The Nite People

Hopping from band to band has always been part and parcel of being a musician and former Poole Grammar School pupil and drummer Christopher Robin ‘Fergie’ Ferguson (b. 7th March 1944 in St. Blazy, Cornwall) was in his fair share before forming The Nite People. His first dabbling’s musically, were with school mates in groups such as The Strangers, who coalesced around a nucleus of guitarist Tony Collier, bassist Brain Oram and vocalist Barrie James plus another group whose name has been long forgotten (or maybe they didn’t get around to thinking of one) with guitarist Keith Collins, vocalist Brian Fisher and second guitarist Clive ‘Bunny’ Warren. Neither group amounted to anything of note. He then progressed onto The Ravens where he replaced Graham Whale, joining Robert Fripp, Gordon Haskell and Valentino Licinio as they dipped their toes into the choppy waters of the music biz for the first time. After a couple of months Fripp pulled the plug when he left to further his education, leaving Fergie to transfer his tub thumping skills to the Kapota All Stars replacing Tony Ringrose. During his tenure with Al Shepp, Ed Roberts, Tony Ricard and Pete Ballam, the Kaopta evolved into The Tall Men where he met future Nite People bassist Tubs Turner after he came in for the departing Ballam. With their demise he shifted allegiance to the Sands Combo joining Zoot Money, Al Kirtley, Tony Head, Graham Douglas, Roger Bone, and Kevin Drake.

The Nite People 1

In April 1964 Fergie decided it was time to strike out on his own and formed his own outfit, The Nite People, with bassist Tubs Turner, former Crispen Street Quintet guitarist / vocalist Jimmy William Shipstone (b. 16th June 1939 in Le Harve, Jersey), ex Andy Somers Quartet organist Barry Curtis (b. 22nd March 1941 in Faringdon, Berkshire) and saxophonist Nigel Street (b. 1941 in Bournemouth), who never fully committed to the band. In fact, not long after their formation, he concluded that being a musician was not a secure career move and left to marry and become a solicitor, opening up a vacancy for the sax and flute of Patrick Leyburn Bell (b. 8th July 1942 in Weymouth). Turner also had second thoughts and bailed out, making way for Jimmy’s younger brother Francis Shipstone (b. 26th May 1945 in Southampton, Hampshire) to step in on bass from The Vipers. The Shipsone brothers both adopted alias’s during their tenure with Jimmy becoming Jimmy Warwick and Francis taking the surname Gordon (his middle name).

The Nite People autographs from 1966: Barry, Pat, Fergie, Jimmy & Francis

The group signed with the Avenue Artistes Agency based in Southampton joining Les Fleur de Lys and Salisbury’s Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Titch and gained the services of a young ambitious manager, Terry Rolph, who secured them college and club one-nighters around the south of England. He also booked them on an arduous two-month schlep around the bierkellers of Germany which included residencies in Frankfurt and Munich, followed by a further two-month stretch across the border in the Austrian capital of Vienna and the Tyrol town of Innsbruck. The non-stop gigging honed the band into a tight, cohesive unit. Back in the UK, a date at the Top 20 Club held in the Bournemouth Town Hall was reviewed by Michael Guy for the Bridgewater Mercury and illustrates their growing reputation, “If you are spending your holiday this year in Bournemouth the chances are that you will hear many of the locals raving about a bright group called The Nite People”. He added, “Their material was of an exceptionally high professional standard, good examples of this were their arrangements of Mel Torme’s sultry blues specialty “I’m Coming Home” and Sam Cooke’s “Shake””.

The Nite People (5)
The Nite People Left to Right: Chris ‘Fergie’ Ferguson, Barry Curtis, Jimmy Warwick, Pat Bell & Francis Gordon 

On 3rd March 1965 The Who thrilled a packed crowd at Bournemouth’s Le Disque A Go! Go! with a repertoire stuffed with James Brown, Motown and blues covers plus their debut single as The Who, “I Can’t Explain”, which was riding high in the charts. Their hell raising drummer, Keith Moon, spotted local girl Kim Kerrigan, a sixteen year old model, in the audience and began a stormy long distance relationship while fighting off love rival Rod ‘The Mod’ Stewart. Although the liaison eventually ended in a doomed marriage, during their courtship Keith became a regular visitor to the town staying at the Kerrigans family home in Michaelgrove Road in Boscombe. He would hang out at the Disque where on 12th May 1965 he sat in with the London based Mod band The Action and on another occasion he joined in with The Nite People when they were playing a twenty first birthday party for their friend Nigel Leonard. Three broken skins later Fergie finished the gig with his drums turned upside down as they were the only drum heads left intact, from that day on the pair became mates. Keith would often turn up outside Fergie’s house in Green Road, Poole in his Rolls Royce before heading into Bournemouth for a few pints at the old Fox pub in Tearrace Road or the Buccaneer bar in the Royal Bath Hotel, where Moon would place a roll of fivers on the bar with instructions to keep the booze flowing.

