De Britse popgroep Herman’s Hermits rijgde in de sixties de hits aan mekaar met ‘I'm Into Something Good’, ‘No Milk Today’, ‘Mrs. Brown’, You've Got a Lovely Daughter’, ‘I'm Henry the VIIIth, I Am’ en ‘Sunshine Girl’. De band toert nog altijd rond met de originele drummer Barry Whitwam, aangevuld met Mike Harling, Kevan Lingard en Geoff Foot en de nummers van toen klinken nog allemaal even fris en aanstekelijk.
Herman's Hermits were one of those odd 1960's groups that accumulated millions of fans, but precious little respect. Indeed, their status is remarkably similar to that of the Monkees and it's not a coincidence that both groups' music was intended to appeal to younger teenagers. The difference is that as early as 1976, the Monkees began to be considered cool by people who really knew music; it has taken 35 years for Herman's Hermits to begin receiving higher regard for their work. Of course, that lack of respect had no relevance to their success: 20 singles lofted into the Top 40 in England and America between 1964 and 1970, 16 of them in the Top 20, and most of those Top Ten as well. Artistically, they were rated far lower than the Hollies, the Searchers, or Gerry & the Pacemakers, but commercially, the Hermits were only a couple of rungs below the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. The magnitude of their success seemed highly improbable, based on their modest beginnings. Guitarist/singer Keith Hopwood (born October 26, 1946), bassist/singer Karl Green (born July 31, 1947), guitarist/singer Derek "Lek" Leckenby (born May 14, 1945), and drummer Barry Whitwam (born July 21, 1946) were among the younger musicians on the Manchester band scene in 1963, when they started playing together as the Heartbeats. The city was home to many dozens of promising bands, most notable among them the Hollies, the Mockingbirds, and Wayne Fontana & the Mindbenders. Later that year, the Heartbeats got a new member in 16-year-old Peter Noone (born November 5, 1947), who filled in one night when their regular vocalist failed to turn up for a gig. Noone was already a veteran actor, trained at the Manchester School of Music and Drama; he had been a child star on television in the late '50s, on the television series Coronation Street, but he also had musical aspirations. As a vocalist with the Heartbeats, he initially worked under the name Peter Novak. The quintet followed the same path that any other struggling band did, playing shows at youth clubs and local dances, hoping to get noticed, and they picked up a pair of managers, Harvey Lisberg and Charlie Silverman. Accounts vary as to the origins of the name they ultimately adopted -- some say that their managers remarked on the facial resemblance between Noone and the character of Sherman in the Jay Ward cartoon show "Mr. Peabody & Sherman"; others credit Karl Green with mentioning it. In any case, "Sherman" became "Herman" and the group, in search of a more distinct name, became Herman & His Hermits and then Herman's Hermits. They played a pleasing, melodic brand of rock & roll, mostly standards of the late '50s and early '60s, with Noone's attractive vocals at the fore. Their big break came in 1964 when producer Mickie Most was invited by Lisberg and Silverman to a show in Manchester. He was impressed with their wholesome, clean-cut image, and with Noone's singing and pleasant, non-threatening stage presence, and he agreed to produce them, arranging a recording contract for the group with the EMI-Columbia label in England; their American releases were licensed to MGM Records. Herman's Hermits' debut single, a Carole King/Gerry Goffin song called "I'm Into Something Good," released in the summer of 1964, hit number one in England and number 13 in America. Ironically, considering the direction of many of their future releases, the group displayed anything but an English sound on "I'm Into Something Good." Instead, it had a transatlantic feel, smooth and easy-going with a kind of vaguely identifiable California sound. Of course, that statement assumed that the group had much to do with the record -- as it turned out, they didn't. In a manner typical of the majority of the acts that Most produced, the Hermits didn't play on most of their own records; Mickie Most, as was typical of producers in the era before the Beatles' emergence, saw no reason to make a less-than-perfect record, or spend expensive studio time working with a band to perfect its sound -- as long as Peter Noone's voice was on the record and the backing wasn't something that the group absolutely couldn't reproduce on stage, everyone seemed happy, including the fans. Conversely, the group didn't have too much control over the choice of material that they recorded or released. On their singles in