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Peter Noone

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For those who missed the beginnings


Peter Noone (vocals); Derek "Lek" Leckenby (lead guitar); Keith Hopwood (rhythm guitar); Karl Green (bass); Barry "Bean" Whitman (drums)

Noone who sold programs as a schoolboy at Manchester United Soccer matches, has studied at the Manchester School of Music and Drama and has appeared in the ITV soap "Coronation Street", before being offered a part in a film starring Judy Garland in 1961, an opportunity scotched, however, by his parent. Now in a group with Green and Hopwood. Noone meets Leckenby who is playing in the Wailers with Whitman in the Cavern, Manchester. They Team up as the Heartbeats, with Noone using the name Peter Novak, and playing at youth clubs, and teen dance hall, eventually signing with managers Harvey Lisberg and Charlie Silverman. The group's name is changed after Green notes a likeness between Noone and the character Sherman in the TV cartoon "The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show". "Sherman" becomes "Herman" and the band's name develops to Herman & His Hermits, later shortened to Herman's Hermits.

Lisberg and Silverman send producer Mickie Most a plane ticket and book him into Manchester's Midland Hotel, before taking him to see the group on stage in Bolton, Lancs. Most sees a facial likeness between Noone and a young John F. Kennedy and decides that the singer's "little -boy-lost" look would make him the ideal frontman for a pop act aimed as much at mums and dads as teenagers.
Sept [26] Signed to Most and via him to EMI's Columbia label, the group tops the UK chart with it's debut single, I'm Into Something Good, a cover of Earl-Jean's US #38 hit. (Like most of the records which follow, it includes little of the Hermits themselves; Noone's vocals are backed by sessionmen, such as guitarists Jimmy Page  and big Jim Sullivan, with John Paul Jones (who later forms Led Zeppelin with Page) taking care of the bass and most of the arrangements.)
December [5] Show Me Girl, submitted by Something Good writers Goffin and King, who are impressed by the Hermit's cover version, reaches UK #19.
December[12] I'm Into Something Good climbs to US # 13. A million seller, it earns the group's first gold disc.

Jan- On its first US visit, the group makes a cameo appearance in the teen movie"When Boys Meet The Girls", starring Connie Francis and Harve Presnell.
February [27] The group begins a 21-date, twice-nightly UK package tour headed by Del Shannon, at the City Hall, Sheffield, Yorks, set to end March 22nd at the Odeon Cinema, Glasglow, Scotland.
March [13] Their revival of the Rays' 1957 million seller, Silhouettes, hits UK# 3.
March [27] The John Carter/ Ken Lewis (Ivy League) composition, Can't You Hear My Heartbeat, hits US# 2, behind the Supremes' Stop! In The Name Of Love and will become Herman's Hermits' second million seller.
April [11] The band appears at the annual "New Musical Express Poll Winners Concert" at the Empire Pool, Wembley, Middx., with the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Kinks and many others.
April [30] The group begins its first full US tour, a 34-day trek on Dick Clark's "Caravan Of Stars", set to end on June 2nd.
May [1] Trevor Peacock-penned Mrs. Brown You've Got A Lovely Daughter begins a three-week reign atop the Us chart, having entered at #12, the highest first-week placing for a single in seven years, due to unprecedented airplay. It is extracted from the US-only release as a single in the UK; the group is not enamored of it and thinks the arrangement too corny for the British market.
May [15] Silhouettes hits US # 5 and is a million seller on combined US/UK sales.
May [22] Their update of Sam Cooke's Wonderful World hits UK#7.
June [6] The group appears on CBS-TV's "The Ed Sullivan Show" and also performs  on the network's "It's What's Happening Baby" on the 28th
July Noone is voted one of the ten best-dressed men in the UK. The group's second US album Herman's Hermits On Tour, hits US # 2 while the first is still in the Top 10.
July [10] Wonderful World hits US #4.
July [14] The group performs at a dance for Doncaster Rovers soccer club at the Doncaster Top Rank Ballroom, before leaving for a US concert visit.
July [22] A Dick Clark package tour begins in the US, set to end on August 8th. (After a Bridgeport, CT gig, a local police chief states "I can assure any organization planning to sponsor entertainment of this type in the future that no permit will be issued by the police department", citing unruly behavior by teenagers.)
August [7] I'm Henry VIII, I Am, their version of a 1911 music-hall song, extracted as a US-only single from Herman's Hermits On Tour, again after strong  pre-release air-play, hits # 1 and becomes another US million seller. On holiday in Hawaii, Noone meets, and "interviews" for the New Musical Express, Elvis Presley, who is working on location for the film "Paradise, Hawaiian Style".
September [25] Just A Little Bit Better reaches Uk # 15.  Herman's Hermits, a belatedly-release Uk compliation of the two US albums, makes # 16.
October [16] Just A Little Bit Better hits US # 7.
October [25] Herman hosts NBC-TV's "Hullabaloo".
November [3] The begins an 18-date, twice-nightly UK tour, with Bill Fury, Wayne Fontana, the Fortunes and others at the Gaumont Cinema, Wolverhampton, warks., set to climax on the 22nd at the Odeon Cinema, Manchester.
December Compilation album The Best Of Herman's Hermits, hits US # 5.

