The Memphis Cutouts

Walsall May 1964

They were now playing US style R'n'B songs, Holder felt their name should represent that. After an evening of brainstorming The Memphis Cut-Outs were born. This ad appeared in the Express & Star 9th May 1964.

"As I left school to turn professional, the band morphed into The Memphis Cutouts which had more of an R&B vein."
Noddy Holder: Birmingham Mail, 7th April 2013
The earliest known gig is listed as 15th May 1964 St Johns Mission Church Hall, Blakenhall, although it oft quoted as the Three Men In A Boat public house. The earliest listing for The Memphis Cutouts at that venue is 1st August 1964. The group quickly carved their own niche in the Midland market. Playing a mixture of R'n'B, Pop and Rock & Roll, they extended their repertoire, upgraded their equipment and earned themselves a growing reputation and several residencies.
Holder would occasionally check out the competition, The Redcaps, a group that included Roy Brown. The Cutouts were the youngest group on the club circuit but Roy Brown was in his year at school. Holder got on well with the band and since they were playing alongside the likes of The Beatles (before they were a success) they were good for advice. It was while actually watching an early Beatles performance that Holder realised there was more required than simply being a good musician. He learnt not only to play like a professional but also to act like one and he also realised that good presentation was essential and the band found themselves a dress code.

In 1963 Holder, Burnell & Bickley quit school to turn professional. 'Tubby' Cooper had left the band by this point but Mick Aulton stayed on at school and the band recruited Gerry Kibble to replace him as their drummer. Burnell's brother in law Terry Taylor also joined them on saxaphone, while Burnell himself had added the electric organ to his role. The first few months of post school gigging went well but the pay wasn't enough to cover living and gigging.

Enter Steve Brett. Brett was a well-known singer and entertainer in the Midlands, having his own TV show for awhile. His main focus was as a singer and he travelled all over the UK fronting his band, Steve Brett & The Mavericks
"We were taken on by Steve Brett, who was quite a local celebrity. He had a TV series in the Midlands called For Teenagers Only. His backing band left him so we became The Mavericks."
Noddy Holder: Birmingham Mail, 7th April 2013
His band quit to further their own careers and Brett decided to hire a band rather than put a new one together. The Memphis Cut-Outs had a particularly good reputation by now and a large local following but the band had only recently started to venture outside of the Midlands but as The Mavericks they would reach a whole new audience.

Although they didn't tour, as such, they certainly travelled and stayed away overnight. Weekly gigs in Glasgow, Manchester and Liverpool ensured that. Steve Brett & The Mavericks was a professional outfit and our Neville had moved up a level.

All additional media and background info supplied by Chris Selby who was born and bred in Sneyd Hall Road and lived yards away from the community centre but for some reason neglected to record every move made by the Phantoms.

The Memphis Cutouts Known Gigs


Sat 13th June - Town Hall. Darlaston
Mon 6th July -  Jubilee Hall. Brewood
Sat 11th July -  Town Hall. Darlaston
Sun 26th July  - Golden Cross,Erdington (Billed as The Phantoms)
Thurs 20th July - Acorn Hotel,Erdington (Billed as The Phantoms)
Sun 2nd August - Three Men In A Boat, Bloxwich (with The Wanderers)
Mon 3rd August - Streetly Youth Club,(with The Nomads)
Tues 4th August -  Three Men In A Boat, Bloxwich
Fri 7th August - Three Men In A Boat,Bloxwich
Sat 8th August -  Darlaston Town Hall.
Sat 28th August -  Jubilee Hall. Brewood (With The Corsairs)

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