High Wycombe duo released debut single 50 years ago

Johnny and Shirley

Johnny and Shirley

First published in News Bucks Free Press: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

IT has been 50 years today since High Wycombe duo, Johnny and Shirley, released their first record, which made it to number 47 in the charts.

Johnny Wheeler and Shirley Bagnall first met when he was 19 and she was 15.

At the time Johnny was in a band with his brother called Bobby James and the Clippers.

Johnny said: "I met Shirley. She was very young, 15 I guess at the time. She started to do some rehearsals with us and we started to sing together and then we joined another band called The Telstars."

Johnny and Shirley started going out and he went to meet her family. Shirley’s father, Richard Bagnall, then wrote some songs for the couple.

Johnny said: "He wrote some songs and we did some demo recordings which we sent out to various record companies at the time. We managed to get a recording at Abbey Road. The producer- Ron Richards- signed us to Parlophone."

Their first record, I don’t want to know, was released on June 12, 1964, which made it to number 47 in the Melody Makers chart.

Johnny, from Cressex at the time, lived with Shirley and her parents. He said: "We had a long career (by modern standards) which lasted until 1976 when we released out 13th and final single on Decca."

They toured the country and appeared on TV shows, including Thank You Lucky Stars.

Shirley moved to Australia in the mid 80s but Johnny still performs, both with The John Wheeler Band and on his own.

He now works mostly as a soloist and plays at The Royal British Legions in the area. He lives with his wife, Jo, in High Wycombe and works at Sennheiser.

Johnny said: "It is one of those things. I said I would retire but people keep booking me, so I keep plodding on."

Comments (1)

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8:34pm Sat 14 Jun 14

Eagle eye says...

As a child I can remember my Dad coming home with the single and playing it, I can still remember the lyrics word for word. Did Johnny work in the wet fish counter in Desborough Road in the 60's? If so think my Dad use to take him for driving lessons.
As a child I can remember my Dad coming home with the single and playing it, I can still remember the lyrics word for word. Did Johnny work in the wet fish counter in Desborough Road in the 60's? If so think my Dad use to take him for driving lessons. Eagle eye
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