Once Poole had left, and after a couple of near misses, rhythm guitarist and keyboard player Alan Blakely took over leadership of the group, and Len ‘Chip’ Hawkes (father of 1990s hitmaker Chesney Hawkes) replaced bassist Alan Howard. They started an even more successful hit run in 1967 with Cat Stevens’ “Here Comes My Baby”; “Suddenly You Love Me”, “Hello World”, and “My Little Lady”, 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 U.S. Top Twenty. All members shared vocals, though most of the songs featured either Hawkes or drummer Dave Munden as the lead singer. Guitarist Ricky West sang lead vocal on “Silence Is Golden”. Their regular hits were accompanied by frequent appearances on BBC’s Top of the Pops television programme. Their songs were popular with younger music fans and parents rather than rock music fans. Altogether, without Poole the group had nine UK Top Twenty hits.
“Me and My Life” was a hit in 1970, but the group did themselves no favours when an interview in the weekly paper Melody Maker quoted them as calling the fans who had bought their earlier singles ‘silly suckers’. Their album Master failed to sell well, and they had no British hits after “Hello Buddy” in 1971.
After the hits
Their music is still available on CD, and they quite often play concerts and are part of the pop-revival shows that constantly tour the UK. Their line-up changed several times from 1972 onwards, with Munden remaining the only constant member. Hawkes pursued a solo career for a while, and Blakely produced records for other acts, including the Rubettes and Mungo Jerry. In 1983 the original quartet reformed and narrowly missed the charts with their cover version of the Europop hit “Words”.
As a soloist, Poole failed to chart with subsequent records, but pursued a successful cabaret career. In 1996 his daughters Karen and Shellie hit the charts as post-Alanis Morissette popsters Alisha’s Attic. Blakely died from cancer in June 1996, leaving Munden and West to continue in concert with newer recruits Dave Fryar (bass) and Joe Gillingham (keyboards). In 2005 Fryar was replaced by Jeff Brown.
The Class Of 64
In April 2004, at the request of The Animals who were about to do their 40th anniversary tour, Hawkes was asked to form a band to tour with The Animals. This he did, bringing together a true supergroup also including Mick Avory (ex-The Kinks), Eric Haydock (ex-The Hollies), who have teamed up to perform as The Class of 64, also featuring guitarists, Telecaster Ted Tomlin and Graham Pollock. The band have toured around the world, recorded an album of past band hits and a new single.
Edited by KeithJones on 31 Oct 2011, 15:09
Registered users can edit this page. Sign up now, it’s free and you will discover so much great music :)
Generated from facts marked up in the wiki.
- Formed in
- Founded in
- Dagenham, Essex, England
- Band Members
- Brian Poole (1958 - 1963)
You can also view a list of all recent wiki changes.
From other sources.