Peter Asher

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Peter Asher

Peter Asher playing in Boston 2012.jpg
Asher performing at Johnny D's in Somerville, Massachusetts, on 8 August 2012
Background information
Born (1944-06-22) 22 June 1944 (age 75)
Park Royal, London, England [1]
Genres Traditional pop music, pop
Occupation(s)Musician, producer, actor
InstrumentsVocals, guitar
Years active1952–present
Labels Capitol, Apple, Warner Bros., Columbia
Associated acts Peter and Gordon, James Taylor, Linda Ronstadt

Peter Asher, CBE [2] (born 22 June 1944) is a British guitarist, singer, manager and record producer. He came to prominence in the 1960s as a member of the pop music vocal duo Peter and Gordon before going on to a successful career as a manager and record producer. As of 2018, he tours alongside Jeremy Clyde of Chad and Jeremy in a new duo entitled Peter and Jeremy, where they perform hits from both of their respective catalogues. [3] [4]

Order of the British Empire British order of chivalry

The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is a British order of chivalry, rewarding contributions to the arts and sciences, work with charitable and welfare organisations, and public service outside the civil service. It was established on 4 June 1917 by King George V and comprises five classes across both civil and military divisions, the most senior two of which make the recipient either a knight if male or dame if female. There is also the related British Empire Medal, whose recipients are affiliated with, but not members of, the order.

Peter and Gordon band

Peter and Gordon were a British pop duo, composed of Peter Asher and Gordon Waller (1945–2009), who achieved international fame in 1964 with their first single, the million-selling single "A World Without Love". The duo had several subsequent hits in the British Invasion era.

A talent manager is an individual or company who guides the professional career of artists in the entertainment industry. The responsibility of the talent manager is to oversee the day-to-day business affairs of an artist; advise and counsel talent concerning professional matters, long-term plans and personal decisions which may affect their career.


Early life

Asher was born at the Central Middlesex Hospital to Richard and Margaret Asher, née Eliot. His father was a consultant in blood and mental diseases at the Central Middlesex Hospital, as well as being a broadcaster and the author of notable medical articles. Asher's mother was a professor at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. One of her pupils there was George Martin. [5] Asher is the brother of Clare Asher, a radio actress and school inspector, and Jane Asher. [6] .

Central Middlesex Hospital Hospital in England

Central Middlesex hospital (CMH) is in the centre of the Park Royal business estate, on the border of two London boroughs, Brent and Ealing. It is managed by the London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust.

Richard Asher Doctor

Richard Alan John Asher, FRCP was an eminent British endocrinologist and haematologist. As the senior physician responsible for the mental observation ward at the Central Middlesex Hospital he described and named Munchausen syndrome in a 1951 article in The Lancet.

Margaret Eliot English music teacher and musician

Margaret Augusta Eliot was an English music teacher and musician. She was a professor of oboe at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and her best-known student was George Martin; in 2011, just before her death at age 97, she appeared in the documentary film Produced by George Martin.

When he was eight years old, he began working as a child actor, and appeared in the film The Planter's Wife , and the stage play Isn't Life Wonderful . At the age of ten, Asher played the central juvenile part in the 1954 film version of Isn't Life Wonderful , along stars Cecil Parker and Donald Wolfitt. In 1955 he played the youngest brother, "Johnny", in Escapade, based on Roger MacDougall's play. The film starred John Mills and Alastair Sim. He also appeared in the ITV series The Adventures of Robin Hood .

<i>The Planters Wife</i> (1952 film) 1952 film by Ken Annakin

The Planter's Wife is a 1952 British drama film directed by Ken Annakin, and starring Claudette Colbert, Jack Hawkins and Anthony Steel. It is set against the backdrop of the Malayan Emergency and focuses on a rubber planter and his neighbours who are fending off a campaign of sustained attacks by Communist insurgents while also struggling to save their marriage.

<i>Isnt Life Wonderful</i> 1924 film by D. W. Griffith

Isn't Life Wonderful (1924) is a silent film directed by D. W. Griffith for his company D. W. Griffith Productions, and distributed by United Artists. It was based on the novel by Geoffrey Moss and it went under the alternative title Dawn.

Cecil Parker English actor

Cecil Parker was an English character and comedy actor with a distinctively husky voice, who usually played supporting roles, often characters with a supercilious demeanour, in his 91 films made between 1928 and 1969.

