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The Liverpool Spinners

20 Nov 12 - 05:25 PM (#3439481)
Subject: The Liverpool Spinners
From: GUEST,Guest John

Does anyone know if the Spinners, based in Liverpool ever had a female member

20 Nov 12 - 05:38 PM (#3439488)
Subject: RE: The Liverpool Spinners
From: Leadfingers

The Liverpool Spinners were four guys , often on record with a Bass player , but never a Female in the group , though they did work with people like Jacqui and Bridie among others .

20 Nov 12 - 07:22 PM (#3439534)
Subject: RE: The Liverpool Spinners
From: Dave MacKenzie

I believe that, contrary to what Leadfingers says, Jacqui McDonald was a member in their early days.

20 Nov 12 - 08:09 PM (#3439564)
Subject: RE: The Liverpool Spinners
From: Bernard

Yes, Jacqui (of Jacqui and Bridie) was definitely a member before Cliff Hall - and still does the occasional gig with Hughie Jones.

The bass player, John McCormick, was also the musical director.

20 Nov 12 - 08:33 PM (#3439581)
Subject: RE: The Liverpool Spinners
From: Leadfingers

I bow to superior (And Local) knowledge . Its not often I am right , but I am wrong this time ! LOL

21 Nov 12 - 01:30 AM (#3439670)
Subject: RE: The Liverpool Spinners
From: GUEST,john

Thanks for the update, I have never until recently seen jaqui advertised as the spinners

21 Nov 12 - 03:25 AM (#3439691)
Subject: RE: The Liverpool Spinners
From: Les in Chorlton

I seem to remember an album with a photo of them and Jacqui is in the photo

21 Nov 12 - 04:12 AM (#3439697)
Subject: RE: The Liverpool Spinners
From: GUEST,Swaleman

I very recently had Jacqui as a guest at Richmond Swaledale Folk Club(she was excellent and so humorous)and yes she did speak of being an very early member of the Spinners. However she also did tell me that she was not allowed to play the guitar - mandolin yes - because it was not considered to be 'acceptable' at that time for females to be playing guitar in public!!! Unbelieveable but true!

21 Nov 12 - 04:51 AM (#3439710)
Subject: RE: The Liverpool Spinners
From: banjoman

As a card carrying member of the Spinners club (Gregsons Well) I can confirm what has been said - Jacqui was certainly one of the original members of the Spinners and remember their first club at The Cattle Market?

21 Nov 12 - 06:11 AM (#3439729)
Subject: RE: The Liverpool Spinners

Their first LP - recorded by Peter Kennedy in 1962, was called "Quayside Songs Old and New" and released on the HMV label - included Jacqui.

21 Nov 12 - 06:31 AM (#3439736)
Subject: RE: The Liverpool Spinners
From: MGM·Lion

Swaleman ~~ But there were a lot of guitar-playing female folksingers on the scene at the time: Peggy Seeger, Nancy Whiskey, Isla Cameron...
Whence this [it sounds to me some sort of] folktale about the Spinners not allowing Jacqui to play guitar? A misplaced joke by one of them, perhaps? It honestly just doesn't ring true to me.


21 Nov 12 - 06:33 AM (#3439738)
Subject: RE: The Liverpool Spinners
From: MGM·Lion

... or, as you seem to have had it from herself, was she perhaps winding you up?

21 Nov 12 - 07:22 AM (#3439749)
Subject: RE: The Liverpool Spinners
From: greg stephens

Women not being allowed to play guitars can perhaps be put with the Victorians covering up the legs of pianos for reasons of prudery. A good story, but self-evidently not true.

21 Nov 12 - 07:39 AM (#3439756)
Subject: RE: The Liverpool Spinners
From: GUEST,Hootenanny

I seem to remember that Jacqui also did the driving.

