Nope, this is not a short fiction piece about two guys – it’s an homage to a duo of the 60’s. Now there I date myself, but I loved them in my teens and still do. Their music brings back a boatload of memories.
Chad Stuart and Jeremy Clyde were one of the many British Invasion acts that stormed the charts in the wake of the Beatles. It has been said that their music possessed a subtlety and sophistication unmatched among their contemporaries, essentially creating the template for lush, sensitive folk-pop.
Chad and Jeremy met while attending London’s Central School of Speech and Drama. The two became fast friends, and Stuart taught Clyde to play guitar. Apache, an instrumental, is the first song they played together.
Here they are playing at at their 50th anniversary.
The two young men then formed a folk duo, as well as a rock & roll group, the Jerks, which Chad described as “the world’s screwiest rock and roll group.”
Because he graduated a year ahead of his bandmates, Clyde relocated to Scotland and performed with the Dundee Repertory Theatre. When the Jerks dissolved, Stuart dropped out of school, but reunited with Clyde, when he returned to London soon after an actors’ strike. They quickly earned a fan following and were signed by Ember Records, releasing their debut single, “Yesterday’s Gone.” This remains my favorite of their songs.
In early 1964, Chad & Jeremy were headlining the West End landmark Hatchett’s, but a photo of young Clyde in royal garb at Queen Elizabeth’s coronation nearly sank them. They were branded as upper-crust nancy-boys, in contrast to John Lennon and Paul McCartney, who had working class backgrounds.
Chad & Jeremy’s U.S. label, World Artists, scored a Top 20 American hit with “Yesterday’s Gone,” followed in August of 1964 by “A Summer Song,” a gorgeously nuanced and pastoral folk-pop masterpiece that cracked the Billboard Top Five.This one IS my favorite.
When “Willow Weep for Me” also charted in the U.S., Chad & Jeremy relocated to California and signed with the infamous manager Allen Klein, who negotiated a buyout of their World Artists contract and landed the duo a new deal with Columbia.
Chad & Jeremy made American television appearances on the sitcoms The Dick Van Dyke Show and The Patty Duke Show and were television fixtures for years to come. The pace of TV, tour stops and studio dates, the pace was relentless and, in the spring of 1965, Stuart contracted mononucleosis. While he recovered, Clyde accepted a role in the London musical Passion Flower Hotel, a nine-month commitment.
While their recordings waned, tensions between them were exacerbated by Clyde’s burgeoning acting career, and eventually the duo split.
Clyde turned to acting full-time and appeared alongside ex-Manfred Mann vocalist Paul Jones in the long-running stage production Conduct Unbecoming. Stuart, meanwhile, signed on as music director for The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, followed by a stint as a staff producer with A&M Records.
The duo reunited in 1977 and continued touring intermittently well into the 21st century. In September 2010, Chad & Jeremy marked 50 years of performing together with a limited-edition CD entitled Fifty Years On.
May they play on for another 50 years!
This post was triggered by one on the Rascals by Thom Hickey at https://theimmortaljukebox.com