Year of Release: 1962
Let's kick off 2018 with a nice big brassy POW of a record, shall we? Make no mistake, "Drum Beat" by Dave Carey is a real slap around Batman and Robin's chops, waking up individuals with even the worst case of the winter blues. It's filled to the brim with pounding drum beats high in the mix, a faintly cheesy, easy listening vocal style (you can almost hear the winks-to-camera) and a fantastic Wally Stott arrangement. It's such a punchy piece of work that it seems absurd that it wouldn't have been keenly revived by now.
Dave Carey's solo career is only one small segment of his music industry CV. He had been a drummer in Lou Stone's Orchestra in the forties and fifties, before he changed direction and became a vocalist for chart-toppers and multiple NME award winners The Stargazers. That act are widely believed to have released the first ever British rock and roll recording with "She Loves To Rock" in August 1956, even if it didn't particularly shift many copies (try finding either a 45 or 78rpm copy anywhere these days - it's rarer than a bar tender willing to accept fifty pound notes).
His solo career seemed to consist of three singles, of which this and the previous release "Bingo" are the most interesting. That particular 45 was used as pre-game music in a number of Mecca Bingo Halls in the UK, which still wasn't enough to push it into the charts. I suspect it sold slowly and steadily in the towns and cities which were most exposed to it, however.
Once the hits dried up, Dave Carey pursued other business interests, opening the "Swing" record shop in Streatham, South London which specialised in blues music, and running Nova Recording Studios. Sadly, he passed away in October 2015, aged ninety.