Rising sons of Newcastle; This week in 1964, The Animals's House of the Rising Sun quietly entered the UK singles chart at number 31. DAVE MORTON looks back at a record - and band - which would make musical history.
House Of The Rising Sun entered the UK singles chart one year short of a half-century ago.
Released by Geordie blues quintet The Animals, the song would become the group's signatures song and top the charts on both sides of the Atlantic.
The group came together in Newcastle during 1962 and 63, and featured Eric Burdon on vocals, Alan Price on keyboards, Hilton Valentine on guitar, Chas Chandler on bass, and John Steel on drums.
The band's early fiery repertoire was chockablock with r'n'b standards by the likes of Sam Cooke, John Lee Hooker and Jimmy Reed, but it was their electrifying take on the traditional folk song Rising Sun Blues which astounded pop audiences in the region.
Their burgeoning reputation in the clubs of the North East earned them a move to London in January, 1964, where they arrived as unknowns.
On their way south, The Animals stopped off to play at the famous Cavern, home of The Beatles and Mersey Sound.
Their manager, Mike Jeffrey, told The Journal: "They received a tremendous reception. In fact, the management tried to get them back several times."
The big time was calling, as Jeffrey added: "I was told that a big record company had never known such enthusiasm for unknowns."
House of the Rising Sun rose to number one in early July, 1964, as the rough-edged Newcastle group kept the likes of PJ Proby, the Rolling Stones and Cilla Black off the top spot.
The Animals weren't the first, or last, to record the traditional number, the origins of which were uncertain, but which keyboard player Alan Price claimed was a sixteenth-century English folk song about a Soho brothel.
The Animals' first return to the North East back from 'the Smoke' inspired fan hysteria and made headlines.
'Hundreds of screaming fans greet Animals' declared The Journal on July 14. The Continued 22
FAME GAME When they burst on to the scene in the 1960s Tyneside lads The Animals for a time rivalled The Beatles for impact in the States
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|Publication:||The Journal (Newcastle, England)|
|Date:||Jun 24, 2013|
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