The Mersey Men were one of the founding bands of the Salem and south Manhoning Valley band scene. The band was founded by Al Catlos, formely of the Renegades on lead guitar, and Ron Flory (lead vocals, rhythm guitar). They were joined by Bill Shinn (drums) and Will Murray (bass).
The band played locally and they were managed by Rober Platt from Salem. The band's first recording session was done at Maarc in Canton, where they recorded 4 original songs. Platt paired them with a singer from Salem, Glenn Jester, and they recorded a 45 of two snappy British Invasion type songs. The 4 Mersey Men songs were all originals, and were somewhere between the R&B sound of their peers like the Executioners and early BI.
In 1965 Platt moved to Oklahoma, and he invited the band to go on tour out there. So they took their hearse and moved out to the flat lands of southern OK and northern TX. They spent the best part of mid 1965 to mid 1966 in the area. In between playing thery recorded a couple 45s at Robin Hood Brians' studio in Tyler, TX. Platt was connected with Robert Woods who started his own Wild Woods label. The first 45 was covers of Bo Diddley's "I Can Tell" and Little Richard's "Miss Ann", done in their own style with tense fuzz guitar from Al Catlos. "I Can Tell" was a bit of a regional hit (and also got airplay and sales back in the Youngstown area). The second 45 saw the band living up to their moniker by recording a song done by England's Sorrows called "Take A Heart" backed with "Hey Little One" originally recorded by Dorsey Burnette. This record was not as successful and is a lot rarer than the 1st 45.
There were only 3 45s on the Wild Woods label, the two Mersey Men and one by Damn Yankee and the Carpetbaggers who were a local band and not related to the Mersey Men or Ohio.
By mid 1966 the band moved back to Salem and disbanded. Will Murray is deceased.
I Can Tell / Miss Ann - Wild Woods 2001, Sept 1965
Hey Little One / Take A Heart - WIld Woods 2002, early 1966