Herman’s Hermits were from Manchester, 35 miles northeast of Liverpool, along the Mersey River. The youngest member of the band was lead singer Peter Noone, already an experienced actor because of his work on the long-running (and still-running) BBC-TV show Coronation Street. A local publican thought Peter bore a resemblance to Sherman, Mr. Peabody’s “pet boy” on “Peabody’s Improbable History” (one of several cartoons on the old Rocky & Bullwinkle Show); he shortened it to “Herman” and the group was christened “Herman and his Hermits,” later shortened to Herman’s Hermits. The remaining members of the band were Keith Hopwood (guitar), Derek “Lek” Leckenby (lead guitar), Karl Green (bass), and Barry Whitwam (drums). They were an immediate hit in the US, their popularity rivaling even that of The Beatles. In all, they released eight albums and 30 singles between 1965 and Noone’s departure in 1971. The band continued as Herman’s Hermits and is still performing, with Whitwam being the sole original member of the group.
Our first song today is their first US hit, “Mrs. Brown, You’ve Got A Lovely Daughter.” It was one of two #1 singles in the US (the other being “I’m Henry the Eighth, I Am”) and was nominated for two Grammys in 1965.
The second song is “There’s A Kind Of Hush,” released in February 1967. It rose to #4 in the US. It was initially the B-side to the single “No Milk Today,” but American disk jockeys sensed that it would do better as the A side. “No Milk Today” rose to #35 on the Hot 100 as an A side.
Peter Noone is still performing as a solo act; his website is here. There are also two Herman’s Hermits website, both the original Peter Noone version and the current Barry Whitwam one. The music has held up well over the years.
Herman’s Hermits, your Two for Tuesday, March 10, 2015.