Herman's Hermits are an English beat (or pop) band, formed in Manchester in 1963 as Herman & The Hermits. The group's record producer, Mickie Most (who controlled the band's output), emphasized a simple, non-threatening, clean-cut image, although the band originally played R&B numbers. This helped Herman's Hermits become hugely successful in the mid-1960s but dampened the band's songwriting; Noone, Hopwood, Leckenby and Green's songs were relegated to 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 late 1964. They never topped the British charts again, but had two US Billboard Hot 100 No.1s 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 1910, which Peter Noone's Irish grandfather had been in the habit of singing when Noone was young). These songs were aimed at a US fan base, with Peter Noone exaggerating his Mancunian accent; the band was not fond of either song, and they were never released as singles in Britain.
In the US, their records were released on the MGM label, a company which often featured 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 appeared in the 1965 anthology film Pop Gear.
Herman's Hermits had three Top 3 hits in the US in 1965, with the aforementioned No.1 hits and a cover version of Goldie & the Gingerbreads' "Can't You Hear My Heartbeat" (US No.2). They recorded the hits "A Must to Avoid" (US No.8), "Listen People" (US No.3), George Formby, Jr.'s "Leaning on a Lamp Post," from Me and My Girl (US No.9), and the Ray Davies song "Dandy" (US No.5) in 1966, and "There's a Kind of Hush" (US No.4) in 1967. They appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show, The Dean Martin Show and The Jackie Gleason Show. Continued success in the US proved elusive beyond 1967, although they had as many Top Ten hits in Britain (five) in the period 1967 through 1970 as they had had there in the years of the mid-'sixties when the band were wowing American audiences and British audiences seemed more diffident. By the time the group recorded their final album of the 1960s, Rock 'n' Roll Party, the band's success in the US was history and the album was not released by MGM there. Peter Noone and Keith Hopwood left the band in 1971. Herman's Hermits reunited in 1973 to headline a successful British invasion tour of the US 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 reunion tours of the US. Noone declined an offer from tour organizers to appear, but later appeared with Davy Jones on a successful teen-idols tour.
Famous quotes containing the word hermits:
“Taking food alone tends to make one hard and coarse. Those accustomed to it must lead a Spartan life if they are not to go downhill. Hermits have observed, if for only this reason, a frugal diet. For it is only in company that eating is done justice; food must be divided and distributed if it is to be well received.”
—Walter Benjamin (18921940)