An article on Christie's
surprise emergence out of nowhere, from
the Jack Bentley Page, Sunday Mirror (May 31, 1970)
THE MORAL OF THE HIT THAT JUST HAPPENED
FLYING home tonight from an Italian pop
festival are a British group whose spirits should be as
high as their cruising altitude.
This trio of unknowns, collectively called
Christie, hit the top of the charts with Yellow
River - without having gambled a penny on
publicity or promotion.
Now let's look at another group, called Brinsley
Schwartz. Two months ago they had $30,000 spent on them
when a publicity company called Fame Pushers flew 70 journalists
and pop world figures on a junket from Britain to New York
to plug the group's first LP.
Despite all this, the LP is nowhere in the
charts, and the Brinsley Schwartz sound is hardly likely
to be recognised instantly.
The moral? That pop fans aren't to be bought,
bludgeoned or beguiled, and that publicity can't work miracles
if the basic product lacks that indefinable spark.
Jeff Christie is the singing leader of the
group and also plays piano, guitar and organ. With him are
Mike Blakley and Vic Elmes. All three are 23.
"Publicity campaigns?" Jeff laughed.
"Until a couple of weeks ago, I was lucky if I was
earning a fair living at home in Leeds, never mind paying
"Mike and Vic are even worse off. They
depended on their mothers' generosity for their keep.
"I give all credit to (radio dj) Tony
Blackburn, who initially sensed public interest in Yellow
River and plumped for it."
How about the lads who are struggling to balance
up that $30,000?
Richard Blears, who represents Fame Pushers
and the group, said he was sure once he got the band's singles
releasd in the US, they would become an international name.
Mr Blears then invited me on a publicity trip
by helicopter to a North Sea fort to hear a new group he
had just signed.
But for the life of me, I can't remember their