In 1956, Asher appeared as a 12-year-old in The Talking Head, one of the short films in the series of Colonel March of Scotland Yard , starring Boris Karloff.

<i>Colonel March of Scotland Yard</i> television series

Colonel March of Scotland Yard is a 1950s British television series based on author John Dickson Carr's fictional detective Colonel March from his book The Department of Queer Complaints (1940). Carr was a mystery author who specialised in locked-room whodunnits and other 'impossible' crimes: murder mysteries that seemed to defy possibility. The stories of the television series followed in the same vein with Detective March solving cases that baffle Scotland Yard and the British police. The department itself is sometimes referred to as "D3". Boris Karloff starred as Colonel March.

Boris Karloff English actor

William Henry Pratt, better known by his stage name Boris Karloff, was an English actor who was primarily known for his roles in horror films. He portrayed Frankenstein's monster in Frankenstein (1931), Bride of Frankenstein (1935) and Son of Frankenstein (1939). He also appeared as Imhotep in The Mummy (1932).

Asher (left) with Gordon Waller in 1966 Peter and Gordon.png
Asher (left) with Gordon Waller in 1966

He is a member of Mensa. [7] While attending the independent Westminster School as a day boy, he first met fellow pupil Gordon Waller (1945–2009), and they began playing and singing together as a duo in coffee bars. In 1962, they began working formally as Peter and Gordon. Their first (and biggest) hit was the 1964 Paul McCartney song "A World Without Love". Asher's sister Jane was, in the mid-1960s, the girlfriend of Paul McCartney. Through this connection, Asher and Waller were often given unrecorded Lennon-McCartney songs to perform. [8]

Mensa International high IQ society

Mensa is the largest and oldest high IQ society in the world. It is a non-profit organization open to people who score at the 98th percentile or higher on a standardised, supervised IQ or other approved intelligence test. Mensa formally comprises national groups and the umbrella organisation Mensa International, with a registered office in Caythorpe, Lincolnshire, England. The word mensa is Latin for "table", as is symbolised in the organisation's logo, and was chosen to demonstrate the round-table nature of the organisation; the coming together of equals.

Westminster School School in Westminster, UK

Westminster School is a Public School in London, England, located within the precincts of Westminster Abbey. Westminster’s origins can be traced to a charity school established by the Benedictine monks of Westminster Abbey. Its continuous existence is certain from the early fourteenth century. Boys are admitted to the Under School at age seven and to the senior school at age thirteen; girls are admitted at age sixteen into the Sixth Form. The school has around 750 pupils; around a quarter are boarders, most of whom go home at weekends, after Saturday morning school. The school motto, Dat Deus Incrementum, is taken from the New Testament, specifically 1 Corinthians 3:6.

Gordon Waller British musician

Gordon Trueman Riviere Waller was a Scottish singer-songwriter and guitarist, best known as Gordon of the 1960s pop music duo Peter and Gordon, whose biggest hit was the No. 1 million-selling classic "A World Without Love".

Asher later read philosophy at King's College London. [9]

Kings College London public research university in London, United Kingdom

King's College London is a public research university located in London, United Kingdom, and a founding college and member institution of the federal University of London. King's was established in 1829 by King George IV and Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, when it received its first royal charter, and claims to be the fourth oldest university institution in England. In 1836, King's became one of the two founding colleges of the University of London. In the late 20th century, King's grew through a series of mergers, including with Queen Elizabeth College and Chelsea College of Science and Technology, the Institute of Psychiatry, the United Medical and Dental Schools of Guy's and St Thomas' Hospitals and the Florence Nightingale School of Nursing and Midwifery.

In 1965, he was best man when singer Marianne Faithfull married John Dunbar in Cambridge. [5]

After Peter and Gordon disbanded in 1968, Asher took charge of the A&R department at the Beatles' Apple Records label, where he signed a then-unknown James Taylor and agreed to produce the singer-songwriter's debut solo album. [10] The album was not a success, but Asher was so convinced that Taylor held great potential that he resigned his post at Apple to move to the United States and work as Taylor's manager. Asher produced Paul Jones' rendition of the Bee Gees' "And the Sun Will Shine" which was released as a single (only in the UK). [11] He also produced a number of Taylor's recordings from 1970 to 1985, including Sweet Baby James, Mud Slide Slim and the Blue Horizon, JT and Flag .

