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All-Stars (band)

The All-Stars (originally known as the Cyril Davies (R&B) All-Stars) were a short-lived English blues combo active in the early-mid 1960s that later evolved into a studio supergroup. Their later recordings are often credited less ambiguously to the Immediate All-Stars due to their strong ties to Immediate Records.

The All-Stars
Also known asThe R&B All-Stars
The Cyril Davies All-Stars
The Immediate All-Stars
OriginLondon, England
Years active1962–1965
LabelsPye Records
Immediate Records
Associated actsCyril Davies, Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, Long John Baldry
Past membersNicky Hopkins, Carlo Little, Rick Brown, Bernie Watson, The Velvettes, Keith Scott, Cliff Barton, Micky Waller, Geoff Bradford, Johnny Parker, Bob Wackett, Mick Jagger, Ian Stewart, Bill Wyman, Charlie Watts



Cyril DaviesEdit

The All-Stars were initially formed as a backing band for Cyril Davies after his departure from Alexis Korner's Blues Incorporated in October 1962. The original lineup was tentatively named 'The Cyril Davies Blues Band' and was made up of former members of Screaming Lord Sutch's group, the Savages, including Nicky Hopkins on piano, Carlo Little on drums and Rick Brown on bass. The band also featured Jimmy Page on guitar for a brief period, though he soon backed out to focus on his burgeoning career as a session musician and was replaced by Bernie Watson, another former member of the Savages.[1][2]

With Davies, the All-Stars had standing engagements at a number of London's jazz clubs.

"I went over to Eel Pie Island that night to see Sutch and the Savages as billed. In the event, members of the Savages had teamed up with Cyril Davies, from Alexis Korner’s Blues Inc., to perform as 'The Cyril Davies Rhythm and Blues Allstars'. Cyril had been in Blues Inc., and he’d recruited members of the Savages rather than taking over from Dave Sutch."

— Don Craine, leader of contemporary band The Downliners.[citation needed]

In December 1962, Davies was in competition with Korner to recruit Long John Baldry as a second lead vocalist. Baldry had previously performed with Blues Incorporated while Davies was still a member, with both vocalists being featured on the 1962 album R&B from the Marquee. Following the formation of the All-Stars, Baldry played a few shows with each band before eventually committing to join Davies' camp in January 1963. Around this time, Davies also added female backing singers to the lineup in the form of South African vocal group the Velvettes (not to be confused with Motown trio, the Velvelettes), who had emigrated to England after touring with the musical stage production King Kong.[3][4] This group was a trio made up of Hazel Futa, Patience Gcwabe and Eunice Mamsie Mthombeni after their fourth member, Peggy Phango, had left to pursue a solo career.[3][4] On 27 February, the All-Stars recorded their first single for Pye Records: the original compositions "Country Line Special" and "Chicago Calling", released under the name 'Cyril Davies and His Rhythm and Blues All-Stars'.[1][2] However, Baldry and the Velvettes are not featured on these recordings.[5]

In May 1963, illness forced the departure of Hopkins as he was hospitalised for several months. Former Blues Incorporated pianist Keith Scott was recruited in his stead, but growing tensions between Davies and the other band members meant that Brown, Little and Watson each soon left the group to be replaced by bassist Cliff Barton, guitarist Geoff Bradford and drummer Micky Waller. In August, this lineup recorded the R&B All-Stars' second single for Pye: "Preachin' the Blues", a Robert Johnson cover, and "Sweet Mary", a Lead Belly cover.[1][2] As with the previous recordings, Baldry and the Velvettes are not featured. Instead, backing vocals for "Preachin' the Blues" are provided by Alex Bradford and Madeline Bell.[5] Towards the end of 1963, Scott and Waller were themselves replaced by the group's final members Johnny Parker and Bob Wackett.

Following Davies' death in January 1964, former All-Stars Baldry, Barton, Bradford and Parker went on to perform as 'The Hoochie Coochie Men' together with Rod Stewart on vocals and Ernie O'Malley on drums.[1][2] Pye Records paid tribute to Davies by re-releasing the four tracks he had recorded for them as the EP The Sound of Cyril Davies and His Rhythm and Blues All-Stars.[5] Only one further song is known to have been recorded during Davies' lifetime, later released by Immediate Records: Little Walter's "Someday Baby", first issued in 1968 on the compilation album Blues Anytime Vol. 3. The tracks was credited to 'Cyril Davies and the All-Stars', although it is not clear when the recording was made, nor with which lineup(s).[1][2]

Immediate RecordsEdit

By 1965, Jimmy Page had established himself as a prolific session guitarist and was signed to Immediate Records as an in-house producer. Around eighteen months after Cyril Davies' death, Page brought together Hopkins, Little and Barton to record with him and his friend Jeff Beck.[6][7] Together they recorded five original tracks, with Hopkins taking the lead on "Piano Shuffle", Beck on "Chuckles" and "Steelin'", and Page on "Down in the Boots" and "L.A. Breakdown".

