The Nashville Teens Biography

Formed in Weybridge, Surrey, England, in 1962, the Nashville Teens initially comprised vocalists Arthur ‘Art’ Sharp (26 May 1941, Woking, Surrey, England) and Ray Phillips (b. Ramon John Phillips, 16 January 1944, Tiger Bay, Cardiff, Wales), Michael Dunford (guitar), John Hawken (b. 9 May 1940, Bournemouth, Dorset, England; piano), Pete Shannon (b. Peter Shannon Harris, 23 August 1941, Antrim, Northern Ireland; bass) and Roger Groom (drums). Dunford and Groom left the line-up the following year and the group was completed by John Allen (b. John Samuel Allen, 23 April, 1945, St. Albans, Hertfordshire, England; guitar), Barry Jenkins (b. 22 December 1944, Leicester, England; drums) and third vocalist Terry Crow for a protracted tenure in Hamburg, Germany. This period is chronicled on Jerry Lee Lewis: Live At The Star Club on which the septet backed the veteran rock ‘n’ roll star. In 1964, and with Crow now absent, the Teens were aligned with producer Mickie Most for a pounding version of ‘Tobacco Road’, which deservedly climbed to number 6 in the UK. The similarly styled ‘Google Eye’ also proved popular, reaching the Top 10, but a split with Most ended this brief ascendancy. Collaborations with Andrew Loog Oldham (‘This Little Bird’) and Shel Talmy (‘The Hard Way’) were minor hits, but at the expense of the unit’s undeniable grasp of R&B. Groom rejoined the line-up in 1966 when Jenkins left for the Animals, but despite excellent versions of Randy Newman’s ‘The Biggest Night Of Her Life’ and Bob Dylan’s ‘All Along The Watchtower’, the Nashville Teens were unable to rekindle former success. A spate of defections - John Hawken later found fame with Renaissance - left Phillips the sole remaining original member. He continues to front this act and concurrently performs with the British Invasion All-Stars, which features musicians drawn from the Downliners Sect, Creation and the Pretty Things.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.