The following text was submitted by Bob McLoud (aka Bob Thomas), 2012:
"It all started back in the late 50s. I was into cycle racing at the time and while out training with friends we would stop at road cafes for a coffee and I would hear these great records belting out on the juke box. It was then I first heard Buddy Holly. I loved his voice, guitar playing and song writing style. He inspired me to take up the guitar, and I practised for some time. I then had the chance to join the Rock ‘n’ Roll band Dale Rivers and the Ramrods, playing rhythm guitar. The band was Dave Veasy (Dale Rivers), Colin Thomas (lead guitar) Bob Thomas (rhythm guitar) Rowland Barter (bass guitar) Derek Morris (drums)(now the well-known Mr D.J. Derek.
Dale Rivers and the Ramrods worked the venues for about four years (1959-1963) including doing the first ‘groups galore’ show at the Colston Hall. When the Ramrods finished we worked as a backing band for David and Jonathon with their hit record ‘Lovers of the World Unite’ (Bristol’s Roger Cook and Roger Greenaway, hit song songwriters).
With more work coming in they wanted the band to work full time professionally with them. At the time I couldn’t do this as I had not long been married and had a mortgage around my neck. It was then I started writing songs with my wife Carol, and we decided to start up an act together. Carol had been in an all girl singing group called The Kerry Sisters, and she could sing harmony naturally, which made rehearsing songs very easy.
Some time later we were introduced to the publishers Mills Music in London by our friend Roger Cook. They really liked our songs and we had many songs published by them. We also had a couple of self-penned singles released on CBS Records as ‘Bob and Carol’ they were titled ‘On My Life’ and ‘I Wish I Was A Cloud’ in 1967.
It was songwriting that led us onto working professionally with the London-based Harry Dawson Agency. We worked in night clubs all around the UK and different parts of the world. The continent we worked in most was Africa, we really liked it there, a great place. We worked in Ghana, Nigeria, and Zimbabwe and also did a tour of South Africa a few times
We played some great hotels and night clubs in Durban, East London, Port Elizabeth and Cape Town. We even thought about living out there in the future.
We worked for 13 years (1967-1980) as Bob and Carol McCloud, sadly the last few years Carol was starting to suffer with mental health problems and had to give up the profession. At the time I was considering going back to my original profession as a graphic artist. I had started doing gigs on my own to keep the money coming in and was able to work the west country and Wales, and base myself at home in Bristol. This was handy because of Carol’s health, I was there all the time to make sure she was OK. I did gigs as ‘Bob McCloud’ for the next 22 years- I can’t believe it – 1980 to 2002. I was one of the first vocal/guitar acts in the country to use backing tracks recorded and played by myself. I was singing and playing lead guitar live, with the rhythm guitar, bass guitar and drums on the backing track – I was told it sounded like a full rock band!".
Bob McLoud had originally played in Dale Rivers and The Ramrods based in Bristol. He then teamed up with his wife and ex-Kerry Sisters singer, Carol Jean Thomas to form Bob and Carol who were signed to CBS records in 1966.
Bob McLoud (guitar, vocals), Carol Jean Thomas (vocals), Rowland Barter (bass guitar).
All recorded and photographic material submitted by Bob McLoud. 2012.
All recorded and photographic material copyright B. McLoud. 2012.
Special thanks to: Bob McLoud.
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