1974 Bo Donaldson and the Heywoods – Who Do You Think You Are
Talent shows have long been a staple of television. One talent show that began on BBC radio and later moved to television was Opportunity Knocks. The show appeared on Radio Luxembourg in the fifties and then moved to British television through 1990. While telephone voting began in the late eighties, prior to that viewers had to mail in their votes each week. The ballots were due at the station each Thursday so that the winner could return on Friday night to perform again.
One winner on the show was a four-man British pop group that began performing in 1967 as the Music Box. They started out doing covers of records by the Beach Boys. In 1969, the group changed their name to Paper Lace and expanded to a wider style of pop music. Unable to gain enough popularity on their own, the group applied to play on Opportunity Knocks in 1970, but they did not get invited to the show until 1973. Once on the air, they proved to be popular enough to win the competition five weeks in a row.
Songwriters Mitch Murray and Peter Callander offered to let the group record a song they had written, and the band recorded Billy Don’t Be A Hero. The record spent three weeks at number one on the UK chart.
A cover version by Bo Donaldson and The Heywoods reached the US charts before the Paper Lace’s record label released the single in the US. The Paper Lace version only reached #96 on the US Hot 100 while the single by Bo Donaldson and the Heywoods reached #1 on the Hot 100 in 1974. Since the members of the group weren’t songwriters, they returned to the British television show to look for another hit record.
The five man British group Candlewick Green also won at least one week on Opportunity Knocks. They signed a recording contract with Decca Records after their win.
If you remember the group Jigsaw at all, it’s probably because of their hit Sky High, which reached #3 in 1975. Two of the members of the group, Clive Scott and Des Dyer, were the songwriting team who wrote that song. It was not their first successful song. In 1974, Jigsaw recorded songs for an upcoming album, including their version of Who Do You Think You Are.
Members of the group Candlewick Green heard the song and asked if they could record and release it. The result was a single that reached #21 in the UK. Jigsaw later released their version of the song, but only on an album.
Bo Donaldson and The Heywoods recorded a cover of Who Do You Think You Are as their follow-up to their chart-topping single and reached #15 in the Summer of 1974.
The group released one more single in 1974, but it only reached #39. Neil Sedaka wrote their last charting single, but it peaked at only #95.
The group recorded a second album in 1975 but found little success. They tried recording Country music, but little came from the effort either.
Paper Lace recorded The Night Chicago Died and took that single to #1 in the US in 1974. They also reached the UK top forty twice more.
Candlewick Green doesn’t appear to have charted with another single.
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