Beatles Collaborator Tony Sheridan Dies

Singer Tony Sheridan, best known for his association with The Beatles, has died of unknown causes at age 72.

Ultimate Guitar

Singer Tony Sheridan, best known for his association with The Beatles, has died of unknown causes at age 72. The future Fab Four's first recording sessions would be as Sheridan's backing band.

Sheridan, born Anthony Esmond Sheridan McGinnity on May 21, 1940, was as legend has it, the first British musician to play an electric guitar on television. Sheridan crossed paths with the Beatles while both were playing clubs in Germany in the early '60s. Sheridan not only showed the young group the ropes of the club circuit, but also taught them a fair amount about music by introducing them to various American rock and roll records (via UltimateClassicRock).

During a residency at the Top Ten club in Germany, the club's owner offered The Beatles a standing gig to back Sheridan. Despite having to play for up to seven hours a night, the band accepted the offer. They would soon attract the attention of musician (and label scout) Bert Kaempfert, who offered Sheridan (and backing band) a contract with Polydor Records. The result of this would be the single "My Bonnie" released in October of 1961 and credited to Tony Sheridan And The Beat Brothers (at Kaempfert's suggestion).

This would ultimately attract the attention of record shop owner Brian Epstein via a customer's request for said disc. The rest, as we know, is history, with Epstein becoming the Beatles' manager and helping the band conquer the world.

Original Beatles drummer Pete Best paid his condolences to Sheridan on Twitter, saying "My friend Tony Sherdian passed away this morning. Great guy and great memories I will miss you Tony. RIP."

20 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Justin Goodhart
    I may really like metal, but the Beatles were that band that comes once in a lifetime and influence EVERYONE.Rip bro
    They are THAT AMAZING . I am really into Metal, but The BEATLES are everything.
    Literally....Everything....had it not been for them God knows what music would have become.....although what passes for popular or rock music these days leaves much to be desired.....
    Danjo's Guitar
    This guy showed the Beatles records via UltimateClassicRock? Huh, I thought they didn't have the internet back then. (I know its where they got the article from, it was just a stupid place to put their link and I laughed when I saw it.)
    People still hating the messenger because of the message.
    Sammy Mantis
    Are you referring to thumbing up/down the article? If so I agree with you. You rate the article based on whether or not you like the topic being reported and if it's a well-written article, NOT based how you feel about what it says. Do you like the fact that UG reported Tony Sheridan's passing? Then you thumb up the article! Fucking dumbasses on this site...
    I read a bio on the Beatles and their time in Germany is really interesting. As the article mentioned, they'd play for hours and hours and hours, every night. Talk about a way to make a band tight... RIP
    Never took part of any of his music, but sad nonetheless. Rest in peace, Tony, my condolences to his family and friends.
    They are THAT AMAZING . I am really into Metal, but The BEATLES are everything. Nobody comes close.
    Justin Goodhart
    People always ask "who was the 5th Beatle?". He just passed away. RIP
    Battery Chicken
    Sheridan was about the furthest thing from the 5th Beatle. Stuart Sutcliffe, Pete Best, Billy Preston, Eric Clapton all played and recorded with the band, not just utilised them as a means of launching a solo career in a single session. Regardless if anyone was ever a fifth Beatle it was Sir George Martin.
    George Martin was really the "fifth Beatle" in terms of input into their actual releases. And of course Pete and Stu.
    Darth Poptart
    It is a sad day. And even sadder is the fact your article on his death is more about the beatles than him
    Go to Utube and listen to some of the Beatles/Tony Sheridan stuff....its rockabilly in one of its earliest and rawest forms.....