The Gamblers got their greatest exposure during the years 1963-1964 as the backing band for British rock & roller Billy Fury. Formed in Newcastle-on-Tyne in the early '60s, their lineup consisted of Jim Crawford on guitar and vocals, Ken Brady on saxophone, Alan George on keyboards, Alan Sanderson on bass, and Andy Mac on drums. In 1963, Fury, who had been backed by the Blue Flames and the Tornados, decided he needed a new band, and they were picked up for the gig. The Gamblers had a pretty hard sound as Fury's band, able to play decent R&B (U.K. style) and very credible rock & roll, and when the Beatles and the other new Liverpool bands changed the texture of rock & roll, they adapted well to the Merseybeat sound, emulating the heavier guitar parts and the harder, more upfront playing. From the very beginning, the group periodically released singles of their own on Decca (to which Fury was also signed), including a version of "You Really Got a Hold on Me" and "Nobody But Me." Alas, their singles never really made much impact, and after four attempts with Decca over a period of as many years (of which only "Now I'm All Alone," from 1965, was a modest seller), they jumped to Parlophone in 1967, closing out their recording career that year with a cover of the Julie London hit "Cry Me a River." Their B-side of "Find Out What's Happening" has been re-released on one punk anthology LP (The Garage Zone, Vol. 3), and the group appeared with Fury in his 1964 autobiographical film I've Gotta Horse, and a few of their records backing Fury are on the 40th Anniversary Anthology and other CD reissues of his work, but otherwise the Gamblers haven't been seen or heard from since the late '60s.
Share this page