By Ralph Gowling
TOMMY ROE AND CHRIS MONTEZ perform during “Beatle Week” at Liverpool’s Cavern Club in August, in an exciting reminder of how the two Americans headlined a 1963 UK tour that quickly ended up with the Fab Four bursting into the international limelight to the delight of screaming fans.
“Just confirmed – Tommy will headline ‘Beatle Week’ at the Cavern in Liverpool, England where it all started,” Tommy’s bandleader Rick Levy told The Beat. “Two shows are with Chris Montez also on the bill. Tommy and I will be backed by the great Liverpool beat band, The Shakers.”
Tommy, who is making a rare appearance in the UK, whereas Chris is a regular visitor, is scheduled to perform at “Beatle Week” on August 26. At the time when Tommy and Chris were booked for the 1963 tour, The Beatles were relatively unknown outside the Merseyside area. But when ‘Please Please Me’ rocketed up the charts around the world, the group became big stars, and the tour ended with the group closing the shows. Tommy first grabbed the attention of UK record buyers with ‘Sheila‘ which soared to No.3 in 1962.
That same year ‘Susie Darlin’ reached No.37. He was back high in the charts in 1963 with ‘Everybody’ (UK No.9) and ‘The Folk Singer’ (No.4). While many artists from the early 60s were swept aside by The Beatles and other beat groups, Tommy scored his biggest triumph when ‘Dizzy’ went all the way to No.1 in 1969 in the UK, America and elsewhere. A follow-up ‘Heather Honey’ reached No.24.
The Beat has an interview with Tommy lined up for publication in the January issue.