The Friends of Norman Havelock bring you music from a bygone era. In 1962 John F. Kennedy was President of the United States. The Beverly Hillbillies was the number one show on television. It was an innocent time of Sock Hops and Bobby Socks.
The world would soon change, of course. We think of the 1960s as a tumultuous time, and rightfully so. The decade became a defining period in human history, from the Civil Rights movement to Woodstock and the moon landing. We are still feeling the impact of these events today. But that all happend before Norman Havelock wrote the should-be classic Doo-Wop love song, “I Wouldn’t Change a Thing.”
You say you are not familiar with the artist? Well, his “friends” are hoping to change that. They are a group of UK musicians determined to bring the works of this lost genius to the fore. The group’s leader, Andrew Moorhouse contacted me about the project and I think he explains it best. So, without further adieu…
Just who was Norman Havelock?
In 2000, little-known ‘60s songwriter, bandleader and arranger, Norman Havelock shuffled off this mortal coil, a largely forgotten man. Now, 20 years later, his creative genius burns ever brighter as The Friends of Norman Havelock re-imagine his work for audiences anew!
Through a friend of a friend, I had a vague notion that Norman was ‘something’ in the ‘60s, but it took a house clearance and the discovery of some unpublished manuscripts to alert me proper to the great man’s work and influence. Appetite suitably whetted, I went in search of the original recordings, only to hit a brick wall around the time of the great archives fire at Universal in 2008. Undeterred, there was only ever one course of action: I resolved to round up some of today’s finest musical talents and bring these songs back from the dead.
Et, voila! The Friends of Norman Havelock were born!
11 tunes came to light initially, one per year from 1960 to 1970, acting as a veritable almanac through that most culturally thrilling of decades. Curated chronologically in the band’s forthcoming Long Player, Whimsica Sardonica!, these songs bear uncanny witness to one man’s extraordinary personal journey through the shifting sands of the era that was to define him. The initial release of 3 numbers showcase Norman’s rapid development from British jazzer to R’n’B soulster with some Parisian heartbreak thrown in for good measure….
1960: Whimsica Sardonica! (Norman’s theme)
1961: Allez! Dansez!
1962: I Wouldn’t Change a Thing
You can hear “I Wouldn’t Change a Thing” on the Deep Indie Dive playlist. And follow the links below to connect with The Friends of Norman Havelock. Join the movement!