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How hits of 1960 - were written x to “No Milk Today“ of HERMAN`S HERMITS and “Happy Together“ group of THE TURTLES group?

From the beginning of the so-called “British invasion“ into the USA there was a great demand for the British groups with the lovely English boys singing lovely English songs with lovely English accent. The HERMAN`S HERMITS group became one of the most successful collectives of this wave. In the best times - from 1964 to 1967 - they 11 times got to the American TOP - 10 and sold 40 million plates!

By the name - HERMAN`S HERMITS - the group is obliged to the charming vocalist by the name of Peter Nong. It seemed to “fellow students“ similar to the character of the animated film “Mr. Peabody & Sherman“, for as got the nickname “Herman“ (modified from “Sherman“).

And here another seemed to the producer Mickey Moust absolutely...

Mickey Moust:

“Their manager sent me the photo of group made on Piccadilly platform in Manchester, and Peter Nong was similar to young John Kennedy. I decided that his face will be well on sale, especially in the USA. It was necessary only to pick up to it nice songs“.


As you can see, HERMAN’S HERMITS was initially untwisted as the commercial producer project. Moust not only itself selected songs, but also constantly invited to record of sessional musicians (among whom also future ZEPPELINS - Jimi Page and John Paul Jones were noted).

The project was so aimed at America that many singles HERMAN`S HERMITS in Britain did not even leave. For example, myuzik - hollny “Mrs. Brown You`ve Got A Lovely Daughter“ (“Mrs. Brown, you have a beautiful daughter“) and “I`m Henry the Eighth, I Am“ (“I am Henry VIII“).

The last song was myuzik - hollny not only on sounding, but also by origin - it was sung on the British stage in 1910. And here for Americans “Henry VIII“ sounded is fresh and it is amusing.

It is known that this English king caused a stir in the fact that replaced 6 official wives for the life. Moreover, without problems to get divorced, it tore with Catholicism and founded new church - Anglican. The destiny of some wives of Heinrich was so unenviable that the English school students thought up the special phrase for storing of “the marriage epic“ of the king: “divorced - executed - died, divorced - executed - worried“.

And here in the song “I`m Henry the Eighth, I Am“ the situation looked with an accuracy on the contrary - the hero marries the woman who became a widow/widower seven times, and all her husbands called Henry. Well, and he is, so Heinrich the Eighth.

A song humour (having sung a couplet, Nong also shouts “The second couplet same as the first!“) brought to the song 1 - e the place in the USA. Even more ridiculously it sounds in the well-known movie “Ghost“ (1990). There Patrick Swayze`s hero who turned into the ghost all night long sings “Henry VIII“ to the heroine Whoopi Goldberg - and such disgusting voice that that was forced to agree to its conditions...

Taking an opportunity, I cannot but note also the fine song “The End of the World“ (“Doomsday“). However, it became a hit in three years prior to the HERMAN`S HERMITS version. In 1962 this touching love ballad of the first the girl by the name of Skiter Davies executed, and, in my opinion, this the best of executions (the song became No. 2 in the USA). Music was written by Arthur Kent, and words - Silvia Dee, under impression of death of the father. Actually, and in the song it is sung that the Doomsday comes when we lose dear person...

As for actually HERMAN’S HERMITS, really I at them like only one song - of “No Milk Today“ (“There is no milk today“). As one would expect, it was written by the foreign author by the name of Graham Guldman - by the way, future leader of group 10CC.

The key phrase of a song appeared thanks to Guldman`s father. Once that returned after visit to the friend and told the son: “You are simply obliged to write the song with the phrase “Milk today is not present“. On what Graham shrugged shoulders - a pier what can be interesting in milk? It was talked about old British tradition - to expose empty dairy bottles in order that the milk seller filled them next day at house doors. If milk was not, the corresponding note was left.

And so, the father Guldmena declared to the son that it is possible to look at this phrase on the other hand: a pier, “Milk is not necessary any more“ because the house became empty from - for the fact that it was left by love.

The infectious motive of “No Milk Today“ (HERMAN’S HERMITS here for the first time used an orchestra) was pleasant to fellow countrymen more this time. Not without reason in Britain the song appeared on the first party of a single in 1966 and occupied 7 - e the place. And here in the USA it was published next year on the second party of a single and occupied only 34 - e the place. By the way, a year more of “No Milk Today“ later (with the leading sound of a violin) also the author on the first solo album will let out.

The song is still quite often rehashed. For example, the cover of Joshua James & The Forest Rangers sounds in series “Sons of Anarchy“. Her quail and the winner of “the Eurovision of 2009“ - Alexander Rybak. Well, and, of course, it quite often sounds in milk advertizing.

The following remarkable song of 1960 - x, though sounds very in English (in the spirit of KINKS), was written down by the Californian guys from THE TURTLES group (TURTLES).

TURTLES were not so commercially successful as HERMAN’S HERMITS. Having begun with a successful cover on Bob Dylan`s song “It Ain`t Me Babe“ (1965, No. 8 of the USA), the next two years the group was quite ordinary. Until on a threshold of their studio there were couple of professional songrayter - Harry Bonnaire and Alan Gordon, with a song of “Happy Together“ (“Are happy together“).

Despite the name and the text, the song sounded quite strange: minor, nearly mid-flight, a couplet and unexpectedly joyful refrain with the chorus soaring in heaven. Bonnaire said that it is connected with the fact that “Happy Together“ actually - not about happy, and about one-way love (the hero desperately tries to convince the darling of that how fine will become their world when they are together).

It seemed to many performers that the song sounds too “parodiyno“, and long refused it. TURTLES agreed and did not lose. Their orchestrated version with wonderful polyphony in the spring of 1967 dumped from top a hit - parade “Penny Lane“ of BEATLES and was late there for 3 weeks.

The label right there began to torment with TURTLES that those repeated the success. In reply the group wrote down the song “Elenore“ - the certain “distorted“ Happy Together version. The vocalist of TURTLES is Howard Keylan - said that it was such humiliating starting signal that lagged behind them. But the label did not understand a joke, published the song, and “Elenore“ occupied 6 - e the place.

From other interesting songs of this group I would note “Grim Reaper Of Love“ (the psychodelic song with the strange text and not less strange size - 5/4), “She`s My Girl“ (written by authors of “Happy Together“) and, of course, remarkable “You Showed Me“ . The last composition was written by participants of other BYRDS group, but in author`s execution left after the TURTLES version - besides, not on a single, and on longply. After “You Showed Me“ TURTLES had no (1969) hits, and in 1970 the group broke up.

As for “Happy Together“, the song was not forgotten. Even if you did not hear about it, then for certain heard her in some western movie. For example, the most gloomy cut-down version of FILTER group which is written down for the recent screen version of “Great Gatsby“ from Leonardo DiCaprio. Or as “Happy Together“ sings Michelangelo in to - f “Turtles - the ninjia“ 2014 (the pun is clear if you did not forget the name of group yet).

Here only I do not know - whether the present youth understands a line “If I should call you up, invest a dime“ (“If I have to call you, I invest a coin“). Phones with coins for a long time “tyu - tyu“...

P. S.: Songs and covers on them you can listen in 1 - m to comments to this article.