Noone was born on November 5, 1947 in Manchester. His father was a
semi-pro musician and keen that his son should follow in his footsteps,
so Peter was sent to study singing and acting at the Manchester School
of Music and Drama. He was something of a childhood star, playing
Len Fairclough's son in the soap opera Coronation Street as well as
in the lesser known Knight Errant and Family Solicitor. He combined
this with local stage appearances, too. An acting career seemed inevitable
but instead of becoming a film star he became a pop star.
1963, he joined Manchester beat group, The Heartbeats, after their
vocalist failed to show for a gig. He used the name Peter Kovak. The
change to Herman came after the band remarked on Peter's resemblance
to the charactoer Sherman in the TV cartoon 'The Bullwinkle Show',
although he misheard the name as Herman. So the group, who by now
were a popular dance hall and youth club attraction changed their
name to Herman and The Hermits, although it soon became abbreviated
to Herman's Hermits.
song, I'm Into Something Good, got up the charts and spent two weeks
at No. 1 in September 1964 and gave them their first million seller.
For their third single the group covered with a Carter/Lewis song,
Can't You Hear My Heartbeat. This gave them their second million seller.
Their next 45 was a slick revival of Sam Cooke's Wonderful World,
which rose to No. 7 in 1965.
really big breakthrough in the US came when an American DJ heard Mrs.
Brown You've Got A Lovely Daughter on their first US album, introducing
Herman's Hermits and persuaded their US record company, MGM, to release
it as a 45. It sounded like an old music hall song (though it wasn't)
with Noone's George Formby-style vocals and the banjo guitar sound,
and frankly sounded corny. Realising this the group prevented its
release but in the US the song spent three weeks on top fo the Charts,
earning them another gold disc. It also topped the Australian Charts
and sold 14 million copies worldwide. This success coincided with
the group's first full US tour.
success seems to have been partly due to the fact that many of the
first wave British invasion groups had already peaked in terms of
sales (with only The Beatles and Dave Clark Five consistently selling
vast quantities of vinyl) and partly because, fuelled by the success
of Mrs. Brown.., they selected songs for US release that had a music
hall and vaudeville edge to them. Not only did this set them apart
from other UK beat acts of the time, it also fulfilled the American
stereotype of what British life was like. So, whilst in the UK the
band enjoyed another Top 20 hit with Kenny Young's bouncy Just A Little
Bit Better (which later made it to No. 7 in the US), across the Atlantic
another US only single, I'm Henry the Eighth (I Am), a revival of
a 1911 music hall song gave them another No. 1 and million seller.
final 45 in 1965 was a fine, jangling P.F. Sloan/Steve Barri song,
A Must To Avoid, which got to No. 8 in the States. In the US, MGM
issued another album, The Best of Herman's Hermits, Vol. 1, which
included most of the year's 45s and some earlier album tracks.
March 1966, the band issued another US-only single. Listen People
was a slow ballad and took them to No. 3, earning another gold disc.
it seemed that their fortunes were beginning to ebb when they were
revitalized by Graham Gouldman's No Milk Today. This was an excellent
pop song and their first 45 to employ an orchestra. It gave them their
first Top 10 hit in the UK for over a year. In the States, No Milk
Today appeared on the flip side of a strong version of the Kinks'
Dandy, which put them back in the US Top 5. In November 1966, Noone
also appeared in the US TV movie, The Canterville Ghost.
the 45 front, in late 1966, they bounced back with a beat ballad,
There's A Kind Of Hush which made No. 4 in the US and No. 7 in the
UK. Definitely one of their best songs, it also became the title track
of their next album. However, it was in America with the advent of
the Monkees and the onset of the psychedelic era that their fortunes
declined most rapidly. Kenny Young's Don't Go Out Into The Rain, became
their last US Top 20 hit.
their final years, the band concentrated on the mainstream pop market
and enjoyed further big UK hits with I Can Take Or Leave Your Loving,
Sleepy Joe and singalong ditties like Sunshine Girl and Something's
Happening. The one area of US success in this phase of their career
was the group's appearance in the film Mrs. Brown You've Got A Lovely
Daughter, in which Noone played a lead role.
November 1968, Noone married a French girl, Mireille Strasser, and
the following month he formed a business partnership with Graham Gouldman,
which led to the opening of a New York boutique called Zoo.
the final analysis, Herman's Hermits were one of the more lightweight
pop acts of the sixties but they were one of our most successful exports
to the States and released several good three minute pop singles.
latest release "On The Road" is a compilation of greatest
hits recorded live around the world. It includes new material and
a guest vocal appearance from daughter Natalie. Peter is currently
touring the United States, Canada and Great Britain. He continues
to delight fans with his vocal abilities, wit and charm.