Thursday, February 9, 2017

February 9th

This week's biggest premiers include "Pucker Up Buttercup" by Jr. Walker and the All-Stars, which debuts at #70, "There's A Kind Of Hush", the latest by Herman's Hermits, entering the chart at #77, "Darling Be Home Soon" by The Lovin' Spoonful, coming in at #80, "I Think We're Alone Now" by Tommy James and the Shondells, which debuts at #84 and "Happy Together", brand new by The Turtles, and sitting in the #89 position.  

The Beatles begin recording "Fixing A Hole" for their upcoming "Sgt. Pepper" album.  

Exactly three years earlier they made their debut on The Ed Sullivan Show.  That night they performed "All My Lovin'", "Till There Was You", "She Loves You", "I Saw Her Standing There" and "I Want To Hold Your Hand", their first hit here in America.  The complexity of their "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" album (and their most recent releases, "Rubber Soul" and "Revolver") just proves again how much the group had grown in just three short years.  It was nothing short of a light year's evolution.  

Micky Dolenz and Michael Nesmith appear on Britain's "Top Of The Pops" where they are presented by deejay Jimmy Savile with a silver disc award for outstanding sales of their latest record "I'm A Believer".  Micky invites "Top Of The Pops" hostess Samantha Juste back to his hotel suite for dinner, where Spencer Davis is also present.  Later the couple will go back to The Bag O'Nails with singer Sandie Shaw.  

Sopwith Camel are back on "Where The Action Is" performing their hit "Hello Hello".


The B-Side of the new Herman's Hermits record, "There's A Kind Of Hush" / "No Milk Today", would also chart here in America, ultimately peaking at #29, despite being a #1 Hit in many other countries around the world where it enjoyed A-Side status.  (This in and of itself is quite surprising as Herman's Hermits recorded some GREAT B-Sides along the way ... and this was the era of the two-sided hit.)  Also deserving of recognition would have to be "I Gotta Dream On", one of my all-time favorites by them, A-Side / B-Side or otherwise, "The End Of The World", which not only received a fair amount of airplay back in the day but is STILL one of Peter Noone's favorites ... and a song he performs nearly every night in concert, "Sea Cruise", the old Frankie Ford hit from 1959, "Walkin' With My Angel", a cover of the Bobby Vee tune, "Got A Feeling", "Hold On!", the title track to one of their films, "Traveling Light" and "What Is Wrong, What Is Right".  
Back home in Jolly Ol' England, "No Milk Today" was released as a single in its own right in October of 1966 ... four months before "There's A Kind Of Hush hit the British Chart.  It rose to #7 in the U.K. and, in Peter Noone's own words, is one of his favorite Hermans Hermits recordings.  (He told me "No Milk Today" is the PERFECT Hermits record.")  We talked about this during one of our Forgotten Hits interviews several years ago.    

kk / FORGOTTEN HITS:  The only "charted" Herman's Hermits' B-SIDE here in America was "No Milk Today", which was a BIG hit in its own right in Great Britain ... it's also one of my all-time Hermits favorites.  Would you have preferred that this was released as a single on its own here in the States?   

PETER NOONE:  "No Milk Today" was Herman's Hermits' best single and was put together by John Paul Jones, Mickie Most and me with Keith and Karl doing the backgrounds.  It was our biggest selling record worldwide and was a B-side in the US because some boy band covered "There's A Kind Of Hush" and put it out in Ohio so we were afraid the radio wouldn't play "There's A Kind Of Hush" by us and we threw away No Milk in the US.

(We later learned that the Ohio band Peter was referring to was a pre-teen trio of brothers called Gary and the Hornets.  Ironically, THEIR version of "There's A Kind Of Hush" never even charted!!!  [It bubbled under for three weeks on all three national charts but never actually cracked The Top 100.]  As such, "No Milk Today" was wasted here in The States as a B-Side, ultimately peaking at #29 while "There's A Kind Of Hush" went all the way to #3.)

PETER NOONE:  "No Milk Today" became a B-Side because Mick most didn't actually like the song that much. It had been turned down by The Hollies so he thought it had something missing. Personally I think it is Herman's Hermits best recording, and perfectly captures the moment and the feel of Manchester terraced houses and what was the end of a British era. I recall it was made at Lansdown studios and that we recorded a few other songs that day ... probably "There's A Kind Of Hush", "Dandy" and "No Milk Today".  
This was in the period where we (Mick and I) had just stopped using The Hermits on the recordings and were using the best musicians available to us to try to keep up with what had suddenly become The British Invasion. We were supposed to deliver 48 tracks a year to MGM so we were always scrambling to catch up.  I recall that John Paul Jones played bass guitars (an upright and a fender bass) on the tracks and was also responsible for the arrangements which I dare say are brilliant on all three tracks but I know he liked No Milk Today and I would suggest that his arrangement turned this perfect Graham Gouldman song into a hit.  I think that after we had the tracks down then I did the lead vocal and then Karl Green, Keith Hopwood and I did the backgrounds, the songs were mixed and that was it. I hope I am not rambling on too much , but i am happy to have this opportunity to state the facts as to who played what and when on our records.
(EDITOR’S NOTE:  Several years later, Peter Noone would produce a version of "No Milk Today" for its songwriter, Graham Gouldman!  We're featuring THIS rarity in our Forgotten Hits Calendar posting today as well!)


You can read the complete Forgotten Hits / Peter Noone interview here: