Synopsis of Pop Music
“I’m Henry the VIII, I am, I am,
Henry the VIII, I am, I am...”
Herman’s Hermits were one of the most interesting of the original wave of British Invasion groups. Unlike the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, the Hermits didn’t threaten authority figures with a longhaired look and loud guitar rock. In fact, they were a pleasant, polite group of chaps who sang pleasant, music hall-styled ditties that people of all ages could enjoy. In the process, they scored eleven Top-10 hits on this side of the Atlantic.
The Hermits were originally called the Heartbeats until they got a new lead singer, former child actor Peter Noone. Someone thought Peter looked like the ‘Sherman’ from The Bullwinkle Show, but instead called him 'Herman' due to mishearing the name. The band renamed themselves Herman’s Hermits and began to perform in their native Manchester. They quickly gained a local following, a pair of managers, and the attention of pop producer Mickie Most.
Most saw a potential superstar in Peter Noone (whom they thought resembled John Kennedy) and quickly went to work in the studio. However, only Noone performed on the early recordings: the band was replaced with pro session musicians, including future Led Zeppelin members Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones. The Hermits’ first single was “I’m Into Something Good,” a cover of an old pop tune propelled by Noone’s exuberant, high-pitched vocal and a bouncy arrangement. It shot to #1 in the U.K. and broke the band in U.S. by going to #13 at the end of 1964.
Herman’s Hermits began to tour the U.S. in 1965. The touring paid off, making Noone a pin-up in teen magazines and setting the stage for a string of smash hits. “Can’t You Hear My Heartbeat” went to #2. The follow-up, the wistful ballad “Mrs. Brown You’ve Got A Lovely Daughter,” went to #1 and stayed there for three weeks. Next up was a #4 cover of the Sam Cooke song “Wonderful World,” followed by the boisterous music hall classic “I’m Henry the Eighth, I Am.” “Henry” gave them their second #1 and was followed by an another Top-10 hit in “Just A Little Bit Better.”
1966 was another year of Top-10 hits for the Hermits, starting with “A Must To Avoid” in January. Other hits from this year included the gentle “Listen People” and another music-hall oldie, “Leaning On A Lamp Post.” The next year, they continued to storm the charts with songs like “There’s A Kind Of Hush.” In 1968, the Hermits got their own feature film in the form of Mrs. Brown You’ve Got A Lovely Daughter. Noone also played the title role in a television production of Pinocchio.
Herman’s Hermits continued to record until their split-up in 1970. Noone went on to a solo career in England and divided his time between recording and acting. He and his former bandmates have done periodic reunion tours throughout the years and still do the occasional date together. Their music still has the same timeless, effervescent charm it always has and continues to entertain pop music fans of all stripes today.
Artist Release History1965 - Introducing Herman's Hermits
1965 - On Tour: Their Second Album
1965 - Herman's Hermits
1965 - British Go Go
1965 - When the Boys Meet The Girls
1966 - Hold On!
1966 - Both Sides of Herman's Hermits
1966 - Again
1966 - Lucky 13
1967 - There's a Kind of Hush All Over the World
1967 - Blaze
1967 - X15
1969 - Rock'n'roll Party
1972 - A Whale of a Tale
1973 - Their Greatest Hits
1996 - No Milk Today
Pop Sub Categoriespop
Essential Music AlbumsTheir Greatest Hits (ABKCO)
Band MembersPeter Noone vocals
Derek 'Lek' Leckenby lead guitar
Keith Hopwood rhythm guitar
Karl Green bass
Barry 'Bean' Whitwam drums