Hollies, The

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Hollies, The

Hollies, The, popular British band of the 1960s who spawned singer/songwriter Graham Nash. membership: Allan Clarke, lead voc. (b. Salford, Lancashire, England, April 5, 1942); Graham Nash, harmony voc., gtr. (b. Blackpool, Lancashire, Feb. 2, 1942); Tony Hicks, lead gtr., voc, bjo. (b. Nelson, Lancashire, Dec. 16, 1943); Eric Haydock, bs. (b. Lancashire, Feb. 3, 1943); and Bobby Elliott, drm. (b. Burnley, Lancashire, England, Dec. 8, 1942). Later members included Bernie Calvert (b. Brierfield, Lancashire, Sept. 16, 1942) and Terry Sylvester (b. Liverpool, Lancashire, Jan. 8, 1945). Allan Clarke and Graham Nash became friends in elementary school in Manchester and later sang together as The Two Teens, Ricky and Dane, and The Guy tones. They added other members and became The Fourtones and then The Deltas. In 1962, the two teamed with Tony Hicks and two others. By 1963, with one replacement, the group had become The Hollies, with Clarke, Nash, Hicks, Eric Haydock, and Bobby Elliott. Signed to Parlophone Records (Imperial in the U.S.) in early 1963, The Hollies scored British hits with “Searchin”’ and “Stay” before achieving their first (minor) American hit with “Just One Look” in 1964. Although “I’m Alive” became a top British hit in 1965, the group did not have even a moderate American hit until “Look through Any Window,” written by Graham Gouldman. The group toured the U.S. for the first time in the spring of 1965, replacing Haydock with Bernie Calvert in the spring of 1966. Years earlier, Calvert had been a member of The Dolphins with Tony Hicks and Bobby Elliott.

The Hollies’ most successful years were 1966 and 1967. After scoring a smash British and American hit with Graham Gouldman’s “Bus Stop/’ they achieved hits in both countries with “Stop! Stop! Stop!/’ “On a Carousel/’ “Pay You Back with Interest,” and “Carrie Anne,” all Clarke-Hicks-Nash collaborations, the last on Epic Records. An attempt to make inroads in the album market with Dear Eloise/King Midas in Reverse failed and Nash, unhappy with the prospect of recording an album of Bob Dylan songs, left the group in late 1968 to join David Crosby and Steve Stills. Nash was replaced by vocalist-rhythm guitarist Terry Sylvester, a former member of The Swinging Blue Jeans (1964’s “Hippy Hippy Shake”).

During 1969 and 1970, the maudlin ballad “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother” became a near-smash hit for The Hollies. In October 1971, the group fired Allan Clarke, who pursued a neglected solo career. Nonetheless, he was the lead vocalist on the smash hit “Long Cool Woman (In a Black Dress)” from Distant Light, which also produced a major hit with “Long Dark Road.” Greatest Hits, released in 1973, included the group’s hits on both the Imperial and Epic labels. Clarke returned in mid-1973 and helped record The Hollies, which contained the smash hit “The Air that I Breathe.” The group continued to record for Epic through 1978. In 1983, Hollies mainstays Tony Hicks and Bobby Elliott reunited briefly with Allan Clarke and Graham Nash for What Goes Around, a major hit with a remake of The Suprêmes’ “Stop in the Name of Love,” and one round of touring. With stalwarts Clarke, Hicks, and Elliott, The Hollies continued to tour into the 1990s.


the hollies:Here I Go Again (1965); Hear! Here! (1966); Beat Group (1966); Bus Stop (1966); Stop! Stop! Stop! (1967); Evolution (1967); Dear Eloise/King Midas in Reverse (1968); Words and Music by Bob Dylan (1969); He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother (1970); Moving Finger (1971); Distant Light (1972); Romany (1973); The Hollies (1974); Another Night (1975); Clarke, Hicks, Sylvester, Elliott, Calvert (1977); Crazy Steal (1978); What Goes Around (1983). allan clarke:My Real Name Is Arold (1972); I’ve Got Time (1976); / Wasn’t Born Yesterday (1978); Legendary Heroes (1980). terry sylvester:Terry Sylvester (1974).

—Brock Helander

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