The Ivy League (band)

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For the American band formerly known as The Ivy League, see Mad Caddies.
The Ivy League
Origin England
Genres Beat, rock, pop rock
Years active 1964–1975
Labels Piccadilly
Website Official website
Past members Personnel

The Ivy League were an English vocal trio, created in 1964, who enjoyed two Top 10 hit singles in the UK Singles Chart in 1965.[1] The group's sound was characterised by rich, three-part vocal harmonies.


The Ivy League was formed in August 1964 by three session singers with an extensive vocal range, John Carter, Ken Lewis (both previous members of Carter-Lewis and the Southerners) plus Perry Ford. They were first heard doing background vocals for The Who on their hit single "I Can't Explain" in November 1964 but, after that, the Who's producers entrusted John Entwistle and Pete Townshend with the backing vocals. Their debut single, "What More Do You Want" generated little interest but the second release, "Funny How Love Can Be" made the UK chart's Top 10. Further hits followed, including "That's Why I'm Crying" and UK chart No.3 "Tossing and Turning" (not to be confused with similarly named hit of Bobby Lewis. The original trio released just one album, 1965's This is the Ivy League – panned in the music press as disappointing, with its excessively wide spread of musical styles and material[2] – before both Carter and Lewis left the group. Carter departed in January 1966, with Lewis leaving about one year later. The duo then set up a production company called Sunny Records.[3]

Tony Burrows and Neil Landon replaced Carter and Lewis and the Ivy League released a couple of albums, Sounds of the Ivy League (1967) and Tomorrow is Another Day (1969).[4] Several more singles followed, including the minor hits, "Willow Tree" and "My World Fell Down". A cover version of the latter song provided the U.S. band, Sagittarius, with a No.70 chart placing in the Billboard Hot 100 in 1967.

Success for the Ivy League in the United States was slight, only "Tossing and Turning" appearing in the Billboard charts, reaching No.83 on the Billboard Hot 100.[5] Carter and Lewis next masterminded The Flower Pot Men, hitting No. 4 in the UK with "Let's Go To San Francisco". Carter and Lewis then fulfilled the role of managers.[6] Burrows and Landon left The Ivy League to join the touring version of The Flower Pot Men, two further "front men" were with the band during this period (Robert Young and Mike Curtis), leaving Perry Ford to carry on with new personnel until he stopped using the name in 1975.

In the 1990s, a number of compilations were released, including Major League: the Collectors' Ivy League (1998).[4]

The Ivy League continues to perform, although none of the three current members, Jon Brennan (vocals and Bass Guitar), David Buckley (vocals and Drums) and Michael Brice (vocals and Lead Guitar), are from the original 1960s line-up. Buckley joined the band in the late 1960s with Perry Ford still involved in the group. Brennan then later joined Buckley, and with Ford's blessing, kept the Ivy League going through the 1970s and beyond. Having worked with the Ivy League on several occasions throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Brice joined the band permanently in 1990 replacing Les Litwinenko-Jones who had previously played with Ian Kewley in Samson.[7]


Tony Burrows in concert - taken on 17 May 2008
  • John Carter – vocals
  • Ken Lewis – vocals, guitar
  • Perry Ford – vocals
  • Clem Cattini – drums
  • Mick O'Nell – organ
  • Dave Winter – bass
  • Mickey Keene – lead guitar
  • Bill Clarke[8] – bass
  • Tony Burrows – vocals
  • Neil Landon – vocals, guitar
  • Robert Young – vocals

Partial discography[edit]


  • "Funny How Love Can Be" (1965) – UK number 8
  • "That's Why I'm Crying" (1965) – UK number 22
  • "Tossing and Turning" (1965) – UK number 3
  • "Willow Tree" (1966) – UK number 50[1]


  • This Is the Ivy League (1965)
    • Side One
    1. "Almost Grown" (written by Chuck Berry)
    2. "That's Why I'm Crying" (written by Carter-Lewis)
    3. "The Floral Dance" (written by Moss)
    4. "What More Do You Want" (written by Carter-Lewis, Ford)
    5. "Lulu's Back in Town" (written by Dubin, Warren)
    6. "We're Having a Party" (written by Epstein)
    • Side Two
    1. "Don't Worry Baby" (written by Goffin)
    2. "Make Love" (written by Carter-Lewis, Ford)
    3. "Don't Think Twice It's Alright" (written by Bob Dylan)
    4. "Funny How Love Can Be" (written by Carter-Lewis)
    5. "My Old Dutch" (written by Lowry, Chevalier)
    6. "Dance To The Locomotion" (written by Barberis, Weinstein, Randazzo)
  • Sounds of the Ivy League (1967)
  • Tomorrow Is Another Day (1969)
    • Side One
    1. "Tomorrow Is Another Day"
    2. "I Could Make You Fall in Love"
    3. "Suddenly Things"
    4. "Lulu's Back in Town"
    5. "My World Fell Down"
    • Side Two
    1. "Our Love Is Slipping Away"
    2. "Floral Dance"
    3. "Lonely Room"
    4. "Willow Tree"
    5. "Graduation Day"


  1. ^ a b Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 272. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  2. ^ Rawlings, Terry (2002). British Beat 1960–1969: Then, Now and Rare (1st ed.). London: Omnibus Press. ISBN 0-7119-9094-8. 
  3. ^ Tobler, John (1992). NME Rock 'N' Roll Years (1st ed.). London: Reed International Books Ltd. p. 154. CN 5585. 
  4. ^ a b Greg Prato. "The Ivy League | Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-01-30. 
  5. ^ "The Ivy League | Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-01-30. 
  6. ^ "Ivy League". Retrieved 2014-01-30. 
  7. ^ "Ivy League Biography". Retrieved 2014-01-30. 
  8. ^ "Wellington Kitch Jump Band". Retrieved 2014-01-30.