Peter Noone was born in Manchester, England on November 5, 1947. While studying singing and drama at the Manchester School of Music and Acting, he became a child star on British TV. In 1963, at age 15, he joined a local group, The Heartbeats, which also featured bassist Karl Green, drummer Barry Whitwam and guitarists Keith Hopwood and Derek Leckenby. Onstage, Noone earned fame as lead singer Peter Novak — a name that changed after one club owner remarked that Peter looked a lot like Sherman, a character on the TV cartoon series Bullwinkle.
Misheard as “Herman,” the band then began billing itself as Herman & his Hermits, which got shortened to just Herman’s Hermits. Producer Mickie Most signed them to the British Columbia label and had the group record “I’m Into Something Good,” which had been a minor U.S. hit for Earl-Jean, lead singer of The Cookies. The Hermits’ version shot to #1 in England (and #13 in the U.S. on the MGM label) in late 1964. MGM gave them a cameo role in the film When The Boys Meet The Girls as the hits piled up. In 1965 alone, there was “Can’t You Hear My Heart Beat,” “Silhouettes,” “Wonderful World,” “Just A Little Bit Better,” “A Must To Avoid,” “I’m Henry The Eighth I Am” and “Mrs. Brown, You’ve Got A Lovely Daughter.” The latter song was made into a Herman’s Hermits movie in 1968. The band also appeared in two other films: Pop Gear (1965) and Hold On (1966). The hits rolled on in 1966 — “Listen People,” “Dandy,” “East West,” “Leaning On The Lamp Post” and “This Door Swings Both Ways.” In 1967, along came “No Milk Today,” “Museum,” “There’s A Kind Of Hush (All Over The World)” and “Don’t Go Out Into The Rain (You’re Going To Melt).”
Their final U.S. Top 30 entry was 1968’s “I Can Take Or Leave Your Loving.” Two more years of hits followed, but only in the UK, as they were never issued stateside. Up to that point, though, the band had sold more than 40 million records worldwide. Peter Noone went solo in 1971, appeared on Broadway and, in the ‘90s, on VH1, hosting the series My Generation. He still tours worldwide. Visit his website here.