Johnny Kidd and Billy J Kramer autographs
Johnny Kidd and Billy J Kramer autographs in red pen.
Frederick Albert “Freddie” Heath was born in 1935 in Willesden, North London. He began playing guitar in a skiffle group in about 1956. The group, known as “The Frantic Four” and later as “The Nutters”. Covered primarily skiffle, pop and rockabilly. Simultaneously Heath was proving to be a prolific writer; penning most of 30 songs in over three months. Heath’s 31st song would prove to be the group’s break.
In 1959 Heath and his band were given a recording test for their first single. A rocker titled “Please Don’t Touch”. A contract with HMV quickly followed and the group were then informed during the session that their name “Freddie Heath and the Nutters” would be changed to Johnny Kidd & the Pirates. “Please Don’t Touch” would reach the low twenties of the music charts. Although it is not as well known as Kidd’s later song “Shakin’ All Over”. It is a stand-out among other British rock songs of the time. Unlike Billy Fury or Marty Wilde, Kidd does not sing in an imitation voice of Elvis Presley or one of his American contemporaries. The song also bears a smooth harmony and contains no clear references to the rockabilly style.
William Howard Ashton. Better known by the stage name Billy J. Kramer (born 19 August 1943 in Bootle, Lancashire, England) is a pop singer. In the 1960s he was managed by Brian Epstein, who also managed The Beatles, and he recorded several original Lennon and McCartney compositions.