|Labels||Decca (US Press Records), United Artists (US United Artists), (US World Pacific Records) Capitol (US Capitol Records)|
|Rod Allen (deceased)
Barry Pritchard (deceased)
The Fortunes are an English harmony beat group. Formed in Birmingham, The Fortunes first came to prominence and international acclaim in 1965, when "You've Got Your Troubles" broke into the US and UK Top 10s. Afterwards they did a succession of hits including "Here It Comes Again" and "Here Comes That Rainy Day Feeling Again"; continuing into the 1970s with more globally successful releases such as "Storm in a Teacup" and "Freedom Come, Freedom Go".
Originally formed as a vocal trio backed by an instrumental group known as The Cliftones, the aggregation placed an instrumental track on a compilation album, Brumbeat, issued by the local Dial record label. "Cygnet Twitch" (similar to "Saturday Nite at the Duck-Pond" by The Cougars, was a working of Tchaikovsky's "Swan Lake") and they subsequently signed to British Decca in 1963. Their first single "Summertime, Summertime" was credited to the Fortunes and the Cliftones. however the vocalists picked up guitars, jettisoned the Cliftones, and added Andy Brown on drums after Mike Redmond drummer with popular local band the Sunrays declined their offer, and Dave Carr on keyboards. The follow-up disc co-written by the singer-songwriter and future Ivy League member Perry Ford, "Caroline", was used as the signature tune for the pirate radio station, Radio Caroline.
The group's next two singles, Gordon Mills' co-composition "I Like The Look Of You" and a revival of The Four Esquires/Johnnie Ray's "Look Homeward Angel" - like the initial brace of releases overseen by the American record producer Shel Talmy - also failed to chart. Their fifth release, the Roger Greenaway-Roger Cook number, "You've Got Your Troubles" (1965) reached #2 in the UK Singles Chart and was a worldwide hit, including reaching #1 in Canada and the American Top 10. Their next two singles "Here It Comes Again" and "This Golden Ring" sold well, but each less than the previous release. Glen Dale left the band in the summer of 1966 seeking a solo career, and was replaced by the Scottish guitarist, Shel McCrae. Three more singles ("You Gave Me Somebody To Love", "Is It Really Worth Your While?" and "Our Love Has Gone") all failed to chart.
At this point in 1967 The Fortunes left Decca for United Artists. They reunited with Talmy for their next release, "The Idol", a song they had written themselves, and although it did get some airplay in the UK, it did not become a hit. Minor controversy arose when they admitted they did not play on their classic hits.
In 1968 they tried covering The Move's hit "Fire Brigade" for the US market, but with little airplay or sales. In 1970, they recorded an album for the US World Pacific record label, and then signed with Capitol in both the UK and US in 1971.
They had a steady succession of singles, some of which were hits outside of the UK and US, culminating in 1972 with the release of "Storm in a Teacup". During this period, they had another worldwide hit "Here Comes That Rainy Day Feeling" (1971). The Fortunes were also the voices for the American Coca-Cola advertisements. Their first recording in 1967 was a version of the theme tune, "Things Go Better With Coke", but they are most remembered for introducing the 1969 new slogan recording, used as the main theme for Coca-Cola on both radio and television commercials; "It's The Real Thing".
Founding member, and lead vocalist, Allen continued fronting an ever changing version of The Fortunes from 1963 up to his death.
In 1983 and 1984 respectively, Michael Smitham and Paul Hooper joined Barry Pritchard and Rod Allen in The Fortunes. This line up of The Fortunes were awarded a gold disc in 1987, for over 100,000 sales of their All The Hits and More album.
In March 1995 vocalist/keyboard/guitar player Bob Jackson was added to The Fortunes' ranks, after founder member Barry Pritchard left through illness. Jackson was a former member of the group Badfinger, to whom he pays homage onstage, with a version of the Badfinger penned song "Without You". Jackson left for a year to follow other obligations and Geoff Turton, who was originally a member of the Birmingham based band, The Rockin' Berries, stood in Jackson's place. Turton also had a certain amount of success under the nom de plume Jefferson both at home and in the US.
On 10 January 2008, the last remaining member of the original group, Rod Allen, died after suffering for two months from liver cancer. The remaining members of the band said they would continue touring and recruited The Dakotas lead singer Eddie Mooney. During 2008, the band have regrouped, recording a new album Play On and appeared in Las Vegas, Netherlands and Belgium as well as the UK. They successfully toured Canada, the Netherlands and Sweden, in addition to the UK during 2009.
The keyboard player in the original line-up, David Carr, has for many years now lived and worked in Hollywood, California, doing session work, frequently working with producer Kim Fowley (for example Carr played keyboards on the last album by Fowley's The Runaways, entitled Young and Fast).