Derek and Alan Longmuir who went on to be an integral part of the Rollers had been together since 1965 performing as The Saxons. Tam Paton a shrewd manager took them under his wing in 1970 changed their name, got them a record contract which was followed by a minor hit Keep on Dancing. Seeing little follow up success he brought into the Band Les McKeown, Stuart Wood and Eric Faulkner. Paton devised the Tartan uniform, on and off stage wear which immediately set them apart and with a string of hits they quickly became a massive teenage sentsation., both in the UK and eventually USA.
The bands first hit was 'Keep On Dancing' which was released in 1971. It was a cover of the 1965 hit by The Gentrys. This was the first of many hits as they quickly found fame in the UK and across Europe. During 1973 however, they released four more singles after 'Keep on Dancing' and they did not scrape the charts. Original lead singer Gordon 'Nobby' Clarke became disillusioned due to the lack of success by the band and decided to leave. As Les McKeown took over the lead vocals, the Rollers popularity exploded. With their first top ten hit 'Remember (Sha La La)', they quickly became the next big thing. Other hits include 'Shang-A-Lang', 'Summerlove Sensation' and 'All Of Me Loves All Of You'. After they covered the Four Seasons classic 'Bye, Bye, Baby', they scored their first number one. They were quickly on on the tip of everyones lips, being tipped to be the next Beatles and to dominate the world.
As they broke the US in 1976 with a number one song (Saturday Night) and a number one album (Bay City Rollers), they seemed to be on the top of the world. In the same year, they hit the charts again with 'Money Honey' and the Dusty Springfield cover 'I Only Want To Be With You'. However, that year was to be the height of their success in the US as it saw the decline of the Bay City Rollers.
Despite their seeming boy next door, clean living image they were in fact consuming vast amounts of drink, drugs and groupies! Disaster was just waiting to happen, McKeown killed a pensioner by dangerous driving, Faulkner overdosed on Seconal and Valium and attempted suicide along with Alan Longmuir, whilst Paton was jailed for indecent acts with underage boys. The band had also begun to believe they were musical geniuses and ditched the writers of their successful songs, and failed to have another hit. Despite line up changes and half hearted reunions the Band never recovered from the bad publicity and are now really just a footnote in a music archive.
Once Upon A Star, 1975
Wouldn’t You Like It?, 1975
Rock N’ Roll Love Letter, 1976
It’s A Game. 1977
Greatest Hits, 1977
Strangers In The Wind, 1978
This information is provided as a brief overview and not as a definitive guide, there are other sources on the net for that. If however you have a story or information that is not generally known we would love to hear from you. firstname.lastname@example.org