|This article needs additional citations for verification. (November 2010)|
|Genres||Merseybeat, pop music|
|Past members||Brian O'Hara
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (December 2012)|
Guitarist/vocalist Brian O'Hara and best friend guitarist/vocalist Joey Bower (born Joseph Bower, 17 November 1939, Dingle, Liverpool, Lancashire) formed the Two Jays in 1957. The group changed its name to the Four Jays in September 1959. Bass guitarist/Singer Billy Hatton and drummer Brian Redman (born 21 June 1941, Huyton, Liverpool, Lancashire) joined the group, which played at the Cavern Club on 1 March 1961, nearly three weeks before the Beatles. Rhythm guitarist/singer Mike Millward (ex-the Undertakers) joined the Four Jays in November 1961, followed by drummer/singer Dave Lovelady in September 1962. The band changed its name to the Fourmost in June 1962. On 30 June 1963, the group signed a management contract with Brian Epstein. This led to their being auditioned by George Martin and signed to EMI's Parlophone record label.
With Epstein as their manager, the Fourmost (like Cilla Black, Billy J. Kramer with the Dakotas, Peter and Gordon and Tommy Quickly) had access to early Lennon–McCartney compositions. The Fourmost's first two singles were written by John Lennon. "Hello Little Girl", one of the earliest Lennon songs (written in 1957) was released on 30 August 1963 and reached No. 9 in the UK. Their follow-up single, "I'm in Love" (Lennon–McCartney), was released on 15 November 1963 and reached No. 17 in the UK. It was also notable as one of the earliest Beatles-penned songs to be released in the United States but, as with the Fourmost's other singles, it failed to chart there.
Their biggest hit followed. "A Little Loving", written by Russ Alquist, reached Number 6 in the UK Singles Chart in mid 1964. From then on, none of the group's singles cracked the Top 20 in the UK. "How Can I Tell Her" was followed by a cover version of the Four Tops' "Baby I Need Your Loving", "Everything in the Garden", and "Girls Girls Girls" (originally recorded by the Coasters and a hit for Elvis Presley).
On the group's only album, First and Fourmost, from September 1965, they covered Jackie DeShannon's "Till You Say You'll Be Mine". Other tracks included "My Block" written by Jimmy Radcliffe, Carl Spencer and Bert Berns (originally a hit for the Chiffons in 1963), a re-make of "The In Crowd", and cover versions of Little Richard's "The Girl Can't Help It" and "Heebie-Jeebies". The band appeared in the 1965 film, Ferry Cross the Mersey and on the soundtrack album of the same name.
In August 1966, the Fourmost covered another Beatles' song, "Here, There and Everywhere", followed by a cover of George Formby's "Auntie Maggie's Remedy" in November 1966. The latter song was representative of a comedy element to some of the group's recordings, including "Baby Sittin' Boogie" and Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller's "Yakety Yak". The country-influenced "Turn the Lights Down Low" (the b-side of "Auntie Maggie's Remedy") was a short-lived effort to branch out to less pop-oriented fare.
In 1968, now on the CBS record label, they recorded "Apple, Peaches, Pumpkin Pie", an R&B hit by Jay & the Techniques, followed by "Rosetta" (suggested by Paul McCartney, who played piano on it), and "Easy Squeezy". The group soon stopped recording, and became popular on the cabaret circuit. The Fourmost still tour in and around the UK and Europe.
Mike Millward died from leukaemia in 1966. Brian O'Hara took his own life in 1999.
Original band members
- Brian O'Hara, born 12 March 1941, Dingle, Liverpool - died 27 June 1999, Waverley, Liverpool - (suicide) - vocalist/lead guitarist - from June 1962
- Mike Millward, born Michael Millward, 9 May 1942, Bromborough, Cheshire - died 7 March 1966, at Clatterbridge Hospital, Bebington, Cheshire - rhythm guitarist/vocalist - from June 1962
- Billy Hatton, born William Hatton, 9 June 1941, Dingle, Liverpool - bassist/vocalist from June 1962
- Dave Lovelady, born David Lovelady, 16 October 1942, Litherland, Liverpool - drummer/vocalist - from September 1962
- "Hello Little Girl" (Lennon–McCartney) / "Just In Case" - September 1963 - Number 9
- "I'm in Love" (Lennon–McCartney) / "Respectable" - December 1963 - Number 17
- "A Little Loving" / "Waitin' For You" - April 1964 - Number 6
- "How Can I Tell Her" / "You Got That Way" - July 1964 - Number 33
- "Baby I Need Your Loving" / "That's Only What They Say" - November 1964 - Number 24
- "Everything In The Garden" / "He Could Never" - July 1965
- "Girls Girls Girls" / "Why Do Fools Fall in Love" - November 1965 - Number 33
- "Here, There and Everywhere" (Lennon–McCartney) / "You've Changed" - August 1966
- "Auntie Maggie's Remedy" / "Turn The Lights Down" - November 1966
- "Apple, Peaches, Pumpkin Pie" / "I Couldn't Spell!!" 1968
- "Rosetta" / "Just Like Before" - 1968
- "Easy Squeezy" / "Do I Love You?" - 1969
- "Hello Little Girl" / "Just In Case" - 1963 (Atco 45-6280)
- "I'm In Love" / "Respectable" - 1964 (Atco 45-6285)
- "If You Cry" / "Little Bit Of Loving" - 1964 (Atco 45-6307)
- "How Can I Tell Her?" / "You Got That Way" - 1964 (Atco 45-6317)
- "Girls, Girls, Girls" / "Why Do Fools Fall In Love" - 1966 (Capitol 5591)
- "Here, There and Everywhere" / "You've Changed" - 1966 - Number 120 (Capitol 5738)
- List of bands from Merseyside
- List of performers on Top of the Pops
- List of artists who have covered The Beatles
- First and Fourmost album - liner notes by Tony Barrow