top of page

Go Now - Bessie Banks

On April 24th, Mike Pinder died. He was the last surviving member of the original line-up of the Moody Blues, the line-up that recorded their first hit, "Go Now" in late 1964. While it's commonplace for most sixties bands to have lost a member or two to the grim reaper, it's unusual for a whole original group to have performed the mortal coil shuffle.

"Go Now" was written by New Yorkers Larry Banks and Milton Bennett and originally recorded and released as a single in January 1964 by Banks's wife Bessie. The suggestion by Bessie that the release of the Moodies' cover version effectively put paid to the chances of the original and therefore her career don't quite stack up, as her disc came out ten months before theirs: if hers was going to be a hit, it would have charted well before the English band's release.

She's got a point though, in that not even the most biased listener could claim that the Moody Blues version as good as hers. But in 1964 USA, in the midst of the first "British invasion", five white Englishmen from Birmingham were many times more marketable than a black girl from Brooklyn.

Today is World Environment Day, created in 1973 by the United Nations as a platform for raising awareness on environmental issues such as marine pollution, overpopulation, global warming, sustainable development and wildlife crime,. It too proved less marketable than its rivals: cars, air travel, overseas holidays and the whole gamut of plastic wrapped produce of our consumerist society.


bottom of page