Wilde World: The Bystanders

Kim Wilde’s first records were written and produced by her father and brother, Marty and Ricky. The three of them have had a great influence on the music world, as this regular series ‘Wilde World’ shows.

The Bystanders got a mention in a previous installment of our series ‘Wilde World’, when we described the Casuals’ hit version of ‘When Jezamine goes’. They got to number 2 in the UK singles chart with the song in 1968, but in fact, it was a cover version of a song originally written for the Bystanders.

The Bystanders were a close harmony group formed in Merthyr Tydfil (Wales) in 1962 by Micky Jones (guitar), Ray Williams (bass), Jeff Jones (drums), Clive John (keyboards) and Gerry Braden (vocals). Braden was soon replaced by Vic Oakley. They released eight singles. One of them, the single ‘98.6’ was a small hit in February 1967, peaking at number 45 in the UK singles chart. The other singles flopped, including their original recording of ‘When Jesamine goes’, a song written by their manager Ronnie Scott together with Marty Wilde. Soon after the release of this single, they decided to take a different route and become a psychedelic band. Oakley left, he was replaced by Deke Leonard, and the band changed its name to Man.

The Bystanders recorded one more Wilde-penned song: the B-side of their 1966 single ‘You’re gonna hurt yourself’. ‘Have I offended the girl’ was also written together with Ronnie Scott.

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