Nite People Keith Moon & Fergie
Keith Moon on the far left sitting next to ‘Fergie’, Jimmy Shipstone sitting on the stairs next to his future wife Lana, in front of Jimmy, friend of the band Nigel Leonard. Picture taken at the Disque A Go! Go! in 1965 (Photograph courtesy of Chris ‘Fergie’ Ferguson)

In September 1966 The Nite People released their debut single “Sweet Tasting Wine” on the Fontana label, followed by “Try to Find Another Man” in March 1967. Six months later they tried again with a funked up instrumental version of Eddie Cochrane’s “Summertime Blues” however, try as they might, a hit eluded them. Despite the lack of chart action, they were never short of work on the club and college circuit, although one gig at the Penthouse Club in Sheffield almost proved to be one set of stairs too far. Like a lot of venues, unloading the gear involved stairs, but to gain entry to the Penthouse the band had to lug their cumbersome Hammond organ up five flights, an exercise that almost defeated them. On their return home, they vowed to employ an extra pair of hands and hired Ricky Somers, the brother of future Police guitarist Andy ‘Summers’ Somers.

The Nite People 4

On 31st March 1967 Radio London promoted a show at the Roundhouse in Camden Town featuring the stars of the ‘Hit the Road Stax’ tour. Headlined by Otis Redding and supported by Sam and Dave, Arthur Conley, Eddie Floyd, Carla Thomas and Booker T and the MG’s with the Mar-Keys, The Nite People, Felders Orioles and Ebony Keyes were hired to warm up the crowd, if such a thing was needed with such a stellar line-up. Still, not a bad bill for a quid. The tour was causing a storm all over Europe and was the hottest ticket in town with members of The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and The Who all in attendance. After the Nite People’s set, Booker T’s legendary drummer Al Jackson complimented Fergie on his playing. He couldn’t believe what he was hearing, God had spoken. Another scoop came their way in May with an invitation to join the Beach Boys on a seven date package tour of the UK. The supporting cast of Peter Jay’s Jaywalkers featuring Terry Reid on vocals, Southampton’s Simon Dupree and the Big Sound and Helen Shapiro shared the first half, while The Nite People opened proceedings after the interval, warming up the crowd for the main event. The band also had the pleasure of accompanying Motown favourites Martha Reeves and the Vandellas on a mini-tour starting taking in the 100 Club in Oxford Street, London followed by shows in Basingstoke, Leicester and Leeds.

Photo The Nite People 2
The Nite People circa 1966, Left to Right: Jimmy Warwick, Francis Gordon, Patrick Bell, Barry Curtis & Chris ‘Fergie’ Ferguson

As their name spread around London, they became a fixture at the Marquee Club supporting The VIP’s and the The Artwoods in December 1966 and bands such as The Herd, Marmalade, Neat Change, The Alan Bown, The Jeff Beck Group, The Nice, Arthur Brown, The Action, Long John Baldry, Simon Dupree and the Big Sound and Dave Dee Dozy Beaky Mick and Titch throughout 1967. By the spring of 1968 they had become headliners in their own right, topping the bill over The Open Mind, Granny’s Intentions, The Breakthru, The Staks, The Rivers Invitation, The Cortinas and an up-and-coming progressive rock act playing their second gig called Yes.

Being a resident of the club opened the door for an appearance at the ‘7th National Jazz, Pop, Ballad and Blues Festival’ held at the Royal Windsor Racecourse, as the Marquee promoted the event. The Nite People were the first to take the stage on the Friday evening, paving the way for The Syn, Tomorrow, Eric Burdon and the New Animals, The Move and The Small Faces. They were the first of a strong Bournemouth contingent over a weekend that included Zoot Money’s Dantalian’s Chariot featuring Andy Summers and Colin Allen, local troubadour Al Stewart, who delivered a laid back acoustic set on the Sunday afternoon and bass player Bob Brunning making his debut with Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac. The ‘8th National Jazz and Blues Festival’ moved to Kempton Park Racecourse in Sunbury-on-Thames and The Nite People were back playing in a marquee on the Saturday night with Clouds, Deep Purple and Joe Cocker and the Grease Band.