particular, "Herman's Hermits" were mostly Peter Noone's vocals in front of whatever session musicians Most had engaged, which included such future luminaries as Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones, with the other members relegated to background vocals, if that. The group was grateful for the hit records that they chalked up, the revenue that those generated, and the gigs that resulted. They charted six Top 20 hits each in the years 1965 and 1966 and were a major attraction in concert, usually in a package tour situation, with the Hermits at or near the very top of whatever bill they were on. Their records were smooth, pleasant pop/rock, roughly the British invasion equivalent of easy listening, which set them apart from most of the rival acts of the period. Their cover of Sam Cooke's "Wonderful World" (which reached number four in America) and remake of the Rays' 1950s hit "Silhouettes" were good representations of the group's releases; on their EPs and early LPs, they also threw in covers of old rock & roll numbers like Frankie Ford's "Sea Cruise." They were purveyors of romantic pop/rock just at a time when the Beatles were starting to become influenced by Bob Dylan and the Rolling Stones, the Yardbirds, and the Who were redefining the British beat sound with higher volume, greater complexity, and harder sounds. Most recognized that those acts were leaving behind a huge number of listeners who would still buy songs resembling simple, relatively innocent sounds of 1964 or even earlier. Just how far back he and the group could reach was revealed to them by accident, following the release of Introducing Herman's Hermits on MGM Records in the United States during 1965, coinciding with their first U.S. tour. An American disc jockey heard the song "Mrs. Brown You've Got a Lovely Daughter" on that album and convinced the label to issue it as a single. The song had been done almost as a joke by the group, its guitar/banjo sound and Noone's vocal performance -- Mancunian accented and laced with a vulnerable, wide-eyed innocence -- deliberately reminiscent of George Formby, the immensely popular ukelele-strumming British music hall entertainer of the 1930s and 1940s. In England, that record would never have been considered for release by an image-conscious rock & roll group; the parents and grandparents of their audience would have loved it, but it would also have destroyed their credibility. In America, however, it was considered just another piece of British Invasion pop/rock and a pleasant, innocuous, and eminently hummable one at that -- and it shot to number one on the charts, earning a gold record in the process. It seemed to slot in with Americans' image of England's past in a comfortable, cheerful way, evoking a kind of "theme park" cockney image that easily adjoined the contemporary vision of "Swinging London." In the end, "Mrs. Brown, You've Got a Lovely Daughter" sold 14 million copies around the world, making their first film appearance (in the movie When the Boys Meet the Girls), which came off of that same U.S. tour, seem almost an after-thought. In England, however, "Mrs. Brown" was never issued as a single. After that, a formula was established. Mickie Most got the group to record more songs in the same vein, including the actual Edwardian-era music hall number "I'm Henry the Eighth, I Am," specifically for release as singles in America. The latter record reportedly made the group members cringe over what it would do to their image in England, but in America it hit number one and chalked up yet another gold record award. Amid all of this American chart action with novelty tunes and albums that easily rose into the Top 30 in the U.S.A., the group's British releases were a whole other story. The Hermits continued to issue current romantic pop/rock, which sold well and kept up their image as a respectable if somewhat soft rock group. At the same time, their British album sales were virtually negligible, only their debut LP ever charting (at number 16). This was unfortunate, as the British version of their second album, Both Sides of Herman's Hermits, was a perfectly respectable pop/rock LP with some very hard, loud sounds (and one "period" standard, "Leaning on a Lamp Post"), mostly solid Brit-beat numbers like "Little Boy Sad," "Story of My Life," and "My Reservation's Been Confirmed," as well as a stripped-down, straight-ahead version of Graham Gouldman's "Bus Stop." That album and its 1967 follow-ups, There's a Kind of Hush All Over the World and Blaze (which never even came out in England), were excellent representations of the full range of the group's sound, including hard rock, psychedelia, and pop/rock, featuring very respectable originals written by Green, Hopwood, and Leckenby. While their