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Kelly Groucutt, 1970s
Kelly Groucutt - 2009 interview
ELO bass player the late Kelly Groucutt spoke to BBC WM three weeks ago. Listen to the interview here and leave your tribute in the box at the bottom of this page.
ELO, 1970s, with Groucutt (bottom left)
Groucutt recorded this special interview with BBC WM's Paul Franks on 27th January 2009.
Click the link below to listen:
Kelly Groucutt passed away on the afternoon of Thursday 19th February 2009 from a heart attack. He was 63.
He had been taken to Worcester Royal Hospital the previous night but didn't regain consciousness.
ELO in '73
Groucutt was recruited by Birmingham group Electric Light Orchestra in 1974 at the height of their fame and remained a band member for nine years.
He evolved into a key component of ELO, taking over lead vocal duties and performed as part of several spin-off tours in the 90s, most notably with ELO Part 2.
Speaking live on BBC WM's Phil Upton @ Breakfast Show, Kelly's ELO band mate Bev Bevan paid tribute to his friend:
"He was a larger than life character who's made a huge impact on people's lives. He was a nice man. He always took time out to talk to people and would never refuse to give anyone an autograph. It's a great shame.
"We'd drifted apart. ELO Part 2's last gig was back in November 1999 when we played in Atlantic City. I haven't actually seen him since then but we did spend a lot of time together from '74. We made a lot of albums, did a lot of touring until he left. Then again all through the 90s we toured the world with ELO Part 2."
Early ELO - pre-Groucutt
Groucutt was a relative unknown plucked from obsucrity by ELO in 1974.
"He was in a band called 'Sight and Sound'. We plucked him from this little club called Snobs in Birmingham where he playing to a handful of people," said Bevan.
"Next thing he knew he was playing - I think it was in Detroit - to about 18,000 people. He developed so much and by the time of ELO Part 2 in the 90s he became very much the all round entertainer, the frontman. He was brimming with confidence. He was a little man but with a huge personality.
"His real name is actually Michael Groucutt but we had all these Micks in the band so we said to him 'we can't have another Mick, another Mike; do you have any other name?' He said: ' Well, at school I was nick-named Kelly' and that's how he became Kelly Groucutt."
Click the link below to listen to the entire interview with Bev Bevan on BBC WM:
Kelly Groucutt & Parthenon Huxley
Mike Sheridan, of famed Birmingham Brumbeat group 'Mike Sherridan and The Nightriders' also paid tribute to Groucutt live on BBC WM.
"I'm absolutely gob smacked," he said. "When I heard the news I just couldn't believe it. He seemed to be such a fit guy.
"He was great talent, great singer. Words are not enough. ELO were such a good band and it's such a great loss to them.
"They are one of the biggest bands to ever come out of Birmingham. I actually don't think they got the credit they deserve for the amount of hits they had."
On Friday 20th February 2009, BBC WM's Paul Franks will be playing one of Kelly Groucutt's last interviews, recorded weeks earlier, by way of a tribute. Tune into BBC WM 95.6FM between 4pm and 6pm.
Update: BBC WM has learnt that the May 2009 UK tour of The Orchestra (the band comprised of former ELO members) will go ahead as planned, as a tribute to Kelly Groucutt.
Leave your tribute below:
last updated: 23/02/2009 at 09:21
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