Chad & Jeremy
Chad & Jeremy
Chad & Jeremy performing for a television special at Marineland, 1966
|Genres||Folk, soft rock|
|Years active||1962–68, 1983–87, 2003–2018|
US: World Artists, Capitol, Columbia, Sidewalk, Rocshire
|Website||Chad & Jeremy official website|
Chad & Jeremy were an English musical duo. They began working together in 1962, and had their first hit song in the U.K. with "Yesterday's Gone". That song became a hit in the United States in the following year when they rode to fame as a part of the British Invasion. Unlike the rock music sounds of their peers, Chad & Jeremy presented a soft, folk-inflected style readily distinguished by their hushed and whispered vocals. The U.S. proved to be fertile soil for them, and they went on to have a string of successes there, including "Willow Weep for Me", "Before and After", and their biggest hit, "A Summer Song". Nonetheless, after some commercial failures and divergent ambitions between the two partners, Chad & Jeremy disbanded in 1968.
Chad Stuart continued to work in various capacities in the music industry while Jeremy Clyde devoted his energies to acting on film and stage. In the early 1980s, however, they reunited for a new album and concert performances including a multi-band British Invasion nostalgia tour. Afterwards, another long period of separation ensued but in the early 2000s Chad & Jeremy began performing again and developed a semi-regular schedule of touring for many years. Stuart retired in 2018, and Clyde continues to tour and record as a solo artist.
The two met while attending London's Central School of Speech and Drama. Chad taught Jeremy how to play the guitar and by 1962 they were performing together as a folk music duo. At the same time, they also formed a sideline project, a rock & roll band called the Jerks. After graduation from drama school, both musical groups were abandoned when Clyde left for Scotland for a short stint with the Dundee Repertory Theatre and Stuart took work in the music industry as a copyist and apprentice arranger. When Clyde returned, the two resumed their folk act.
The duo made frequent performances at a basement coffeehouse in London called Tina's, and there they were discovered by John Barry. The influential composer quickly got them a contract with a small British record label, Ember. Their first single was a Stuart composition, "Yesterday's Gone", which would become their one and only hit record in the UK, reaching No. 37 in December 1963.
As the duo recorded this song, they developed their trademark style of singing: "whispering". "[John Barry] told us...we sounded like a locker room full of football players...in the end in desperation he said: 'Whisper it', so we kind of backed off a bit and so that sort of slightly sotto voce sound came about". They developed a regular style in which Jeremy usually sang the melody while Chad sang the higher harmonies.
British Invasion years
In 1964, the British Invasion swept across the United States and brought Chad & Jeremy with it. "We snuck in under the radar," Stuart later joked, because even though their folk songs and strings-backed ballads bore little resemblance to the rock stylings of most of their colleagues, they still managed to find widespread acceptance in the US. "Yesterday's Gone" was released in the US by another small label, World Artists Records, and it rose to No. 21 in the pop music charts.
Their second US single was "A Summer Song", which took them by surprise: As far as Chad & Jeremy were concerned, the gentle ballad had been intended only as an album track. World Artists, however, released it as a single and watched it rise to No. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100 on 17 October 1964.
They instantly became World Artists' most bankable act: "After that," Stuart recalled, "the record company goes, 'Gee whiz, we've got a goldmine here, so let's start churning out those ballads, boys!'" The next single was a cover version of an Ann Ronell standard, "Willow Weep for Me", which reached No. 15 on the US Hot 100 and No. 1 on the Easy Listening chart. All three hits were included on their 1964 debut album, Yesterday's Gone, which spent 39 weeks on the Billboard 200 and eventually peaked at No. 22.
As the new year began, Chad & Jeremy were in talks with a major label, Columbia Records. On 27 March, a contract was signed giving Columbia control over all Chad & Jeremy recordings retroactively to 1 January 1965. Before the end of 1964, however, the duo had made a new batch of recordings, and this gave the minor labels a backlog of material to release throughout the coming months. The first World Artists single of 1965, a Rodgers and Hammerstein theatre song named "If I Loved You", hit US No. 23 in April. Follow-up singles were less successful: a Stuart and Clyde original, "What Do You Want With Me", peaked at US No. 51 in May, and a cover of Lennon and McCartney's "From a Window" got no further than US No. 97 in July. The latter two songs were included on the duo's second World Artists album, Chad & Jeremy Sing For You (1965).
Columbia wasted no time competing with their new act's former labels. A new album, Before and After, was made ready to release by June. The title track single, "Before and After, jumped to US No. 17 almost immediately. That was followed just a few months later by I Don't Want to Lose You Baby. The title track was composed by Van McCoy, and preceded the album as a summer single, which rose to US No. 35 in August. The next single, "I Have Dreamed", only reached US No. 91 in November but made it to No. 22 on the Easy Listening chart.
The duo went on a virtual hiatus for almost a year beginning in mid-1965 when Clyde accepted an acting role in a London stage production of The Passion Flower Hotel. Clyde expressed his reasoning, and his regret, to an interviewer in 2014:
It’s a question of values, isn’t it? ... I don’t think I realized how big we were in America. To me, it was starring in the West End, which sort of overrode everything in my value system.... Would I have done it now? No, probably not. I would not have let Chad down — which I did at the time — for which I was duly sorry. He came over here and we made an album [never released] while I was performing at night. We kept it all going, but I wouldn’t have done it that way now because I probably would have realized that we had this one shot at America and I would have stuck with that and hoped to get into the West End later.
