Tony Sheridan led a productive life and accomplished many things throughout his career. He was not only a British singer but also displayed his talent as a songwriter and guitarist. Despite his many talents, many will remember him for his collaboration with the Beatles during the band’s early beginnings in Hamburg and though brief, his involvement proved invaluable to their career.
Tony Sheridan died on Saturday in Hamburg, Germany and according to the New York Times; the news of his death was made public by his daughter, Wendy Clare Sheridan-McGinnity. Although the 72-year-old Sheridan didn’t stay with the Beatles for an extended amount of time, his involvement with them proved to be pivotal.
It was during the early 1960s in Hamburg’s red-light district that Sheridan met Pete Best, John Lennon, George Harrison and Paul McCartney. The young band would come to watch Sheridan’s performance every night after the Beatles own shows finished at a neighboring club. Sheridan decided to work with the band and gave them his insights on various things. For example, he advised them about their look which at that time, the band sported wearing cowboy boots and black leather bomber jackets. He also told them about American R&B acts that included the likes of Little Richard.
Eventually, the Beatles would end up being Sheridan’s backing band at the Top Ten Club. From there, the band would cut their earliest recordings with Sheridan and be known as the Beat Brothers on the songs “My Bonnie” and “When the Saints Go Marching In.” However, the album they recorded would eventually be released outside of Germany and be known as Tony Sheridan and The Beatles.
Sheridan would soon venture on his own and continue his career as well as making a name for himself. He played the electric guitar on television and was credited as the first British musician to accomplish this. Also, he would go on tour with the talents of Chuck Berry, Chubby Checker and Jerry Lee Lewis.
He released a solo album in 1964 called “Just a Little Bit of Tony Sheridan” that was influential in both jazz and the blues. In 1978, Sheridan made the decision to return to Hamburg and to be the headline in the reopening of the city’s famous Star Club, which would bring Elvis Presley’s TCB Band with him.
Sheridan released his final solo album, “Vagabond,” in 2002. In 2005, he recorded the DVD “Chantal Meets Tony Sheridan,” that includes the only recording of “Tell me If You Can,” which was a song Sheridan wrote in 1962 with Paul McCartney.
Sheridan is survived by his three sons Felim, Tony Jr. and Bennet; and his daughters Amber and Wendy Clare.