Carter-Lewis & The Southerners

Based upon the hit song-writing duo of John Carter and Ken Lewis, this group, that only cut 7 singles between 1961 and 1964, enjoy something like minor cult status nowadays, as musicians like Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin), Big Jim Sullivan, Lome Green, Bobbie Graham, and Viv Prince (Pretty Things) passed through their ranks.

John "Carter" Shakespeare (born on October 20th 1942) and Kenneth "Lewis" Hawker (born on December 3rd 1942) were both from Birmingham. Shakespeare formed a skiffle group while still at school in South Heath, and taught himself acoustic guitar. By 1958, Hawker joined him in his local skiffle band and they both began songwriting, inspired by Buddy Holly and the Everly Brothers.
In 1959 both came down to London with a burning self-belief in their talent and were signed initially to music publisher Noel Gay in London's Tin Pan Alley, then to peermusic as exclusive songwriters. They were offered a deal by manager Terry Kennedy (who had previously fronted his own band, The Rock’n’Rollers and had been guitarist for Terry Dene's Dene Aces). He re-christened them "Carter & Lewis". They began singing as a vocal duo, demo-ing songs for other writers, doing backing vocals and even duplicating the latest pop hits of the day for Embassy and Cannon labels.
They had developed a close harmony style similar to that adopted by the Everly Brothers. When Kennedy drafted over to Southern music at 5 Denmark Street in 1961, they went with him.
In summer 1961, they began recording in small studios, backed by the Outlaws and first cut two singles for Piccadily, engineered by Joe Meek: "So Much In Love"/"Back On The Scene" and "Here's Hoping"/"Poor Joe".
By 1962, they switched to Ember label, and released "Two Timing Baby"/ "Will It Happen To Me" and "Tell Me"/ "Broken Heart".
They were soon established as a popular radio team, appearing on BBC Light Programme shows Saturday Club from February 1962. They gradually began to augment their line-up with various musicians who backed them on these radio dates, including ex-Rock’n’Rollers, Ron Prentiss on Double Bass, and ex-Outlaws, Lome Green on guitar and Bobbie Graham on drums, at which point they evolved into Carter-Lewis & the "Southerners" after Southern music.
The group became a vehicle for publishing the songs that stemmed from the Carter-Lewis partnership: they wrote and demo-ed "Sweet And Tender Romance" which was recorded by John Leyton...
Their own version was issued on Oriole, coupled with Who Told You? which was covered by Freddie Starr and many more.
They had first tasted success with "Will I What", a summer 62 top 20 hit for Mike Sarne, which featured Billie Davis and was co-writed, in fact, together with another friend, Bill Bates.

That’s What I Want” became a top 30 hit for the Marauders, the next summer and featured the latest arrival in the Southerners: Jimmy Page on guitar, replacing Lome Green (1).

Incidentally Carter-Lewis & the Southerners notched up a Top 20 hit in late 1963 with a song called "Your Momma's Out Of Town" by another top writer of the time, Mitch Murray. With a new bass player, Rod Clark, and a new drummer Viv Prince, they performed for the BBC's "Easy Beat" and toured with Duane Eddy, Gene Vincent and The Shirelles.

In late 1963, Rupert Ross from the Flintstones took over from Rod Clark (who later replaced Clint Warwick in the Moody Blues). As Jimmy Page quit the road to bury himself in studio work, Ross drafted in ex-Downbeats Micky Keene.
Bobby Graham returned to the fold when Prince left to join the Pretty Things.
On 15 February 1964, Carter-Lewis & the Southerners had a guest spot on the Beatles' BBC radio show (Saturday Club #280). In March 1964, "Skinny Minnie"/"Easy To Cry".
Whilst they were touring Holland, Rupert Ross died of cancer on May 29, 1964, and was replaced with Dave Wintour.

The band split in summer 1964, when both Carter and Lewis decided to concentrate on writing and doing sessions. Several would become hits: “It is True” for Brenda Lee; “Big Bad Bass” for Jet Harris; “How Can I Tell Her” for the Fourmosts; “Can’t You Hear My Heartbeats”, which was basically written for Goldie & The Gingerbreads, and became a million selling Us #2 for Herman’s Hermits...
They eventually became a trio with the addition of Brian Pugh aka "Perry Ford", who’d been pianist for Vince Taylor & his Playboys, Colin Hicks & The Cabin Boys, and the Echoes, and recorded with George Martin, under the moniker "Lou Bryan" in the 50s.
They called themselves "The Ivy League", and romped on to great success with "Funny How Love Can Be", “That’s Why I’m Crying”, and "Tossing And Turning"...

