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Hermans Hermits
Modchester
Manchester Music in the 1960's
Whilst Liverpool had Merseybeat, there was a large collection of Manchester bands shifting millions of records both sides of the Atlantic. In April 1965 alone, three Mancunian acts took it in turns to top the charts in the USA whilst at the same time another held the No.1 spot back in the UK. Meanwhile a young guitarist from Macclesfield would become one of the most influential blues artists ever, a keyboard player from Leigh would go on to be a major player in the jazz scene and a young lad from Stockport would graduate from Coronation Street to front the biggest TV pop group of all time. Oh! there was also three young boys from Chorlton-cum-Hardy who were starting a career that would see them become one of the world's best-selling bands ever...
 
 
 
 
Click here for the Urbis 60's Magical Manchester Mystery Tour
 
 
 
 
1961
George Formby suffers his second heart-attack and dies in Saint Joseph’s Hospital, Preston. His funeral takes place at St Charles' Church in Aigburth, Liverpool and over 100,000 people line the 20 mile route to Warrington Cemetery, where he is buried in the Booth family grave.
Georgie Fame joins Liverpudlian Billy Fury's backing band, The Blue Flames, in June 1961, playing piano
 
 
 
 
1962
David Jones, now aged 16, is nominated for a Tony Award whilst playing the Artful Dodger in the Broadway production of Oliver.
Macclesfield-born guitarist and Manchester College of Art student John Mayall joins Mancunian drummer Hughie Flint in the Blues Syndicate. Another Blues enthusiast, Alexis Korner, persuades Mayall to move to London
singer Glyn Ellis and bassist Bob Lang attend an audition at the Oasis Club in Manchester although the rest of their group, The Jets, fail to show. They recruit the services of other musicians there. Hastily re-named Wayne Fontana & The Mindbenders (named after Elvis Presley's drummer and a then-recently released hit movie), they get offered a 2 year record contract aptly by Fontana Records
Allan Clarke and Graham Nash, childhood friends from Salford, form The Hollies, playing their first gig at the Oasis Club in Manchester in December 1962 and take over The Beatles regular spot at Liverpool's Cavern Club
 
 
 
 
1963
The Twisted Wheel nightclub opens on Brazenose Street, just off Deansgate. Playing blues music, it becomes Manchester's number venue for mods to hang out.
The Dreamers Freddie & The Dreamers
Freddie & The Dreamers listen to soundbites
In May, novelty Manchester band Freddie & The Dreamers, fronted by 5 foot 3" Freddie Garrity, have a number 3 hit with 'If You Gotta Make A Fool Of Somebody'. It's later included on their self-titled debut album, which reaches no.5 in November. The group also have hits 'I'm Telling You Now' (no.2) and 'You Were Made For Me' (no.3, selling over 250,000 copies) [video]
The Hollies The Hollies
Stay With The Hollies listen to soundbites
The Hollies enjoy their first chart success in May 1963 with the single '(Ain't That) Just Like Me' (UK no.25). It's quickly followed by the single 'Searching' (UK no.12). Their debut album 'Stay With The Hollies' reaches UK no.2 in Feb 1964 and spawns the hit 'Stay' (no.8) [video]
The Dakotas The Dakotas
Do You Want To Know A Secret listen to soundbites
Manchester band The Dakotas team up with Billy J Kramer for a no.2 hit with a cover of The Beatles, 'Do You Want To Know A Secret' in May. Without the Liverpool frontman, they reach number 18 hit with the instrumental track 'The Cruel Sea' in July, which is later included on their Number 19 EP, 'Meet The Dakotas' (Dec). [video]
The Dakotas The Dakotas 
Bad To Me listen to soundbites
Lennon & McCartney write the first UK no.1 hit for Billy J Kramer & The Dakotas. 'Bad To Me' spends 3 weeks at no.1, selling 250,000 copies, before being succeeded by The Beatles own 'She Loves You' [video]
Billy J Kramer & The Dakotas release debut album, 'Listen To Billy J Kramer' (UK no.11) listen to soundbites
Billy Fury replaces The Blue Flames with The Tornados. As a result, Georgie Fame becomes frontman of The Blue Flames
Wayne Fontana & The Mindbenders Wayne Fontana & The Mindbenders
Hello Josephine listen to soundbites
Wayne Fontana & The Mindbenders release their first single 'Hello Josephine' (no.46), a cover of the Fats Domino track. The following May, they have their first hit with a cover of Ben E King's 'Stop Look & Listen' (no.37)
 
