The Bay City Rollers
Synopsis of Pop Music
“Gonna dance with my baby ‘til the night is through,
On Saturday night, Saturday night…”
The British Invasion lived again in the 1970’s by way of The Bay City Rollers. After conquering the U.K. with their smooth blend of bubblegum and glam pop, this Scottish quintet moved on to the U.S. in the late 70’s to inspire a level of teenybopper-hysteria not seen since the early days of The Beatles.
The Bay City Rollers began when brothers Alan and Derek Longmuir expanded their duo act into a band in the early 70’s. They wanted an American-sounding name and dubbed themselves The Bay City Rollers when a dart thrown at a U.S. map landed on Bay City, Michigan. The group became U.K. hitmakers in 1974 with “Remember (Sha La La),” which led to a string of eight Top-10 hits and four Top-10 albums. They also had a popular after-school TV show in the U.K., Shang-A-Lang.
The Bay City Rollers turned their attentions to the U.S. in 1975. They performed an old U.K. hit, the chant-like rocker “Saturday Night,” on Howard Cosell’s Saturday Night Variety Show. This glam-style tune went to #1 in January of 1976. The group continued to have hits throughout the year with slickly-produced hits “Money Honey,” another pumping glam-rocker, and a revival of the Dusty Springfield classic “I Only Want To Be With You.”
By this time, The Bay City Rollers had become teen-idol sensations. Decked out in their trademark tartan gear, they inspired near-riots as they drove their legions of teenage, mostly female fans into hysteria at concerts and public appearances. They continued to score hits in 1977 with the disco-styled “You Made Me Believe In Magic” and an ethereal, orchestrated ballad called "The Way I Feel Tonight." By the end of the year, the Rollers had racked up five straight gold albums on the U.S. charts.
In 1978, The Bay City Rollers returned to television with the help of veteran kid’s-TV producers Sid and Marty Krofft. The show was originally called The Krofft Supershow but was soon renamed The Bay City Rollers Show to capitalize on its stars’ popularity. It featured the group presenting Krofft shows and interacting with various funny characters and puppets like Munchie, as well as taking plenty of time to perform their hits. This colorful Saturday morning show ran until January of 1979.
By 1979, frontman Les McKeown had left The Bay City Rollers to pursue a solo career. The band continued on with a new lead singer, Duncan Faure. They continued to record and tour throughout the 80’s and were especially popular in Japan.
The Bay City Rollers have recently reunited with McKeown and have recorded a soon-to-be-released album of new material. They also frequently appear at fan conventions held by Bay City Rollers fan clubs around the world. Though they have become adults, their fervent fans will always remember their former teen idols as the original Boy Band.
Artist Release History1974 - Rollin'
1975 - Once Upon a Star
1975 - Bay City Rollers
1975 - Wouldn't You Like It
1976 - Rock N' Roll Love Letter
1976 - Dedication
1977 - It's a Game
1977 - Greatest Hits
1978 - Strangers in the Wind
1979 - Elevator
1980 - Voxx
1981 - Ricochet
1983 - Live in Japan
1985 - Breakout
1988 - Starke Zeiten
1992 - Bye Bye Baby
1992 - The Collection
1995 - Absolute Rollers: The Very Best
1999 - The Complete Anthology 1971-1980
1999 - Shang a Lang (compilation)
2000 - The Definitive Collection
Pop Sub Categoriesrock
Essential Music AlbumsThe Definitive Collection (Arista)
Band MembersLes McKeown lead vocals
Eric Faulkner guitar
Stuart 'Woody' Wood guitar
Alan Longmuir bass
Derek Longmuir drums