The Fortunes were born as a three-member vocal group, backed by a band named the Clifftones. But when the band craze started sweeping England, they dumped the Clifftones, picked up guitars, and took on a keyboard player and a drummer. The Fortunes gained notice when their second release, “Caroline,” became the theme song of the extremely popular pirate radio station of the same name. Two more releases didn’t chart, but the fifth, “You’ve Got Your Troubles,” reached the top ten in the U.K. (#2), Canada (#1), and the U.S., in 1965.
Their next two singles, “Here It Comes Again”, a UK Number 4, and “This Golden Ring” a UK #14, sold well, but each less one than the previous release. In 1966, their manager, Reginald Calvert, was shot to death in a fight with the owner of a rival pirate radio station. In 1967, the Fortunes left Decca, their original label, and signed with United Artists, where they rejoined American producer Shel Talmy. But it wasn’t until 1971 that they scored another hit, “Here Comes That Rainy Day Feeling Again.”
Lead singer Rod Allen fronted the Fortunes from 1963 until his death in 2008. Another founding member, Barry Pritchard, resigned because of illness in 1995 and died a few years later. The latest version of the Fortunes includes Mike Smitham (who joined the group in 1983) and Bob Jackson (who’s been with the Fortunes more than two decades).
“You’ve Got Your Troubles,” performed live, 1965
“Caroline,” performed live, 2013
The Fortunes U.S. Hit Singles
“You’ve Got Your Troubles” – 1965 – Number 7.
“Here It Comes Again” – 1965 – Number 27.
“This Golden Ring” – 1966 – Number 82.
“That Same Old Feeling” – 1970 – Number 62 (Originally recorded by the Foundations; competing with a version by Pickettywitch).
“Here Comes That Rainy Day Feeling Again” – 1971 – Number 15.
“Freedom Come, Freedom Go” – 1971 – Number 72.