Manchester beat band The Toggery Five formed in 1963, and first rehearsed at the Thatched House pub in Stockport.
The group’s unusual name came from a clothes shop, The Toggery, owned by their manager Mike Cohen. He was going out with Coronation Street‘s Lucille Hewitt (actress Jenny Moss, who cut her own single Hobbies with Joe Meek) at the time and she came up with the name.
The band appeared on Rediffusion’s Ready Steady Win TV talent show in 1964, coming second in the final to Harrow’s Bo Street Runners, who won a deal with Decca Records. The runners-up prize for The Toggery Five was a Commer van.
Within a week of the Ready Steady Win final, their first single, I’m Gonna Jump, was released.
In February 1965 came a second, I’d Much Rather Be With The Boys. Written by Keith Richard and Rolling Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham, it was a cracking song, given a suitably snotty vocal from The Toggery Five’s Paul Young. The B-side was Frank Renshaw’s own It’s So Easy, a fine moody number with strong harmonies.
The group had planned to release the Clint Ballard song I’m Alive as their third single in 1965. They recorded it with The Hollies‘ producer Ron Richards at Abbey Road – which is presumably how the better-known group ended up cutting it soon after.
They also shared management – no wonder they suspected foul play and felt they’d been denied a #1 hit.
The band then faced several line-up changes and by 1966, with Renshaw gone but Paul Young still on vocals, they also included the nucleus of Jethro Tull in guitarist Mick Abrahams and drummer Clive Bunker.
A recording of Graham Gouldman’s Going Away stayed unreleased and they split for good at the end of 1966.
Young died of a heart attack on 15 July 2000. He was just 53.