January [21] The group begins its first tour of Australia and Japan.
January [29] A Must to Avoid, often  referred to by Noone as A Muscular Boy, a dig at his own indistinct phrasing of the lyrics, hits UK # 6 and US # 8 (a week earlier), and is another million seller.
March [12] US-only Listen People, the group's first A-side ballad, hits US # 3 and earns yet another gold disc.
April [7] The Band begins a 12-date, twice-nightly UK tour, with Dave Berry, the MindBenders, David and Jonathan, and Pinkerton's Assorted Colours, at the ABC Cinema, Dover, Kent, ending on the 20th at the ABC Cinema, Edinburgh, Scotland.
April [16] UK-only released You Won't Be Leaving, with Listen People on the B-side, reaches UK # 20. The teen-movie soundtrack album, Hold On!, climbs to US # 14, featuring 11 Herman's Hermits songs.
April [21] Movie "Hold On"!" premieres in Los Angeles, CA.
May [1] They play at their second annual "New Musical Express Poll Winners Concert" at Empire Pool, on a bill topped by the Beatles and the Rolling Stones.
May [7] Extracted from Hold On! Leaning On A Lamp Post, their revival of the George Formby oldie, hits US # 9.
June [25] The group guests on the last edition of ITV's  "Thank Your Lucky Stars".
July [1] They begin another US tour, with the Animals,  Jerry Lee Lewis and Lou Christie, in Honolulu, HI set to end on August 10th.
July [9] This Door Swings Both Ways reaches UK # 18 and will at US # 12 on August 13.
September Both Sides Of Herman's Hermits peaks at US # 48.
November [2] "The Canterville Ghost", featuring Noone, Sir Michael Redgrave and Douglas Fairbanks Jr., airs on US TV.
November [5] No Milk Today, written by Graham Gouldman (later of 10cc), hits UK # & as Dandy, written by Ray Davies of the Kinks, hits US # 5.
December [24] East West, also by Gouldman, reaches UK # 37, and US # 27 the following week.

January The Best Of Herman's Hermits, Volume II peaks at US #20.
March [18] There's A Kind of Hush (All Over The World) hits UK # 7, and the following week in the US, where it is a million seller.
April--  Noone visits Rocommon in Erie, to trace the roots of his grandfather Tommy Noone, who emigrated to England 50 years earlier.
April [8] Kind Of A Hush US B-side, the former UK hit No Milk Today, makes # 35
April [25] The group is featured in CBS-TV's Leonard Berstein-hosted "Inside Pop--The Revolution".
May  There's A Kind Of A Hush reaches US # 13.
July [13] The band opens a North American tour with the Who, on their first US tour, as its support act, and the Blue Magoos in Calgary, ab, Canada, set to end September 9th in Honolulu.
July [22] Don't Go Out Into The Rain (You're Going To Melt) reaches US  # 18.
September [16] Museum, written and also recorded by Donovan (Mickie Most later admits he used the same backing track for both versions), reaches US # 39.  It is released in the UK but is the group's first chart failure.
September [24] The group guests on CBS-TV's "The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour".
October  US-only issued Blaze peaks at US # 75.

