The Measles

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					The Measles

Original line-up:
Stan ”Red” Hoffman
(real name - Stan Dulson)
lead vocals/harmonica

Dave Earl
(real name - Dave Barrow)
bass guitar/vocals

Wyn Davis
(real name - Graham Hopkins)
guitar/vocals

Ray Mondell
(real name - Ray Ward)
drums

Jomo Smith
(real name - Dave Smith)
lead guitar/vocals



                               photo courtesy Olaf Owre
Formed in Manchester in 1964 The Measles were a raw-sounding beat group led by singer Stan Hoffman. His real name was Stan
Dulson, but he soon adopted the stage name of Stan Hoffman, and the ”Red” moniker was bestowed upon him by fans because
of his hair colour! In addition to lead vocalist Hoffman the group had Dave Earl on bass, Wyn Davis on rhythm guitar, Ray
Mondell on drums, and Jomo Smith on lead guitar.

They landed a recording deal with Columbia/EMI and their debut single was released on March 18th. 1965. Produced by Mickie
Most, ”Casting My Spell On You” was an up-tempo R & B number written by the Brothers Johnson, Edwin and Alvin. The song had
also been covered by Johnny Otis in 1959. The flip, ”Bye Birdie Fly”, was quite similar in style – a harmonica-led number co-
penned by manager Tony Stuart and Stan Hoffman. Both sides of the single proved that not only was Hoffman a good singer but
also an excellent harpist. The record company filmed a promo for the single on the South Bank in London with The Measles
miming to their recording of ”Casting My Spell On You”. The film was shown on nationwide TV in America in an episode of ”Where
The Action Is” in 1965.

According to Hoffman The Measles had a deal with Epic Records for the American market, but the single went absolutely nowhere
over there. It is a possiblity that only a limited quantity of radio station promos were pressed up, and that regular stock copies
never even reached the shops because of lukewarm reception from DJs. However, a group called The Talismen did have a version
of ”Casting My Spell On You” out in the US at around the same time on the small American Arts label (AA-22), also released in
the UK on Stateside/EMI (SS 408). The Talismen’s recording featured Jimmy Page on guitar, and it is rumoured that another
famous session man, Big Jim Sullivan, played guitar on The Measles’ recording. What a coincidence that two obscure recordings
of the same song could feature two of the most respected session guitarists of the decade!


”Casting My Spell On You” was undoubtedly a musically very solid debut single for The
Measles, yet it failed to impress the record buying public.

The follow-up came in August 1965 with the medium-paced ”Night People” sung by
rhythm guitarist Wyn Davis. A catchy and melodic number with a deep, unstrained
lead vocal and a background humming giving enhanced effect. The B-side, ”Dog Rough
Dan”, was co-written by Stan Hoffman, Country Gents guitarist Peter Cowap, and
Harvey Lisberg of Kennedy Street Enterprises. Cowap played guitar on the
recording, which sounded like an old Irish drinking song given a beat treatment!

Obviously done very much tongue-in-cheek like the version of ”Popeye The Sailor
Man” they had incorporated in their live repertoire at the time. After their first two
singles had both failed to register The Measles rushed out a version of the Mann-Weill
written ”Kicks” in April 1966 in competition with US band Paul Revere & The Raiders.

It was obviously an attempt at a poppier, more commercial style for The Measles,
whose rendition of ”Kicks” was quite similar to that of Paul Revere & The Raiders. The
B-side, ”No Baby At All”, penned by Carter-Lewis was also a very appealing number,
but sales were low and the single failed to give The Measles a much desired
breakthrough.




In America Paul Revere & The Raiders got to No. 4 in the charts with ”Kicks”, and the song was actually revived by Micky Dolenz
and Peter Tork of The Monkees twenty years later on the group’s ”Then & Now – The Best Of The Monkees” album (Arista ALS-
8432) released 1986.

Peter Cowap came up with the A-side for The Measles’ fourth, and what was to be their last single on Columbia, ”Walkin’ In”,
released on October 21st. 1966. It was a cleverly constructed pop tune with some great, dexterous guitar work done by Cowap,
and a very catchy chorus sounding oddly like Herman’s Hermits! ”Looking For Love” on the B-side was another medium-tempo
number with a more pompous arrangement, building well, again with a lead vocal by Wyn Davis and a lot of work laid down on
the harmony vocals. A fine production job by Mike Collier, who replaced Mickie Most behind the controls on this single. But even
though ”Walkin’ In” screamed out as a big commercial success, the single didn’t sell and marked the end for the group as a
recording act.
However, the group continued to play as The Measles with a
few changes in the line-up until mid-1968. Ray Mondell
behind the drums quit and was replaced by Drachen Theaker
towards the end of 1967.

