Formative Days

The Farinas / Formative Years (1962–1967) Jim King (lead vocals, harp) (born Alec Woodburn, Tuesday, May 5, 1942, Kettering, Northamptonshire, England died Monday, February 6, 2012, Middlewich, Cheshire, England), Harry Ovenall (drums) (born Richard Harry Ovenall, Sunday, September 12, 1943, Thorpe Hall, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, England), Charlie ‘Johnny’ Whitney (lead guitar, vocals) (born Richard John Whitney, Saturday, June 24, 1944, Skipton, North Yorkshire, England), Tim Kirchin (bass) (born Timothy Kirchin, ca. 1944, Birstall, Leicestershire, England died ca. 2000), Terry Cowlishaw (drums) (a few gigs) (born Terence Cowlishaw, Wednesday, August 27, 1941, Midway, Swandlincote, South Derbyshire, England), Ric Grech (bass, lead vocals) (born Richard Roman Grechko, Friday, November 1, 1946, Bordeaux, France died Saturday, March 17, 1990, Leicester General Hospital, Leicester, Leicestershire, England, of kidney failure), Roger Chapman (lead vocals) (born Roger Maxwell Chapman, April 8, 1942, Leicester, Leicestershire, England).

Soul-pop outfit James King and the Farinas were formed in Late 1962 at Leicester Art College, Leicester, Leicestershire by Jim King on lead vocals and Charlie Whitney on lead guitar, vocals, with Tim Kirchin on bass and Harry Ovenall on drums. Whitney who had been born in North Yorkshire was the son of show business parents, who when it was time for him to go to school, moved to outside of Leicester when Whitney was five in 1949.

Whitney had met harp playing vocalist King and drummer Ovenall at Leicester Art College all on a foundation course. Also there was drummer Cowlishaw, who was a year ahead of Ovenall and studying Fine Arts. He would dep for Ovenall occasionally in the early days, as Ovenall was also in another couple of bands in Peterborough, The Teenbeats and The Monarchs. Ovenall started out in The Teenbeats, who had a line-up of Rod Hurricane on lead vocals (born David Everett), Tiny B. Arthur on lead guitar (born Eric Bailey died ca. 1975), Jess T. Claymore on bass (born Colin Mitchell) and Harry J. Vincent (Ovenall) on drums. Then he was in The Monarchs that included Peter X on lead guitar, Buddy Lay on rhythm guitar, Dave X on bass and Ovenall on drums. While playing in this band he was also playing in James King and the Farinas, this is the when Cowlishaw would dep for him. This was mostly when Ovenall was not at Art College in the holidays or at weekends when he went home to Peterborough to play in The Monarchs. Ovenall and a friend would go with him to help carry his drums, which he would take on the train. 

As for Cowlishaw he was also drummer in a band called Unit Four Plus One while at Leicester Art College. Cowlishaw was a year ahead of Ovenall at Leicester Art College. There were three drummers living in the College Hostel. 

As for Whitney he was already playing lead guitar in a band called Tony Bart and the ReVels, who included Tony Bart on lead vocals (born Anthony Bartholomew), Rod Moore on bass (born Roderick Moore, ca. 1944 died 1962, A47, near, Leicester, Leicestershire), Pete Davies on rhythm guitar (born Peter Davies) and Harry Ovenall on drums.

Later Bart left the band to do his own thing and Moore was sadly run over by a truck on the A47 outside Leicester at the side of the road, while at work. He worked for Leicester Council. Tim Kirchin replaced Moore. King took over the band and Ovenall came up with the new name The Farinas. He looked in a library book, putting his finger in it and coming up with the name from an Italian car designer. As for Bart he joined a band called The Strangers and later still a show band called The Moonstones that also included Cowlishaw on drums.

In Late 1962 James King and the Farinas played their first gig at Leicester Art College, Leicester. In the early days, the band would play at The Corn Exchange and Il Rondo, both in Leicester. 

In around Late 1962 James King and the Farinas cut a demo, a rare acetate recording of ”All You Gotta Do,” ”Twist And Shout” and ”By By Johnny” at The Sound Studios at 41-49 London Road in Derby, Derbyshire. It was produced by Victor Buckland, owner of the studio. 

