Dougie James and the Soul Train

Said this before but cannot believe Dougie James and the Soul Train has not had a mention on here.

We met Dougie 40? years ago playing at a club in Denton. After that it was Fagins most weeks with the likes of Paul Burgess (10cc) drums, Dave Barrow, Stan (Red) Hoffman, Lyn Oakie, Lenni Sax, Dave Loarch, Mandy Montgomery, Archie on Congas, Mike Smith ,drums, - o name but a few.

Dougie played/supported lots of big names in and around Manchester as well as running "Rafters" with Pat Young, Paul's wife.

He toured with The Jacksons for 6 weeks and became a friend of Michael himself. He actually started off as a duo with Steve Foley of Smile Studios, called "Intrigue". 

Never actually put out any singles but in my mind he was up there with the best vocals of the time. I have lots of Cine film/video of Dougie with The Jacksons, the late Paul Young (a lifelong friend of Dougies) time at Fagins - Yesterdays!!

Poco Poco with his Brother Barry James, amazing guitar/vocals. His talent carries on with his son Ryan on Corrie and Adam, on Emmerdale and Waterloo Rd. Scott runs a succesful club night in Wilmslow,

Hope this is of use to you ,not before time, a true Manchester talent,Have photos to add if you are interested.,

Cheers for now

Jeff Bruton - 17/6/11

My old pal Dougie James has finally done it! Fame at last on Manchesterbeat, Dougie, welcome to the best website in the world for the best musicians you will have ever heard.

Have known Dougie for many years and had some brilliant nights in his company when he has come off stage from gigs he was performing at.

The man has an amazing vocal talent and how he didn't make the "big time" still defies logic. Dougie had that touch of magic about him.
He was the complete package and always gave every performance his all.

He is still performing and puts all the young 'uns in the shade. He has been there and done it.

Remember one particular night many years ago when my wife,gill and two other couples went out with us to a new year special. Dougie was top of the bill and the compere was another well known Manchester area lad, Ray Dean.

I proudly announced that I knew these two from way back. Actually it's just hit me - it was 35 years back from that night. Anyway,they all berated me saying there was no way I remembered them or knew them.

During the interval,ray dean walked over to us and said to me "I know you don't I?" He was gob smacked when I said we hadn't seen each other since I was 16 years old. He said his wife, who was with him said "we know that bloke over there. He used to be a drummer when he was a young lad and played regularly at the Devonshire/Georgian club in Salford when you were compere".

Ray said "Dave, I'll set you up to sing a verse on a drifters medley that Dougie does when he walks around with the roving mic."

Dougie eventually came back on and did the drifters medley whilst walking round.he got to our table and held the mic in front of me to do a verse of "save the last dance for me"
As I was singing,Dougie just burst out laughing and sat down and whispered "I know you.have just realised who you are. Haven't seen you since you were drumming years ago and gigging around Manchester".

When he came off stage, he came right over and sat with us.the wife and friends couldn't believe it. That taught them never to think that musicians from the magical 60's do not know or remember each other.

We took the wife's brother,steve and his wife lynda and 10 other couples to the same club a couple of months later for Steve's 50th birthday to see Dougie topping the bill again.

I asked Dougie to announce Ssteve's 50th and do a song for him.

Dougie duly obliged and Steve was totally knocked out because he was not aware of my life in music before I met his sister. Dougie kept mentioning Seve's 50th for the rest of the night and gently taking the mickey whilst doing other numbers for him.

11 years later, steve still says at his birthday bashes "dave,do you remember my 50th when your mate Dougie james made my birthday night complete? What a magic night that was!"

Just goes to show what Dougie james is like. A true friend, a gent and a wonderful entertainer.

Every musician I speak to from the 60's has a fond memory of Dougie.

There must be a million tales out there. Can't believe I don't have any photos of Dougie. Somebody must have a history of photos of him.

Where are they?

The Soul Train are still amazing. Very, very talented musicians and with Stan Hoffman fronting them, well what more can I say!

Dave Anderton - drummer with 60's Salford groups The Beatleague and The Principals - 21/6/11

As a friend of John Bagnall I had contact with many artists booked at Fagin's. Dougie James was just one of them. He is in my opinion amongst the greats of our time and one of the most talented and professional entertainer; and I had many a great nights out at Fagins and again in Wilmslow. If I could get in touch I would very much like to have him entertain at my son's 50th birthday bash on the 23rd of July. I know it would be special night to remember if he was available and if I con afford to have him do the gig.

