Sounds Incorporated formed in early 1961 in Dartford, Kent, and gained a reputation in London for their saxophone-led instrumental sound. In August 1961, Sounds Incorporated backed Gene Vincent on his British tour and on recordings in London. This led to further opportunities to back other visiting American artists, including Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, Brenda Lee and Sam Cooke.
Their only record with Parlophone, Mogambo, failed to achieve significant sales and the band moved to Decca where they released a trio of singles, the last of which was recorded with producer Joe Meek.
The band’s first two singles on their new label Columbia – The Spartans and Spanish Harlem – made the UK Singles Chart in 1964 – the only successes the band enjoyed in their home country.
That same year they became Cilla Black‘s backing band and released their first (self-titled) album. The group’s third Columbia single, a version of the William Tell Overture, turned out to be a success in Australia, where it reached #2.
The group toured the world as the opening act for The Beatles, including the August 1965 concert at New York City’s Shea Stadium. They recorded a second album – also self-titled – in 1966, this time on EMI’s fledgling Studio 2 label.
By 1967 the band’s name had been truncated to Sounds Inc and Alan “Boots” Holmes, “Major” Griff West and Barrie Cameron played horns on Good Morning Good Morning for The Beatles Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band LP.
Drummer Tony Newman left to work as a session musician and Cameron’s departure for a career in A&R left a gap, although the group soldiered on, moving to and mainly playing in Australia for their final years together. Their act became more middle-of-the-road, exemplified in their final LP, which was released in many territories but not the UK, containing more vocals than instrumentals.
Sounds Inc finally broke up in 1971. Vocalist Trevor White remained in Australia, appearing as Jesus in the local production of Jesus Christ Superstar and enjoying a brief career down-under as a solo pop star.
Alan “Boots” Holmes
“Major” Griff West (David Glyde)
John St. John (John Gillard)
Wes Hunter (Richard Thomas)
Vocals, keyboard, drums