Guitarist/vocalist Brian O’Hara and best friend guitarist/vocalist Joey Bower (born Joseph Bower, 17 November 1939, Dingle, Liverpool, Lancashire) formed the Two Jays in 1957. The group changed its name to the Four Jays in September 1959 when bass guitarist/singer Billy Hatton and drummer Brian Redman (born 21 June 1941, Huyton, Liverpool, Lancashire) joined the group, which played at the Cavern Club on 1 March 1961, nearly three weeks before the Beatles. Rhythm guitarist/singer Mike Millward (ex-the Undertakers) joined the Four Jays in November 1961, followed by drummer/singer Dave Lovelady in September 1962. The band changed its name to the Fourmost in October 1962. On 30 June 1963, the group signed a management contract with Brian Epstein. 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 with the Dakotas, Peter and Gordon and Tommy Quickly) had access to early Lennon–McCartney compositions. The Fourmost’s first two singles were written by John Lennon and sung in four part harmony. “Hello Little Girl“, one of the earliest Lennon songs (written in 1957) was released on 30 August 1963 and reached No. 9 in the UK. Their follow-up single, “I’m in Love” (Lennon–McCartney), was released on 15 November 1963 and reached No. 17 in the UK. It was also notable as one of the earliest Beatles-penned songs to be released in the United States but, as with the Fourmost’s other singles, it failed to chart there.
Their biggest hit followed. “A Little Loving”, written by Russ Alquist, reached Number 6 in the UK Singles Chart in mid 1964, and again was sung by the group in harmony. From then on, none of the group’s singles cracked the Top 20 in the UK. “How Can I Tell Her”, sung largely in harmony, was followed by a cover version of the Four Tops‘ “Baby I Need Your Loving“, sung by Millward, while Hatton took lead vocal on “Everything in the Garden”, and “Girls Girls Girls” (originally recorded by the Coasters and a hit for Elvis Presley) which featured a ‘Bugs Bunny/Jerry Lewis’ style comedy vocal by Brian O’Hara and a speeded up ‘Chipmunks’ style harmony vocals section which included vocals by producer George Martin and publisher Dick James.Their singles were almost all cover versions although Brian O’Hara co-wrote ‘How Can I Tell Her’, O’Hara composed most of their original songs which were used as ‘b’ sides including; ‘Waitin For You’, ‘That’s Only What They Say’, ‘He Could Never’, and ‘You Got That Way’.
Watch Billy Hatton: https://youtu.be/g7myQ2bOHEo