Neville Taylor & The Cutters

Neville Taylor and his band, the Cutters, were among the handful of black rock & roll acts working in England during the late '50s. The West Indian-born Taylor had an excellent ballad style, but on the hard-rocking numbers he was heavily influenced by Little Richard's vocal style. The group was signed to EMI's Parlophone label, where their first release included the excellent "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy" as a B-side -- as an A-side it could have charted, but it was too rich for Parlophone's blood in 1958, and "House of Bamboo" ended up as the play side. Their three follow-up singles were "I Don't Want to Set the World On Fire" b/w "Tears on My Pillow," "The Miracle of Christmas" b/w "A Baby Lay Sleeping," and "Crazy Little Daisy" b/w "The First Words of Love," the latter released in 1959.

The group, which was heavy with horns and saxes as well as guitar, typical of British bands of this period, got regular exposure on the British television series Oh Boy!. Despite this edge and their appearance on the accompanying EMI tie-in LP (Oh Boy!, Parlophone PMC 1072), they never charted a single, but were influential as a television phenomenon. Their sound was already considered out of date by the turn of the 1950s into the 1960s. ~ Bruce Eder

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