Teenagers Eleanor Barooshian, Jeanette Jacobs and Barbara Morillo became The Cake after they were discovered singing in a New York nightclub in 1966. They have been described as “the missing link between The Ronettes and The Runaways”. Unusually for female artists of the era, they wrote their own material. Here they are performing You Can Have Him in 1967. Kevin Ayers’ song Eleanor’s Cake (Which Ate Her), from his Joy of a Toy album, was about Barooshian, who had performed with Ayers on the first Soft Machine album. After two albums, The Cake broke up; Barooshian and Jacobs moved to the UK, where they joined Ginger Baker’s Air Force in 1970. In 2006, Barooshian and Morillo re-formed The Cake to appear at a Jimi Hendrix tribute concert.
Latin soul studio musicians from Belgium (including Tito Puente’s wife, Kari Kenton, on vocals) with a curious chart history: they had a Belgian number one in 1958, reached the UK charts four years later with Twist Twist, and a decade after that, in 1972, had a huge US hit with Jungle Fever, later featured in the movie Boogie Nights. This blogpost describes it as “one of the strangest records ever to hit the Top 10”. In Britain, the BBC banned it because of all that moaning but it still got to number 29. Chakacha, by the way, is a traditional Swahili style of music and dance.
Glenn Ponder (played by Steve Brown) and Chalet were the house band in the first episode of Knowing Me, Knowing You with Alan Partridge (BBC TV, 1994). By the second episode, they had become Glenn Ponder and Debonair, and subsequently Glenn Ponder and Ferrari (episode three), Glenn Ponder and Savoir Faire (four), Glenn Ponder and Lazarus (five) and Glenn Ponder and Bangkok (six). A subsequent special episode featured “Glenn Ponder and his ‘friend’, Andy”.
Charles Hawtrey and The Deaf-Aids
“I Dig a Pygmy, by Charles Hawtrey and The Deaf-Aids” is John Lennon’s introduction to Two of Us, the opening track on The Beatles’ Let It Be, adding: “Phase one, in which Doris gets her oats.” Well, it’s a better name than The Plastic Ono Band. Charles Hawtrey was an actor who appeared in 23 Carry On comedies, most memorably, perhaps, as Private Widdle in the peerless Carry On Up the Khyber.
Punk trio from Queensland, Australia, best known for their single Smoko, the official video of which went viral in 2017, and for their valiant, if doomed, attempts to revive the mullet.
The Cheeky Girls
British-based Transylvanian twins Gabriela and Monica Imiria, who sold 1.2 million copies of their 2002 debut single The Cheeky Song (Touch My Bum) but found themselves in financial difficulties when their record company went bust. They subsequently launched a make-up range and Gabriela became briefly engaged to a minor British politician, Lembit Öpik, after he intervened to help them avoid being deported to Romania. They are pictured with another politician, Boris Johnson, who later became Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs.
They were thinking of calling themselves The Young Colts, The Weak Heartdrops or The Psychotic Negatives. Paul Simonon finally came up with the perfect punk name: “It really came to my head when I started reading the newspapers and a word that kept recurring was ‘clash’, so I thought The Clash, what about that.” Indeed. What about one minute, fifty thrilling seconds of White Riot?
There are four siblings, and their name is Corr. So far, so uninteresting as far as this site is concerned. But wait: they got their big break while auditioning for And And! And’s favourite film, The Commitments, and they all appear in it, though only Andrea, who plays Jimmy Rabbitte’s sister Sharon, is credited. Jim plays a member of Avant-Garde-A-Clue, who briefly audition for Jimmy; Caroline is a member of the audience during the band’s fantastic performance of I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You); and Sharon plays the fiddle in Bernie’s country-and-western band. John Hughes, who organised the bands for the film’s brilliant audition scenes, became The Corrs’ manager.
Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
David Crosby and Stephen Stills recorded demos of three songs as The Frozen Noses (nothing to do with the weather) before Graham Nash arrived on the scene. Stills wanted to call the new trio “Stills-Crosby-Nash” but was outvoted. With hindsight, these guys’ previous bands – The Byrds, Buffalo Springfield, The Hollies – were probably better, and certainly more influential, than this “supergroup”. Although Wooden Ships (pre-Young) is good. But the main reason C,S,N&Y are included here is to remind everyone that their name should never, never, ever, ever be abbreviated to “Sisney”. Thank you.
Previously Easy Cure (and before that, Malice). Front man Robert Smith thought the name was “too hippyish”, and wisely changed it to The Cure. Perfect, Just Like Heaven. Little-known fact: Dave Brock, later of Hawkwind, was in a band called The Famous Cure in the 60s.
The name is a reference to Centre Square in Easton, Pennsylvania, from where The Rhondells came before they were renamed by new manager Brian Epstein. John Lennon suggested the “Byrds Y” spelling, which made them seem cooler than they actually were. They appeared with The Beatles on their final US tour in 1966, and scored a couple of hits at the poppier end of the sunshine pop spectrum with Red Rubber Ball and the splendid Turn Down Day. Bass player Tom Dawes went on to compose the “plop plop fizz fizz” advertising jingle for Alka-Seltzer.