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Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Lance Fortune born 4 January 1940

Christopher Morris, known by the stage name Lance Fortune (born 4 January 1940, Birkenhead, Cheshire, England) is an English pop singer.
Until he received a guitar at Christmas 1956, this grammar school student had studied classical piano. He formed a rock and roll group called the Firecrests while a student at Birkenhead School, and served as lead vocalist; they recorded the songs "That'll Be the Day", "I Knew From the Start", and "Party", but were strictly a local attraction.
Morris sacrificed a scholarship at a Welsh university to work as an odd-job man at the famous London coffee bar, the 2I’s, and it was there that he was heard singing by top manager and impresario Larry Parnes in 1959.

Although he did not manage him, Parnes rechristened him Lance Fortune (a name he had previously given to Clive Powell, a singer and pianist, whom he later renamed Georgie Fame).

The newly christened Fortune signed to Pye Records as a solo artist and released four singles, two of which became hits in the UK Singles Chart in 1960. His first single ‘Be Mine’, an Adam Faith -styled pop song, backed by John Barry’s musicians, eventually climbed to number 4 in the UK.
The producer/engineer was Joe Meek and this was his first all solo production. During the time it took to reach the charts in Britain, Fortune toured with his idol, Gene Vincent. He also managed to put the follow-up ‘This Love I Have For You’ into the Top 30 but it was his last taste of success - long-term fame was not on the cards for Mr. Fortune.
In April 1960, Fortune and Jerry Keller replaced Eddie Cochran on Gene Vincent's then current UK tour, after Cochran's untimely death in a road accident.
Later during 1963, Lance joined Redruth based Dave Lee & the Staggerlees, replacing their Bass player, John Chapman, Lance also sang with the group. The group moved up to Sheffield and according to Kernowbeat , the band were active until the mid 90s, touring clubs.

According to Vince Eager on Whirligigtv he states that Lance suffered a stroke during the 2000’s  (but I have not found any evidence regarding this on the web).  Here's a photo of Lance taken at a Stagerlees reunion in 2008.

(Info edited from Wikipedia, All Music &


boppinbob said...

For all but one of Lance’s Pye recordings, go here:

"Be Mine" / "Action" (1960) UK No. 4
"All On My Own" / "This Love I Have For You" (1960) - B-side UK No. 26
"I Wonder" / "Will You Still be My Girl" (1960)
"Who's Gonna Tell Me?" / (1961)

The only track I couldn't find was "Love Is The Sweetest Thing."

Harry Whitehouse said...

I'm also trying to trace that B-side, Bob. Frustrating, isn't it?