Freddie Garrity, lead singer of the Dreamers, dies at 65

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The Independent Culture

Freddie Garrity, lead singer of 1960s pop band Freddie and the Dreamers and the man who gave birth to a dance that bore his name, died in hospital in North Wales yesterday. He was 65.

Garrity, who lived in Newcastle-under-Lyme in Staffordshire, was on holiday with his wife Christine when he was taken to hospital. He had been suffering from the lung disorder emphysema for several years.

Born in Manchester, Garrity - a former milkman - came to prominence at the start of the Britpop music revolution in the early Sixties and his success mirrored that of his Merseybeat rivals.

But he also became famous for his light-hearted approach to rock'n'roll. His antics on stage and television endeared him to millions. Freddie and the Dreamers, which included Roy Crewsdon, Derek Quinn, Pete Birrell and Bernie Dwyer, formed in 1959.

Following a string of UK hits, the band topped the US charts in 1965 with "I'm Telling You Now", which went on to sell more than a million copies.

It was on an American television show shortly afterwards that Garrity was asked about his stage performances. "It's a dance," came the reply. "It's called the Freddie" - and a dance sensation was spawned. Within weeks, the band was back in the charts with a song called "Do The Freddie".

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