This is intended to be a homage to very many musicians I've loved since I started listening to music. My intention is to tell what I know about them, hoping that those people who like them too, will help me fill numerous gaps, which I may have in their careers and discographies. Sorry, but there are no MP3 audio files here at all, just info (and love for the musicians).


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Thursday, 3 December 2009

Graham Bell (vocals)


BANDS:
  • Skip Bifferty
  • Gift
  • Heavy Jelly
  • Griffin
  • Every Which Way
  • Bell & Arc
  • Graham Bell Band
  • The Teabags
  • Snowy White´s Blues Agency
  • Mick Taylor Band

BIOGRAPHY:

Veteran vocalist from the British scene. He was born in Blyth, Northumberland, on April 17, 1948. He started his career very soon, and even released a solo single in 1966 when he was only 18! It was 'How do you say I don't love you / If you're gonna go'.


THE GRAHAM BELL TREND


As far as I know, this could be his first band, but I don't know any details. Lack of success made Graham to split the band and come back to his howetown, Newcastle.


SKIP BIFFERTY


It was early 1966, when The Chosen Few get a new singer, Graham Bell, and change their band name to Skip Bifferty:

SKIP BIFFERTY #
êGraham Bell Trend
Graham Bell
vocals
John Turnbull
(guitar, vocals)
Colin Gibson
(bass)
Mickey Gallagher
(keyboards)
Tommy Jackman
(drums)
Giftê

Being from Newcastle, they established themselves in London. After several months as a tight unit, they released a self-titled album, Skip Bifferty, in 1968. Some of their songs were produced by Ronnie Lane, and arranged by Steve Marriott. They also released an EP called Oak in 1967.

They also worked in a soundtrack for the film ´Smashing Time´, but they don't appear in the album.

Finally, in November 1968 they split when they were working in a second album, with the working title of Skiptomania.

GIFT


Around 1969, this band was formed, known as Gift (or The Gift):
GIFT #
êSkip Bifferty
Graham Bell
vocals
Alan Hull
(vocals, guitar)
John Turnbull
(guitar)
Terry Morgan
()
Ray Laidlaw
(drums)
Heavy Jellyê
They soon split, after just one gig, but they recorded some tracks that remain unreleased (such as early versions of some song that were played later by Lindisfarne with Hull and Laidlaw).

HEAVY JELLY


In 1969, due to legal problems with their manager Don Arden, they changed their name (again), this time to Heavy Jelly.
HEAVY JELLY #
êGift
Graham Bell
vocals
John Turnbull
(guitar, vocals)
Colin Gibson
(bass)
Mickey Gallagher
(keyboards)
Tommy Jackman
(drums)
They released a single, 'I keep singing that same old song / Blue' in June 1969 in the Island label with Guy Stevens.

It was almost the end of the life for Skip Bifferty/Heavy Jelly, but they still made a change in the drummer seat:
HEAVY JELLY #
Graham Bell
(vocals)
John Turnbull
(guitar, vocals)
Colin Gibson
(bass)
Mickey Gallagher
(keyboards)
Fred Wheatley
(drums)

There were some later lineup changes. Dave Potts joined the band:
HEAVY JELLY #
Graham Bell
(vocals)
John Turnbull
(guitar, vocals)
Colin Gibson
(bass)
Mickey Gallagher
(keyboards)
Dave Potts
(drums)

But Dave Potts´ stay was short, being replaced by Alan White:
HEAVY JELLY #
Graham Bell
vocals
John Turnbull
(guitar, vocals)
Colin Gibson
(bass)
Mickey Gallagher
(keyboards)
Alan White
(drums)
Griffinê
But they parted ways that same year.


Bell was to reunite with Gibson and White very soon, while Gallagher and Turnbull formed Arc in 1970, but they soon were to rejoin Graham, as we're going to read.

After the Skip Bifferty/Heavy Jelly separation, Gibson and White formed a new band, Happy Magazine, still in 1969.


