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Roy Young

#1 Roy Young (1937 – 27 April 2018) was a British rock and roll singer, pianist and keyboard player. He first recorded in the late 1950s before performing in Hamburg with the Beatles. After a stint with Cliff Bennett and the Rebel Rousers, he released several albums with his own band as well as recording with Chuck Berry and David Bowie, among others. He was born in London and moved with his family to Oxford at the age of five. He learned to play boogie-woogie piano at home and in snooker clubs, left school at age 14, and joined the Merchant Navy. While in Australia, he saw the film Blackboard Jungle, and, after returning to England, began a career as a professional singer and musician. In 1958 he auditioned successfully for Jack Good's TV show Oh Boy!, singing and playing piano in the style of Little Richard, and performed regularly on other British TV pop music shows including Drumbeat, where he was backed by the John Barry Seven, and Boy Meets Girls. Billed as Roy "Rock 'em" Young, he recorded his first single, "Just Keep It Up" / "Big Fat Mama" in 1959 for Fontana Records. He released several more singles on the Fontana and Ember labels over the next two years, but they were not commercial successes. Young performed at the 2i's Coffee Bar in Soho, and toured the UK and Ireland with Cliff Richard and the Shadows, among others. In 1961, he began working at the Top Ten Club in Hamburg, where he played with Tony Sheridan and the Beat Brothers, who briefly included Ringo Starr, and recorded with Sheridan. He then won a contract to play at the rival Star-Club, where he met the Beatles, and began performing with them in spring 1962. According to Young, Brian Epstein offered him a place in the group once they had returned to England and signed a record contract, but Young turned down the offer because he had a contract with the Star-Club. Young returned to England in 1964 and joined Cliff Bennett and the Rebel Rousers – also managed by Epstein – as their keyboard player and second vocalist, regularly duetting with Bennett on covers of Sam and Dave songs, including "I Take What I Want" and "Hold On, I'm Comin'". The group toured with the Beatles in 1966, and Young featured on their hit version of the Beatles' "Got To Get You Into My Life", produced by Paul McCartney. He continued with the Rebel Rousers until they split up in 1969, and then formed the Roy Young Band, who released two albums, The Roy Young Band (1971) and Mr. Funky (1972); band members included Dennis Elliott, later of Foreigner and Onnie McIntyre, later of the Average White Band. The band backed Chuck Berry on tour. in 1971, under his own name, Young recorded the song "Baby, You're Good For Me," written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, for the Albert Finney film, Gumshoe. In 1976, Young recorded with David Bowie for the Young Americans album, and the following year played on Bowie's album Low. He continued to perform with the Roy Young Band in Canada and the US, and also worked with, and managed, Long John Baldry in the 1970s. He toured the US in the 1980s with Ian Hunter and Mick Ronson,[6] and also performed at Star-Club reunion concerts with Tony Sheridan, Howie Casey, Johnny Gustafson and Jimi Magnole. He released an album, Still Young, in 2006, featuring songs written by Dennis Morgan. #2 Born in the hills of Jamaica in a shanty with no running water or electricity, Roy Young's love for soul music started at a very early age. When all his friends were listening to the latest ska or the newest reggae track, Roy was listening to groups such as The Dells, The Drifters and The Temptations. When he moved to England at the age of 13 he was introduced to the likes of Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett, Joe Tex and Solomon Burke. This was the time of the great Northern Soul movement of the late 60's and early 70's and is when Roy was introduced to his greatest influence, the remarkable Sam Cooke. By the age of 15 he dropped out of school to go on the road with a nine-piece band called The Work Shop. They toured all through England and were regulars at the infamous Bamboo Club in Bristol, England, which was then owned by Roy's first manager, Tony Bullimore. Bullimore is best known today as the yachtsman who penned the autobiographical book entitled "Saved" depicting his amazing rescue from the Southern Ocean during the Vendee Globe round-the-world race in 1997. Roy was first brought to Israel in 1969 at the age of 20 by Haim Saban, who at the time was a promoter/manager holding auditions in London to bring a soul band to tour Israel. Haim Saban's business prowess has spread him into many different arenas outside of touring since those early days and he is best known today as the creator of "The Power Rangers" and is the head of the international media giant Saban Capital Group. That was the beginning of a close friendship between Haim, his brother