The Bluegenes
"Tommy Hughes Joins The Bluegenes"
by Peter R. McCormack

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"The Bluegenes Lineup"
L to R:Ray Ennis,Bruce McCaskill,Norman Kuhlke, Spud Ward and Tommy Hughes

"Major and Minor Chords For Tommy Hughes"

The Bluegenes originally started in the late fifties specialising in Jazz and Skiffle. Ray Ennis was on guitar and vocals, Norman Kuhlke was on washboard later moved over to drums. Bruce McCaskill was on guitar and vocals with Spud Ward on the double bass. Spud Ward later joined Rory Storm and then The Raving Texans.

A most memorable moment for Hughes occurred on evening as he got a knock on the door of his residence. At the time he was living close to the Liverpool Football Club with his parents and two sisters on Anfield Road. It was a very excited Bruce McCaskill with the information

"We are playing at the Cavern tomorrow night,".

Tommy continued to play with the Bluegenes for a time until he was called up to a two-years stint in the British Army. With sadness and consiuderable trepidation he handed over his banjo to a replacement player.

He headed off to complete his National Service requirement with the view that he would return resume his role with the band upon its completion. Sadly things would not work out as planned and the group would not let him return at the end of his duty.

It is somewhat surprising, especially for Geoff Hogarth that The Bluegenes, as a group at least, would never play at the Iron Door Club. A vivid memory of the Blue Genes' van is held by Hogarth many years after the facr. With fondness he writes

I have driven this van on many, many occasions. I had taken delivery of a brand new mini bus in 1958/59. So involved was I at this period with the Blue Genes they would borrow my van to do there long distance gigs. The strange thing is they never played for me at the Iron Door. The van I had was identical to the one on the hoist being loaded onto the ship for the Beatles' spell in Germany."

The Bluegenes would change their name in 1963 after a local Liverpool manufacturer, The Lybo Factory, had the group endorse a line of their blue jean pants and jackets.

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"The Bluegenes Van"

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"At The Lybo Factory, Liverpool (1963)"

September 29, 2008 - Revised October 15, 2008
2001-2008 Peter McCormack. All rights reserved.

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