Elmer Gantry’s Velvet Opera were an English rock combo that was active during the late 1960s. The band released several singles and one self-titled album on Direction in 1968. A change in lineup produced one further album under a shortened band name.
Members: Colin Forster (guitar, 1967-68, 1970), Dave Terry [aka Elmer Gantry] (vocals, guitar, 1967-68), Richard Hudson (drums, 1967-70), John Ford (bass, 1967-70), Paul Brett (vocals, guitar, 1968-69), Johnny Joyce (guitar, 1968-69), Colin Bass (bass, 1970), Dave MacTavish (vocals, 1970), Mike Fincher (drums, 1970)
The band were initially calling themselves Velvet Opera when vocalist Dave Terry donned a stage cape in ode to the titular character in the 1960 Burt Lancaster vehicle Elmer Gantry, hence the newly prefixed band-name. The band’s eponymous 1968 album crosses tuneful Pepper-esque whimsy with the thunderous sounds just emerging on the UK scene.
After that one album, Terry left the band, which trimmed back its name and soldiered on with singer/guitarist Paul Brett for one further longplayer, Ride a Hustler’s Dream, in 1969. Terry later formed a band called Legs that became embroiled in a scandal when they agreed to assume Fleetwood Mac‘s nameplate for a 1974 fill-in tour of the US — a ruse designed by the management that handled both bands. Terry subsequently formed the hard-rock/blues band Stretch, which released four albums between 1975 and 1978.
- Elmer Gantry’s Velvet Opera (1968)
- Ride a Hustler’s Dream (1969 – as Velvet Opera)