The Hollies Web-Site
- A Site for The Hollies Fans
Contact for more
Ove Steen Pedersen
8th March 2015
W e l c o m e t o t h e u n o f f i c i a l D a n i s h H o l l i e s s i t e
The Hollies is one of the best and most commercially successful pop/rock
groups from England and when The Hollies began recording in 1963, they
relied heavily upon the R&B/early rock & roll covers that provided the
staple diet for countless British groups of the time. The Hollies quickly
developed a more distinctive style of three-part harmonies, ringing guitars, and hook-happy material, penned by both outside writers (especially Graham Gouldman and a lot of other strong songwriting teams) and themselves. They wrote a lot of songs under the pseudonym L. Ransford, and at the beginning these songs were b-sides to their records.
From the start in Manchester in 1962 Allan Clarke, leadsinger (b. April 15,1942) and Graham Nash, vokal and rhythmguitar (b. February 2, 1942) had been childhood friends. They had already been singing together locally for a number of years before as a semi-professional duo under many names such as The Guytones, The Two Teens and Ricky and Dane.
Eric Haydock, bass (b. February 3, 1942) had invited them to be members of
The Deltas. He asked Allan Clarke and Graham Nash who were singing together
as Ricky & Dane Young. Eric Haydock inivited them to join The Deltas. Don
Rathbone, drums, was a member of The Fourtones first and later on in The
Daltas. Vic Steele, singleguitar, had been playing together with Eric
Haydock in The Emperors of Rhythm and joined in the group, too.
The name of the group was changed from Deltas to The Hollies in Christmas
1962, after Buddy Holly. Buddy Holly had been a major inspiration to every
member of the band, so it didn't take long to come up with the name.
When the leadguitarist Vic Steele in early 1963 decided not to turn
professional with The Hollies, he was replaced by Tony Hicks, leadguitar and
vocal (b. December 16, 1945). Tony Hicks first played in a skiffle band
called The Skifflelets. Later on he played in Ricky Shaw and The Dolphins.
When the musical disagreement between Don Rathbone, drums, and the rest of
the band became too much, Don Rathbone decided to leave the band. Bobby
(b. December 8, 1942) who had played with Tony Hicks in The Dolphins, was
called in from Shane Fenton and The Fentones and became a member of The
The lineup changes were most fortuitous: Tony Hicks contributed a lot to the
group with his ringing guitar work and songwriting, and Bobby Elliott was
one of the very finest drummers in all kinds of pop/rock.
The Hollies' first 2 singles were covers of The Coasters on Parlophone
(Ain't that) Just like me and Searchin' and both made the UK charts and the
group set about recording their first album Stay.
The Hollies' excellent live performances throughout England had already
seasoned them for what was to become one of the longest beat group success
stories in popular music.
After their breakthrough with those early beat recordings, The Hollies began
to develop their carefully polished trade-mark sound, courtesy of the
impeccable great three-part harmonies of Allan Clarke's leadvocal, Grahan
Nash's high harmony and Tony Hicks in the lower register harmony,
accomplished, and went on to grace some of the greatest music of 1960's.
They ran off awesome series of hits in the UK and the rest of the world in
the '60, making the Top 20 almost 20 times. Some of their best mid-'60's
singles, like "Here I go again", "We're Through", and the British number one
"I'm Alive". In early 1966 Hollies made a Top 40 hit in the United States
"Look Through any Window". The Hollies have a lot of great hits from 1963 to
1966 like "Stay", "Yes I will", "So Lonely", "I can't let go", "I am a Rock"
and many more.
In the same year 1966, Eric Haydock left the group, and was replaced by
Bernie Calvert, bass and piano (b. September 16, 1942). He had played in The
Dolphins together with Tony Hicks and Bobby Elliott.
From 1966 to 1967 The Hollies began to show their true colour not least with
the sleeve of their Evolution album, which saw them decked out in the latest
psychedelic. There was now a greater emphasis on original material, and the
(all too few) songs written by themselves (Clarke/Hicks/Nash) tracks like:
Stop stop stop/On a Carousel/Carrie Ann/King Midas in Reverse/Hey Willy.
In late 1968 (December 8) Graham Nash decided to leave The Hollies to join
in Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young and wanted to move to the U.S.A. Nash was
replaced by Terry Sylvester, vokal and rhythmguitar (b. January 8, 1947), he
had played with The Escorts and The Swinging Blue Jeans.
In addition to taking Graham Nash's place for rhythmguitar and high harmony
vocals, Terry Sylvester also took Nash's place in the songwriting trio.
