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The Zombies' Hugh Grundy

The Zombies had hits in the U.S. around the same time as the initial chart

appearances of the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and other British Invasion

groups.

Despite being more popular in the U.S. than in their native land, the Zombies had

a rather short career in general, though a few of the band's songs like "Tell Her

No" and "She's Not There" have endured the passing of three decades.

The Zombies were formed in 1963 in Hertfordshire, England, by pianist Rod

Argent, singer Colin Blunstone, guitarist Paul Atkinson, bassist Paul Arnold

(who was soon replaced by Chris White) and drummer Hugh Grundy, who was

born 54 years ago today in Winchester, Hampshire, England. Grundy had gone

to school with Argent and Atkinson.

The Zombies won the local Herts Beat competition, which ensured the band a

record deal with Decca Records. The group soon went all the way to #2 on

Billboard's Hot 100 with its debut single, "She's Not There" (it hit #12 in

Britain).

The Zombies' style was significantly different from that of their British counterparts

making headway on the U.S. charts. Tunes such as

HREF="http://media.addict.com/atn-bin/get-

music/Zombies,_The/Shes_Not_There.ram">"She's Not There" (RealAudio

excerpt) emphasized Argent's innovative keyboard playing, as did another U.S.

top-10 hit, "Tell Her No."

Somehow, other Zombies' records like Is This The Dream? and Whenever

You're Ready flopped on both coasts, as was the case with most of the group's

future output. This commercial failure led to the Zombies' dissolution, after the

recording of its final LP, 1968's Odyssey and Oracle.

That last album made critics and record buyers take notice, partly due to the

great success of "Time of the Season" in the U.S. But the whole album was a

masterwork of progressive rock.

The original lineup was asked by several parties to reunite based on the

success of Odyssey and Oracle, but apparently the members' differences

could not be overcome. Grundy and Argent stuck together, adding new

musicians, for one final single, "Imagine the Swan." This "new lineup," minus

Grundy, effectively became keyboardist Argent's next band, Argent. Blunstone

went on to a solo career.

The Zombies regrouped in 1991 for New World, which didn't make much

of a splash. In 1997, the Zombie Heaven box set was released, and the

original Zombies jammed publicly together for the first time in more than a

quarter of a century at the record's launch party.

After the band's late-'60s breakup, Grundy became an A&R man for Columbia

Records. In the '80s, Grundy ran a horse-transport business in England.

Other birthdays: Sylvia Robinson (Mickey and Sylvia), 63; David Gilmour (Pink

Floyd), 55; Mary Wilson (Supremes), 55; and Kiki Dee, 52.