Sunday, March 27, 2011
AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Crispian St. Peters
Song:The Pied Piper
Album:AM Gold: The '60s Generation
Crispian St. Peters had his biggest success with the 1966 top five hit The Pied Piper. A couple of his other songs charted but most folks will only remember that song. He sunk his own career with dumb comments about The Beatles and others. It seems he was egged on by his manager. Of course he may not have been that talented in the first place. He was born Robin Smith Apr. 5, 1939 Swanley, Kent, England. While he was a member of Beat Formula Three in 1963, he was spotted by EMI publicist David Nicolson and Nicolson became his manager. Nicolson gave him the stage name Crispian St. Peters and deducted five years from his age. He first recorded with Peter & The Wolves in 1964. Nicolson convinced St. Peters to go solo and signed him to Decca in 1965. His first two singles went nowhere. But then he had a top ten hit in England with his cover of the Ian & Sylvia classic You Were on My Mind. Nicolson wanted to break the US market but The We Five had already charted in the US with their cover of You Were On My Mind. He had signed a US deal with Jamie Records but needed another song. That was The Pied Piper. It reached #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #5 in England. The song was written by Steve Duboff and Artie Kornfeld who had recorded it as The Changing Times in 1965. Both guys have had long careers as producers. St. Peters seemed like an unassuming guy. But Nicolson got him to make some ridiculously arrogant statements to the British music press like he had written 80 songs of better quality than The Beatles and they were over the hill. He said he was better than Elvis and Tom Jones. He said later the comments were not serious but it turned fans against him anyway. Subsequent recording were unsuccessful and Decca dropped him in 1970. Most folks will only want The Pied Piper and you can get the original version on this Time/Life various artists comp. Beware of rerecorded versions of The Pied Piper. Crispian St. Peters recorded occasionally and toured the oldies circuit in England. He retired after suffering a stoke in 1995 and died June 8, 2010 at age 71. Here's Crispian St. Peters performing The Pied Piper on a New Musical Express show in London 1966.