 
 
 
1964
Georgie Fame - Rhythm & Blues at The Flamingo Georgie Fame
Rhythm And Blues At The Flamingo listen to soundbites
Georgie Fame releases his debut album. It doesn't chart. The LP includes the single 'Do The Dog' and it's b-side 'Shop Around', which also fails to chart. A later EP of the same name reaches no.8 in the UK charts, featuring the tracks 'Night Train', 'Parchman Farm', 'Work Song' & 'Baby Please Don’t Go'
The Dakotas The Dakotas 
Little Children listen to soundbites
Billy J Kramer & The Dakotas enjoy their biggest hit and second chart topper. 'Little Children' spends 2 weeks at no.1 in Feb 1964, selling 250,000. (USA no.7) [video]
The Hollies The Hollies
Just One Look listen to soundbites
The Hollies reach number 2 in February with 'Just One Look', selling over 250,000 copies [video]
Elkie Brooks Elkie Brooks
Something's Got A Hold On Me
19 year old Salford born, Prestwich raised, jazz singer, Elaine Bookbinder, the younger sister of Dakotas drummer Tony Mansfield, releases a cover of the Etta James classic under her stage name 'Elkie Brooks'. Like her next 7 singles, it doesn't chart. She goes on to join Robert Palmer in Vinegar Joe
Because it is not recorded on a major label, Irish record promoter Ronan O'Rahilly fails to get Georgie Fame's debut album played on the BBC and Radio Luxembourg. As a result he decides to set up his own offshore radio station. On Easter Sunday 1964, Radio Caroline airs for the first time.
Herman's Hermits Herman's Hermits
I'm Into Something Good listen to soundbites
In Aug 1964, 16 year old Peter Noone, already famous for his role as Stanley Fairclough in Coronation Street, becomes lead singer of Herman's Hermits and spends 2 weeks at UK no.1 with 'I'm Into Something Good', a cover of the Earl Jean US hit, which sells over 250,000 copies. It's later included on the self-titled UK no.16 debut album (Feb 1965) with other hits 'Show Me Girl' (UK. no.19) and 'Mrs. Brown, You've Got a Lovely Daughter' (US no.1 / UK.no.3) [video]
In August, Georgie Fame enjoys chart success, (UK no.15) with his second album, 'Fame At Last' listen to soundbites
Georgie Fame Georgie Fame & The Blue Flames
Yeh Yeh listen to soundbites
Georgie Fame, backed by the Blue Flames, scores his first UK number 1 hit single, which was originally recorded by Jon Hendricks. It sells over 250,000 copies [video]
Freddie & The Dreamers have their last UK chart success in December 1964 with the uncharacteristically 'serious' single 'I Understand'. It reaches no.5, selling over 250,000 copies in the process [video]
John Mayall John Mayall
John Mayall Plays John Mayall
John Mayall makes releases the 'John Mayall Plays John Mayall' album which captures him live in concert in London, December 1964. The band includes future Fleetwood Mac bassist John McVie and Mancunian drummer Hughie Flint. Featuring the earlier non-charting single, 'Crawling Up a Hill' the album fails to chart.
 
 
 
