By Alex HudsonTony Sheridan, a British rock'n'roll singer who played a pivotal role in the Beatles' early days, passed away on Saturday (February 16) in Hamburg, Germany. He was 72.
Sheridan got his break as a respected guitarist in the late '50s, and he's credited with being the first British musician to play the electric guitar on television. He was a notoriously wild performer, and made his most lasting mark on the music industry when he took a residency in Hamburg. It was there that he met the Beatles and adopted them as his backing band.
The Beatles, who were at that time sometimes referred to as the Beat Boys, accompanied Sheridan during live shows and recorded a few songs with him for Polydor in 1961. Some of these tracks, including Sheridan's charting version of "My Bonnie," appeared on the Beatles compilation album Anthology 1 in 1995.
Sheridan later went on to move away from rock'n'roll and incorporate more jazz and blues influences into his sound. He continued performing later in life, releasing the album Vagabond in 2002.
He is survived by his wife, Anna, and his three sons and two daughters. One of his sons, Tony Jr., is a rockabilly guitarist.