Babe Ruth are a rock band from Hatfield, Hertfordshire, England. They were initially active in the 1970s and reformed in 2005.
A predecessor of the group, called Shacklock after guitarist Alan Shacklock, was formed in 1970. Members included Janita Haan and Dave Hewitt, with Dave Punshon and Dick Powell later joining. The first release was their single "Wells Fargo"; their first album, First Base, went gold in Canada. In 1973, Ed Spevock replaced Powell and Chris Holmes replaced Punshon on the second album. In 1975, Steve Gurl, keyboardist from Glenn Cornick's Wild Turkey replaced Holmes for the third album. The same year, Shacklock left the band to become a record producer and Bernie Marsden (Wild Turkey) joined the team for the fourth album. After this, Haan and Hewitt left.
Though no original member remained, the group incorporated Ellie Hope and Ray Knott for the fifth album in 1976. Shortly before Babe Ruth disbanded, they were joined by the young 17-year-old Birmingham born Simon Lambeth who made a few appearances on their last tour. Marsden moved on to join Whitesnake (after the short lived Paice Ashton Lord broke up) and Lambeth left the band.
Their 1975 single 'Elusive' (Capitol CL 15869) became a popular on the Northern Soul scene. In the US, "Elusive" also was a hit in the discos, peaking at #12 on the National Disco Action chart.
A disco cover of Babe Ruth's "The Mexican" appeared in the late 1970s, performed by the Bombers. This version inspired an electro/freestyle cover produced by Jellybean Benitez in 1984, for which he managed to recruit Haan on vocals - the cover subsequently becoming noted for its popularity as an underground dance hit.
Between late 2005 and early 2006, Haan (now Janita Haan Morris), Hewitt, Shacklock, and Punshon reunited to record new material together in Nashville, with Spevock recording his drums in London. The album, titled Que Pasa, was completed September 2006, and after being made available in digital form via the band's official web site, was released on Revolver Records in 2009.
The band embarked on a successful reunion tour of Canada in July 2010, playing three concerts at Ottawa Bluesfest, Metropolis Montreal, and Festival International du Blues de Tremblant.
On 28 June 2014, Babe Ruth played their only show in the world for 2014 at Milwaukee's Summerfest; over 7000 attended.
- Current members
- Jenny Haan (born Janita Haan, 9 May 1953, Edgware, Middlesex, now Janita Haan Morris) - vocals (1970-1975, 2005-present)
- Dave Hewitt (born David John Hewitt, 4 May 1950, Dewsbury, West Yorkshire) - bass and vocals (1970-1975, 2005-present)
- Alan Shacklock (born Alan Albert Shacklock, 20 June 1950, London) - guitars, vocals, organ, percussions, and string arrangements (1970-1975, 2005-present)
- Dave Punshon - electric piano and piano (1971-1973, 2005-present)
- Ed Spevock (born Edmund Anthony Spevock, 14 December 1946, London) - drums (1973-present)
- Past members
- Jeff Allen (born Jeffrey Allen, 23 April 1946, Matlock, Derbyshire) - drums (1970-1971)
- Dick Powell - drums and percussion (1971-1973)
- Chris Holmes (born Christopher Noel Holmes, 12 September 1945, Cleethorpes, Lincolnshire) - keyboards (1973-1975)
- Steve Gurl - keyboards (1975-1976)
- Bernie Marsden (born Bernard John Marsden, 7 May 1951, Buckingham, Buckinghamshire) - guitars (1975-1976)
- Ellie Hope - vocals (1975-1976)
- Ray Knott - bass (1975-1976)
- Simon Lambeth - guitars and backing vocals (1976)
- First Base, 1972, Harvest SW-11151. U.S. No. 178
- Amar Caballero, 1973, Harvest SHVL 812.
- Babe Ruth, 1975 LP Harvest 11367, 1993 CD One Way 56845. U.S. No. 75
- Stealin' Home, U.S. 1975 No. 169
- Kid's Stuff, 1976
- Que; Pasa, 2007
- "Wells Fargo" / "Theme from "A Few Dollars More"", 1972, Harvest HAR 5061
- "Ain't That Livin'" / "We Are Holding On", 1973, Harvest HAR 5072
- "If Heaven's On Beauty's Side" / "Doctor Love", 1974, Harvest HAR 5082
- "Wells Fargo" / "The Mexican", 1974, Harvest HAR 5087
- "Private Number" / "Somebody's Nobody", 1975, Harvest HAR 5090
- "Elusive" / "Say No More" (Spevock / Gurl), 1976, Capitol CL-15869
- "The Duchess of New Orleans" / "The Jack O'Lantern" / "Turquoise", 1976, Harvest SPSR 377
- Greatest Hits, 1977
- Grand Slam: The Best of Babe Ruth, 1994
- First Base / Amar Caballero, 1998, BGO CD 382. Two albums remastered with a comprehensive article about the band and photos.
- Babe Ruth / Stealin' Home, 2000, BGO CD 452. Two albums, remastered with a comprehensive article about the band and photos.
- Babe Ruth in Concert, DVD of 1975 Montreal concert.
- A CD of a live recording from the BBC, 1975 program called "The Archive Session" introduced by Alan "Fluff" Freeman. Track listing:
- "Black Dog"
- "King Kong"
- "Amar Cabellero Pt. 2"
- "Isn't That So"
- "Gimme Some Leg"
- "Baby Pride"
- The Tapestry of Delights - The Comprehensive Guide to British Music of the Beat, R&B, Psychedelic and Progressive Eras 1963-1976, Vernon Joynson, ISBN 1-899855-04-1