Johnny Kidd

  • Real Name: Frederick Heath
  • Birth Date: 23rd December 1939
  • Birth Place: Willesden, London
  • Johnny Kidd's musical career began as leader of the 'Nutters' skiffle group. As the 1950s drew to a close most of the Lonnie Donegan inspired groups began to migrate to rock and roll. So it was with Johnny Kidd who with former 'nutter' Alan Caddy, Tony Docherty, Johnny Gordon and Ken McKay formed his new group 'The Pirates'. Their first release 'Please Don't Touch' managed to reach the chart, but didn't get inside the top twenty. As that rare commodity, 'British Rock and Roll' it ought to have done better. After failure of its follow-up the band reverted to a cover 'You Got What It Takes' which managed #25 despite direct competition from Marv Johnson who took the song to #5.
    Sadly, Johnny Kidd and the Pirates had very few EPs issued. Those that are to be found are very sought after and now command high prices. The one illustrated here is possibly the most difficult to find in good condition.

     The Pirates line up gradually changed and Brian Gregg (bass) and Clem Cattini (drums) replaced Gordon and McKay. It was the first single with the new line-up that pushed Johnny Kidd to the top. 'Shaking All Over' is arguably the most atmospheric and original rock and roll record ever to have been produced in a British studio, though much is owed to the guitar riff played by session man Joe Moretti.

    Further personnel changes were made to the Pirates over the years and some change of style took place with the coming of the British 'Beat Boom', but the underlying theme remained. The band would dress in pirate regalia and Kidd would always wear his eye-patch which is often unnecessarily explained through an apocryphal story concerning a broken guitar string.

    Sadly, Johnny Kidd- possibly Britain's most original rock and roll performer- was killed in a road accident on October 7th 1966 near Bolton in Lancashire when he and his latest batch of Pirates were driving away after a performance.

    1950s & 1960s 45rpm UK Discography

    • This list includes UK 45 singles releases only
    • See list below for EP releases
    • Collector's Items are shown In Red

    HMV POP615 1959 Please Don't Touch/ Growl #25
    HMV POP674 1959 Feelin'/ If You Were The Only Girl In The World  
    HMV POP698 1960 You Got What It Takes/ Longin' Lips #25
    HMV POP753 1960 Shakin' All Over/ Yes Sir, That's My Baby #1
    HMV POP790 1960 Restless/ Magic Of Love #22
    HMV POP853 1961 Linda Lu/ Let's Talk About Us #47
    HMV POP919 1961 Please Don't Bring Me Down/ So What  
    HMV POP978 1962 Hurry On Back To Love/ I Want That  
    HMV POP1088 1962 A Shot Of Rhythm And Blues/ I Can Tell #48
    HMV POP1173 1963 I'll Never Get Over You/ Then I Got Everything #4
    HMV POP1228 1963 Hungry For Love/ Ecstasy #20
    HMV POP1269 1964 Always And Ever/ Dr. Feelgood  
    HMV POP1309 1964 Jealous Girl/ Shop Around  
    HMV POP1353 1964 Whole Lotta Woman/ Your Cheatin' Heart  
    HMV POP1397 1965 The Birds And The Bees/ Don't Make The Same Mistake As I Did  
    HMV POP1424 1965 Shakin' All Over '65/ Gotta Travel On  
    HMV POP1520 1965 It's Got To Be You/ I Hate To Get Up In The Morning  
    HMV POP1559 1966 Send For That Girl/ The Fool  

    EP Discography

    • Collector's Items are shown In Red
    • See Upper List For Singles releases

    HMV 7EG8628 1960 "Shakin' All Over" #7
    Please Don't Touch/Shakin' All Over/Restless/You Got What It Takes
    HMV 7EG8834 1964 "Johnny Kidd"  
    I'll Never Get Over You/Then I Got Everything/Hungry For Love/A Shot Of Rhythm And Blues

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