Peter Asher (brother of English actress Jane Asher) and Gordon Waller met in 1959 when they were pupils at London’s famous Westminster School.
As a singing duo strumming acoustic guitars, they topped the UK chart first time out in 1964, courtesy of one Paul McCartney who was dating Peter’s sister, Jane, at the time.
When he presented them with an unreleased Lennon/McCartney song called World Without Love international success was assured.
To capitalise on their American success, Peter and Gordon played at New York’s World Fair in June 1964, while the McCartney-penned Nobody I Know became their second hit – #10 in the UK and #12 in America.
Their third single, I Don’t Want To See You Again, bombed in Britain but reached the Top 20 in the USA.
Their Just For You EP and their eponymous debut LP both became Top 20 hits.
Despite more Beatles songs they never made it quite that high again, but accumulated ten hits by 1967.
The tongue-in-cheek Lady Godiva returned them to the British Top 20 in October 1966, with the fact that it was banned as ‘indecent’ in Coventry – Lady Godiva’s hometown – no doubt helping the chart placing.
Many Peter and Gordon singles appealed more to the American market, which they exploited until parting company in 1968. Knight In Rusty Armour, for example, was a massive hit in America but failed to register in Britain.
While Gordon drifted into the unknown (he became a landscape gardener), Peter Asher used his showbiz know-how to become a respected manager and producer, orchestrating the rise of Linda Ronstadt and James Taylor.
Gordon Waller passed away in 2009.