Lord Rockingham’s XI was a group of British session musicians, led by Harry Robinson, who had a No. 1 hit on the UK Singles Chart in 1958 with “Hoots Mon”.
The group was put together to play as the resident band on the pop TV programme Oh Boy!, which was produced by Jack Good, and shown nationally on ITV in the UK in 1958/59. They were fronted by Harry Robinson and also included jazz baritone saxophonist and later writer Benny Green, and organist Cherry Wainer.
In addition to backing singers such as Marty Wilde and Cuddly Dudley, they recorded several novelty rock instrumentals for Decca Records, the first being “Fried Onions”, which failed to chart in the UK but did slip into the US Billboard charts for a week at No. 96. The second single, Robinson’s “Hoots Mon”, a rocked-up version of the traditional Scottish song “A Hundred Pipers”, featuring Scotticisms like “Hoots mon, there’s a moose loose aboot this hoose!”, rose up the charts supported by weekly TV exposure, and stayed at number one for three weeks. They played “Long John” amongst others.
Following a legal case brought by descendants of the real Lord Rockingham, which was settled out of court, the group toured and made several less successful follow-ups, including “Wee Tom” (#16, 1959). They disbanded with the end of the TV show in 1959. “Fried Onions” was used in a television advertisement for Options indulgence chocolate drink, first shown on UK TV in December 2011. [wiki]
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