 
1965
Herman's Hermits Herman's Hermits
Can't You Hear My Heartbeat? listen to soundbites
in January Herman's Hermits reach no.2 in the USA with 'Can't You Hear My Heartbeat?'. It reaches no.3 in the UK as a double a-side with 'Silhouettes' (which also reaches US no.5) [video]
in February Herman's Hermits reach UK no.3 (USA no.5), selling over 250,000 copies of 'Silhouettes' [video]
Wayne Fontana & The Mindbenders reach no.18 in the same month with their self-titled debut LP
in March, The Yardbirds reach UK no.3 (US no.6) with the hit 'For Your Love', a track originally written by Graham Gouldman from Broughton, Salford, for his Manchester band The Mockingbirds. The Yardbirds also have hits with his other tracks 'Heart Full of Soul' (UK no.2 / US no.9) and 'Evil Hearted You' (UK no.3).
The Dreamers Freddie & The Dreamers
I'm Telling You Now listen to soundbites
In April, Freddie & The Dreamers biggest hit reaches no.1 in the USA, almost 2 years after being a no.2 hit in the UK. It stays there for 2 weeks before being knocked off by fellow Mancunians [video]
Wayne Fontana Wayne Fontana & The Mindbenders 
The Game Of Love listen to soundbites
Wayne Fontana & The Mindbenders knock Freddie & The Dreamers off the no.1 spot in the USA (UK no.2) for one week in April with an adaptation of Clint Ballard's song. [video]
Herman's Hermits Herman's Hermits
Mrs Brown You've Got A Lovely Daughter listen to soundbites
Herman's Hermits knock their fellow Mancunians off the USA number 1 spot with the single 'Mrs Brown You've Got A Lovely Daughter', where it stays for 3 weeks. [video]
The Hollies The Hollies
I'm Alive listen to soundbites
The Hollies reach UK no.1 with the single 'I'm Alive', where it stays for 3 weeks in May, selling over 250,000 copies. It was originally written for Wayne Fontana & The Mindbenders. [video]
Herman's Hermits Herman's Hermits
I'm Henry VIII, I Am listen to soundbites
Herman's Hermits knock The Rolling Stones '(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction' off the no.1 spot in the USA with the novelty 'I'm Henry VIII, I Am' (June). [video]
The Hollies release their self-titled third album in September 1965. It reaches UK no.8 listen to soundbites
In September, The Twisted Wheel nightclub moves to new premises on Whitworth Street and starts to play very rare Detroit soul music, defining the genre of 'Northern Soul'
Following the flop album 'It's Wayne Fontana & The Mindbenders', Wayne Fontana walks off stage halfway through a gig in October, splitting with The Mindbenders and leaving guitarist Eric Stewart to become lead singer
Barry Gibb and The Bee Gees The Bee Gees
The Bee Gees Sing and Play 14 Barry Gibb Songs listen to soundbites
the brothers Gibb, better known as their stage name 'The Bee Gees', release their debut album, a compilation of their Australian singles from the previous 3 years (Nov 1965)
Wayne Fontana scores a minor hit with debut solo single, 'It Was Easier To Hurt Her' (UK no.36) listen to soundbites
Davy Jones Davy Jones
David Jones
David Jones releases the self-titled album together with 3 singles, 'Dream Girl', 'What Are We Going To Do?' and 'The Girl From Chelsea'. Whilst he has no chart success he is offered a part in 'The Monkees', alongside American singers, Micky Dolenz, Mike Nesmith and Peter Tork, a pop group formed expressly for a TV show. [video]
 
 
 
