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

Some People 1962


Some People
'Some People' was released in Britain in 1962, where it was a surprise box office hit, and it was subsequently issued in America in June 1964 (no doubt to take advantage of ‘the British Invasion’). The film was designed and intended to promote the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme and was directed by Clive Donner from a screenplay by John Eldridge. Filmed on location in Bristol, it starred Kenneth More as Mr Smith, Ray Brooks as Johnnie, Anneke Wills as Ann, David Andrews as Bill, Angela Douglas as Terry and David Hemmings as Bert.

Three leather-clad bikers lose their licenses following a 100-mile-per-hour traffic incident on their motorbikes. Now banned from driving, they become bored and begin to wander the streets of the factory town at night looking for something to occupy their time. They come across an unlocked church and Johnnie begins to play rock'n'roll on the church organ. The Vicar arrives and is initially angry at what he finds, but his choirmaster Mr Smith also turns up and, sensing the youths’ boredom, suggests that they form a band and offers them the facilities of the church hall.

They get to know the youngsters who come to the church hall, many of whom have been taking part in the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme. Johnnie and Bert become interested in the initiatives the scheme offers and decide to join, but Bill becomes jealous of their interests and feels they should be rebelling. This breaks up their friendship for a time because Bill trashes the church hall. In the meantime, Johnny has a complicated romantic life involving Terry, the blonde singer with the band and Anne, the choirmaster’s daughter.

Valerie Mountain sang the vocal parts for Angela Douglas (Angela was to marry Kenneth More) in the film and the music was performed by The Eagles, a Bristol group (not to be confused with the American group of the same name). Valerie was born in Bristol in 1942 and in her early teens had aspirations of becoming a singer, joining the Cliff Adams Singers in 1960. She was spotted by songwriter Ron Grainer, who had been commissioned to write music for the soundtrack of ‘Some People’ and asked to provide the female vocals, backed by the Eagles. Her single of the number, issued on Pye, was only a minor hit and she gave up her career after getting married in 1964. She has lived in America for the past few decades.

The Eagles formed in Bristol in the late Fifties, naming themselves after a club they all belonged to, the Eagle House Youth Club. They comprised Terry Clarke (lead), Johnny Payne (rhythm), Michael Brice (bass) and Rod Meacham (drums). It was during an appearance at the Royal Festival Hall that they were spotted by Ron Grainer, who invited them to perform in the film.
<font face="Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Valerie Mountain</font>

This was one of a series of feature films about pop music which David Hemmings featured in. Others included ‘Play It Cool’, ‘Live It Up’ and ‘Be My Guest.’ He was to recall, “The year 1962, when the Beatles erupted into our consciousness with ‘Love Me Do’, was better for me. After a short run in a Pamela France play at the Theatre Royal in Windsor, I went down to Bristol for a couple of months to make ‘Some People’ for Clive Donner. The film’s message was encapsulated in the opening line of the soundtrack – ‘Some people think that kids today have gone astray…’ - it was about youth clubs, vicars, shrinkable blue jeans, motorbikes and English rock ‘n’ roll. Four teenage layabouts are talked into forming a rock group to keep them out of trouble, and I appeared as the first of several young pop singers”.

He also said, “I was feeling more buoyant about my career. ‘Some People’ had been made with a small grant, or perhaps just a pat on the back from a Duke of Edinburgh Foundation designed to encourage young folk not to behave like the complete arseholes that nature intends and show how tearaways could go straight, if only”.

In addition to the album, there were two singles and an EP that reached No.2 in the EP charts with a chart life of 21 weeks.

The musical numbers on the film soundtrack were:


‘Some People’, written by John Worsley (as Les Vandyke), sung by Valerie Mountain backed by The Eagles
‘Johnny’s Tune’, written by Ron Grainer, performed by The Eagles
‘Yes You Did’, written by John Worsley (as Les Vandyke) and Ron Grainer, sung by Valerie Mountain
‘Too Late’, written by John Worsley (as Les Van Dyke) and Ron Gainer, sung by Valerie Mountain’
‘Bristol Express’, written by Ron Grainer, performed by The Eagles
Some People




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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