record sales remained healthy in America well into 1966, their British singles gradually slackened in sales until the group recorded Graham Gouldman's "No Milk Today," which put them back in the U.K. Top 10; in America, the same song was also a hit paired off with "Dandy," a poppish cover of the Kinks song. The group made their second film appearance, this time in a starring role in the comedy Hold On! (1966), which mixed Herman's Hermits in a story about space flight. By the end of that year, however, the stage was set for the gradual decline in the group's fortunes, even in America. Producers Bert Schneider and Bob Rafelson, in conjunction with NBC and Columbia Pictures Television, had devised a television series that touched upon a formula for success very similar to what Mickie Most had found with Herman's Hermits: The Monkees -- all about a fun-loving pop/rock group created specifically for the series. The program debuted in late 1966 and by that winter, the Monkees were selling millions of singles and LPs to the very same young teen audience that Herman's Hermits had cultivated. The presence of English actor/singer Davy Jones in their lineup, as the principal vocalist on their records and the romantic heartthrob of the group, only heightened the resemblance between the two acts. By 1967, Davy Jones and the Monkees were selling millions of copies of "Daydream Believer," a song that surely would have gone to the Hermits had it been written at any time earlier. "There's a Kind of Hush (All Over the World)," a bright, upbeat pop number, put the Hermits back at number seven in England and number four in America; but an attempt at latching on to the folk-rock and psychedelic booms with a recording of Donovan's song "Museum" never charted in England and reached only number 37 in America before disappearing. They made the American Top 20 just once more with "Don't Go out Into the Rain," after which everyone seemed to recognize the inevitable. The group made one more feature film, entitled Mrs. Brown You've Got a Lovely Daughter -- the song, which had rocketed them to fame in America, served the group one last time, yielding a movie about dog racing that gave Noone a lead acting role and which was a decent box office success in 1968. During this period, Noone co-produced a good LP for songwriter/singer Graham Gouldman (with whom he later went into partnership) that never sold well, despite some very interesting sounds. The Hermits, as a group, hewed closer to the pop market after "Museum" and enjoyed another two years worth of hits in England before Peter Noone decided to leave in 1970. The group soldiered on for another three years, cutting singles for RCA in America that were duly ignored and Noone returned briefly to the fold in 1973 to capitalize on the rock & roll revival boom and made an appearance hosting NBC's The Midnight Special, in an installment devoted to the sounds of the British Invasion, that became one of the most collectable shows in that program's run. Thereafter, Noone tried re-entering the rock & roll arena fronting a new band, the Tremblers, in 1980, without much success. He fared much better on stage in The Pirates of Penzance on London's West End, which was a huge hit in the mid-'80s. Both he and the latter-day Herman's Hermits have turned up on the oldies circuit at different times, usually working in the context of a revival of the British Invasion sound. Derek Leckerby passed away in 1994 at the age of 48, but drummer Barry Whitwam was leading a group of Herman's Hermits at the opening of the 21st century. Noone has resumed performing regularly and also became a star VJ on MTV's VH1 channel. In the year 2000, Repertoire Records began the long-overdue exhumation of Herman's Hermits album catalog, issuing state-of-the-art CD editions with bonus tracks that show off the full range of the group's music. Just as Rhino Records had previously done with the Monkees catalog, it seems like Herman's Hermits may finally be getting the recognition they deserved
The Fortunes is een Britse close-harmony popgroep die vooral succes had in de jaren ‘60 en ’70 met klassiekers als ‘You've got your troubles’, ‘Here It Comes Again’, ‘Here Comes That Rainy Day Feeling Again’ en ‘Seasons in the sun’. Vele bezettingswijzigingen later is de groep nu succesvol als oldies-act. Leadzanger/bassist en laatste origineel lid Rod Allen overleed helaas in 2008. Zanger Eddie Mooney gaf inmiddels de groep weer power en vertolkt met brio alle oude hits. Special guest is niemand minder dan Bob Jackson mee, de enige nog actieve artiest van de Britse Badfinger die begin jaren zeventig hits scoorde met ‘Come and get it’, ‘No matter what’ en ‘Day after day’ en het nummer ‘Without you’ dat werd gecoverd door Harry Nilsson en Mariah Carey.