GRIFFIN


But sometime soon, they ask their friend Graham Bell to join the quartet as lead vocalist:
GRIFFIN #
êHeavy Jelly
Graham Bell
vocals
Pete Kirtley
(guitar)
Colin Gibson
bass
Kenny Craddock
keyboards
Alan White
drums
Every Which Wayê
Airforceê
Airforceê
Ballsê
A terrific lineup. But they only released two singles, being 'I am the dark noise in your head / Don´t you know' (1969) the first one. They also appeared in The Peel sessions radio program in October 1969.
Colin Gibson and Craddock joined Ginger Baker's Airforce, and Alan White joined Balls (with Denny Laine) for a while, also going to Ginger Baker's Airforce.


EVERY WHICH WAY


Graham Bell joined a new band in May 1970: Every Which Way, formed by drummer Brian Davidson (ex-The Nice):
EVERY WHICH WAY #?
êGriffin
êThe Nice
Graham Bell
vocals
Alan Cartwright
(bass)
Geoff Peach
(flute)
Brian Davison
drums

After a while the band expands with a new member, superb guitarist John Hedley, recommended by Graham Bell and Alan Cartwright, after trying with different players:
EVERY WHICH WAY #?
êJohn Lewis Blues Band
Graham Bell
vocals
Alan Cartwright
(bass)
Geoff Peach
(flute)
Brian Davison
(drums)
Bell & Arcê
Carol Grimes Bandê
The band was short-lived, and after a fantastic debut album released in September 1970, Every Which Way, and a successful presentation at The Marquee, they sadly split in early 1971.


BELL & ARC


Graham Bell started thinking about a solo career. He wrote some demos, and called his old mates (now in Arc) to back him. All went so well, that they decided forming a stable lineup, under the name Bell & Arc:

BELL & ARC #1
1971
êEvery Which Way
êArc
êArc
êArc
êArc
Graham Bell
vocals
John Turnbull
guitar, vocals
Tom Duffy
bass
Mickey Gallagher
keyboards

They released Bell & Arc, with lots of great guests: Kenny Craddock (keyboards, guitar), Bud Beadle (sax), Steve Gregory (sax), Jeff Condon (trumpet), John Woods (percussion), Alan White (drums, percussion). Some of them also joined the band later.

But after the album, Rob Tait left.

Tait was replaced by John Woods:

BELL & ARC #2
Graham Bell
vocals
John Turnbull
guitar, vocals
Tom Duffy
bass
Mickey Gallagher
keyboards
John Woods
drums

But John Woods wasn't to stay too much time in the band. For their American tour in November/December 1971 (supporting The Who), they got old mate Alan White:
BELL & ARC #
Graham Bell
(vocals)
John Turnbull
(guitar, vocals)
Tom Duffy
(bass)
Mickey Gallagher
(keyboards)
Alan White
(drums)

After the tour, Alan White left, being replaced by another great drummer, Ian Wallace:
BELL & ARC #
Graham Bell
(vocals)
John Turnbull
(guitar, vocals)
Tom Duffy
(bass)
Mickey Gallagher
(keyboards)
Ian Wallace
(drums)

In January 1972, Gallagher left, and another great replacement arrives, Kenny Craddock:
BELL & ARC #
Graham Bell
vocals
John Turnbull
(guitar, vocals)
Tom Duffy
(bass)
Kenny Craddock
(keyboards)
Ian Wallace
(drums)
Tommy castê
But, after one month, they disbanded in February 1972, as Graham Bell was offered a deal to go solo by producer Bob Johnston.


TOMMY (cast)


After the success of Tommy, the album by The Who, producer Lou Reizner arranged a new, symphonic version, released in November 1972. It was recorded with The London Symphony Orchestra, The English Chamber Choir, plus a cast of thousands: Sandy Denny, Graham Bell (who sings lead in '1921'), Maggie Bell, Steve Winwood, Richie Havens, Merry Clayton, Ringo Starr, Rod Stewart, Richard Harris, plus The Who, of course.

