On the subject of vocal duos Peter and Gordon and Chad and Jeremy: have you ever gotten them confused or wondered who did which song? Both acts were British-born and popular around the same time; Peter Asher has referred to them as near-identical, each consisting of a "short, nerdy, bespectacled singer" doing the high part with a "taller, better-looking lead singer" who happened to be second-billed. Were C&J P&G's doppelgangers? Not quite, considering Chad and Jeremy had begun making records about six months earlier!

David Stuart Chadwick, nicknamed "Chad" by childhood schoolmates in Windermere, loved everything about music: writing, producing, arranging and performing. He mastered many instruments (piano, banjo, lute, flute, harmonica and all things stringed, particularly guitars of the single- and double-neck, six- or twelve-string variety). Michael Jeremy Thomas Clyde of Dorney had a more staightforward ambition: to be an actor. Timing dictated musical careers as the initial road taken; 19-year-old Jeremy met several-months-younger Chad while attending a London drama school in 1960. To Jeremy's amazement, Chad played "Apache" (The Shadows' chart-topper) all the way through...perfectly! Chad had spent a couple of months studying music at Sorbonne University in Paris, France. For a brief time they had their own band, The Jerks (self-deprecating humor an evolving trademark), giving it up when Jeremy joined Scotland's Dundee Repertory Theatre in pursuit of his thespian dream.

Reuniting in London in 1962, they began performing together at Tina's coffee house/folk club (both were fixated on breakthrough American folkies Peter, Paul and Mary). A local following developed over several months; musician-songwriter John Barry took notice and signed them to his Ember Record label in the summer of 1963. In Jeremy's absence, Chad had written "Yesterday's Gone" on a piano owned by musician Wendy Kidd, a young woman he fancied; apparently it was all that was needed for him to share songwriter's royalties with her. The midtempo lament of lost love, credited to Chad Stuart and Jeremy Clyde, hit the charts in November, bounced around a bit and slipped into the top 40 for a few weeks in December. A good start, the lads figured...but it turned out to be their only single to make Britain's best seller charts...ever!

The follow-up, "Like I Love You Today" (penned by Chad with Russell Alquist, who's probably better-known for his marriage to actress Juliet Mills than any songwriting expertise), stiffed upon its early-'64 release (meanwhile, Peter and Gordon scored a record contract with Britain's Columbia and America's Capitol labels, debuting with a song penned by one or two members of a certain "fab" four). With C&J's sophomore failure, Barry opted out of the contract and the production of their debut album fell to Chicago-born Shel Talmy (on the cusp of helming epic Brit hits by The Kinks and The Who). The collaboration was a good one; Jeremy sang lead, but mostly the two harmonized, splendidly. Chad was responsible for the guitar breaks and did all the musical arrangements. The album Chad and Jeremy Sing For You hit U.K. record stores with a thud. Not to worry; there were no less than four hits on the LP. Just not in England, where they could hardly hail a cab after January 1964.

The aforementioned "fab" Liverpool lads (known under many names, most commonly The Beatles) broke U.S. barriers in the early weeks of '64; fellow British acts came flooding in over the weeks and months ahead. One moment prospects were bleak for Stuart and Clyde; the next, they had a fresh outlet on the opposite side of the Atlantic Ocean, starting again a half-year later with a tiny fledgling label, World Artists. "Yesterday's Gone" began its stateside climb, nearly reaching the top 20 in June (while P&G topped the chart with "A World Without Love"), proving there was room for lookalike music acts to coexist on the popularity polls! Chad was over the moon, having married the lovely Jill Gibson on the first day of the month with crony Jeremy his best man.

Skipping the second U.K. disc, World Artists went straight to "A Summer Song" ('...wish you didn't have to, no, no, no...'), penned by Stuart with British tunesmiths Clive Metcalfe and Keith Noble, one of the more effective ballads (arrangement-wise and vocal-wise) of the entire '60s Brit bombardment. So why was it such a non-event in the isles? A mystery for the ages. In America, the song entered the top ten in October '64. Though it was the biggest hit they would ever have, there were still plenty of solid-selling singles to come. The fan magazines revealed a pair of amusing, appealing jokesters. Condensing their moniker to Chad and Jeremy, the next 45, "Willow Weep For Me," an early-'30s composition by Tin Pan Alley's Ann ("Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?") Ronell, returned them to the top 20. Another chestnut, Rodgers and Hammerstein's "If I Loved You," went top 30 in the spring of '65.

Acting opportunities arose. They appeared in a memorable January '65 episode of top-rated U.S. sitcom The Dick Van Dyke Show titled The Redcoats Are Coming (as Ernie and Freddie, never quite designating - as one of the episode's gags - who played who). C&J demonstrated their best Hard Day's Night-inspired Beatles imitations as Rob and Laura Petrie proceeded to "hide them out" at their suburban home; the episode's screaming fangirls gave a reasonable depiction (a small-fraction microcosm) of how the "Beatlemania" era really was. Exactly one week later the guys served a similar function on The Patty Duke Show (names this time: Patrick and Nigel) and sang "A Summer Song" to boot. Parents watching that night must have approved, narrowing the generation gap a wee bit. Jill began writing a column for 16 Magazine about popular singers in general and Chad and Jeremy specifically. One of the top questions was "Are they going to break up?" to which she, and they, insisted they would not! As for the rivalry with Peter and Gordon, it didn't exist. They were all good friends...for real!