 
1966
The Mindbenders The Mindbenders 
A Groovy Kind Of Love listen to soundbites
The Mindbenders first single without Wayne Fontana reaches number 2 in both the UK and USA (Jan 1966). It sells 250,000 copies in the UK and is later a number 1 hit for Phil Collins. Their self-titled album only reaches UK no.28 [video]
St Louis Union St Louis Union
Girl
After winning the 1965 Melody Maker National Beat Contest, Chorlton soul rockers, St Louis Union, fronted by Tony Cassidy, are rewarded with a record contract. They score their only hit in January with a cover of The Beatles 'Girl', which reaches UK no.11. Whilst the band appear in the film 'The Ghost Goes Gear' they split shortly after. [video]
The Bee Gees release their second album, 'Spicks and Specks' in Australia. The headline single reaches number 1 in Australia listen to soundbites
Wayne Fontana fails to chart with his debut solo album 'Wayne One'. During 1966 he scores a few minor hits in the UK, the most successful of which are 'Come On Home' (no.16) and 'Pamela Pamela' (no.11). listen to soundbites
John Mayall teams up with Eric Clapton for the 'Blues Breakers' LP which reaches UK no.6 in July. It again features Manchester drummer Hughie Flint & future Fleetwood Mac bassist John McVie listen to soundbites
The Hollies The Hollies
I Can't Let Go listen to soundbites
The Hollies spend 3 weeks at UK no.2 with the Chip Taylor cover 'I Can't Let Go' in Feb 1965. The track is later included on their fourth album 'Would You Believe' which reaches UK no.16 in July [video]
Herman's Hermits Herman's Hermits
Listen People listen to soundbites
in February Herman's Hermits reach no.3 in the USA with 'Listen People' [video]
In May, Georgie Fame reaching UK no.6 with his third album, 'Sweet Things' listen to soundbites
Georgie Fame Georgie Fame & The Blue Flames
Get Away listen to soundbites
Georgie Fame, backed by the Blue Flames, scores his second UK number 1 hit single in June
In the same month The Hollies reach no.5 in both the UK and USA with the single 'Bus Stop' [video]
The Magic Lanterns The Magic Lanterns
Excuse Me Baby listen to soundbites
Manchester group the Magic Lanterns, lead by Jimmy Bilsbury, have the near-miss singles 'Excuse Me Baby' (UK no.44) in July 1966 and 'Knight In Rusty Armour' (UK no.56). This is as close to fame as they'll get at home although chart success in the USA is soon to follow.
Davy Jones Davy Jones
The Monkees listen to soundbites
Following the US no.1 hit single 'Last Train To Clarksville' (UK no.23) in August, the first episode of The Monkees starring Davy Jones airs on American TV, Sep 12th 1966. The group's self-titled debut album tops the chart in the USA and spends 7 weeks at No.1 in the UK. Davy Jones sings lead vocals on 'This Just Doesn't Seem to Be My Day', 'I'll Be True to You (Yes, I Will)', 'Gonna Buy Me a Dog' and the hit 'I Wanna Be Free' [video]
Herman's Hermits Herman's Hermits
Dandy listen to soundbites
in October, Herman's Hermits reach no.3 in the USA with a cover of The Kinks 'Dandy' listen to soundbites 
The Hollies The Hollies
Stop Stop Stop listen to soundbites
At the same time The Hollies reach no.2 in the UK (no.7 USA) with the single 'Stop Stop Stop'. It's later included on their fifth album 'For Certain Because' (no.23) [video]
The same month, Georgie Fame's fourth album, 'Sound Venture' reaches UK no.9
Davy Jones sings backing vocals on The Monkees worldwide smash. 'I'm A Believer', which spends 4 weeks at no.1 in the UK, selling over 250,000 copies in Dec. It also tops the chart in the USA listen to soundbites[video]
Philomena Lynott buys the Clifton Grange Hotel in Whalley Range. The hotel is soon nicknamed 'The Biz' because of the number of showbiz personalities who stay there. Phil Lynott later writes the song 'Clifton Grange Hotel' on Thin Lizzy's debut album.
 
 
 
