Guys ‘n’ Dolls

Guys ‘n’ Dolls
Release date
01 January 1970
Guys ‘n’ Dolls
01 January 1970 |

Guys ‘n’ Dolls were a UK pop group comprising a three-girl/three-boy line-up. In the mid-1970s, they scored UK top-ten hits with the singles “There’s a Whole Lot of Loving” and “You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me”. They found further success in Holland in the late 1970s where they had a number one hit with “You’re My World”.

Guys ‘n’ Dolls were formed in November 1974, after Ammo Productions held auditions for three young men and three young women to perform as a vocal group. The six original members were Paul Griggs, David Van Day, Dominic Grant, Thereza Bazar, Martine Howard, and Julie Forsyth (daughter of Sir Bruce Forsyth).

Guys ‘n’ Dolls released their first hit single, “There’s a Whole Lot of Loving”, in January 1975. The song was originally recorded in September 1974 by a group of session singers (including Tony Burrows and Clare Torry) for a TV advertisement for McVitie’s biscuits. Guys ‘n’ Dolls were put together to cash in upon the popularity of the jingle and to present it as a single. However the group was not ready in time to record an entirely new version for the single’s hasty release and so the voices of the session singers remained on the single. The song became an immediate hit, rising to No.2 in the UK singles chart, launching the group to overnight stardom.
The following year, the group scored highly again as their cover of “You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me” peaked at No.5. Other singles by the group charted more modestly and they only charted one album, 1975’s Guys ‘n’ Dolls. In 1977 however, they scored a No.1 hit in both the Netherlands and Belgium with “You’re My World”, launching them on a new phase of their career.

By mid-1977, Van Day and Bazar were complaining about the direction of the group to the point that the management asked them to leave. As agreed with them however, publicity at the time showed that leaving the group was their own decision to concentrate on songwriting.[6] The pair did go on to form the duo Dollar, who went on to score several hits in the late 1970s and 1980s. Guys ‘n’ Dolls continued as a quartet, with their third album Together (1977) depicting just the four remaining members. The group scored a final minor hit in the UK in 1978, and after failing to renew their contract with Magnet Records, they concentrated on their success in Holland, where they continued having hits for the next few years. In late 1978, the group performed as the opening act for Frank Sinatra for a series of London concerts.

In 1979, the group took part in the A Song For Europe contest, hoping to represent the UK in the Eurovision Song Contest with the song “How Do You Mend a Broken Heart?” Although the show was abandoned due to a BBC strike, the song finished in tenth place of the 12 entries when the judges cast votes on the audio recordings of the songs.
In 1980, Forsyth and Grant had their first child together, plus Martine Howard and the Guys ‘n’ Dolls Dutch record producer Gerard Stellaard got married and moved to the Netherlands. After marrying, Martine Howard left the group, and was replaced by Forsyth’s younger sister, Laura early in 1981. The change was short-lived, when she was replaced by Rosie Hetherington, who had previously been a part of the dance troupe Legs & Co.

Guys ‘n’ Dolls finished as a unit in December 1985, having spent eleven years together. Grant and Forsyth, performed as the duo Grant & Forsyth, and had another five hits in the Netherlands. In 1988, Forsyth wrote the UK’s Eurovision Song Contest entry “Go” performed by Scott Fitzgerald. Both Forsyth and Grant, together with ex-Jigsaw member Des Dyer, sang backing vocals for the song’s performance at the contest in Dublin, Ireland. The song finished second by a margin of one point behind Celine Dion’s song for Switzerland, making it the closest ever run contest.