Herman’s Hermits were an English pop band, who after I discovered them in 1963, went out as Herman and the Hermits. They originally played only R & B covers, and I got them a deal on record producer Mickie Most’s R.A.K. label. He controlled the band’s music output, by always projecting a simple, non-threatening, clean-cut image.
This helped Herman’s Hermits become very successful in the early to mid 1960’s but thwarted the band’s writing output. I encouraged them to write songs and co-wrote a few songs with the boys myself, some of which were in fact used either as B-sides or album cuts.
Herman’s Hermits had an edgier side which is evident in a recording (’64) for BBC’s Transcription Service (the ‘other’ Top of the Pops) in their cover of Louis Jordan‘s classic “Ain’t That Just Like a Woman“.
Their first hit was a cover of Earl Jean’s “I’m Into Something Good“, written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King, which reached No. 1 in the U.K. and No. 13 in the U.S. in late 1964. They never topped the U.K. chart again but had two further U.S. No. 1 singles with “Mrs. Brown You’ve Got A Lovely Daughter” and “I’m Henry The Eighth I Am“.
The songs were mainly aimed at a U.S. audience with Peter Noone exaggerating his Mancunian accent. The boys felt ambivalent about these two songs and they were never released as singles in the U.K.
Between April and May 1965, a hat-trick of Manchester-based acts, all signed for management to our Kennedy Street artistes entertainment agency, enjoyed an unprecedented consecutive 6 week spell at No. 1 on US Hot 100 with Freddie and the Dreamers spending two weeks at the top with “I’m Telling You Now” (10–24 April), Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders one week with “Game of Love” (24 April-1 May), and then Herman’s Hermits a further three weeks with “Mrs. Brown, You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter” (1–22 May) a feat not yet repeated as Peter Noone recalls in his early ’90’s interview of Gerry Marsden and Freddie Garrity.
In the U.S.A. Herman’s Hermits signed to M.G.M. whose modus operandi was to cross-promote their artistes in starring roles in their films as well.
Herman’s Hermits appeared in several M.G.M. movies including “When The Boys Meet The Girls” (1965) and “Hold On!” (1966) and “Mrs. Brown You’ve Got A Lovely Daughter” (1968). They did a World tour including Japan and Australia (Hilton Show) in 1966.
In 1965 they had five U.S. Top 5 hits “Can’t You Hear My Heartbeat” (#2), “Silhouettes” (#5), “Wonderful World” (#4), “Mrs. Brown You’ve Got A Lovely Daughter” (#1) and “I’m Henry The Eighth I Am” (#1).
It was no coincidence that 3 of those 7 Herman's Hermits hits in 1966, are composed by Graham Gouldman, my in-house songwriter.
In 1967 they had a major U.S. hit with “There’s A Kind Of Hush“(#4) appearing on The Ed Sullivan Show, The Dean Martin Show and The Jackie Gleason Show. Further success in the U.S. had become more elusive with the group recording a final album in the 1960’s called Rock ‘n’ Roll Party, that was never released in the U.S. by M.G.M.
As their star waned in the U.S. they continued to have hits in the U.K. with “I Can Take Or Leave Your Loving” (#11), “Sleepy Joe” (#12), Sunshine Girl (#8), “Something Is Happening” (#6), My Sentimental Friend (#2), Here Comes The Star (#33), Years May Come, Years May Go (#7), Bet Yer Life I Do (#22), and finally Lady Barbara (#13) ominously featuring both “Peter Noone and Herman’s Hermits”, a harbinger of their split later that year in December 1970.
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