Procol Harum

  • Real Name: Gary Brooker
  • Birth Date: May 29th 1945
  • Birth Place: Southend Essex
  • Matthew Fisher
  • March 7th 1946
  • London
  • Dave Knights
  • June 28th 1945
  • Islington London
  • Robert Harrison
  • June 28th 1943
  • East Ham, London
  • Ray Royer
  • October 8th 1945
  • London
  • Procol Harum arose phoenix-like from the remnants of the Paramounts- a Southend group who had a minor chart placing during 1964 with their remake version of the Coaster's 'Poison Ivy'. At its break-up, following a run of unsuccessful singles, Brooker had teamed up with his friend, Keith Reid, intending to earn his living by song writing. After creating their first material, Brooker set about putting together a new band to play it and Procol Harum was born.

    Little could Brooker and Reid have known that they had between them created one of the greatest anthems of the 1960s. With Brooker's plaintive vocal and Reid's strange unintelligible lyrics,. Procol Harum's first release was a smash hit reaching #1 in the UK and #5 in the USA. Reid has never given any explanation of the lyrics, insisting that they just sounded right that way. However, the hastily recruited band began to fall away when their success led to a need to go on the road. Fortunately, Brooker was able to persuade two former Paramounts, Robin Trower and Barry Wilson, to replace Royer and Harrison. The new line-up went on to chart with 'Homburg' and 'Quite Rightly So'.

    By the end of 1969, the band line-up had evolved back to what it had been with the Paramounts at their peak. As they moved into the 1970s they modified their sound somewhat, even producing an album with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra. Further changes in line-up took place during the 1970s, but their popularity never waned- always finding a receptive audience for their great original 1960's classic. Although the band had dissipated by the 1980s, there have been several short term re-unions and Brooker can always be relied on to sing Reid's strange lyrics again whenever the opportunity arises..

    Deram DM126 1967 A Whiter Shade Of Pale/ Lime Street Blues #1
    Regal Zonophone RZ3003 1967 Homburg/ Good Captain Clack #6
    Regal Zonopone RZ3007 1968 Quite Rightly So/ In The Wee Small Hours Of Sixpence #50
    Regal Zonophone RZ3019 1969 A Salty Dog/ Long Gone Geek #44

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