With regard to the comment about girls not playing guitar at the time it's utter rubbish. To MtheGM's list you can add Lisa Turner, Rena Swankie, Judith Silver and possibly Hilda Sims and probably several more that I cannot instantlty recall.


21 Nov 12 - 08:08 AM (#3439766)
Subject: RE: The Liverpool Spinners
From: Noreen

It was more likely that a female guitarist didn't fit in with the Spinners' 'image' at the time- and she didn't stay with them long (for whatever reason).

Perhaps those with this early knowledge could add to the Wiki page: wiki: The Spinners (UK band) where Jacqui isn't mentioned.

21 Nov 12 - 08:23 AM (#3439774)
Subject: RE: The Liverpool Spinners
From: Noreen

VERY full Spinners discography at the Chanteycabin

and a
lovely photograph of four very young Spinners at BBC music.

21 Nov 12 - 08:34 AM (#3439779)
Subject: RE: The Liverpool Spinners
From: Noreen

I'm enjoying this! (I only knew them when they were famous- saw them at the Phil.)

At Songs Spun In Liverpool you can see the sleeve, back and front, with some detail about singers and songs, including the friendly:

If you can't follow it all clearly, the Spinners will send you the words. Write care of Topic.


21 Nov 12 - 08:52 AM (#3439786)
Subject: RE: The Liverpool Spinners
From: Noreen

More info here from a cached page of Sixties City by Bill Harry
(Copied and pasted as it may not be available in future)

As a folk act, based on Merseyside, they became a quartet, with Hughie Jones (guitar, harmonica, banjo) who was born in Liverpool. Cliff Hall (guitar, harmonica), was born in Orient Province, Cuba, of Jamaican parents. When his mother died he returned to Jamaica with his father who worked in the plantations. There wasn't enough money to provide Cliff with further education and as a teenager he worked moulding breezeblocks and milking cows.When RAF personnel came to Jamaica on a recruiting drive, Cliff claimed he was older than he was, signed up and came to Britain in November 1942 and was stationed in Worcestershire. He married a Scottish girl Janet Massie in 1947 and the couple had three children. By 1953 he was working as an electrician in Leeds and when he was sent to work in Capenhurst in Cheshire he met Tony Davis and was invited to join The Spinners.

Mick Groves (guitar), born in Salford was to say "I think our strong Liverpool identity is actually a great tribute to the city. They call it a melting pot and we all melted together greatly."

Tony Davis (banjo, tin whistle, guitar, kazoo), was born in Blackburn, but moved to Merseyside at the age of 14.

The Spinners had founded a folk club in Liverpool in October 1958 which they called the Triton Club and their live performances formed the basis of their debut album 'Songs Spun In Liverpool' in 1962. The Spinners ran the club for 25 years and it continues with new regulars under the name Triton Folk.

The group signed with Philips Records in 1963 and recorded eight albums on the label before signing with EMI Records in the early Seventies. Apart from performing vintage folk numbers, they also included original folk songs penned by Hughie in their repertoire, including 'The Ellen Vanin Tragedy' and 'The Marco Polo.'

One highlight of their act was a tribute to their native Liverpool with a song originally written by Peter McGovern in 1962, 'In My Liverpool Home,' while Cliff introduced some traditional Jamaican songs into their repertoire.

One of the original songs on the debut album, 'Quayside Songs Old And New' included the song 'Liverpool Girls,' which was penned by Cliff and was his comment on British cooking. He said "My first wife couldn't cook the dishes I liked at first, but I called the song 'Liverpool Girls' so as not to offend her."

Oddly, the record company were uncomfortable about promoting a multi-racial group and placed a cartoon on the cover in which all the members appeared to be white!

The group recorded over forty albums prior to their retirement in 1988, thirty years after their original formation, having achieved considerable fame in Britain via their many concert and television appearances. They even had their own television show on BBC 1 in 1970 which ran for seven years and another of their own series was aired on BBC Radio 2.

