Now we get to one of my favorite songs of the Sixties. In fact, I like everything Herman’s Hermits did. Sometime around 2005, my wife and I went a local concert venue and saw Peter Noone perform. Peter was the original Herman of Herman’s Hermits and he sang all the Hermits’ songs and since he sounded like Herman (he was Herman) it was just like the Sixties all over again. It was a great night.
Herman’s Hermits started out as Herman and the Hermits and they were from Manchester, England. This created a Manchester Hat-Trick, since the last three acts to hit number one were all from Manchester. They took their name by slightly changing the name of Sherman from The Bullwinkle Show. The Hermits said Peter kind of looked like Sherman. The Hermits, at the time “Mrs. Brown, You’ve got a Lovely Daughter” was recorded were guys who were in another band called the Heartbeats. They were Keith Hopwood, Karl Green, Alan Wrigley, Steve Titterington, Derek Leckenby and, of course, Peter Noone.
Peter Noone was born in 1947 in Davyhulme, Lancashire as the second of five children. He started out as an actor appearing on the British soap opera “Coronation Street.” He attended the Manchester School of Music where he studied voice and drama and ended up getting together with five other guys to form Herman and the Hermits. They were discovered by Harvey Lisberg, a man who wanted to be a music manager, but wasn’t, and thought he could break into the field managing Herman and the guys. Lisberg called Mickie Most, a big name producer in London and asked him to come see Herman.
The thing people liked about Herman’s Hermits was that they were clean cut. This was in direct opposition to another group who were making the scene about this time, The Rolling Stones. Most became their producer and their first single was “I’m On to Something Good,” which was written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King. The song went to number one in England and number thirteen here in the States. Unfortunately, this was the only number one song Herman had in England. The number one they had in America did not perform as well in England. They were much more popular here.
“Mrs. Brown, You’ve got a Lovely Daughter” was written by Trevor Peacock, an English stage actor and musician. It was originally sung by an actor Tom Courtenay in the British play The Lads in 1963. Herman’s Hermits recorded it and it debuted on the American pop chart at number twelve, the highest a song had ever debuted in the history of the chart. Oddly, enough, it would be tied, not once but twice by the Beatles when “Hey Jude” and “Get Back” both did the same thing in 1968 and 1969. It took only three weeks for the song to reach number where it stayed for an additional three weeks.
There is a rumor that, like other songs I have written about, the Hermit’s band is not heard on the record. It is said that musicians Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones are really the musicians who are playing on the record. Of course, Page and Jones went on to form the mega-band Led Zepplin a few years later. No way to know if that is true.