The Music's Over

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Died On This Date (February 16, 2013) Tony Sheridan / Early Beatles Collaborator

Posted by themusicsover on February 16, 2013

Tony Sheridan (Born Anthony McGinnity)
May 21, 1940 – February 16, 2013

tony-sheridanTony Sheridan was an early English rock and roll singer, guitarist and songwriter who is most often recognized for his work with the pre-fame Beatles.  He holds the honor of being only one of two non-Beatles to ever be credited on one of the groups recordings – the other being Billy Preston.  Sheridan is also the only non-Beatle to sing lead on a single with them that charted (“My Bonnie”). Sheridan took an early liking to music, and at age seven, already knew how to play the violin.  He soon switched to the guitar, and by the time he was 16, he was fronting his own band.  Within a few years, he was either backing or sharing the stage with American musicians while they toured through the UK.  That list includes Gene Vincent, Conway Twitty, and Eddie Cochran.  During the early ’60s, Sheridan was recording in Hamburg and generally hired pick-up bands to back him on stage.  In 1961, thanks to a mutual admiration, he hired the Beatles, who at the time, were made up of Paul McCartney, George Harrison, John Lennon and Pete Best.  Polydor producer, Bert Kaempfert, caught their act and convinced Sheridan to record with them.  The songs recorded during those 1961 sessions included, most famously, “My Bonnie,”  “The Saints,” “Cry For A Shadow,” and “Ain’t She Sweet.”  The latter two were utilized by the Beatles.  The 1st US pressing of “My Bonnie”/”The Saints” is one of the most collectible 45′s out there with a mint copy fetching $15,000 back in 2007.  During the mid-’60s, Sheridan moved his style to a more jazz and blues sound but unfortunately, most of his fans didn’t go along for the ride.  Although his record sales dwindled, he still remained a popular live act for many years.  In 1967, Sheridan went over the Vietnam to perform for the American troops.  During one such trip, he and his band were fired upon, killing one musician and leading to false reports that Sheridan himself, was killed. For his efforts during the war, the US Army made Sheridan an honorary Captain.  He continued to perform and record until heart surgery forced him into retirement in 2012. Tony Sheridan was 72 when he passed away on February 16, 2013.

Thanks to Brett Ortone at Go Aloha Entertainment for the assist.

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