June 11, 1996 – Alan Blakley (the Tremeloes) was born on April 1st 1942 in Bromley, Kent, England. Being a teenager in the mid fifties in England with so many new music influences (Skiffle, blues, rock and roll), a young lad learned to play an instrument, or 3 in Alan’s case.
Drummer, rhythm guitarist, keyboardist, he became a founding member of the Tremeloes with fourteen UK and two U.S. Top 20 hit singles to their name. The band first got together in 1958, when they were all in their mid-teens. In the original line-up Alan was on drums, with Brian Poole as vocals and guitarist, Alan Howard playing saxophone and Graham Scott on guitar. Alan very soon took over on guitar to leave Brian as front man – singer.
By 1961, a few line-up changes and Alan now on keyboards, they had turned professional. The original quintet consisted of lead vocalist Brian Poole, lead guitarist Rick West (born Richard Westwood), rhythm guitarist/keyboardist Alan Blakley, bassist Alan Howard and drummer Dave Munden.
On New Year’s Day, 1962, Decca, looking for a Beat group, auditioned two promising young bands: Brian Poole and the Tremeloes and a somewhat similar combo (also heavily influenced by Buddy Holly) from Liverpool, the Beatles. Decca chose Brian Poole and the Tremeloes over the Beatles, reportedly based on location – the Tremeloes were from the London area, making them more accessible than the Liverpool-based Beatles.
As Brian Poole and the Tremeloes they first charted with a version of “Twist and Shout” in 1963, quickly followed by their chart topping “Do You Love Me” making them the first south of England group to top the chart in the beat boom era.
In 1964 they made tours of South Africa and Australia, followed by a film A Touch of Blarney. When Brian Poole left the band for a solo career in 1966, Alan took over the leadership and the hits kept coming with among others “Even the Bad Times Are Good”; “(Call Me) Number One”; “Me And My Life”; ” Hello World “; “Suddenly You Love Me”; “Helule Helule”; “My Little Lady”; “Silence is Golden” and “Here Comes My Baby”. The latter two also entered the Top Twenty of the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, in addition both tracks sold a million copies globally, each earning gold disc status, as did “Even the Bad Times Are Good”. A
lan wrote or co-wrote many of the Tremeloes songs and after their decline, he produced records for other acts, including The Rubettes, Bilbo and Mungo Jerry. In 1983 the original quartet reformed and made a cover version of the Europop hit “Words”
He died after battling cancer on June 11, 1996 at 54.