Clarke, Hicks and Sylvester wrote a lot of good numbers of The Hollies songs
and he did perform the lead vocals on a few of The Hollies songs to.
Some of the best tracks from this time was: He ain't Heavy, He's my
Brother/Sorry Suzanne/Blowin' in the Wind/Too Young to be Married/I can't
tell the Bottom from the Top/Gasoline Alley Bred/Long Cool Woman (in a Black
Dress) and many more.
In October 1971 by the time "Long Cool Woman (in a Black Dress) had become a
hit, Allan Clarke had already left The Hollies in pursuit of a solo career.
He didn't want to leave the band, but only wanted to make solo albums at the
same time. The rest of The Hollies didn't want Allan to make a solo album,
and their reaction was that he should leave the band.
Allan Clarke was replaced by a Swedish guy called Mikael Rickfors, Leadvocal
and guitar (b. December 4, 1948) and he came from a Swedish band called
The Hollies had a little hit "The Baby" with Mikael Rickfors and recorded 2
albums "Romany" and "Out on the Road" (only on Hansa label in Germany), and
he wrote "The last Wind" and "Don't Leave the Child alone". And the best
tracks from this time was: The Baby/Magic Woman Touch/Jesus was a
In October 1973 The Hollies released "Out on the Road", but by that time
Rickfors had already been replaced by a returning Allan Clarke, and he still
wanted to do his solo work at the same time. The agreement The Hollies made
was that Allan Clarke could do what he wanted outside the group, but
actually, when he went back The Hollies had a couple of hits and he spent
most of the time with the group. Allan has released 9 solo albums.
In January 1974 The Hollies had a big hit after Allan Clarke had come back
to the group "The Air that I Breathe", and from this time to 1980 The
Hollies made a lot of hits like:
The Day that Curly Billy Shot down Crazy Sam McGee/Sandy/I'm Down/Another
Night/Write on/Daddy don't Mind and many more.
Allan Clarke left The Hollies once again in 1978, and Gary Brooker from
Procol Harum was asked to be the new Hollies leadsinger.
The Hollies recorded "Harlequin" 16.8.1978 writing and song by Gary Brooker,
but this song was never released with him as leadsinger.
Gary Brooker left The Hollies very soon again, and the single "Harlequin"
has Terry Sylvester as leadsinger, when the single was released.
At this time The Hollies line-up was: Tony Hicks (vocal and leadguitar),
Terry Sylvester (vokal and rhythmguitar), Bobby Elliot (drums) and Bernie
Calvert (bass and piano).
After a very short time Allan Clarke was back as a leadsinger in The Hollies
again, and the group had the same line-up as before Allan Clarke had left.
In the summer of 1981 Terry Sylvester wanted to leave The Hollies, and he
made later a duo with James Griffin' (formerly of Bred) called Griffin' &
Sylvester, and released 2 solo album and 1 Griffin' & Sylvester album.
Bernie Calvert left The Hollies a few days after Terry Sylvester. When
Sylvester and Calvert had left the band Clarke, Hicks and Elliot were
steering a steady couse through the eighties, reinforcing our belief that
change is an important ingredient in The Hollies longevity and the nucleus
The Hollies went back in the Studio 6 June 1981 with John Miles on vocal and
guitar, and Alan Jones on bass to record "Carrie" and "Driver". In July 1981
The Hollies recorded a Disco/Remix Crazy, a tune called "Holliedaze (A
Medley with a lot of Hollies Greatest hits, which was put together from the
At the request of the TV Show "Top of the Pops", Graham Nash and Eric
Haydock joined The Hollies to support the single in TV.
It was also in 1981 that Alan Coates, vocal and guitar (b. June 26, 1953)
joined The Hollies. Alan Coates played in the bands of artists like Olivia
Newton-John and David Cassidy, and had a few hits with his own band called
The Hollies realeased on Polydor the first version of "Take my Love and Run"
written by keyboardplayer Brian Chatton and recorded 2nd september 1981.
Brian also appeared with The Hollies, whilst they promoted the single on TV.
Allan Clarke, Tony Hicks and Bobby Elliot were now surrounded by talented
young musicians, who stimulated and enhanced their performance. The Hollies
were now a six piece band, and they escaped into Rock'n'Roll at an early
age, and they were not about to give themselves up.
