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Artefact

A publicity photo sent to us by David Sharkey.

The picture consists of Richard Harding (holding the guitar), bass player John Harding (back left) and Johnny Casson (drummer). Malcolm Clark is not in the picture featured.

The date is a guess judged by their collars and ties
Artefact added : 30th July 2008
by mat
lorna Says –
greetings from Australia. I totally agree with the statement made by Alan Charles with regard to the pictured group (Malcolm Clarke and The Cresters), my sister and I were part of a Scottish group "The Jacobeats" during the 60's, we toured with lots of famous 60's bands ie...Hollies,The Kinks,Dave berry etc to name a few, but the above group left some of them dead in the water with regard to musical skills, not only that but most importantly, they were just a really nice group of men who loved their music.
Where are they now I wonder ??
From Lorna Helby (nee Cameron)
Sunshine Coast,
Australia
COMMENT ADDED 2nd June 2009
cresters Says –
I remember working with the jackobeats, they were a smashing little group.
My name is John harding and I was the bass player with the cresters at that time.
As regarding the rest of your qhatuestions Lorna, you will remember singer Malcolm, who had a voice thatmade Pavoroti sound like George Formby, you will remember what a lovely bloke he was.
Unfortunately cancer took his life in 1968, I still miss him.
When Malcolm died we carried on as a three peice group and had a veryy good career which lasted for 21 years.
The Cresters broke up in 1984, Our kid the guitarist wanted to spend more time in his recording studio, the drummer Johnie Casson is now a very successful comedian.
As for me I went out as a solo act and lasted 3years when I became ill a year later I was diagnosed with MS, but life goes on and you have to make the best of it.
Thank you for all the nice thigs you put in the letter
All the best.
John
COMMENT ADDED 25th November 2010
allanrm Says –
I had to laugh at your comment regarding Pavarotti sounding like George Formby. I also have to agree!
The Cresters were always my favourites back in the days when bands were called groups.
I left Elgin soon after the date of Malcolms passing and I only saw the Cresters play once after that. (In a club in Camberley) John was lead singer at that time and did a very good job indeed. I have a feeling that John was a big time Neil Sedaka fan. That was fine with me as I was a big NS fan too.
I saw Richard just a couple of years back in Leeds. He was playing at a R&R society thing with Mike Sagar. That was wonderful and we chatted for absolute AGES - mostly about how old we were getting! LOL
I well remember the Jacobeats too, good times Lorna...

Allan.....
COMMENT ADDED 18th May 2011
lorna Says –
Hi there Allan, did we meet at all ? We "The Jacobeats " played quite a lot at Elgin, our agent was Mr Bonici and we always played at "The Two Red Shoes"ballroom.....

Last week I found a photo of "The Cresters" with all four of them, they were GREAT ! and we always looked forward their tours up North, I will upload the photo in the next few days.

I,m hoping to be over there this Aug/Sept, and trying to catch up with Johnnie, we write to one another quite often, I missed him last year but hope to have better luck this year.

Regards
Lorna.

Yes it was great times !!!!!
COMMENT ADDED 19th May 2011
lorna Says –
Greetings to you John, my goodness it's great to hear from you, where do you live now? and are you near your brother Richard? I would really love to catch up with you both when I come over this year and we can talk about the fun times !!!!!!!!!! I am on Facebook if you want to get in touch with me...I would love to hear from you.

Regards
Lorna Cameron :-)

Lorna Helby nee Cameron
COMMENT ADDED 19th May 2011
allanrm Says –
Hi Lorna, yes, we met many times - just in passing 'though. I played in a few of the Elgin bands over the years including a few who were with Albert B. The 'Shoes' and the Park Cafe were, together, my spiritual home for many years. I left Elgin around '68-ish and did quite well for a number of years playing with various bands around the south of England and doing the occasional recording session. Then, I got married and settled for the more steady income of a 'real' job when we wanted to start a family. Later, travelled the world working for various oil and telecom companies. I still miss the good times playing around the north of Scotland however.
I have a fairly recent pic of Richard and I - I just need to work out how to post it on this site!

It's great to know that someone else knows what I am bletherin' about!!!

Regards, Allan.....
COMMENT ADDED 19th May 2011
allanrm Says –
I got the picture to upload but it is entered as a different 'artifact' - I am sooo confyuzled! I think you need to go under 'Archive'/'Show All' and select 'Photographs' to see it.

