My first ever purchase of a single was in 1974. My Aunt Lily was working in the Birmingham Indoor Market and whenever we as a family went into town we’d go in and she her. Mom would often spend a good 30 minutes chatting, even though my aunt was supposed to be serving customers. Across the way was a record stall – Bailey’s records. All the latest 45’s were on display with the top 20 listed on a board. I can’t remember the cost, but my first single was “Tell Him” by Hello. I didn’t know it was a cover at the time, I just knew that it was “Glam Rock”.
The song was written by Bert Russell Berns a writer and producer during the 1960’s. He wrote “Twist and Shout” and Hang on Sloopy”. Originally the song was recorded as “Tell Her” in 1962 by Gil Hamilton aka Johnny Thunder with Berns producing. “The Exciters” then released their version as “Tell Him” late 1962 where it peaked in the US charts at #4 in early 1963. In the UK it was covered by Billie Davies and reached #10 also in early 1963.
Hello’s version was released in late 1974 and entered the top 40 at #32, climbing to #6 staying in the charts for 12 weeks. It was also a minor hit in Belgium and Germany. The track was produced by Mike Leander. Leander worked with such diverse artists like The Rolling Stones, The Drifters, The Glitter Band, Billy Fury and The Beatles.
This was at the height of Glam Rock for UK artists such as The Sweet, Marc Bolan, and Slade. I liked the singles Sweet were releasing and they were all over the radio and TV show “Top of the pops”, however by the time I was in a position to start spending my pocket money their hits were slowing down. Hello, seemingly the new kids on the block had an electric guitar based pop sound. Formed 1971 in London the group comprised of Bob Bradbury, Vic Faulkner, Jeff Allen and Keith Marshall. They only troubled the UK charts twice. Another single “New York Groove” peaked at #9 twelve months later.
Keith Marshall released a solo single “Only Crying” in 1981 which reached #12 in the UK