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The Quarrymen enter the TV Star Search competition

Less than a month after their first live appearance, The Quarrymen entered ABC TV’s talent show TV Star Search, organised by “Mr Star Maker” Carroll Levis.

The event was held at Liverpool’s Empire Theatre, a venue The Beatles would headline numerous times in future years. On this occasion, however, it was a regional qualifying audition, one of many similar shows staged by Levis around Britain.

Performers did not normally receive a fee for taking part, but the variety shows were popular with paying audiences. It was seen as a good opportunity for new acts to hone their craft and, potentially, be discovered.

The Quarrymen didn’t pass their audition on this occasion; the winners were the Sunnyside Skiffle Group from Speke, a group which featured 19-year-old Nicky Cuff, who was 4ft 6in tall and played the tea chest bass while standing on it.

Among the songs The Quarrymen performed was ‘Worried Man Blues’, a folk song recently popularised by skiffle supremo Lonnie Donegan.

Although The Quarrymen played no further part in the shows, the finals were held twice-nightly between 17 and 23 June 1957.

Last updated: 26 May 2020
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