b. John Askew, 1941, Liverpool, England. Askew was a merchant seaman who sang as a semi-professional before he was spotted and rechristened by the celebrated 50s svengali, Larry Parnes. Beginning with 1959’s ‘Boys And Girls Were Meant For Each Other’ on Philips Records, this square-jawed hunk’s singles all missed the UK chart but he was often seen on British television pop series such as Oh Boy and Drumbeat and was, therefore, guaranteed a period of well-paid one-nighters. His backing groups for these included fellow Merseysiders the Beatles and Cass And The Cassanovas with entertainments that embraced mutually familiar rock ‘n’ roll standards and the simpler sides of Gentle’s singles, such as the self-penned ‘Wendy’. Without a recording contract in 1963, Gentle replaced Gordon Mills in the Viscounts before retiring from showbusiness by the mid-60s.