Independent label: Willows Records appears to have been the record label of the Willows Variety Centre, Salford. It was responsible for at least one record, an EP by well-known Manchester musician Pete Maclaine with The Christie Band; he was compere at the center for a while, and was also resident artist there with the band. Tracks contains covers of Dobie Gray’s “Drift Away”, the England Dan and John Ford Coley hit from 1976 “I’d Really Love To See You Tonight” plus the rock ‘n’ roll classics “Dream Lover” and “My Baby Left Me”. On the recording sessions were Pete Maclaine of Pete Maclaine And The Clan on vocals, Frank Renshaw of The Toggery Five, Young And Renshaw and Herman’s Hermits 1975-82 on guitar, Pete Bocking of The Clan on guitar, Dave Barrow of The Measles on bass, Kevin Christie on drums, and Bernie Byrnes of Wayne Fontana and The Mindbenders on backing vocals. Steve Foley was behind the controls at Smile Studios in Stockport.', and the catalogue number was WR-001. As can be seen from the scan, there was no date on the EP; but it was made through custom recording concern Smile Studios, of Manchester, which may give a clue as to the year in which it was made. Smile used silver-on-black paper labels with the same style of perimeter credits as Willows until some point in 1979, when it turned to injection moulded ones instead; examples of both can be seen on the 'Smile (Pop)' page. It seems possible, therefore, that the Willows EP dates from Smile's 'black label' period - that is, from not much later than the first half of 1979. The musical content is above-average Club Pop / Rock fare. Maclaine had been around since the early '60s and had made a single for Decca with The Clan, 'Yes I Do' (F-11699; 7/63) - reportedly they were one of the bands which Decca signed at the time when it turned down the Beatles. Distributed By Willows Records. Thanks to Robert Lyons For The Info.
Pete Maclaine And The Christie