To celebrate the release, on December 9th, 1972, the whole work was played live at The Rainbow, with some of the same artists as in the album, plus some added stars:
TOMMY (CAST) #
êBell & Arc
Graham Bell
vocals
Roy Wood
(vocals)
Roger Chapman
(vocals)
Elkie Brooks
(vocals)
David Essex
(vocals)
Merry Clayton
(vocals)
Marsha Hunt
(vocals)
Viv Stanshall
(vocals)
Bill Oddie
(vocals)
John Pertwee
(vocals)
+
The London Symphony Orchestra
The English Chamber Choir
Graham Bell Bandê

In March 1973, there were two concerts productions of Tommy in Australia. From The Who, only Keith Moon attended, and Graham Bell appeared as The Narrator. The other roles were played by Australian singers (such as the late, great Billy Thorpe).


GRAHAM BELL BAND


Graham Bell went solo again.

He released his first solo album, Graham Bell, that same year, with these musicians (some parts were recorded in UK, some parts in Nashville):

Graham Bell (vocals, guitar, harmonica)
Ron Cornelius (guitar)
Tim Drummond (bass, vocals)
Tim Hinkley (keyboards)
Mel Collins (sax)
Eddie Mordue (sax)
Mark Charig (trumpet)
Kenny Wheeler (trumpet)
Nick Evans (trombone)
Gaspar Lawal (percussion)
Derek Quinn (percussion)
Ian Wallace (drums)

From 1973 to 1974, Graham formed a band with bassist Steve York, which recorded some demos, but never played publically.


GRAHAM BELL BAND


Sometime later (maybe 1975?), Graham Bell started gigging with Steve York (bass) and Gary Moore on guitar. But I need more details about this lineup:

GRAHAM BELL BAND #?
?
Graham Bell
vocals
Gary Moore
guitar
Steve York
bass
+ others unknown to me. Help, please!

Around 1975, Melody Maker had an article about Graham. It was said that an album was being recorded with help from Pete Townshend, and an announcement about a brand new band.


(Almost) COLOSSEUM II


In January 1975, Jon Hiseman started looking for people to form his new venture, Colosseum II. The guitarist in the band was Gary Moore, so he brought Graham Bell for the auditions. But he finally didn't join (Mike Starrs was the chosen singer).


AND THEN...


And now I have a very big gap in Graham Bell's career. Any help with info would be very appreciated.


GRAHAM BELL´S STOTTS


Around 1975, Graham Bell formed a band with old mate Kenny Craddock. They were called Stotts, but their live was too short:

GRAHAM BELL BAND #
Graham Bell
vocals
Tom Duffy
bass
Kenny Craddock
keyboards
+ others unknown to me. Help, please!

In January 1976, they were billed at The Marquee as Graham Bell´s Stotts. Two months later, he played there again, but this time simply billed as Graham Bell.


THE TEABAGS


Around 1979, Ian Wallace left Bob Dylan Band and assembled this fantastic group (in LA! and all of them were british!). This was one of the lineups:
THE TEABAGS #
Jackie Lomax
(vocals, guitar)
Graham Bell
(vocals)
Peter Banks
(guitar)
David Mansfield
()
Kim Gardner
(bass)
Ian Wallace
(drums)
They gigged for a while in Los Angeles.

GRAHAM BELL BAND


In the mid eighties, Graham Bell formed a new band with his old friend John Hedley:

GRAHAM BELL BAND #
Graham Bell
vocals
Hilton Valentine
guitar
Paul Nichols
drums
+ others unknown to me. Help, please!

They played many gigs, but as far as I know, they never recorded any studio material.


SNOWY WHITE´S BLUES AGENCY


The next (happy) news was finding Graham Bell again! It was in 1988, when he joined exquisite guitarist Snowy White.

In 1986, Snowy White chose to concentrate in playing guitar, so he added a vocalist to his band, Graham Bell:
SNOWY WHITE BAND #
êGraham Bell Band
Graham Bell
vocals, harmonica
Snowy White
(guitar)
Kuma Harada
(bass)
Jeff Allen
(drums)
They toured as Snowy White´s Blues Agency.

