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Les McKeown, frontman of 70s teen sensation Bay Metropolis Rollers, dies aged 65

McKeown fronted the Bay Metropolis Rollers throughout their dizzying heyday within the mid-Nineteen Seventies, when their hits “Shang-A-Lang,” “Bye, Bye, Child,” and “Give a Little Love” catapulted them to acclaim and earned them scores of younger followers in Britain, the US and past.

Their poster-boy standing and pop-rock bops drew comparisons with The Beatles, who had dominated the sound of the earlier decade, and the unassuming Edinburgh teenagers turned considered one of Scotland’s most famous post-war cultural exports.

However “Rollermania,” because it was dubbed by music critics, lasted only some years, and McKeown left the group in 1978. Lately he has toured once more along with his former bandmates, fronting a nostalgia tour that visited venues throughout the UK and North America.

“It’s with profound disappointment that we announce the loss of life of our beloved husband and father Leslie Richard McKeown,” his household wrote on the singer’s Twitter account. “Leslie died abruptly at house on Tuesday.”
McKeown (second from left) and his bandmates perform on the BBC in 1975.

McKeown’s vocals on “Bye, Bye, Child” are nonetheless recognizable to youthful generations right now, however dozens of the group’s singles — together with “Summerlove Sensation” and “Give a Little Love” — have been mainstays of pop radio within the mid-70s.

The band reached the highest spot within the American Billboard chart as soon as, with “Saturday Night time,” and loved success there lengthy after the preliminary “British Invasion” of the Sixties had waned.

“I believe we have been a breath of recent air within the 70s,” McKeown informed Scottish newspaper the Press and Journal forward of his reformed group’s headline set on the 2016 T within the Park pageant.
In recent years, McKeown had toured again with the reformed group.

“There was nothing difficult about our music — though it is wonderful how many individuals who used to return to our live shows as youngsters are nonetheless coming again with their daughters in spite of everything these years they usually’re singing our songs collectively,” he mentioned. “That is fairly particular.”

Bandmate Ian Mitchell, who joined the group for a brief stint as a bassist, died in September 2020 on the age of 62.

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