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Book Review by Peter Rimmer - The Road to Love Me Do by Spencer Leigh and Mike Jones

The Road to Love Me Do Spencer Leigh and Mike Jones.

If you go on to Amazon and type in Merseybeat books it come up with hundreds of titles such as Merseybeat written by Bill Harry, The Rocking City by Sam Leach, Beatles Beatmakers and Me by Karl Terry and many more including Cavern, The: The Most Famous Club in the World, Halfway to Paradise: British Pop Music 1955-1962, Love Me Do to Love Me Don't: The Beatles on Record all written by prolific local author Spencer Leigh.

Many people know the name of Spencer Leigh from his many years working for BBC Radio Merseyside on his ‘On The Beat’ weekly programme and his many other documentaries on music.

The list of books about The Beatles and Merseybeat in general is seemingly endless so how did Spencer come up with another one to add something new to this story.

The title The Road to Love Me Do just about sums up what this one is all about. There was without doubt a thriving music scene in Liverpool and the surrounding area before the Beatles came along and this is what this book is all about. Giving stories about early hit makers such as Frankie Vaughan, Billy Fury and Lita Rosa who were at the time very big recording stars and moving on to the Skiffle, Jazz and early Merseybeat era. There is a very interesting photo of Ringo Starr playing with The Eddie Clayton Skiffle Group in 1957 many years before his Beatle days along with plenty more rare photos of various performers.

Did you know that the Record Shop on Hoghton Street in Southport called Aldridges had a recording studio upstairs along with plenty more in the Liverpool area such as Bernard Whitty in Crosby and Percy Phillips in Kensington?

So what we have in this book are plenty of facts surrounding the music that lead to the Beatles first recording of Love Me Do in October 1962 and all the influences that they and the 300 other local bands had in the making of Merseybeat.

But without any doubt what makes this book stand out from the crowd of other titles is the use of QR codes which enables readers not just read about the music but to hear it by simply scanning the codes with a mobile phone. It’s a great feature and has taken much research to bring those early recordings to a wider audience and is without doubt the future of music books.

The Road to Love Me Do is available from Broadhursts book shop in Market Street and the usual on line retailers.

Pete Rimmer

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