Peter Thorup began his big career with the Blackpooles when he was only 15 years old. They made two singles in 1965/66. The style was rhythm & blues and soul, providing a natural start for Thorup who, after the Blackpooles, continued in the Beefeaters and then with Alexis Korner as an international blues/rock musician in CCS. After that he became a producer and musician here in Denmark. The Blackpooles also recorded the soundtrack for a Danish film called "Jeg en Kvinde" ("I'm a Woman"). The song was called "It's a Shame" and was released as a single with Wandy Tworek on the b-side.
The Someones almost had a national breakthrough in 1965/66, but instead of releasing covers like "Hang on Sloopy" they should have released more original tunes, because they were being outsold by the original versions. They also recorded "Louie Louie," the Kinks' " Don't Ever Change," and the Stones' "Heart of Stone," all of which became hits, but not for the Someones.
The Defenders got together in 1962 when the Clifters
controlled the whole pigtråd market. The Defenders' debut was the
single "Just in Case," but they didn't become popular until Rudolf Hansen
started to juggle with his smile and his bass guitar and Flemming Sørensen
turned up the volume of his voice in several parodies of "Mashed Potatoes"
in 1965. They became a funny feature at the Hit House, Le Carousel and
during their many tours around the country with their dance to Kom Maj
Du Søde Milde. They covered "Farmer John" by the Hep Stars and the
Searchers and the Birds and the Bees from Jewel Akens and Alma Cogan. Even
though the covers didn't sound as well produced as the originals they were
very popular when they played these live. In 1966 they became interested
in the Danish Craze of pigtråd [that is, singing in their native
tongue], and had hits on the Danish top 20 with the songs "Der Er Lys I
Lygten" and "Jeg Har Aldrig Fået No'et." On the latter tune their
feur sang a verse. This one reached the no. 1 position and actually stayed there the whole of January 1966. Later that same year they performed "En Lille Nisse" in the Rifbjerg movie Jeg er Sgu Min Egen, and when they tried later to make a comeback in rock it all went wrong.
In the beginning the Hitmakers were one of most Liverpool-influenced Danish rock bands, and because of their many Lennon-McCartney recordings they got the job as the lead-in group for the Beatles when they played in the KB Hall in 1964. Their versions of "I Saw Her Standing There" and "Michelle" are some of the finest examples of this. They also covered the Monkees' breakthrough from 1966, "Last Train To Clarksville." They were popular all over Scandinavia. One of their biggest hits was "Stop the Music," but "Little Boy Sad" was also very popular live, and there was a real pigtråd touch when for example the band played the concert hall of Tivoli with other bands like the Weedons, Flintones and the Black Devils. After the Danish parodies "Træd An Ved Makronerne" and "Lille Viggo Vekselstrøm," it was over for the band. They made an ambitious comeback attempt with a new name, the Floor, but their album didn't go over well even though it was actually quite good.
The Baronets were dominated by their singer Frank
Lauridsen's blues vocals, and before the band in 1966 became no. 3 in the
Danish Champion League in pop music they were very famous on Fyn (a Danish
island). The Champion League was arranged by the two big pop magazines,
"Hit" and "Beat." A record was released of that evening including winning
band the Teenmakers, the second place Stoke Sect, and the Zorros from Roskilde,
the Firestones from Humlebæk, Macmartin & His Scotsmen from Randers,
etc. Peter Abrams and Erik Haast produced the record. They recorded some
self composed tunes including "You Won't Believe Me," and they also covered
songs by other groups, such as "Here Comes The Sun." The band was generous
when a magazine called Ugebladet asked if they wanted to record a track
for an album in honor of the youth of Greenland, which resulted in "I've
Got To Get Away." When the Danish Craze reached its heights they recorded
"Amanda Fra Kerteminde" and "Jeg Vil Bygge En Verden."!
In 1975 they recorded an album called Gunpowder And Cannonballs.
Peter Belli holds a special place in Danish pop
history. After being in several bands in 1962 and '63 he joined Les Rivals
in 1964 and became a fixture at the Pigall on Dyrehavsbakken (Danish fairground).
Because of their hit "Move On," Belli became a famous pop idol, a hero
of pigtråd, and the founder of Seven Sounds and B.B. Brothers. He
became the first rock star in Denmark who really sympathized with translated
versions of international hits. In keeping with this he introduced a Danish
version of "Ob La Di Ob La Da," the Kinks hit "Helt Igennem Respektabel,"
"Ulven Peter," etc. Once he went to prison for admitting, during a radio
interview, to using hashish.
It was always funny to experience the Clidows
performing live. They loved rock but when they played "Det Er Så
Synd For Farmand" there was not a dry eye in the house. They recorded "Det
Er Mig Det Samme" as a b-side to "…Farmand." And they were simply jolly
whatever they played, Danish songs or American rock. They loved to play
their home-made 12-string guitars, and their favorite tunes were "No Sugar
In My Coffee" and a Danish version of Roger Miller's "Hang Me."
