After the Beatles conquered America in 1964, many other British groups found transatlantic fame and fortune. The first song of this British invasion to top the American charts was Peter and Gordon's A World Without Love, composed by Paul McCartney. The Everly brothers inspired duo were Peter Asher (brother of Jane Asher, the actress) and Gordon Waller, who just died of a heart attack.
By the end of March 1964, A World Without Love had displaced the Beatles' own Can't Buy Me Love as #1 in the British charts. In May, just before Waller's 19th birthday and Asher's 20th, it was the biggest selling record in the US. The instant stardom created by A World Without Love was the beginning of two years of frantic activity for Peter and Gordon. In the next months, Nobody I Know, Woman, Lady Godiva and I Don't Want to See You Again (written by McCartney) were transatlantic hits, as were I Go To Pieces, written by Del Shannon, and True Love Ways, a Buddy Holly song the duo had performed in their early days in London.
Although their wave of popularity quickly moved from crest to trough, Peter and Gordon have often reunited for performances of their hits and remained good friends. Asher went onto management (Linda Ronstadt, James Taylor and 10,000 Maniacs) and production (1989 Grammy for Producer of the Year for his work on Ronstadt's Cry Like a Rainstorm, Howl Like the Wind ) and Waller vanished into obscurity.
Reg Presley was the front man for legendary British garage band, the Troggs. Their biggest hit came with their 1966 cover of Chip Taylor’s “Wild Thing” which reached #1 on the Billboard singles chart that year. Their version came in at #257 on Rolling Stone‘s list of The Top 500 Songs of All Time. Their follow-up single, “With A Girl Like You” was nearly as popular in the UK. Besides the impact their “Wild Thing” continues to have on rock music to this day, the band itself can take at least partial credit for influencing the birth of punk and garage rock. As a songwriter, the royalties Presley enjoyed from its sales went to fund his research on crop circles on which he wrote the 2002 book, Wild Things They Don’t Tell Us. Presley continued to tour with the Troggs up until his retirement in 2012 due to health concerns.
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