1970s and beyond

In the early 1970s, Asher also managed the country rock band, Country, which recorded for Atlantic Records through its subsidiary Clean Records, featuring Michael Fondiler and Tom Snow, who has since become a songwriter. For a time, Asher also managed James Taylor's sister Kate Taylor. When she decided to leave the business, she recommended him to Linda Ronstadt at which point Asher became Ronstadt's manager. [12] Asher achieved his greatest success producing a long string of multi-platinum albums for James Taylor, including Sweet Baby James , JT and Flag , and for Linda Ronstadt, including Heart Like a Wheel , Simple Dreams , Living in the USA , What's New , Canciones De Mi Padre and Cry Like a Rainstorm, Howl Like the Wind .

The Roxy Theatre in West Hollywood was opened on 23 September 1973 by Elmer Valentine and Lou Adler along with original partners David Geffen, Elliot Roberts and Peter Asher.

Asher also played a role in shaping the Californian rock sound prominent during the 1970s, producing records for Ronstadt, J. D. Souther, Andrew Gold and Bonnie Raitt. In 1976, Asher and Waller reformed for the annual New York "Beatlefest" and played a few other dates. [13] In the 1980s, Asher also worked on hit albums for artists as diverse as Cher and 10,000 Maniacs.

In February 1995, Asher was named Senior Vice-President, Sony Music Entertainment. At the beginning of 2002, Asher left Sony and returned full-time to the management of artists' careers as co-President of Sanctuary Artist Management. In January 2005 he was named President, the position he held until September 2006, when he resigned. In 2007 Asher joined forces with his friend Simon Renshaw (who manages the Dixie Chicks) at the company Simon founded, Strategic Artist Management. Strategic has grown into a dominant force in the entertainment industry, now managing artists in many fields of endeavour beyond just music – one of Asher's clients is Pamela Anderson. Asher also reunited with James Taylor as the producer of the Live at the Troubadour reunion album recorded in 2007, with Carole King and Taylor's original band.

During 2005 and 2006, Peter and Gordon reformed for occasional concerts. However, Waller died in 2009 and in its obituary, The Times observed that "Waller was thought more handsome than the slightly nerdish looking Asher". [14]

Asher had been quoted as saying that actor Mike Myers has said he had patterned his Austin Powers character after Asher's appearance, [13] although Elizabeth Hurley, who co-starred in Austin Powers, claimed that the original model was broadcaster Simon Dee. [15]

In 2011, Asher was the executive producer of the Listen to Me: Buddy Holly compilation album and also music supervisor, producer, and co-host of the Buddy Holly: Listen to Me; The Ultimate Buddy Party PBS Pledge Special. Performed and filmed in front of a live audience the Buddy Holly tribute concert aired as PBS Pledge Special in December 2011 and May and June 2012. The Special received the highest 2012 Silver Telly Award in the Category of TV Programs, Segments, or Promotional Pieces. [16]

Asher was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2015 New Year Honours for services to the British music industry. [17] [18]

In May 2017, Asher debuted a weekly, hour-long series on the brand-new Sirius XM Radio station for The Beatles called "From Me To You". He also announced with commentary the Top 100 Beatles countdown "All Together Now" on The Beatles Channel that first aired on Sirius XM Radio on the Labor Day Weekend in 2017, and is frequently replayed.

Since 2016, Peter Asher has been playing shows, including one at the Edmonton Folk Music Festival, as part of a duo with Albert Lee that showcases songs from both their careers. [19] He currently resides in Venice, California.

In 2018, Asher began performing with Jeremy Clyde of Chad & Jeremy fame. [20]

Phoenix, 6 Oct 2012 Asher.jpg
Phoenix, 6 Oct 2012

Personal life

Asher had a short-lived relationship with singer Millie Small, also known as Millie, who sang "My Boy Lollipop". [5]

He was married twice, first to Betsy Doster. In 1983, he married his second wife, Wendy Worth. Their daughter, Victoria Asher, was born in 1984. [21] She was the keytarist in the American synthpop/pop punk band, Cobra Starship.

Awards and recognition

Grammy Awards


As performer

All releases by Peter and Gordon unless noted.

