The Fortunes (Dutch TV, 1966)
|Labels||Decca, United Artists, US World Pacific, Capitol, Target UK|
|Past members||Rod Allen|
The Fortunes are an English harmony beat group. Formed in Birmingham, the Fortunes first came to prominence and international acclaim in 1965, when "You've Got Your Troubles" broke into the US and UK Top 10s. Afterwards, they had a succession of hits including "Here It Comes Again" and "Here Comes That Rainy Day Feeling Again"; continuing into the 1970s with more globally successful releases such as "Storm in a Teacup" and "Freedom Come, Freedom Go".
The Fortunes were formed as a vocal trio (Rod Allen, Glen Dale and Barry Pritchard) - all three had been the Merrie Men backing Robbie Hood (A.K.A Mike West, previously co-singer with Fred Heath in Johnny Kidd & The Pirates). The Fortunes were originally backed by an instrumental group known as the Cliftones, and the band placed an instrumental track on a compilation album, Brumbeat, issued by the local Dial record label. "Cygnet Twitch" was a working of Tchaikovsky's "Swan Lake", and they subsequently signed to British Decca in 1963. Their first single, "Summertime, Summertime", was credited to the Fortunes and the Cliftones. However, the vocalists picked up guitars, jettisoned the Cliftones, and added Andy Brown on drums, and Dave Carr on keyboards. The follow-up disc "Caroline", co-written by the singer-songwriter and future Ivy League member Perry Ford and songwriter Tony Hiller, is still in use as the signature tune for the pirate radio station, Radio Caroline.
The group's next two singles, Gordon Mills's co-composition "I Like the Look of You" and a revival of "Look Homeward Angel" — like the initial brace of releases overseen by the American record producer Shel Talmy — also failed to chart. Their fifth release, the Roger Greenaway/Roger Cook number, "You've Got Your Troubles" (1965), reached Number 2 in the UK Singles Chart and was a worldwide hit, including reaching Number 1 in Canada and the American Top 10. Their next two singles were "Here It Comes Again", a UK Number 4, and "This Golden Ring" a UK Number 14. These sold well, but each less than the previous release. When Glen Dale left in 1966 he was replaced by Shel McCrae. Three more singles ("You Gave Me Somebody to Love", "Is It Really Worth Your While?" and "Our Love has Gone") all failed to chart.
At this point in 1967, the Fortunes left Decca for United Artists. They reunited with Talmy for their next release, "The Idol", a song they had written themselves, and although it did get some airplay in the UK, it did not become a hit.
The Fortunes also recorded an advertisement for Coca-Cola in the United States. Their first recording in 1967 was a version of the theme tune, "Things Go Better with Coke", but they are most remembered for introducing the 1969 new slogan recording, used as the main theme for Coca-Cola on both radio and television commercials — "It's The Real Thing".
In 1968, they tried covering The Move's hit "Fire Brigade" for the US market, but with little airplay or sales. In 1970, they recorded an album for the US World Pacific record label, and then signed with Capitol in both the UK and US in 1971.
Then followed a steady succession of singles, some of which were hits outside of the UK and US, culminating in 1972 with the release of "Storm in a Teacup (The Fortunes song)". During this period, they had another worldwide hit, "Here Comes that Rainy Day Feeling" (1971).
Founding member and lead vocalist Allen continued fronting an ever changing version of the Fortunes from 1963 up to his death in 2008.
In 1983 and 1984 respectively, Michael Smitham and Paul Hooper joined Barry Pritchard and Rod Allen in the Fortunes. This line up of the Fortunes were awarded a gold disc in 1987 for over 100,000 sales of their All The Hits and More album.
In March 1995, Bob Jackson was added to the Fortunes' ranks, after founder member Barry Pritchard left through illness. Jackson, a former member of the group Badfinger, paid homage to his former band mate on stage, with a version of the Badfinger penned song "Without You". Jackson left for a year to follow other obligations and Geoff Turton, who was originally a member of the Rockin' Berries, stood in for him. Barry Pritchard died from a heart attack on 11 January 1999 in Swindon, Wiltshire, UK.
On 10 January 2008, Rod Allen died after suffering for two months from liver cancer. The remaining members of the band said they would continue touring and recruited the Dakotas lead singer Eddie Mooney. During 2008, the band regrouped, recorded a new album Play On, and appeared in Las Vegas, the Netherlands and Belgium as well as the UK. They toured Canada, the Netherlands, and Sweden, in addition to the UK during 2009. The band had a busy schedule in the UK, Netherlands, Germany, and Italy during 2010 and 2011, appearing in Belgium at the Vostertfeesten Festival in August 2010. Drummer Paul Hooper left the band in early 2010 and was replaced by Glenn Taylor, formerly of Marmalade. The band then released a new studio album, Another Road.
The keyboard player in the original line-up, David Carr, lived and worked in Hollywood, California, doing session work, frequently working with The Ventures and also Kim Fowley. Carr died on 12 July 2011 from a heart attack.
Since 2011, the Fortunes have continued continue to appear on various 1960s theatre package shows with other artists of the era. Additionally, they have appeared in their own Past and Present theatre show and in 2015 released the accompanying Past and Present live album.