Allan.....
COMMENT ADDED 19th May 2011
Eileen B Says –
Amazing what a rainy afternoon can come up with on the net! Used to be a big Cresters fan after seeing them on tour with the Beatles in '63. I have this photo and others, as well as their singles and tapes of performances in Aberdeen. Lots of happy memories. Nice to see that others remember them!

Eileen B.
COMMENT ADDED 19th September 2011
NSM Says –
Eileen - you have tapes of the Cresters from the 60s? Any way you could share these? I have a small number of recordings from then myself but the sound quality is seriously dreadful - I'd be happy to supply copies to anyone who wanted them though. (not you allan, you've got them already)

NSM
COMMENT ADDED 24th September 2011
Eileen B Says –
Hi NSM - could you contact me on my email address through MDMA pls? thanks, Eileen.
COMMENT ADDED 24th September 2011
Bassman50 Says –
Hi Eileen B, I've just come across this site through my interest in Malcolm Clarke and the Cresters who used to play at the Two Red Shoes, Elgin in the 60s. They were one of the best groups on the go with the brilliant Malcolm and Richard, also John Harding, a great bass player and comedian Johnny Casson, an excellent drummer. I've only got three of their singles but would love to hear more of their recordings if you would still be willing to supply copies. I go on you tube regularly to watch and listen to Richard's beautiful style of playing.
Thank you,
Allan J
COMMENT ADDED 13th April 2014
allanrm Says –
Hi Allan, Its Allan here...
Unfortunately Eileen's tapes were much too degraded to get anything much off of. She sent them to me. My brother (NSM) and I spent many hours on trying to recover them. They finally went to Richard to see if he could do more with them, using his studio equipment. The problem was general noise and a huge amount of magnetic print through. If NSM sees this, as I am sure he will, he will be able to add any update that applies.
Sorry it's not good news, Allan.....
COMMENT ADDED 14th April 2014
Bassman50 Says –
Hi Allan,
It's great to hear from you again. Thanks for the info about the tapes and it's a pity that they're not usable as I think the guys were one of the best groups I've ever heard. As mentioned, I 'you tube' Richard quite a lot and also the Cresters singles that are available.... trying to keep my own copies in good nick. How are you keeping and I hope the playing is still at the top of your agenda.
As an aside, I wonder if you've ever come across Johnny McKeand in your travels as I've still got a Roy Orbison 'In Dreams' LP he loaned to me all those not so many years ago.
All the best, Allan
COMMENT ADDED 14th April 2014
Eileen B Says –
Hi there again both Allans - I thought I'd sent a reply this morning but must have hit the wrong button somewhere.

There was also a cassette recording that Neil managed to do something with - made during a performance in 1972. Perhaps if you contact him, he might be able to help?

Hope this message reaches you this time.
Eileen B.
COMMENT ADDED 14th April 2014
NSM Says –
Hi Eileen, Allan and Allan :)

I have indeed got the 1972 cassette, it's not hi-fi quality but it's quite listenable. I also have some recordings made by Richard in his studio, mainly instrumental guitar things, plus a few tracks of a 'jam' session made two or three years ago of Richard and myself playing 2 guitars.

Eileen - I've lost your contact details, if you get in touch with me again I can do you some copies which are (only marginally, I'm afraid!) better than the ones I sent before.

Allan J - get in touch, I'll be happy to send you what I've got.

I find this site hard to navigate and a bit haphazardly laid out, I've tried to locate both of your email addresses on here and failed, so I'm taking a wee chance now just in case you can't find mine - contact me on munroneil245@googlemail.com