The first track from this session to be issued was "Steelin'", although its initial release was not credited to the group. London fashion photographer David Anthony (under the pseudonym 'Charles Dickens')[8] had recorded a cover of The Rolling Stones' "So Much in Love" for Immediate Records, and when this was released as a single in 1965 it featured "Steelin'" as its b-side under the title "Our Soul Brother TH", credited solely to Dickens.[9] The rest of the tracks from this session would eventually get their first release in 1968, alongside "Steelin'", properly credited to 'The All-Stars' on the Immediate compilation album Blues Anytime Vol. 3.

The Page/Clapton jamsEdit

In June 1965, Page also invited Eric Clapton to join him in a jam session at his home studio on Miles Road, and the two guitarists recorded seven instrumental tracks together: "Choker", "Draggin' My Tail", "Freight Loader", "Miles Road", "Snake Drive", "Tribute to Elmore" and "West Coast Idea". Page and Clapton were both of the opinion that the tracks they recorded were merely rehearsals rather than complete songs, but representatives of Immediate Records soon approached Page informing him that they legally owned the publishing rights to all recordings he made as per the terms of their contract. Page reluctantly gave them the recordings of the jam session in fear of a lawsuit and was asked to clean them up by adding overdubs, which he recorded that August at Olympic Studios with a new lineup of the All-Stars. This time, the group featured members of The Rolling Stones: Mick Jagger, Bill Wyman, Ian Stewart and Charlie Watts (credited as Chris Winters),[7][10] facilitated by the Stones' manager at the time also being Immediate Records' co-founder, Andrew Loog Oldham. This was seen by Clapton as a betrayal of confidence on Page's part, and greatly damaged the personal relationship between the two guitarists for years to follow.[7][10][11][12][13][14]

"That was a real tragedy for me... Eric and I got friendly and he came down and we did some recording at home, and Immediate found out that I had tapes of it and said they belonged to them, because I was employed by them. I argued that they couldn't put them out because they were just variations of blues structures, and in the end we dubbed some other instruments over some of them and they came out- with liner notes attributed to me (on earlier copies) though I didn't have anything to do with writing them. I didn't get a penny out of it anyway... Stu from the Stones was on piano, Mick Jagger did some harp, Bill Wyman played bass and Charlie Watts was on drums."

— Jimmy Page talking to Pete Frame.[10]

Immediate Records first released these tracks alongside the All-Stars' previous recordings in 1968, spread out across their compilation albums Blues Anytime Vol. 1–3. The tracks were initially attributed simply to Eric Clapton, or 'Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page', although many subsequent releases have given the credit to 'The Immediate All-Stars'.[11][15]



Cyril Davies and the R&B All-Stars[1][2]
Note: Dates represented here are approximate, accurate only to within a month.



Pye RecordsEdit

All releases credited to Cyril Davies and His Rhythm and Blues All-Stars.

Date Release Notes
1963 "Country Line Special"
b/w "Chicago Calling"
Recorded 27 February 1963. Baldry and the Velvettes not featured.[5]
"Preachin' the Blues" (Robert Johnson cover)
b/w "Sweet Mary" (Lead Belly cover)
Recorded in August 1963. Baldry and the Velvettes again not featured.
Backing vocals on "Preachin' the Blues" by Alex Bradford and Madeline Bell.[5]
1964 The Sound of Cyril Davies and His Rhythm and Blues All-Stars Compilation EP of all 4 tracks from the previous 2 singles.[5]

Immediate RecordsEdit

  1. Dave Berry & The Cruisers (wrongly credited to Cyril Davies and the All-Stars)[citation needed] – "Not Fade Away" (Buddy Holly cover)
  2. Cyril Davies and the All-Stars – "Someday Baby" (Little Walter cover)
  3. The All-Stars featuring Nicky Hopkins – "Piano Shuffle"
  4. The All-Stars featuring Jeff Beck – "Chuckles"
  5. The All-Stars featuring Jeff Beck – "Steelin'" (a.k.a. Charles Dickens' "Our Soul Brother TH")
  6. The All-Stars featuring Jimmy Page – "Down in the Boots"
  7. The All-Stars featuring Jimmy Page – "L.A. Breakdown"
  8. Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page – "Choker"
  9. Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page – "Draggin' My Tail"
  10. Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page – "Freight Loader"
  11. Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page – "Miles Road"
  12. Eric Clapton – "Snake Drive"
  13. Eric Clapton – "Tribute to Elmore"
  14. Eric Clapton – "West Coast Idea"

Note: Most of these tracks were first issued as part of the 1968 Blues Anytime series, but following Immediate Records going out of business in 1970, they have been released on many compilation albums by multiple record labels, major and independent. The following list includes only those releases that feature three or more tracks, and were released by a record label that is itself notable. An exception is White Boy Blues Vol. 2, which is notable for being the first release of Davies' recording of "Not Fade Away".