Stuart opined, "I was the partner of an actor who was constantly threatening to leave the act, and did". After finishing the album in London (most of which ended up "scrapped" anyway), he returned to the US and began working on music with his wife Jill. As Chad & Jill, they performed two of Chad & Jeremy's songs ("I Don't Want to Lose You Baby" and "Funny How Love Can Be") on the TV show Shindig! in September. In late November, Columbia arranged for Chad & Jill to sing on TV again, this time with their own song (a rendition of the folk music standard "The Cruel War") on Hullabaloo.
Clyde returned from London after about nine months away. In February, they played at the 1966 Sanremo Music Festival, singing a version of Sergio Endrigo's composition, "Adesso sì", which was released on an Italian record label. Around the same time, Columbia put out a new Chad and Jeremy single in the US, the Dylanesque "Teenage Failure". The song stalled at No. 131. In April, Columbia went ahead and released Chad & Jill's "The Cruel War" as a single, backed with "I Can't Talk to You". The single reached No. 110 on the Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100. Jill, who had never really sought the working partnership, was happy enough to let it go. "I thought I needed to go out there with someone", her husband observed later. "It really wasn't fair to expect her to do that".
Chad & Jeremy began to work in earnest again and recorded their album Distant Shores, which was released in August 1966. The title song was composed by their bassist, James William Guercio (who later enjoyed fame as a producer for Chicago and Blood Sweat and Tears). "Distant Shores" proved to be their last Top 40 hit—it reached US No. 30 in August, while a second single, "You Are She", only touched No. 87 in November.
The British duo had wound up being far more popular in the US than at home. In total, Chad & Jeremy had 11 songs enter the US Hot 100—seven of them cracking the Top 40—between 1964 and 1966. In February 1966, the British music magazine NME claimed that the duo had applied for US citizenship. The magazine commented that as American citizens, they would be eligible for military conscription, and that they had no wish to end up fighting in the Vietnam War; however, the practicalities of constantly renewing US work permits were problematic.
During these years, the duo made several television guest appearances. They portrayed a fictional singing duo, "The Redcoats" (Freddy and Ernie), on 10 February 1965 episode of the sitcom The Dick Van Dyke Show that satirized Beatlemania. Two songs were featured in that episode: "I Don't Want No Other Baby But You" and "My, How the Time Goes By"." Just one week later, they appeared on The Patty Duke Show as "Nigel & Patrick", an unknown British singing duo in need of promotion. In an interview marking the 50th anniversary of the show's debut, Patty Duke still fondly recalled that particular episode: "I was obsessed with them," she said. "That was a big week for me."
They were guest stars on an episode of Laredo—"That's Noway, Thataway", first broadcast on 20 January 1966—in which they played destitute English actors travelling through the Old West. The episode was intended as a pilot for a Chad & Jeremy TV show, tentatively titled Paleface, that never materialized.
The duo appeared as themselves in the December 1966 episodes "The Cat's Meow" and "The Bat's Kow Tow" of the television series Batman, in which the guest villain was Julie Newmar as Catwoman. In this two-part storyline, Catwoman's master plan includes "stealing" the voices of Chad & Jeremy. During "The Bat's Kow-Tow", the duo sang "Distant Shores" and "Teenage Failure".
Separately, Stuart did a little voice acting as one of the vultures in Walt Disney's 1967 film The Jungle Book. That same year, Clyde appeared on his own in a Season 8 episode of My Three Sons.
Late '60s and breakup
In the fall of 1967, they released the psychedelic album Of Cabbages and Kings (as "Chad Stuart and Jeremy Clyde") and a 1968 follow-up, The Ark. They received critical acclaim, but they were both commercial failures.
In 1968, they collaborated again for the film soundtrack of Three in the Attic starring Christopher Jones and Yvette Mimieux. They recorded several new songs for the film and Stuart composed an instrumental backing score. The complete soundtrack was released in the U.S. on Sidewalk Records in 1969, featuring the duo's own version of "Paxton's Song (Smoke)", which was sung by Jones in the film. By the end of 1968, however, the working relationship of Stuart and Clyde had already dissolved.
In later years Stuart said there was regret for the parting of ways, but at the time the pair suffered heavily from "fatigue and burn-out". Cost overruns in the making of The Ark had soured relations with Columbia and left the two in crushing debt – they were constantly "pushed around by accountants and lawyers," Stuart recalled. Clyde announced that he was returning to his first love, the theater, and Columbia management reacted by suspending the duo's contract. Amid the acrimony, Stuart said, he and Clyde "very foolishly tore up" that contract and went their separate ways. "Our attitudes were, 'Who needs you?' Looking back though, we never should have done that. We should have kept it up. But we were only kids."