Bobby Graham also concentrated on studio work, and was to become a prolific session man like Jimmy Page.
Micky Keene and Dave Wintour joined The Tony Colton’s Crawdaddies before moving to The Ivy League backing band, the Division Two.

In 1966, John Carter and Ken Lewis formed The Ministry Of Sound with the cream of Southern Music studios house team.
By the summer of 1967, they recorded a song they wrote to articulate the sentiments of the flower-power movement and entitled "Let's Go To San Francisco" under the artist name 'Flowerpot Men'...

Their songwriting partnership continued to bring success, with further hits by other artists, including "Semi-detached Suburban Mr James" for Manfred Mann, "Sunday For Tea" by Peter & Gordon, "Peekaboo" for The New Vaudeville Band, "Sleepy Joe", "My Sentimental Friend" and "Sunshine Girl" for The Herman's Hermits, and "Little Bit O' Soul" by the Music Explosion which became a US million-seller in 1967.

John Carter wrote the 1970 British Eurovision entry "Knock, Knock, who's There" for Mary Hopkin, which came second, and was another worldwide success. He produced the UK hit "Beach Baby" for First Class in 1974.
In the mid-eighties, he founded his own independent Sunny Records label.
From the nineties, he served on the Council of the British Academy of Composers and songwriters and the council as a writer-member of the Performing Right Society.

Meanwhile Ken Lewis moved over to working with peermusic in an A & R capacity, before retiring from the music business due to ill health and devoting his energies to charity work in Cambridge.

(1) Bruce Welsh, Canada: The Lorne Greene referenced in this band is NOT the same Lorne Green who released the single ‘Ringo’ in the U.S. That Lorne Green was a Canadian actor who rose to prominence playing the character Ben Cartwright on the long running TV Western ‘Bonanza’. He released the single while doing the T.V. Series and it went to #1 in the Billboard Charts in November ’64.


Singles by Carter-Lewis:
1. So Much In Love/Back On The Scene (Piccadilly 7N 35004) - 1961
2. Here's Hoping/Poor Joe (Piccadilly 7N 35084) - 1962
3. Two Timing Baby/Will It Happen To Me (Ember EMBS145) - 1962
4. Tell Me/Broken Heart (Ember EMBS165) - 1962
5. Sweet And Tender Romance/Who Told You? (Oriole CB1835) - July 1963
6. Your Momma's Out Of Town/Somebody Told My Girl (Oriole CB1868) - October 1963
7. Skinny Minnie/Easy To Cry (Oriole CB1919) - March 1964

Singles by The Ivy League
1. What More Do You Want/Wait A Minute (Piccadilly 7N 35200) - November 1964
2. Funny How Love Can Be/Lonely Room (Piccadilly 7N 35222) - January 1965 UK#8
3. That's Why I'm Crying/A Girl Like You (Piccadilly 7N 35228) - April 1965 UK#22
4. Tossing And Turning/Graduation Day (Piccadilly 7N 35251) - June 1965 UK#3
5. Our Love Is Slipping Away/I Could Make You Fall In Love (Piccadilly 7N 35267) - October 1965
6. Running Around In Circles/Rain, Rain Go Away (Piccadilly 7N 35294) - February 1966
7. Willow Tree/One Day (Piccadilly 7N 35326) - June 1966 UK#50
8. My World Fell Down/When You're Young (Piccadilly 7N 35348) - October 1966
9. Four And Twenty Hours/Arrivederci Baby (Piccadilly 7N 35365) - 1967
10. Suddenly Things/Tomorrow Is Another Day (Piccadilly 7N 35397) - 1967
11. Thank You For Loving Me/In The Not Too Distant Future (Piccadilly 7N 17386) - 1967

E.P.s by The Ivy League
1. Funny How Love Can Be - Funny How Love Can Be/Lonely Room/What More Do You Want?/Wait A Minute (Piccadilly NEP 34038) - March 1965
2. Tossing And TurningTossing And Turning/That's Why I'm Crying/A Girl Like You/Graduation Day (Piccadilly NEP 34042) - September 1965
3. The Holly And The Ivy League - The Holly And The Ivy/Once In Royal David's City/Good King Wenceslas/Silent Night (Piccadilly NEP 34046) - December 1965
4. Our Love Is Slipping Away - Our Love Is Slipping Away/Don't Think Twice/Don't Worry Baby/Make Love (Piccadilly NEP 34048) - April 1966

L.P.s by The Ivy League
This Is The Ivy League (Piccadilly NPL 38015, 1966)
Major League - The Collector's Ivy League (Sequel NEDCD 289,1998)

The Flowerpotmen: Let's Go To San Francisco Part 1/Part 2 (Deram DM 142) - August 1967

