Winchester Cathedral (The New Vaudeville Band)

19 OCTOBER 1966

Old-timey music-hall tunes were one of minor musical undercurrents of 1966, and the New Vaudeville Band had a huge surprise novelty hit with ‘Winchester Cathedral’, which peaked at #4 in the UK during October of that year, and went to #1 in the US in December. It was certainly a surprise to producer/songwriter Geoff Stephens, who wrote and recorded this with session musicians and then had to hastily throw a band together to tour on the back of this song's success. The singer for this single was John Carter, former member of the Ivy League, and the touring band had a different lead vocalist.

The record sold more than 3 million globally, and Stephens received the 1966 Ivor Novello award for 'Best Song Musically and Lyrically'. Some novelty song...

Another surprise was that the band managed to score three more British hits in 1967 ('Peek-A-Boo' (#7), 'Finchley Central' (#11) and 'Green Street Green' (#37).

B-side: 'Wait For Me Baby'
Recorded: July 1966
Released: 4 October 1966
Highest chart position: #4 (UK), #1 (US)
Length: 2:20
Writer: Geoff Stephens
Producer: Geoff Stephens

Winchester Cathedral (The New Vaudeville Band)