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Beatles Collaborator Tony Sheridan Dies

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Singer Tony Sheridan, best known for his association with the Beatles, has died of unknown causes at age 72. The future Fab Four’s first recording sessions would be as Sheridan’s backing band.

Sheridan, born Anthony Esmond Sheridan McGinnity on May 21, 1940, was as legend has it, the first British musician to play an electric guitar on television. Sheridan crossed paths with the Beatles while both were playing clubs in Germany in the early ’60s. Sheridan not only showed the young group the ropes of the club circuit, but also taught them a fair amount about music by introducing them to various American rock and roll records.

During a residency at the Top Ten club in Germany, the club’s owner offered the Beatles a standing gig to back Sheridan. Despite having to play for up to seven hours a night, the band accepted the offer. They would soon attract the attention of musician (and label scout) Bert Kaempfert, who offered Sheridan (and backing band) a contract with Polydor Records. The result of this would be the single ‘My Bonnie,’ released in October of 1961 and credited to Tony Sheridan and the Beat Brothers (at Kaempfert’s suggestion).

This would ultimately attract the attention of record shop owner Brian Epstein via a customer’s request for said disc. The rest, as we know, is history, with Epstein becoming the Beatles’ manager and helping the band conquer the world.

Original Beatles drummer Pete Best paid his condolences  to Sheridan on Twitter, saying “My friend Tony Sherdian passed away this morning. Great guy and great memories I will miss you Tony. RIP.”

Next: See Other Rockers We've Lost in 2013

Hear Tony Sheridan & The Beatles Perform ‘My Bonnie’

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