We all know what's happened since the Gasolin recorded "the Escape/W.J." and "Child of Institution" in 1970 for Charlotte Strandgård's movie, "Ang. Lone". It's the history of four musicians who got together on Christania around the milieu of the Sofiegården, and worked their way up as rock kings with concerts in Copenhagen Idrætspark, and tours and recordings in the States - all run by their manager, Knud Thorbjørnsen. Gasolin did everything you've expected from Savage Rose, but some years earlier. Their records and concerts inspired worship of the kind normally found in religious sects.
When Melvis frisked through his favorites "What'd
I Say," "One Mint Julep," "Exodus," "Barefooting" and "You Can't Sit Down,"
it was with a special flair for the jazz/blues tradition. He never rock'n'rolled
without this blues touch and, at the same time, he never sang the blues
if it didn't rock. Melvis & His Gentlemen were an institution in the
Danish pigtråd era, and his inspiration came from Ray Charles, Zoot
Money, Cliff Bennett and Graham Bond. Sometimes he performed as a backing
musician for Danish female singers, and he was hooked on new crazes such
as the Twist, which led to his recordings of "Spanish Twist" and "Hippy
Hippy Shake." But he derived the most satisfaction from blues and jazz,
which dominated his 1975 comeback album in "Melvis Is Back."
"Shimmy Shimmy" by the Weedons was one of the songs that really started people's motors, and it was the one the audience yelled for when announcer Anders Dahlerup introduced the group. The song was from the Searchers' songbook but the Weedons' version was much more aggressive, although it's quite a primitive production. The band existed for a couple of years.
The Lions became a symbol of the jolly pigtråd spirit after they received a composition from the daily leader of the Hit House, Poul Borum. It was simply titled "Hit House Shake," and became a big success for the group after their minor breakthrough record, "Skinnie Minnie." They also covered the Everly Brothers' "Maybe Tomorrow" and "Gone Gone Gone," and Nancy Sinatra's "These Boots…" and "I Want You." "Sticks and Stones" could always lighten up a pigtråd party anywhere. The Lions were almost as popular as Sir Henry, the Defenders and Peter Belli from 1964-66.
Step By Step:
Step By Step got their name from a popular British song by Wishful Thinking. The group was a pigtråd band but for a time had female singer named Lea, who almost gave them their breakthrough with "Marble Breaks." In 1965-66 they made quite a lot of records, many of them recorded in a boat club called "Kvik". They covered "Oh Carol," "Never My Love" and "Gimme A Little Sign," and also introduced Ben Fabricius-Bjerre's "Lilian." The group represented the more polished pigtråd of the time.
John Andersen of the Rocking Ghosts was the pigtråd era's most respectable figure. He was a constant target of autograph collectors, especially after their big homemade hit "Belinda," and "Oh What a Kiss," which the band borrowed from some operetta. Both of the songs were number one hits and sung in a charming schoolboy English way by John A. The group did a lot of instrumentals too, such as "Scotland the Brave," and recorded more LP's than any other group. At the beginning of their career they performed in ghost outfits and won several battles of the pigtråd. After three hard working years they recorded "Rock Around the Clock," the song that started all pigtråd in 1954. In 1975 they got together once again and recorded "Belinda" and "Oh What a Kiss" with Danish lyrics.
Later called the Olsen Brothers, the Kids first won a contest at the Forum (there were plenty of contests at the time). That was the beginning of their 3-singles career, 2 of which were sung in English (their own "Plastic Fantastic") and one with two old Danish songs called "Ønsk Mig Held" and "Du Og Jeg Vil Altid Være Venner." When the musical "Hair" came to Denmark in 1971 Jørgen Olsen landed one of the roles and afterwards he formed the Olsen Brothers, a duo with Noller Olsen. They became popular with their first single, "Angelina," and first album, "Olsen Brothers." The "Brothers" still perform (1976), make records in England and Denmark and are looked at as one of the most professional acts in Denmark. Their sound is well known around the country, so now it's nice to hear their musical background as the Kids.
Lost And Found:
Featuring Peter Monrad, Lost And Found was kind
of an offshoot from the Lions, where he was the organist. The group had
an instant breakthrough hit with "No No No No," which lasted 10 weeks in
the Danish top 20 in 68/69. On the 8th of December 1968 it got to no. 18,
and during January 1969 it rose to the number 4 spot. Its blue beat rhythm
was a little unusual at a time when most people swore by the Jefferson
Airplane, Hendrix and San Francisco. Lost and Found also recorded more
singles in the same style, such as "I've Been Hurt" and a very fine version
of Cat Steven's "The First Cut Is The Deepest," but none of them were as
successful as "No No No No."
Kenny & The Stringers:
Kenny & The Stringers played some of the most spontaneous gigs at the Hit House. They started out as a one-night band at the Hit House but afterwards the band became permanent and though they went through a couple of personnel changes they managed to record two singles, including this Loving Spoonful cover.
"Angelia" was one of the Teenmakers most popular
songs, and it illustrates the vocal harmonies the group learned from the
Hollies. In 1966 they won the Danish Championship in Pop Music with the
Hollies song "Yes I Will." They had a knack for choosing good songs for
their records, such as "Mo´reen" and "Let It Be Me." They were one
of the first Danish groups to see the possibilities of steel guitar in
Danish Pop, and it was actually a pity that the group didn't stay together
for longer than a couple of years. The group was from Ringsted and was
one of the few bands with success at the Copenhagen Hit House.