AllanRM - gi'es a phone min!
COMMENT ADDED 14th April 2014
NSM Says –
oh and by the way, I meant to say, regarding the photograph at the top of this page - I had a copy of the original of this photo, given to my wife and I by Johnny Casson when we spent a few days in Leeds staying with Richard and John in 1974, it's not from 1968, it's later than that :)
COMMENT ADDED 14th April 2014
Bassman50 Says –
Hi Eileen, Allan and Neil,
Hello to all,
It's great to know that the group is not forgotten.
Eileen thanks for the info re the 1972 recording.
Thank you Neil, I appreciate your kind offer and I've just emailed you as you suggested.
All the best,
Allan J
COMMENT ADDED 14th April 2014
scotbeat Says –
Just found this interesting site. Am currently developing a beat music history focusing on Albert Bonici and north of Scotland music scene. Great to see John Harding of the Cresters and Lorna of the Jacobeats here! At the end of the month, Elgin Museum will feature my exhibit "BONICI and the BEAT SCENE" and Windy Miller will be there to play a reunion gig. My question: I heard that one of the Cresters who dated George Inches's daughter was killed in a car accident. Who was this and where and when did it occur? It is tragic that some many talented musicians were cut short from fofilling their potential. Also, am wondering what songs did the Cresters except from the Beatles? An article about it is at the end of one of my posts: scotbeat.wordpres...
COMMENT ADDED 16th March 2016
NSM Says –
Hi Scotbeat :) I lived in Elgin during the 60s and have many memories of Albert and his promotions. Regarding your questions about the Cresters - none of them died in a car crash, I'm pleased to say. Apart from John Harding, who kindly supplied information on himself and Malcolm Clarke in a previous post on this thread, the other members were Richard Harding who is alive and well, and Johnny Casson (not 'Caffen', as he is wrongly identified on your site). In more recent times, Richard has been gigging with the original singer of the Cresters, Mike Sagar; Johnny Casson has had a successful career as a stand-up comedian, with many tv appearances to his credit. I have many memories and quite a bit of knowledge about the 'Bonici years' - if you want to contact me so that I can pass on some of my info that may be of interest to you, let me know how to contact you and I'll get back to you. The two 'Allans' who have also posted on this thread are also Elgin natives who were on that same scene :)
COMMENT ADDED 16th March 2016
scotbeat Says –
That's great NSM... am looking forward to hearing from you and thanks for the feedback. I didn't find anything about a car accident but found mdarchive in my search. Also, which post is Casson misspelled? thx.
I began the study in 2008 when waiting for residency after getting married in Elgin. I had been a fan of British beat music early on and never missed "Shindig!" growing up. I was interesting to learn that it's music director Harry Robinson was Henry Robertson, friend of Mr. Bonici.
My wife told me about memoriable days as a teenager and about Albert Bonici. Also, I became friends with his nephew John Ruggeri who provided part of the materials I am working with.
Btw, I don't see your email addy but anyone who can help with the scotbeat project can email notes to david.dills@yahoo.com or post on scotbeat.wordpres...
I was growing up in S San Francisco when Albert Bonici was promoting in Scotland but it's a fascinating project and one that people here appreciate. I am having to separate the facts from fiction as people recollect bits but it's coming together.

Also, I first heard about the Jacobeats when interviewing Graeme Nairn who reorganized the group. I also have articles about the group with Lorna and her sister... scotbeat.wordpres...
COMMENT ADDED 17th March 2016
NSM Says –
I'll send you a fairly lengthy email in a day or three - I'm currently bedridden recovering from illness and it'll help alleviate the boredom in a pleasant way :)

The mis-spelling of 'Casson' occurs, not in your own writing, but in what I think is a clipping from a newspaper or a magazine, the one which comes under a picture of 'the Caravelles'.

If you put his name into the youtube search engine, you will find many videos of his stand up comedy, he's well represented there. Richard Harding also is on 'the tube' - he (and the other Cresters) played for a while as the backing band for the highly successful country singer Tammy Wynette, who used to feature Richard's guitar work in her shows. Again, a youtube search of 'the Tammy Wynette show with Richard Harding' will take you to a video featuring Richard.

The two 'Allans' who have previously posted on this thread are both a few years older than I, and were involved in the scene for longer than me - I've let them both know about your posts also.
COMMENT ADDED 17th March 2016
Bassman50 Says –
Hi Scotbeat,
Will speak to you next time I come in to the store (don't want to advertise here :-) )... we have chatted before.

Hi NSM,
Thanks for the link.... I've just replied to your email... hope you are on the mend.

All the best to you both,
AllanJ
COMMENT ADDED 17th March 2016
scotbeat Says –
Thanks... am surprised by the Scottish contingency of musicians here! I added a foot note about the misspelling of Casson though it was from materials Albert Bonici gathered to put a Beatles Show together. It was interesting to hear that part of the Cresters were backup for Tammy Wynette [who I've heard often on tv music programs in the US]. Btw, I noticed that Jack Fallon [who later played guitar on "Don't Pass Me By"] at first misspelled the Beatles "Beetles" when booking them for Mr. Bonici to play at "Boots" [TRS Ballroom]. It may have had to do with their name change from Silver Beetles before Ringo Starr came on board.
COMMENT ADDED 18th March 2016
Mas Says –
www.comorezarelro...
COMMENT ADDED 30th January 2019
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