The Tremeloes began in the late 50's and had some huge hits in England, changed personnel, became known to some extent in the USA, had some more hits, and lasted a long time in the world of pop music.
The group was started by Brian Poole in Dagenham, Essex, England in 1959. The original lineup had Poole on vocals, Rick West on lead guitar, Alan Blakely on rhythm guitar, Alan Howard on bass and Dave Munden on drums. Poole was a big fan of American rocker Buddy Holly and sought to project the same image, right down to Holly's rather unusual eyeglasses. In 1961 the group appeared on the BBC radio program Saturday Club.
The following year the Tremeloes were offered a contract by Decca, and according to some, Decca had chosen them over the Beatles. They recorded some covers of popular songs on their first album, Big Hits of '62. From this they obtained their first hit single, a cover of the Isley Brothers' Twist & Shout, which went to number four on the British charts in the summer of 1963. Poole decided to change his image, abondoning the glasses for contact lenses. The Tremeloes issued a cover of the Contours' Do You Love Me? featuring Poole's gravel-voiced lead, and the Tremeloes reached number one on the British pop charts. And the hits kept coming, at least in England. A cover of the Crickets' Someone, Someone reached number two in England and barely dented the top 100 in the USA; another big record was Candy Man.
Brian Poole was a very shy person. He split from the Tremeloes in 1966 but had little success on his own. Eventually he went to work in his family's butcher shop. The rest of the group carried on, dropping Alan Howard and bringing in Len "Chip" Hawkes as their bassist and lead singer. The music scene was changing, the Tremeloes had changed, and the group signed a record deal with CBS. From 1967 to 1971 the Tremeloes put thirteen songs in the British top forty, including their first top forty hit in the USA (on the Epic label), Here Comes My Baby, which was written by Cat Stevens. Other hits followed for them: Silence Is Golden and Even The Bad Times Are Good hit in both England and the USA.
By the early 70's the Tremeloes had abandoned the type of music that sold well for them and decided to become more progressive. They issued an album titled Masters in 1970 that was not well received by their old fans, or by anyone else for that matter. Lead guitarist Rick West left the group. In 1974, Hawkes was injured in an automobile accident and left to go to Nashville; West came back, then Blakely left in 1975. The remaining members of the group were West, Munden, Bob Benham and Aaron Woolley, who continued to perform on the nightclub circuit.
Alan Blakely's brother Mike was a member of the British trio Christie and Hawkes' son is singer Chesney Hawkes.
The Tremeloes are particularly remembered in the USA for two spirited songs, Here Comes My Baby and Silence Is Golden.
Return to Rock-and-Roll Page.
Return to Home Page.
Send email to the author, Tom Simon email@example.com.