Though we think of Liverpool in terms of the British Invasion, the city of Manchester also produced its share of hit makers — Herman’s Hermits, Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders and Freddie and the Dreamers.
Before he became a singer, 5-foot-3-inch Freddie Garrity was a milkman in Manchester. The band formed in 1961, performing on the British rock circuit in Hamburg and doing summers at British seaside resorts. It was at those family-oriented resorts that Freddie and the Dreamers came up with the comedy bits and movements that distinguished them from the other groups of their era.
Their first hit, a cover of James Ray’s hit “If You Gotta Make a Fool of Somebody”, reached number 3 on the UK charts in mid-1963. It made Freddie and the Dreamers the first band outside of Liverpool and not managed by Brian Epstein to make it big in Britain and the US. The group started appearing on television on both sides of the Atlantic. Garrity’s prancing became so popular in the US that it spawned a dance routine called the Freddie. The band’s late 1965 album, Do the Freddie, included diagrams from famous dance instructor Arthur Murray on how to perform the routines.
In 1964, Freddie and the Dreamers appeared in an Alan Klein movie “What A Crazy World”. Their performance prompted one film critic to write, “”Freddie is the only man I know who can sing, dance and remove his trousers all at the same time.”
Although the Dreamers string of hits faded after 1965, they continued to get bookings on the strength of their comedic appeal.
Where Are They Now?
Freddie Garrity continued performing with a re-formed Dreamers into the ’90s. He was sidelined by a heart attack in 2000 and died in 2006. As for the other members of the original band, Drummer Bernie Dwyer died of lung cancer in 2002; bass player Peter Birrell became a taxi driver. Guitarist Roy Crewdson owns a bar on the island of Tenerife, while guitarist Derek Quinn is in the distribution business in Cheshire.
Freddy & The Dreamers Video
“I’m Telling You Now” live performance on the Merv Griffin Show, December, 1965
Freddie and the Dreamers UK Discography
* If You Gotta Make A Fool Of Somebody/Feel So Blue May, 1963 (#3)
* I’m Telling You Now/What Have I Done To You? Aug, 1963 ( #2)
* You Were Made For Me/Send A Letter To Me Nov, 1963 ( #3)
* Over You/Come Back When You’re Ready Feb, 1964 ( #13)
* I Love You Baby/Don’t Make Me Cry May, 1964 (#16)
* Just For You/Don’t Do That To Me 1964
* I Understand/I Will Nov, 1964 (#5)
* A Little You/Things I’d Like To Say Apr, 1965 ( #26)
* Thou Shalt Not Steal/I Don’t Know 1965 (#44)
* If You’ve Gotta Minute Baby/When I’m Home With You 1966
* Playboy/Some Day 1966
* Turn Around/Funny Over You 1966
* Hello, Hello/All I Ever Want Is You 1967
* Little Big Time/Freddie Garrity: You Belong To Me 1968