Friday, 29 April 2016
Rockin' Robin/Easy Money/Can't You Hear Me Callin'/Baby What's Wrong
Single on Go!! label by Melbourne band originally known as The AMP Men after the insurance company where three members worked. The Henchmen were signed to Go!! as part of their prize for winning the 3UZ Sound Spectacular, a precursor of the Battle of the Sounds.
Formed out of the ruins of two groups, the Ampmen and the Pacifics, the Henchmen were a sextet from Melbourne, Australia consisting of Rick Diamond (vocals), Duncan MacKellar (lead guitar), Doug Osborne (rhythm guitar), Del Smeeton (bass), David Mann (keyboards), and Mal "Frog" Payne (drums). They entered a battle of the bands contest and won first prize, a recording contract with the Go!! label. It was the group's second single, a cover of Bobby Day's "Rockin' Robin" issued in April 1965, that put them on the map in Australia, reaching number five in Melbourne and charting in Sydney as well. Their follow-up, "Can't You Hear Me Callin'," didn't do nearly as well. The group's lineup began changing with the departure of Osborne in late 1965, but the group remained cohesive enough to land a contract with the HMV label, which yielded the powerful rocker "Keep On Going Back." Their swan song came in 1968, soon after the release of what proved to be their final single, for Columbia.