Procol Harum

the Pale

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Procol Harum's first year in the NME

Splinter-group: 2 September 1967

These excerpts from New Musical Express, kindly selected for 'Beyond the Pale' by Yan Friis, reflect continuing interest in Procol Harum’s management background, and in the formation of Freedom, which at the time must have seemed like a PH splinter-group. 

Front page: Full page advertisement for crooner Malcolm Roberts’s 45 Yours Until Tomorrow

NME Top 3:

1 (1) San Francisco, Scott McKenzie
2 (2) I’ll Never Fall In Love Again, Tom Jones
3 (14) The Last Waltz, Engelbert Humperdinck

16 (10) A Whiter Shade Of Pale, Procol Harum

Tipped for the charts by Derek Johnson:

Diana Ross & The Supremes: Reflections
Gladys Knight & The Pips, Everybody Needs Love
Move, Flowers In The Rain
Bee Gees, Massachusetts

News pages:


Tony Hall has been signed to handle all radio and TV promotion for Procol Harum and the Move – so resuming his association with the two groups, both of which recorded for Deram while Tony was that label’s promotion manager. Under the deal, which was concluded this week with the group’s manager Tony Secunda, Hall will also be responsible for promoting other artists recorded by Denny Cordell’s Straight Ahead Productions.

The deal takes immediate effect with promotion on the Move’s new single Flowers In The Rain, released today (Friday). As previously reported, the Move and Procol Harum have now both switched to EMI’s Regal Zonophone label. The NME forecast nine weeks ago that Hall – who left Decca last June, and is currently also handling promotion for Track Records – would retain an interest in the future careers of the two groups he had helped to launch.

Denny Cordell is currently negotiating with an independent US recording company for the American release of his material. If the deal is finalised, he will be given his own label in the States in the same way as his exclusive Regal Zonophone outlet in this country. The US company would also finance recordings to be made in London by Cordell for release in America.

The Move have now completed work on its first LP for Regal Zonophone. It will be issued early next month under the title of Lawnmower.


Bobby Harrison and Ray Royer – the two displaced members of Procol Harum – have now completed the formation of their new group, to be named Freedom. Line-up includes Harrison (drums, vocal), Royer (lead guitar, violin, vocal), Tony Marsh (organ, piano, harpsichord, vocal) and Steve Shirley (bass guitar, lead vocal).

The group is spending the next four weeks rehearsing and experimenting, and will then make its début at a major London venue. Group member Steve Shirley is writing most of Freedom’s material, including a début single for autumn release. The team is being managed by Procol’s former business manager Jonathan Weston.

Tail-pieces by the Alley Cat:

… Their version of Procol Harum’s hit on next Everly Brothers LP …

Read more from the first year of Procol press

PH on stage | PH on record | PH in print | BtP features | What's new | Interact with BtP | For sale | Site search | Home