The Art Movement might have been another Tremeloes, and never have been heard from outside of England, but for the chance intervention of American rock & roll legend Roy Orbison. Founded in the mid- to late '60s, the group members -- Billy Dean on guitar, Terry Widlake on bass, Keith Headley on piano, Bob Munday on drums, and John Switters on percussion -- was intending to build a career around their own music, and had enjoyed a Top 30 hit in England during 1968 with a Terry Widlake original called "Loving Touch." In early 1969, however, fate put them on a new and unexpected path in their careers. Roy Orbison had come over from America to do a tour of England and was unable to bring his established backing band, the Candy Men, with him. He needed a band and was led to the Art Movement, who were just established enough to rate the attention but not so well set in their own careers that they would be unable to consider it. They were offered the chance to back Roy Orbison on that U.K. tour, and the gig turned into a multi-year project when they followed it up with a tour of the Far East and Australia backing Orbison. By the time of this engagement, Headley and Switters were gone, and their new lineup included Alan James on lead guitar, Alan Mayes on trumpet, Gordon Balmforth on keyboards, and Colin First on trumpet. They ended up being immortalized in association with Orbison, as his backing band on the live set recorded at the Batley Variety Club on the 1969 tour, and on the DVD release (more than 30 years after the fact) of his concert from Melbourne, Australia, in October of 1972. The Art Movement ended up working with Orbison for six years, until the mid-'70s, and performed hundreds of concerts with him on ten world tours, all of the members becoming very close to him personally as well as professionally, and James eventually emigrated to America.
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