IT has been many years since businessman Paul Blanchard dreamed of pop superstardom - but he's never forgotten his friends.

In the early 1960s he was the lead guitarist with the pop group the Cheavours, which enjoyed considerable success in the York area.

Now, he has released the only recording of them as a CD in memory of a friend who died of cancer two years ago.

And he hopes to raise £2,500 for St Leonard's Hospice in York where his friend Billy Evans spent his final days.

Mr Blanchard, 59, said: "St Leonard's were fantastic with Billy and cared so deeply. They really helped him in his final days. I am so grateful to them for taking care of my friend, it's the least I can do."

He has donated 500 copies of the CD, which has been digitally re-mastered in a studio and professionally manufactured, to the cause.

The CD is on sale at Borders music and gift store, in York, at £5 with all the profits going to the hospice.

It features the Cheavours' version of Bye Bye Johnny, a Chuck Berry number that was originally recorded in 1964.

Mr Evans' mother Marjorie, who holds an annual hospice fundraising event in memory of her son, said: "Lots of people are interested in the 60s music scene and we are hoping to sell quite a few of the CDs. Billy would have been very proud of this."

The Cheavours were formed in the autumn of 1963 by Mr Blanchard and vocalist Alex Bladen-Hill.

They were joined by Don Gargett on rhythm guitar, drummer Dave Crabtree, and Pete Allen on bass.

In July 1964, they were the support act for Lulu - then topping the charts with her record Shout - when she performed at York's Assembly Rooms.

The group split in 1965.