|We obviously believed, when Move
In was rocking up the charts, that things would go
well from then on, which they did, for a while.
The day the record entered the chart, I was at home in
bed, suffering from the dreaded flu. We were
due to open a record shop in Romford that day, along with
the Spencer Davis Group, Pentangle and a jazz drummer
Philly Jo Jones. I certainly hadnt
planned to attend the opening, feeling as bad as I did,
but when youve been managed by Brian Epstein,
produced by Andrew Oldham, then managed by Robert
Stigwood and Brian Epstein together, and still couldnt
buy a hit, it starts to weigh a little heavy
on your mind, and I wasnt going to miss any of
this, now that wed done it at last.
I remember someone hammering on my front door to come in.
Thats when I discovered that wed stormed
into the chart, and along with the airplay
the record was getting, everybody said that this was the
This all seemed to have happened because, we had signed
to a new
record label R.C.A, with a new manager (hell
remain nameless), a new producer, Chris
Andrews and of course our new name!
The name was suggested by our manager, at a meeting we
were having at our his office. At first we thought he must
be joking, Harmony what??? Whats that
supposed to mean?
Other names were tossed around, but Harmony Grass it was.
We had nothing to lose. If the record didnt become
a hit, then wed just carry on under our old name as
usual, but that didnt happen, so the Castaways
died that day in the managers office.
Pentangle, Spencer Davis, Pete York,
Philly Jo Jones and Tony Rivers,
opening record store, Romford, Essex,
|In true Castaways tradition,
things didnt go smoothly for us, and we paid the
price for a very costly, change of rules, by the
people who ran the record charts. That was the week that
they had decided to change the way the information was
gathered to work out how many records had been sold.
In had entered the top 50, around 46 or something
like that, having sold quite a few records that week, the
following week, sales had increased and we stormed
into the Top Thirty for the very first time!
The next week, we almost doubled the sales and we were
told that we would be in the Top 20.
However, the change of rules kicked in and
instead of being in the top 20, we only went to number 24,
in the new official chart, having outsold the
previous week. This was bad news, when your
record suddenly stops going up they tend to
not play it so often, and that means, people arent
hearing your record so often, and are probably buying the
ones they are hearing . Just our luck!
We couldnt complain about the radio plays wed
had up to then, because the record was on every radio
show. Remember that there were no commercial stations,
not even local BBC, all there was, was the
main BBC station, I think it was Radio One.
Publisher Cyril Shane found Move In A Little
Closer Baby and when we heard it we knew it was a
Recording the track was fairly straight forward. We
recorded it at Chappells studio, just off Bond St.
Mayfair, in London..
The orchestra was arranged by Johnny Arthey, and I
arranged the backing vocals, which as usual with us, was
a major part of the song.
Chris Andrews was the official producer.
In the orchestra, which augmented us, was Clem
Cattini, on drums(again), whom Id known for some
It eventually took 5 attempts, and 5 different vocal
arrangements, to come up with the one I finally was happy
The producer wasnt around for any of
the other vocal sessions for this record. I think he was
busy working as Chris Andrews in Germany or
somewhere. I took charge of the re-recordings and the
The record was released in November I believe, and took
quite a while, and a lot of running round plugging
the record, doing personal appearances, and plenty
of live gigs, before the sales started to
pick up. It wasnt until January that we suddenly
stormed the top 30.
Our big moment finally came, and we got the call we were
all waiting for, from Top Of The Pops. This was an
absolute must if you were to have a hit
record. Typically, when our big chance came, we
were in Germany, doing their TV equivalent to TOTP's,
This I believe was recorded on Wednesday in Bremen, with
TOTP going out live on Thursdays,
in those days.
We all got up early on Thursday morning, for the short
journey to the airport, and the all important
flight to London for our big moment.
Nowhere to 23, in the charts!
Then 2 weeks at No.20
having sold more records than the previous weeks!
|The trouble was, it had snowed
overnight, (and I mean SNOWED). The airport was
closed until further notice, and so we sat around for
ages cursing our luck, while our manager made call after
call, remember there were no mobile phones back then, to
Colin Charman at the BBC, (the producer of TOTP)
to try and keep us on the show. Wed been given a
deadline to get to London by, and if we didnt make
it, then he would use our spot, to play a pre recorded
segment by someone else! I think that deadline went, and
more phone calls to London ensued, we were still on the
show. Then we heard that the airport at Hamburg was due
to re-open, a decision was made, a few strings were
pulled, and we were off to Hamburg, on the treacherous
Autobahns, in thick snow, although it wasnt
snowing, by this time, thank god!
On arrival in Hamburg, there were still no flights
leaving and we really thought, thats it, weve
blown it. But finally the airport opened and we
boarded a flight to London!
It must have been around 6pm German time(1 hour ahead)
with about a one hour flight to London, because I
remember arriving at Heathrow, at about 6pm local time, (Top
Of The Pops went out live at 7.30 pm), not
waiting for our luggage, running through the terminal
carrying guitars etc, passport checks, customs hall, I
think we got out of the terminal at about 6.45pm, jumped
in the first taxi we saw, slight problem being that
someone else was just about to jump in. They changed
their mind when we all got in. We eventually reached
Shepherds Bush by just about 7pm, ran into the BBC,
expecting to be told that we too late to appear on the
show, but they unbelievably, had kept our spot open. 7.15
pm and we were in make-up, no run through on camera, we
were third on I think, walked out on our stage, laughing
at what wed been through to get there, someone told
us where to stand, suddenly pointed at us, red light on
and so were we, 7.40pm!!!
We were only miming to the record, so it wasnt a
problem, but we went on in the clothes wed been
wearing all day.
Then they changed the system and we only went to No.24 in
the official chart, despite having sold
almost twice as many records as the previous week, and
had appeared on TOTP, we did make into
the Top 20 in the other un-official charts.
What a groovy day!!!