April 8th, 2019 8:33pm – Posted By: Mark Cohen
I have fond memories of many 1970’s one hit wonders. My favorites include Love Grows Where My Rosemary Goes by Edison Lighthouse, My Baby Loves Lovin’ by White Plains, Beach Baby by First Class, United We Stand by the Brotherhood of Man, and Gimme Dat Ding by the Pipkins.
But what you probably didn’t know is that the lead singer for each of those groups was the same man – Tony Burrows.
Born in Great Britain in 1942, Burrows started his musical career as a member of the Kestrels. That group included Roger Greenaway and Roger Cook, who wrote Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress for the Hollies.
Burrows later joined the Ivy League, which became The Flower Pot Men, which included two founding members of Deep Purple. The Flower Pot Men reached # 4 on the U.K. charts in 1967 with Let’s Go to San Francisco.
Burrows had his biggest hit in January of 1970 as the lead singer of Edison Lighthouse. Love Grows Where My Rosemary Grows was a fast paced feel-good tune that hit # 1 on the U.K. charts and # 5 in the U.S. Burrows did not rest on that success. He got back with The Flower Pot Men, they renamed the band White Plains, and had a hit with My Baby Loves Lovin’ in March of 1970, when it reached # 13 on the U.S. charts.
That was a busy year for Burrows. He sang lead on United We Stand for the Brotherhood of Man, which peaked at # 13 on the U.S. charts in the Spring of 1970.
In April of 1970, Burrows and Greenaway formed the Pipkins. Burrows sang lead on Gimme Dat Ding, which reached # 9 on the U.S. Charts. (One of the songwriters was Albert Hammond, who later had a hit with It Never Rains in Southern California).
But Burrows was not done. In 1974, he sang lead on Beach Baby for the First Class, which reached # 4 in the U.S. Beach Baby was another feel-good tune that recalled the lost innocence of the era before Vietnam and Watergate.
Beach Baby was Burrow’s last big hit, but he continued a successful career that included singing backups with musicians such as Tom Jones, Elton John, and Rod Stewart. He sang background vocals on Elton John’s Tiny Dancer.
Tony Burrows remains the only vocalist to hit the U.S. Top 40 as the lead singer for five different groups.