They officially retired following a concert at the Philharmonic Hall after a 120 date farewell tour. A year after their retirement they gathered together to lead the community singing at the 1989 FA Cup final and also performed some Christmas shows in 1992, 1993 and 1994. There was also a reunion performance at the Everyman Theatre in 2005. During the last 17 years of their career, John McCormick acted as their double bassist and musical director.        
When the Spinners decided to retire, he said that The Spinners had become an institution and "who wants to end their days in an institution." Following their retirement, Cliff moved to Australia with his third wife Dottie (he had been widowed twice) but passed away on 26th June 2008 at the age of 82.

Tony continued performing and Mick became Chair of Education at Wirral Borough Council and later moved to Devon.

Hughie Jones has also continued to perform and has had three albums released, including 'Liverpool Connexions' issued on the Fellside label on 14th November 2005. It contained the tracks: Mist Over The Mersey; Moles Of Edge Hill; Down By The Dockyard Wall; Blue And Red; Betsy Of New York; Rent Collecting In Speke; Here's To Cheshire; Unmooring; Cape Horner; Liverpool Lullaby; Derbyshire; Seth Davey; Shanghai Brown; Dirty Old Town; Safe In Snug Harbour; King Of Edge Hill; Alexander Selkirk Is My Name; Daughter Of Water Street.

Their 1994 CD compilation 'The Spinners' contains the tracks:
Lord of the Dance, All Day Singing, Blaydon Races, Last Thing On My Mind, Amazing Grace, We Shall Not Be moved, Guantanamera, Jamaica Farewell, To Be A Farmers Boy, The Foggy Dew, Greensleeves / Lovely Joan, North Country Maid, Liverpool Hornpipe, The Colliers Rant, Dance The Flora, Banks of the Ohio, The Shepherd Lad, Waters of the Tyne, Lamorna, Bucket of the Mountain Dew, When I First Came To This Land, So Long It's Been Good To Know You. It was reissued on 13th January 2008.

Their discography, together with year of release, includes:

1962 Quayside Songs Old and New EMI CLP 1500 (Mono); 1963 The Spinners (Fontana TL 5201); 1964. Folk at the Phil! (Fontana STL5219); 1965 More Folk at the Phil (Fontana STL 5234); 1966 Another L.P. By The Spinners (Fontana STL5431); 1966 The Family Of Man. (Phillips TL 5361); 1967 The Spinners Live Performance (Contour 6870-502); 1967 Another Spinner from The Spinners (Fontana 6857006); 1967 16 Startracks (Philips LP 6308-064); 1967 The Singing City (Philips 6382 002); 1969 The Spinners Clockwork Storybook (Fontana SFL 13191)(Later re - issued as Stop, Look, Listen); 1969 The Spinners (Contour CN 2026); 1969 Stop, Look, Listen (Contour 6870 529); 1969 Spotlight On The Spinners (Philips 6625 014); 1969. Not Quite Folk (Fontana STL 5495).

1970 The Spinners Are In Town (Fontana 6309 014); 1970 The Spinners Collection (Contour PDA 026); 1970 10 Of The Best (Fontana SPXL51); 1971 Spinners Vol. 1-3 (Phillips 6382 046/7/8); 1972. An Evening With (Contour, LP 6870 588); 1972 Love Is Teasing (Columbia SCX 6493); 1973 The Liverpool Spinners (EMI ST6406); 1974 The Spinners At The London Palladium (EMI YAX 4832); 1975 Sing Out, Shout With Joy (EMI SCX6526); 1976 Liverpool to Coney Island (Philips SON Q08); 1976 The Spinners English Collection (EMI OU 2120); 1977 All Day Singing (EMI, LP EMC 3167); 1978 The Spinners Sing Songs of the Tall Ships (EMI NTS 154B1979); 20 Golden Folk Songs (EMI NTS 193); 1979 18 Golden Favourites; 1979 By Arrangement (EMI, TCEMC 3009), re-released as Everybody Loves Saturday Night (MFP 50339).

