Lord Rockingham's XI
|This article relies largely or entirely upon a single source. (May 2012)|
The group was put together to play as the resident band on the pop TV programme Oh Boy!, which was produced by Jack Good, and shown nationally on ITV in the UK in 1958/59. They were fronted by Harry Robinson, and also included jazz baritone saxophonist and later writer Benny Green, and organist Cherry Wainer. Other members were Don Storer (drums), Reg Weller (percussion), Red Price (tenor sax), Rex Morris (tenor sax), Cyril Reubens (baritone sax), Ronnie Black (double bass), Bernie Taylor (guitar), Eric Ford (guitar). Joining the group later were Kenny Packwood (guitar) and Ian Frazer (piano).
In addition to backing singers such as Marty Wilde and Cuddly Dudley, they recorded several novelty rock instrumentals for Decca Records, the first being "Fried Onions", which failed to chart in the UK but did slip into the US Billboard charts for a week at No. 96. The second single, Robinson's "Hoots Mon", a rocked-up version of the traditional Scottish song "A Hundred Pipers", featuring mock Scottish cries like "Hoots mon, there's a moose loose aboot this hoose!", rose up the charts supported by weekly TV exposure, and stayed at number one for three weeks. They played "Long John" amongst others.
Following a legal case brought by descendants of the real Lord Rockingham, which was settled out of court, the group toured and made several less successful follow-ups, including "Wee Tom" (#16, 1959). They disbanded with the end of the TV show in 1959, although the name was revived for a couple of albums in the 1960s. Robinson's career in TV and music continued, one notable credit being for his string arrangement on Nick Drake's track "River Man".
"Fried Onions" was used in a television advertisement for Options indulgence chocolate drink, first shown on UK TV in December 2011.
- List of artists under the Decca Records label
- List of artists who reached number one on the UK Singles Chart