Emile Ford !
He was born Emile Sweetman in Castries, St. Lucia in the West Indies and grew up in (Funky) Nassau. Emile came to England in the mid-1950's with the hope of becoming a sound engineer, and his knowledge in that field contributed directly to his subsequent success fronting a band. Changing his name to Emile Ford, he put together a combo called the Checkmates, whose members included his two half-brothers, George Sweetman and Dave Sweetman, on sax and bass, respectively, along with Ken Street, Pete Carter, Les Hart, Alan Hawkshaw, and John Cuffley. As Emile Ford & The Checkmates, they won a talent contest sponsored by Pye Records and were awarded an audition and a contract that resulted in their first single, "Don't Tell Me Your Troubles" b/w "What Do You Want To Make Those Eyes At Me For", which was produced by the legendary Joe Meek.
The truth is that Ford wasn't really a very good singer (well, who really can tell who’s a good or bad singer ? No wait, Celine Dion’s a bad singer), but he had a good band behind him, and unlike every other rock 'n' roll act in England during this period, the group used only their own sound system, devised by Ford, at their performances, rather than the usual PA-system level equipment. As a result, they sounded better than any of the competition, sufficiently so to keep them working for years !
Emile Ford kept his hand in singing for a few more years before returning to audio engineering By now, it was routine for bands to travel with their own sound systems, and Emile found lots of other acts happy to avail themselves of his technical abilities and use his audio systems. When last heard of, he was living in California after residing in Scandinavia for several years.
Emile Ford :
* Gypsy Love *
* Tell Me Who *
* Fever *