The Hollies Line-up on Tour in 1982 was: Allan Clarke (vokal), Tony Hicks
(guitar), Bobby Elliot (drums), Steve Stroud (bass) Alan Coates (guitar) and
their old friend Peter Arnesen (keyboards). On the New Zealand Tour in 1983
The Hollies line-up was: Allan Clarke (vocal), Tony Hicks (Guitar), Bobby
Elliot (drums), Steve Stroud (bass), Peter Arnesen (keyboards), Paul Bliss
(Keyboards) and Jamie Moses (harmonies and guitar) instead of Alan Coates on
Later same year Graham Nash rejoined The Hollies in the Studio to record the
reunion-LP "What goes Around", and the LP was released in June 1983, and
they went on Tour with Graham Nash, where Denis Haines started as The
Hollies keyboardist. The Hollies got a hit single "Stop in the Name of Love"
(an old Surpremes classic tracks), but the reunion LP had not been
successful in England, so Graham Nash went soon back to the U.S.A. again.
The Hollies made a lot of Concert around the World with the line-up: Allan
Clarke (vokal), Tony Hicks (guitar), Bobby Elliott (drums), Steve Stroud
(bass), Alan Coates (guitar) and Denis Haines (keyboards).
In 1985 The Hollies released "Too many Hearts get Broken" and Ray Stiles (b.
November 20, 1946) took over for Steve Stroud on bass in Spring 1986. Ray
Stiles also played in his own band Taboo with his wife Annie and have played
with the Seventies' hitmakers Mud.
Both "This is it" and "Reunion of the Heart" singles released in 1987. After
a Tour in Germany, The Hollies released "Stand by me" and "For what it's
Worth". The success of "Stand by me" on the German charts prompted The
Hollies to record "Shine Silently" at the Coconut.
In 1988 The Hollies released LP/CD "All the Hits and more: The Definitive
Collection" and "Rarities", and EMI released the single "He ain't Heavy,
He's my Brother" again, and went all the way to no.1 in the Britisk Charts
that year. In 1989 The Hollies released a single "Find me a Family" and "No
Rules" on EMI. The single was a Theme from "Find a Family" an ITV Production
and was a programme about homeless people, and The Hollies had a little hit
with that single.
Epic Records released The Epic Anthology in 1990 including the hits from
their years with an acoustic version of Magic Woman Touch.
Same year The Hollies went on Live 1990 UK-Tour Hollies "Think Purple" and
the line-up on this Tour was: Allan Clarke (vokal), Tony Hicks (guitar),
Bobby Elliot (drums), Steve Stroud (bass) replaced Ray Stiles, Alan Coates
(guitar) and David Carey on keyboards.
In 1992 The Hollies went on Tour to Netherlands (Goud Van Out - 24.4.1992)
and in the rest of the World. The Hollies line-up on this Tour was: Allan
Clarke (vocal), Tony Hicks (guitar), Bobby Elliot (drums), Ray Stiles (bas),
Alan Coates (guitar) and Ian Parker (keyboards) ( b. November 26, 1953). Ian
Parker had replaced David Carey on keyboards. Ian has toured with Killing
Joke, Joan Armatrading, Clannad, Tom Robinson and The Killer B's.
In 1993 The Hollies celebrated their 30th Anniversary and went on a great
30th Anniversary Tour in England with about 40 Concerts, and Imperial
Records/EMI released the 30th Anniversary Collection with 3 CD's same year.
On these CD's were a number of unreleased tracks along with two new songs,
"The Woman I Love" and "Nothing else but Love". The 30th Anniversary single
(their 56th) on EMI was "Purple Rain" (track from Prince) and "The Woman I
Love" (track from Nik Kershaw), and The Hollies had a little hit in England
with this single.
From 1993 and to 1996 The Hollies had the same member of the band and still
made a lot of Concerts/Tours. In 1995 The Hollies had recorded "He ain't
Heavy, he's my Brother in a new version with Coronation Street Cast (a
little crazy version). Late in 1995 The Hollies released a 4 CD's entitled
"Four Originals" (Box) and it included the album versions "Another Night",
"Russian Roulette", "5317704" and "Buddy Holly", and later one more 4 CD's
with titled "Four More Original" (Box) and this includes "Romany",
"Hollies", "Write On" and "A Crazy Steal". Eggbert Records released a
Hollies tribute CD titled "Sing Hollies in Reverse". It featured a number of
top alternative acts putting their own spin on Hollies songs, and it was in
1996 the Not Fade Away (Remembering Buddy Holly) CD featured The Hollies
with a new version of "Peggy Sue got Married". Graham Nash once again
rejoined his old friends for help to the song. The Hollies supplied the
musical arrangement and background vocals, while a vocal track of the
legendary Buddy Holly provided the lead vocals.
