1971 Mac and Katie Kissoon – Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep
British musician and songwriter Lally Stott wrote and recorded the song Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep in 1970. His single was not a hit in the UK, but it topped the chart in Australia and reached #15 in France.
Lally’s record was also a minor success in Italy and a few other countries. The record also entered the Hot 100 in the US in April 1971 and peaked at #92.
Lally’s record company did not want to promote the single in the UK, so they offered the song to two other groups: Middle of the Road and Mac and Katie Kissoon.
Middle of the Road was a Scottish band that was having trouble finding success in the UK, so they moved to Italy in 1970. They began working with music producer Giacomo Tosti. He arranged their version of Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep, and their single slowly found success in Europe.
The record entered the UK chart in 1971 and spent four weeks at #1 beginning in June. Their version of the song reached #1 or #2 in at least seven countries but did not chart in the US. Their single was one of fewer than fifty singles that have sold over ten million physical copies.
Mac and Katie Kissoon were a brother and sister from the Port of Spain in Trinidad and Tobago. Their family moved to the UK in 1962 and Katie began recording singles a few years later using the name Peanut. She later joined the Rag Dolls, who released singles in 1967 and 1968. Mac sang in the Marionettes in the mid-sixties and later formed his own band to tour US bases in Europe. He had a solo single that reached the top thirty in the Netherlands in 1970.
The pair recorded their own version of Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep which was released in the UK in July 1971. Their version didn’t chart any higher than #41 in the UK thanks to the Middle of the Road single. RCA released the single in the US, where it reached #20 on the Hot 100 in October 1971.
Lally wrote other songs that were top ten hits for the Middle of the Road later in their career and songs that were hits for himself, Engelbert Humperdinck, and Jerry Reed.
The Middle of the Road had four more top forty singles in the UK and a long string of hits in Germany. They recorded about a dozen albums and released a new single in 2017.
Mac and Katie continued recording through 1980, after which they worked primarily as background singers and studio musicians. Katie has sung with Van Morrison, Eric Clapton, Elton John, George Harrison, the Pet Shop Boys, George Michael, and many others.
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