All the best to Dougie, he always said hello has if he knew me but I knew him and that was enough. 

Lucy Smith - 25/6/11

I was lucky enough to play drums with Dougie , sometimes with every musician in Manchester on stage at the same time and other times Stan, myself and a cow bell - but he always did the biz ... exciting!

Dave Buck - 1/7/11

I should have sent this some time ago but time goes by very fast. Me n Dougie James go back a long long way.

I had to pick him and Stan up one day to take them to the Grand Theatre in Blackpool for a live BBC showand the fixed car phones had just come out. On the way Dougie says "This is a driving desk".

He was a master at his trade - an outstanding entertainer and had a fantastic fan base. One thing about Dougie was he always had time for people and especially his following.

I had the great pleasure of being Dougie's agent for quite a few years. Dougie had this type of way that made me laugh but I couldn't show this to him. His way was "I will do it when I am good and ready" but as soon as he hit that stage, he was fantastic and honestly say that you could never know what other people would be on the stage with him - Paul Young, Phil of Thin Lizzy, Paul Carrick and many more.

Somewhere I have a vhs video of Dougie working with The Jackson Five and Micheal Jackson and Dougie got on really well. When Dougie was on the tour supporting the Jacksons, Dougie was doing his bit and Micheal Jackson came on at the back and started sweeping the stage. Dougie was doubled up trying to sing.

Dougie was a friend to every one and Alex Higgens and Wayne Fontana were good friends of his. I have to sum this up by saying if any artists deserved to make it it was Dougie James.

Great friend, great person - love you Dougie (in the right way)

Roy Mozley - 1/7/11

Just a quick one! If any of you want to get in touch with Dougie, he can be contacted via "Facebook" ,where else, on Dougie James Appreciation Society,and for you Roy (met you long time ago,at "the Talk Of The North" with Dougie, coming up out the floor, remember?? )

He'' got some good photos on there, I have loads of videos that I did - starting at "Fagins"(Cine Film) to Yesterdays Alderley Edge.

As I said "Happy Days!!"

Jeff Bruton - 1/7/11

Just wanted to add some more notes on Dougie James. I used to be the booking agent for all the artists in Fagins M/c and in later years became a director with John Bagnall. Probably to this day I think john and I would say that Dougie would do fantastic business for the club and also I have to say Dougie was one of the best acts we use to have on there.

Roy Mozley - 4/7/11

I know the James family well, they lived in Wythenshawe, very talented family..dougie ,should have been massive....his brother barry ,very talented always s top and have a good natter when we meet up....great site ..fills me full of great memories from the 60,s..happy days 

Barrie George - 7/1/12

I had met Douggie many times - great personality and fantastic act - just adored by the ladies (hated by most of the men!!!). Used to chat with his lady while she was walking the King Charles spaniel he had bought her.

Whenever he was at Blightys (and noting I don't drink nor "smoke" - just filter tips) I used to walk into the "star" dressing room - five minutes late I would walk out feeling "REALLY happy" from the smoke filled room.

Stuart Brown - 29/3/13

Haven't seen Dougie for years but concur with everything that's been mentioned here. I got to know Dougie through Graham Barraclough, who played guitar for him. Always remember when they did 'Vincent'. Dougie once turned up at my house on his white horse called Major, nobody had ever seen anything like it before in Benchill. Best joke 'Mr & Mrs Poole and their son Cess'

Colin Slinger - 11/7/13

I remember dougie james riding down Roundthorn Road, Baguley on a horse!! On his way to visit Pat, Paul, Lee, Jason and Ursula Young. Always a star - full western outfit!!

Bill Dwyer - 18/8/13

Dougie James used to stay with me when I had Pro Digs in Jesmond Newcastle. (The Coda) That man sticks in my memory because he was such a delightful person, and so full of fun.

I have tried to find out about him for years, and am happy to say I found him on Facebook.
It's good to see him still making people happy, I'm sure he always will.

All the very best to you Dougie.

Jackie Hanson - 13/1/14





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