The Nite People 3

The bands fourth, and undoubtedly best single, “Morning Sun”, should have been a huge hit. Co-written and produced by their label mate Spencer Davis, the record gained extensive radio plays and the band promoted it on Southern TV’s Time For Blackburn but, against all the odds, it failed to chart. The disappointment was tangible and triggered several changes. Francis Gordon walked away and was replaced for a short period by the former Walker Brothers bassist Martin Clarke, who then stepped aside for Scot Kirkpatrick. Patrick Bell also parted company with the band, as did their record company Fontana. The slimmed down quartet soldiered on, dropped the definitive article by becoming the shortened Nite People and signed to Larry Page’s Page One label, home of The Troggs and Bournemouth’s own Trend and Svensk. Their first effort for Page “Love, Love, Love, Love, Love”, a song originally recorded by an obscure American band called Wool, unveiled a slightly heavier sound, while the flip side, a cover of Bubble Puppy’s “Hot Smoke and Sassafras”, added a touch of psychedelia. They followed up with a reflective ballad, “Is This a Dream” backed by “Creme Tea”, a stonking six and a half minute organ driven instrumental written by the band.

The slimmed down Nite People in 1967, Left to Right: Jimmy, Barry, Scott Kirkpatrick & Fergie

You have to hand it to Larry Page he wasn’t fazed by their lack of commercial success and put his money where his mouth was by financing an album, 1969’s P.M.. Recorded at Maximum Sound Studios and produced by Phil Waller, it featured two original compositions, an instrumental “Funky Hoe” and the title track which was coupled with “Season of the Rain”, an early Elton John / Bernie Taupin song, as their seventh single. The rest of the set included a couple of jazz instrumentals, Jimmy Giuffre’s “The Train and the River” and Curtis Amy’s “Native Land”, a reasonable stab at Frank Zappa’s “Peaches in Regalia”, a radically re-arranged versions of The Four Tops “Reach Out I’ll Be There”, a dramatic re-tooling of Tom Jones’s “Delilah” and a funky treatment of the old skiffle favourite “Rock Island Line”. Fergie thought the album was awful and has never owned a copy, the Melody Maker however, begged to differ, “They sound a bit like The Peddlers with their heavy use of bass and organ, but the use of brass and occasional strings fill out the overall sound to make the album a pretty good step off for the quartet”. Sounds summed up the albums problem succinctly with, “Nite People certainly cover the whole spectrum of music, from the Jimmy Giuffre classic “Train and the River” to the Four Tops “Reach Out” and Zappa’s “Peaches in Regalia”. But when there’s so much good original stuff going out, the public are unlikely to buy cover versions, however good”. On refection, the dearth of new material was probably the album’s downfall and why it failed to catch the imagination of the record buying public, no matter how good the musicianship was.

By 1970, that was just about that, apart from a bizarre twist in the story. A Page One representative persuaded the band to record “Tra La La Song (Makin’ up a Mess o’ Fun)” and release it under the pseudonym, The Banana Bunch. The blatant cash in on the kids TV programme the Banana Splits was an embarrassment, but by then the game was just about up anyway. After a German tour and a few local dates at uninspiring venues such as the Parley Sports Club and East Howe Youth Club the band called it a day, leaving Fergie with fifteen quid in his pocket.

After the dust settled Chris Ferguson and Barry Curtis became the resident band in a Bournemouth cabaret club backing singers such as Kiki Dee, Kenny Lynch and Helen Shapiro. Fergie then moved to Cape Town and worked with a trio on a cruise ship sailing to Mauritius, the Seychelles and Rio de Janiero before joining one of South Africa’s top groups. In 1979 he became a booker at an entertainment agency in Johannesburg before marrying and moving back to England where he worked for booking agencies in Bournemouth and London until he started up his own entertainment company. Barry Curtis carried on playing and trained as an accountant, he lived in Child Okeford and then Sturminster Newton where he ran the thirty strong mixed voice choir, The Okeford Minstrels, until his untimely death in June 2018. Jimmy ‘Warwick’ Shipstone moved to Australia where he worked as a Radio DJ before he became head of A&R for RCA and BMG Records and then MD for BMG Music Publishing for Australia and New Zealand. He is now retired and lives near Sydney, but works with indigenous performers and has written a couple of children’s musicals. His brother Francis ‘Gordon’ Shipstone also emigrated and lives in Perth, but has given up playing and performing music altogether. After Pat Bell left in 1969 he played with numerous local bands including Blackwater Gold, the Alan Martin Band, the Pete Wilson Band, The Ambassadors and the Weymouth All-Stars. In the seventies he set up the Record and Tape Centre in Weymouth until he trained as a nurse in the eighties and opened the Roundhayes Nursing Home with his wife Jennifer. He retired in 2007 but kept on playing locally up until 2019, he sadly passed away in July 2020.