Born: 29/07/1951 Nuneaton, Warwickshire.
Michael moved with his family from The Midlands to Whitehaven in Cumberland in 1955. Influenced by his brother Barry, with whom he later played in his first band, he soon developed an interest in music, taught himself guitar and was soon playing in local bands. One of these 'Heaven' went on to tour with Black Sabbath. Michael eventually moved south again in 1969 to pursue his musical career and played in lots of bands, a few of which included Paul Hooper & Bob Jackson.
He then turned professional in the early seventies with 'Eyes Of Blue' and served his musical apprenticeship for many years backing the likes of Del Shannon, Bobby Vee, PJ Proby, Percy Sledge, Johnny Tillotson, The Marvelettes, Anne Peebles, The Floaters, The Drifters amongst others, all over the world.
Michael was asked to join The Fortunes in the early 80's and since then has become the longest serving member of the band since it's formation in 1963.
Born: Stoke-on-Trent, 1957
Instrument: Bass Guitar
Eddie started out in the early 70's in the Irish showband circuit as a member of teen pop group "Flame", based in Larne, Northern Ireland. In the mid 70's Eddie came to Manchester, where he formed progressive rock band The Accidents who toured the University circuit. By the late 70's, Eddie fronted new wave /punk act "Eddie Mooney and the Grave", whilst playing bass on several punk hit singles and sharing a record label with a young Mick Hucknall of Simply Red. (appearing on a recent CD and DVD compilations)
Eddie was also an occasional member of glam rock chart act "The Glitter Band". During the early to mid 80's, Eddie released several singles as a member of "Park Avenue", a "new romantic" outfit, that also had limited chart success. Eddie joined the Dakotas in the late 80's, and was lead vocalist and bassist for longer than anyone else in the band's history.
In recent years, he has presented 60's music programmes for BBC Radio in Liverpool and hosting his own 60s and 70s music radio show on Manchester's ALL FM station. In addition to being vocalist and bassist on six of the seven Dakotas albums, Eddie has also been recording solo material for release on the internet. In 2005, Eddie appeared with John Walker as an honorary member of the Walker Brothers for an American music TV documentary and DVD.
Born: 6/1 /1949 Coventry, England
Instrument: Keyboards, Vocals and Guitar
Bob's first professional band was Indian Summer. Before he joined The Fortunes, he played and recorded with a variety of other bands, including Badfinger (Come and Get It, etc.), David Byron (Uriah Heep), and many more.
In 1977, Bob formed The Dodgers, a band that also included Fortunes drummer Paul Hooper.
Session 'guestings' have included work with The Searchers, Pete Brown and Moon.
Bob is a talented songwriter, and has had 17 of his songs published, most recently 'Won't Forget You', 1998. This song was released with the biography 'Without You - The Tragic Story of Badfinger' by Dan Matovina (published by Francis Glover Books).
Born: 20/8/48, Wolverhampton, England
Paul grew up in the Persian Gulf, and came back to boarding school in England where he learned to play drums at the age of 12.
His first professional band was called Indian Summer, formed with schoolfriend Bob Jackson. They released an album in 1970.
After playing in various bands, in 1977 Paul re-joined Bob Jackson in “The Dodgers” together with fellow members John Wilson and Ex Badfinger bass player Tommy Evans.
In the early 80s, longstanding friend and fellow musician Michael Smitham told Paul that The Fortunes required a drummer. He got the job...
In 1990 he moved from the Midlands to set up home with his partner Barbara on the North East coast of England (where the winds hit heavy on the borderline...)
The Manfreds bestaat al sinds 1991 uit vier originele leden van de legendarische Britse beatgroep Manfred Mann die in de jaren ’60 een resem hits had, zoals ‘Ha! Ha! Said The Clown’, ‘Do Wah Diddy’, ‘Mighty Quinn’, ‘Pretty Flamingo’, ‘Just Like A Woman’, ‘Semi-Detached Suburban Mr James’ en ‘If You Gotta Go, Go Now’. Het unieke is dat Paul Jones, de originele leadzanger, nu samenzingt met Mike d’Abo die hem in 1966 als zanger verving. Met drie extra muzikanten erbij brengen ze alle oude Mannfred Mann-hits.
