Two for Tuesday: The Hollies

I’m just going to hop right into this… The Hollies appeared on a TV show on NBC in the 1960’s, and their performance started with “Look Through Any Window.” The song starts with a guitar figure that’s unmistakable, played on 12-string guitar by Tony Hicks, and the figure is repeated later in the song, before the key change and the final verse. As with this performance (the person who posted it says it comes from the TV show Sunday Night at the London Palladium on March 10, 1965) I didn’t see him play it the first time through, but the camera zoomed in on him the second time through, then NBC, who had just obtained slow-motion technology, showed him play it in slo-mo. I was nine or ten at the time and had just started pestering my folks for guitar lessons, so I thought it was the coolest thing I had seen. The song peaked at #32 on the Hot 100 in 1965, the first Hollies song to break the Top 40 in the US.

The Hollies were one of the last British Invasion groups to find success in the US, but have been around the longest. Unlike many other bands, which have broken up and reformed later, they have been in continuous operation since the early 1960’s. The original lineup included Graham Nash and Allan Clarke, and the Hollies’ sound was marked by remarkable three-part harmony. Only one of their hit songs, “Long Cool Woman In A Black Dress,” relied on a single singer. They were from Lancashire, not far from Liverpool, and were discovered when they were playing a gig at the Cavern Club in 1962.

Our second song today is their late 1969 hit, “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother.” The record reached #1 and Silver record status in the UK and reached #7 on the Hot 100 in the US.

Naturally, the band has a website, and there’s a good amount of their music from all eras on YouTube. And, as I said, they’re still touring and making records, so we haven’t heard the last of them.

The Hollies, your Two for Tuesday, April 14, 2015.

6 thoughts on “Two for Tuesday: The Hollies

  1. “He Aint Heavy, He’s My Brother” had a powerful impact on me in the 70’s, maybe even on my career choice. I sing it to myself every now and then to keep going. It still gives me chills to hear the Hollies sing it.


  2. Love, love, love The Hollies! I think one of the things I love about them is their awesome harmony. You see that so much in He Ain’t Heavy, as well as another of my favorites, The Air That I Breathe.


    1. The three-part harmony was standard for them; the only song that got regular airplay that didn’t have it was “Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress.” That was a departure for them, anyway, a little more heavy rock than the rest of their catalog. It did revive their career, albeit without Graham Nash, who was doing the CSN&Y thing at the time.


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