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Tony Burrows in concert, 17 May 2008
14 April 1942 |
Exeter, Devon, England
|Associated acts||The Kestrels, The Ivy League, The Flower Pot Men, White Plains, The Pipkins, Edison Lighthouse, The First Class, Brotherhood of Man|
Burrows was born in Exeter, Devon. In the early 1960s, he was a member of The Kestrels, a vocal harmony group which also included the future songwriting team Roger Greenaway and Roger Cook. Subsequently he joined The Ivy League. He was still with them when they metamorphosed into The Flower Pot Men. The Flower Pot Men had only one hit, "Let's Go to San Francisco", which reached number four in the UK Singles Chart in the autumn of 1967. Two founding members of Deep Purple, Jon Lord and Nick Simper, were also part of this early band.
Later, Burrows sang the lead vocals on several one-hit songs under different group names, Edison Lighthouse's "Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes)" (February 1970); White Plains' "My Baby Loves Lovin'" (March 1970); The Pipkins' novelty song "Gimme Dat Ding" (April 1970); and The First Class' "Beach Baby" (July 1974). He also sang lead vocals on The Brotherhood of Man's "United We Stand", which reached #10 on the UK charts and also reached #13 in the U.S.
A published interview with Burrows claims that he became the first (and still the only) recording artist to appear on BBC Television's Top of the Pops fronting three different group acts appearing nearly simultaneously in a single broadcast show: Edison Lighthouse (the number one British-charted hit that week), White Plains, and Brotherhood of Man. However records show that this did not happen. He did have two of his bands on the same Top of the Pops four times between 29 January and 26 February 1970. Appearing alongside Edison Lighthouse on the shows were Brotherhood of Man (29-01-70 and 19-02-70) and White Plains (12-02-70 and 26-02-70). The appearances on 29 January, 5 February and 26 February 1970 are all still in existence.
Although he hit the Top 40 as the lead singer of 5 different groups, he only managed to have 1 chart single as a solo artist in the U.S. In 1970, he hit the Billboard Hot 100 with "Melanie Makes Me Smile", which only peaked at #87. As well as fronting various hit-making acts, Burrows has also contributed vocals as a session singer to many other hits, claiming to have sung on 100 top 20 hits in the 1970s.
- 1970 "Melanie Makes Me Smile" (Bell Records)
- 1970 "Every Little Move She Makes / I've Still Got My Heart Joe" (Bell)
- 1971 "The Humming Song" (Bell)
- 1971 "I'll Always Come Up Smiling" (Bell)
- 1971 "Hand Me Down Man" (Bell)
- 1972 "Rhythm of the Rain" (Bell)
- 1973 "Take Away the Feeling" (Ammo Records)
- 1974 "Have You Had a Little Happiness Lately" (Ammo)
- 1975 "Run Joey Run" (RAK Records)
- 1976 "Never Gonna Fall In Love Again" (Magic featuring Tony Burrows) (Bus Stop Records)
- 1976 "Oh My Jo" (Bus Stop)
- 1976 "When My Little Girl is Smiling" (DJM Records)
- 1984 "Three Chord Trick" (EMI Records)