Visit The Fortune's Website HERE
The Fortunes were a top Midland band of the Mid 60's.
The band's distinctive lead singer Rod Allen (born in Leicester) passed away at 63 at his home in Coventry. The band's website paid tribute to the "wonderful voice and sparkling personality" of their founding member. Rod Allen died aged 63 after battling liver cancer, it has been announced.
His contemporaries would all agree that his was one of the most distinctive voices to come out of the golden era of popular music
The harmony group's biggest hit was You've Got Your Troubles which was a UK number two hit in 1965, also
reaching number seven in the US. Other hits include Here it Comes Again, Caroline and This Golden Ring, Freedom Come, Freedom Go, Storm in a Teacup.
One of The Fortunes earliest singles was Caroline, which was used as the signature tune by the pirate radio station of the same name.
The band also recorded the jingle for Coca-Cola's It's The Real Thing advertising campaign in 1969.
The Fortunes, who have continued to perform in venues across Europe, have vowed to carry on. Allen, born Rodney Bainbridge, announced his retirement from the band at the New Year.
According to Coventry's top music journalist - Pete Chambers - The band's original name was The Clifftones before they became The Merry Men, The Fortunes Rhythm Group and finally The Fortunes. View Pete's article for BBC Coventry Here
The band originally formed in Birmingham and in in the 90's the band were joined by Coventry's legendary progressive keyboard player Bob Jackson, who wrote most of the material for their cult 1971 progressive album Indian Summer on RCA Neon and went on to play with Pete Brown (composer of Cream hits like White Room), the Who's John Entwhistle, and Apple band Badfinger.
The original line up was -
Rod Allen (Rodney Bainbridge) vocal, bass guitar
Glen Dale (Richard Garforth) vocal, guitar (left 1966)
Barry Pritchard vocal, guitar, keyboard
Andy Brown drums
David Carr piano (left 1968)
Shel MacRae guitar, vocal (joined 1966)
The Fortunes were signed to the prestigious Decca Records label in 1963 and their first record release -
under supervision of future Who and Kinks producer Shel Talmy - was a bizzare cover of the Jamies 1958 U.S. hit Summertime, Summertime (also attributed to "The Clifftones"). A second Fortunes single released the following year Caroline was adopted by the pirate radio station Caroline as its theme tune. Despite plenty of airplay, the song did not chart and subsequent single releases, although highly competent, were derivative of the current Merseybeat style. Compositions by group members in those days were usually confined to single b-sides such as Barry Pritchard's Come On Girl which appeared on the back of their third single I Like The Look Of You released in 1964.
The Fortunes fifth single was a ballad written by professional songwriters Roger Greenaway & Roger Cook
and the recording featured lavish instrumentation as well as the now trademark 3-part harmonies by the group. The song You've Got Your Troubles, suited the band's image perfectly with the record almost reaching the top spot in the British charts in August of 1965 and also climbing to No. 7 in the U.S. charts.
With a hit formula now established, a follow-up Here It Comes Again (also composed by Greenaway and Cook) was released soon after and gained a No. 4 chart placing.
The group undertook a packaged tour of the USA with Peter and Gordon and the Moody Blues.The Fortunes continued as a major attraction on the club circuit and in 1960s nostalgia shows. Founding member Barry Pritchard left the group in 1995 due to ill health and became a resort operator in Spain. He died in January 1999 at 54 years of age. Remaining original member Rod Allen continues to tour and record with the present line-up of the Fortunes which also includes Coventry musicians - the former Badfinger keyboard player Bob Jackson as well as veteran performers Paul Hooper (Ex Indian Summer) (drums) and Michael Smitham (guitar).