Between 1964 and 1979 Manfred Mann scored three British Number One hits – plus two more Number One hits in America plus another seven that went Top 5 and six more that made the Top 10.
Over this period Manfred Mann’s bands featured some of the finest singers on the British pop and rock scene: Paul Jones, Mike d’Abo, Mick Rogers and Chris Thompson, all of whom have gone on to enjoy successful and varied solo careers. Their distinctive voices have all added to the rich variety of Manfred Mann’s classic hits.
South African-born Manfred Lubowitz arrived in Britain in 1961. He was already an accomplished jazz pianist and quickly established himself on the London club circuit with drummer Mike Hug with whom he formed the Mann Hug Blues Brothers. In 1963 the band was re-christened Manfred Mann and with a line-up featuring Paul Jones on vocals and harmonica, Mike Vickers on guitar, flute and saxophone, Tom McGuinness on bass and Hug they set their sights on the British pop scene which was about to explode.
They may have been a musically well-educated band but there was nothing sophisticated about Manfred Mann’s first hit the rowdy, frenetic 5-4-3-2-1 that they wrote for the theme song of the groundbreaking TV pop show Ready Steady Go! Boosted by its weekly exposure on the programme the single reached Number 5 early in 1964.
Manfred Mann had their first Number One in the summer of that year with Do Wah Diddy Diddy Diddy, written by the famous New York Brill Building song writing duo of Ellie Greenwich and Jeff Barry. They also found themselves in the vanguard of the British pop invasion of America alongside the Beatles and the Animals (and ahead of the Rolling Stones) as the song shot to the top of the US charts.
The band then proceeded to apply their sharp musical talents to other suitable pop songs such as Sha La La (an American hit for the Shirelles), the poignant Come Tomorrow and Oh No Not My Baby (written by another famous Brill Building duo, Carole King and Gerry Goffin) before turning their attention to Bob Dylan’s If You Gotta Go, Go Now that was a Number 2 hit in the UK and earned the approval of Dylan himself.
In April 1966 Manfred Mann notched up their second British Number One with the gorgeous, melodic Pretty Flamingo. Surprisingly it only scraped into the American Top 30 but it left a lasting impression on a teenage Bruce Springsteen who regularly played it live during the early part of his career.
Pretty Flamingo was the crowning glory for the first incarnation of Manfred Mann, not least for the personality-driven voice of Paul Jones who decided to bow out on a high note. He launched a solo career and starred in the movie Privilege – playing a rock star – before becoming one of Britain’s leading experts and commentators on the blues and R&B.
His departure put the group’s future in jeopardy but his replacement, the unknown public schoolboy Mike D’Abo immediately stamped his own character on the band and the hits flowed seamlessly on – Dylan’s Just Like A Woman, the quirky Semi-Detached Suburban Mr James and Ha! Ha! Said The Clown – before racking up their third UK Number One early in 1968 with Dylan’s Mighty Quinn, an anthemic masterpiece that astonishingly Dylan never released himself.
As the Sixties drew to a close Manfred and Mike Hug decided to explore new musical directions and after more Top Ten hits with My Name Is Jack, Fox On The Run and Ragamuffin Man, they disbanded Manfred Mann. The other members soon found new careers in other bands (Tom McGuiness formed McGuinness Flint) or in production. Mike D’Abo was already an accomplished songwriter.
Manfred and Mike Hug meanwhile embarked on a brief “anti-pop” career with the self-explanatory Chapter Three, a jazz-rock ensemble complete with a five-piece brass section. that was wilfully uncommercial but musically rewarding. After two albums Mike Hug decided to pursue a career composing soundtracks which notably included Up The Junction.
Meanwhile key members of the 60s Manfred Mann line-ups – Paul Jones, Mike D’Abo, Mike Hugg and Tom McGuinness – have banded together and perform as The Manfreds. Such is the enduring legacy of Manfred Mann over the past 40 years.
