It goes without saying that there were a large number of successful, and even superstar, bands that became popular in the United States in connection with the British Invasion music phenomenon that occurred between 1964 and 1968.
Hundreds of songs by British groups and recording artists dominated the Billboard Magazine’s Hot 100 pop charts in that time frame, and dozens of them ascended to the top of the U.S. listings.
On some of the Top 40 music surveys compiled by radio stations throughout the country, it wasn’t uncommon for British Invasion songs to fill most of the Top 10 positions, and occasionally, such tunes comprised the entire Top 10.
This article doesn’t focus on the first, or the most-popular, recordings by some of the top British Invasion bands. Rather, it takes a look at the last song to reach the Billboard Hot 100 by those groups.
The listing includes only groups who had their final U.S. charter in the 1960s, and therefore, such groups as The Beatles, Kinks, Hollies and Moody Blues aren’t included because their last U.S. hit didn’t chart until 1970 or later.
Following are a dozen songs that fit the article’s topic, and to hear any of the tunes, simply click on the song’s title.
* “TRAINS AND BOATS AND PLANES” (Billy J. Kramer & The Dakotas, 1965): Born William Ashton in Liverpool, his first U.S. release, backed by The Dakotas, was the two-sided hit “Little Children” and “Bad To Me”, both sides of which made the Billboard Top 10. A bigger hit for Dionne Warwick, this rendition only made it to No. 47.
* “SLEEPY JOE” (Herman’s Hermits, 1968): Peter Noone fronted this Manchester quintet, which charted 19 Billboard Hot 100 hits, but this was their lowest-charting single at No. 61. Two of their recordings — “Mrs. Brown You’ve Got A Lovely Daughter” and “I’m Henry VIII , I Am” — reached the top of the U.S. pop charts.
* “A LITTLE YOU” (Freddie & The Dreamers, 1965): Freddie Garrity was lead singer for this Manchester quintet. Their first hit (“I’m Telling You Now”) climbed to the top of the U.S. charts, but this one only reached No. 48. All five of their U.S. came within a six-month period in 1965.
* “THE JOKERS” (Peter & Gordon, 1967): Just making it into the Billboard Hot 100 at No. 94, this was the last of 14 U.S. charters for the London duo of Peter Asher and Gordon Waller. They are best known for their No. 1 smash hit on both sides of the Atlantic, “A World Without Love.”
* “TEN LITTLE INDIANS” (Yardbirds, 1967): The legendary group, which originated in Surrey, had numerous lineup changes, but at one time or another, such superstar musicians as Keith Relf, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page were members. After a half-dozen U.S. Billboard Top 40s, the group disbanded in 1968.
* “HAVE YOU EVER LOVED SOMEBODY” (The Searchers, 1966): This rock quartet from Liverpool had their biggest U.S. hit with “Love Potion No. 9” in late 1964, but this, their final U.S. hit, barely edged into the Billboard Hot 100 at No. 94. They were the second Liverpool group, after the Beatles, to have a U.S. hit when “Needles and Pins” reached No. 13 in March 1964.
* “EVERYBODY KNOWS” (Dave Clark Five, 1967): At No. 43, this was the last hit on this side of the Atlantic for the quintet from Tottenham, England. The group was named after its drummer, and Lenny Davidson provided the vocals on this one, which was the second (but different) song with the same title to become a hit for them.
* “GIRL ON A SWING” (Gerry & The Pacemakers, 1966): After 10 previous U.S. charters, this became the last Billboard Hot 100 entry (at No. 28) for the Liverpool quartet headed by Gerry Marsden. After The Beatles, they became the second group signed by manager Brian Epstein.
* “FOX ON THE RUN” (Manfred Mann, 1969): Their first U.S. release (“Do Wah Diddy Diddy”) went all the way to No. 1 on the U.S. charts, but this final Billboard charter just managed to creep into the Hot 100 at No. 97. The group was named after their South African keyboardist, who later formed Manfred Mann’s Earth Band.
* “YOU ARE SHE” (Chad and Jeremy, 1966): At No. 87, this was the final U.S. charter for the duo of Chad Stuart and Jeremy Clyde, who previously had 10 American hit records, including such notable 1964 hits as “Yesterday’s Gone” and “A Summer Song.”
* “I CAN’T STOP” (The Honeycombs, 1964): Though this rock quintet — featuring drummer Ann “Honey” Lantree and lead singer Dennis D’ell — had a lot of Joe Meek-produced talent, the group had only two Billboard Hot 100 charters. After “Have I The Right” peaked at No. 5 in the autumn of 1964, this follow-up attained No. 48 as the only other U.S. chart success.
* “IT’S JUST A LITTLE BIT TOO LATE” (Wayne Fontana & The Mindbenders): After topping the U.S. pop charts with “Game Of Love” in the spring of 1965, this was the Manchester quartet’s only other hit (at No. 45) on this side of the Atlantic — in part, because lead singer Wayne Fontana left the group soon after this release.
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