January The Best Of Herman's Hermits, Volume II reaches US # 102.
February [10] I Can Take Or Leave Your Loving climbs to UK # 11 and US # 22.
May [10] The band begins a ten-date, twice-nightly UK-tour, with Amen Corner, Dave Berry, the Paper Dolls, John Rowles and the Echoes, at the Town Hall, Birmingham, W. Midlands, ending on the 19th at Nottingham's Theatre Royal.
May [25] Sleepy Joes peaks at UK# 12.
June [8]  Sleepy Joe peak at US #  61, as a new generation of US bands eclipses Herman's Hermits, who have nevertheless lasted longer than many of their UK comtemporaries.
August [17] John Carter and Geoff Stephens-written Sunshine Girl hits UK # 8.
September The group, with Noone as the romantic lead opposite Sheila White, stars in the film "Mrs. Brown You've Got A Lovely Daughter', inspired by the hit single. The Mrs. Brown You've Got A Lovely Daughter soundtrack album makes US # 182.
November [5] Noone marries Mireille Strasser in London, on his 21st birthday.Yes, that's right girls, he's taken!!!! (He enters into a business partnership with Graham Gouldman, which includes studio production work and the opening of a New York boutique named Zoo.)
December [25] "Pinnocchio", with Herman in the title role and Burl Ives as Geppetto, airs on US TV.
December [28] The group guests on BBC1-TV's "Val Doonican Show".

January [18] Something's Happening, a rewrite of a European song, hits UK # 6.
May [4] The ban appears on ITV's "This Is Tom Jones".
May [17] Carter/Stephens-inked My Sentimental Friend hits UK # 2, the group's second -biggest UK success.
December [6] Here Comes The Star, their cover of an Australian hit noted during a tour there, peaks at UK # 33.

March [21] Years My Come, Years May Go hits UK # 7, the group's final release on UK Columbia.
June [13] Bet Your Life I Do, written by members of Hot Chocolate and released on Most's newly-formed RAK label, makes UK #22.
November [9] The group participates in the Royal Variety Performance in London.

January [9]  Lady Barbara, another Hot Chocolate song, reaches Uk # 13, and is the group's final UK hit single. It is credited to Peter Noone & Herman's Hermits, leading to accurate speculation of an impending split. The Hermits base themselves in the US, to work the nostalgia circuit, while Noone
remains in the UK, recording for Most's RAK label.
June [12] Noone's only solo hit, at UK # 12, is his treatment of David Bowie's Oh You Pretty Thing, featuring its composer on piano. (The follow-up, another Bowie song, Right On Mother, will fail to chart, as will later '70s solo projects on RAK, Phillips, Casablanca and Bus Stop.)

June [28] Noone briefly reunites with the Hermits, to top the bill of the "British Invasion" nostalgia concert at New York's Madison Square Garden, before 13,000 people. Also playing are the Searchers, Gerry and the Pacemakers and Wayne Fontana & The Mindbenders. Noone and the group will permanently part company later in the year, with the former continuing in cabaret and in theatrical stage roles.

Living in Los Angeles, Noone forms the short-lived Tremblers in 1980, with Gregg Inhofer and Gee Conner on guitars, Mark Browne on bass and Robert Williams on drums, and records the album Twice Nightly. He will go on to enjoy his biggest stage success in the starring role (as Frederic) of the 1983 London version of Gilbert and Sullivan's "The Pirates Of Penzance", having taken over the part from Rex Smith on Broadway in 1982. His re-recording of I'm Into Something Good will be featured in the 1988 conedy caper "The Naked Gun: From The Files Of Police Squad".

June [4] While both the Hermits, lining up as Leckenby, Whitman, Geoff Foote and Rod Gerrard, and Noone have continued to perform separately on the nostalgia circuit, Noone, now living in Montecito, CA, is still highly visible in the '90s as an ever-youthful VJ on the US cable TV channel VH-1 and as interviewer for the station's music magazine, "My Generation". Leckenby now dies of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in Manchester, after playing his final gig with Herman's Hermits in Moses Lake, WA on May 29th.

For current info on Peter Noone:

Peter Noone

For current info on Keith Hopwood:

Keith Hopwood

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