Media Company Limited

Frank Yonco and The Everglades were one of the few British groups to have toured Vietnam during the conflict and they had played at US military bases all over the World.

The Manchester Country & Western artist, Frank Yonco, had relocated to Cornwall in August 1973 to set up the Folk Beat International Agency in St. Blazey.  He hoped that there would be 50 weeks work for most of his acts in the area and the ever increasing demand from clubs had him looking out for new faces to manage.

His appearance on this show with The Everglades followed a year out but in the twelve months since their return they had established themselves as one of the UK’s leading country groups. Later in 1976 they released their latest LP, Drinking The Beer And Singing A Country Song, with the six-piece line-up of Frank Yonco (Vocal Acoustic Guitar), Kit Connor (Vocal), Alan Knight (Acoustic Guitar And Electric Guitar), Sandy Horn (Steel), Terry Dean (Electric Bass Vocals) and Dave Fidler (Drum Vocals).  It is therefore assumed that this was the line-up that appeared on New Faces.

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Another successful act from the Chic Applin Agency, singer Eve Bridger. Image © The Stage Media Company Limited

At just 4ft 10in tall Eve Bridger (née Evelyn Owen) is known as Little Miss Dynamite from Wales.  Born in Anglesey in 1944 Eve started singing at school, performed at the Albert Hall and Festival Hall in London with the choir and often won Eisteddfod awards.

Eve joined The Whirlwinds band in 1962 and bagan singing Brenda Lee and Connie Francis hits with the group, who were formed by the search and rescue RAF helicopter crew at RAF Valley in North Wales.  Their bookings were managed by Rod Bridger who had persuaded Eve to audition. The group split in 1964 when the RAF posted the members to different locations and Eve and Rod married in 1965 when Rod was due to be posted to Singapore.

While Rod was busy with at the RAF Eve joined the resident band at the Cockpit Hotel, a favourite venue for ex-pats and her fame in Singapore grew.  She appeared on TV, for a huge television show to see in 1967 and also had her own show and scored a number one record in Singapore with And So It’s Goodbye.

When the RAF post in Singapore came to an end the couple returned to the UK and Eve joined the Sheila Tozer agency in Nottingham before moving to East Anglia when husband Rod was posted to RAF Coltishall.  East Anglian agents like the late Chic Applin supplied holiday centre bookings across Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex and Eve was soon signed to their roster and over the years she has performed at Pontin’s and Warner’s holiday centres and has also toured the world on cruise ships.

Eve has worked with so many household names, such as, Gene Pitney, Bob Monkhouse, Ken Dodd, Les Dawson, Dave Allen, Cannon and Ball, Lenny Henry and Roy Castle.  She was still performing in the East Anglia area into 2018 where she performed at the Presidents Evening at the Rotary Club Of Lowestoft.

It is claimed that Eve was the singer of the original Cadbury’s flake advert, although I can’t validate the claim, but it does sound like her great vocals on the track.

There is some great archive footage of Eve online from shortly after the time she appeared on New Faces, which you can view below.

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