In May 1974 Willy Russell’s new Beatles’ musical, ‘John Paul George Ringo… & Bert’ opened at Liverpool’s Everyman Theatre and made an instant star of Barbara Dickson. Credited as the ‘singer,’ she sat unobtrusively at the side of the stage each night performing the songs of Lennon, McCartney and Harrison.
The reviews were unanimous in their praise: “Miss Dickson sings in a voice of slate and marble, brass and fire,” wrote ‘Punch’ magazine whilst NME raved, “the best single performance in the show comes from Barbara Dickson. She plays piano and sings the songs... she sings like a nightingale and her timing, cueing and renditions of the appropriate Beatles tunes are impeccable and done with the maximum effect. She received the greatest applause at the end and rightfully so.”
The cast album of ‘John Paul George Ringo… & Bert’, released on vinyl in late 1974, has never been re-released on any format and is finally available on CD, more than forty years after its original release.
Digitally remastered, it features fifteen tracks from the original production which went on to run for more than a year in London’s West End, including Beatles’ favourites such as ‘Penny Lane,’ ‘Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds’ and ‘Help!’
The album features Dave Mattacks on drums and percussion and Gerry Rafferty on backing vocals and is produced by Ian Samwell.
The CD booklet also includes extensive liner notes on the original theatre production and album recording.
01. I Should Have Known Better (Barbara Dickson) 02. Your Mother Should Know (Barbara Dickson) 03. Ooee Boppa (Tiny Tina & The Titular 3) 04. With A Little Help From My Friends (Barbara Dickson) 05. Penny Lane (Barbara Dickson) 06. In The Bleak Midwinter (Barbara Dickson) 07. Here Comes The Sun (Barbara Dickson) 08. Long And Winding Road (Barbara Dickson) 09. Clap And Cheer (The Cast) 10. Help (Barbara Dickson)
11. Lucy In The Sky (Barbara Dickson)
12. You Never Give Me Your Money/Carry That Weight
13. We Can Work It Out (Barbara Dickson)
14. I Will Be Your Love (Leroy Lover (Bert)
15. A Day In The Life (Barbara Dickson)