Chad & Jeremy

Chad & JeremyFrom: London, England

Chad & Jeremy were one of the many acts to emerge during the British Invasion. The duo is credited with creating the template for lush, sensitive folk-pop that would be embraced by the likes of Nick Drake and Belle & Sebastian. Chad Stuart and Jeremy Clyde met while both attended London’s Central School of Speech and Drama. Once the two became friends, Stuart taught Clyde how to play guitar. They would go onto form a folk duo as well as a rock band, the Jerks. Clyde graduated a year ahead of the rest of the band, and relocated to Scotland, performing with the Dundee Repertory Theatre.

When the Jerks broke up, Stuart dropped out of school. He studied arranging and wrote songs with composer Russell Franks. Clyde returned to London, resuming his music career as a result of an actors’ strike. He reunited with Stuart and the two landed a spot at the local coffeehouse, Tina’s. They quickly earned a following, and were signed to the small independent label Ember Records by John Berry in mid-1963. Later that year, Chad & Jeremy released their debut single, “Yesterday’s Gone,” entering the U.K. Top 40. “Yesterday’s Gone” would gone on to be the duo’s only British hit of any credibility, which is rather surprising.

In early 1964, Chad & Jeremy released their followup single, “Like I Love You Today.” At this point, the two were headlining the West End landmark Hatchett’s. Even with all of the exposure, the single did poorly, at which point Berry bought out his Ember contract and left the planned LP to Shel Talmy. The duo released the album Chad & Jeremy Sing For You, and soon after, the Daily Express published a photo of a young Clyde in royal garb at the 1952 coronation of Queen Elizabeth.

The publicity that Chad & Jeremy received proved to be near-fatal in terms of their career. The two were labeled as “upper-crust nancy-boys” who pretended to have a career in music. Although their album was a failure at home, Chad & Jeremy’s American label, World Artists, landed a Top 20 hit with “Yesterday’s Gone.” In August of 1964, the duo had a Billboard Top Five hit in “A Summer Song.” Once “Willow Weep For Me” also charted in the U.S., the two moved to California and signed with manager Allen Klein. Klein negotiated a buyout of Chad & Jeremy’s World Artists contracted, and then landed them a deal with Columbia.

Chad & Jeremy would make their American television debut in 1964 on The Hollywood Palace. They impressed so much that William Morris agent John Hartman offered his representation. The duo landed appearances on The Dick Van Dyke Show and The Patty Duke Show. Chad & Jeremy became a television fixture for many years. The pace that the two were working at was relentless, and in the spring of 1965, Stuart got mononucleosis. Clyde accepted a nine month commitment to play in the London musical Passion Flower Hotel. At this time, the duo quickly recorded an album, I Don’t Want To Lose You Baby. This nine month period allowed Stuart time to recuperate.

Rumors began to spread that Chad & Jeremy were breaking up. The two refuted these claims, but it did little to help their cause when Clyde missed a performance scheduled in Chicago in which Stuart went out alone with a cardboard cutout of Clyde. Stuart and his wife Jill released an album called The Cruel War, while Clyde released a solo single, “I Love My Love,” produced by John Barry. Neither Stuart’s album, nor Clyde’s single attracted much attention, and at the end of the year, the two reunited. They recorded a new album, Distant Shores, and filmed a proposed pilot for NBC. The film was rejected when the network decided to go with another show of the same theme by the Monkees. The two then ended up as guests on two episodes of the Batman series.

For close to a year, Chad & Jeremy worked in the studio with producer Gary Usher, creating 1967’s Of Cabbages And Kings. Clyde dubbed the album “a soundtrack without a film.” The album alienated the core fan base of Chad & Jeremy, and as a result, sales were horrendous. The followup single, “Painted Dayglow Smile,” was also produced by Usher, and was followed by “Sister Marie” in early 1968. Chad & Jeremy were experiencing increased tension between them, largely as a result of Clyde’s acting career. After completing the Ark, the project duo split up. The Ark was so expensive to produce that Columbia terminated Usher’s contract. Although more of a Stuart solo effort, the soundtrack to the film Three in the Attic was released in 1969 under the name Chad & Jeremy.

Clyde left music and turned to acting full time. He appeared alongside ex-Manfred Mann vocalist Paul Jones in the stage production Conduct Unbecoming. Stuart went and signed on as music director for The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, followed by a stint as a staff producer with A&M Records. Chad & Jeremy reunited in 1977 where they recorded a number of unreleased demos. Five years later, they signed to RCA’s Rocshire subsidiary to release the album Chad Stuart & Jeremy Clyde. Although the album did nothing, the two continued to work together.

Artist information sources include: An article by Jason Ankeny at Allmusic.com

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Tracks played on Psychedelicized…

From the 1964 single “A Summer Song”

  • A Summer Song

From the 1968 album The Ark
Ark, The

  • Painted Dayglow Smile
  • Paxton Quigley’s Had The Course
  • Pipe Dream
  • Pipe Dream [Instrumental]
  • Sunstroke
  • The Ark

Promos

  • ‘Of Cabbages & Kings’ LP Promo