Lord Rockingham's XI was a group of British session musicians, led by Harry Robinson (1932–1996), who had a No. 1 hit on the UK Singles Chart in 1958 with "Hoots Mon".
The group was created to perform as the resident band on the pop TV programme Oh Boy!, which was produced by Jack Good, and shown nationally on Britain's ITV network during 1958/59. They were fronted by Harry Robinson and also included jazz baritone saxophonist (later writer/broadcaster) Benny Green, and organist Cherry Wainer. Other members were Wainer's husband Don Storer (drums), Reg Weller (percussion), Red Price (tenor sax), Rex Morris (tenor sax), Cyril Reubens (baritone sax), Ronnie Black (double bass), Bernie Taylor (guitar), Eric Ford (guitar). Joining the group later were Kenny Packwood (guitar) and Ian Fraser (piano).
In addition to backing singers such as Marty Wilde and Cuddly Dudley, they recorded several novelty rock instrumentals for Decca Records, the first being "Fried Onions", which failed to chart in the UK but did slip into the US Billboard charts for a week at No. 96. The second single, Robinson's "Hoots Mon", a rocked-up version of the traditional Scottish song "A Hundred Pipers", featuring cod Scotticisms like "Hoots mon, there's a moose loose aboot this hoose!", rose up the charts supported by weekly TV exposure, and stayed at number one for three weeks. They played "Long John" among others.
Following a legal case brought by descendants of the real Lord Rockingham, which was settled out of court, the group toured and made several less successful follow-ups, including "Wee Tom" (#16, 1959). They disbanded with the end of the TV show in 1959, although the name was revived for a couple of albums in the 1960s. Harry Robinson's career in TV and music continued, one notable credit being for his string arrangement on Nick Drake's track "River Man".
The group is among one of the first English bands to exhibit a sounds similar to what would later become known as ska music, utilizing a number of features of the genre including an upbeat tempo, main melody provided by brass instruments and upstrokes on the Electric guitar, (similar to bands who came about two decades later such as The Specials, The English Beat and Bad Manners). This can be heard in songs such as “Hoots Mon” and “Lord Rockingham Meets the Monster,“ both of which were released in the 1950s.
"Fried Onions" was used in a television advertisement for Options indulgence chocolate drink, first shown on UK TV in December 2011.
Cherry Wainer died in Las Vegas, Nevada on November 14, 2014, at the age of 79.
1 –Lord Rockingham's XI The Squelch 1:49
2 –Lord Rockingham's XI Fried Onions 1:45
3 –Lord Rockingham's XI Hoots Mon 2:14
4 –Lord Rockingham's XI Blue Train 1:52
5 –Lord Rockingham's XI Wee Tom 2:14
6 –Lord Rockingham's XI Lady Rockingham, I Presume? 2:09
7 –Lord Rockingham's XI Ra-Ra Rockingham 1:26
8 –Lord Rockingham's XI Farewell To Rockingham 2:27
9 –Jack Good Presents Lord Rockingham's XI From Oh Boy!* What The Butler Saw 2:23
10 –Jack Good Presents Lord Rockingham's XI From Oh Boy!* Lord Rockingham's Lament 2:43
11 –Jack Good Presents Lord Rockingham's XI From Oh Boy!* Fried Onions 1:58
12 –Jack Good Presents Lord Rockingham's XI From Oh Boy!* Blue Train 1:55
13 –Jack Good Presents Lord Rockingham's XI From Oh Boy!* Lord Rockingham Meets The Monster 2:03
14 –Lord Rockingham's XI Newcastle Twist 1:52
15 –Lord Rockingham's XI Rockingham Twist 1:59
16 –Red Price & His Rockin' Rhythm Rocky Mountain Gal 2:22
17 –Red Price & His Rockin' Rhythm Rock O'The North 2:32
18 –Harry Robinson's XV Heavy Date 2:05
19 –Harry Robinson's XV Sentimental Journey 2:36
20 –Jack Good's Fat Noise The Fat Noise 2:05
21 –Jack Good's Fat Noise The Fat Washerwoman 2:09
22 –Jackie Dennis With Harry Robinson La Dee Dah 1:57
23 –Jackie Dennis With Harry Robinson You're The Greatest 1:56
24 –Jackie Dennis With Harry Robinson My Dream 2:10
25 –Jackie Dennis With Harry Robinson Miss Valerie 2:14
26 –Jackie Dennis With Harry Robinson The Purple People Eater 2:17
27 –Jackie Dennis With Harry Robinson You-oo 2:17
28 –Jackie Dennis With Harry Robinson Lucky Ladybug 1:52
29 –Jackie Dennis With Harry Robinson Gingerbread 1:52
Jack Good was the producer of the tv show "Oh Boy!" which included the band Lord Rockingham's XI. Harry Robinson was the musical leader of the band. Jackie Dennis was a young Scot who got his TV debut through the show.
Ty to Original Sharer
"I hope for nothing, I fear nothing, I am free"