James King and the Farinas turned pro in April 1963, after all the band had left college and the group took little jobs to keep themselves going. Harry Ovenall worked at the Leicester TA Drill Hall, looking after the army trucks. As for Jim King, he worked at Lewis’ in Leicester. Not sure about the others. 

James King and the Farinas played all over The Midlands, playing on August 17, 1963 at The Marcam Hall in Cambridge, Cambridgeshire. On Wednesday, January 15, 1964 they played at The Mayor’s Charity Ball at The Banqueting Hall, Tamworth Castle, Tamworth, Staffordshire. They also played twice at The Assembly Rooms in Corporation Street, Tamworth on Saturday, January 25, 1964, supporting Roy Stuart and the Cyclones and on Saturday, February 1, 1964, supporting The Trentside Four. On Saturday, April 18, 1964 they played again at The Marcam Hall in Cambridge, Cambridgeshire. They also played in London mostly at the famous 100 Club at 100 Oxford Street in Soho, West London, supporting The Pretty Things, The Graham Bond Organisation, The Artwoods, etc.

In 1964 James King and the Farinas went down to London and recorded their first and only single ”You’d Better Stop” and ”I Like It Like That” at Fontana Studios in Stanhope Place, Marbel Arch, West London. On Friday, August 28, 1964 The Farinas released their only single ”You’d Better Stop” and ”I Like It Like That” on Fontana TF 493, with King on lead vocals. In around 1965 they had publicity cards done saying ”Fontana Soul and Roll.”

In 1965 the 21-year old Kirchin left the band. He then quit the music biz, got married and moved down to Brighton in East Sussex, where his wife came from. He was replaced by 19 year-old Ric Grech, who was of Ukrainian origin and had been born in France. He was educated at The Sacred Heart Primary School and The Corpus Christi RC School both in Leicester.

Grech had played first violin in The Leicester Youth Symphony Orchestra and joined his first band The Berkely Squares, formed by guitarist Martin Osborn. Osborn had taught Grech to play guitar. He was also in a band with brother’s guitarist Roy Martinez and bassist Paul Martinez (born Paul Frank Martinez, Sunday, October 5, 1947, Casablanca, Morocco), Grech was later in a band called The Exciters with future Farinas lead vocalist Roger Chapman and guitarist Stuart Brown. When Chapman left this group he went to Germany with Danny Storm and the Strollers. As for Grech he joined James King and the Farinas.

In 1966 James King and the Farinas became a five-piece when they were joined by 24 year-old lead vocalist Roger Chapman. He had been educated at Ellis Intermediate School in Leicester and had entered show business at 17 in 1959, the same year he made his first public appearance at The Palais De Dance in Leicester, which was with his first band The Rockin’ R’s? His second band was The Exciters with future James King and the Farinas bassist Ric Grech and guitarist Stuart Brown. He was later in The Strollers who backed singer Danny Storm (born David Hurran, 1944, Leicester, Leicestershire, UK), who had a hit in April 1962 with ”Honest I Do.” The original Strollers were Geoff Chalk, Tony Burnett and Colin Angel (b. Colin Wilsher), who backed Danny Storm in Southampton, Hampshire. The Strollers later included drummer Barney Peacock. Chapman went to Germany with Storm and the Strollers and on his return he joined The Farinas. 

Whitney had first met Chapman when he spoke to him at The Palais De Dance in Leicester in the early 60’s. Whitney had seen him sing once and he needed a singer for a gig, but he could not do it, but Chapman introduced him to another singer who could. 

In 1966 James King and the Farinas changed their name to The Roaring Sixties, which soon changed to Family in October 1966. The famous American record producer Kim Fowley (b. Kim Vincent Fowley, July 21, 1939, Red Bank, New Jersey, USA d. January 15, 2015, West Hollywood, California, USA) had suggested they call themselves The Family, as they regularly wore double-breasted suits in performances, giving themselves a Mafia appearance, a look they soon abandoned in favor of a more casual dress code.