The New Vaudeville Band: "Winchester Cathedral" - 1966

First Class
Beach Baby/Both Sides Of The Story (UK UK 66)
Bobby Dazzler/Lavender Man (UK UKR 73)
Dreams Are Ten A Penny/Long Time Gone (UK UKR 82)

Carter & Lewis made vocal harmonies on
Sandy Shaw's "Always Something There To Remind Me" (10/1964)
The Who's "I Can't Explain" (01/1965) and "Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere" (05/1965)
Tom Jones "It's Not Unusual" (02/1965)
Chris Farlowe's "Out Of Time" (07/1966)

John Carter Compilations
Measure For Measure: The John Carter Anthology, 1961-1977 (RPM D268)
As You Like It: The Denmark Street Demos, 1963-1967 (Westside WESM 523)

Various Line-ups of Carter-Lewis’ Bands

Carter-Lewis & The Outlaws (Recording Sessions, Summer 1961 - Early 1962)
  • John Shakespeare (Vocals/Rhythm Guitar) "John Carter"
  • Ken Hawker (Vocals/Keyboards) "Ken Lewis"
  • Geoff Goddard (Keyboards/Clavioline/Vocals)
  • James Tomkins (Lead Guitar) "Big Jim Sullivan"
  • Billy Kuy (Lead Guitar)
  • Lorne Greene (Lead Guitar)
  • Reg Hawkins (Rhythm Guitar)
  • Ken Lundgren (Rhythm Guitar)
  • Chas Hodges (Bass)
  • Robert Neate (Drums) "Bobby Graham"
  • Don Groom (Drums)
  • Charles Blackwell (Musical Direction/Arrangement)

Carter-Lewis & The Southern Session Band (Summer 1961 - Early 1962)

  • John Shakespeare (Vocals/Guitar) "John Carter"

  • Ken Hawker (Vocals/Keyboards) "Ken Lewis"

  • Freddy Webb (Musical Direction)

  • Marion Montgomery (Backing Vocals)

  • Marion Ryan (Backing Vocals)

  • Roy Deltrice (Bass)

  • Kenny Clare (Drums)

Carter-Lewis & The Southerners #1 (Early - Late 1962)
  • John Shakespeare (Vocals/Rhythm Guitar) "John Carter"
  • Ken Hawker (Vocals/Keyboards) "Ken Lewis"
  • Lorne Greene (Lead Guitar)
  • Ron Prentiss (Double Bass)
  • Robert Neate (Drums) "Bobby Graham"

Carter-Lewis & The Southerners #2 (Early 1963)
  • John Shakespeare (Vocals/Rhythm Guitar) "John Carter"
  • Ken Hawker (Vocals/Keyboards) "Ken Lewis"
  • James Tomkins (Lead Guitar) "Big Jim Sullivan"
  • Jimmy Page (Rhythm Guitar)
  • Ron Prentiss (Double Bass)
  • Robert Neate (Drums) "Bobby Graham"

Carter-Lewis & The Southerners #3 (June - November 1963)
  • John Shakespeare (Vocals/Rhythm Guitar) "John Carter"
  • Ken Hawker (Vocals/Keyboards) "Ken Lewis"
  • Jimmy Page (Lead Guitar)
  • Rod Clark (Bass)
  • Vivian Prince (Drums)

Carter-Lewis & The Southerners #4 (November 1963 - February 1964)
  • John Shakespeare (Vocals/Rhythm Guitar) "John Carter"
  • Ken Hawker (Vocals/Keyboards) "Ken Lewis"
  • Mickey Keene (Lead Guitar)
  • Tony Ross (Bass) "Rupert Ross"
  • Vivian Prince (Drums)

Carter-Lewis #1 (February - May 1964)
  • John Shakespeare (Vocals/Rhythm Guitar) "John Carter"
  • Ken Hawker (Vocals/Keyboards) "Ken Lewis"
  • Mickey Keene (Lead Guitar)
  • Tony Ross (Bass) "Rupert Ross"
  • Robert Neate (Drums) "Bobby Graham"

Carter-Lewis #2 (June 1964)
  • John Shakespeare (Vocals/Rhythm Guitar) "John Carter"
  • Ken Hawker (Vocals/Keyboards) "Ken Lewis"
  • Mickey Keene (Lead Guitar)
  • Dave Wintour (Bass)
  • Alan Skipper (Drums) "Skip Alan"

Session Band (Summer 1964 - Early 1965)
  • John Shakespeare (Backing Vocals/Rhythm Guitar) "John Carter"
  • Ken Hawker (Backing Vocals/Keyboards) "Ken Lewis"
  • Brian Pugh (Backing Vocals/Keyboards) "Perry Ford"
  • James Tomkins (Fuzz Guitar) "Big Jim Sullivan"
  • Jimmy Page (Fuzz Guitar/Harmonica)
  • Alan Weigle (Bass)
  • Jon Lord (Keyboards)
  • Robert Neate (Drums) "Bobby Graham"

