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Les Braid

Les Braid was a founder member, bass guitarist and lead singer with the Swinging Blue Jeans. Originally the Blue Genes, the group formed as a semi-pro band in 1959, eventually changing its name and turning professional in 1962.

In 1963, the group had a hit with Hippy Hippy Shake, which resulted in an appearance on the first edition of Top of the Pops. Due to the success of the song, the group appeared on every TV pop show in Europe and featured in three films.

Other chart success included Good Golly Miss Molly, You’re No Good, Don’t Make Me Over and It’s Too Late Now.

William Leslie Braid was born in Liverpool on September 15, 1937 and educated at Formby Secondary School. He was an accomplished pianist and in 1958 joined a local skiffle group.

The Swinging Blue Jeans was one of the most popular groups of the sixties but by the end of the decade, Braid and singing guitarist Ray Ennis were the only members left from the original 1962 line-up.

They continued to appear in cabaret and in 1994 they toured internationally with Helen Shapiro and Gerry and the Pacemakers. Another tour followed with the Searchers, Billy J Kramer and the Merseybeats. Braid quit the Swinging Blue Jeans earlier this year when he was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer.

He died on July 31, 2005, aged 67. He is survived by his wife, a daughter and a son.

Patrick Newley

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