The Swinging Blue Jeans

The Swinging Blue Jeans
Release date
01 January 1970
The Swinging Blue Jeans
01 January 1970 |

The Swinging Blue Jeans was a quartet founded by Ray Ennis and Les Braid in Liverpool in 1958 and that achieved success with the “British Invasion” of North America that revolutionized pop music in 1964. The Blue Jeans, was a part of the “Merseybeat” sound that gave the world The Beatles, Gerry and the Pacemakers and Cilla Black. Like other Merseybeat bands, The Swinging Blue Jeans featured two guitars, bass and drums. It essentially was a rock n’ roll band influenced by country & western music, the early, country-influenced rock n’ roll (a sound now called “rock-a-billy”) and the local Liverpudlian “skiffle” sound, northern English 20th-century folk music influenced by the blues and jazz, played by bands using improvised instruments to complement the acoustic guitar and banjo.

The Swinging Blue Jeans’ most famous song was “Hippy Hippy Shake”, which was a smash hit, reaching #2 in the British charts after being released by EMI’s prestigious HMV label in 1964. “Hippy Hippy Shake” was released in the U.S. on Imperial Records and in Canada by Capitol, The Beatles’ North American label. The group’s popularity peaked from 1964 through 1966, along with that of the other Merseybeat bands. The Merseybeat sound suddenly became old-fashioned with the rise of psychedelia in 1967, which saw the beat-driven rock n’ roll replaced by the acid-fueled musical phenomenon that became known simply as “Rock”. (The Beatles managed to enjoy another three-year cycle of success from 1967 through 1969, after which the band broke up). Now obsolete, the band no longer had any hits and eventually was forced onto the “oldies” circuit. The Swinging Blue Jeans continue to tour to this day.