Thursday, September 24, 2009

FSOTD #32/Mrs. Brown, You've Got A Lovely Daughter (1965)

Were you alive in '65?  If so, and old enough, you'll remember Herman's Hermits.  Their catchy tune "Mrs. Brown, You've Got A Lovely Daughter" - FSOTD #32 - was a #1 U.S. hit for three weeks in May of that year (displaced by the Beatles' "Ticket To Ride").  "Mrs. Brown..." was also nominated for two Grammy awards.  Yet, according to the Wiki article, the band didn't care much for the song.  It was fashioned for the U.S. market, with Peter Noone exaggerating his English accent.  It was never released as a single in Britain.

Herman & the Hermits (original name) were no flash in the pan: From 1964 through 1968, they had a string of songs charting on both sides of the pond, including three #1's.  And because they were on the MGM label, they also appeared in a handful of movies, although to decidedly less acclaim.  In Leonard Maltin's Movie & Video Guide, the author pans 1966's Hold On as a "loser" of a film. Mrs. Brown, You've Got A Lovely Daughter went cinematic in 1968. Maltin dismisses it as a "silly excuse for a movie".  In truth, by 1968, the curtain had rung.   As quickly as the Hermits had arrived, so too they seemed to vanish.  The times they were a-changin'. The Beatles evolved into the psychedelic; Herman's Hermits simply became irrelevant.  They disbanded in 1971.

Yet the career of Herman, aka Peter Noone, continued on steadily if not spectacularly, with acting, singing and producing gigs through the '80s.  But over the last two decades, his career has positively flourished as a narrator/pitchman for the sights and sounds of the sixties.   At least on television, his boyish good looks survive, with hair still blond and smile still gap-toothed.  But it only works because he was really there.  I mean, he knew the Beatles and stuff.  I'll bet he still knows Sir Paul, and Sir Mick too.  How cool is that, man?!  He's even resumed touring as/with Herman's Hermits, selling out venues around the world.  On his website, he styles himself as Peter Noone, the artist formerly known as Herman.

(alright now, here comes the big finish...)

But as the passage of time is kind to some, for others, not so much.  For some, not at all.  To wit: Imagine how we'd feel today if it were Papa John Phillips who had recorded "Mrs. Brown, You've Got A Lovely Daughter"... 
     G'night Everybody!! (With a wave and a smile, Yabbadoodle scurries off stage right, house lights fading to black, leaving only the sounds of a wildly appreciative audience)

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