#7: Even The Bad Times Are Good by the Tremeloes

City: Fredericton, NB
Radio Station: CFNB
Peak Month: October 1967
Peak Position in Fredericton #1
Position on CFNB for the year 1967 ~ #17
Peak position in Vancouver ~ did not chart
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #37
YouTube: “Even The Bad Times Are Good
Lyrics: “Even The Bad Times Are Good

In 1956 at Park Modern Secondary School in Barking, Essex, two school mates, Brian Poole and Alan Blakley, started a band.  On family holidays together, they’d tell their parents about their dreams of being on TV. They learned a couple of tunes by Buddy Holly and Everly Brothers, got two acoustic Hofner guitars, and asked their saxophone and bass playing school mate, Alan Howard to join them. Once they started performing at local parties, they met drummer Dave Munden, who soon joined them. Soon Alan Blakley, Dave Munden and Brian Poole found that they could harmonise any song they wanted to and developed a style of their own, with all of them singing and playing and Alan Howard on bass guitar. At this time they did not have a name but soon opted for Tremilos after the sound on the new amplifiers which they could not yet afford. In time, the lead guitarist from Joe & The Teems, Ricky West (born Richard Westwood), was added to the band in 1960.

They began touring and got a BBC spot on Saturday Club. Dave Munden, Brian Poole and Alan Blakley were also being hired on as a backing vocalists for session work by Decca Records on numerous hit records for Tommy Steele, Delbert McClinton, US Bonds, Clyde McPhatter, Jet Harris & Tony Meehan and the Vernon Girls and others.

Soon Decca signed a contract with the band in 1962 after auditioning The Tremeloes and The Beatles. Decca chose to sign The Tremeloes since they were geographically closer to Decca’s studios. By this time their name had changed from Tremilos to Tremeloes. This was after an East London newspaper had misspelled the bands name. Now billed as Brian Poole and the Tremeloes, their first UK hit was in the summer of 1963 with “Twist And Shout”, a cover of the Isley Brothers US hit the previous year. It peaked at #4 in Britain. The song was later covered by the Beatles.

In October ’63, they had a #1 hit in the UK with a cover of the Contours’ US million-seller “Do You Love Me”. In 1964 they climbed back into the Top Ten in the UK with a cover of Roy Orbison’s “Candy Man”, and a B-side by The Crickets called “Someone, Someone”.

Then the Tremeloes began to slide off the radar as other recording artists were increasingly singer-songwriters like Lennon-McCartney of The Beatles. In 1965 and 1966 the Tremeloes failed to excite as other British Invasion recording acts, as well as those from the USA, elsewhere in Europe, Australia – and a few in Canada, gained in popularity.

However, the Tremeloes were the first to appear on the British pop music variety show Ready Steady Go. They were also the first British band to tour both Australia and Ireland.

During this time Chip Hawkes joined The Tremeloes in 1965 and replaced Alan Howard. Hawkes started his professional music career in 1962 with a band called The Horizons. The band featured Chip on bass & Rod Evans on vocals. Evans later became the original lead singer for Deep Purple.

Chip & Alan Blakely found the song “Here Comes My Baby” written by Cat Stevens, which proved to be their first international Top Ten hit. Their next single was a cover of the Four Seasons’ hit, “Silence Is Golden”. The Tremeloes version climbed to #1 in the UK  in May 1967, and #1 in Vancouver in September ’67. It peaked at #11 on the Billboard Hot 100. in  The Tremeloes also recorded an Italian version, “E in silenzio”. A third Top Ten hit for the Tremeloes in England in 1967 was “Even The Bad Times Are Good”.

Even The Bad Times Are Good by the Tremeloes

“Even The Bad Times Are Good” was written by the songwriting duo Peter Callander and Mitch Murray. Peter Callander was born in 1939 in Hampshire, England. Mitch Murray was born in 1940 with the given name Lionel Michael Stitcher. In 1963, Murray wrote “How Do You Do It?” and “I Like It” for Gerry and the Pacemakers. Murray originally had the Beatles record “How Do You Do It?”. But, the Beatles didn’t put their hearts into it, and Murray refused to have the song released. Gerry and the Pacemakers version became a number-one hit. Murray also wrote “You Were Made For Me” and “I’m Telling You Now”, which were both Top 5 hits internationally for Freddie and the Dreamers.

Mitch Murray and Peter Callander met each other in 1966. They collaborated on hit singles “The Ballad of Bonnie and Clyde” for Georgie Fame, “Goodbye Sam, Hello Samantha” for Cliff Richard, “Hitchin’ A Ride” by Vanity Fare, “I Did What I Did for Maria” and “(Is This the Way to) Amarillo” for Tony Christie, “Billy, Don’t Be A Hero” by Bo Donaldson & the Heywoods, “The Night Chicago Died” by Paper Lace, and “Sing Me” for the Brothers. Peter Callander also wrote Top Ten hits for Sandie Shaw (“Monsieur Dupont”), and Wayne Newton (“Daddy Don’t You Walk So Fast”).

