60s Music

History of Freddie and the Dreamers

Freddie and the Dreamers
Arrival at the airport of teen idol Freddie accompanied by The Dreamers May 26, 1964. (Source: Wikipedia)

Introduction to Freddie and the Dreamers

Freddie and the Dreamers were a British beat/pop group in the 1960s, fronted by the diminutive Freddie Garrity (1936 – 2006) whose comical antics onstage were one of the band’s trademarks. Although they actually originated from Manchester, England, the Dreamers were nevertheless considered part of the English Merseybeat movement during the 60s music era. They first made hits on their native land, most notably “If You Gotta Make A Fool Of Somebody,” “I’m Telling You Now,” “You Were Made For Me” and “Over You.” With their fame ebbing in the UK, the Dreamers then rode the wave of the British Invasion in the United States, eventually re-releasing “I’m Telling You Now” which topped the Billboard Hot 100 in early 1965. “Do The Freddie” and a re-release of “You Were Made For Me” were their other singles that did moderately well on the Hot 100. The group’s performance consisting of Garrity frolicking and bouncing on the stage with “flying” limbs was also notable; he attempted to launch a dance craze called, of course, “The Freddie”. As their popularity declined once again, the Dreamers still moved on. With old and new members coming and going, they mostly remained a touring band until 2000 due to Garrity’s health which would, unfortunately, steadily decline. He was forced to retire in early 2001, and died five years later, aged 69.

 

Formation and rise to fame

Freddie and the Dreamers were a British pop band from Manchester best remembered for the comical antics of the 5-foot-3-inch-tall frontman Freddie Garrity and their synchronized wacky dance while they played their instruments. They were also considered as one of the bands in the Merseybeat boom of the early 60s music.

Freddie and the Dreamers consisted of vocalist Freddie Garrity (November 14, 1936 – May 19 2006), lead guitarist Roy Crewdson (born in 1949), rhythm guitarist and harmonica player Derek Quinn (born in 1942), bassist Peter Birrell (May 9, 1941) and drummer Bernie Dwyer (1940-2002). The band first came to prominence when they covered the R&B tune “You Gotta Make a Fool of Somebody” in 1963. Their cover of a James Ray original peaked at #3 on the UK singles chart and was followed by three other hits: “I’m Telling You Now” (at #2), “You Were Made For Me (at #3), and “I Understand” (at #5).

 

     
 

In the US, Capitol Records (EMI’s American partner) released the singles “I’m Telling You Now” and “You Were Made for Me” in 1965. “I’m Telling You Now” became their only#1 US hit “You Were Made for Me” peaked at #25 on the Billboard Top 40. Also in the same year, the band also scored another hit “Do the Freddie,” reaching #18 on the Billboard pop chart and even starting a dance called (what else) “The Freddie.”

The band also had movie appearances in the UK during their heyday, such as What a Crazy World, Just for You, The Cuckoo Patrol and Every Day’s a Holiday.

 

Freddie and the Dreamers in their later years

Into the new millennium, Freddie and the Dreamers were still a touring band but with a newer  line-up. Drummer Dwyer died in 2002 while Garrity, aged 69, succumbed to pulmonary hypertension in 2006. Birrell became a taxi driver.  Crewdson owns a bar in Tenerife. Quinn now works in the distribution business and resides in Cheshire.

 

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