in Manchester in 1962 by childhood friends Allan Clarke (born 15 April
1942, Salford, Lancashire, England; vocals), and Graham Nash (born 2 February
1942, Blackpool, Lancashire, England; vocals/guitar). They had already
been singing together locally for a number of years as a semi-professional duo under a number of names such as the Guytones, the Two Teens and Ricky And Dane. They enlarged their unit by adding Eric Haydock (born 16 September 1944, Burnley, Lancashire, England; bass) and Don Rathbone (drums), to became the Fourtones and then the
the recruitment of local guitar hero Tony Hicks from the Dolphins (born
16 December 1943, Nelson, Lancashire, England) they became the Hollies.
Almost immediately they were signed to the same label as the Beatles, the
Parlophone. Their first two singles were covers of the Coasters (Ain't That) Just Like Me and Searchiní. Both made the UK charts and the group set about recording their first album.
the same time Rathbone left to become their road manager and was replaced
by Bobby Elliott (born 8 December 1942)
from Shane Fenton (Alvin Stardust) And The Fentones. The group's excellent live performances throughout Britain had
already seasoned them for what was to become one of the longest beat group success stories in popular music.
Their first two albums contained the bulk of their live act and both albums became long-time residents in the UK charts. Meanwhile the band was scoring a train of singles hits that would continue between 1963 and 1974, and their popularity almost rivalled that of the Beatles and The Rolling Stones. Infectious, well produced hits such as Doris Troy's Just One Look, Here I Go Again and the sublime Yes I Will all contained their trademark, soaring harmonies. The voices of Clarke, Hicks and Nash combined to make one of the most distinctive sounds to be heard in popular music.
As their career progressed the aforementioned developed into a strong songwriting team, and wrote most of their own b-sides (under the pseudonym, L. Ransford). On their superb third collection, HOLLIES in 1965 their talents blossomed with Too Many People an early song about over-population.
Their first UK number 1 came in 1965 with I'm Alive and was followed within weeks by Graham Gouldman's uplifting yet simple take Look Through Any Window. By Christmas 1965 the group experienced their first lapse when their recording of George Harrison's If I Needed Someone just scraped the UK Top 20 and brought with it some bad press. Both the Hollies and John Hammond. Over the next five years the Hollies pursued the supper club and cabaret circuit as their chart appearances began to dwindle. Although their albums were well produced they were largely unexciting and sold poorly.
1981 Sylvester and Calvert left the group. Sensing major problems ahead,
EMI suggested they put together a Stars On 45-type segued single. The ensuing
Holliedaze was a hit, and Graham Nash was flown over for the television
This reunion prompted the album WHAT GOES AROUND, which included a minor hit with the Supremesí Stop In The Name Of Love. The album was justifiably slammed by the critics, and only made the US charts because of Nash's name.
Following this, the Hollies went back to the oldies path, until in 1988 a television beer commercial used He Ain't Heavy, and once again they were at the top of the charts for the first time in over a dozen years. The Holliesí catalogue of hits, like those of the Beach Boys, Beatles and Kinks will continue to be re-issued for future generations.Their longevity is assured for their expertly crafted, harmonic songs represent some of the greatest music in mid-60s pop.