On this day in music history: January 19, 1965…

On this day in music history: January 19, 1965 – “Can’t You Hear My Heartbeat” by Herman’s Hermits is released. Written by John Carter and Ken Lewis, it is the second US single for the pop band from Manchester, UK. Making a splash with their cover of the Carole King and Gerry Goffin penned song “I’m Into Something Good” (#1 UK, #13 US Pop), Herman’s Hermits quickly establish themselves as one of the biggest acts of the British Invasion. In the UK, “Show Me Girl” (#19 UK) is issued as the follow up, but not released in the US. For their next single, the band cut a pair of songs for the A and B-sides. The first features them covering The Rays’ 50’s doo wop classic “Silhouettes”, and one titled “Can’t You Hear My Heartbeat”. Written by British songwriters John Carter and Ken Lewis also members of The Ivy League (“What More Do You Want?”), “Heartbeat” is initially recorded by the American all female band Goldie & The Gingerbreads. Their version is produced and arranged by Animals keyboardist Alan Price. Though all competant musicians in their own right, producer Mickie Most at times augments Herman’s Hermits with outside studio musicians, or in the case of “Silhouettes” and “Can’t You Hear My Heartbeat”, replaces them virtually altogether on the session (with the exception of lead singer Peter Noone). Recorded on December 1, 1964 at De Lane Lea Studios in London, the two tracks feature future Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones, Bobby Graham (drums), Big Jim Sullivan (rhythm guitar), and Ken Lewis and John Carter (backing vocals). Though in later years it is claimed that Jones’ Zeppelin band mate Jimmy Page played lead guitar on the two songs, the actual guitarist is Vic Flick, best known for playing the signature guitar riff on composer John Barry’s famed “James Bond Theme”. When the two songs are released, “Heartbeat” is regulated to the B-side of the single by their UK label EMI/Columbia, while in the US MGM Records immediately realizes its hit potential, issuing as an A-side and holding “Silhouettes” back for future release. The move proves to be a shrewd one, as “Can’t You Hear My Heartbeat” takes off even faster than its predecessor in the US. Entering the Hot 100 at #85 on January 30, 1965, it races up the chart, peaking eight weeks later at #2 on March 27, 1965. It becomes the first of eleven top ten singles that Herman’s Hermits rack up over the next two years. They are the only act to match The Beatles who also score eleven US top ten hits in the exact same time period, from early 1965 to mid 1967.