Allan Clarke

Singer/guitarist/songwriter Allan Clarke is one of the founders of the Hollies; intermittently, he also has maintained a solo career. Clarke and his childhood friend, Graham Nash, began singing together in Manchester in the '50s. Adding Eric Haydock (bass) and Don Rathbone (drums) (replaced by Bobby Elliott in 1963), they became the Fourtones in 1961 and then the Deltas in 1962. By early 1963, when they added Tony Hicks (guitar) and signed a record contract, they had become the Hollies. Their initial repertoire consisted of American R&B songs (though they soon began to write original material), and their defining characteristic was a strong vocal style, usually with Clarke in the lead and Nash and Hicks providing harmonies. In the U.K., the Hollies enjoyed consistent singles success, starting with "Just Like Me," the first of 29 chart singles, 17 of which made the Top Ten, with two -- "I'm Alive" and "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother" -- reaching number one. Their appearances on the U.S. charts were less successful, though they managed to rack up 23 chart singles, six of which hit the Top Ten. Nash decamped at the end of 1968 to form Crosby, Stills, and Nash, but the Hollies continued.

You may also like...