COUNTRY FEVER (1970-1971)

COUNTRY FEVER

1970-1971

 

GROUP MEMBERS

 

JON DEREK (Vocals/Rhythm Guitar)

PETE OAKMAN (Bass Guitar/Vocals)

ROGER DEAN (Lead Guitar)

JED KELLY (Drums)

 

Part-time member

GERRY HOGAN (Pedal Steel Guitar)

 

 

FACTS / HIGHLIGHTS

 

Former John Mayall Bluesbreakers' guitarist, Roger Dean joins Country Fever to replace Albert Lee who leaves in March 1970 to join Heads, Hands and Feet.

 

On March 28th, 1970 - Country Fever appear at the Second International Festival of Country Music at Wembley Arena before a 12,000 capacity audience. Appearing in their own right, they also back American acts, Don Gibson, Charlie Walker, Willard Pierce and Durward Erwin. New lead guitarist Roger Dean is joined by his predecessor Albert Lee on stage. Other members of Country Fever - Jon, Pete, Jed and Gerry Hogan + Tom Parker on piano make up an ensemble that is dubbed 'Britain's million dollar lineup'. 

 

After twice needing to cancel dates in the north-east of England due to touring with Hank Locklin - Country Fever fulfil a very successful 12-day tour in this part of the country in May 1970.

 

Following tremendous sales of their first album 'Listen To The Country Fever' on Lucky Records - the group's latest album 'A New Dimension' is released in September 1970. It receives excellent reviews from the musical trade press journals including, Melody Maker, New Musical Express and Record Mirror.

 

In September 1970, Country Fever are included on Slim Whitman's first UK tour in 14 years. In addition to having their own spot on the show, they also back Slim throughout the tour.

 

Country Fever appear on George Hamilton IV's BBC TV show on January 1st, 1971. They also back Ethna Campbell (The Old Rugged Cross) on the same show.

 

In February 1971, US singing sensation Charley Pride makes a short promotional visit to the UK in association with his record label RCA Records and the BBC. Unable to bring his own band with him, Country Fever are chosen to back him. 

 

Country Fever record at the Decca Records studios in West Hampstead, London and a single is released on the label in April 1971 'The Moth And The Flame' under the group name 'Fever'.

 

Country Fever win 'Top UK Country Act' at the Billboard International Country Music Association Awards. Jon collects the award at the dinner/dance held at the 'Royal Garden Hotel' Kensington, London on April 9th, 1971 and is photographed with other winners including, Loretta Lynn (Top US Female Artist), George Hamilton IV (Top US Male Artist) and Tompall and The Glaser Brothers (Top US Group).

 

Country Fever tour England and Ireland with US actor and singer, Randy Boone (The Virginian) in April 1971.

 

Albert Lee sits in with Country Fever for two weeks in July 1971. He also appears with the group on BBC Radio's 'Country Meets Folk' on July 24th playing the mandolin. Also joining Country Fever in the second week is Chas Hodges on fiddle and Keith Nelson on banjo.

 

Towards the end of 1971, a dispute between members of Country Fever and their record producer in relation to artist royalty statements from record sales which had not been submitted to the Performing Rights Society causes a low morale within the group and eventually leads to a formal break-up. 

 

 

TOURS / SHOWS

 

INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF

COUNTRY MUSIC

Wembley Arena

(March 28, 1970)

Country Fever grace the stage with the likes of; George Hamilton IV, Skeeter Davis, Tompall and the Glaser Brothers, Loretta Lynn and Roy Acuff.

Country Fever back; Don Gibson, Charlie Walker, Willard Pierce and Durward Erwin.

 

HANK LOCKLIN

Scotland and Ireland Tour 

Dates/Venues unknown

(First two weeks in April 1970)

 

SLIM WHITMAN

UK Tour (September 1970)

Venues include:

Hammersmith Odeon, Liverpool Empire, Sunderland Empire and the London Palladium

Country Fever appear in their own right and also back Slim Whitman

 

CHARLEY PRIDE

UK Promotional Visit

BBC Radio appearances

(January 1971)

 

MARVIN RAINWATER

Tour of the UK, Ireland and Germany

(February 1971)

Venues/Dates Unknown

 

RANDY BOONE

Tour of England and Ireland

(April 1971)

Venues/Dates Unknown

 

MARVIN RAINWATER

Tour of Irish Ballrooms and USAF Bases

(September 1971)

Venues/Dates Unknown

 

THE WALLY WHYTON SHOW

UK Tour

(October 1971)

Venues/Dates Unknown

 

 

DISCOGRAPHY

 

A NEW DIMENSION

(33rpm album)

Lucky Records LUS 3013 (1970)

 

A PICTURE OF YOU

(45rpm single)

PYE Records 7N 17963 (1970)

 

LUCKY STARS IN CONCERT

(33rpm album)

Lucky Records LUS 3017 (1971)

 

THE MOTH AND THE FLAME

(45rpm single)

Decca Records F23156 (1971)

 

MARVIN RAINWATER GETS COUNTRY FEVER

(33rpm album)

Phillips 6414 110 (1972)

Recorded in 1971