New Pic: The Blue Diamonds perform at Belle Vue, Manchester in 1966.
Erick Johnson: Lead Guitar. Roy Davies: Drums. Ricky Parkinson: Rythmn Guitar. Jack Tyldsley: Bass Guitar. Ross Raynor: Lead Vocal.
Eric Johnson: Lead Guitar - Vocals. Ross Raynor: Lead Vocal.
Roy Davies: Drums. Jack Tyldesley: Bass - Vocals.
"The Blue Diamonds started life practicing in the barbers shop on King street, Wigan - Moot Hall - we then eventually got better and began taking bookings in youth clubs, weddings, partys, etc. Moving on to places like The Room At The Top - remember the stairs? - The Crawford Rooms, The Transport Club and Casino -The Wigan Emp'.
We then signed for a Manchester agency, which took us out of the Wigan area. Playing ice rinks up and down the country and clubs in and around Manchester and Liverpool, which also included playing at the world famous Cavern Club. They have a brick in the famous Cavern Club 'Wall of Fame'.
After a couple of years we came back to work in Wigan as resident band at The Paradise Club in Scholes, a job we got through Billy Butler, D.J. at The Cavern Club - and now of BBC Radio Merseyside:
We stayed at The Paradise Club until 1967. We then got booked to go to Germany, but for some reason the contract fell through, so we all got proper jobs! - and went our separate ways. Ross found a successful solo career other members joined other bands, sadly Ross died a few years back.
An original pic of The Blue Diamonds at The Comet Youth Club, Wigan.
Jack Tinsley: Rhythm: Guitar-Later Bass: Ross Raynor: Lead Vocal.
Roy Davies: Drums. Ricky Parkinson: Rhythm Guitar.
Jimmy Hindley: Bass Guitar. Eric Johnson: Lead Guitar.
It must have been the 1962 credit crunch when the six-piece band became four. It was taken I believe in The Comet Youth Club - How did we manage with that gear?
I remember getting the bookings in The Cavern for November-December 1963-64. Looking down the list we spotted a job near home, it was The Cavern Liverpool. At the time it meant nothing to us just another job in Liverpool. I can recall when we arrived at the club it was pouring down with rain and freezing cold. We then had to carry all our gear down the steepest set of stairs in the world through to what was loosely described as a dressing room. As I recall it was just a square room painted black with group names painted or scratched all over the walls with a broken mirror at one end, dim lighting with a wash basin at the other - I donít think it was used for washing hands!.
We were told that because we had arrived first we would go on first. A mistake we didnít make a second time. The other bands arriving after us would ask if they could use our gear or part of it, them not having to carry it down the aforementioned stairs - a good move on their part.
On stage it was just a case of turn up the volume and do one tune after another. The place was packed and so hot. At that time we were kitted out in shirt and tie and blue suite's - what a big mistake that was. We came off stage after about forty minutes looking like we had jumped in and out the River Mersey.
On the bill that night were two other bands. I canít remember one of the bands names but last on was The Big Three, so we couldnít leave until they finished their set, to get our gear back. As I stated earlier we didnít make that mistake again."
Looking back it is something to tell the kids and grandchildren I played drums at the now world famous Cavern Club. I didnít think they would have believed me, but now I can prove it thanks to Lanky Beat for showing the famous Cavern Club Wall of Fame bricks."
Roy Davies: May & August 2010: April 2012
"Such a fun-and-full-of-life-man he was always the life and sole of anything! - That was my dad Ross Raynor.
Initially he was the lead vocalist with The Blue Diamonds who played The Cavern and Wigan's Paradise Club in the 60s. He passed away 25 years ago on the 22nd November and I have lots of memories of him; here are just a few..
He always entered the talent shows on holiday in the UK and won us a free holiday once to Seaton where he entered the Coca Cola grand final and came 2nd to a lady called Kayreen Whitney (not sure of the spelling - it would be fab to track this lady down!) who sang power of love. Dad won a Cocal Cola glass and towel! He wasnít too chuffed - ha-ha!
Dad loved Elvis so much. It is ironic he died so young at a similar age to his hero! He had the jumpsuits to perform in - which my Mum was terrified of ironing! He also had the white suit - which he was buried in and seemed only right.
Dad did an amazing version of How Great Thou Art so me and my husband chose that as one of our hymns at our wedding. Mum and Dad had a singer at their wedding called Christine Murray and as my Dad sadly couldnít be at my wedding I wanted to do something special for my wedding and have a singer to sing the same song live that they had had - Ave Maria whilst we signed the register. I managed to track Christine down and after having Christine - and her husband Morton who has since sadly also passed away - round for a catch up she agreed to sing Ave Maria for us which was sooo special! Thankfully we have a dvd of the day to always remember it.
Sadly, Dad never got to go to America and visit Graceland so when I got the opportunity to go many years ago I jumped at the chance. I visited Graceland for Dad and definitely felt his presence with me!
My Mum will have more about his singing career and where he played but I do know he was always out every weekend singing in the clubs all over the North West and sometimes further afield. He worked at Norweb as a meter reader and sang at the weekend.
My Mum found this news clipping about Roadrunner Videos who made recordings of Bolton Wanderers games. They sent the videos into hospital for him as he was missing their games so much!
Also, dad joined the band That Group and she remembers Harold Dewhurst emigrating to Australia! She says groups weren't really around back then and That Group were first formed in Chorley."
Adele Darbyshire: December 2013
"Ross was a lovely guy. I remember him in the Ross Raynor Duo, which came after The Blue Diamonds. In later years just before he passed away, he would often sit-in and sing with Ram Sammy, which was a scratch band playing pubs in Ince, near Wigan. A great singer was Ross."
Mitch Mitchinson: December 2013
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