Stan Hoffman also defected (see The Bujjies) and Paul
Young from The Toggery Five/Paul Young’s Toggery took
over on lead vocals. Drummer Drachen Theaker had
previously participated in the filming of The Measles’ ”Casting
My Spell On You” television promo in London back in 1965,
but didn’t last long as a permanent member. He went on to
join The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown who hit big with ”Fire”
at the time. Leo Laherty of The Country Gents came in on
drums. Original rhythm guitarist Graham Hopkins, better
known as Wyn Davis, left to join The Bujjies and was
replaced by Barry ”Taz” Reynolds from Kearsley, Manchester.
                                                                         Measles line-up with Leo Laherty on drums


The ”new-look” Measles played a lot on the German club circuit and also visited Denmark in 1968, where they played
Copenhagen’s Karusell club and other venues. The group didn’t stay together that long, though, and by mid-1968 the members
all went their separate ways. For some of them the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s music scene would prove far more successful than the
60’s scene in Manchester. For more details see line-up information below.




Line-ups:

The Measles (#1) 1964-early 1967


Stan Red Hoffman              Dave Earl Barrow           Wyn Davis       Jomo Smith                       Ray Mondell
lead vocals/harmonica         bass guitar/vocals         guitar/vocals   lead guitar/vocals               drums
L to R back row : Mondell - Hoffman
                                                                                      L to R : Davis - Earl - Mondell - Smith - Hoffman
front row : Smith - Davis - Earl

photos courtesy Brian Stevenson - taken at Oasis Club, Manchester




The Measles (#2) early 1967-late 1967


Stan Red Hoffman                     Dave Earl Barrow               Wyn Davis          Jomo Smith             Drachen Theaker
lead vocals/harmonica                bass guitar/vocals             guitar/vocals      lead guitar/vocals     drums

The Bujjies (68-69)                                                                                           The Crazy World Of
The Attic (69-70)                                                                                             Arthur Brown (68)
Dougie James Soul Train (70s-to                                                                               Love (69)
present)                                                                                                      Warren Zevon (69-70)
Victor Brox (70s-to present)                                                                                  Kim Fowley sessions (71)
                                                                                                              Arthur Brown (74-89)
                                                                                                              Michael Moorcock &
                                                                                                              Deep Fix (82)
                                                                                                              High Tide (90-91)
                                                                                                              Died of a brain tumor
                                                                                                              in 1992.




The Measles (#3) late 1967-early 1968
Johnny Dark & The
Midnights (61-62)
Paul Fender & The Teenbeats
(62)
Paul Fender & The Tigers
(63-64)
The Toggery Five (64-66)
The Toggery Soul Band (66)
Paul Young’s Toggery (66-
67)
Electric Circus (67)                                                                                         Little Frankie & The
Paul Young solo (67)                                                                                         Country Gents (63-67)


Paul Young                    Dave Earl Barrow           Wyn Davis                  Jomo Smith               Leo Laherty
lead vocals                   bass guitar/vocals         guitar/vocals              lead guitar/vocals       drums
                                                               The Bujjies (68-69)
                                                               Gary Wright session (88)
                                                               Michael Thompson Band (89)




                         The Measles (#4)
                         early 1968-mid 1968

                         Paul Young, Leo Laherty, Dave "Jomo" Smith, Barry "Taz" Reynolds and Dave Barrow.
                         Photo courtesy of Jason Young


                         (click on image for larger picture)




Paul Young               Dave Barrow                       Barry "Taz" Reynolds               Jomo Smith           Leo Laherty
lead vocals              bass guitar/vocals                guitar/vocals                      lead guitar/vocals   drums

