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Tony Flynn
Salford's favourite Historian and part time Tony Flynn lookalike..... Tony Flynn, tells us the story of a local band who were seeking fame and fortune, and early retirement.

Continuing with our history series looking at the events of 25, 50 and 100 years ago in Salford, we came across this quirky story of a pop group from Eccles who were determined to make it big, and in the process make plenty of money to retire as quickly as possible, and why not?

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you: A Shade of Blues. 

The seven-strong band were formed by local lads, Steve Walton, 19, from Patricroft, John Cunningham, 19, Eccles, John "Dino" Johnson, 17, Eccles, Bill Davies, 15, Peel Green, Graham "Gar" Roberts, 16, Eccles, Peter Collum 18, Eccles, and Bernard "Moz" Morris 18, Patricroft. 

A Shade of Blues are described as "strumming, blowing and beating £500 worth of equipment in numbers sung by John Johnson including, 'Before You Accuse Me' and 'Gonna Cast A Spell'. 

Their music was described as being modelled upon works by "Americans who, if you are not a RnB devotee, you may never have heard of - Howling Wolf, Jimmy Witherspoon and Muddy Waters..." 

The lads formed the group, sorry, blues combo, six weeks and 25 years ago today, and had already played two clubs in Eccles and one in Manchester. 

They spoke of plans to make a test record which they hoped would be their passport to musical fame. 

They would charge £10 a night of which ten shillings was for the band and the rest going towards expenses. 

They boldly declared that their ambition was to make as much money to retire as quickly as possible, so how long would it be before these young men could pack away their equipment and live a life of hedonism in a tax haven? 

Sadly it would appear that A Shade of Blues didn't set the music charts alight and the music history books show no record of them. 

So what happened to these erstwhile musical blues titans, if you were a member of the band please let us know as we would love to hear your story of the pitfalls and pleasures of the life of a blues combo music man.

This story originally appeared on SalfordOnline on the 28th August 2014, it is reproduced here with the kind permission of Sir Tony of Flynn.

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