1967-1972 The Amen

The diary of a Christian Beat Group

I grew up in the town of Newbury in the county of Berkshire (UK).

When I was about 14 years old I used to go to an interdenominational midweek fellowship evening a couple of times a month. It was organised by Mr Hubert Summersby, the owner of a small department store in Newbury Market place called "Beynons". Mr Summersby would hire the Baptist or, more usually, the Congregational Church Hall and book impressive visiting speakers like (Brother) Tom Butler from up north.
Probably the biggest attraction to me however was "The Gospel Tones" - a singing group with melodicas and a GUITAR.
Mr Summersby’s son, Richard, was a youth leader, some 6 years older than me, and he owned and played a guitar, led and sang in the group. He had even made his own bass guitar.
This mightily impressed me, a fairly sheltered, naïve, young Christian lad.
Mum and Dad were badgered into buying me an f-hole acoustic guitar for my 15th birthday - it was highly lacquered and had "Magic" on the headstock and I thought it was!
Guitars were largely considered to be too worldly for most church stuff back then but times they were a-changin’. "Youth Praise" was about to be published.

early amen.jpg

Some eighteen months later, post Bert Weedon’s "Play in a Day", the Gospel Tones were no more and I was proud and thrilled to be invited to join Richard’s new group.
A single pickup Höfner Senator replaced the old Magic (by now fitted with a cheap Dearmond pickup).
We called ourselves "The A-Men".
Below is a diary of all the bookings that we did over the years along with a few pictures.
Have a look - we may have visited a church hall near you!

Visit this link to listen to The A-Men.

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