~ The Searchers' Chris Curtis ~

"I Pretend I'm With You"
Chris Curtis in his Golden Hour
(Born August 26, 1941 Oldham, Lancashire)

~ A Brief History of Chris Curtis ~

Chris Curtis (born, Christopher Crummey) was the drummer of the original Searchers from 1963 until March 1966 at which time he was replaced by Johnny Blunt. His departure, as described in Frank Allen's "Travelling Man", would seem to have followed a period of substance abuse and coping difficulties. Although there may have been some possibility for reconciliation, Curtis never returned to the Group. In an ironic twist Curtis, who had originally lobbyed for Allen's inclusion, now found Frank endorsing his leave. The Searchers have had a number of drummers over their career. Johnny Blunt was replaced by Billy Adamson in approximately July 1969 and Adamson by Eddie Rothe in November 1988. While Johnny Blunt was found after many auditions, he would never rival the talents of Curtis.

Curtis was a talent drummer with a stage presence that easily justified his role as The Searchers' frontman. From the beginning, he used a number of interesting drum patterns and persussions that became an important adjunct to the Group's signature guitar rhythms and lead riffs. His vocals were a standout from the outset, an excellent example being his soulfull rendition of Ben E. King's "Stand By Me." One of Curtis' more salient contributions to The Searchers was his song-writing talents. His melodic compositions such as "I Pretend I'm With You", "No One Else Could Love Me" and "He's Got No Love" co-written with Mike Pender were solid efforts and well received. These original compositions provided the Group with a fres new sound and a glimpse into what might have been had Cutris been able to adjust to the many demands of a successful professional musician. Much has been mentioned about The Searchers being Liverpool's second most popular next to The Beatles. Perhaps one of the key factors in explaining their second place ranking may have been the inability to capitalize on original compositions as did Lennon and McCartney. For this reason, the loss of Curtis was a most significant event for The Searchers. To replace a drummer at the peak of popularity is one thing, to replace a strong vocalist frontman and composer is quite another.

Following his departure, Chris Curtis became involved in musical production and so his talents continued to benefit the recording industry. One of his recordings "Aggravation" (a Joe South composition) showed his producing and vocal skills, however, the song would seem to have lived up to its name and did not do well in the charts. For more information pertaining to Chris Curtis the interested reader is encourage to visit The Searchers' Forum.

"No One Else Could Love Me"
Chris Curtis in 1997

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