Lincolnshire band The Casuals formed in 1961. They were the outright winners of Opportunity Knocks for three consecutive weeks in 1965 and were immediately signed to Fontana.
A single appeared in November 1965 (If You Walk Out) but was unsuccessful.
By mid-1966, the band had relocated to Milan (Italy), adding bassist Alan ‘Plug’ Taylor to their line-up. There, they scored a recording contract with the Italian wing of CBS.
They recorded mostly Italian covers of British hit singles such as Il Sole Non Tramonterà (The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore) and Il Grigio Mr James (Semi-Detached Suburban Mr James).
Returning to England in late 1967, producer and manager David Pardo secured an initial one single deal with Decca which produced the single Adios Amor (Goodbye My Love) – maintaining the Italian connection.
They achieved their one major hit, Jesamine, in 1968. Ironically, it was held off the #1 spot by Those Were The Days sung by another Opportunity Knocks winner, Mary Hopkin.
Unfortunately, their sole album Hour World was released too late to cash in on the success of their hit despite containing a fine collection of songs including their cover of The Association’s Never My Love.
Following various changes to the line-up, the band eventually split in the mid-1970s.
John Tebb passed away in June 2018, aged 72.
Alan ‘Plug’ Taylor
Organ, piano, vocals
Guitar, trumpet, vocals