The cast

Oral histories



Rock and the Rollers
from Melody Maker
30 October 1971

It seems there will always be a market for the out and out commercial group, like Sweet, Middle of the Road and the Fortunes. Latest group whose interests lie solely in the singles market are the Bay City Rollers, a six-piece outfit from Scotland, whose single 'Keep On Dancing' is at number 16 in this week's MM charts.

It's their first single ever, despite a year's professional experience and three years together. Although relatively unheard of in the South, they have a large following - strictly among the teenies, and mainly female at that - up in Scotland.

Bay City Rollers are singer Nobby Clark, drummer Derek Longmuir, bassist Alan Longmuir, organist Archie Marr, rhythm guitarist Eric Manclark and lead guitarist Neil Henderson. At 20, Clark is the oldest, while at the other end of the scale Manclark and Henderson are just 17.

The group met at school in Edinburgh three and a half years ago, singer Nobby told the MM last week. 'At first there were just three of us, but a year and a half ago the others joined, and a year ago we turned professional.

'We've been doing all around Scotland, in ballrooms and clubs and anywhere that would want us. We actually signed with Bell Records a while ago and it's taken a while to get the first record out.'

It was Jonathan King who masterminded the production of the single. 'It was actually recorded years ago by an American group called the Gentrys. At first I wasn't impressed with it at all, but our version has turned out nothing like the original. We cut four tracks when we went into the studio, and it was the first time we had been in one. A very nerve-racking experience,' said Nobby.

'We write some of our own material but mostly on stage play harmony stuff, old Beatles hits, pop standards and melodic songs. None of the group like progressive music much. There are so many group around playing heavy rock that they are squeezing each other out. It's wide-open at the moment for bands like us.'

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