Ricky & The Phantoms
The Paramounts

Ricky and The Phantoms with their manager Sammy Jones
Colin Wilson, Vince White, Sammy Jones, George Reed and Arthur McCullough

Ricky and The Phantoms were a Workington band playing from 1959 to 1969.

Ricky was Arthur McCullough who started singing at an early age and used to sing in the school and church choirs. While appearing at a concert at the church his potential was spotted by Mr and Mrs Johnson, who were local music teachers, who approached his parents and offered to give him singing lessons (Mr. Johnson being a festival winning baritone).

As his singing developed Arthur was encouraged to enter musical festivals at first locally and then further afield with great success winning his class in six out of seven appearances. Amongst his wins were in the Workington, Morecambe and Blackpool festivals.

Arthur (centre) after coming first
in the 10 to 12 year old solo at
Workington Musical Festival in 1953

Eventually the records of Elvis and Cliff Richard and the lure of rock and roll led him to join a group in 1959. The Phantoms consisted of Vince White on lead guitar, Brian Milnes on rhythm guitar, Colin Wilson on bass and George Reed on drums (who went on to play with Marshall Scott and The Deputies).

Ricky and The Phantoms started to play in The Bush in Workington which was a pub actually called The Golden Lion but known to everyone as "The Bush"!

Eventually they became the resident band in The Bush, taking over from Eddie and The Dukes. Over the years they were resident at different times at the Curwen Arms in Workington, the Labour club in Workington, the Clifton dance hall and the Falcon club in Egremont. They were managed at this time by Sammy Jones. One day Vince borrowed Sammy's van and had the band's name and pictures of the band members painted all over it. Sammy was furious at first, but later saw the funny side and let them keep it like that.

Other venues they played included the Reds club (Workington AFC's club at Burough Park), the Ancient Mariner pub in Workington and various pubs in Maryport.

In 1969 the band had a change of name and lineup and became The Paramounts. Brian Holmes (formerly of the Defenders and the Electrons) took over on drums and Dave Needham (also from the Electrons) joined on bass. Raymond Shaw (formerly with the Defenders) also joined on piano.

The Paramounts were the resident band in the Westfield Inn in Workington for about three years.

During this time they were augmented at times with various local singers and musicians. Amongst these were Adelle (of Adelle and the Delrons), together with her husband Bob on electric accordion which was used to advantage in some of the country songs they added to their repertoire. Another local singer known as Little June who used to be in a band with Joe Delin would also join them occasionally.