The Hollies still made a lot of Concerts/Tours from 1996 and to 1999, and in
1998 The Hollies were live at the Langeland's Festival '98 in Denmark,
Friday 24th July, and they released a lot of there old LP's on CD's and some
on Digipak, so it almost looked like The Hollies' old records and some have
unreleased tracks on. EMI made 3 different CD's in a serie called "The
Hollies at Abbey Road", and still a lot of other CD's on different Records
Companies like Sundazed Records (USA)/Magic Records (France)/Disky
Communication (Holland)/EMI (England), Rock-in-Beat Records (Germany) and
others are released.
After The Hollies Tour in December 1999, and a lot of speculation over the
past few months whether this Tour would be the last Tour with Allan Clarke
with The Hollies, as his wife had got cancer, and he wanted to stay with
February 1st, 2000 Allan Clarke annouced that, owing to personal reasons, he
had decided to retire from The Hollies, after a long and successful career.
Allan Clarke was replaced by Carl Wayne (b.August 18, 1943), who has been
leadsinger of The Move.
The Hollies line-up now in 2000 are: Tony Hicks (vocal and guitar), Bobby
Alan Coates (vokal and guitar), Carl Wayne (leadvocal), Ray Stiles (bass)
and Ian Parker
The Hollies are still going strong and were on Spring Tour 2000 in UK with
30 Shows, and they undertook a major U.K. Concert Tour during
October/November 2000 with 31 Shows at 29 different places, and the 2000
Autumn Tour ended in Liverpool.
Once again The Hollies have given thousands of fans from England and around
the World a wonderful display of their talents both as individual musicians
and as a band.
The new line-up with Carl Wayne is fresh and exciting with new songs, new
arrangements, lighting and production of stunning quality that has to be
seen to be believed.
In February/March 2001 The Hollies were on Tour in Australia and New Zealand
for the first time in many years and with the new line-up.
At the same time The Hollies have released a new Greatest Hits CD in New
Zealand, and 10 February 2001 The Hollies were no. 1 again after many years
in New Zealand with this new Greatest Hits CD.
After the Tour in February/March in Australia and New Zealand, The Hollies
will start their Spring Tour 2001 in England and the rest of the World.
The Hollies with the new line-up intend to record new products, which will
be available maybe later this year - Many Hollies fans will hope they do -
but nothing happent this year.
In Summer 2002 The Hollies made a lot of Concerts in Germany and went to the
USA in late of July and in the beginning of August, and made many Concerts
The Hollies should have started their 40th Anniversary Tour in October 2002
in Germany and a very big Celebration UK Tour, but The Hollies announced the
postponement of their forthcoming Tour, because the leadsinger Carl Wayne
had undergone an urgent operation to remove an oesophageal blockage.
In January 2003 The Hollies completed two fantastic shows in Germany with
Ian Harrison standing in for Carl Wayne, who continued to get back to full
fitness on the Spring Tour.
Ian Harrison also appearing with The Hollies the Concert in Friedrichshafen
In February 2003 The Hollies started their Spring Tour (40th Anniversary
Tour again) with Carl Wayne as the leadsinger, and made many Shows/Concerts
in England, Germany, Switzerland and Denmark.
The Hollies made 3 great Concerts in Denmark. Two 60's Parties with other
bands in Herning (May 2nd 2003) and Esbjerg (May 3rd 2003) and played about
1 hour in these Shows. In Århus (May 4th 2003) only The Hollies gave
Concert, and they played 2 hours there.
In August 2003 The Hollies went back to Germany to give Concerts, and made a
lot of Shows in England for the rest of the Autumn.
The Hollies have started to plan Shows/Concerts in 2004 in England and the
rest of the World.
All The Hollies Fans hope, they released a new CD to Celebrate their 40th
Anniversary this year, because The Hollies not have released a new Album
(CD) (with new songs) since 1983 (What goes around).
In May 20th 2003 The Hollies released a double CD to celebrating their 40th
Anniversary features all their worldwide hits plus the fantastic brand new
track "How do I Survive". The first new track with Carl Wayne as leadsinger
in The Hollies.
Later this year in October 8th 2003 a 40th Anniversary 6 CD Box Set will be
For the first time - an ekstensive review of The Hollies recording career.
The first 4 CD's will cover classic album recordings, rare A's and B's
tracks, EP tracks amd lesser known foreign releases. A fifth CD will cover
live material from the 60's to the 90's including early cover versions and
major hits. A sixth CD will include the unrealesed material including the
Bell Studios session in 1965 and many rare and obscure recordings. The set
will contain a long-form book with full discography, sessionography,
interviews and sleeve note by Peter Doggett the former editor of Record
Collector who has written extensively on The Hollies.