The Ivy League #1 & Division Two (February - October 1965)
  • John Shakespeare (Vocals) "John Carter"
  • Ken Hawker (Vocals) "Ken Lewis"
  • Brian Pugh (Vocals) "Perry Ford"
  • Mickey Keene (Lead Guitar)
  • Dave Wintour (Bass)
  • Mike O'Neill (Keyboards) "Nero"
  • Clem Cattini (Drums)
  • Roger Pinner (Drums) "Solly"

The Ivy League #4 (1967)
  • John Shakespeare (Vocals) "John Carter"
  • Ken Hawker (Vocals/Keyboards) "Ken Lewis"
  • Tony Burrows (Vocals)
  • Patrick Cahill (Vocals) "Neil Landon"
  • Brian Pugh (Vocals) "Perry Ford"
  • Mickey Keene (Lead Guitar)
  • Dave Wintour (Bass)
  • Clem Cattini (Drums)

The Ivy League #5 (Late 1967 - 1970s)
  • John Shakespeare (Vocals) "Bob Carter"
  • Brian Pugh (Vocals) "Perry Ford"
  • "Schadel" (Vocals)
  • Bill Clarke (Bass)
  • Dave McDonald (Bass) "Dave Robin"
  • Roger Hall (Drums)

John Carter & The Ministry Of Sound/The "Flowerpot Men" (1966 - 1971)
  • John Shakespeare (Musical Direction/Vocals) "John Carter"
  • Ken Hawker (Vocals/Keyboards) "Ken Lewis"
  • Russ Alquist (Vocals)
  • Tony Burrows (Vocals)
  • Patrick Cahill (Vocals) "Neil Landon"
  • Robin Scrimshaw (Vocals/Bass) "Robin Shaw"
  • Mickey Keene (Lead Guitar)
  • Dave Wintour (Bass)
  • John Ford (Bass)
  • Clem Cattini (Drums)
  • Richard Hudson (Drums)

First Class (1974 - 1976)
  • John Shakespeare (Vocals) "John Carter"
  • Ken Hawker (Vocals/Keyboards) "Ken Lewis"
  • Robin Scrimshaw (Vocals/Bass) "Robin Shaw"
  • "Chas" Mills (Vocals)
  • "Del" John (Vocals)
  • Spencer James (Lead Guitar/Vocals)
  • Clive Barrett (Keyboards)
  • Eddie Richards (Drums)

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  1. This is a terrific piece of research. I consider myself to be the world's biggest Carter-Lewis anorak, but I've learned things from this especially the various line-ups eg this bloke called 'James Tompkins' who played with the Outlaws. I never knew that 'Jim Sullivan' was a nom d'axe or that he was an Outlaw. The 1962 live band (Lorne Greene/Ron Prentice) was absolutely fabulous, but they never recorded together. Lorne Greene was in a class of his own, but disappeared from the scene and research is impossible as he shares his name with 'Ben Cartwright'. Ron Prentice moved to Somerset and made double basses. Does anybody know anything about the 'real' Lorne Greene, who I understand was really called 'Martindale' or 'Martin Dale'?

  2. THAT'S WHAT I WANT, was recording by manny bands, The Marauders(1963 UK) Jan Dalton & The Embers( 1963 Australia).Ronnie Singer & Keith Moffat (1964 South Africa).The Liverpool Five (1965 U.K. /USA). The Cicadas (1964 Australia). Tony Jackson & The Vibrations (1965 UK?) The Square Set(1966 Soth Africa). The CandleLigth(1967 UK). Aquarius Band (1971 -Brasil) Andre Luiz (1971? Brasil). THE SQUARE SET single was re-release in Portugal 1970 and was Smash Hit, 1971 became number One in Brazil, in 1972/73 Smash Hit in Argentina, In Brazil THAT'S WHAT I WANT was credit wrong credit to Ronnie Singer.


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  3. ??
    Steve Peters, email me (Colin) at

  4. I recall hearing Carter Lewis on Saturday Club singing a great rendition of the old music hall song"Sweet Rosey O'Grady" using the same arrangement as Buddy Holly's "Wait 'til the sun shines Nellie"
    Actually,I have this on one of my many reel to reel tapes...wish I could find it.

  5. Great discography here guys, thanks just what I was looking for. Ken Lewis sadly passed in 2015, my grandfather met him in Birmingham back in the 70s. Very talented man.