Daniel Boone (also known as Peter Lee Stirling, born Peter Charles Green, 31 July 1942, Birmingham, England) is an English pop musician who became a one-hit wonder in the United States with the single "Beautiful Sunday" in 1972. The song was written by Boone and Rod McQueen and sold over 2,000,000 copies worldwide. It peaked at #15 on The Billboard Hot 100 singles chart at the end of the summer of 1972, having already reached #21 on the UK Singles Chart earlier during that same year. In 1972, Boone was the recipient of the "Most Likeable Singer" award from Rolling Stone magazine.
Peter Green (later to become Peter Lee Stirling) started his career as the guitarist and vocalist with a band called the Beachcombers that played gigs in the Birmingham area during the period from 1958 to 1962. Their fortunes changed when they encountered Tommy Bruce, who had a number 3 hit in 1960 with "Ain't Misbehavin". This, and some subsequent releases, had been attributed to 'Tommy Bruce and the Bruisers', despite the fact that the instrumental backings were provided by session musicians at EMI. Bruce's account of the meeting was as follows:
"I met them up in Birmingham. They were working at the Plaza club. I was gigging there. They were great. Vocal, backing, the lot. Especially Pete (Peter Green) on lead guitar. He was magnificent. I said ‘how would you like to become The Bruisers?’ They jumped in and loved it. Peter “Mac” McGinty was on bass (born Peter Julian McGinty, 16 August 1941, Birmingham, Warwickshire), Donald McGinty was on drums (born 23 June 1946, Birmingham, Warwickshire), Bobby Coral, (born John Ship, 1 September 1940, Birmingham, Warwickshire), was on backing vocals with Pete Green".
The Bruisers started their recording career at EMI with Bruce and his manager Barry Mason, who later became a famous songwriter. Peter Green released a solo recording of a song called "My Heart Commands Me" under the name 'Lee Stirling' in March 1963. Mason and (the now renamed) Stirling then collaborated on what was for both of them their first songwriting effort. Mason recalls this as follows:
"The first person I wrote with was Peter Lee Stirling, who later became Daniel Boone and was originally Peter Green. He was with a group called The Beachcombers, who became The Bruisers, who backed Tommy Bruce! And my first chart thing ever was a thing called "Blue Girl" for The Bruisers, which I wrote with Peter".
"Blue Girl" was released on 11 July 1963, and entered the UK charts on 8 August, eventually reaching number 31. On the strength of this hit, the band appeared on the Thank Your Lucky Stars television show on 26 October, performing the follow up "I Could If I Wanted To". This was probably the only TV appearance of the Bruisers as a group, although Peter Lee Stirling appeared solo on later editions of the programme, and also on Ready Steady Go!. "I Could if I Wanted To" and the subsequent releases, "Your Turn To Cry" and "I Believe", were unsuccessful. The first use of the full name 'Peter Lee Stirling' was in 1964 on "Sad, Lonely and Blue", but none of the eight records issued between 1964 and 1970 under this name entered the UK chart. However, Stirling went on to write or co-write "I Think of You" and "Don't Turn Around", both of which were hits for The Merseybeats, and co-wrote "I Belong" for Kathy Kirby, which came second in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1965.
The Bruisers broke up in 1967 and Stirling became the co-owner, with Bernard Mattimore, of a recording studio in London's Whitechapel Road, which specialised in covering contemporary chart material. He subsequently joined the studio band 'Hungry Wolf' for one album, and when they became 'Rumpelstiltskin' he worked with them for a further two albums. He also wrote musical scores for the films Groupie Girl and Goodbye Gemini.
In 1971, Peter Green joined Larry Page's Penny Farthing record label (Penny Farthing Records) as a singer/songwriter and changed his stage name from Peter Lee Stirling to Daniel Boone, after the American folk-hero. His first release for the label was a ballad called "Daddy Don't You Walk So Fast", written by Geoff Stephens and Peter Callander and it rewarded him with his first, and only, top-twenty hit in the UK, peaking at number 17.
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