- Original members
- Rod Allen (born Rodney Bainbridge, 31 March 1944, Leicester; died 10 January 2008, Eastern Green, Coventry) – lead vocals, bass (1963-2008)
- Barry Pritchard (born Barry Arthur Pritchard, 3 April 1944, Birmingham – died 11 January 1999, Swindon, Wiltshire) – lead guitar, vocals (1963-1995)
- Andy Brown (born Andrew Brown, 7 January 1946, Birmingham) – drums (1963-1977)
- Glen Dale (born Richard Garforth, 24 April 1943, Deal, Kent) – rhythm guitar (1963-1966)
- David Carr (born 4 August 1943, Leyton, London; died 12 July 2011) – keyboards (1963-1968)
- Michael Smitham (born 29 July 1951, Nuneaton) – guitars, vocals (1983–present)
- Bob Jackson (born 6 January 1949, Coventry) – keyboards, vocals (1995–present)
- Eddie Mooney (born 6 August 1957, Stoke-on-Trent) – lead vocals, bass (2007–present)
- Glenn Taylor (born 15 February 1952, Leicester) – drums (2010–present)
- Geoff Turton - keyboards, vocals (2013)
- Shel Macrae (born Andrew Raeburn Semple, 8 March 1943, Burnbank, Scotland) – lead vocals, rhythm guitar (1966-1977)
- George McAllister - vocals, piano, mellotron 1970 - 1974
- John Trickett (born Birmingham) – drums (1977–1984)
- John Davey (born 13 September 1955, Watford) – vocals (1977–1983)
- Ricky Persell (born 19 October 1954, Ruislip) – guitars, vocals (1977–1980)
- Paul Hooper (born 20 August 1948 Wolverhampton) – drums (1984-2010)
- 1963 "Summertime Summertime" (with the Cliftones) (Decca)
- 1964 "Caroline" (Decca)
- 1964 "Come On Girl" (Decca)
- 1964 "Look Homeward Angel" (Decca)
- 1965 "You've Got Your Troubles" (Decca) UK #02
- 1965 "Here It Comes Again" (Decca) UK #04
- 1966 "This Golden Ring" (Decca) UK #15
- 1966 "You Gave Me Somebody to Love" (Decca)
- 1966 "Is It Really Worth Your While" (Decca)
- 1967 "Our Love Has Gone"
- 1967 "The Idol" (United Artists)
- 1968 "Loving Cup" (United Artists)
- 1968 "Seasons in the Sun (Le Moribond)" (United Artists)
- 1969 "Ballad of the Alamo" (United Artists)
- 1969 "Books and Films" (United Artists)
- 1970 "That Same Old Feeling" (US only) (World Pacific)
- 1971 "Here Comes That Rainy Day Feeling Again" (Capitol)
- 1971 "Freedom Come, Freedom Go" (Capitol) UK #06
- 1972 "Storm in a Teacup" (Capitol) UK #07
- 1972 "Baby by the Way" (Capitol)
- 1972 "Everything Is Out of Season" (Capitol)
- 1972 "Secret Love" (Capitol)
- 1973 "Whenever It's a Sunday" (Capitol)
- 1977 "I Can't Believe It's Over" (Target)
- The Fortunes (Decca, UK & US, 1965)
- Seasons in the Sun (United Artists, Netherlands, 1969)
- That Same Old Feeling (World Pacific, US, 1970)
- Here Comes That Rainy Day Feeling Again (Capitol, US & Germany, 1971)
- Storm in a Teacup (Capitol, US & Canada, 1972) - titled Freedom in Germany (Hör Zu, 1971)
- Fortunes (Capitol, UK, 1972) - compilation of songs taken from 2 previous Capitol albums
- You've Got Your Troubles (Decca, Germany, 1974) - contains 6 songs from 1965 Decca album and 6 other songs
- Play On (Stormfree Records, UK, 2008)
- Another Road (Stormfree Records, UK, 2010)
- Past And Present (Stormfree Records, UK, 2015) - Live recordings from the Fortunes Past and Present Theatre Show
|Year||Titles||Peak chart positions||Album|
|US Billboard Hot 100||US Billboard AC||Australia KMR||Canada RPM||Ireland IRMA||New Zealand (Lever/Listener)||South Africa||UK|
|1965||"You've Got Your Troubles"||7||—||12||1||3||1||6||2||The Fortunes|
|"Here It Comes Again"||27||—||1||4||5||16||8||4|
|1966||"This Golden Ring"||82||—||—||40||—||—||—||15|
|1970||"That Same Old Feeling"||62||—||—||40||— *||— *||— *||— *||That Same Old Feeling|
|1971||"Here Comes That Rainy Day Feeling Again"||15||8||43||25||—||—||—||51|
|"Freedom Come, Freedom Go"||72||12||13||16 (AC)||5||3||—||6|
|1972||"Storm in a Teacup"||—||—||—||—||9||15||—||7||Storm in a Teacup|
* - Pickettywitch charted with "That Same Old Feeling" in these nations at #6, #7, #17 and #5 respectively.
- List of Capitol Records artists
- List of NME covers
- List of performers on Top of the Pops
- List of artists under the Decca Records label
- Arts in Birmingham
- Steve Huey. "The Fortunes | Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-01-30.
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 208. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
- "The Fortunes History Page". Thefortunes.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-01-30.
- Dave Laing. "Obituary: Rod Allen". The Guardian. Retrieved 2014-01-30.
- "Obituary: Barry Pritchard". The Independent. 1999-02-17. Retrieved 2015-06-11.
- "Fortunes singer Allen dies at 63". BBC News. 2008-01-11. Retrieved 2014-01-30.
- Doc Rock. "2011 July To December". The Dead Rock Stars Club. Retrieved 2014-01-30.
- "Flavour of New Zealand - search listener". Flavourofnz.co.nz. Retrieved 2017-04-06.