Johnny Shiver's got Tony Christie’s back in crooner's music charity drive

BIG-hearted singer Johnny Shiver is backing veteran pop idol Tony Christie in his campaign to support dementia sufferers.

Tony (80) was himself diagnosed last year with dementia but said it would not slow him down.

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

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And Rotherham musician Johnny — real name Gary Bates — is showing his support for the much-loved singer by releasing his own version of the track on July 2, with Tony’s blessing.

“Tony is still a legend and he’s still singing, so please buy both of our songs, and get Tony to number one,” he said.

“All the royalties from my song will also be going to the charity.

“Mine is going to be released after Tony’s — I’m not going to tread on the legend’s toes.

"I couldn’t compete with him anyway.

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“I have told Tony about it through social media and had the message back from his PR that it’s OK with him.

“Hopefully people will buy both songs and we can raise a lot for the charity.”

Gary has endured his own struggles, such as transient ischemic attacks, a heart aneurysm, vertigo, tinnitus and depression, but produces and releases music from his own home.

He has a family connection to Tony as his late mum used to play with him as a child in the Maltby street where Tony’s aunt lived.

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The former Butlin’s redcoat uses distribution service Distrokid to upload and sell his music to platforms such as Apple and Spotify.

“Music is my life and has always had the power to give me a purpose,” he said. 

“Music has always flowed through my veins since I was a young boy.”

You can listen to the music of Johnny Shiver at