Sheffield musician Art's footnote to music fashion history!
A Sheffield music fan and charity concert promoter has a fascinating story to tell about a city musician and some famous boots.
Mike Lawton of Grenoside wrote in to say: “The picture of John Lennon in Retro (March 10) showed him with footwear that became known as Beatle Boots, because all four Beatles started wearing that style, and there was a clamour for something similar by many male fans of the group.
“What most people don’t know is that they were designed, and first worn, by Sheffield musician, Art Jacobs.
“Art was the bass player for The Ravens, Jimmy Crawford’s backing group, who is credited with being the first Sheffield artist to have a hit record, when I Love How You Love Me made the pop charts in 1961.
“On pop package tours, apart from backing Jimmy Crawford, The Ravens were often asked to play for American stars who weren’t allowed to bring their own musicians.
“Through this, Art met Tony Orlando, who had chart success with Bless You, before enjoying more hits with Dawn, such as Tie a Yellow Ribbon.
“ Orlando had a fine pair of black, lace-up boots, that Art much admired and being an amateur artist, drew up his own design, with elasticated sides, Cuban heels and chisel toes.
“He took the picture to a specialist shoe shop in London, Anello & Davide, who agreed to make a pair of boots to Art’s own design.
“Art was delighted with the result, and so was singer Danny Williams, of Moon River fame, who then had a pair made.
“Seeing the potential, the shoe shop made up some more boots which they displayed in the shop window, which is how they caught the attention of The Beatles.
“Art’s good friend, fellow musician Neil Bridges, also had a pair made, which he has kept to this day.
“Art eventually retired from playing but made a comeback a few years ago and appears with his current band, Dark Lightning, at the pubs and clubs of Sheffield, and the north Midlands.”