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Last Updated: Saturday, 20 May 2006, 15:40 GMT 16:40 UK
Singer Freddie dies in hospital
Freddie Garrity - picture courtesy of MEN Syndication
Freddie Garrity was famed for his energetic dance moves
Freddie Garrity, the lead singer of the 1960s pop band Freddie and the Dreamers, has died in hospital.

The 69-year-old, originally from Manchester, had been receiving treatment for what were described as "circulation problems".

He died on Friday at Ysbyty Gwynedd in Bangor, north Wales.

The five-piece band had success in both Britain and the US with hits such as I'm Telling You Now and You Were Made For Me.

Mr Garrity, who lived in Newcastle-under-Lyme in Staffordshire, was on holiday with his wife Christine when he was taken to hospital.

A family friend, Eric St John-Foti, said Mr Garrity had been suffering from circulation problems.

He paid tribute to the star, who was famed for his manic dance routine, which he called "the Freddie".

Even off stage he was a bundle of fun
Danny Betesh
Freddie Garrity's former agent

"He was so full of life, and full of jokes," he said.

"He was exactly the same as he was on stage, he did not have two personas.

"It is a sad loss, Freddie was part of the 1960s and drew comparisons with the Beatles."

Mr Garrity, a former milkman, grew up in Collyhurst, Manchester, and started Freddie and the Dreamers in 1959.

He was spotted by Danny Betesh, who was his agent for more than 40 years.

Mr Betesh said: "Even off stage he was a bundle of fun. He was part of a bunch of lads that really wanted to try and make it.

Freddie and Christine Garrity - picture courtesy of MEN syndication
Freddie was on holiday with his wife when he was taken ill

"Freddie was a very determined man.

"They were very, very popular, in the 60s - it was The Beatles, Gerry and the Pacemakers then Freddie and the Dreamers.

"They were household names."

The band, which also included Roy Crewsdon, Derek Quinn, Pete Birrell and Bernie Dwyer, made a breakthrough in America in 1965 when I'm Telling You Now topped the charts.

The group also featured in a number of low budget musical films including What A Crazy World, Every Day's A Holiday, Cuckoo Patrol and Seaside Swingers.

It was on an American television show that Mr Garrity was asked about his stage antics.

Freddie and the Dreamers - picture courtesy of MEN Syndication
The original Freddie and the Dreamers disbanded in 1969

"It's a dance," he said, "It's called the Freddie."

Within weeks, the band was back in the charts with a song called Do The Freddie.

Mr Garrity disbanded the original group in 1969 and concentrated on solo work, but the band reformed in 1976 and hit the road once more, touring for the next 25 years.

In 2001 he was taken seriously ill on a flight and rushed to hospital on landing, where it was discovered he was suffering from emphysema.

He was married three times and leaves four children - a daughter by his first wife, Josie, and a son and two daughters by his second wife, Deirdre.


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