A Bit Like You And Me Radio

July 08, 2013

Crispian St. Peters - The Pied Piper (1966)

Born Robin Peter Smith on April 5, 1939 in Kent, England, this singer and songwriter quit school at the age of fifteen to become an assistant cinema projectionist. Around England, he was a member of various bands including The Hard Travellers, The Country Gentlemen, Beat Formula Three, and Peter & The Wolves. Although his first live performance came through The Hard Travellers in 1956, it wasn’t until Peter & The Wolves in 1964 that he laid down his first recorded track. Soon after, Smith’s manager convinced him to go solo and got him signed with Decca in 1965. He also convinced him to change his stage name and year of birth. First going by Crispin Blacke, he ultimately settled on Crispian St. Peters and the phony birth year of 1944 to appeal to younger audiences. St. Peters’ first two singles with Decca were duds, but he found success in 1966 with the Sylvia Tyson-penned song “You Were on My Mind,” which was originally recorded by Ian & Sylvia when it was written in 1964. After the song reached number two in the UK and his fourth single, heard below, also became a hit, St. Peters indirectly ruined his own career. When asked about his skills as a songwriter, St. Peters gave a tongue-in-cheek answer claiming to be better than Dave Berry, Tom Jones, Elvis Presley, and The Beatles. Unfortunately for St. Peters, the joke didn’t translate well on paper and he received harsh criticisms from fans and music journalists alike. Although he would chart once more in 1966 with a cover of Phil Ochs’ “Changes,” St. Peters’ career waned and he became more remembered for his “outrageous claims” than his music. After being dropped from Decca in 1970, St. Peters carried his musical career onward by writing and arranging for other artists, while also releasing less successful music on smaller labels. He passed away on June 8, 2010 at the age of seventy-one.

This song was co-written and first recorded in 1965 by Steve Duboff and the promoter of 1969’s Woodstock Festival, Artie Kornfeld. Today’s featured artist recorded the song and released it in the summer of 1966, reaching number five in the UK, four in the US, and one in Canada. The popularity of the song in the United States brought attention to St. Peters’ earlier work, resulting in “You Were on My Mind” being re-released and reaching number thirty-six in 1967.

album art

Crispian St. Peters - The Pied Piper (1966)

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Lyrics:

You, with your masquerading
And you, always contemplating
What to do
In case heaven has found you
Can’t you see that it’s all around you?
So follow me

Hey, come on, babe
Follow me
I’m the Pied Piper
Follow me
I’m the Pied Piper
And I’ll show you where it’s at

Come on, babe
Can’t you see?
I’m the Pied Piper
Trust in me
I’m the Pied Piper
And I’ll show you where it’s at

Girl, don’t be scared to move
Hey babe, what are you tryin’ to prove?
It ain’t true
That your life has kicked you
It’s your mind
And that’s all that’s trickin’ you
So step in line

Hey, come on, babe
Follow me
I’m the Pied Piper
Follow me
I’m the Pied Piper
And I’ll show you where it’s at

Come on, babe
Can’t you see?
I’m the Pied Piper
Trust in me
I’m the Pied Piper
And I’ll show you where it’s at

Hey, come on, babe
Follow me
I’m the Pied Piper
Follow me
I’m the Pied Piper
And I’ll show you where it’s at

Come on, babe
Can’t you see?
I’m the Pied Piper
Trust in me
I’m the Pied Piper
And I’ll show you where it’s at

Come on, babe
Follow me
Come on, babe
Trust in me
Come on, babe
Can’t you see?
Come on, babe
Follow me
I’m the Pied Piper

2 comments:

  1. Always was a fine song. Wasn't aware of the reason for his wane in popularity & always figured it was just the way things went, so thanks for enlightening me.

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    Replies
    1. He experienced something akin to what The Beatles experienced after Lennon said they were bigger than Jesus. Written words carry no tone. Which is a shame considering what else he could have come up with. Who knows!

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