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The ROADRUNNERS – Liverpool’s First R&B Group
Time-length-icon 56m 44s
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Publish-date-icon August 23, 2012
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EPISODE DESCRIPTION

In common with other groups hailing from 1960s Liverpool, the Roadrunners played at Hamburg’s Star Club – twice to be exact. The first over the Christmas and into the New Year period of 1963 / 64 and again seven months later during July / August 1964. On both occasions the group recorded sessions for Star Club Records later released on vinyl long playing records for the German market.

Towards the end of the group's first stint, following a gig in the German city of Kiel, the Roadrunners returned weary and tired to a deserted Star Club and in the after-midnight hours recorded a ‘rough & ready’ session of numbers later released on the Star Club Records label, after the group returned to Liverpool and without their knowledge, under the title “Twist-Time im Star Club 4”.

The Roadrunners line-up for this recording was MIKE HART (Guitar & Vocals) PETE MACKEY (Bass & Vocals) DAVE PERCY (Lead Guitar) JOHN PEACOCK (Piano) and DAVE BOYCE (Drums). On three tracks of “Twist-Time im Star Club 4” - Rip it up, Slowdown and Long Tall Sally, the saxophone accompaniments were provided by two members of the Glasgow based Bobby Patrick Big Six (probably Bobby Patrick himself and Alex Young) who were also doing a Star Club stint the same time as the Roadrunners.

TRACKS 1 - 10 RUN UNTIL 36:18

1: Rip it up (Vocals – Pete Mackey)
2: You can make it if you try (Vocals – Mike Hart)
3: Baby you don’t have to go (Vocals – Mike Hart)
4: Slowdown (Vocals – Mike Hart)
Shortly into this number, Dave Percy has a problem with his guitar lead and the sound of his lead guitar disappears while he struggles to fix it. It reappears again towards the end of the number.
5: That’s alright (Vocals – Mike Hart)
6: Beautiful Delilah (Vocals – Mike Hart)
7: Long Tall Sally (Vocals – Pete Mackey)
8: Hoochie Coochie Man (Vocals – Mike Hart)
9: You’d better move on (Vocals – Mike Hart)
10: Roadrunner (Vocals – Mike Hart)

The Roadrunners returned to the Star Club for their second stint in July / August 1964. And, performing in front of a packed and appreciative Hamburg audience put together a live set that found its way onto one side of a Star Club Records LP released in Germany under the title of “Tanz-Show im Star Club 2”

In the space of eight months the line-up of a much tighter sounding Roadrunners had noticeably changed. Dave Percy had left and the saxophone pairing of Johnny Phillips and Nick Carver added. Indeed, 18-year old American born Johnny Phillips was a rare talent for the times. From the US Southern State of North Carolina, Johnny Phillips was a classically taught musician from an early age who could play a variety of instruments that included saxophone, flute and trumpet. And, it still remains a mystery to this day how exactly he managed to get to Liverpool from the US. Unfortunately, his stay with the Roadrunners was only to be a short one – no more than eight months. For at the end of the group’s second engagement at the Star Club Johnny Phillips decided to remain in Germany to pursue other musical opportunities. As a US citizen, there was also the matter of him legally re-entering the UK without a work permit having originally entered Britain as a visitor.

The Roadrunners line-up for this live recording was again MIKE HART (Guitar & Vocals) PETE MACKEY (Bass & Vocals) JOHN PEACOCK (Piano / Electric Organ) and DAVE BOYCE (Drums) with JOHNNY PHILLIPS (Saxophone / Flute & Trumpet) and NICK CARVER (Saxophone).

TRACKS 11 - 16 START FROM 36:23

11: Mary Ann (Vocals – Mike Hart)
12: Have you ever had the blues (Vocals & Trumpet – Johnny Phillips)
13: My baby left me (Vocals – Pete Mackey)
14: Hitchhike (Vocals – Mike Hart)
15: Cry, Cry, Cry (Vocals – Mike Hart)
16: Got my mojo working (Vocals – Mike Hart)

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