Late 1960 until August 1962

THE MAVERICKS. A Second generation Mersey group (like the Mojos). Originally THE MAVERICKS, then THE PACIFICS, they became THE MERSEYBEATS in February 1962 - after obtaining permission from the Merseybeat newspaper. Kinsley and Crane started as a duo, then formed a group after experiencing the power and excitement of the Beatles in the Cavern. In April 1962, the Merseybeats made their debut at the Cavern and were soon gaining a following around Merseyside. Butler, now a DJ on Radio City, often sat in with them. In Summer 62, Elias and Sloane got together with former members of ALBY & the SORRALS to form THE NOCTURNES. Butler joined THE TUXEDOS. 


Billy Kinsley: bass; 
Tony Crane: lead vocal; 
Dave Elias: rhythm guitar (formed the Nocturnes); 
Frank Sloane: drums (formed the Nocturnes); 
Billy Butler: vocals (joined the Tuxedos). 


August 1962 until January 1964

THE MERSEYBEATS. Early in 1963, they became the third group to be signed by Brian Epstein (after the Beatles and Gerry) but left him again after an altercation! In May 63, they won a contract with Decca (second prize in a talent contest at the Philharmonic Hall) but turned it down on exploit ation grounds! Signed with Fontana the following month and made the top 30 with first single. The follow-up reached number 5, establishing them as a top heart-throb band. 

Billy Kinsley: bass, vocal; 
Tony Crane: lead guitar, vocal; 
Aaron Williams : rhythm guitar, vocal; 
John Banks: drums; 
Johnny Gustafson: bass, vocal (from the Seniors). 

February 1964 until December 1964

At the peak of their chart popularity, Kinsley left to marry a hairdresser (that's what it said in the papers!) and Garner filled in until Gustafson could be located. In this form they released three more hits, maintaining, their pin-up poster status. Good looking boys/frilly shirts/love ballads. Actually, I thought some of their records were great. Reputed to be the third biggest crowd pullers after the Beatles and Stones, but never meant a thing in America-despite a no-expense-spared promotional visit. After enquiring about the division of income, Gustafson was fired...whereupon Kinsley nipped back. In the intervening months, he'd led his own group, THE KINSLEYS, who hadn't been able to arouse more than local interest. 


Tony Crane: lead guitar, vocal (still a Merseybeat today); 
Aaron Williams: rhythm guitar, vocal; 
John Banks: drums; 
Johnny Gustafson: bass, vocal (joined the Johnny Gus Set); 
Bob Garner: bass. 

December 1964 until January 1966

By now the Mersey Boom was on the wane-though the Merseybeats managed two more chart singles. At the beginning of 1966, they decided to knock it on the head. Williams quit the business; Banks teamed up with Johnny Gustafson as a duo, Johnny & John; Crane and Kinsley dropped their instruments and became THE MERSEYS. Kinsley later saw success with THE LIVERPOOL EXPRESS, and Crane revived THE MERSEYBEATS for cabaret. 


Billy Kinsley: bass, vocal (got a proper job); 
Tony Crane: lead guitar, vocal; 
Aaron Williams: rhythm guitar, vocal; 
John Banks: drums. 

                                  (1963 - 1965)


'It's Love That Really Counts'/ FONTANA TF 412    8/63 
'Fortune Teller' 

'I Think of You'/                       FONTANA TF 431    1/64 
'Mr. Moonlight' 

'Don't Turn Around'/                FONTANA TF 459    4/64 
'Really Mystified' 

'Last Night (I Made a Little Girl 
Cry)'/ 'See Me Back'               FONTANA TF 504   10/64 

'Don't Let It Happen to Us'/     FONTANA TF 568     5/65 
'It Would Take a Long Time' 

'I Love You, Yes I Do'/           FONTANA TF 607     9/65 
'Good Good Lovin' 

'I Stand Accused'/                   FONTANA TF 645   12/65 
'All My Life' 


'The Merseybeats on Stage'   FONTANA TE 17422  3/64 

'The Merseybeats'                 FONTANA TE 17423  3/64 

'Wishin' and Hopin' '             FONTANA TE 17432 11/64 


'The Merseybeats'                 FONTANA TL 5210     6/64 

Date of entry UK charts  -  Title  -  Highest position                                                       

1/64     "I Think of You"                5
4/64    "Don't Turn Around"         13
7/64    "Wishin' and Hopin'"         13
4/66    "Sorrow" (as the Merseys)  4



Merseybeat Home Page