Lance Fortune

b. Chris Morris, 1940, Birkenhead, Cheshire, England. Until he received a guitar at Christmas 1956, this grammar school student had studied classical piano. Morris sacrificed a scholarship at a Welsh university to work as an odd-job man at the famous London coffee bar, the 2I’s, and it was there that he was heard singing by top manager and impresario Larry Parnes in 1959. Although he did not manage him, Parnes rechristened him Lance Fortune (a name he had previously given to Clive Powell, a singer and pianist, whom he later renamed Georgie Fame). Fortune recorded his first single ‘Be Mine’, an Adam Faith -styled pop song, backed by John Barry’s musicians, which was released by Pye and eventually climbed to number 4 in the UK. The producer/engineer was Joe Meek and this was his first all solo production. During the time it took to reach the charts in Britain, Fortune toured with his idol, Gene Vincent. He also managed to put the follow-up ‘This Love I Have For You’ into the Top 30 but it was his last taste of success - long-term fame was not on the cards for Mr. Fortune.

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