Notable releases
Date Release Tracks featured Label Link
1968 Blues Anytime Vol. 1 (a.k.a. An Anthology of British Blues Vol. 1) 12-14 Immediate Records Discogs
1968 Blues Anytime Vol. 2 (a.k.a. An Anthology of British Blues Vol. 2) 8-10 Immediate Records Discogs
1968 Blues Anytime Vol. 3 (a.k.a. The Beginning: British Blues) 2-7, 11 Immediate Records Discogs
1969 Anthology of British Blues Volume 1 2-8, 10, 12, 13 Immediate Records Discogs
1969 Anthology of British Blues Volume 2 9, 11, 14 Immediate Records Discogs
1970 British Archive Series – Blues for Collectors Vol. 1 (reissue of Blues Anytime Vol. 1) 12-14 RCA Victor Discogs
1970 British Archive Series – Blues for Collectors Vol. 2 (reissue of Blues Anytime Vol. 2) 8-10 RCA Victor Discogs
1971 British Archive Series – Blues for Collectors Vol. 3 (reissue of Blues Anytime Vol. 3) 2-7, 11 RCA Victor
1971 Guitar Boogie 4-10, 12-14 RCA Camden Discogs
1980 Immediate Blues 4, 5, 8, 9, 12-14 Virgin Records Discogs
1984 White Boy Blues Vol. 1 2-14 Castle Comms. Discogs
1986 White Boy Blues Vol. 2 (first release of "Not Fade Away") 1 Castle Comms. Discogs
1986 Blues Anytime – An Anthology of British Blues (reissue of Blues Anytime Vol. 1-4) 2-14 Line Records Discogs
1987 Eric Clapton – The Early Clapton Collection 4-10, 12-14 Castle Comms. Discogs
1991 Down and Dirty – The Immediate Blues Story Vol. 3 9-11, 13 Sony Music allmusic
1992 Stars of British Blues Volume One 4, 6, 11, 13 K-Tel Records allmusic
1993 Stars of British Blues Volume Two 2, 3, 5, 7, 10, 14 K-Tel Records allmusic
1996 The Immediate Blues Anthology (reissue of Blues Anytime Vol. 1-4, plus bonus disc) all tracks Charly Records Discogs
1998 Eric Clapton & Friends – Strictly the Blues 4-10, 12-14 Castle Pulse Discogs
1998 Clapton, Page, Beck: Three Guitar Giants and Their Seminal Works 4-14 Cleopatra Records allmusic
1999 Eric Clapton – The Blues Years 4-14 Castle Select Discogs
2000 Eric Clapton – West Coast Idea 8-14 Sony Music allmusic
2000 Jimmy Page and His Heavy Friends – Hip Young Guitar Slinger 1, 3-14 Sequel Records Discogs
2006 Blues Anytime I – An Anthology of British Blues (reissue of Blues Anytime Vol. 1-2) 8-10, 12-14 JVC Victor allmusic
2006 Blues Anytime II – An Anthology of British Blues (reissue of Blues Anytime Vol. 3-4) 2-7, 11 JVC Victor allmusic


  1. ^ a b c d e f Cyril Davies and the birth of the UK R&B scene at (archived from 2017)
  2. ^ a b c d e f The Cyril Davies R&B All Stars at
  3. ^ a b c Confessions of a Sixties Drummer at (archived from 2015)
  4. ^ a b Tom Vallance, "Obituary: Peggy Phango" Independent (2 September 1998).
  5. ^ a b c d e f The Sound of Cyril Davies and His Rhythm and Blues All-Stars liner notes, Pye Records, 1964 at
  6. ^ a b Jimmy Page, Blues Anytime Vol. 3 liner notes, Immediate Records, 1968 at
  7. ^ a b c d e Jon Tiven, White Boy Blues liner notes, Castle Communications, 1985 at
  8. ^ "Immediate Records history". Licence Music mailing site.[permanent dead link]
  9. ^ John Kearney. "The Immediate Singles Boxed Set review". Making Time.
  10. ^ a b c d Pete Frame, The Road to Rock: a ZigZag Book of Interviews, Charisma Books, 1974.
  11. ^ a b Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Eric Clapton – The Blues Years review at Allmusic.
  12. ^ John Hamilton's Ultimate Eric Clapton Discography – 1965a at (archived from 2007).
  13. ^ Steven Davies, Hammer of the Gods, William Morrow & Co, 1985.
  14. ^ Marc Roberty, Eric Clapton: The Complete Recording Sessions 1963–1992, Blandford or St. Martin’s Press, 1993.
  15. ^ Songs that have been credited to the Immediate All-Stars at Allmusic.

External linksEdit