Formed in Manchester during the early 60s, The Hollies original members consisted of lead vocalist Allan Clarke, Graham Nash as guitarist and vocalist, Vic Steele on guitar, Eric Haydock on bass guitar and Don Rathbone on drums. Steele left the band in February 1963 and was replaced by Tony Hicks. Don Rathbone also left and was replaced by Bobby Elliott. Bernie Calvert took over Haydock’s role in 1966.
The Hollies first US album was released in 1964, a period dubbed as The British Invasion when many British Bands were making waves in the US. Under the EMI label, the band made quite a considerable impact in the UK as well as the US with hit albums and singles like “Ain’t That Just Like Me”.
It was success year after year for The Hollies until Graham Nash’s departure 1968. His reason being,
feeling something of a prisoner of his early pop success. Like John Lennon and George Harrison, he too disliked the screaming of fans drowning out the songs in concerts. He felt shackled as a songwriter within The Hollies “pop group identity” too, when he wanted to write more personalised songs of a reflective nature not necessarily utilising vocal harmonies. Nash also clashed with producer Ron Richards over material, and disagreed with the group’s decision to make their next album composed entirely of Bob Dylan songs.
Nash told Disc magazine, “I can’t take touring any more. I just want to sit at home and write songs. I don’t really care what the rest of the group think.”
On par with The Rolling Stones and The Searchers, The Hollies are one of the few British pop groups of the early 1960s that have never officially broken up and that continue to record and perform.
The Hollies were inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2010.