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Stories of the Teacher

Copies of the book can be ordered by e-mailing Alan by clicking here.


A rock n roll friendship that endured for over 60 years has led to the publication of a new biography about one of music’s pioneers. 

Little Melton author Alan Mann (pictured above) struck up a friendship with Norwich born rocker Tony Sheridan when they both attended infants school and later the City of Norwich School (CNS). 

As well as being school contemporaries they shared a love of music. Whilst Alan followed a career in finance, Tony Sheridan became part of the history of rock music, playing at legendary venues in Hamburg and linking up as vocalist for arguably the greatest rock band of all time – The Beatles. He also backed and helped artists as diverse as Conway Twitty, Brenda Lee, Eddie Cochran, Bill Haley, Little Richard, Cliff Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis and Gene Vincent. He was acknowledged as a consummate and influential guitarist – hence his nickname “The Teacher.” That epithet was used openly by music legends such as John Lennon and Paul McCartney. At times Sheridan was even labelled the “British wild man of rock ‘n’ roll” – just one of the many themes explored in the book. 

Over the years Alan and Tony kept in touch and often met up and a few years back Alan decided to write the biography which has just been published. 

“The Teacher – The Tony Sheridan Story” ironically came out on the day that a memorial service was being held in Germany following Sheridan’s death a few weeks ago. The two pals had been in touch almost to the end. 

The book follows Sheridan from his early days in Norwich, through to his move to London and Germany, his liaison with the Beatles and subsequent years that saw him playing to American troops in Vietnam. Sheridan was the first British artist to play electric guitar on television on the show “Oh Boy.” He was also vocalist on the Beatles breakthrough single – a cover of the traditional song “My Bonnie” which became a hit after interest through a famous record store in Liverpool run by Brian Epstein who went on to manage the Beatles and take them from a small time Liverpudlian combo to world rock domination. 

Alan’s book is a mixture of biography and autobiography. It tells the Sheridan story through a series of questions and answers and collaboration between the two men. Much of it is in Sheridan’s own words with the author’s reminiscences and comments added. A few legal problems delayed the publication for a while but it is now available. 

“The work is the closest to an autobiography of Tony Sheridan, singer-songwriter and guitar genius, that is ever likely to appear. A hard musical taskmaster, he is worshipped by his fellow musicians but somehow managed to remain an elusive and enigmatic figure who was unknown to the wider musical public. 

“There is much more to Tony Sheridan than his brief time spent with the Beatles in Hamburg and hopefully the book will inspire people to seek out other recordings from a career that spanned well over 50 years,” Alan said. 

“Shortly before the publication the sad news arrived that Tony had passed away. The book is therefore dedicated to his memory and I hope it will prove to be a lasting legacy to the man, his music and the times in which he lived,” Alan added. 

Alan has previously written “The A to Z of Buddy Holly” and “Elvis and Buddy Linked Lives.” 

There is more about the Tony Sheridan book and about Alan Mann on the author’s official web site at from where copies at £9.99 (inclusive of postage and package) can be ordered. Copies can also be ordered by e-mailing Alan by clicking here.