21 May 1940
Norwich, Norfolk, England, United Kingdom
16 February 2013 (aged 72)
Tony Sheridan (born Anthony Esmond Sheridan McGinnity on May 21, 1940 in Norwich, United Kingdom - died 16 February 2013 in Hamburg, Germany) was an English rock and roll singer-songwriter and guitarist. He is best known as an early collaborator of The Beatles, and one of two non-Beatles (the other being Billy Preston) to receive label performance credit on a record with the group.
In 1956 Tony formed his first band. In 1958, at 18, he began appearing on the BBC's Oh Boy, playing electric guitar. He was eventually offered a contract to perform at the Top Ten Club in Hamburg, Germany.
While performing in Hamburg between 1960 and 1963, Sheridan employed various backup bands. In 1961, one such band, who had met Sheridan during their first visit to Hamburg in 1960, and who worked with him on their second, was The Beatles (with their line-up at the time as John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Pete Best). When German Polydor agent Bert Kaempfert saw the pairing on stage, he suggested that they make some recordings together. In 1962, after a series of singles (the first of which, "My Bonnie"/"The Saints" made it to #5 in the Hit Parade), Polydor released the album My Bonnie across Germany. The word Beatles was judged to sound too similar to the German Pidels (pronounced peedles), the plural of a slang term for penis, hence the album was credited to Tony Sheridan and The Beat Brothers. After The Beatles had gained fame, the album was re-released in Britain, with the credit altered to Tony Sheridan and The Beatles.
By 1967, Sheridan had become disillusioned with his Beatle-brought fame. As he was more concerned by the Vietnam War, Sheridan agreed to perform for the Allied troops. While in Vietnam however, the band that he had assembled was fired upon and one of the members was killed. Reuters reported that Sheridan himself had died. For his work entertaining the Allies, Sheridan was made an honorary Captain of the United States army.
In the early 1970s, Sheridan managed a West German radio programme of blues music, which was well-received. In 1978, the Star Club was reopened, and Sheridan performed there along with Elvis Presley's TCB Band.
On August 13, 2002, Sheridan released Vagabond, a collection largely of his own material, but also including a new cover version of "Skinny Minnie", a song he had years earlier recorded for his first album.
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