1980 Blaydon Races (Ideal TCIDL 7); 1981. Around The World And Back Again (Dingle's LP DID 712); 1981 Carribean Sunshine Hits (One-up, LP OU 2235); 1982 Here's To You From The Spinners (PRT N145); 1983 Here's To The Spinners (TC-MFP 41 1038 9); 1983 In Our Liverpool Home (PRT SPN1); The Best of The Spinners. 2 cassettes, (DTO 10068); 1984 Last Night We Had A Do (PRT N6553); 1985. Your 20 Favourite Christmas Carols (Capitol, LP ED 2607471); 1986. Spun Gold (PRT, PYC 12, LP N 6560); 1986 The Spinners In Concert. (MFP, CC 212); 1987 The Spinners Christmas Cassette (RTS 1679); 1988, The Spinners Final Fling (EMI EN5007)

1991 The Best Of The Spinners (Pickwick PWK 103); 1992 The Best Of The Spinners (Castle MATCD 228). Other compilations include: Meet the Spinners (Warwick WW 5058); This Is The Spinners (EMI THIS 7); The Spinners (EMI Ideal TC IDL 7); 1994. The Spinners (EMI 724383018925). Their EP's include: Songs Spun in Liverpool (Topic TOP 69) ; The Singing City; The City Sings Back; Flowers of Manchester . Their singles include: Maggie May/ Linstead Market (Fontana TF 450); Shine Eye Gal/ Amen; Dirty Old Town/ Philimiooriay (Fontana TF494); The Old Dun Cow/ Hold Him Joe; Family of Man/ Shortness of Sight; Funeral in Berlin/ Diamonds and Pearls; Orange and the Green/Mrs. Hooligan's Christmas Cake; Seth Davey/ All For Me Grog; I've Been on the Road/ Bluenose; Uncle Sigmund's Clockwork Storybook//Mechanical Blackbird; Black and White/Strangest Dream; Malaika/ Wing Like A Dove; Here's To The Couple/ Deep Blue Sea; Castles In The Air/ Lamorna; Last Thing On My Mind/ We Shall Not Be Moved; The Wind Is Blowing/The Wren Boys Song (PRT 7P316)

21 Nov 12 - 09:00 AM (#3439790)
Subject: RE: The Liverpool Spinners
From: Noreen

Cliff Hall obituary in the Guardian, 30 June 2008

21 Nov 12 - 04:27 PM (#3440023)
Subject: RE: The Liverpool Spinners
From: GUEST,Doc John

I seem to remember Tony Davis had a sister who also sang but I don't recall her singing with the group; or perhaps my memory is false. Anyone know?

21 Nov 12 - 05:21 PM (#3440044)
Subject: RE: The Liverpool Spinners
From: GUEST,henryp

The Mersey Beat archives report that Tony's sister Joan was a founder member of The Spinners and, after college, a member of The Leesiders.

21 Nov 12 - 05:34 PM (#3440054)
Subject: RE: The Liverpool Spinners
From: GUEST,Derek Schofield

David Stuckey's "biography" of the Spinners suggests that Joan married one of the Leesiders - Bob (Buckle).

21 Nov 12 - 07:46 PM (#3440122)
Subject: RE: The Liverpool Spinners
From: GUEST,henryp

From Boot Sale Sounds; Briefly a member of the Spinners Folk Group - Bob Buckle was a stalwart of the Birmingham folk scene during the 70's

From Liverpoolbeat; The Leesiders by admin » Sat Nov 28, 2009 5:05 pm
Folk group started as trio in the early 60s, but was cut down to a duo in summer 64 when Joan Davis moved to Scotland, Joan was the sister of Tony Davis member of the Spinners Joan was an early member as well. They appeared on the BBC radio many many times.
• Joan Davis vocal.guitar
• Pete Douglas vocal.guitar
• Bob Buckle vocal. guitar

From The Wanderwing; Mersey Memories - A song written and recorded by The Mersey Minstrel himself, Bob Buckle, and his first wife, Joan Minshall, who also sings backing

22 Nov 12 - 05:43 AM (#3440309)
Subject: RE: The Liverpool Spinners
From: GUEST,Derek Schofield

well, the info I gave from Stuckey's book - wouldn't be the first mistake I've noticed there!

