1965 The Fortunes – Here It Comes Again
Robin Hood and his Merrie Men were a group in England in the early sixties made up of lead singer Mike West and three vocalists: Rod Allen, Glen Dale, and Barry Pritchard. Mike left and in 1961 the Merrie Men added three men on instruments and they became the Fortunes. The group worked with an instrumental group called the Clifftones and together they recorded the single Summertime, Summertime in 1963.
The three vocalists subsequently learned to play guitars themselves and split from all the other musicians. They added two new players (Andy Brown on drums, and Dave Carr on keyboards) and recorded the song Caroline in 1964. The single did not fare too well, but it became a theme song for the pirate radio station, Caroline.
Another pair of singles also failed to chart, but they found a hit with their next recording. The team of Roger Greenaway and Roger Cook wrote the song You’ve Got Your Troubles, I’ve Got Mine. The single reached #2 in the UK and #7 on the US Hot 100 in 1965.
The group’s next release was Here It Comes Again, a song written by the British team of Barry Mason and Les Reed (Les also wrote songs with both Greenaway and Cook). The single again reached the top five in the UK, but peaked at only #27 on the Hot 100.
The group struggled after that when three of their next four singles failed to even reach the UK chart. In a moment of irony, Reginald Calvert, the group’s manager, was killed in a dispute over the pirate radio station Caroline in 1966.
Glen left the group in 1966, and David left the group by 1968. Several new players came in, including Shel Macrae on lead vocals and rhythm guitar and George McAllister on backup vocals and keyboards.
In times to come, perhaps the Fortunes will be remembered mostly because of the music they recorded next. Beginning in 1967, the group recorded a series of jingles used in commercials for Coca Cola. After a few early jingles for ongoing campaigns, the Fortunes were used to record the primary jingle for the new 1969 slogan, “It’s the real thing.” Somebody even patched together pieces of multiple 1969 recordings with some of the television ads to produce a video on YouTube that runs over two minutes long.
Greenaway and Cook wrote another song that the group successfully released in 1971. Here Comes That Rainy Day Feeling Again reached #15 on the US Hot 100 and proved to be the group’s final top forty single in the US.
Original members Rod and Barry continued to lead a touring group of the Fortunes.
Glen formed Glen Dale’s Fortunes in 1991, which eventually morphed into an Elton John tribute band.
Barry left the group in 1995 due to illness. Rod simply replaced any musicians who left the group and continued touring with the group until his death from liver cancer in 2008. There is still an active group touring as the Fortunes, but none of the members from the sixties or the seventies are still in the group.
My books are on sale on Amazon (or free with Kindle Unlimited) and contain a lot more Lost or Forgotten Oldies. You can visit my author page to see them and you can read them for free with Kindle Unlimited!