The Fourmost

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The Fourmost
Origin Liverpool, England
Genres Beat, pop
Years active 1961–present
Website Official website
Members Colin Walsh
Alex Leyland
Lee Clarkson
Kevin Clarkson
Past members Brian O'Hara
Mike Millward
Billy Hatton
Dave Lovelady

The Fourmost were an English Merseybeat band that recorded in the 1960s. Their biggest UK hit single was "A Little Loving" in 1964.


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, which 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.[1] 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 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 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", "Everything in the Garden", and "Girls Girls Girls" (originally recorded by the Coasters and a hit for Elvis Presley).

On the group's only album, First and Fourmost, from September 1965, they covered Jackie DeShannon's "Till You Say You'll Be Mine". Other tracks included "My Block" written by Jimmy Radcliffe, Carl Spencer and Bert Berns (originally a hit for the Chiffons in 1963), a re-make of "The In Crowd", and cover versions of Little Richard's "The Girl Can't Help It" and "Heebie-Jeebies".[2] The band appeared in the 1965 film, Ferry Cross the Mersey and on the soundtrack album of the same name.

In August 1966, the Fourmost covered another Beatles' song, "Here, There and Everywhere",[1] followed by a cover of George Formby's "Auntie Maggie's Remedy" in November 1966. The latter song was representative of a comedy element to some of the group's recordings, including "Baby Sittin' Boogie" and Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller's "Yakety Yak". The country-influenced "Turn the Lights Down Low" (the b-side of "Auntie Maggie's Remedy") was a short-lived effort to branch out to less pop-oriented fare.

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.

Deaths of band members

Mike Millward died from leukaemia in 1966.[3] Brian O'Hara took his own life in 1999.[4]

Original band members



Year Single Chart Positions
1963 "Hello Little Girl" 9 - -
"I'm In Love" 17 - -
1964 "A Little Loving" 6 98 -
"If You Cry" (US Only) - - -
"How Can I Tell Her" 33 - -
"Baby I Need Your Loving" 24 63 -
1965 "Everything in the Garden" - - -
"Girls Girls Girls" 33 21 -
1966 "Here, There and Everywhere" - - -
"Auntie Maggie's Remedy" - 43 -
1968 "Apples, Peaches, Pumpkin Pie" - - -
"Rosetta" - - -
1969 "Easy Squeezy" - - -

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Bruce Eder. "The Fourmost | Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-01-30.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Fourmost, The - First And Fourmost at Discogs". Retrieved 2014-01-30.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. 3.0 3.1 Doc Rock. "The 1960s". The Dead Rock Stars Club. Retrieved 2014-01-30.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. 4.0 4.1 Doc Rock. "The Dead Rock Stars Club 1998 - 1999". Retrieved 2014-01-30.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 211. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • First and Fourmost album - liner notes by Tony Barrow

External links