On Saturday, October 22, 1966 The Family played for the first time at the famous Cavern Club, 8 – 10 Mathew Street in Liverpool 2, Lancashire. According to Spencer Leigh’s book ”The Cavern” (SAF, 2008) ”One of the earliest appearances from Roger Chapman’s classic rock band, Family. On Wednesday, October 12, 1966 The Family played The Club A-GoGo in Percy Street, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Northumbria for the first time.

On Thursday, December 3, 1966 The Family played a ”All-Nighter” at The Midnight Club, Birmingham, Warwickshire, UK, with The Who. They were called The Family, according to Joe McMichael & ‘Irish’ Jack Lyons’ book The Who Concert File (Omnibus Press, 1997). According to Andy Neill & Matt Kent’s book ”The Complete Chronicle Of The Who 1958 – 1978 Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere.” The Who played with The Family, who shortened their name to Family the following year (1967).

On meeting Mim Scala who Family had known before, Scala asked if there was anything he could do for them. Because they were looking for material at the time, and probably a producer. Ovenall asked Scala if he could arrange for Jimmy Miller (born James Miller, Monday, March 23, 1942, Brooklyn, New York City, N.Y., USA died Saturday, October 22, 1994, Denver, Colorado, USA) to produce the band’s first single which Scala duly did and also introduced the band to John Gilbert, who from then on became the group’s manager.

In September 1967 Family were signed to The Liberty Label, because of their outstanding concerts. Thanks to Jimmy Miller, Steve Winwood (born Stephen Lawrence Winwood, Wednesday, May 12, 1948, Handsworth, Birmingham, Warwickshire, UK), Dave Mason (born David Thomas Mason, Friday, May 10, 1946, Worcester, Worcestershire, UK), Jim Capaldi (b. Nicola James Capaldi, Wednesday, August 2, 1944, Worcester, Worcestershire, UK d. January 28, 2005, London, UK) and Chris Wood (b. Christopher Gordon Blandford Wood, Saturday, June 24, 1944, Quinton, Birmingham, Warwickshire, UK d. Tuesday, July 12, 1983, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Edgbaston, Birmingham, West Midlands, of pneumonia), all members of Traffic, helped participated in the recording of their first single in September 1967 at Olympic Sound Studios, 117 Church Road, Barnes, South West London. Shortly after the recording of ”Scene Through The Eyes of A Lens” / ”Gypsy Woman,” and before it’s release Ovenall left in Late September 1967.

Ovenall left as he voiced his concern over the bands movement away from their black musical roots, like Blues R & B and Soul. His concerns also included the role of the bands management John Gilbert. A group meeting was called, during which it was suggested Ovenall’s heart was no longer in the band and as a consequence he left Family. Contrary to several reports he was not asked to leave the band. So he was replaced by 20 year-old drummer Rob Townsend. Townsend spent his teenage years playing in a various Leicester groups such as, The Beatniks, Mid 60’s 6 piece group The Broodly Hoo and Legay, who were influenced by Tamla Motown.

Legay was formed in 1965 with a line-up of Rod Read on guitar, vocals (born Robert Read), Robin Pizer on guitar, vocals, Dave ‘Mac’ Macarthy on bass, vocals, John Knapp on vocals, guitar, organ and Legay Rogers on drums (born ? died December 1997). Legay made their début at The Casino Ballroom at the top of London Road in Leicester. Later on they were joined by Townsend, who replaced Rogers. On Tuesday, March 7, 1967 Legay played The Casino Ballroom, Leicester. On Saturday, June 17, 1967 Legay supported Family at The Marquee, 90 Wardour Street, Soho, West London. After Townsend left in September 1967 to join Family, he was replaced by 16 year-old drummer Dave ‘Moth’ Smith (born David Smith, Saturday, July 21, 1951, Leicester, Leicestershire, UK), who later played in Diesel Park West. On Saturday, February 24, 1968 Legay supported The Gods at The Marquee, Soho, West London. On Saturday, March 15, 1969 Legay played at Loughborough University, Loughborough, Lancashire, with The Moody Blues, Van de Graff Generator. In March 1969 Legay changed their name to Gypsy, with a line-up of Knapp, Pizer, Smith, Macarthy and new member guitarist Roy Martinez, who replaced Read. One of Gypsy’s their first gigs was supporting Led Zeppelin on Tuesday, April 1, 1969 at The Klooks Kleek, The Railway Hotel, 100 West End Lane, West Hampstead, North West London. The band played the Isle of Wight Festival, Wooton, Isle of Wight on Saturday, August 30, 1969, along with Family and others. Gypsy also played at The Whiskey A’Go Go, West Hollywood, CA, USA on Wednesday, November 26, Thursday, November 27, Friday, November 28, Saturday, November 29 and Sunday, November 30, 1969. They also played at Afan Lido Leisure Centre, Port Talbot, South Wales on Saturday, May 23, 1970 and at The Atlanta International Pop Festival 1970, Middle George Raceway, Byron, GA, USA on Friday, July 3, 1970. 

