Published on June 27, 2016
The Tremeloes are an English rock and roll band, founded in 1958 in Dagenham, Essex. The Tremeloes are one of the longest surviving, still playing regularly more than 50 years after the group’s founding. They had fourteen UK and two U.S. Top 20 hit singles. They were the first south of England group to top the chart in the beat boom era.
The band first got together in 1958, when the original members were all in their teens. They were closer in years and background to early British beat bands like The Shadows than to the British Invasion bands with which they subsequently became associated. The original line-up of Brian Poole (vocals, guitar), Alan Blakely (drums), Alan Howard (saxophone), and Graham Scott (guitar), had Buddy Holly’s Crickets as their inspiration. This version of the band did not stay together long, however, and Blakley quickly switched to guitar (which Poole relinquished) after Dave Munden joined on the drums. Munden proved not only to be a very talented percussionist, but also a good singer. This gave the group a third vocalist, which would prove essential to their success further on in their history. Howard also switched to bass soon after Munden joined.
The band then known as the Tremilos thanks to a misspelling, built up a following at local dances and clubs, and then broke into the U.S. Air Force base circuit. By 1961, they had turned professional, and the group’s line-up changed again when Graham Scott left and was replaced by Rick West, who had previously played with Tony Rivers and the Castaways. West’s arrival was key to the group’s long-term success, providing the band with a classically trained guitarist. They also got a manager, Peter Walsh, who already represented such acts as The Brook Brothers, and the vocal group The Kestrels. The band’s first break happened soon after when they were spotted by Jimmy Grant, the producer of the BBC’s Saturday Club, who got them an audition for the BBC. This led to the group becoming regulars on radio.
On New Years Day, 1962, Decca, looking for a beat group, auditioned two promising young bands: The Tremeloes and The Beatles. They chose the Tremeloes, based on the fact that they were based in London and, thus, would be more accessible than the Beatles. They recorded a series of records backing other artists, including The Vernons Girls and disc jockey, Jimmy Savile, on the latter’s version of “Ahab the Arab”. They appeared in the film, Just for Fun, but early singles of “Twist Little Sister” and “Keep on Dancing” failed to find an audience. The then line-up was lead vocalist Brian Poole, lead guitarist Ricky West, keyboardist Alan Blakely, bassist Alan Howard and drummer Dave Munden.
The Tremeloes first charted with a version of “Twist and Shout” (1963. This was followed by a chart topping cover of The Contours’ U.S. million-seller “Do You Love Me” in the same year. The Tremeloes version of “Do You Love Me” sold over 250,000 copies.
When Poole and Howard left the band in 1966, Alan Blakely took over leadership of the group, and Len “Chip” Hawkes, father of 1990s hitmaker Chesney Hawkes, replaced Howard. Poole pursued a career as a solo artist, with little success, and soon left the music industry.
After switching from Decca to CBS Records, the Tremeloes started an even more successful hit run from 1967 onwards with Cat Stevens’ “Here Comes My Baby”; ” Hello World ” and two Italian hits translated into English, “Suddenly You Love Me” (which is Riccardo Del Turco’s “Uno tranquillo” – “One Quiet Man”) and “My Little Lady” (based on Orietta Berti’s “Non illuderti mai” – “Never Deceive Yourself”), and their Number one recording of an old Four Seasons’ B-side, “Silence is Golden”. Both this last single and “Here Comes My Baby” also entered the Top Twenty of the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 on CBS’ co-owned Epic Records. In addition both tracks sold one million copies globally, earning gold disc status