They released two albums, Change my life and Open for business (rereleased under the title Blues on me). But they sadly split in 1990. All the members (except Graham) went to play with Mick Taylor All Star Band.


MICK TAYLOR BAND


In April 1994, Mick Taylor played a gig with this superb lineup:
MICK TAYLOR BAND #
Mick Taylor
(vocals, guitar)
Snowy White
(guitar)
Graham Bell
(harmonica)
Kuma Harada
(bass)
Zoot Money
(keyboards, vocals)
Jeff Allen
(drums)


AND LATER...


And, again, I didn't find info about Graham, until the very sad news that he passed away on May 2, 2008, after a short battle against cancer. He will be very missed as a great, great singer!

DISCOGRAPHY: (15 albums known to me - Status: Completed)

OWN ALBUMS (3 credits)
  • How do you say I don´t love you / If you´re gonna go (SINGLE) - Graham Bell (1966)

  • Graham Bell - Graham Bell (1972)

    • Members: (RIP: Graham Bell)
    • Guests: Marc Charig, Mel Collins, Ron Cornelius, Tim Drummond, Nick Evans, Tim Hinkley, Gaspar Lawal, Eddie Mordue, Derek Quinn, Kenny Wheeler (RIP: Ian Wallace)
  • All the romances - Graham Bell (1994)

    • Members: (RIP: Graham Bell)
    • Guests: Jeff Allen, P P Arnold, Martin Ditcham, Kuma Harada, Max Middleton, Chris Rea, Linda Taylor, Snowy White
ALBUMS AS A BAND MEMBER (8 credits)
  • I keep singing that same old song / Blue (SINGLE) - Heavy Jelly (1968)

    • Members: Mickey Gallagher, Colin Gibson, Tommy Jackman, John Turnbull (RIP: Graham Bell)
  • Skip Bifferty - Skip Bifferty (09/1968)

    • Members: Mickey Gallagher, Colin Gibson, Tommy Jackman, John Turnbull (RIP: Graham Bell)
  • Every Which Way - Every Which Way (09/1970)

    • Members: Alan Cartwright, John Hedley, Geoff Peach (RIP: Graham Bell, Brian Davison)
    • My opinion: I absolutely love this album. My favourite tracks are the lengthy 'Bed ain´t what it used to be and 'All in time'.
  • Bell & Arc - Bell & Arc (07/1971)

    • Members: Bud Beadle, Jeff Condon, Tom Duffy, Mickey Gallagher, Steve Gregory, Rob Tait, John Turnbull, Alan White, John Woods (RIP: Graham Bell, Kenny Craddock)
    • Producer: Bob Johnston
  • Tommy - The London Symphony Orchestra & Chamber Choir (1972)

    • Members: Merry Clayton (RIP: Graham Bell)
    • Guests: Maggie Bell, Roger Daltrey, Will Malone, Ringo Starr, Rod Stewart, Pete Townshend, Steve Winwood (RIP: Sandy Denny, John Entwistle, Richard Harris)
    • Producer: (RIP: Kit Lambert, Lou Reizner)
    • Technical: Keith Grant
  • Land of freedom - Snowy White (1984)

    • Members: Jeff Allen, Richard Bailey, Kuma Harada (RIP: Graham Bell)
    • Guests: Godfrey Wang
  • Change my life - Snowy White´s Blues Agency (1989)

    • Members: Jeff Allen, Kuma Harada, Snowy White (RIP: Graham Bell)
    • Technical: John Burns
    • Comments: CD edition has 1 bonus track.
  • Open for business - Snowy White (1989)

    • Members: Jeff Allen, Kuma Harada, Snowy White (RIP: Graham Bell)
    • Comments: The album was re-released as Blues on me.
COMPILATIONS AS A BAND MEMBER (1 credit)
  • The Story of Skip Bifferty - Skip Bifferty (2003)

