3 September 2009

One Hit Wonders #4 - Warm Sounds - Birds and Bees

Warm Sounds - Birds and Bees

Label: Deram
Year of Release: 1967

Warm Sounds were essentially the duo Denver Gerrard and Barry Younghusband who worked primarily as Andrew Oldham's right hand muso men for the Immediate label.  If a band required a stray song they might have (such as "Black Sheep RIP", for example, which was theirs) or needed some competent vocal harmonies or smart instrumentation, Denver and Barry were beckoned.  

Their own particular waxings under the name of Warm Sounds were, perhaps unsurprisingly, generally gentle and wistful affairs, like West Coast pop with soft English vowels thrown into the mix. "Birds and Bees" is all lazy vocalised noises which would be described as scat if they were energetic enough ("Ooh bap bap, ah bap bap" is the closest I can get to transcribing them)  pinging glockenspiels and idle basslines.  Some people would probably refer to this as "popsike".  

Whilst "Birds and Bees" did well enough aboard the good ship Radio London to climb to to pole position in that station's chart, it only got to number 27 in the official charts used by the music industry, supposedly the lowest position a Radio London number one has ever occupied in the real world.  We shouldn't pay too much heed to this fact, since their chart was largely based on airplay, guesswork and whoever the station owed a favour to at any given point, but its safe to say that there were probably many disappointed faces at the Deram offices as a result.

It was also the duo's only hit.  Follow up singles "Sticks and Stones" (on Immediate this time) and the rather berserk "Nite is A Comin'" (back on Deram again) were ignored by the public despite picking up further radio play, and the concept of Warm Sounds was subsequently put into the chest freezer.  Younghusband later worked with Donovan in his Open Road band, whereas Denver Gerrard released a solo album "Sinister Morning" which wasn't greeted with much more enthusiasm than the later Warm Sounds releases.


Anonymous said...

You fail to mention the £100 a week
the offshore stations charged to play a disc back in those day's ;>)

23 Daves said...

I actually thought that might be libellious, but you're quite right, I think it's a fairly well-established fact.

And anyway... me worrying about libelling an illegal off-shore pirate radio station whilst uploading copyrighted material (albeit deleted material)... probably not worth giving it that much more thought, really.

Anonymous said...

hello from germany !

i am an old fan of british pop music of the sixties and of the pirate stations as well. and esp this song is one of my favorites. does anyone know, how i can get in contact to one of the musicians, alph gerrard or younghusband ???

freddy zapp said...

I think birds and bees is a great record and brilliant to play on a oldies radio show its happy and ill play it on BBC Radio Cornwall Saturday 17th may to open my big juke box show at 12 05. because it will set the scene for my shows first hour .[HAPPY MUSIC]. my nane is Freddy Zapp & 222yrs with the BBC RADIO CORNWALL

Trevor said...

the lyrics of Birds and bees are rather "risque"
as well as "corny"...the opening part "ba ba ba....is enough to make one's toes curl and it gets worse as the lyrics reflects a scenario in which a desperate young man attempts to persuade a young female that kissing and cuddling is as natural as birds and bees mating.
its not surprising to know that the public were not interested...after all how could a corny "boy meets girl" pop song compete with the big hits of 1967 such as "release me" by Englebert hump and Scott McKenzie's " San francisco?

Steve in Cyprus said...

I always really like this one, a bit of English 'whimsy'from back in 1967.

Steve in Cyprus said...

Good to know you're still around Freddy, I heard your Saturday programme when I was last in Cornwall a couple of years ago.
Mostly I remember you from Sunday nights at the Red Lion Redruth in the late '80s (I lived in Camborne for a couple of years at the time). I used to love your 'banned records', and still have the cassette you produced. My favorite was always Gary Lee & Showdown ('well its forty below but I don't give a fxxx, got a heater in my truck and it off to the Rodeo.....')

Steve said...

I sang with Denny & Barry before they sang b's n b's & they wanted to record one of my songs "Promises" but I wanted to sing it myself - doh - missed out there! Still trying to contact them....