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Bruce Welch

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Birth name  Bruce Cripps
Name  Bruce Welch
Years active  late 1950s–present

Instruments  Guitar
Genres  Instrumental rock
Parents  Stan Cripps, Grace Welch
Bruce Welch Bruce Welch Life Story Interview Shadows Drifters
Born  2 November 1941 (age 74)Bognor Regis, England (1941-11-02)
Origin  Newcastle upon Tyne, England
Occupation(s)  Musician, producer and owner of a music publishing company
Role  Guitarist ·
Music groups  The Shadows, Marvin, Welch & Farrar
Albums  Moonlight Shadows, String of Hits, Simply Shadows, Steppin' to the Shadows, Shadow Music

Bruce welch tribute to jet harris jet harris heritage foundation

Bruce Cripps OBE (born 2 November 1941, Bognor Regis, Sussex, England) known by his stage name Bruce Welch is an English guitarist, songwriter, producer and singer, best known as a member of the Shadows.


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Bruce welch the shadows interview with lee hogdson guitar interactive issue 4


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His parents (Stan Cripps and Grace Welch) moved him to 15 Broadwood View, Chester-le-Street: she died when Welch was aged 6. Welch grew up with his Aunt Sadie in Chester-le-Street, County Durham. After learning to play the guitar, he formed a Tyneside skiffle band called the Railroaders when he was fourteen. His Rutherford Grammar School friend Brian Rankin (later to be known as Hank Marvin), joined the group and they travelled to London in 1958 for the final of a talent competition. Although they did not win, they joined with members of other entrant bands and formed the Five Chesternuts with Pete Chester (born 1942), son of comedian Charlie Chester on drums.

Bruce Welch Bruce Welch Life Story Interview Shadows Drifters

On moving to London, Bruce and Hank Marvin briefly operated as the Geordie Boys before enlisting in an outfit called the Drifters.

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In September 1958 Welch and Marvin joined the Drifters, later to become the Shadows, as Cliff Richard's backing band. As well as success with the Shadows, Welch also acted as producer for (among others) Cliff Richard and songwriter for his ex-fiancée, Olivia Newton-John. He also released a solo single "Please Mr. Please", which was not commercially successful, even though the song has been covered by several recording artists (most notably Newton-John, who would take it into the top 10 of the US pop and country charts in 1975).

Welch wrote several number 1 hit singles for Cliff and for the Shadows. Among tunes/songs written or co-written by Welch are the Shadows' hits "Foot Tapper" and "The Rise and Fall of Flingel Bunt", Marvin Welch & Farrar's "Faithful" and "My Home Town", and Cliff Richard hits "Please Don't Tease", "In the Country", "Summer Holiday", "I Love You" and "I Could Easily Fall (In Love With You)".

He was the musical consultant for the West End musical Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story.

After the Shadows' disbanded in 1990, with Marvin deciding to tour with his own band, Welch's plans for his own tours did not fully materialise until 1998, when he formed Bruce Welch's Shadows (originally called 'Bruce Welch's Moonlight Shadows' - a name that was dropped after 1998). The group featured former Shadows bassist Alan Jones and keyboardist Cliff Hall, with Bob Watkins on drums. Phil Kelly and Barry Gibson (owner of Burns Guitars) shared lead guitar duties until Gibson's departure in 2000.

In 1998 he produced 'Shadowmania': a one-day show comprising various Shadows tribute bands, with his own band topping the bill. Due to the event's success he went on present it annually until 2012, missing only 2004 and 2009 due to tours with the reformed Shadows.

At Shadowmania 2011 he included a 'Tribute to Jet Harris' who had died from cancer in March of that year.

At Shadowmania 2012, Phil Kelly could not appear because of illness and was replaced by Daniel Martin (now touring Ireland with country singer Lisa McHugh) and Justin Daish of the Shadowers.


He was appointed OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) in the 2004 Birthday Honours list for services to music.

Welch lives in Richmond, London.

Early career groups (pre-Shadows/Drifters)

1956/7 – The Railroaders(No. 1)
  • Hank Marvin (guitar), Bruce Welch (guitar), George Williams (guitar) and Jim ? (drums)
  • 1956/7 – The Railroaders(No. 2)
  • Hank Marvin (guitar), Bruce Welch (guitar), Eddie Silver (guitar), George Williams (b) and Jim ? (drums)
  • 1958 – The Five Chesternuts
  • 7"single – ("Jean Dorothy"/"Teenage love" on Columbia)
  • Gerry Hurst (v), Hank Marvin (guitar), Bruce Welch (guitar), Neil Johnson (b) and Pete Chester (drums)
  • Groups

  • The Railroaders
  • The Five Chesternuts
  • The Drifters
  • Cliff Richard and the Drifters
  • The Shadows
  • Cliff Richard and the Shadows
  • Marvin, Welch & Farrar
  • Bruce Welch's Shadows
  • Discography

  • Please Mr Please//Song of Yesterday – EMI 2141 – 7" – 1974.
  • Marvin Welch and Farrar – 'Marvin Welch and Farrar' – 1970.
  • Marvin Welch and Farrar – 'Second Opinion' – 1972.
  • The Five Chesternuts – Jean Dorothy – Columbia – 7" – 1958.
  • The Shadows – The Shadows discography
  • Guest vocals

  • Marvin and Farrar – Hank Marvin and John Farrar – EMI – LP/CD – 1973.
  • Production credits

  • Cliff Richard – "We Don't Talk Anymore" – 7" / 12" (extended mix) – EMI – 1979.
  • Cliff Richard – I'm Nearly Famous – LP/CD – EMI – 1975.
  • Cliff Richard – Every Face Tells a Story – LP/CD – EMI – 1976.
  • Cliff Richard – Green Light – LP/CD – EMI – 1978.
  • Cliff Richard – "Little Mistreater" on album The Album – LP/CD – EMI – 1992.
  • The Shadows – XXV – LP/CD – Polydor – 1983.
  • Tarney / Spencer Band – "Cathy's Clown" – 7" – A&M – 1979.
  • Roger WhittakerThe Genius of Love – LP/CD – 1986.
  • Olivia Newton-John – If Not For You – LP/CD – Pye – 1971.
  • Olivia Newton-JohnOlivia – LP/CD – Pye – 1972.
  • Charlie Dore – Where to Now – LP/CD – Island/Lemon – 1979.
  • Cilla Black – Especially for You – LP/CD – Ktel/Hallmark – 1980.
  • Alan David – Alan David – LP – EMI/EMC3365 – 1981.
  • Alan Davy – [unreleased album] – 1981.
  • Sutherland Brothers and Quiver – Down to Earth – LP/CD – CBS/Lemon – 1977/.
  • Page Three – "Hold on to Love" – 7" – WB.
  • McArthur Park – "Taffeta Rose" / "Sammy" – Columbia – 7".
  • References

    Bruce Welch Wikipedia