Babs’ book tribute to brother who played with Cliff and The Shadows

The sister of a musician who played with Cliff Richard and The Shadows has written a book on the story of her 
brother’s life.
Brian 'Licorice' Locking and his sister Babs Wilson, of Leasingham. EMN-220214-173513001Brian 'Licorice' Locking and his sister Babs Wilson, of Leasingham. EMN-220214-173513001
Brian 'Licorice' Locking and his sister Babs Wilson, of Leasingham. EMN-220214-173513001

Babs Wilson, 71, who now lives in Leasingham, has written ‘Me and My Shadow’, telling of her Brian ‘Licorice’ Locking’s life, from their upbringing in Grantham with elder brother Robert, right through his musical career which took him around the world.

Brian worked as a fireman on Grantham steam trains, then as a sales assistant in a gentleman’s tailor shop.

He befriended others in the town with a musical interest, which led to playing harmonica with Vince Eager (Roy Taylor) and Roy Clarke at the local Granada Cinema prior to the main film being shown. They formed a skiffle group with John Holt and Mick Fretwell as the Vagabonds and came second in the final of the World Skiffle Championship in London.

Bab writes: “Whilst there, they made a record of their music and visited the famous 2i’s Coffee Bar in Soho where many musicians and groups started their careers in music and the music era evolved from skiffle music to the start of rock ‘n’ roll in Britain.

“The group, after playing in the 2i’s, they were offered a regular contract, and the rest is history!”

Babs said: “Our Brian went on to meet many musicians and travelled and played alongside them. Clem Cattini, Wee Willie Harris, Marty Wilde, Eddie Cochran, Gene Vincent, Tommy Steele. This led him to a career in The Shadows with Cliff Richard for two years, and during this time played and recorded on their many hits and was in their film Summer Holiday.

“Me and Brian have always been extremely close and it would almost break my heart when he had to leave Grantham to return to London, but we were always extrememly proud of him and his achievements.”

Brian left the group for a simpler lifestyle due to his personal religious beliefs and Babs says Cliff Richard has always been thankful to him for promoting his own interest in religion, even contacting Brian before his death in October 2020 , aged 81.

Brian continued to play locally, later agreeing to become an ambassador at fan conventions for The Shadows.

Me and My Shadow is available in paperback, hardback and ebook through most sellers.

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