The Applejacks were the first local band to make an impact in the music industry, with a number seven hit in the UK Singles Chart in 1964.
*Al Jackson (vocal) born Harry Llewellyn Jackson on 21 April 1945, Birmingham
*Martin Thomas (lead guitar) Baggott born 20 October 1947, Birmingham
*Philip Peter Cash (rhythm guitar) born 9 October 1947, Birmingham
*Megan Kelso Davies (bass guitar and vocal) born 25 March 1944, Sheffield, Yorkshire
*Gerald Ernest Freeman (drums) born 24 May 1947, Solihull
*Dan Gould (piano and organ) born 23 March 1947, Solihull
The group formed in Solihull in 1961, and were originally known as The Cresta and then The Jaguars before becoming The Applejacks. All were members of the 1st Olton Scouts Troop in Shirley, accept for Dan who was added to line-up at the end of 1961 and Al who joined in 1962.
The band regularly appeared at Solihull Civic Hall playing American style rock ‘n’ roll and were unusual for having a female bass guitarist.
In late 1963, The Applejacks were signed up by talent scout, Mike Smith from the Decca Record Company. Shortly after they released their first single, ‘Tell Me When’ which peaked at number seven and remained in the charts for 13 weeks. The single’s success was followed by numerous TV appearances on shows like ‘Thank Your Lucky Stars’ where the band became friends with the Beatles who they met during a rehearsal.
John Lennon and Paul McCartney provided The Applejacks with the song, ‘Like Dreamers Do’ which the band released as their next single.
1964 saw The Applejacks record a self-titled album for Decca Records under Mike Leander. They appeared in the British pop music film, ‘Just For You’ which featured Freddie and The Dreamers and Peter and Gordon. The band also performed live on the New Musical Express annual poll winners concert at Wembley. In the same year, Megan and Gerald married in a high profile wedding attended by hundreds.
The band had become very popular and were booked to appear at dance halls all over the country throughout 1964.
By 1966, the band had signed a lucrative contract in cabaret to perform on the luxury Trans-Atlantic ocean liners R.M.S. Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth I and II.
*The Applejacks (1964)
*Tell Me When (1990 re-issue of The Applejacks)