Sixties City presents a wide-ranging series of articles on all aspects of the Sixties, penned by the creator of the iconic 60s music paper  Mersey Beat

Adam Faith



Born Terence Nelhams in Acton, West London, on 23rd June 1940, he began his musical career as singer and manager with a skiffle group called The Worried Men. They were given a residency at the famous Two 1's coffee bar in Soho where he was spotted by TV producer Jack Good who booked him to appear in the BBC TV pop show 'Six-Five Special', arranged for him to sign a recording contract with HMV and changed his name to Adam Faith.

Although his initial release ‘(Got A) Heartsick Feeling,’ issued in 1958, failed to register, Good hired him to appear in the stage version of ‘The Six Five Special’, despite the fact that his second single that year ‘High School Confidential’, also flopped. For a time he worked as a film cutter at Elstree Studios and was then booked to appear on a new TV series ‘Drumbeat.’

His initial three appearances were extended to the entire 22 shows in the series. By that time he’d been dropped by the HMV label and had experienced another flop with his record ‘Ah, Poor Little Baby’, issued on the Top Rank label. The residency on ‘Drumbeat’ led to a contract with Parlophone in 1959.Adam went on to top the UK chart with his debut Parlophone disc 'What Do You Want?' and followed with another chart-topper, 'Poor Me.'

Faith was one of the first British pop artists to have a book devoted to him – ‘Poor Me’ in 1962.

By 1966 Adam had spent 260 weeks in the chart with 24 hits over a seven-year period, including: ‘Someone Else’s Baby’, ‘When Johnny Comes Marching Home’, ‘How About That’, ‘Lonely Pup’, ‘This Is It’, ‘Easy Going Me’, ‘Don’t You Know It’, ‘The Time Has Come’, ‘Lonesome’, ‘As You Like It’, ‘Don’t That Beat All’, ‘Baby Take A Bow’, ‘What Now’, ‘Walkin’ Tall’, ‘The First Time’, ‘If He Tells You’, ‘I Love Being In Love With You’, ‘Message To Martha’, ‘Stop Feeling Sorry For Yourself’, ‘Someone’s Taken Maria Away’ and ‘Cheryl’s Going Home’.
Adam Faith

Adam Faith Adam Faith Faith's hit streak ended in 1966 and on 19th August 1967 he married his long-time girl friend, dancer Jackie Irving. They couple were to have a daughter, Katya. By 1970 Adam had begun a second career as a television actor, appearing in the title role of the highly successful UK series 'Budgie'. He continued with film appearances, which included roles in 'Beat Girl', 'Never Let Go', 'What A Whopper', 'Mix Me A Person', 'Stardust', 'McVicar', 'Yesterday's Hero' and 'Foxes.'

Over the years Faith involved himself in various business enterprises, launching a celebrity financial management consultancy called Faith and contributing financial columns to the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday newspapers. For a time he also managed Leo Sayer.

A fraudster caused Faith's businesses to crash, but he did not declare himself bankrupt, opting to pay off his £2 million debts over a period of years - which he managed to do. His marriage also ended following a two-year affair with tennis star Chris Evert.

After another successful television series, 'Love Hurts', Faith decided to return to the stage by taking the lead as Zach the choreographer, in a nine-month tour of the musical 'A Chorus Line,' which opened on 30 June 1997. He also appeared in the BBC TV series ‘The House That Jack Built’ in 2002.

He commented, “It’s taken me 30-something years to realise that I actually belong in show business” and in a Daily Mail interview was to say, “I retired from singing 20 years ago so I could be an actor. I had begun to hate my pop association because I so wanted to act. In those days you couldn't really do both. Now I realise that the two things I do best are singing and acting. I'm only sorry that it has taken me so long to combine the two."

In 1996 his autobiography, ‘Acts Of Faith’ was published. In May 1997, the 57-year-old singer announced that he would be leaving his 450-acre farm in Kent to emigrate to South Africa, commenting:
“I would still work over here, but it is my dream to breed animals over there". Faith had originally set up the Faith Foundation Rhino Rescue in 1989 to protect the rare species which was in danger of extinction from poachers.

He never did leave for South Africa, instead, continuing his career in Britain and returning to the stage. It was while he was touring in the play 'Love And Marriage' that he suffered a major heart attack and was rushed to hospital, but the doctors were unable to resuscitate him and he died on the morning of Saturday 8th March 2003. He was 62 years old.
Adam Faith - Budgie



Mersey Beat Magazine Bill Harry attended the Liverpool College of Art with Stuart Sutcliffe and John Lennon and made the arrangements for Brian Epstein to visit The Cavern, where he saw The Beatles for the first time. Bill was a member of 'The Dissenters' and the founder and editor of 'Mersey Beat', the iconic weekly music newspaper that documented the early Sixties music scene in the Liverpool area and is possibly best known for being the first periodical to feature a local band called 'The Beatles'. He has worked as a high powered publicist, doing PR for acts such as Suzi Quatro, Free, The Arrows and Hot Chocolate and has managed press campaigns for record labels such as CBS, EMI, Polydor. Bill is the critically acclaimed author of a large number of books about The Beatles and the 60s era including 'The Beatles Who's Who', 'The Best Years of the Beatles' and the Fab Four's 'Encyclopedia' series. He has appeared on 'Good Morning America' and has received a Gold Award from the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors.


Article Bill Harry 2017               Original Graphics SixtiesCity 2017

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