On Friday, October 13, 1967 Family released their first single on ”Scene Through The Eyes Of A Lens” and ”Gypsy Woman” on Liberty LBF 10031.

  • Many thanks to John H. Warburg for his extensive research and information presented on this page.
Performances as James King and the Farinas

The Farinas 1962 by Judy White1962

LATE 1962
Leicester Art School, debut gig
Leicester, Leicestershire, England

1963

SATURDAY 1963
17 AUG
The Marcam Hall, March,
Cambridgeshire, England

1964

?? JAN 1964
Unknown Venue
Rugby, Warwickshire, England
w/ Gulliver’s Travellers, The Fortunes

WEDNESDAY
15 JAN 1964
The Mayor’s Charity Ball, The Banqueting Hall, Tamworth Castle
Tamworth, England
w/ Eugene Burton and his Orchestra

SATURDAY
25 JAN 1964
The Assembly Rooms
Tamworth, England
supported Roy Stewart and the Cyclones

WEDNESDAY
01 FEB 1964
The Assembly Rooms
Tamworth, England
supported The Trentside Four

SATURDAY
18 APR 1964
The Marcam Hall, March,
Cambridgeshire, England

FRIDAY
12 JUN 1964
The Drill Hall, London Toad
Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, England
w/ Chris Farlowe and the Thunderbirds, as did The Beatniks (w/ drummer Rob Townsend)
(advertised on the poster as The Farinas)

FRIDAY
11 SEP 1964
St Mary’s Hall
Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, England

FRIDAY
02 OCT 1964
The California Ballroom, Whipsnade Road
Dunstable Downs, Bedford, England
w/ The Zombies, The Escorts

SATURDAY
03 OCT 1964
The Assembly Rooms
Tamworth, England
w/ The Joysticks, The Blackouts

1965

FRIDAY
05 MAR 1965

R & B Night, The Crown, Westgate
Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, England

  • Advertised on the poster as Philips Recording Artists The Farinas Midlands Top R & B Group.

SATURDAY
02 OCT 1965
The Marcam Hall, March,
Cambridgeshire, England

plus The Walker Brothers with The Quotations


FAMILY Mk I

Roger Chapman: vocals, tenor saxophone, harmonica, percussion
John ‘Charlie’ Whitney: guitars, keyboards
Ric Grech: bass, violin, cello, vocals
Jim King: tenor and soprano saxophones, harmonica, vocals, piano
Harry Ovenall: drums, percussion

BILLED AS THE FARINAS (unless otherwise noted)

