April 25 is the birthday of Billy Rankin of Brinsley Schwarz. One of
England's best and most important band of the early '70s. They began
with a Byrds-fixated sound, which developed into a distinctive
laid-back rock that derived equally from county R&B, and rock. Bassist
and vocalist Nick Lowe became a first rate songwriter during his
tenure in the band, capable of gorgeous ballads, and witty melodic pop
songs. They convinced the owner of a pub called Tally Ho, to let them
play there, and after becoming the house band, they branched out, and
persuaded many other pub owners to open their doors for the band.
Soon, they gained a devoted following. Within a year, they got their
first major exposure opening up for the Wings' first British Tour.
Numerous other bands began playing the same club circuit as the
Brinsleys had, including Dr. Feelgoodthe very same venues where punk
rock was born several years later. Without Brinsley Schwarz, the punk
rock movement would have been very different. At the time when rock
and roll was overwhelmingly pompous, the Brinsleys were modest and
unpretentious. They played relaxed, rootsy music, and they proved to
English pub owners that it was profitable to book left of center acts.
Without this precedent, the punks would have had nowhere to play.
After releasing six albums the band split up in 1975. Guitarist
Brinsley Schwarz and keyboardist Bob Andrews became members of Graham
Parker's backing band, the Rumour. It is also the birthday of Andy
Bell (Erasure), Bjorn Ulvaeus (ABBA), Albert King, and Ella