From Graham Laker to me:
“Now that your definitive list of Birdcage appearances is nearing completion (correct), I wonder if you can solve this for me: It was a Sunday afternoon show, ’65 or ’66, with a performance from a tall, black, soul guy, pompadour hairstyle, wearing a salmon pink suit. He was brilliant (‘tho I can’t remember what songs he did). Part of his act was getting members of the audience to join him on stage and challenge them to sing as high as he could – I clearly remember John McInnes joining him and failing spectacularly (John sadly died in a diving accident not long after). I’ve always thought the performer was Arthur Alexander, or, if not, could it have been Wilson Pickett, Major Lance or someone else? – pretty sure he was American and a ‘big name’.”
I think I’ve solved it, as Arthur Alexander but pleased to hear from anyone else. My reply was as follows:
I’m pretty sure it’s Arthur Alexander although I wasn’t there. I know that Wilson Pickett and Major Lance both played on Tuesday evenings (I saw them both and don’t recall that participation bit). Arthur played on Sunday 17 April 1966. I have no record of it being an afternoon, but I’ll check that out and see what I can find.
I wish I had seen Arthur Alexander who I reckon is one of the great under-rated black singers. His songs included “Shot of Rhythm & Blues” (Johnny Kidd), “Anna” (the Beatles), “You Better Move On” (Stones), “Go On Home Girl” (Ry Cooder) plus versions of “The Wanderer” and “A Hundred Pounds of Clay”. What a Cracker! Anybody fancy forming an AA Tribute band?