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THE SILHOUETTES

The Jensens 

Nelson 

 

 

The Silhouettes: 1960

Rear: Fred Smith: Guitar. Alan Holt: Guitar - Vocal. Barry Rawstron: Bass Guitar

  Ian Dixon: Drums. John Horne: Lead Guitar.

 

Vicky Vallan was the main singer.

 

"I played lead guitar with a Nelson group called The Silhouettes from 1960 through to 1967 when the group broke up. Then later with a group called The Jensens who had two records out on the Philips label and played on the John Peel show even though we were only semi-pros'.

 

  I dont know why but there doesn't seem to be much written about The Silhouettes group even though they were probably the most well known outfit in the Nelson - Burnley area and did two Radio Shows from the BBC Playhouse Theatre in Manchester called 'Here We Go'. This was a live recorded show with an audience with the BBC Northern Dance Orchestra and because it was only a half-hour show they recorded two shows together to make it worthwhile for an audience to attend. 

 

 1963     

  Alan Holt: Vocal. Barry Rawstron. Bass Guitar.

John Horne: Lead Guitar. Brian Chippendale: Drums. 

Front: Vicky Vallen: Fred Smith: Guitar.

                          

  The Silhouettes were the stars on one show and The Beatles were the stars on the other, 

having just come back from Hamburg. On that second show they had just released 'Love Me Do' so they did get a bit more attention than we did at the stage door afterwards. 

 

  We were also signed to the Tito Burns Agency in London who had on their books Dusty Springfield and The Searchers. They supplied many of the top acts to the Imp' Ballroom in Nelson, unfortunately we stayed as semi-pros' which didnt help them to promote us. At that time we had two vocalists in the group, Alan Holt and Vicky Smith - Vicky Vallan. They were both in the group from the beginning in the late 1950's. Alan left the group on the 31 October 1965 because his father died and they had a newsagents shop down Scotland Road, Nelson which he then had to run himself. Ronnie Thornton - ChadWayne - replaced him as vocalist.  Alan went onto run a cafe in Nelson with his mother and when she died he bought a farm above Haggate near Burnley and opened a gun shop in Skipton.

 

  Although singing had been his life, he started off as a choirboy at a very young age he never came back into the music scene.  He died at the age of 60 in May 2004 after having several strokes which left him unable to speak - although he could understand what you said to him.

 

  The Silhouettes, through to 1965, played a wide variety of venues, together with almost 

every well known star of the day you can name. Many of them in variety shows from seaside piers to theatres and ballrooms. Also, we were the first rock group to get into the Mecca Ballrooms starting at BlackburnMecca where audiences weren't allowed to dance to us because of problems at that time with the *Musicians Union and their stance against groups. Eventually we played at all of the Mecca's throughout the north of England and paved the way for other groups to play at them."

 

1966

    Glen South: Vocal. Barry Rawstron: Bass Guitar. Ronnie Thornton: Chad Wayne: Vocal.

Brian Chippendale: Drums. John Horne: Guitar.

 

 

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