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Dolphin Music Sponsor the Caven and the 50th Birthday

Published: Tue January 30, 2007  News Feed

Dolphin Music the sponsers of the Liverpool Cavern helped celabrate it's 50th birthday. The stuffy cave-like club where the Beatles staged some of their earliest performances celebrated its 50th birthday on Tuesday.

The Cavern Club — a former fruit warehouse cellar and air raid shelter — opened as a jazz venue in 1957 with the Merseysippi Jazz Band, but it was the advent of rock `n' roll that popularized the club where music producer Brian Epstein eventually discovered the Fab Four.







John Lennon's sister, Julia Baird, works at the club and says those early performances were important for her brother.

"John felt he was the raw-edged rocker he wanted to be on this stage before being polished up," Baird told The Associated Press. "He regretted the way they were later smartened up, pulled into suits and ripped out of their leathers."

The Beatles first played a lunchtime session in 1961, but Lennon and Paul McCartney both appeared at the club with the Quarrymen Skiffle Group years before. Ringo Starr is also thought to have made his debut at the club with the Eddie Clayton Skiffle group — another band playing the improvised form of jazz popularized in Britain in the 1950s — while George Harrison appeared at the group's 1961 debut.




In 1959 The Cavern was sold to Ray McFall who continued the jazz theme, but over time beat music began to take over. Lunchtime sessions had been introduced in April 1957 partly to deal with the skiffle craze. John Lennon made his first appearance at the Cavern with The Quarrymen on 7 August 1957. In 1960 Rory Storm and the Hurricanes, featuring Ringo Starr on drums, played the first beat evening session.

From 1960 onwards beat music became The Cavern’s mainstay. Bob Wooler was recruited as the compere at lunchtime sessions and most of the Merseybeat acts played there at one time or another. The Beatles made their first appearance on Wednesday 21 February 1961 and their last on Friday 3 August 1963.




Sam Leach says that despite its reputation now, the club was never his favourite venue; “I didn’t enjoy it. If you went there with a pair of new hush puppies they’d be finished by the time you came out with the mud and the coke. There was no drink in those days. Cigarettes and coke, that was all you had underneath you feet in those days.”

“But it was exciting The Cavern, I’ll give it that. You have to say The Cavern has become and is the most important rock club of all time. There’s no argument. No one can dispute that.”

By the late 1960’s the club had lost much of its appeal. The introduction of an alcohol license in 1967 – the club had previously only served soft drinks – did little to stop the slide.



In 1973 the original Cavern closed its doors for the final time. The cellar venue stood in the way of a planned ventilation shaft for the new underground rail loop line. In the event the shaft was never constructed and the club lay filled in but undisturbed until the early 1980’s.



Revellers at the closing night of the Cavern in 1973, at a time when The Beatles had only recently split, seemed to care little for the club’s Merseybeat associations one saying “I don’t think that’s recognised now. They don’t think of the Cavern as where the Beatles were discovered now. The Cavern now is just the place where you can go and hear good music.”




In 1984 a new Cavern opened, constructed on 75% of the original site and built with 15,000 bricks from the original club. The new venue is deeper than the original but the dimensions and design are the same.




In 1999 Paul McCartney returned to the club which launched his career playing a special gig at the new Cavern.

After struggling to survive, the club was demolished in 1973 but was rebuilt on half of its original structure in 1984. Bands from Argentina to Russia played in a 13-hour session to honor its anniversary on Tuesday.

The Cavern now also has venues in Australia, Argentina and Japan

The Day was a huge sucess with over 32 bands playing, some from the beginning right to some of today's resident bands. The BBC and other media groups came for the big event.

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