New year off to a red hot start for musician Johnny Shiver

A MUSICIAN who has battled career-hampering health issues says 2024 has got off to a great start after registering hundreds of songs with a new music distribution company as well as albums on Spotify and Amazon.
Gary Bates - AKA Johnny Shiver - with his wife, co-manager and carer AlysonGary Bates - AKA Johnny Shiver - with his wife, co-manager and carer Alyson
Gary Bates - AKA Johnny Shiver - with his wife, co-manager and carer Alyson

Gary Bates – who goes by the stage name of Johnny Shiver – lives with conditions such as transient ischemic attacks, a heart aneurysm, vertigo, tinnitus and depression, which forced him to give up music.

But the former Butlins Redcoat began producing and releasing music from the comfort of his own home in Rotherham last year, with 2023 also seeing him team up with veteran pop idol Tony Christie in his campaign to support dementia sufferers.

The Conisbrough crooner backed the Music for Dementia campaign by putting his own spin on Thank You for Being a Friend to raise money for charity.

And Gary (58) showed his support for the much-loved singer by releasing his own version of the track, with Tony’s blessing.

“We have a family connection to Tony,” said Gary, “as my late mum used to play with him as a child.

“He's amazing, just fantastic.”

Last June Gary also began growing his beard to raise money for the Ménière's Society and is planning to cut it one year on this summer.

“2024 is looking good for me,” said Gary, who has previously raised funds for Ukraine and Children in Need.

“I have 300 Songs with my new music distribution company Audiomack and albums on Spotify, Amazon, Tidal, and Deezer.

“I am up to chapter 11 of my podcast on Spotify, too – it's called Johnny Shiver: The Impossible Dream and is an autobiographical version of my life.

“I recently performed a show at Maltby Progressive Club for an 80th birthday – I sang lots of Elvis songs and wore my sparkly red jacket so it was like being a Redcoat again!”

Gary has been invited to sing at the club again on December 14 for a Tea Dance and Christmas Party.

“I love performing,” said Gary, who is co-managed by wife Alyson who is also his carer.

“Once I am on stage everything else fades into insignificance.”

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