The Nite People have gained belated kudos on the collectors market because of the rarity of their records. Their singles regularly fetch up to £100 on bidding sites and their solitary album, P.M., goes for around £500 however, a mint copy fetched a staggering £1,120 in 2013. In September 2020 a limited run, red vinyl edition in the original French sleeve was released on Record Store Day.  

Special thanks go to Chris ‘Fergie’ Ferguson for emails and photographs and Jimmy Shipstone for emails.

                                                         

(The) Nite People Discography
 Singles

Sweet Tasting Wine c/w Nobody But You: Fontana (TF 747)

Try to Find another Man c/w Stay as Sweet As You Are: Fontana (TF 808) 1967

Summertime Blues c/w In the Springtime: Fontana (TF 885) 1967

Morning Sun c/w Weird and Funny: Fontana (TF 919) 1968

Morning Sun c/w Were You There: Fontana (TF 919) 1968 Alternative B side

Love, Love, Love, Love, Love c/w Hot Smoke and Sassafras: Page One (POF 149) 1969

Love, Love, Love, Love, Love c/w Hot Smoke and Sassafras: Page One (14 409 AT) 1969 German picture sleeve

Love, Love, Love, Love, Love c/w Hot Smoke and Sassafras: Page One (1104) 1969 Italian picture sleeve

Love, Love, Love, Love, Love c/w Hot Smoke and Sassafras: Page One (POF 149) 1969 Dutch picture sleeve

Love, Love, Love, Love, Love c/w Hot Smoke and Sassafras: Amsterdam (AM 85008) 1969 American release

Love, Love, Love, Love, Love c/w Hot Smoke and Sassafras: Page One (POF 149) 1969 Norwegian picture sleeve

Is This a Dream c/w Creme Tea: Page One (POF 159) 1969

P.M. c/w Season of the Rain: Page One (POF 174) 1969

P.M. c/w Season of the Rain: Page One (14 625 AT) 1969 German picture sleeve

P.M. c/w Season of the Rain: Page One (POF 1107) 1969 Italian picture sleeve

P.M. c/w Season of the Rain: Page One (PO 1025) 1969 Canadian release

P.M. c/w Season of the Rain: Page One (PGK-3741) 1969 New Zealand release

Tra La La Song (Makin’ up a Mess o’ Fun) c/w Funky Hoe: Page One (POF 183) 1971 As The Banana Bunch

Albums

P.M.: Page One (POLS 025) 1970

P.M.: PM Music (507234) CD Possibly a bootleg

P.M.: Trading Places (TDP54022) 2020 A limited release on Record Store Day 2020 on red vinyl in the alternative French sleeve

Compilations featuring The Nite People

Jagged Time Lapses: Flashback Productions (FBCD02) 2000 “Morning Sun”

We Can Fly 2: Past and Present (PAPRCD 2037) 2001 “Love, Love, Love, Love, Love”

Instro-Hipsters A Go-Go 3: Past and Present (PAPRCD 2045) 2003 “Creme Tea”

We Can Fly 5: Past and Present (PAPRCD 2058) 2004 “P.M.”

