The history of Australian band The Groop is divided into two distinct periods. The original line-up issued several novelty singles, while the second, more successful line-up boasted a strong R&B style.
The original version of The Groop formed in 1964 and included English-born guitarist Peter Bruce, who had been a member of The Dave Clark Five (albeit in their pre-fame skiffle days). The band became popular around Victoria and eventually signed a record deal with CBS.
The first record was a novelty version of Ol’ Hound Dog (December 1965) followed by Best In Africa and I’m Satisfied. All the releases made the Top 20 in Melbourne, and the band also recorded two albums before virtually disintegrating and re-grouping with a fresh line-up.
Recruiting Ronnie Charles on vocals, Don Mudie on guitar and Brian Cadd (then known as Brian Caine) on keyboards, The Groop moved in a more adventurous R&B direction. The new band released covers of Solomon Burke‘s Sorry and Bo Diddley‘s Who Do You Love?, but it was to be the new band’s third single, Woman You’re Breaking Me, which became an Australian Sixties classic.
The Groop took out first place in the 1967 Hoadley’s National Battle of the Sounds, winning return tickets to the UK on a Sitmar Lines cruise.
In the UK the band gigged regularly but made little headway.
CBS UK released two Groop singles in Britain during 1968 – Woman You’re Breaking Me and Lovin’ Tree, and the band toured Germany to some acclaim.
The band returned to Australia in October 1968 as a four-piece, issuing Such A Lovely Way in February, and You Gotta Live Love in June.
The Groop broke up in May 1969, and their last recorded work was never even credited to them – It is The Groop who provided the instrumental backing to the classic Russell Morris track, The Real Thing.
Brian Caine (Cadd)