R.I.P. Former Beatles Frontman Tony Sheridan
The Beatles at that time were John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison on guitars, Stuart Sutcliffe on bass and Pete Best on drums.
Sheridan already had a following on the Hamburg club scene, but took a liking to the Beatles. Sutcliffe left the band, and Best was fired & replaced by Ringo Starr. McCartney took over on bass. Sheridan later claimed credit for arranging Starr’s joining the band.
Recording contracts were offered to both Sheridan and the Beatles. The plan was for the Beatles to serve as Sheridan’s backup band. The Beatles had the option to record on their own.
Sheridan and the Beatles recorded nine songs as Tony Sheridan and the Beat Brothers.
Their first single, “My Bonnie,” was released in Germany in Oct. 1961. Beatles’ fans in Liverpool flooded record shops.
Brian Epstein was a manager at one of those shops. He decided to find out what all the excitement was about. Epstein went to see them perform at the Cavern Club. He persuaded the Beatles to hire him as their manager, promising they’d be “bigger than Chuck Berry!” Within a year, the Beatles had a contract with EMI.
McCartney called Sheridan “The Teacher.”
Sheridan is survived by his three sons, Tony Jr., Bennet and Felim, and daughters, Wendy Clare and Amber.