In March 1970 another label joined the President family. This was Gemini and it was launched by former CBS Records Sales Manager Carl Denker. There were only thirty singles released on Gemini over a six year period, but that shortage of releases in no way reflects the number of interesting ones lurking there and the same goes for the label’s diverse album catalogue as well.
Carl Denker, the Dutchman, had quit CBS in late 1968 to be the boss of the Morgan Studios label, but when Morgan went into liquidation, he joined President as MD of its label division and would continue to oversee Gemini after he left President in early 1971.
The label released a wide variety of music. There was country music from the likes of Jamie’s People and Jim West and The Texans, m-o-r from former Billy Cotton Band Show singer Rita Williams and Lennie Peters who recorded one single for the label just a short time before meeting and teaming up with Diane Lee to form Peters And Lee and a Chico Arnaz (the nomme de disque of South London bass player Jackie Davis) single, “Leg Box” that is still sought after by collectors, two singles from US female soul duo The Big Spenders and there was even some imported Dutch rock music from Linda Van Dyck.
Of, perhaps, more interest are some almost-forgotten recordings by other Gemini signings. The Iron Maiden, a four piece group from Basildon in Essex, had one single, “Falling”, released in April 1970 and were due to have an album released on the label, a project that was aborted while still in the demo stage and Birmingham ‘progressive’ band The Ghost (Charlie Grima was a member – he’d later be a member of Roy Wood’s Wizzard) had a highly acclaimed single and album on the label in 1970.
The Birmingham connection continues with releases from Sheridan & Price and Rick Price whose career path reads like a who’s who of Birmingham pop music. Mike Sheridan was born in Sparkbrook and after kicking around pubs and clubs playing piano became lead singer of Mike Sheridan And The Nightriders who landed a deal with EMI and had a handful of singles released on Columbia. In time Mike started working with Rick Price, formerly a member of fellow-Birmingham group Sight And Sound who had a couple of releases on Fontana. There are Sheridan and Price and Rick Price singles in the Gemini catalogue and Price would go on to work with Roy Wood in Wizzard and The Wizzo Band.
Apart from the Sheridan & Price, Rick Price and The Ghost albums, there’s also one from (here’s another Birmingham connection) Jerry Allen whose trio was a regular on ATV Television’s “Lunch Box” show, The Brunning/Hall Sunflower Blues Band (Bob Brunning was a founder member of Fleetwood Mac), easy listening Hammond organ music from Dutch artists Jaap Zeeland and Stef Meeder and an album from British guitarist Judd Proctor, said to have “…the fastest left hand in the world…”.