Monday, 25 August 2014

Stars on 45RPM: Sleepy Joe / Just One Girl by Herman's Hermits (Columbia, DB 8404, 1968)

Manchester's Herman's Hermits had been regular stars of the UK chart scene for nearly four years when they released Sleepy Joe (Columbia, DB 8404) in May 1968.

The single followed the recent release of the film Mrs Brown You've Got A Lovely Daughter which paired the talents of the band Peter Noone, Karl Greene, Keith Hopwood, Derek Leckenby and Barry Whitwam alongside show business stalwarts Stanley Holloway and Lance Percival. 


Herman's Hermits success was undoubtedly the knack of turning out great pop songs that captured the imagination of the younger teenage audience. “We were the kids next door,” Barry Whitwam told me in 2013, “our fans were usually much younger than those of the Beatles and the Stones. The parents liked us as well, we were a different image.”

Sleepy Joe was written by songwriter John Carter (who co-wrote Funny How Love Can Be for The Ivy League in 1965) and Russell Alquist (who penned A Little Loving for The Fourmost in 1964).

The song with its sing-along hook was a classic example of 1968 pop chart material, steeped in nostalgia while maintaining an evident vaudeville style. Look at other songs from the era from The Beatles Lady Madonna to The Hollies Jennifer Eccles and you'll get a nostalgic sense of the past marrying with the present pop tunes of the day. Sleepy Joe was covered with the track Just One Girl and reached No.12 in the UK charts in 1968.

This single was a recent charity shop find for 50p in Tenby, West Wales .

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