“Even The Bad Times Are Good” is a song about the difference a loving relationship is making in the singers’ life. Even when a day drags the singer can “run” to his sweetheart, and it makes it all better.

“Even The Bad Times Are Good” peaked at #1 in Fredericton, NB, and Appleton, WI, #2 in Sarasota, FL, #5 in Davenport, IA, and Canton, OH, #6 in Ithaca, NY, #7 in Fort Knox, KY, and Lakeland, FL, #8 in Midland, TX, #9 in Tulsa, OK, and #10 in Santa Rosa, CA, and Philadelphia.

Internationally, “Even The Good Times Are Good” peaked at #1 in Israel and Rhodesia, #2 in New Zealand and South Africa, #3 in Argentina and the Netherlands, #4 in Malaysia and the UK, #5 in Sweden, #7 in Canada and Ireland, #8 in Belgium and #13 in Denmark.

In 1968, the Tremeloes recorded another Italian hit record – their English translated song by Peter Callander titled “Suddenly You Love Me“, from Riccardo Del Turco’s “Uno Tranquillo” (“One quiet man”). During this time Brian Poole was attempting a solo career and he officially left the band in 1968. In the fall of 1968, the Tremeloes released an English-language version of “Non illuderti mai” (“Never Deceive Yourself”) by Italian singer Orietta Berti. The Tremeloes cover was titled “My Little Lady”. It was a number-one hit in Belgium, Ireland, Malaysia, New Zealand, South Africa and Switzerland, and a Top 5 hit in Austria, Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway, Rhodesia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, the UK and West Germany.

The Tremeloes had two more Top Ten hits in the UK in 1969 and 1970, “(Call Me) Number One” – which was a Top Ten hit in over a dozen nations – and “Me And My Life”. By the early 70s, the Tremeloes became identified with the Sixties and were passed over for newer recording acts. Between 1963 and 1975 the Tremeloes released 14 studio albums.

For a time Brian Poole worked at his brothers’ butcher shop. Over the years Brian Poole has been the lead singer in a band called Electrix. Between 2002 and 2007, Poole toured and performed in the global ‘Reelinandarockin’ 1960s tour, where he performed to sell-out audiences in the UK, and as far afield as Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand and China. In 2008 and 2009, Poole toured with P.J. Proby in the production Oh Boy, which was a mix of non-stop 1960s hits. In the 2010s Poole was on stage as part of various revival shows alongside Gerry and the Pacemakers, Chris Montez, Peter Noone (of Herman’s Hermits), The Searchers, Brian Hyland, Chris Farlowe, Wayne Fontana, Vanity Fare, and The Fortunes.

In 2016 former Tremeloes bandmates, Rick Westwood and Chip Hawkes were accused by a fan of indecent assault. The alleged indecent happened to a fan, then 15 years old, in 1968, at a hotel after a concert. However, in July 2016, the BBC reported the crown prosecutor, Edward Owens, told a judge the crown had no evidence to offer in support of the allegation. The case took two years and seven months before it went before a judge. Regarding news of the allegations, Chip Hawkes told the BBC the case had badly damaged his career. Hawkes revealed a member of the general public had attacked him prior to a previous court appearance.

In 2018, it seems there is a dispute with the management of the Tremeloes with Brian Poole. On Pooles website he wrote:  “As at today date, 13 February, Brian is still advertised as appearing at Dorking Halls, Dorking on the 17 March 2018. This is to confirm that Brian Poole will not be appearing with the Tremeloes at this theatre. This is through no fault of his own but due to a decision by their ex-Management.”

In the 1970s, the songwriting duo, Callander and Murray, were instrumental in the formation of the Society of Distinguished Songwriters, a dining and sporting club whose membership is limited to composers and lyricists of pop hits. For the writers of “Even The Bad Times Are Good”, in the 1980s, Mitch Murray devoted more time to after-dinner speaking. Peter Callander spent time in Nashville where he began writing country songs. Callander’s songs were recorded by a number of artists, most recently by Florida singer David Carter. Peter Callander died at the age of 74 in 2014.

January 31, 2024
Ray McGinnis

References:
Tony Padman, “Where Are They Now: Brian Poole of the Tremeloes,” Express, UK, October 1, 2016.
Brian Poole bio, Brian Poole.com.
Brian Poole blog, Brian Poole.com, February 13, 2018.
Ex-Tremeloes Leonard Hawkes and Richard Westwood Acquitted of Assault,” BBC, July 22, 2016.
David Laing, “Peter Callander Obituary,” Guardian, March 10, 2014.
Francine White, “Mitch Murray: Songster who turned down the Beatles,” The Jewish Chronicle, September 4, 2017.

Even The Bad Times Are Good by the Tremeloes
CFNB 550-AM | Fredericton (NB) Top 20 of 1967


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