1966

SUNDAY
10 APR 1966
The Corn Exchange
Leicester, Leicestershire, England
w/ Broodly Hoo, Invaders, Brian Henry and the Saints, The Pat Gissane Showband
  • Advertised on the poster as Marathon Dance On! Today Easter Monday 3 p.m.-1 a.m. 10 Hours Non-Stop to 5 Fabulous Bands – plus Tony Esquire Licensed Bar till 12 The Farinas Broodly Hoo Invaders (Midland Beat Winners 1966) Brian Henry and the Saints, Pat Gissane Showband.
SATURDAY
16 APR 1966
Burlesque, 158 Humberstone Street
Leicester, Leicestershire, England
w/ Broodly Hoo, Mozzeltoff 
  • Advertised on the poster as Saturday, April 16th Burlesque 158 Humberstone Street 10 p.m.-All-Night Soul- 10 a.m. With Leicester’s Top Farinas Broodly Hoo Mozzeltoff.
TUESDAY
26 APR 1966
The County Arms
Blaby Village, Leicestershire, England
w/ The Matadors
  • Advertised on the poster as Jack Hardy and Nick Tiernan presents tomorrow Tuesday The Farinas The Matadors Inter-City Session.
SUNDAY
1 MAY 1966 
The Casino Ballroom, London Road
Leicestershire, England
w/ The Smokestacks, The Facts
  • Advertised on the poster as P.S. Promotions Present New Sunday Scene Casino Every Sunday Now Open From 6.30pm This Sunday Farinas Smokestacks Facts. 
FRIDAY
13 MAY 1966
The Catholic Hall, Broad Street
Syston, Leicestershire, England
SATURDAY
14 MAY 1966
Burlesque, 158 Humberstone Street
Leicester, Leicestershire, England
  • Advertised on the poster as The Burlesque 158 Humberstone Street 10 p.m. Sat. 14 May 10 a.m. All-Night Soul with The Midlands Top Soul Band The Farinas Plus Jelly.
TUESDAY
17 MAY 1966
The County Arms
Blaby Village, Leicestershire, England
w/ The Matadors
  • Advertised on the poster as The County Arms, Blaby Tonight – Tuesday Everything ”Goes” with another Inter-City Beat Scene with The Matadors (Coventry) The Farinas (Leicester).
THURSDAY
02 JUN 1966
The Latin Quartet, 28 Belgrave Road
Leicester, Leicestershire, England
  • Advertised on the poster as Now Open From 8 p.m. till 2 p. m. The Latin Quarter, 28 Belgrave Square.
SATURDAY
25 JUN 1966
Syston Barbeque, Threeways Farm, Melton Road
Queniborough, Leicestershire, England
  • Advertised on the poster as 8 p.m. to Midnight Gigantic Marquee : Dance Floor Free Car Park : Licensed Bar Admission 7/6.
SATURDAY
06 AUG 1966
Burlesque, 158 Humberstone Street
Leicester, Leicestershire, England
SATURDAY
13 AUG 1966
The New Scene, The Corn Exchange
Leicester, Leicestershire, England
w/ The Alan Price Set; 8pm – 11.30pm
  • Advertised on the poster as The New Scene (Corn Exchange) Tonight 8.0-11.30 Hi Li Hi Lo Alan Price Set and Farinas + Free L.P.’s from Barmy Barry.

Billed as the Roaring Sixties unless otherwise noted.

SATURDAY
20 AUG 1966
Burlesque, 158 Humberstone Street
Leicester, Leicestershire, England
w/ The Sands; 10pm – 10am
  • Advertised on the poster as 10 p.m. Saturday 10 a.m. All Night Soul with Two Bands Sands Plus Roaring 60’s Plus Tony Esquire.
SATURDAY
27 AUG 1966
The New Scene, The Corn Exchange
Leicester, Leicestershire, England
w/ The Warlocks
  • Advertised on the poster as The New Scene, Corn Exchange Tomorrow By Public Demand The Roaring 60’s plus Tony Esquire Show and The Warlocks.
FRIDAY
09 SEP 1966
Hermitage Halls
Hitchin, Hertfordshire, England
w/ Cream

FRIDAY
07 OCT 1966
The Oasis, 45 – 47 Lloyd Street
Manchester, Lancashire, England

SATURDAY
08 OCT 1966 (early show)
The Witch Doctor
Cleethorpes, Lincolnshire, England (late show)
08 OCT 1966
The Discotheque
Grimsby, Lincolnshire, England

SUNDAY
09 OCT 1966
The Cosmo
Carlisle, Cumberland, England

MONDAY
10 OCT 1966
Civic Hall, Worsley
Salford, Lancashire, England

TUESDAY
11 OCT 1966
The Place, Hanley
Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, England

WEDNESDAY
12 OCT 1966
The Club A’Gogo, Percy Street
Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Northumbria, England

THURSDAY
20 OCT 1966
Locarno, London Road/Boston Street
Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England

FRIDAY
21 OCT 1966 (early show)
The Grandby Halls
Leicester, Leicestershire, England
supporting Ike & Tina Turner

21 OCT 1966 (late show)
Burlesque
Bolton, Lancashire, England

SATURDAY
22 OCT 1966 (early show)
The Beachcomber
Bolton, Lancashire, England

  • as The Roaring Sixties but advertised as Family.

