The group became known as the Settlers after their first single, "Settle Down"
A six-month residency on the BBC television series, Singalong, led to support bookings on tours with, among others, Dusty Springfield, Roy Orbison and The Small Faces
The Settlers' first single "Sassafras"/"Settle Down", was released in 1964. They became quite well known nationally, assisted by frequent appearances on television and, until 1967, regular exposure on offshore pirate radio stations. In particular, their recording of Lennon and McCartney's "Nowhere Man" (1965) was, together with The Overlanders’ 1966 UK No.1 hit, "Michelle"
Their most successful record, "The Lightning Tree" (helped along due to its use as the theme tune of the British TV series 'Folly Foot), reached No.36 in the UK singles charts in 1971.
Shortly after recording a religious album I Am Your Servant in 1973 Cindy Kent left the band and later released a solo single "I Only Want To Be In The World" on the Beeb label in 1975. By then the line up had changed from acoustic four-part pop folk harmony, to a more contemporary five-piece electric sound with Mike Jones (guitar/banjo/vocals), Andie Sheridan (female vocals), Paul Greedus (guitar/vocals), Chris Johnstone (bass/vocals), and George Jeffrey on drums. In 1974 this line up recorded an album for York Records - The New Sound of the Settlers.
In early 1976 Valery Ann (aka Valeryan/Valerie Anne Lawrence) replaced Andie Sheridan as female vocalist, and the line up changed back to four piece acoustic close harmony with Mike Jones (guitar/banjo/fiddle/vocals), Paul Greedus (bass/vocals/occasional piano*),Valery Ann (vocals/tambourine/occasional guitar*),Steve Smith (vocals/guitar). Steve (full name Steve Somers-Smith) joined in 1975 after winning ATV's 'New Faces' as a singer/songwriter with his own song 'Mavis Brown'. Steve stayed with the group until it's demise in the early 80's. It was this line up that went into the studios to record "Whichaway Billy" for Riverdale. The single was released in October 1976 soon after Valery Ann left the band to pursue a solo career.
Patty Vetta, well known on the British folk club circuit supplied the female voice to the now original Settlers acoustic/harmony vocal sound and like Steve Smith stayed with the group until the end in the early 80's
BBC TV was a regular outlet
Steve's scrapbook before the re-emergence of The Settlers
Patty Vetta was born in Pangbourne, Berkshire, into a musical family. Being at a tiny C of E school she sang the Magnificat at 5 years old, solo, at Sulham Church. Moving to London aged 17 she started working in a recording studio. Before long, she was being asked to do some voice-overs and to sing on some jingles. Later she met and joined The Settlers, the folk-pop group who’d had a hit in 1962 and were still doing cabaret in the 1970s, so she travelled all around the world singing 'Grow, Grow, The Lightning Tree'. It was great fun she says, and after the group split, Patty toured with Settlers singer/guitarist Steve Somers, performing on TV shows and albums, backing Don Everly, Johnny Tillotson, Roy Clark, Joe Brown, Tom O'Connor, Ronnie Prophet, Bert Weedon, Terry McMillan, and Freddy Weller. She has also been the longest serving member of the Wes McGhee Band, and has recorded with Pete Sayers, Paul Millns, Tony Maude and Joe Giltrap, and toured with Johnny Cash and Billie Jo Spears.
This was a winning performance, voted for by the viewing public, but when it was aired, Steve became a winner, but had no idea, he was on holiday in Italy and missed a performance at the London Paladium. See below for what happened later with Lenny Henry. It was after 'New Faces' that Steve was asked to join The Settlers
Steve changed the format of 'New Faces' by being missing when the postal vote came in. They stopped viewers voting after that and Steve missed the London Palladium. This is what happened years later to an unsuspecting Steve
"It was great playing with Lonnie, he was a great performer."
Patty playing trumpet and singing with the Wes McGee band
This was during a show for BBC TV with Nashville country star Terry Macmillan, "That's livin alright" singer Joe Fagin, British country Singer Carrie Duncan and musical director Graham Preskett
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