Arieh and Roy that has lasted over 35 years and remains strong to this day. Roy continued to go back and forth to Israel after that first tour and was performing all over Europe, Russia and the Middle East. He performed at the Marquee Club in London with Long John Baldry while he was 1 in England with "Let the Heartache Begin," as well as Arthur Brown while he was topping the U.K charts with "Fire". Roy then caught the eye of two young A&R executives working for EMI London at the time by the names of Dave Rose & Philip Rowley, and they signed Roy to EMI in 1980. They brought Roy to Abbey Road Studios and put together musicians and vocalists to guest on Roy's album. Marvin Gaye, who became another one of Roy's close friends in the early 80's, Pat Rizzo of the band War and the original members of The Four Seasons were some of the talent that performed on Roy's album for EMI. Roy's touring began to take off, and on one trip back to Israel he met his current wife Orly and decided to relocate there on a more permanent basis. Philip Rowley ended up heading to the U.S. for EMI and the project lost its momentum. EMI never completed the album. Roy and Philip, who is currently the Chairman of AOL Europe, recently had a reunion in New York City in June 06 after not seeing one another for almost 20 years! Roy continued to tour Israel and Europe with various bands and was enjoying life in Israel. In 1997, two young Australian songwriters, brothers Gideon and Daniel Frankel, were backpacking through Israel and heard about a legendary Jamaican soul singer now living in Tel Aviv. They were finally introduced to Roy after several attempts to meet him and played some of their music for him. He wasn't quite sure about what he heard the first time, but when he met with them again the following week he thought that they might be on to something. The Frankels returned home to begin writing and promised that they would contact Roy to arrange for a recording session in Australia. Well, Roy didn't hear from them again, and although he wondered from time to time what happened to those two "happy" kids from Down Under, he didn't think too much of it. Then, seven years later, out of the blue Roy got a call. He heard a voice on the other end of the phone shouting, "Hello, is this Roy? We're ready!" just like it had been seven days. Daniel and Gideon explained to Roy that they had been writing music for him over the years. They now had forty or so songs that they were happy with and they wanted him to come to Australia to record. In 2003 Roy traveled to Melbourne to record with them under the Australian independent label Shock Records. Legendary Motown arranger and muted trumpet player Gil Askey came out of retirement after hearing what he considered something original in Roy's voice! "Just listen to the personality in his voice. Ain't nobody like this anymore." said Askey, and at the age of 86 he wrote the horn and string arrangements for most of the songs that were being recorded. Guitar genius Jack Jones was brought in on guitar during the Melbourne sessions as well. Once they had recorded 12 songs, the Frankel Brothers went looking for a U.S. partner where they found Rosie Lopez, head of Marketing & International at Tommy Boy Entertainment. She heard Roy's voice and immediately signed him sight unseen stating "it would be a shame if the world did not know this man and his music!" Tom Silverman, founder and CEO of Tommy Boy Entertainment, decided to bring Roy to the infamous Royal Studios in Memphis to work with the legendary Willie Mitchell in September 2005. Willie put his magical touch on the album as the executive producer and brought in some of the all time great Memphis musicians to work on the album including Leroy Hodges, Charles "Skipp" Pitts, Lester Snell, Steve Potts and Preston Shannon. The end result is the long overdue and deeply soulful debut album of Roy Young entitled "Memphis" due out early 2007 which is already garnering rave reviews from some of the great soul tastemakers of today. With more than 25 years between recording contracts, it has been an awe-inspiring journey that demonstrates to musicians and fans alike what true perseverance is. More recently, Roy has performed with the Red Star Belgrade Symphony on a live broadcast to the entire nation on Radio Belgrade in celebration of their Independence Day in 2004. Roy has been honored as the first ever local artist to be bestowed with the privilege of closing the Eilat Red Sea International Jazz Festival in 2005 where the likes of Diane Reeves, Billy Cobham and Zap Mama were also performing that year. He opened for Lionel Ritchie at a private function in Monte Carlo in June of 2006, and also performed at the official birthday celebration for President Nazarbeyav of Kazakhstan in July 2006. Roy is in preparation for his upcoming "Memphis" tour that will be taking him through Europe, the United States & the Caribbean

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