Pioneer of British Pop
The claims to fame of the town of Grantham, Lincs, England are Sir Isaac Newton, man of gravity, the Dambusters whose raid was orchestrated from St Vincents, a manor house situated in the town, and Margaret Roberts, daughter of a well known grocer, who became Margaret Thatcher and the "Iron Lady" Prime Minister of Great Britain.
There was also Roy Taylor, a local school boy whose lanky 6'3" frame (at 14) was to prove a handful when it came to distance running. As a 14 year old his idols were Gordon Pirie and Emile Zatopek, two of the most exciting distance runners of all time.
However, his idols soon changed when he teamed up with two pals to form the "Harmonica Vagabonds", later to be the "Vagabonds Skiffle Group". Roy became infatuated with skiffle king Lonnie Donegan's music and the Vagabonds became the local teenage flavor of the decade as they filled the Grantham and district dance halls and clubs with their music and contagious personalities.
The Vagabonds were to spread their wings when they entered the World Skiffle Championships which saw them reach the televised final on BBC Television's Come Dancing. A disappointing second place did not deter the boys and they were offered a residency at the famous 2 I's Coffee Bar in London's West End. It was not long before they were booked by pop Svengali Larry Parnes, manager of Tommy Steele and Marty Wilde, for a Sunday concert.
The outcome was for Roy Taylor to become VINCE EAGER. This was followed by a tour and the making of an extended play record, "Vince Eager & The Vagabonds". Roy Clark and Mick Fretwell returned to Grantham and bass player Brian Liquorice Locking remained in London in search of his personal fame which he found as a member of Cliff Richard's backing group, The Shadows.
Vince became a household name with over 100 TV appearances on shows such as Drumbeat, Six Five Special and Oh Boy. Whilst his recording career was dogged by the conflict which was to develop between him and Larry Parnes, Vince did release 14 singles and 5 albums. Many of today's compilation CD's feature Vince's 1959 - 61 recordings.
It was Vince's stage appearances that made Vince into a musical force to be reckoned with. Touring with Eddie Cochran, Gene Vincent, Marty Wilde, Jerry Lee Lewis, Billy Fury and many more top pop names gave Vince the opportunity to hone the stage skills which still serve him to this day.
The death of his best friend Eddie Cochran in a car crash on Easter Sunday 1960 was to prove a turning point in Vince's career. He was disgusted with the manner in which Parnes sought to gain publicity from the accident and he began the process of getting away from the "Parnes Stable" of popsters.
In the years that followed the Parnes era, Vince was prolific on the British and overseas cabaret circuit, theatre, pantomime and for 5 years he starred in the Sir Laurence Olivier Award winning West End musical "ELVIS".
In 1986 Vince took up residency in Fort Lauderdale, Florida where he became a Cruise Director for 14 years on American luxury cruise ships.
Back on dry land Vince picked up where he'd left off with his live shows by teaming up with his band the Memphis Tone.s They soon became a big hit on the festival and nostalgia cicuit and were invited to join the Western Star record label from whom Vince recently received a gold disc for his outstanding sales worldwide.
2007 found Vince having his book, "Vince Eager's Rock 'n' Roll Files" published, which then lead to him becoming a regular columnist with the classy bi-monthly retro magazine "Vintage Rock", where for 4 years his column has proved to be a very popular read which in turn has lead to his popularity on the talk and media presentation circuit.
Along with his wife Anette, Vince is now based in rural Nottinghamshire close to his two sons Simon and Christie and their families. His daughter Debbie and her family ilve in Merseyside .