 
1967
in February Herman's Hermits reach no.4 in USA (Uk no.7) with 'There's A Kind of Hush' [video]
Also in Feb'67 John Mayall and The Bluesbreakers reach UK no.10 with their 'A Hard Road' album. The line-up now includes future Fleetwood Mac guitarist Peter Green, bassist John McVie & drummer Aynsley Dunbar listen to soundbites
In March, Georgie Fame's greatest hits album, 'Hall Of Fame' reaches UK no.12 listen to soundbites
Davy Jones Davy Jones
More Of The Monkees listen to soundbites
The Monkees second album spends 2 weeks at the top of the UK charts in April and also hits the top spot in the USA. It features the the hit 'I'm A Believer' and the Davy Jones fronted 'When Love Comes Knockin' (At Your Door)', 'Hold On Girl', 'Look Out (Here Comes Tomorrow)', 'The Day We Fall in Love' and 'Laugh'
Davy Jones Davy Jones
A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You listen to soundbites
Also in April, Davy Jones sings lead vocals on the The Monkees US no.2 hit 'A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You'. It reaches no.3 in the UK, selling over 250,000 copies [video]
Georgie Fame Georgie Fame
Georgie Fame EP listen to soundbites
In June, Georgie Fame reaches UK no.2 with his self-titled EP which includes a cover of 'Knock On Wood'  
Davy Jones sings backing vocals on the The Monkees UK no.2 hit 'Randy Scouse Git', which is released under the name 'Alternate Title' [video]
Davy Jones Davy Jones
Headquarters listen to soundbites
In the same month The Monkees third album tops the US charts and spends 6 weeks at number 2 in the UK. Davy Jones sings lead vocals on the tracks 'Forget That Girl', 'Shades of Gray', 'I Can't Get Her Off My Mind', 'Zilch', and 'Early Morning Blues and Greens'
Meanwhile The Hollies psychedelic sixth album 'Evolution' reaches number 13 in the UK listen to soundbites
In July, Georgie Fame has a minor hit (UK no.22) with his fifth studio album, 'Two Faces Of Fame'
In July The Bee Gees release their first International album, a psychedelic rock album aptly named 'Bee Gees 1st'. It reaches number 8 in the UK and spawns their first UK hit, 'New York Mining Disaster 1941', which reaches no.12. The famous track 'To Love Somebody' is also included. listen to soundbites
The Bee Gees The Bee Gees
Massachusetts (The Lights Went Out In) listen to soundbites    
The Bee Gees enjoy their first UK no.1 hit, where it remains for 4 weeks during September, selling over 250,000 copies. It's also the first no.1 single in Japan by a non-Japanese artist [video]
In September John Mayall reaches UK no.8 with his 'Crusade' LP. His backing band this time includes Mick Taylor, John McVie and a returning Hughie Flint listen to soundbites
Davy Jones Davy Jones
Daydream Believer listen to soundbites
Davy Jones sings lead vocals on The Monkees smash. Despite selling over 250,000 copies, it only reaches UK no.5 (Nov 1967) but tops the chart in the USA [video]
Robin Gibb & his girlfriend survive the Hither Green rail crash in London, in which 49 people die
John Mayall, without a backing band, reaches UK no.24 with 'The Blues Alone' LP (Nov) listen to soundbites
Georgie Fame Georgie Fame
The Ballad Of Bonnie And Clyde listen to soundbites
Georgie Fame, enjoys his third UK no.1 hit single in December, topping the chart for a week, selling over 250,000. It's later included on his 'Third Face Of Fame' album, which doesn't chart [video]
Davy Jones Davy Jones
Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd. listen to soundbites
The Monkees psychedelic fourth LP, gives them their third no.1 album of 1967 in the USA. In the UK however it only reaches no.5 in December. Davy Jones sings lead vocals on 'She Hangs Out', 'Cuddly Toy', 'Hard To Believe' and 'Star Collector' as well as backing vocals on the hit single 'Pleasant Valley Sunday' (USA no.3 / UK no.11) [video]
The Dakotas split following 3 years with no chart success
 
 
 
 
1968
The Bee Gees release their fourth album in January. 'Horizontal' only reaches number 16 in the UK but includes the Top 10 hit singles 'Massachusetts' (no.1), 'World' (no.9 and selling over 250,000 copies) and 'Words' (no.8). listen to soundbites
Davy Jones Davy Jones
Valleri listen to soundbites
In March, Davy Jones sings lead vocals on The Monkees 'Valleri' single (US no.3 / UK no.12) [video]   
John Mayall releases the albums 'Diary of A Band' Volume 1 (UK no.27) and Volume 2 (no.28) in March 1968 which captures highlights from over 60 hours of Bluesbreakers club recordings
Graham Gouldman replaces Bob Lang as bass player for The Mindbenders
John Mayall's Bluesbreakers release their most successful album in June 1968. Reaching UK no.3, 'Bare Wires' shows more of a jazz influence than the previous albums. Mick Taylor remains on guitar with Peter Green and John McVie having left to form Fleetwood Mac. It's the last album to be released under the Bluesbreakers name listen to soundbites
Davy Jones Davy Jones
The Birds, The Bees & The Monkees listen to soundbites
With their TV show now cancelled, The Monkees fifth LP, 'The Birds, The Bees And The Monkees' flops in the UK (only reaching no.42 in July) although fairs better in the USA (no.3). Davy Jones sings lead vocals on the excellent 'Dream World', 'We Were Made for Each Other' and 'The Poster' as well as the two hit singles 'Daydream Believer' and 'Valleri'
The Bee Gees Bee Gees
I've Gotta Get A Message To You listen to soundbites
The Bee Gees enjoy their second UK number 1 hit in August. Selling over 250,000 copies, it's knocked off the top spot the following week by The Beatles' 'Hey Jude' [video]
The Hollies The Hollies
Hollies' Greatest listen to soundbites
This August 1968 singles collection from The Hollies spends 7 weeks at no.1 in the UK (no.11 in the USA) and includes the hits 'I'm Alive', 'Just One Look', 'I Can't Let Go', 'Stop Stop Stop', 'Carrie Anne', 'Here I Go Again', 'Look Through Any Window', 'Carousel', 'Bus Stop', 'We're Through', 'Jennifer Eccles', 'Stay', 'Yes I Will' and 'King Midas In Reverse'
In August, The Bee Gees release their fifth album, 'Idea', which reaches number 4 in the UK and sells over a million copies worldwide. Together with the chart topper 'I've Gotta Get A Message To You', it features 'Such a Shame', the only Bee Gees song where lead vocals aren't sung by a Gibb brother. listen to soundbites
The Mindbenders split up after their 'With Woman In Mind' LP and various singles fail to chart (Aug)
Freddie & The Dreamers also split up after a lack of chart success
In October, The Dakotas manager, Peter Tattersall, and Eric Stewart from The Mindbenders open up Strawberry Studios in Stockport. Graham Gouldman also joins the business
In December Graham Nash, who is not in agreement with the plan to record an album entirely of Bob Dylan songs, leaves The Hollies
John Mayall releases the album 'Blues from Laurel Canyon' which reaches UK no.33 (US no.68) in December 1968. It features guitarists Mick Taylor and Peter Green and takes its name from Laurel Canyon, California, where Mayall moves to the following year listen to soundbites
Peter Tork quits The Monkees in December
 
