Graham Worral: Maraccas. Paul Robinson: Drums.
When Barry and Bill were in first year at Art School they were impressed by a couple of guys who played acoustic guitars at lunchtimes. They played and sang Everly Brothers stuff and always had a knot of girls around them!
They had to admit the thought of those girls did appeal, so they both started learning to play guitar earnestly and by their second year they had a band with two other classmates on bass and drums. Mainly doing Buddy Holly songs and after a short spell of line-up changes including a girl singer called Marianne Stockley who later had some fame as Friday Brown. But in 1963 Barry and Bill decided to form another band which became the Atlanta Roots, coinciding with the rhythm & blues explosion of the early sixties and the influences of Bessie Smith, Alexis Korner, Cyril Davis and the early Beatles and Rolling Stones abums which introduced them to Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley and the original bluesmen of the day.
In the next few years under the managerial services of Michael Chapman they gigged around the Bolton area at various clubs and coffee bars. We played support to The Who at the Beachcomber Bolton and the Bluesbreakers at Rivington Barn when Eric Clapton played the whole set sitting on the roof supports after a rift with John Mayall whilst carrying out contractual obligations prior to Eric’s departure to join Cream.
In 1966 Barry decided to leave the band in order to study at Coventry Art College, and trying to keep the band together Bill contacted David John of ‘the Mood’ to replace Barry, but it didn’t work out and the band called it a day.
In the early seventies Bill played briefly with a band called Sparrow - a three piece with John Rainford and Eric Sandiford. John played drums and Eric had been a guitarist in several bands including The Herd and neither of them wanted to play bass! - although Bill nearly gave in and almost bought the bass rig off Bob Lange that he had used with The
Mindbenders however to solve the problem they went acoustic and had a few gigs around Manchester... both were lovely guys, but not a period musically speaking that Bill recalls without cringing!
In 1987 after several years in the musical wilderness the original guys re-formed to play together at Dave Thorpe’s 40th Birthday resulting in Dave, Barry and Bill deciding to carry on and they recruited Jim Ensor and Greg Ainsworth - Christie - to the band thus completing the current line-up. And together with a pool of top drummers mainly Paul Burgess - 10cc, Kev Whitehead - Barclay James Harvest and Steve Gibson - Chris Farlowe - are still knocking out that good old rhythm & Blues around the north of England.
Atlanta Roots at the Thatched House, Stockport, 2007.
Greg Ainsworth - Barry Lord - Paul Burgess - Jim Ensor - Bill Worthington