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Chad And Jeremy

Formed 1963 in London, Chad Stuart and Jeremy Clyde (who met while attending the capital’s Central School of Speech and Drama) were predominantly associated with the British Invasion pop movement rather than the folk-revival scene. Hanging on the coat-tails of The BEATLES and sounding on occasion remarkably like the Fab Four, CHAD AND JEREMY initially had their breakthrough in Britain by way of the KINGSTON TRIO-ish `Yesterday’s Gone’, which cracked the American Top 30 mid-1964.
Branded by Britain as middle-class toffs (from Eton) by everyone from LENNON & McCARTNEY to the unimpressed tabloids, CHAD & JEREMY looked to America for consolation. And this came in abundance through subsequent Stateside chart hits such as `A Summer Song’, `Willow Weep For Me’ (a hit for Paul Whiteman in 1933), `If I Loved You’ and `Before And After’ – all bright ’n’ breezy with a dose of post-Bachelors-esque, nostalgia-flared folk-pop. If one loved their folk in pasturised “gallstone-cowboy” form, one could do no wrong with the sanitised `Dirty Old Town’ and `No Tears From Johnny’ (both from YESTERDAY’S GONE {*4}), `Donna, Donna’ and `Four Strong Winds’ (both from SING FOR YOU {*5}). Britain’s greatest musical export to America since LULU (and later SHEENA EASTON), CHAD & JEREMY struck a chord, quite possibly three of them, with the American record-buying public, who, of course, seem to go for the English eccentric gentry en masse. Through infamous manager Allen Klein, C&J abandoned World Artists Records (JOHN BARRY’s Ember in the UK) to ink a deal with Columbia, who released their recordings from May ’65 onwards, TV programmes such as Hullabaloo, Shindig and The Danny Kaye Show gave them much-needed airtime.
Described as Britain’s answer to SIMON & GARFUNKEL (without, say, the er… ingenuity and prowess), sunshine-pop LPs DISTANT SHORES (1966) {*6} and the post-“Sgt.Pepper” OF CABBAGES AND KINGS (1967) {*5} were thankfully C&J’s swansong; only the foreboding sentiment in their take of S&G’s `Homeward Bound’ proved worrying among sane people of Blighty. But it happened anyway, Jeremy reuniting with the acting fraternity in several films and 70s TV series such as How Green Was My Valley and Sexton Blake, while British celebrity television shows (he featured on Thank Your Lucky Stars in the mid-60s) seemed to thrive on his public schoolboy/aristocratic aura – a lot of it tongue-in-cheek.
© MC Strong 2010/GFD // rev-up MCS Sep2015

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