Tragically Carl Wayne passed away August 31st 2004. He was one of the music
businesses great characters and a powerhouse singer. All The Hollies have
treasured memories of his time with the band. As Carl wanted the shows to
continue. The Hollies were delighted that Peter Howarth has joined them as
the new Hollies front man. Peter has worked with Cliff Richard for many
years, was co-writer of the Musical "Robin, Prince of Sherwood Forest" and
has starred in two National Tour of "Only the Lonely" The Roy Orbison story.
The Hollies original vocal sound is enhanced by Peter's singing style and
aficionados will be impressed by the authentic trademark three way harmony.
Peter Howarth was in The Hollies sights back in 1999, when Allan Clarke
retired due to personal problems, but he was unable to join due to previous
commitment - singing with Cliff Richard.
From his very first performance with The Hollies in Germany in October 2004,
his vocal style instantly authenticated that famous Hollies harmony. He has
fresh new musical ideas; one being an inspired version of the band's hit
"Here I go again", which has endeared him to the faithful Hollies audiences.
In October 2004 Alan Coates retired from The Hollies after more that 20
years service, to concentrate with his wife Kim Coody, on writing and
producing TV themes and advertising commercials from their Voice & Music
Company based in London's Drury Lane. His replacement, Steve Lauri, brings
his own expertise on guitar into a group renouned for their excellent
musicianship. Steve was an original member and guitarist/vokalist of 70's
Disco Hitmaker 5000 Volts and have backing many famous stars up the last
The Hollies line-up 2004 are: Tony Hicks (Leadguitar/vocal), Bobby Elliott
(Drums), Ian Parker (Keyboards/vocal), Ray Stiles (Bass/vocal), Peter
Howarth (Leadvocal) and Steve Lauri (Guitar/vocal).
19th September 2005 The Hollies released a new CD-single with 2 new songs
“Hope” and “Shine on me” from the forthcoming album.
The Hollies still tours the world, performing at major venues in New
Zealand, Australia, USA, Scandinavia and Europe. They have also headlined
outdoor festivals playing to audiences in excess of 10.000 people.
The Hollies return to The Royal Albert Hall in London for a performance on
the 28th October 2005, during their UK Autumn.
7th February 2006 The Hollies released one more new
CD-single “So damn Beautiful” and “Too much too soon” (This track is not on the
new Album). This CD-single was available as a download from the main
download sites, was not available in the shops and this CD-single was
from the forthcoming Album too.
20th February 2006 The Hollies released a new Studio Album called “Staying Power”.
It was the first new Album with new songs since “What Goes Around” from 1st March 1983.
The Hollies made a Concert at the “Cafe De Paris” in London called “Legends” 31st January 2006,
and this Concert was released in Internet, so that all their Fans could watch this.
From 2006 to 2007 The Hollies made a lot of Concerts in England, Germany, Belgium, Sweden
and other Countries around the World.
The Hollies made a special and great Concert 6th July 2006 at Chichester Cathedral.
Tony Hicks said that the Booking Manager might have mistaken them for The Holies,
but of course it was The Hollies they wanted.
28th March 2007 The Hollies released a DVD called “The Hollies Special Live Edition”
filmed at Antwerps Sportpaleis in Belgium December 2006 before an audience of 15.000
people, plus selected cuts taken from the Bands ”Legends” Concert at the “Café De Paris”
in London from January 2006. Added to this there are also promotional videos of songs from
The Hollies current album “Staying Power”.
Since 2004, Peter Howarth was been The Hollies leadsinger. He was only 3 years old,
when the Band started making music, but today he is a natural front man for them.
The Hollies line-up 2007 are still: Tony Hicks (Leadguitar/vocal), Bobby Elliott
(Drums), Ian Parker (Keyboards/vocal), Ray Stiles (Bass/vocal), Peter
Howarth (Leadvocal) and Steve Lauri (Guitar/vocal).
Maybe The Hollies will released a new Album in 2007? Good Times, the well
Informed German Magazine, write in issue1/2007, that Paul Weller (Ex-Jam)
writes songs for an upcoming Hollies Album (News 30th January 2007).
There are many Singles/EP's/LP's/12"/CD's which I have not mentioned,
because I can't have all the titles and tracks in this Hollies Biography.
Please look at my Hollies Discography, too.
In this Hollies Biography something may be wrong, so please let me know, if
you have some additions to this Story and E-mail to me:
I'd like to thank: Rob Haywood/Bob Gansler/Andy Davis (Record Collector
Magazine)/The Artist direct network and other, who have helped with