 
 
 
1969
In January, The Bee Gees release their sixth album, 'Odessa', their fourth International release. It only reaches number 10 in the UK. Disagreements over which song was to be released as a single results in Robin Gibb leaving the group (the single 'First Of May' is chosen, charting at no.6). listen to soundbites
Despite false rumours in the press that she is engaged to Davy Jones, Lulu marries Maurice Gibb.
Fivepenny Piece The Fivepenny Piece
Running Free listen to soundbites
Ashton-under-Lyne Lancashire folk act The Wednesday Folk win the folk section of TV talent show New Faces. Changing their name to The Fivepenny Piece, they release their first single, 'Running Free' in Jan 1969. Like their self-titled debut LP, it fails to chart
In March The Hollies, with Liverpool guitarist Terry Sylvester replacing Graham Nash, reach UK no.3 with the single 'Sorry, Suzanne' [video]
Herman's Hermits Herman's Hermits
My Sentimental Friend listen to soundbites
in April Herman's Hermits reach no.2 in the UK with 'My Sentimental Friend' [video]
In May The Hollies release the Bob Dylan cover album, 'The Hollies Sing Dylan'. (UK no.3) listen to soundbites
Graham Nash Graham Nash
Crosby, Stills & Nash listen to soundbites
Graham Nash joins up with David Crosby and Stephen Stills to record their self-titled debut LP. It reaches no.6 in the USA (no.25 in UK) and spawns the Nash written single 'Marrakesh Express' (UK #5 / USA #28) as well as 'Suite: Judy Blue Eyes' (USA #28). Nash also writes the tracks 'Pre-Road Downs' and 'Lady of the Island' [video].
Robin Gibb Robin Gibb
Robin's Reign listen to soundbites
Robin Gibb's solo career is short lived with the UK no.2 hit single, 'Saved by The Bell'. It's later included on the album 'Robin's Reign' which fails to chart [video].
The Bee Gees Bee Gees
Don't Forget To Remember listen to soundbites
In August, The Bee Gees (without Robin Gibb), sell over 250,000 copies, reaching UK no.2 with the single, 'Don't Forget to Remember' which is released under the name 'Bee Gees featuring Barry Gibb, Maurice Gibb & Colin Peterson' [video]
A collection of non-LP singles from John Mayall called 'Looking Back' reaches no.14 (USA no.79) in August listen to soundbites
The Hollies sell over 250,000 copies, reaching UK no.3 (US no.7) with the September single 'He Ain't Heavy He's My Brother'. Elton John plays piano on the track [video]
In October, The Magic Lanterns reach number 28 in the USA with the track, 'Shame Shame', which is written with Albert Hammond listen to soundbites
In the same month, The Bee Gees reach UK no.7 with their compilation album 'Best Of The Bee Gees'
John Mayall reaches UK no.11 (USA no.32) in November with the live album 'The Turning Point' listen to soundbites
 
 
 
 
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