Herman's Hermits is an English beat or pop band, formed in Manchester in 1963 as Herman & The Hermits. The group's manager and producer, Mickie Most (who controlled the band's output), emphasized a simple, non-threatening and clean-cut image, althou...
Herman's Hermits is an English beat or pop band, formed in Manchester in 1963 as Herman & The Hermits. The group's manager and producer, Mickie Most (who controlled the band's output), emphasized a simple, non-threatening and clean-cut image, although the band originally played R&B numbers. This helped Herman's Hermits become hugely successful in the mid-1960s but hampered the band's creativity, relegating Noone, Hopwood, Leckenby and Green's original songs to quickly recorded B-sides and album cuts.
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 UK Singles Chart and No. 13 in the US in 1964. They never topped the British charts again, but had two US Billboard Hot 100 No. 1's with "Mrs. Brown, You've Got a Lovely Daughter" (originally sung by Tom Courtenay in a 1963 British TV play) and "I'm Henry the Eighth, I Am" (a British music hall song by Harry Champion dating from 1911, which Peter Noone's Irish grandfather sang). These songs were aimed at a US fan-base, with Peter Noone exaggerating his Manchester accent; the band was not fond of either song and they were never released as singles in Britain.
They were on the MGM label, a company which often featured the musical performers they had signed to record deals in films. The Hermits appeared in several MGM movies, including When the Boys Meet the Girls (1965) - and Hold On! (1966). They also starred in the film Mrs. Brown You've Got a Lovely Daughter (1968) and were one of
the performers in Pop Gear (1965).
Herman's Hermits had three Top 3 hits in the U.S. in 1965, with the aforementioned #1 hits, as well as a hit cover of Goldie and the Gingerbreads' "Can't You Hear My Heartbeat" (U.S. #2). They had the hits "A Must to Avoid" (U.S. #8), "Listen People" (U.S. #3), George Formby, Jr.'s "Leaning on a Lamp Post," from Me and My Girl (U.S. #7), and "Dandy" (U.S. #3) in 1966; "There's a Kind of Hush" was a Top 10 hit for them the following year. They appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show, The Dean Martin Show and The Jackie Gleason Show. Commercial success proved elusive after the late '60s. The group had recorded their final album of the sixties, "Rock N Roll Party". This however was eventually shelved by MGM, and Peter Noone and Keith Hopwood left the band in 1971. The band reunited in 1973 to headline a hugely successful British invasion tour culminating with a standing-room-only performance at Madison Square Garden and an appearance on The Midnight Special (without Hopwood). Later a version of the band featuring Leckenby and Whitwam opened for The Monkees on a couple of reunion tours. Noone declined an offer from tour organizers to appear but later appeared with Davy Jones on a successful teen idols tour.