(c’58 – 14) Nikki Papas (guitar / vocals)
Papas was part of the Nicky Papas Trio who played Opportunity Knocks in 1974, competing against Lena Zavaroni. But let’s roll back to ’59 when he released “49th State Rock”, on Red Parlophone 7″ [R4590] with “Try Again” on the b-side. The A-side was also to appeared 56 years later on Smith & Co’s 2015 compilation album “Wide Skirts, Drape Coats & Brothel Creepers, Vol. 5”. This first single was co-written with Morgan ‘Thunderclap’ Jones and Bill Crompton, and Papas recorded songs with Jones in the 50’s and 60’s.
In May the next year he released the 7″ single “By The River”, again on Parlophone [R4652] which carried “Don’t Leave Me Alone” on the B-side. As a solo performer he could be seen in many of the local pubs and clubs, as well as the odd wedding. Sing-a-long’s with Nikki were an almost nightly occurrence starting in about ’71 through the late ’80s, by which time his name was being written Nicky. The Red Lion, Chobham; Castle, Upper Hale; Crimea, Aldershot; Golden Fleece, Elstead; New Forest Inn, Holt Pound; and Claremont, West Byfleet all hosted Papas; along with many others.
In December ’87 he ended a 16 year weekly residency at the Golden Fleece, Elstead. In ’89 the Joe Methuselah Award in the Phil Gibby farewell honors was his. Most recently, on 14 February 2012, he appeared on Dell Richardson’s Good Rocking Tonight on Radio Caroline and in 2014 released “The Pitch and Toss (And The Doublecross) 7” on Fury UK [F1000] with The Fireballs UK taking the B-side with “Cherokee War Dance”. “The Pitch and Toss” was recorded by Papas in ’59 and written by Crompton and Jones, and featured Jones on piano. Sadly, Nicky Papas pass away in 2017.