Bay City Rollers

The Bay City Rollers were a Scottish pop/rock band of the 1970s. Their youthful, clean-cut image, distinct styling featuring tartan-trimmed outfits, and cheery, sing-along pop hits helped the group become among the most popular musical acts of their time. For a relatively brief but fervent period (nicknamed "Rollermania"), they were a worldwide sensation. Bassist Alan Longmuir, his younger brother Derek Longmuir, a drummer, along with school mate, lead singer Gordon "Nobby" Clark founded the group in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1967, as The Saxons. ...show more

The Bay City Rollers were a Scottish pop/rock band of the 1970s. Their youthful, clean-cut image, distinct styling featuring tartan-trimmed outfits, and cheery, sing-along pop hits helped the group become among the most popular musical acts of their time. For a relatively brief but fervent period (nicknamed "Rollermania"), they were a worldwide sensation. Bassist Alan Longmuir, his younger brother Derek Longmuir, a drummer, along with school mate, lead singer Gordon "Nobby" Clark founded the group in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1967, as The Saxons.

Shortly afterwards, seeking a less English-sounding moniker, they chose a new name allegedly by throwing a dart at a map of the United States. The dart landed on the map in the state of Arkansas, but since "Arkansas Rollers" did not sound quite right, and might also lead to problems with pronunciation, they tried again and this time the dart landed near the community of Bay City, Michigan. The Bay City Rollers were managed from early on by the imposing and controversial Tam Paton, himself a former big band leader. Paton was notorious for his rigid control over all aspects of the band's career, including the shuffling in and out of group members at a very high rate.

Short term members from this period include David Paton (member 1969-1970) and Billy Lyall (member 1969-1971), who went on to be founding members of another successful Edinburgh band, Pilot. The Bay City Rollers received their first break when prominent record executive Dick Leahy caught their act by chance in an Edinburgh club. After signing with Leahy's Bell Records, the band's first hit was "Keep on Dancing" (UK #9, 1971), a cover of a 1965 Gentrys hit, recorded at the suggestion of pop impresario and producer Jonathan King. (Singer Nobby Clark was backed on vocals on "Keep on Dancing" by King himself.) Upon this release's success, they made guest appearances on BBC-TV's Top of the Pops. ...show less