Kelly Groucutt: bass player with the Electric Light Orchestra was born and raised in Coseley from September 8th 1945 - 1967.
The Groucutt family lived in Gough Road from Christmas Day 1937- New Years Day 1992.
We the family of the late Kelly Groucutt propose a blue commemorative plaque be placed at the old family home in Coseley, West Midlands where Kelly lived from 1945- 1967.
As the bass player and occasional singer with the Electric Light Orchestra, Kelly Groucutt played a significant part in creating some of the most elaborate, clever and ambitious pop music of the prog-rock era. By the mid-1970s, ELO had become one of the biggest-selling acts in music. From 1972 to 1986, ELO accumulated 27 Top-40 hit singles in both the UK and the US, with 20 Top 20 UK singles and 15 Top-20 US singles (as charted by Billboard magazine). The band also holds the record for having the most Billboard Hot 100 Top 40 hits, 20, of any group in US chart history without ever having a number one single.
Kelly Groucutt played on all of the 27 Top 40 hit singles. They included such classic rock staples as Evil Woman, Strange Magic, Mr Blue Sky and Don't Bring Me Down. Although the biggest hits were mostly sung by the group's founder Jeff Lynne, Groucutt's distinctive voice took the lead on such fan favourites as Nightrider, Sweet Is the Night and The Diary of Horace Wimp.
Born Michael William Groucutt in 1945 in Coseley, Staffordshire, he left school at 14 to work in a Midlands sheet-metal factory. When the son of the factory's owner heard him singing along to the radio over the din of the machinery, he invited Groucutt to become the singer with a group he was forming. The result was Rikki Storm and the Falcons, with Groucutt cast as Rikki.
When they fell by the wayside, he formed Rikki Burns and the Vibras, taking up the guitar as well as singing. A spell in the Midnights followed, but with only local success, and by the mid-1960s he had given up music and returned to his day job. He couldn't stay away from music for long and was soon back playing with various groups including Greenwich Village, Marble Arch, Sight and Sound and Barefoot. It was while working with the latter in 1974 that he was approached by Jeff Lynne to join the Electric Light Orchestra.
Electric Light Orchestra.
Formed in 1971 out of the ashes of the Move, ELO had already tasted modest success with a symphonic, Beatlesque sound which took up where I Am the Walrus left off. The group had scored such hits as 10538 Overture and an elaborately orchestrated version of Chuck Berry's Roll Over Beethoven, but with the addition of Groucutt the line-up stabilised and ELO went on to enjoy their most productive and commercially lucrative period.
The first ELO album on which Kelly played was Face the Music (1975), which included the hit singles Evil Woman and Strange Magic and featured his lead vocals on the tracks Nightrider and Poker. The five-million-selling A New World Record followed in 1976 and included the hit singles Livin' Thing and Telephone Line. Kelly Groucutt sang the lead on the album track Above the Clouds and on stage sang the operatic part from one of the record's dramatic highlights, Rockaria!
Another multiplatinum-selling album, Out of the Blue, reached No 4 in both the British and American charts at the end of 1977, and included the hit singles Turn to Stone, Sweet Talkin' Woman, Mr Blue Sky and Wild West Hero. To promote it, ELO embarked on a massive world tour with a lavish stage set involving a spaceship design and lasers.
In Britain they played a record-breaking eight consecutive sold-out concerts at Wembley Arena and were the subject of a one-hour documentary on The South Bank Show. In America the concerts were billed simply as "The Big Night" It was judged at the time to be the biggest-grossing tour in musical history.The follow-up, Discovery, appeared in 1979 and found Lynne incorporating elements of disco into his rock symphonies. Hit singles on the album included Don't Bring Me Down, Shine a Little Love and The Diary of Horace Wimp, the latter sung to great effect by Kelly.
Discovery made ELO the biggest-selling act in Britain that year and was followed in 1980 by music for the soundtrack of the film Xanadu. Teaming ELO with Olivia Newton-John, gave the band its only British No 1 single. Further commercial success came with the 1981 sci-fi concept album Time, which replaced the strings of previous recordings with synthesisers, topped the British charts and spawned the hit single Hold on Tight.
After he left ELO, Kelly formed and played with spin-off bands The Orchestra, Orkestra and ELO Part 2.
Sadly Kelly suffered a sudden heart attack on Tuesday 17th February 2009 and was taken to Worcestershire Royal Hospital where he died on Wednesday 18th February 2009.
His music and energetic personality touched many thousands of people world wide.The Groucutt family feels a commemorative plaque would be a fitting tribute and a great way for fans alike to remember a special man and formidable talent.
Risks and challenges
The only real challenge we face is meeting the production and manufacturing costs of the Blue Plaque. The project has already got approval from Dudley Council and will be a great story for them and the borough of Coseley.
We just need your help!,
Any funds gathered over the cost amount for the Blue Plaque production and installation will go towards the production and recording of the archive material EP/Album.
- (30 days)