Rockingscots is a website dedicated to
Scottish beat groups of the '60s and early '70s.
Rockingscots homepage for more groups or to e-mail
The following info was sent in to Rockingscots by Tommy Walker - former Tenor sax player with The Chekkers:
band formed in about
1956 and played genuine rock and roll, covering the songs
of Little Richard, Fats Domino, Jerry Lee Lewis, Gene Vincent
It is possible that
they were the first rock band from
Ayrshire. I joined them in 1958 on tenor sax. They
band had residences on Wednesday and
Friday at the Grand Hall in Kilmarnock and then Duncan MacKinnon, a
prominent Borders promoter in the '50s and '60s - took them on.
The personnel at this time were l-r: Andy Bell (guitar); Charlie Donachie (vocals); Jim Johnson (drums);
Tommy Walker (sax); Ronnie Watt (bass); John O'Hare (Piano).
In May 1960 Duncan MacKinnon was co-promoting a short tour of Scotland by Johnny Gentle and his backing band the Silver Beetles - soon to change their name to 'The Beatles' and take the world by storm. The tour was called 'The Beat Ballad Show'. The photo above of the Chekkers was taken
at The Northern Meeting Ballroom, Church St, Inverness on Saturday 21 May 1960 - the second date of the tour.
The Chekkers became very busy in the early sixties. It got too much for
Ronnie, Jim and John and they left - to be replaced by Bax McKellar, Roy Halliday
and Duncan McKellar. The
band went from strength to strength. Playing support to or directly
backing the big names of the time including Johnny
Kidd, Joe Brown, Vince Eager and
particularly Bert Weedon who would not come to Scotland unless he
was guaranteed that we would back him. We
toured all over Scotland, northern England and even spent 6 months
in Germany during 1963. The band eventually split up in 1964.
I went on to
play with a couple of really good bands but nothing could match my time with
the Chekkers. All good lads and great musicians. Tommy Walker.
Other excellent photos of the Chekkers can be seen at: http://www.vintagehofner.co.uk/gallery/bass2/bas85.html
These seem to show that Tommy Walker also played double bass and/or guitar when it was required.