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24 September 2014
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Pinkerton's Assorted Colours
Pinkerton's Assorted Colours

Pop into the past

Pete Chambers
Local music expert Pete Chambers continues his look at pop music from the past with a spotlight on Pinkerton's Assorted Colours. Remember, Pete goes into more detail, and you can hear the music, every other Friday on the Bob Brolly Show.


Fascinting Facts On Pinkerton's Colours

Stuart Coleman, Pinkerton’s one time bassist, went on to become a Radio One DJ and later a producer for the likes of Shakin’ Stevens, Cliff Richard and Billy Fury. He now works in Nashville.

When Mirror, Mirror was released their publicity conscious manager the madcap Reg Calvert has multi coloured dyes secreted in the Trafalgar square fountains!

Mirror, Mirror was produced by Coventry Kid Tony Clarke. Tony went on to produce The Moody Blues and the Four Tops, among others.

Mirror Mirror and Magic Rocking Horse appeared on the compilation album Pop Inside the Sixties, which also featured Coventry act The Orchids and, amongst others, Olivia Newton-John!

In a new feature on the Bob Brolly afternoon show on BBC Coventry and Warwickshire, local music expert Pete Chambers takes a look back at the best in pop music from the past.

Every other Friday from 3pm, Pete will be on air to talk about the bands, singers and songs that made Britain swing during the 50s, 60s and 70s. You can also take a trip down memory lane with the songs themselves.

This week, Pete takes a look back at Rugby favourites Pinkerton's Assorted Colours. What a name! What a band!

Pinkerton's Assorted Colours, by Pete Chambers

Formed in Rugby as The Liberators, they became Pinkertons Assorted Colours in 1965, and scored a top ten hit with their first release Mirror, Mirror.

They wore multi-coloured suits to fit their epithet and the use of an amplified auto-harp gave them a distinct ‘clanging’ sound, and became a sure-fire winner in the gimmick department.

They also have the distinction of being the only group in history to immortalise a Rugby street with the song Dukes Jetty (in reality just an insignificant throughway between Sheep St and High Street in the town centre).

They followed Mirror, Mirror with Don’t Stop Loving Me Baby, though it would only chart at number 50. Their subsequent release however the glorious freakbeat classic Magic Rocking Horse Ride amazingly failed to chart at all.

The story doesn’t end there though. In 1969 having changed their name to The Flying Machine they had the surprise of their lives when their single Smile A Little Smile For Me made it’s way to number five in the American charts.

Though sadly they were never to capitalise on its success. The band would eventually resurface some years later as Pinkertons Colours again, playing country music, something they still do to this day.

  • Tony Newman will join Bob and Pete for a chat during the show on Friday, 4 March.
  • You can read Pete Chambers' Backbeat music nostalgia column in the Coventry Evening Telegraph every Tuesday.
last updated: 08/03/05
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