Glimpses Volume 1: Spiral Groove (SGLP 3009) 2012 “Hot Smoke and Sassafras”

22 thoughts on “The Nite People

  1. Very nice to see Barry’s name in print again, but it was Child Okeford &.later Sturminster Newton (not Marshall) where he formed The Okeford Minstrels & he is still badly missed by the choir members & me.
    Jill Curtis, Barry’s wife for 49 years

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    1. Thank you so much for getting in touch Jill and correcting the information on Barry. It was so sad to here of his passing as I was hoping to meet up with him at some point in the future, but it wasn’t meant to be. One of my favourite singles from 1968 was “Morning Sun” by The Nite People and of course there is no mistaking Barry’s distinctive Hammond sound throughout. A great band who were underrated at the time, but not by me.
      John

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    2. Jill,
      I was so sad to hear of Barry’s passing, I remember you both with great fondness and he was just the most amazing player, like a one man Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra who made everything he played unique.
      My friend, Mike, an old friend from childhood, put me in touch with this website and piece on the Nite People, my cousins are Warwick (Jimmy) and Francis and I confess to being an awestruck teenage fan of the group. Loved their music and performances.
      Jane O’Donoghue (formerly Francis)

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      1. Thank you for your comment Jane, glad you enjoyed the piece on the Nite People. John

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      2. Jane,
        How nice to hear from you with your kind comments about Barry. He would have been very pleased to know that he & The Nite People are still remembered fondly.
        Regards
        Jill Curtis

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      3. Jane
        So nice to hear from you & that you still remember Barry & The Nite People fondly, he would have been very pleased after all this time. Barry was in touch with Jimmy before he died & I still sent cards to Jimmy at Christmas.
        Best wishes Jill

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      4. Bless you Jill, still remember you, Pavilion gig when my bag was pinched and thrown out of the window, you were so kind, bless you.
        Lovely memories xxxxx

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  2. Hi Jill, so sorry to hear of the passing of Barry, he was such a nice guy. I was looking for info on his band The Nite People and he kindly sent lots info to my old email address, like line-up’s etc. He also kindly sent a list of gigs for the band to my old address. Sadly they got lost in the move to my new house. The info he sent also lost as on my old email address, which I can’t get onto anymore. If you still had them and could sent to my new email address that would be great. All the best John North West London.

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  3. Hi Jill, so sorry to hear of the passing of Barry, he was such a nice guy. I was looking for info on his band The Nite People and he kindly sent lots info to my old email address, like line-up’s etc. He also kindly sent a list of gigs for the band to my old address. Sadly they got lost in the move to my new house. The info he sent also lost as on my old email address, which I can’t get onto anymore. If you still had them and could send to my new email address that would be great. All the best John North West London.

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  4. John…Jim Shipstone here. Your research is amazing. Its is so nice to be remembered and be able to show friends such a meticulous history of the group.I have often told friends that my time in the Nite People and that era of music was my apprenticeship for my later life in Records and Music Publishing. Just recently I was contacted by a friend who still runs a record store in Canberra (Australia) informing me that the album PM was on a list of specially pressed vinyl to commemorate National Record Store Day. Wonders will never cease!. After my stint in A &R for RCA and BMG Records,, I became MD for BMG Music Publishing Australia and New Zealand….a period I thoroughly enjoyed working at the creative source with songwriters and performers. Made me wish that we had concentrated a bit more on songwriting when in the group.In recent years I have taken up the keyboards (I will never be a Barry Curtis!! and involved myself in songwriting including a couple of children’s musicals and running songwriting classes. I have been closely involved with some very talented indigenous performers which has been great fun. Brother Francis, who regretfully does not play anymore (I loved his bass work in NP), now lives in Perth W. Australia but his son James is creating and producing some great club music and has his own label specialising in that genre.Barry was a very sad loss…but we are blessed to have recordings of his wonderful talent. And I was also blessed to work with a great bunch of guys in the group. A period in my life that I will always treasure.Once again, many thanks and congratulations for all your research and collating all this information not only on the Nite People, but so many others from those times…GREAT JOB!!

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    1. Hi Jimmy, Thank you for taking the time to contact me from Australia, it’s great to know that you and your brother Francis are both well. I always get a buzz when somebody I have written about gets in touch, it makes all the effort worthwhile. I too have a friend who works in a record shop and he told me about the re-issue of ‘PM’ on Record Store Day, so I listed it on the Nite People discography. I have a (dodgy / bootleg ?) copy of the CD and I think Fergie was being a bit harsh with his assessment, there are some clunky moments for sure, but on the the whole I think it stands up well, although I have to agree on the lack of original material. When I met Fergie last year I told him I bought “Morning Sun” back in 1967. I had to save up the money from a Saturday morning butcher’s round to buy it from a long gone electrical store called Winton Wireless, still a great single. I too was saddened to hear about Barry, I had managed to make contact with him and hoped to meet up at some point, but sadly it wasn’t to be. By the way, I have just had a Skype call with Colin Allen this morning and he says Hi. Kind regards, John

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  5. Oh my goodness this brings back huge memories. I spent hours on gigs when the Nite People were playing. I worked at the Concorde Club both in Burgess Road and Stoneham Lane and they were great favourites. I used to travel to Bournemouth with my friend Gill Berkeley and meet up with the boys at the 12.00 to 4.00 am. I ran their Fan Club for a while. I lost contact with them all once I left the club and then joined the QE2 and sailed around the world for 3 years.

