Just a Coincidence or did Duffy steal their song  ?


  Liverpool  , 23rd February 2009.  During the beat boom of the sixties many groups followed the Beatles down to London from Liverpool to seek fame and fortune. Not many succeeded, but there were exceptions.


The Cryin Shames were one such exception, they were signed by the now legendary record producer Joe Meek who saw the band as a great mix of musical and vocal capability.


Meek recorded a number of tracks with them including a version of the then new Burt Bacharach song 'Please Stay'. 


Unusually for Burt whilst the tune was great the original lyrics were somewhat iffy to say the least and the band set about changing them to match the moment.


The song charted in the UK and boys went on to the US and continued playing to big audiences throughout 1966. The band broke up amid some acrimony and bad management and the sixties came and went.


Fast forward to 2005, to a small club in Nefyn, North Wales.


cryin shames duo



Tonight George Robinson and his partner Kate are topping the bill as the Cryin Shames Duo and bringing the house down playing some of the great sixties numbers including their hit 'Please Stay'.


 A young up and coming singer who had watched the act all night approached the band, and said 'Hi my name is Duffy, I really like your sound would you interested in forming a backing band for my act?'. George and Katie had to say no, as were they committed in other directions.





Then the coincidences began


Last year [2008] the Biopic entitled Telstar recounting Joe Meek's stormy life premiered in London to rave reviews ((General release is now imminent).


The song chosen as the film theme was the Cryin Shames' Please Stay, but sung by Duffy, a carbon copy of the Cryin Shames version complete with the bands own words.


George had this to say:


"Duffy has used our composition and tempo, and our words we rewrote for the song. She has copied our arrangement note for note. She has now also included the song on her Rock Ferry album. Duffy credits the song's origin to the genius of Joe Meek. This is not so. The song was the creation of our band in 1966. We did all the hard work for the song's arrangement. We travelled down to London with the song completed, and Meek simply recorded us playing it."

I doubt whether Duffy recorded the song from memory after watching us play it at her dad's club in Nefyn, more likely she was asked to do the song because she is now very popular, and the film's producers obviously felt it would add something extra to the film, but what a coincidence it would have been, had I joined her backing band, and recorded my own song with her. If the song is a hit for her after the release of the film Telstar, I wonder if she would ever remember meeting me and hearing me sing the song at her dad's club".




The original surviving members of the Bumblies/Cryin Shames have met each other again for the first time in forty three years and will be performing  at major events in Liverpool later this year.


Dave (Original Bumblie), Charlie (Original Bumblie & Shames), George (Original Bumblie & Shames)


The 'Shames are once again attracting a lot of interest on Merseyside....


Thanks to Duffy.


Judge for Yourself


Is Duffy's version a rip off or her own interpretation?


Let us have your opinions email us at


The Original 1966 Cryin Shames version featuring George Robinson & Charlie Gallagher


Duffy's version from The RockFerry Album


Telstar - The Movie


A biopic of Meek titled Telstar has been made by 'Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels' producer Nick Moran, starring Kevin Spacey.




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