After the split, Clyde returned to England and took up acting as a full-time vocation. He enjoyed great success and made several returns to New York in Broadway theater productions. In 1970, he began a well-received starring role at the Ethel Barrymore Theater in Conduct Unbecoming. Stuart remained in the U.S. with plans to continue in the music industry but in background roles such as arrangement and production. His first new job was music director for the Smothers Brothers' television show, and later he served as a staff producer for A&M Records. The pair met again in 1977 to record a few demos, but the collaboration was brief and no recordings were released.
In 1982, Chad & Jeremy reunited to record the album Chad Stuart & Jeremy Clyde, released the following year on the MCA-distributed Rocshire Records label. Plans for a second album in 1984 were advancing when the label suddenly folded due to financial troubles. The pair found a different sort of fame when they starred in the West End production of Pump Boys and Dinettes from 1984–85.
Returning to the U.S. in 1986 for a British Invasion reunion tour, they played 33 cities in six weeks along with Freddie and the Dreamers, Gerry and the Pacemakers, the Searchers and the Mindbenders. In his review of the show at New York City's Felt Forum, music journalist Jeff Tamarkin wrote: "The evening's unquestionable highlight was the set from Chad (Stuart) & Jeremy (Clyde), which featured such soft, folky hits as 'A Summer Song' and 'Yesterday's Gone', and even a few obscurities from their later career. The duo's harmonies were sweet, their young band tight, and their lack of tacky cover songs refreshing."
2000s and beyond
In 2002, Stuart was in his private studio, Electric Paintbox, preparing the release of a recording from the Harrah's engagement, when Clyde visited and the two made a new version of "Yesterday's Gone" as a bonus track for the album, In Concert (The Official Bootleg). In 2003, PBS reunited Chad & Jeremy in the 60s Pop-Rock Reunion special, which also prompted a concert tour the next year. They conscientiously rerecorded a number of their 1960s songs and dubbed the resulting album Ark-eology—it was released in 2008, the 40th anniversary of The Ark, and begins with that album's title track. They performed at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, in January 2009. In September 2010, Chad & Jeremy marked the anniversary of meeting one another with a limited-edition CD entitled Fifty Years On.
After 15 years of semi-regular touring, Stuart retired to his home in Sun Valley, Idaho. Clyde now tours as a solo artist with a backing band, interlacing Chad & Jeremy songs with newer music from his own multi-album series, The Bottom Drawer Sessions. He also tours as part of a duo again, performing nostalgic concerts with one of his oldest friends, Peter Asher of Peter & Gordon.
Both sides from same album except where indicated
b/w "Lemon Tree" (from More Chad & Jeremy)
|1964||"Like I Love You Today"
b/w "Early in the Morning" (Non-LP track)
|"A Summer Song"
b/w "No Tears for Johnnie"
|"Willow Weep for Me"
b/w "If She Were Mine"
|1965||"If I Loved You"
b/w "Donna, Donna" (from Chad & Jeremy Sing for You)
|–||16||23||6||The Best of Chad & Jeremy|
|"What Do You Want with Me?"
b/w "A Very Good Year" (from More Chad & Jeremy)
|–||5||51||9||Chad & Jeremy Sing for You|
|"Before and After"
b/w "Fare Thee Well (I Must Be Gone)"
|–||–||17||4||Before and After|
|"From a Window"
b/w "My Coloring Book"
|–||–||97||–||Chad & Jeremy Sing for You|
|"I Don't Want to Lose You, Baby"
b/w "Pennies" (Non-LP track)
|–||13||35||–||I Don't Want to Lose You Baby|
|"September in the Rain"
b/w "Only for the Young"
|"I Have Dreamed"
b/w "Should I"
|–||–||91||22||I Don't Want to Lose You Baby|
b/w "Early Mornin' Rain" (from Distant Shores)
b/w "Last Night" (Non-LP track)
|"You Are She"
b/w "I Won't Cry"
b/w "Nessuno Più Di Me"
|–||–||-||–||Non-LP track; Italy only|
(Sanremo Music Festival, 1966)
|1967||"Painted Dayglow Smile"
b/w "Editorial (Vocal)" (from Of Cabbages and Kings)
b/w "Rest in Peace" (from Of Cabbages and Kings)
|1969||"Paxton Quigley's Had the Course"
b/w "You Need Feet (You Need Hands)"
|–||–||–||–||Chad Stuart & Jeremy Clyde|
- Yesterday's Gone (July 1964)
- Sing for You (January 1965)
- Sing For You (1965) – British, somewhat different version of their earlier American release, "Yesterday's Gone."
- Before and After (1965)
- I Don't Want to Lose You Baby (1965)
- Second Album (1966) – British, somewhat different version of their earlier American release, "Sing For You"
- Distant Shores (1966)
- Of Cabbages and Kings (1967)
- The Ark (1968)
- 3 in the Attic (1968)
- Chad Stuart & Jeremy Clyde (1983)
- In Concert (The Official Bootleg) (2002)
- Ark-eology (2008)
- Fifty Years On (2010)
- The Best of Chad & Jeremy (Capitol, 1966)
- The Best of Chad & Jeremy (K-Tel, 1990)
- The Very Best of Chad & Jeremy (Varese Sarabande, 2000)
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