January 9 – One Man, One Month, Three Hits, Three Hats

A one-hit wonder, four times over! That’s Tony Burrows for you, and perhaps the biggest hit he is known for was released this day in 1970. That would be “Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes)”, a song recorded by Edison Lighthouse. Which is where the story gets more interesting.

Edison Lighthouse was a band formed in London in 1969, essentially by writer Tony McAulay, who one assumes needed an outlet for his many songs, which later included hits like the 5th Dimension’s “Last Night I Didn’t Get To Sleep At All” and David Soul’s “Don’t Give Up On Us, Baby.” McAulay found four session musicians and the great voice of Burrows to create the first Edison Lighthouse album, Already, released on Bell Records. The band, in case you’re wondering, got its name from a real lighthouse in Britain, the Eddystone Lighthouse, not from phonograph inventor Thomas Edison.

Love Grows” was an upbeat little song, about a gal whose “clothes are kinda funny, her hair is wild and free” and had evidently captivated the singer, sped up the charts, particularly in their UK. There it went to #1 in just two weeks, the fastest climb up the charts ever to that point. The single also topped New Zealand and Irish charts and got into the top 5 in North America. That might have made the Grass Roots kick themselves. ABC Records here wanted them to record the song before the British one took flight, but the band turned it down, mainly because one of the members had a wife named Rosemary and singer Rob Grill felt it might be awkward to sing a love song that seemed like it was for a friend’s wife! The hit was helped along by an appearance on Top of the Pops… a show whose viewers might have been scratching their heads a bit that winter. Because it probably seemed like Burrows was everywhere!

Although he quit Edison Lighthouse soon after the hit (which would be their only noteworthy one) left the charts, he was also singing on two other big hits that winter – “United We Stand” by the Brotherhood of Man (a song also done by Edison Lighthouse) and “My Baby Loves Lovin’” by White Plains(a song also done by, yes, Edison Lighthouse!) He showed up on Top of the Pops doing all of those songs, according to him in a span of four weeks. Neither of those two acts had much follow-up success either, however Burrows would go on to appear on a few more hits, including Elton John’s “Tiny Dancer” (he’s doing backing vocals) and Beach boys-knockoff “Beach Baby” by First Class… for whom he was the singer. Tony Burrows… one hit wonder, times four!

Curiously, “Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes)” has had a resurgence in popularity this year. It’s recharted in several European countries and today, coincidentally is listed as the “most-searched for” song at Songfacts.com. While we’d love to think it was due to our little site here, the real reason it’s hot again is apparently a Tik Tok personality named Rosemary who’s used it in her clips.

17 thoughts on “January 9 – One Man, One Month, Three Hits, Three Hats

  1. That Tik Tok note just goes to show the power of media and ‘personalities.’ Burrows was everywhere for a while- pure pop, but he had the golden touch for a moment in time.
    ‘Beach Baby’ though- that is banal songwriting at its worst! Bottom of the Class.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’d never heard of the guy, but I know those singles well. Pretty good voice, but its unusual, isn’t it? We hear of session guitarists, session drummers but not too often “session lead vocalists”.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. quite a long shot…he said he was on 4 consecutive weeks, some who watched the whole archives said it wasn’t consecutive, but either way, he kept appearing there with a different band behind him!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. badfinger20 (Max)

    I had the original single when I was a kid from a family member. I grew up with is and loved it. I also like the remake that Freedy Johnson did…Great little guitar lick also.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. it’s a very catchy little single. It’s so weird… I began to put together that piece maybe a week back and I go to Songfacts and there it is sitting in the top3 of their most-searched for songs! I mean, not a song most people have thought about for decades. So then I googled and found the Tik Tok tie-in.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. badfinger20 (Max)

        That blew me away…but it got revived a little from Freedy…but not on this scale! Give a listen to Freedy’s version…he didn’t change anything…it was just a better recording.

        Liked by 2 people

      1. it was the age of one hit wonders, and two-hit wonders… it’s a good set. It did have a few songs from artists who were big enough to sell their own compilations (Rod Stewart, Bee Gees etc) but mostly a lot of Edison Lighthouses, Mary McGregors, Paper Laces and the like.

        Like

      2. I know there are some similar sets from the 60s, which would be quite good, and of the 80s too… for that, I have a lot of compilations but no real “box set” of the decade.

        Like

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