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St Helens


Chris & The Autocrats were a 60s St Helens Band from Greenbank featuring brothers Chris Richmond on lead vocals and John Richmond on drums. This EP has finally been released over 50 years later by Barry Grady/Ste Richmond Productions.



Who knows what might have happened if they went to London, instead of Barrow and Keswick? Despite the Cavern Club’s success it was not a financially secure business and owner Ray McFall (mentioned in the clipping above) was declared bankrupt on Monday 28 February 1966 so the Cavern Club was forced to close.


The closure came as a real shock but it quickly attracted two new investors Alf Geoghegan and Joe Davey who set about developing and improving the Cavern Club. In September 1964 the Cavern Club hosted a series of concerts entitled Beat Time For Oxfam to raise money for Liverpool's Freedom From Hunger Campaign. As part of the fund-raising, sections of the old stage which had just been refurbished by owner Ray McFall were sold off as souvenirs. The piece of Cavern Stage is accompanied by a letter of authenticity signed by Nigel Greenberg, director of Cavern Sound Limited and whose father-in-law bought the Cavern after Ray McFall went into liquidation.


It reads, "Ray thought it would be a good idea to cut the old stage up onto small pieces and sell them for charity so he had cards printed and affixed to pieces of the Cavern stage. I was present when the stage was being cut up and, in fact, helped to staple the cards to the pieces of Cavern stage…”On Saturday, September 13 1964, there was a 'Caverncade' - a parade through the streets of Liverpool by groups on decorated floats, the proceeds being donated to Oxfam."



The signed photo below of Chris & The Autocrats has been added thanks to Tracey Jayne Yates who is the daughter of John Yates, who was in the band. Tracey talked about how the band met Cilla Black and Lulu. Sadly, she told me that John Yates is no longer with us.

Barry Grady: November 2017




Ged Knight - Chris Richmond - John Richmond - Dave Banks - John Yates.


The Floral Hall, Morecambe, 1965.


Chris & The Autocrats with Brian Poole & The Tremeloes

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