    My cousin has just told me that Pat passed away recently, and having read this article see that Barry died in 2018 he was a master of the Hammond Organ. Glad to know Jimmy and Francis are still alive and no doubt Fergie is still living in Poole? Sadly I do not have any copies of their records they got lost in a move but I do have a cassette – which I am going to see if I can get downloaded (not very technical on to a CD).

    This has made a great start to my week….. Best wishes to all “Nite People” fans and Jimmy Francis and Fergie Best wishes Janice Gilbert (now White)

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    1. Dear Janice,
      How nice to see your message on BeatBoom, I didn’t know that Pat had died. I love your description of Barry, he would have been tickled pink, thankyou. Lovely to hear about you after all these years
      All best wishes
      Jill Curtis

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    2. Hi Janice, Thank you for taking the time read my blog. Yes Fergie is still around, I met up with him at a Zoot Money gig in Bournemouth last year and he was fit and well. Jimmy contacted me earlier this year and is enjoying life in Australia, but sadly Barry and Pat are no longer with us. If you still have the facility to play vinyl records, their album PM is going to be released on Record Store Day in august. There is also a CD of unknown origin available, if you keep an eye on Ebay, you might strike lucky. Happy hunting, John

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    3. My God !!!!! Janice..How are you where are you
      Living now? I am back in Poole, near Sandbanks.
      I’m in contact with Jimmy but it was very sad that Barry and Pat are not still with us. I went to Barry’s funeral very sad

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  6. I have never heard of this band until today, quite by accident, when researching the music of a band much revered by me, Jeff St. John’s Copperwine (Australian).I can only wonder what Jim Shepstone though of Copperwine’s version of Reach Out ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=00ibOKFXYb4 ) when he first heard it after arriving in Australia. Indeed, both Copperwine and Nite People c. 1969 ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FB2mR1fKqGQ ) appear to owe a debt to what I consider a most unlikely source, Merrillee Rush’s 1968 album (her of Angel Of The Morning) ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sjFT0eVQmTo ). Great versions, all of them. And I’m now on a quest to hear more from Nite People. Thanks for the info

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    1. Thanks for the comparisons Jon, I had never heard the other versions before. It would be interesting to know if the Nite People had heard the Merrilee Rush version before they recorded theirs, it certainly has similarities. Try and track down a copy of their album PM as there are a couple of other songs on it with interesting arrangements that you may like. John

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      1. A few CD’s of PM to be had via the Discogs site – I’ve got one on the way. Looking forward to checking it out. Although vinyl would probably sound better I tend to go with CD’s these days as I listen mostly while driving. Cheers. Jon

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      2. If you want a vinyl copy, it is available in red vinyl in the French sleeve as part of Record Store Day 2020, so it wouldn’t cost you an arm and a leg. I saw one on-line for £12.99, a bargain. John

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      3. Reach Out was a totally original version by Nite People. Jimmy and I had the idea. Can’t believe people have copied it.
        Fergie

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    2. Hi Jon, how nice that , after all these years , there is still interest in the music we made so long ago….for which I thank you. And thanks to John with Bournemouth Beatboom for his incredible research and knowledge of the era. Strangely, I had never heard of the Copperwine version until reading your comment, despite working in the industry in Australia for nearly 40 years with RCA, BMG and BMG MUSIC Publishing.There are very obvious and startling similarities but, if my memory serves me, I think our major influence on this track was Vanilla Fudge. I was blessed to work with some very fine musicians in the group and we did enjoy trying to come up with original or creative arrangements of pieces. However, on reflection, I wish we had concentrated more on creating our own originals….the wisdom of hindsight! If you would ever like a chat, I live in Sydney and am always happy to have a yarn about music in general and the old days. It was undoubtedly a golden era. Keep well and, again, thanks for your interest. Very best Jim (James) Shipstone and regards to John.

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