Herbie’s People
© Herbie’s People
In March 1966, Herbies People's second disc was issued on the CBS label, entitled "One Little Smile", with "You Never Know" on the flip side. The record failed to make the charts. Their next studio session saw them recording a new Geoff Stevens song: "Semi-Detached Suburban Mr Jones". (see Discography for more details.) 1966 and 1967 saw Herbies People make several TV appearances, notably on "Five o' Clock Club" and "ATV Today" as well as BBC Radio's "Saturday Club" with Brian Matthew, on which show they gave some sparkling "live" performances. "Humming Bird", written by Bill Bates, was released in February 1967. It featured a full vocal harmony arrangement from the band, but the instrumentation was over-produced. The flip side was, however, a very pleasing and unusual "Residential Area", which was chosen for use in the soundtrack of the film "Poor Cow".
More records followed, and more disappointments . . . The band were told that John Carter and Ken Lewis of The Ivy League had written a song with Herbies People in mind, called "Let's Go to San Francisco". However, John and Ken liked the song so much, it is said, that they decided to record it themselves using the pseudonym The Flowerpot Men. It was a world- wide hit. A follow-up song, "Thank you for Loving Me" suffered the same fate. When his son Mark was born in 1967, Mike Taylor left Herbies People to concentrate on family life. Pete Walton, already a dad, followed soon after. However, both appeared on subsequent recordings.
The band changed their name to Just William for their next disc, "I Don't Care", which is arguably their best effort. It still sounds fresh and up-to- date, with great vocals from Danny and a brilliant musical arrangement. Pete Stevens was by this time on bass; Brian Powney on keyboards replaced Mike Taylor. "Cherrywood Green", another Robinson/Taylor composition, was on the flip side. Another name change to The Bullring  saw the release of a novelty number entitled "Birmingham Brass Band", a marching tempo number that was sung in dialect, with a traditional brass band accompaniment. The release of this record saw the lads featured on the TV programme, The Golden Shot, filmed around the Bullring of Brum. The Show was presented by Bob Monkhouse. The flip side was a bouncy, "Lady of the Morning Sun".
popular 60s recording group
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Clockwise from left: Len Beddow, Danny Robinson, Pete Walton, Mike Taylor, Alan Lacey
Clockwise from left: Mike Taylor, Pete Walton, Len Beddow, Danny Robinson, Alan Lacey,  
The Bullring. Clockwise from left: Len Beddow, Pete Stevens, Alan Lacey, Danny Robinson.