22 Nov 12 - 07:25 AM (#3440353)
Subject: RE: The Liverpool Spinners
From: Les in Chorlton

We visted the Leesiders Club in Birkenhead from around '64 to around 69 and I recall Pete and Bob and a third bloke who left and was replaced by another bloke. I think he left when they went pro.

22 Nov 12 - 09:00 AM (#3440405)
Subject: RE: The Liverpool Spinners
From: GUEST,henryp

St Edwards College Liverpool - The Leesiders, was a folk group formed by Peter Hayes and Peter Douglas, ex SEC pupils, together with Bob Buckle about 1960.

22 Nov 12 - 12:04 PM (#3440505)
Subject: RE: The Liverpool Spinners
From: GUEST,Gibsonboy

For anyone who may be interested, the Tamworth Folk Moot 2013, (July 12th/13th/14th), has Hughie Jones and Mick Groves, with John MacCormack, appearing as the Spinners, as our headline act.

23 Nov 12 - 08:45 AM (#3440939)
Subject: RE: The Liverpool Spinners
From: Myrtle's cook

And for those in the Tamworth area, Hughie Jones and the Everyman Folk Club are visitying Tamworth Folk Club tonight (23 Nov 2012).

Should be a great night of singers and songs

10 Feb 14 - 07:00 AM (#3600003)
Subject: RE: The Liverpool Spinners
From: Mr Happy

Spinners + Jackie & Bridie

11 Feb 14 - 06:43 AM (#3600333)
Subject: RE: The Liverpool Spinners
From: Les in Chorlton

Thanks Mr H, what an amazing piece of history. Loved the songs and all that - J & B were probably early 20s at the time - how fashions change. And what about womenin hats? Amazin!

11 Feb 14 - 11:13 AM (#3600391)
Subject: RE: The Liverpool Spinners
From: GUEST,Graham Bradshaw

Just looking through some old magazines and found a copy of SING dated October 1962, which has a photo of the Spinners which includes Jacqueline McDonald (playing the ubiquitous mandolin!!). Also in the photo are Tony, Mick, Hughie and Cliff.
I also have another mag (which I can't find at the moment)which has a story about Jacqui leaving, and the 'lads' giving up their day jobs and going fulltime. A big deal at the time.
Heady days.

11 Feb 14 - 03:29 PM (#3600468)
Subject: RE: The Liverpool Spinners
From: GUEST,Derek Schofield

Yes, indeed Graham. And Tony Davis says that it was following a conversation with Pete Seeger that he decided to go professional. Pete told him he would reach more people through singing than through teaching.

26 Apr 16 - 10:42 AM (#3787248)
Subject: RE: The Liverpool Spinners


I have been trying to find the chords and words for the song Castles in the Air. Can't find them anywhere. Would really like to play it on my ukekele.

I can only find the song by don Maclean, I don't want that one!!!


26 Apr 16 - 04:23 PM (#3787337)
Subject: RE: The Liverpool Spinners
From: GUEST,PeterCripps471

I remember many years ago, being in the audience of over 1000 people at Cheltenham Town Hall, with everyone singing along (the audience knew the words of all the songs at least as well as the Spinners!)and thinking - Who is entertaining who?

08 May 16 - 04:08 PM (#3789226)
Subject: RE: The Liverpool Spinners
From: GUEST,Dave Harper

Hughie Jones will be appearing at the Orpington Liberal Club on Friday, 20 May at 8pm. Tickets are £6 in advance, £7 on day.