The Fourmost were an English Merseybeat band that recorded in the
1960s. Their biggest UK hit single was "A Little Loving" in 1964.
2 Deaths of band members
3 Original band members
5 See also
7 External links
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 when bass guitarist/singer Billy
Hatton and drummer Brian Redman (born 21 June 1941, Huyton, Liverpool,
Lancashire) joined the group. The Four Jays 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 October
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
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
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", sung by Millward, while Hatton took
lead vocal on "Everything in the Garden", and "Girls Girls Girls"
(originally recorded by the Coasters and a hit for Elvis Presley).
Brian O'Hara composed most of their original songs, which were used as
'b' sides including 'Waitin For You', 'That's Only What They Say', 'He
Could Never', and 'You Got That Way'.
On the group's only sixties album, First and Fourmost, from September
1965, they covered Jackie DeShannon's "Till You Say You'll Be Mine".
Other tracks included "My Block" sung by Hatton and written by Jimmy
Radcliffe, Carl Spencer and
Bert Berns (originally a hit for the
Chiffons in 1963), Millward sang a re-make of "The in Crowd" which
featured the brass section from Sounds Incorporated, and Hatton sang
two 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 singing 'I
Love You Too' (which appeared in two totally differing versions mono
In early 1966 the band were rocked by the sudden death of rhythm
guitarist/vocalist Mike Millward, a featured lead vocalist. They
recruited George Peckham as replacement. 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 comedic element
to some of the group's recordings. George Peckham wrote and sang The
country-influenced "Turn the Lights Down Low" (the b-side of "Auntie
Maggie's Remedy"), a short-lived effort to branch out to less
In 1968, now on the CBS record label, they recorded "Apples, Peaches
And 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. George Peckham left the band in 1969
to run a recording studio. Original member Joey Bower returned to the
band as replacement, a later private pressing album;
The Fourmost –
featured O'Hara, Hatton, Lovelady and Bower – which included covers
such as "Without You", "I've Got You Under My Skin", "Rag Doll" and
"Save The Last Dance For Me" was sold at their shows in 1975. Hatton,
Lovelady and Bower all left in 1980 while O'Hara continued the group
with new members, although a version of the band featuring O'Hara and
older members Hatton and Lovelady did once perform at the new Cavern
Club. O'Hara eventually dropped out selling the band's name. A later
line up featuring longtime later member bassist/singer Bill Haisman
(who had been in the later group alongside Brian O'Hara) plus John
Richards (lead guitar, vocals), Gary Pearson (guitar, vocals) and
Kevin Clarkson (drums, vocals) released a DVD and CD titled, The
Fourmost Live at The Club Tropicana, featuring recording of a show
recorded in Skegness on 7 April 2007. They performed both "Hello
Little Girl" and "A Little Loving" among other covers of 1950s, 1960s,
and 1970s hit songs. Bill Haisman later retired. A touring version of
the band continued led by drummer/vocalist Kevin Clarkson, with Alex
Leyland (rhythm guitar, vocals), Colin Walsh (lead guitar, vocals) and
Lee Clarkson (bass guitar, vocals).
Charley Records later issued a 20 track compilation album also titled
First and Fourmost, while
EMI Records later released a CD stereo/mono
version of the original 1965 album in 1999. In 2005, they also
released a 33 track CD compilation The Best of The Fourmost, which
included the stereo version of "I Love You Too", and four previously
unreleased songs with booklet notes written by Billy Hatton.
Deaths of band members
Mike Millward died from leukaemia in 1966. Brian O'Hara took his
own life in 1999. Billy Hatton died in 2017.
Original band members
Brian O'Hara, born 12 March 1941, Dingle, Liverpool, died 27 June
Liverpool (suicide), vocalist/lead guitarist, from
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 died 19 September 2017, Liverpool
Dave Lovelady, born David Lovelady, 16 October 1942, Litherland,
Liverpool, drummer/vocalist, from September 1962
"Hello Little Girl"
"I'm in Love"
"A Little Loving"
"If You Cry" (US Only)
"How Can I Tell Her"
"Baby I Need Your Loving"
"Everything in the Garden"
"Girls Girls Girls"
"Here, There and Everywhere"
"Auntie Maggie's Remedy"
"Apples, Peaches, Pumpkin Pie"
List of bands and artists from Merseyside
List of performers on Top of the Pops
List of artists who have covered The Beatles
^ a b c d e f Bruce Eder. "
The Fourmost Biography". AllMusic.
Retrieved 30 January 2014.
^ "Fourmost, The – First And Fourmost at Discogs". discogs.
Retrieved 30 January 2014.
^ a b Doc Rock. "The 1960s". The Dead Rock Stars Club. Retrieved 30
^ a b Doc Rock. "The Dead Rock Stars Club 1998 – 1999".
Thedeadrockstarsclub.com. Retrieved 30 January 2014.
^ "Billy Hatton obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved 28 September
^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.).
London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 211.
First and Fourmost album – liner notes by Tony Barrow