The Presidents (UK rock band)
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The Presidents rock band was formed in Sutton, Surrey, UK, in 1958 by Robin Mayhew, Colin Golding, Phil Cunliffe, Ken Headley and Pat Lavelle. This lineup changed in 1959 when Martin Johnson replaced Pat Lavelle on vocals, then again in 1962 Eddie Patterson took over from Phil Cunliffe on drums. At about this time Ken Headley left the band to further his studies at Durham University, where he tragically succumbed to liver failure, requiring Robin Mayhew to assume his role on lead guitar.
Personnel changes continued in 1962, when Ricky Tyrrell took over as lead vocalist from Martin Johnson, Tony Finch joined on rhythm guitar and Johnny Styles joined the band on piano and keyboards. Later in the year Colin Golding decided to hang up his bass guitar and was replaced by Tony Busson.
This new lineup gave friend Glyn Johns who had been at school with Robin Mayhew an excellent opportunity to hone his engineering skills at the IBC Studios, where he worked as a tape operator and trainee engineer in London. There The Presidents recorded their version of Ross and Neil's song "Candy Man" originally recorded by Roy Orbison and Wanda Jackson and Teddy Randazzo's "Let the Sun Shine In". Johns took these first of his individual productions to Decca Records who immediately signed the band.
After commissioning a publicity photo shoot in preparation for the single's release, Decca inexplicably gave The Presidents' "Candy Man" A-side to their star band Brian Poole and the Tremeloes. Decca's scheduling of this band's version for simultaneous release with The Presidents' single left no option than to relegate "Candy Man" to the band's B-side. Ironically, The Tremeloes rendition reached 8th position on the UK hit parade.
While The Presidents continued to play to packed clubs and receive rave reviews, Tony Finch, Ricky Tyrrell and Johnny Styles were understandably disillusioned and opted and to leave the band.
The Presidents then enlisted guitarist Martin Cowtan to take over on lead guitar, thereby allowing Mayhew to concentrate on vocals, and Eric Archer was brought in on percussion and trombone. With this new line up, The Presidents recorded a follow-up single of Roddy Jackson's and Sonny Bono's song "She Said Yeah", originally recorded by Larry Williams, with Buddy Holly's "Midnight Shift" for its B-side. Once again the recordings were submitted to Decca who appeared to show no interest but in June 1965 "She Said Yeah" appeared on Decca's Rolling Stones' album Out of Our Heads.
Dismayed by these events the band decided to call it quits in July 1965 playing their last gig at The Oldfields Hotel Middlesex. This performance was recorded for posterity and is available on the Presidents' website or Robin Mayhew's website. However in March 2018 Mayhew was contacted by Alec Palao in Los Angeles who was working with Shel Talmay, who originally worked at Decca in the 1960s, sorting out all Shel's record collection and the acetate of She Said Yeah was there. They had taken it and played it to Roddy Jackson who gave it a big thumbs up and it is to be released on a compilation album 53 years after it was recorded.
The Presidents at the-presidents.org.uk or robinmayhew.co.uk