But with success came a major disappointment: lack of funds. Big hits brought minimal royalty payments (as Jeremy said in an interview years later, "We were fleeced!" and Chad were so many others, they accurately claimed). Yet the battle for fair compensation didn't get in the way of the duo relishing celebrity status in their newfound Yankee stomping grounds. Chad and Jill's wedded bliss with fan-mag star McGregor (their border collie) juxtaposed Jeremy's enjoyment of the women pursuing him (he seldom stayed with one for more than a week or so). The duo employed notorious businessman/middle-man Allen Klein, who negotiated a buyout from World Artists and got them signed to Columbia Records. Their first single for the label, "Before and After" (composed by Van McCoy, at that time a staff producer and songwriter for Columbia), reached the top 20 in June '65. Meanwhile, World Artists issued a few more singles from the dozen-or-so recordings licensed from Ember (not unlike what Vee-Jay Records had done with the Beatles the previous year). They had even covered a Lennon-McCartney song, "From a Window," which appeared on a World Artists single that summer. Another McCoy song, "I Don't Want to Lose You Baby" ("I Don't Wanna Lose You Baby" on some pressings), landed in the top 40 in August.

Autumn '65 was eventful: several paparazzi photos of Jill were circulated in the fan magazines and suddenly she had a modeling career in New York. Chad and Jeremy acquired another acting assignment in a January '66 episode of western series Laredo as traveling actors Dudley and Newton. They were frustrated with the result (it was based on the 1948 Bob Hope comedy Paleface), yet NBC execs were pleased and greenlit a series pilot. They filmed it, then breathed a sigh of relief when it was rejected. But a career in TV meant stooping to unimaginable lows; for example, Jeremy appeared as a contestant (correction: "celebrity bachelor") on an episode of The Dating Game. From there he stepped up to a small part in the U.K. film The Great St. Trinian's Train Robbery.

Chad Stuart, Jill Stuart, Jeremy Clyde

Columbia began putting staff producers and arrangers in charge of the sessions. Chad was not pleased but was overruled. Then there were the American fans who kept worrying they might split (Chad liked the U.S. lifestyle, Jeremy preferred his jolly ol' homeland), the rumor fueled when Jeremy joined the cast of the play Passion Flower Hotel in London's West End. The appearance in early 1966 of a Columbia single by Chad and Jill Stuart ("The Cruel War," a Peter, Paul and Mary hit from '63) seemed to confirm the breakup scenario. Were they finished? Chad contracted mononucleosis and needed a few months to recuperate, followed by some quality time with his wife. When Jeremy returned they bought homes in Los Angeles, each just yards from the other. Adjustments were made to the stage act as they incorporated more "witty repartee" (as Clyde called it) between songs. Two episodes of Batman (cliffhanger-style, on consecutive nights) featured the duo playing themselves for a change; The Cat's Meow and The Bat's Kow Tow benefited from the inclusion of Catwoman Julie Newmar and performances by C&J of their singles "Teenage Failure" ('...a sleuth, forsooth!') and recent top 30 hit "Distant Shores." The downside: 1966 ended with "You Are She." Good song. Final chart entry.

Chad had one notable role in Walt Disney's The Jungle Book as the voice of a cartoon vulture. Jeremy filmed episodes of My Three Sons and The Felony Squad in '67 and '68. Together they supplied a song, "Paxton Quigley's Had the Course," for the late-'68 feature film Three in the Attic starring Christopher (Wild in the Streets) Jones. Their music took a soft-psychedelic approach as surf-and-drag specialist Gary Usher produced the albums Of Cabbages and Kings and The Ark, well-reviewed projects that sold poorly...and climaxed with their exit from Columbia Records. As the decade ended, the pair finally parted ways. Chad consumed himself with writing film scores and arranging music for many artists. Jeremy's acting career included over one hundred movies and TV episodes in his native England over a 50-year span. Both were appreciative of the success they had in America (Chad: "The only country that has given me recognition for my abilities").

Many years passed. They did a few concerts together in the 1980s. In the early 2000s, a different mindset led to a series of tours that went on for several years. Eventually, the passings of Gordon Waller and Chad Stuart begged another question: could it be the least bit likely Peter Asher and Jeremy Clyde might tour together more than a half-century after their heyday, performing the memorable hits of both Peter and Gordon and Chad and Jeremy and having loads of fun? 100 percent likely, as it turned out!

- Michael Jack Kirby



A Summer Song Willow Weep For Me If I Loved You I Don't Want to Lose You Baby Teenage Failure