    • Members: Mickey Gallagher, Colin Gibson, Tommy Jackman, Paul Nichols, John Turnbull, Alan White (RIP: Graham Bell)
    • Guests: Pete Kirtley (RIP: Kenny Craddock, Alan Hull)
    • Producer: Alan Price (RIP: Ronnie Lane, Guy Stevens)
    • Technical: Roy Thomas Baker
    • Comments: It includes the album plus 26 bonus tracks! With unreleased tracks and BBC sessions, as well as tracks by Griffin or Heavy Jelly.
COLLECTIVE ALBUMS (1 credit)
  • Blues Britannia - VVAA (02/2000)

    • Guests: Bimbo Acock, Jeff Allen, The Big Figure, Geoff Bradford, Joe Brown, Clive Bunker, Gerry Conway, Julian Dawson, Jerry Donahue, Chris Farlowe, Peter Green, Kuma Harada, Tim Hinkley, Ronnie Johnson, Paul Jones, Dave Kelly, Dave Mattacks, John McLaughlin, Micky Moody, Janet Mooney, Richard Newman, Dave Pegg, Nigel Portman Smith, Mike Simmonds, Danny Thompson, Big George Webley, Paul Westwood, Snowy White, Mo Witham (RIP: Cliff Aungier, Graham Bell, Greg Ridley)
SESSIONS (2 credits)
  • Warm blood - Carol Grimes (1974)

    • Members: Carol Grimes
    • Guests: Roger Ball, John ´Rabbit´ Bundrick, Ron Cornelius, Malcolm ´Molly´ Duncan, Mac Gayden, Karl Himmel, Henry Lowther, Sam Mitchell, Jess Roden (RIP: Graham Bell, Kenny Buttrey, Tommy Cogbill, Tommy Eyre, Archie Legget)
    • Comments: Apart from playing with Tommy in Babylon band, she once was the singer in Delivery, a band whose members later joined famous Canterbury bands, such as Caravan, Soft Machine or Matching Mole. In this album, we can find Jess Roden (vocals), Archie Legget (vocals), Graham Bell (vocals, harmonica, from Bell & Arc), Sam Mitchell (guitar), Ron Cornelius (guitar), Tommy Eyre (keyboards), John 'Rabbit' Bundrick (keyboards), Henry Lowther (trumpet), Roger Ball and Malcolm Duncan (sax, from Average White Band), and session musicians from the Nashville scene: Mac Gayden (guitar), Tommy Cogbill (bass), Bob Wilson (keyboards), Kenny Buttrey (drums), Karl Himmel (drums).
  • The Lamb lies down on Broadway - Genesis (11/1974)

    • Members: Tony Banks, Phil Collins, Peter Gabriel, Steve Hackett, Mike Rutherford
    • Guests: Brian Eno (RIP: Graham Bell)
    • Producer: John Burns

QUESTIONS:

01. Can someone help me with info about the band Stotts?


RELATED WEBSITE LINKS: 4


From the always interesting Alex's Picks (by Alex Gitlin), we have:

From the superb site Knights in Blue Denim: The British Blues Scene '68 - '70 (by Christer Fridhammar & Vanja), we have:

THANKS:

Very Special Thanks to:
  • John Pearson: for info.
  • John Hedley: for info about Graham.

  • Special Thanks to:
  • Andy McCaddie: for telling me about the sad news.

  • Thanks to:
  • Alex Gitlin: for everything.

  • WHAT'S NEW:

    30/November/2009 - Page added to the blog.
    15/February/2008 - The first draft about Graham Bell. Thanks to Mike.
    05/September/2000 - Original page written by me (in the old site).

    RELATED MUSICIANS:

    Graham Bell mostly worked with these musicians: (name + number of credits)
    Jeff Allen (5)
    Kuma Harada (5)
    Mickey Gallagher (4)
    John Turnbull (4)
    Snowy White (4)
    Colin Gibson (3)
    Tommy Jackman (3)
    John Burns (2)
    Ron Cornelius (2)
    Kenny Craddock (2)

    Page created by Miguel Terol on: 05/September/2000 - Last modified on: 07/February/2011. If you want to contribute with info, please write to: molympus1@gmail.com

    Please, note than you can check the indexes (musicians, bands, obituaries) at the top of this page.

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