John Maus, a member of The Walker Brothers, passed away on Saturday of liver cancer. He was 67.
What was interesting about The Walker Brothers is that the band’s three members were not named Walker nor were they brothers. Maus adopted the stage name of John Walker while fellow band members Gary Leeds and Noah Engel became Gary Walker and Scott Walker (not to be confused with the Governor of Wisconsin.)
Equally interesting is that The Walker Brothers were something of the British Invasion in reverse. Whereas groups like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and The Dave Clark Five were British acts which found success on the American charts, The Walker Brothers were an American group who found fame and fortune in Britain.
The Walker Brothers were best known for their cover of Jerry Butler’s “Make It Easy on Yourself” (written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David) in 1965 and the following year had an even bigger hit with “The Sun Ain’t Going To Shine Anymore” which was penned by Bob Crewe & Bob Gaudio and originally recorded by Frankie Valli. At least one obituary incorrectly states that Maus was the lead vocalist on these two songs. It was Scott Walker (again not the Governor of Wisconsin) who sung lead although Maus provided backing vocals. After going their separate ways, The Walker Brothers reunited in the mid-1970’s and had a hit in the U.K. with a cover of Tom Rush’s “No Regrets.”
While Scott Walker has had a notable solo career in the UK, Maus had little success with two solo albums he released in the late 60s. It’s too bad. He recorded a very nice version of Jimmy Webb’s “By The Time I Get to Phoenix” (which was made famous by Glen Campbell.) In recent years, Maus released a couple of albums and performed on the oldies circuit. Here he is in 2009 doing his interpretation of “Make It Easy on Yourself.”
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