One of the finest and most original Australian bands of the Sixties, The Loved Ones began when a group of Melbourne Trad Jazz players decided to switch to Rhythm & Blues.
Changing their name from The Red Onion Jazz band in October 1965, the band soon found themselves with a recording contract.
Their first two releases were both original compositions – The Loved One (which became a hit reaching #15 on the charts and was covered successfully many years later by Australian stadium rockers, INXS), and its follow-up Ever Lovin’ Man which peaked locally at #2.
At this point, Ian Clyne left the group to be replaced by guitarist Treya Richards. The next release was a mediocre EP containing a version of Fats Domino‘s Blueberry Hill.
Their first hit of 1967 eventually came with Sad Dark Eyes, which was followed by A Love Like Ours, which was released at the same time as the band embarked on a national tour with The Animals and The Hollies.
The Loved Ones quickly developed into one of the most exciting live bands in the country, primarily due to the powerful, charismatic and eccentric performances of singer Gerry Humphrys.
His unrestrained vocal performance foreshadowed the range and style of Led Zeppelin‘s Robert Plant and other late 1960s heavy rock vocalists – but nobody else sang like this in 1966 in Australia.
August 1967 saw the release of Love Song which didn’t fare well, and it seemed the wind may be gone from the band’s sails. In October of that year, the band played their final gig at the Opus discotheque in Melbourne.
The band reformed twice. Once in 1968 for Melbourne radio station 3XY, and again in 1987. The latter reformation provided a new live album but added nothing new to the band’s legacy.
Gerry Humphrys returned to his native England, where he spent his latter working days as a nurse in a London psychiatric hospital.
Danny De Lacy