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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 hadn’t planned to attend the opening, feeling as bad as I did, but when you’ve been managed by Brian Epstein, produced by Andrew Oldham, then managed by Robert Stigwood and Brian Epstein together, and still couldn’t buy a ‘hit’, it starts to weigh a little heavy on your mind, and I wasn’t going to miss any of this, now that we’d done it at last.
I remember someone hammering on my front door to come in. That’s when I discovered that we’d ‘stormed’ into the chart, and along with the ‘airplay’ the record was getting, everybody said that this was the one!!!
This all seemed to have happened because, we had signed to a new
record label ‘R.C.A’, with a new manager (he’ll 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??? What’s that supposed to mean?”
Other names were tossed around, but Harmony Grass it was. We had nothing to lose. If the record didn’t become a hit, then we’d just carry on under our old name as usual, but that didn’t 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,
January 1969.

In true ‘Castaways’ tradition, things didn’t 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.

‘Move 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 aren’t hearing your record so often, and are probably buying the ones they are hearing . Just our luck!
We couldn’t complain about the radio plays we’d 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 great song.
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 I’d known for some years.
It eventually took 5 attempts, and 5 different vocal arrangements, to come up with the one I finally was happy with.
The ‘producer’ wasn’t 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 ‘mixing’ sessions.
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 wasn’t 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’, ‘Beat Room’.
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. We’d been given a deadline to get to London by, and if we didn’t 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 wasn’t snowing, by this time, thank god!
On arrival in Hamburg, there were still no flights leaving and we really thought, that’s it, we’ve 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 we’d 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 wasn’t a problem, but we went on in the clothes we’d 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!!!