WAYNE BENTLEY BIOGRAPHY.
Wayne Bentley has been singing almost all of his life.He was the one who was always asked to get up to entertain his class mates at each end of term at school.Born in Barry[Near Cardiff] South Wales on June 18th 1947.His parents moved 40 miles to Swansea,he was aged 3 at the time.Swansea was where he was to spend the next 33 years.
Following 2 or 3 various jobs after leaving school at 15, jobs which held little or no interest to him at all "I was lousy at all of them"he recalls.He was asked to form a local group which was being formed in his home village of Llansamlet.He became the lead singer of the outfit which called themselves Wayne @ The Comets.They performed at theyre first gig at around about april of 1964.Performing at first in community centres before progressing to larger dance halls and ballrooms which were really popular at the time,the length and breadth of South Wales,including much work in the famous valleys.Gaining increasing popularity they eventually won a group contest called The Embassey Beat Contest Challenge cup held at The Embassy Ballroom,Swansea,the premier gig for bands at that time.
"Those early days were a great learning process"Wayne says.The band spilt shortly afterwards due to the usual personnel changes and the usual differences of opinions.
Wayne then went solo,topping the bill at his own show at The Grand Theatre Swansea in May1967 in a special concert aimed at launching his solo career.The show was a sell out.He then spent many years appearing in working mens clubs,cabaret and night clubs in the valleys of South Wales working with various live musicians and house bands "Some brilliant some atrocious"he recalls."Thats when the real learning began"he smiles.
He moved his family to Leeds Yorkshire in 1983 to be more centrally based as by then he was travelling the length of the country.Wayne appeared in many top night spots during these years,such as The Cafe De Paris in London The Heart Of The Midlands Nottingham,The Double Diamond Caerphilly, where the likes of Cliff Richard Shirley Bassey regularly appeared.Also many theatres and summer seasons working with many of the top stars at the time.It was during a summer season in 1980 at the Adam Smith Theatre in Kirkcaldy Fife that he recorded his only other record,an E.P.of 4 songs called [wait for it] The Love Boat some 18-20 years before he was officially nicknamed "Mr Loveboat"There are 6 copies of tht vinyl E.P.still left for posterity,although he hopes to have it re-mastered as part of a future project.
Tired of the never ending travelling up and down the country,Wayne decided to try and work locally and in 1995 decided to move to Oldham Lancashire and add pubs to his venues which he had never really experienced before.He had already had two previous spells of living in Oldham in 1989 and 1992-93 due to a change in personal circumstances and had developed a real warmth for the place."I love the spirit and enthusiasm of the people"he says"They have been great with me"The final straw as far as travelling was concerned was the Haven summer season he completed in 1993 which was 750 miles a week for 23 weeks "Never Again"
In late 1998 early 1999 Wayne noticed he was gaining a new younger following and re-invented and up dated his stage show incorporating older classics that he had not sung for years and mixing it with current chart hits.The formula proved to be a huge success and Wayne is currently enjoying the happiest years of his professional life!!!
EARLY PUBLICITY SHOT OF WAYNE@THE COMETS,TOP TO BOTTOM;
TERRY BENNETT:LEAD GUITAR [LEFT HANDED] NEIL ADAMS:DRUMS.
PETER SCRINE:BASS 1965.