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Bruce Welch

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Biography

Bruce Welch (born Bruce Cripps, 2 November 1941 in Bognor Regis, Sussex, England) is an English guitarist, songwriter, producer and singer, best known as a member of The Shadows.

Welch grew up with his Aunt Sadie in Chester le Street, County Durham. After learning to play the guitar, he formed a Tyneside skiffle band called The Railroaders when he was fourteen[1]. His Rutherford Grammar School friend Brian Rankin (later to be known as Hank Marvin, joined the group and they travelled to London in 1958 for the final of a talent competition. Although they did not win, they joined with members of other entrant bands and formed The Five Chesternuts with Pete Chester (born 1942), son of comedian Charlie Chester on drums.

On moving to London Bruce and Hank Marvin briefly operated as the Geordie Boys before enlisting in an outfit called The Drifters[1].

In September 1958 Welch and Marvin joined The Drifters, later to become The Shadows[1], as Cliff Richard’s backing band. As well as success with The Shadows, Welch also acted as producer for (among others) Cliff Richard[1] and songwriter for his ex-fiancée, Olivia Newton-John. He also released a solo single “Please, Mr Please”, which was not commercially successful, even though the song has been covered by several recording artists.

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