22 OCT 1966 (late show)
The Cavern, 10 Mathew Street
Liverpool, Lancashire, England 

  • as The Roaring Sixties but advertised as Family.

SUNDAY
23 OCT 1966
The Beachcomber
Preston, Lancashire, England

MONDAY
24 OCT 1966
Unknown Venue
Baldock, North Herefordshire, England

THURSDAY
10 NOV 1966
The Club A’Gogo, Percy Street
Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Northumbria, England

  • as The Roaring Sixties but advertised as Family.

FRIDAY
11 NOV 1966
England, North Yorkshire, York, York University

SATURDAY
12 NOV 1966
Unknown Venue
Matlock, Derbyshire, England

SUNDAY
13 NOV 1966
The Beachcomber
Bolton, Lancashire, England

MONDAY
14 NOV 1966
The Tiles, 79 – 89 Oxford Street
Soho, West London, England

THURSDAY
24 NOV 1966
Unknown Venue
 Oldham, Lancashire, England

FRIDAY
25 NOV 1966
Unknown Venue
Sunderland, County Durham, England

SATURDAY
26 NOV 1966
Unknown Venue
Birmingham, Warwickshire, England

SUNDAY
27 NOV 1966
Unknown Venue
Manchester, Lancashire, England

MONDAY
28 NOV 1966
Unknown Venue
Wolverhampton, Warwickshire, England

TUESDAY
29 NOV 1966
Unknown Venue
Manchester, Lancashire, England

WEDNESDAY
30 NOV 1966
Unknown Venue
Loughborough, Lincolnshire, England

SATURDAY
03 DEC 1966
The Midnight City, underneath The Moat House
Digbeth, Birmingham, Warwickshire, England
w/ The Who

  • as The Roaring Sixties but advertised as Family.

THURSDAY
08 DEC 1966
Coventry University
Coventry, Warwickshire, England

FRIDAY
09 DEC 1966
The De Montford Hall, Granville Road
Leicester, Leicestershire, England

SATURDAY
10 DEC 1966
Town Hall
Hitchin, Hertfordshire, England

SUNDAY
11 DEC 1966
The Belle Vue, Gorton
Manchester, Lancashire, England

MONDAY
12 DEC 1966
The Golden Torch Club, Tunstall
Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, England

TUESDAY
13 DEC 1966
Blaises, Basement of the Imperial Hotel, 121 Queens Gate
Kensington, South West London, England

WEDNESDAY
14 DEC 1966
Reading University
Reading, Berkshire, England

THURSDAY
15 DEC 1966
The Club A’Gogo, Percy Street
Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Northumbria, England

FRIDAY
16 DEC 1966
El Cubana, 13 Toward Road
Sunderland, County Durham, England

SATURDAY
17 DEC 1966
The Clouds, London Road
Derby, Derbyshire, England

SUNDAY
18 DEC 1966
The Southbank Jazz Club
Grimsby, Lincolnshire, England

WEDNESDAY
21 DEC 1966
The Tiles, 79 – 89 Oxford Street
Soho, West London, England

THURSDAY
22 DEC 1966
The Elbow Room, 146 High Street, Aston
Birmingham, Warwickshire, England

FRIDAY
23 DEC 1966
The Oasis, 45 – 47 Lloyd Street, off Albert Square
Manchester, Lancashire, England

SATURDAY
24 DEC 1966 (early show?)
The Britannia
Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England
24 DEC 1966 (late show?)
The Midnight City, underneath The Moat House
Digbeth, Birmingham, Warwickshire, England

MONDAY
26 DEC 1966
The Beachcomber
Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England

THURSDAY
29 DEC 1966
The Bay Hotel, Seaburn
Sunderland, County Durham, England

FRIDAY
30 DEC 1966
The George Inn
Wilby Village, Northamptonshire, England

SATURDAY
31 DEC 1966
The Clouds, London Road
Derby, Derbyshire, England

Leave a Reply