In 2007, Mike d’Abo became the proud father of twins, Ellie and Louis, and, for this year, he will be taking some time out to spend with his family. The Manfreds ‘Let Em Roll’ tour takes to the road with a new album release….aptly titled ‘Let Em Roll’….and Mike will join the band for a few festival dates throughout the year before re-joining for their highly acclaimed ‘Maximum Rhythm ‘n’ Blues’ UK tour in 2010.
The original keyboard player, whose name was chosen by EMI to be the band's name, although they also became known as the Manfreds. Towards the end of '69 Manfred Mann as a group entity dissolved and the individuals went on to other things as recounted above and below. Manfred himself formed firstly Chapter Three with Mike Hugg and after the demise of this outfit, Manfred Mann's Earth Band, which continues to this day.
Another original Manfred, Mike played guitar, alto sax and flute but was tempted away in 1965 by the broader allure of arranging, production & film soundtracks. In his time he has worked with Johnny Dankworth, Ella Fitzgerald, Cilla Black, Cliff Richard, The Hollies, Kiki Dee, Tom Jones and Engelbert Humperdinck. Mike's orchestral arrangement (which he also conducted) for All You Need Is Love for The Beatles' global TV performance is one of the truly memorable events in pop history. He also programmed the Moog for The Beatles' Abbey Road album as well as John Boorman's films Deliverance, Zardoz and The Exorcist II. Mike joined the re-formed Manfreds for a few years on sax, woodwind & flute but is now busy composing contemporary classical music.
The original Manfreds bass player, who Tom McGuinness replaced when it became apparent Dave's jazz leanings didn't sit with the R & B direction the band was moving towards at the time. After leaving the band in 1963 Dave became a session player, working with amongst others Elton John, Bread, and Hank Marvin. He has also appeared on a soundtrack with Bill Wyman of The Rolling Stones.
Joined the band in 1965 on the recommendation of an old friend of Mike Hugg & Manfred Mann's, Graham Bond, who Jack had played with at an earlier stage in The Graham Bond Organisation along with John McLaughlin, Ginger Baker and latterly, Dick Heckstall-Smith. (Prior to playing with Graham, Jack had been in Alexis Korner's Blues Inc, with Charlie Watts of The Rolling Stones on drums.) When Mike Vickers left the Manfreds, Jack stepped in to fill the gap, leaving John Mayall's Bluesbreakers to do so. His arrival meant that Tom McGuinness could move away from playing bass and back to the instrument he felt more at home with, ie lead guitar. In due course Jack left Manfred Mann to form the legendary Cream with Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker. The band split in 1968 at the height of their popularity and Jack has since recorded numerous solo albums and worked with many different high calibre musicians in a wide variety of genres.
Friend to The Beatles & designer of the Revolver album cover (for which he won a Grammy), bass player Klaus replaced Jack Bruce in Manfred Mann in 1966. Over the years he recorded with B B King, Jerry Lee Lewis, Harry Nilsson and Carly Simon, as well as working with George Harrison and playing bass with The Plastic Ono Band for John Lennon. After moving to the States he worked with The Band, van Dyke Parks, Ry Cooder, Randy Newman and Dr. John, before briefly moving into production. He has since been involved in various artistic enterprises and also runs a hotel in Northern Germany.
One half of hitmakers and blue-chip songwriting team, Gallagher & Lyle, Benny began his career as a tunesmith with The Beatles' Apple company. In 1970, along with Tom McGuinness, his (and Graham Lyle's) astute composing ability propelled McGuinness Flint to the top of the charts. Then came the duo's own hit singles Heart on my Sleeve and I Wanna Stay With You plus the Breakaway album which was a huge success - even more so when the title track was covered by Art Garfunkel. As a Director of The Guild of Record Producers and Recording Engineers, Benny was offered the post of Head of Music at Paul McCartney's Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts, but his many commitments meant he had to decline the offer. He's played with Clapton, McCartney and some of the great original Bluesmen such as Arthur 'Big Boy' Crudup. Benny writes in Nashville and composes film soundtracks, yet found the time to play bass with The Manfreds for a few years when they re-formed.