One of the most successful bands of the British Invasion, the Hermits were originally named “Herman and the Hermits.” They would ultimately have four top three U.S. hits plus two Number Ones and another in the UK.
The year 1965 was definitely their best when “Mrs. Brown” and “I’m Henry the Eighth, I Am” would both reach the top of the charts. “Can’t You Hear My Heartbeat” and “Listen People” were also top three hits. The band was formed in Manchester in 1964.
In May, 1965, they would accomplish a feat only the Beatles had achieved in March, 1964, when their No. 1 song on Chicago’s WLS charts, “Mrs. Brown,” would swap places with the No. 2 song from the week before, “Silhouettes.” The Beatles accomplished this rare happening when “I Want to Hold Your Hand” moved out of the top spot for “She Loves You.” (A footnote to technology, my parents had given me a special radio in 1964 so that I could pick up WLS in Nashville in order to listen to these Megahits.)
Other blockbusters by Peter Noone (Herman) and his Hermits included a cover of Sam Cooke’s “Wonderful World” which reached No. 4; “Just a Little Bit Better” reaching No. 7; “A Must to Avoid” going to No. 8; “Leaning on a Lamp Post” (No. 9 from the Broadway play “Me and My Girl”); the Ray Davies composition “Dandy” reaching No. 5; and “There’s a Kind of Hush” climbing to No. 4 in 1967.
Peter Noone would leave the group in 1971 with Barry Whitwarm being only the original member remaining. Whitwarm was the band’s drummer and was one of the reformed group’s members opening for The Monkees on their reunion tour in the 1980s.
One personal postscript to this historical journey by the Hermits, I was ushering at the Nashville Municipal Auditorium in the summer of 1965 (at the height of their popularity and got to spend a few magic moments visiting with them back stage before going on. I did not realize at that juncture how very famous they would become although the enormous talent and stage presence was clearly an indicator!)
Steve Vassallo is a HottyToddy.com contributor. Steve writes on Ole Miss athletics, Oxford business, politics and other subjects. He is an Ole Miss grad and former radio announcer for the basketball team. Currently, Steve is a highly successful leader in the real estate business who lives in Oxford with his wife Rosie. You can contact Steve at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at 985-852-7745.HERE!