Formed in Liverpool in 1961 as The Bluegenes, the band soon changed their name to The Swinging Blue Jeans. They followed virtually the same path to success as many of their Merseybeat contemporaries during the early 1960s. After playing a succession of local dance halls and club engagements, they travelled to Germany and appeared at the legendary Star Club, Hamburg. The band became resident at The Cavern Club and had their own ‘Tuesday Guest Night’. One of the first bands they invited as their guests were The Beatles.
The Swinging Blue Jeans were originally founded by Ray Ennis and Les Braid. In 1962, they were signed to a recording contract by HMV Records and their debut single It's Too Late Now in 1963 just crept into the British charts at Number 30. Their next single Hippy Hippy Shake crashed into the Hit Parade and just fell short of the Number 1 slot. Their follow-up release, Good Golly Miss Molly followed suit and their next single You're No Good reached Number 3 in Britain. They famously engaged in a punch up with the Rolling Stones at the BBC studios during recording of the first show of Top of the Pops as a result of an argument over a ball point pen for signing autographs.
One of Britain’s good-time bands, The Swinging Blue Jeans had their last big hit in 1966 with ‘Don’t Make me Over’.
SBJs line up 1999/2000
Top Left - Ray Ennis, Top Right - Alan Lovell,
Bottom Left - Phil Thompson, Bottom right - Les Braid
Despite several line-up changes The Swinging Blue Jeans are still going strong today ! The band still featured original member Ray Ennis until his retirement from the group in May 2010. Photo was taken back stage at one of the gigs on tour in Finland in 2008. From Left to Right: Ray Ennis, Rhythm Guitar and Vocals - Phil Thompson, Drums - Alan Lovell, Lead Guitar & Vocals. - Pete Oakman, Bass Guitar & Vocals.
Today’s line up features Alan Lovell, Lead Guitar and Vocals, Peter Oakman, Bass Guitar and Vocals,
Jeff Bannister, Keyboards and vocals. Graham Hollingworth, Drums.