RHYTHM & BLUES INCORPORATED
A Rhythm & Blues Inc' brick in the Cavern Wall of Fame - Liverpool
R&BI released a single called Louie Louie 1964 as a cover of The Kingsmen's record with the Carl Perkins song Honey Don't on the B side. "The Kinks released an EP with Louie Louie on it," said Barry. "And with Ringo vocalising 'Honey Don't' on a Beatles LP: That sort of killed that! We went out on the circuit though and had a good time but we didn't make any money from it. We were always skint."
From his music shop in Wesley Street, Southport he can be an interesting and entertaining character. Reminiscing the hundreds of stories from his time with the band in the 1960's, where he proudly shows off his collection of pictures and vinyl records, which cover the walls of his tiny shop, to his many loyal and visiting customers (Sadly, now closed: June 2012).
Always welcoming Barry point me to a red box on his counter. "Also, this a new venture of mine." He shows me a vintage top-of-the-range Bush inter-changable record player circa 1955. I've got more coming in shortly around forty or so of them - all makes. All in good working order and now on sale including a 1960's 'Hi-Fidelity' model, which back 'then, he adds, "everybody had."
Barry - I'm glad to say - is still active in the biz. Together with his brother they are gigging togetter with the not-so-inconsiderble-help of a four-piece back line including the great Brian Jones - sax player with Liverpool legends The Undertakers.
Bill Hart: July 2010
George Eccles: December 2013
Mint Condition, and has been vacuum packed since new.
"Although Southport is only 20 miles from Liverpool, England, there were relatively few beat groups from the town. The only professional one during the Merseybeat era was Rhythm & Blues Inc, who took their name from their love of R&B and the instrumental group, Sounds Inc.
Their act included such favourites as ‘Wee Wee Hours’, ‘Watch Your Step’ and ‘Got My Mojo Working’. The line-up that recorded for Fontana Records was Pete Kelly (b. 5 August 1946, Southport, England; vocals), Barry Womersley (b. 18 May 1945, Liverpool, England; lead guitar), Mick McKay (b. 4 August 1943, Liverpool, England; rhythm guitar), John McCaffrey (b. 16 August 1946, Southport, England; bass) and Alan Menzies (b. 5 August 1947, Liverpool, England; drums).
They cut two numbers that were part of the act, ‘Louie Louie’/‘Honey Don’t’ and although they were popular throughout the UK, they made no further records. The group split in 1965 and Pete Kelly formed Pete Kelly’s Solution, who cut ‘Midnight Confession’, and he has since worked as a highly-rated, blues-based performer. Under the name Kin Kelly he cut seven singles for the Gipsy label in the early 80s.
Barry Womersley became part of The Big Three and The Clayton Squares. He auditioned for Gerry & The Pacemakers after Marsden had left, which never came to fruition, and for Mike Pender’s Searchers, where he was rejected for being too tall! Alan Menzies played in various bands and is now in The Beatles tribute band, The Bootles.
Following the occasional reunion, Kelly, Womersley and McCaffrey front a new line-up of Rhythm And Blues Inc and most bookings are around London. Womersley comments, ‘Ollie Halsall was in the band initially and he worked with Neil Innes in The Rutles. I’ve wondered if the name Barry Wom comes from me?"
Ted Kingsize Taylor: November 2014
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