This led to their being auditioned by George Martin and signed to EMI's Parlophone record label. With Epstein as their manager, The Fourmost (like Cilla Black, Billy J. Kramer and The Dakotas, Peter and Gordon, and Tommy Quickly) had access to early Lennon-McCartney compositions which were typically felt to be unsuitable for The Beatles themselves to record. The Fourmost's first two singles were written by John Lennon. "Hello Little Girl", one of the earliest Lennon songs (dating back to 1957), and reportedly written while Lennon was "on the toilet", was released on August 30, 1963.
Their fine follow-up single, "I'm In Love", was released on November 15, 1963, and sounded remarkably Beatlesque at the time. It was also notable as one of the earliest Beatles penned songs to be released in the United States but, like the group's other singles, it failed to chart there. Their biggest hit followed. "A Little Lovin", written by Russ Alquist, reached Number 6 in the UK in mid 1964. But from this point on, none of their singles would crack the Top 20 in the UK, and some failed to chart at all.
"How Can I Tell Her" was followed by a re-make of "Baby I Need Your Loving" (which sounded as if it was sung by teenagers, not adults); "Everything In The Garden"; and "Girls, Girls, Girls" (originally recorded by The Coasters). The group's only album, First and Fourmost from September 1965 contained a version of Jackie DeShannon's "Till You Say You'll Be Mine" with vocal harmonies and a guitar arrangement nearly as good as the definitive version by The Searchers. Other notable tracks included "My Block", a convincing re-make of "The In Crowd", and cover versions of Little Richard's "The Girl Can't Help It" and "Heebie Jeebies". The lead vocal performance on the later song sounded like Paul McCartney imitating John Lennon doing Little Richard. In August 1966, they released a treacly version of "Here There and Everywhere" which seemed to channel The Lettermen -- albeit with British accents. They also released a cover version of George Formby's "Auntie Maggie's Remedy" in November 1966.
This song represented a comic / cabaret facet to some of the group's recordings, songs which included the execreble "Baby Sittin' Boogie" and Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller's "Yakety Yak". The country influenced "Turn The Lights Down Low" (the B-side of "Auntie Maggie's Remedy") may have been a short-lived effort to branch out to less pop oriented fare, as the song was reminiscent of The Beatles' "I'm Looking Thru You", only not as memorable. In 1968, now recording for the CBS record label, they recorded a pallid version of "Apple Peaches Pumpkin Pie", a popular R&B hit by Jay & The Techniques; followed by "Rosetta" (suggested by Paul McCartney, who played piano on it), and "Easy Squeezy". The group eventually stopped recording, and became popular on the cabaret circuit. Mike Millward died from leukemia in 1966. Brian O'Hara took his own life in 1999.
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