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May 20-26, 1967

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WEDNESDAY: Jazz-blues, a la Georgie Fame, are presented by the seven-piece John Evan Band, from Blackpool. Again, it's an original number called 'Take The Easy Way' and the composer was bearded vocalist Ian Anderson.

Most of the requests I get for auditions are from groups. These boys are certainly the best I have heard so far. And I think they stand a good chance of making the grade.

JOHN HAMP (Granada's light entertainment producer)

Original article photo courtesy of Glenn Cornick.


24 May 1967


A Blackpool group appears on Granada's new talent contest 'Firstimers', tonight. They are the John Evan Smash, a seven-man jazz blues group led by John Evan, of Warley Road, North Shore.

'Firstimers' is a new three-month-long national talent contest produced by Granada. Groups will be given their first TV break in a nightly spot. At the end of three months a panel of judges will pick the winning act.

The John Evan Smash will sing 'Take The Easy Way Home', written by Ian Anderson, of Devonshire Road, St Annes.

The rest of the group is: Glenn Barnard (bass) of Kendal Avenue, Carleton; Neil Valentine (tenor sax) of Fallowfield; Neil Smith (guitar) of Bolton; Tony Wilkinson (baritone sax) of Norwood Road, St Annes; and Barry Barlow (drums) of King Street, Blackpool.