Procol Harum

the Pale

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Procol Harum, 1967

From Holland's Muziek Express, July 1967

The July 1967 issue of the Dutch music magazine Muziek Express (with Hendrix on the cover) featured a two-page article on Procol Harum with one black & white and one color (both full page) photos of the original line-up. The text from the black and white picture was kindly translated into English for BtP by Frank Bell:


Procol Harum is in fact the name of a prize-winning Siamese cat. A new English beat group found the name very attractive, and called themslves that. Procol Harum is Latin for "Here Above" or "After These Things." Which doesn't mean a whole lot.

What does say a lot is the international hit success of Procol Harum. The sales of their first record: A Whiter Shade of Pale has: "In no time, passed the 100,000 sales mark."

It began like this. Denny Cordell, producer of The Move, and Georgie Fame, met the 20 year-old Keith Reid, who had already written the lyrics. It was the lyrics of A Whiter Shade of Pale" without the music.

"Great" said Denny," but without music, it won't mean anything."

Keith Reid disappeared and came back a while later with the demo of the song. Gary Brooker had put music to it on piano. "Great" said Denny again, but, said Denny, "Why don't you build a group up around this song?" because Denny had no idea which group was suitable for this tune.

Keith Reid disappeared again, searched a couple of boys out, borrowed money, and went for a couple of weeks into the country and rehearsed. That was the definitive beginnings of Procol Harum.

Singer Gary Brooker, lead guitarist Ray Royer, bass guitarist David Knights, organist Matthew Fisher, drummer Bobby Harrison, and Keith himself as organizer.

When he took the young group to Denny, there was much enthusiasm. The first take of A Whiter Shade of Pale, much to Denny's surprise, was the version that was released.

A well-known group, who have made a very quick career, and when all is said and done, the English group of the coming season.



Thanks, David

More Procol History in Print at BtP

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