RIP: Roy Young, The Man Who Said 'No' To Joining The Beatles

British rock and roll singer, pianist, keyboard player and snooker champ, Roy Frederick Young died in Oxford, England, on April 27 at age 83.

In 1961, he began working at the Top Ten Club in Hamburg, where he played with Tony Sheridan and the Beat Brothers, who briefly included Ringo Starr, and recorded with Sheridan. He then won a contract to play at the rival Star-Club, where he met the Beatles and began performing with them in spring 1962. According to Young, Brian Epstein offered him a place in the group once they had returned to England and signed a record contract, but Young turned down the offer because he had an agreement with the Star-Club.

He returned to England, recorded a series of singles, toured with the Beatles in 1966 and in 1971 he formed The Roy Young Band, briefly backing Chuck Berry on tour. He also toured and recorded with Cliff Richard, David Bowie, Jeff Beck, Deep Purple, Eric Clapton, Gene Vincent, and Bill Haley and The Comets.

In 1976, Young moved abroad and toured The Roy Young Band across Canada and the US. He also teamed up with the legendary British blues artist Long John Baldry and became John's manager for three years. At this time, John had an international hit with "You've Lost That Loving Feeling".

Chuck Berry, not known for dishing compliments easily, said Young’s playing “reminded him of Johnny Johnson," Eric Burdon called him “the greatest Little Richard styled vocalist on the planet” and John Lennon is quoted as having said “if we all learned to sing from the book that Roy Young learned from, we’d all be ‘f-----g’ great.”



Sources: Paul Sanderson (barrister & solicitor), The Legendary Roy, Wikipedia, The Independent (UK).

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