Chris & The Autocrats

Chris & The Autocrats were a 60s St Helens Band from Greenbank featuring brothers Chris Richmond on lead vocals and John Richmond on drums. This EP has finally been released over 50 years later by Barry Grady/Ste Richmond Productions.

Images taken in The Floral Hall, Morecambe, 1965.

Image of Chris & The Autocrats

Left to right: Ged Knight, Chris Richmond, John Richmond, Dave Banks and John Yates.

Image of Chris & The Autocrats

Left to right: Ged Knight, Chris Richmond, John Richmond, Dave Banks and John Yates.

Image of Chris & The Autocrats

Who knows what might have happened if they went to London, instead of Barrow and Keswick?

Despite the Cavern Club’s success it was not a financially secure business and owner Ray McFall (mentioned in the clipping above) was declared bankrupt on Monday 28 February 1966 so the Cavern Club was forced to close. The closure came as a real shock but it quickly attracted two new investors Alf Geoghegan and Joe Davey who set about developing and improving the Cavern Club.

In September 1964 the Cavern Club hosted a series of concerts entitled Beat Time For Oxfam to raise money for Liverpool’s Freedom From Hunger Campaign. As part of the fund-raising, sections of the old stage which had just been refurbished by owner Ray McFall were sold off as souvenirs. The piece of Cavern Stage is accompanied by a letter of authenticity signed by Nigel Greenberg, director of Cavern Sound Limited and whose father-in-law bought the Cavern after Ray McFall went into liquidation. It reads, “…Ray thought it would be a good idea to cut the old stage up onto small pieces and sell them for charity so he had cards printed and affixed to pieces of the Cavern stage. I was present when the stage was being cut up and, in fact, helped to staple the cards to the pieces of Cavern stage…”

On Saturday, September 13 1964, there was a ‘Caverncade’, a parade through the streets of Liverpool by groups on decorated floats, the proceeds being donated to Oxfam.

Image of Chris & The Autocrats

Image of Chris & The Autocrats

Image of Chris & The Autocrats

Chris & The Autocrats and Brian Poole & The Tremeloes

Image of Brick at the Cavern, Liverpool

Chris & The Autocrats Hall of Fame Brick at the modern Cavern, Mathew Street, Liverpool

Image of Chris & The Autocrats

This signed photo of Chris and The Autocrats has been added thanks to Tracey Jayne Yates who is the daughter of John Yates, who was in the band. Tracey talked about how the band met Cilla Black and Lulu. Sadly, she told me that John Yates is no longer with us.

References/Links
All links accessed and working on 1 November 2017.

The Cavern Club History
Mersey Beat, Mersey Venues: Cavern
The Saleroom, Chorley

A Barry Grady/Ste Richmond Production 2017.

This article was created, compiled and produced by Barry Grady. 13 March 2017.

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