Paul Young solo (68)     Shane Fenton band (68-70)         Pacific Drift (69-70)                                   Shane Fenton band (68-
The Young Brothers       Alvin Stardust band=Alvin’s       Blodwyn Pig/Jack Lancaster (70)                         70)
(68-69)                  Heartbeats (73-76)                Barry Reynolds solo (73-82)                             Cabaret work
Young & Renshaw (70-     Marty Wilde touring band (70s)    Sessions/co-writer for:                                 (70s-to present)
73)                      Herman’s Hermits (80-82)          Marianne Faithfull (79-99)                              Country Gents and
Paul Young solo (73-     Mindbenders (85-88)               Island Record’s in-house band at                        others re-union shows
75)                      Pete MacLaine band                Compass Point, sessions for:                            (90s)
Paul Young’s Paradox     (80s-to present)                  Grace Jones (80-84)
(73-76)                                                    Black Uhuru (80-83)
Mandalaband (75-77)                                        Joe Cocker (82)
Gyro (76-77)                                               Valerie Lagrange (83-85)
Sad Café (77-89)                                           Cristina (84)
Devaney Young (84)                                         John Martyn (84)
Claire Moore & Paul                                        Sly & Robbie (85)
Young (87)                                                 Tim Buckley (92)
Mike & The Mechanics                                       Toots & The Maytals (96)
(85-00)                                                    Charlelie Couture (98)
Died of a heart attack                                     Baaba Maal (98)
July 15, 2000




Discography:
Click on link/disc for larger image


UK SINGLES:

                       ”Casting My Spell On You” (Edwin Johnson-Alvin Johnson)/”Bye Birdie Fly” (Stuart-Hoffman) Columbia DB
                       7531 3/1965
                   ”Night People” (Cooper-Spencer-D’Errico-Rabbitt)/”Dog Rough Dan” (Cowap-Hoffman-Lisberg) Columbia DB
                   7673 8/1965




                   ”Kicks” (Mann-Weill)/”No Baby At All” (Carter-Lewis) Columbia DB 7875 4/1966




                   ”Walkin’ In” (Peter Cowap)/”Looking For Love” (Carl D’Errico-Helen Kelly) Columbia DB 8029 10/1966




UK LP:

                      LP: Various artists: “Scene ’65” Columbia 33SX 1730 1965
                      Contains 12 songs including “Casting My Spell On You” (Edwin Johnson-Alvin Johnson) by The Measles.
                      Other artists featured on the album are The Animals, The Yardbirds, Alexis Corner’s Blues Incorporated,
                      Georgie Fame & The Blue Flames, The Bo Street Runners, The Fairies, Zoot Money’s Big Roll Band, The
                      Mickey Finn, The Zephyrs and The Downliners Sect.




BOOTLEG LP:

Various artists: “Hide ’n’ Seek Again – 16 Long Lost Beat & Garage Jewels 1964-1967” Moms Records DREAD 002
(no country of origin given, label says BIEM/NCB indicating France/Scandinavia, but not necessarily correct) 1996
Contains 16 tracks including “Casting My Spell On You” (Edwin Johnson-Alvin Johnson) by The Measles. Other artists featured on
the album are Los Jockers, Wayne Gibson & Dynamics, Barbarians, Los Brincos, Palmes, Southern Gentlemen, E.B. & The
Animals, I Rolls 33, News, Toppers, Adam Sailor, King Bees, Gesine Darieux & Chosen Few, Bootjacks and Monks.


Hungarian CD:
Various artists: “Rare 60’s Beat Treasures - Vol.4” Hungarian Gone Beat BT-CD 77013 1995
Contains 26 tracks including The Measles’ “Casting My Spell On You” (Edwin Johnson-Alvin Johnson) and ”Bye Birdie Fly” (Stuart-
Hoffman).


Memories
"Whilst other groups played R & B or Soul, the Measles always played pop hits (and very good at it, they were). I recall them
playing several Beatles songs (Help, Tell me what you see), Stones (Satisfaction), older rock & roll - Fats Domono (Let the four
winds blow), plus oddities like 'Popeye' and Dave Earl singing 'A four legged friend' (Roy Rogers, I think!).

All the times I saw them, they never played 'Castin' my spell', although they played 'Night people' regularly and even 'Dog rough
dan'.
One night at the Oasis, the owner, a man called Tony, who also owned the Warmingham Country Club (between Middlewich,
Sandbach and Crewe), where the Measles also played, announced that the group were keen to branch out into 'cabaret'. As a
result, Red Hoffman donned a flat cap and scarf and miming to a stingless mandolin whilst Jomo Smith played high up the guitar
neck, he sang George Formbys 'Leaning on a lamppost'!!! "
Brian Stevenson


Used to wish I could play bass like Dave Barrow ( THE MEASLES )-- still do!
Diccon Hubbard




My sincere thanks to Stan Hoffman, Pete Cowap, Leo Laherty, Dave Barrow, Alan Doyle and Jason Young for information and
inspiration to write this article.



Compiled by Olaf Owre
2003