1964In Touch With...
1964Peter and Gordon
1964World Without Love
1965Hurtin' 'n' Lovin'
1965I Don't Want to See You Again
1965I Go To Pieces
1965True Love Ways
1966Best of Peter and Gordon
1966Peter and Gordon Sing and Play the Hits of Nashville
1967In London for Tea
1967Knight in Rusty Armour
1967Lady Godiva
1967Hot Cold and Custard
1972Gordon(Gordon Waller solo album)
1983Best of Peter and Gordon
1983Hits of Peter and Gordon
1991Best of Peter and Gordon
2001Ultimate Peter and Gordon
2003Definitive Collection: Knights in Rusty Armour

As producer

1968 James Taylor James Taylor
1969Barbara Keith Barbara Keith
1970Jo MamaJo Mama
1970 Sweet Baby James James Taylor
1971 Mud Slide Slim and the Blue Horizon James Taylor
1971 Sister Kate Kate Taylor
1971 Tony Joe White Tony Joe White
1971Bad Girl SongsTony Kosinec
1972 One Man Dog James Taylor
1973 Don't Cry Now Linda Ronstadt
1974 Heart Like a Wheel Linda Ronstadt
1975 Prisoner in Disguise Linda Ronstadt
1975 Black Rose J.D. Souther
1976 Hasten Down the Wind Linda Ronstadt
1976Love Songs David Sanborn
1976 What's Wrong with This Picture? Andrew Gold
1977 JT James Taylor
1977 Simple Dreams Linda Ronstadt
1978 Living in the USA Linda Ronstadt
1979 Flag James Taylor
1979 The Glow Bonnie Raitt
1980 Mad Love Linda Ronstadt
1981 Dad Loves His Work James Taylor
1982 Get Closer Linda Ronstadt
1983Reelin' in the Years, Vol. 1various artists
1983 What's New Linda Ronstadt
1984 Lush Life Linda Ronstadt
1984Moonlighting(Original TV soundtrack)
1985 That's Why I'm Here James Taylor
1986 An American Tail (Original soundtrack)
1986 For Sentimental Reasons Linda Ronstadt
1987 Canciones De Mi Padre Linda Ronstadt
1987 Cher Cher
1987 In My Tribe 10,000 Maniacs
1987Storytellers: Singers and Songwritersvarious artists
1988 The Land Before Time (Original soundtrack)
1989 Blind Man's Zoo 10,000 Maniacs
1989 Cry Like a Rainstorm, Howl Like the Wind Linda Ronstadt
1989 Heart of Stone Cher
1989You Happy Puppet10,000 Maniacs
1990Mermaids(Original soundtrack)
1991Force Behind the Power Diana Ross
1991Live in RioJames Taylor
1991 Love Hurts Cher
1991Lovescape Neil Diamond
1991Mambo Kings(Original soundtrack)
1991 Swept Julia Fordham
1991Williams BrothersThe Williams Brothers
1992American Standard Mary's Danish
1992Back to Basics Olivia Newton-John
1992Christmas Album Neil Diamond
1992OliviaOlivia Newton-John
1992 Time Takes Time Ringo Starr
1993Made in America(Original soundtrack)
1993Robin Zander Robin Zander
1993Up on the Roof: Songs from the Brill BuildingNeil Diamond
1994Christmas Album, Vol. 2Neil Diamond
1994Randy Newman's Faust: Words and Musicvarious artists
1995 Don't Ask Tina Arena
1995EP CollectionPeter and Gordon
1995Faust Randy Newman
1996It Takes Twovarious artists
1996One Fine Day(Original soundtrack)
1996Show Me HeavenTina Arena
1997Most Beautiful Soul Album on Earthvarious artists
1997Superstar Christmasvarious artists
1997 Under These Rocks and Stones Chantal Kreviazuk
1998Armageddon(Original soundtrack)
1998As I Came of Age Sarah Brightman
1998December Kenny Loggins
1998Motown 40 Forevervarious artists
1999All Time Greatest Movie Songsvarious artists
1999Best Party Megamix in the World Evervarious artists
1999Collection Julia Fordham
1999Runaway Bride(Original soundtrack)
1999When the Going Gets Tough Boyzone
2000Gift of LoveDiana Ross
2000More Songs from Pooh CornerKenny Loggins
2000Tigger Movie: Songs and Storyvarious artists
2001Everything I Am Anna Vissi
2001Motown AnthologyDiana Ross
2001Three Chord OperaNeil Diamond
2001Ultimate Peter and GordonPeter and Gordon
2002Capitol Records 1942–2002various artists
2002 Everybody's Got a Story Amanda Marshall
2002Freedom: A History of Us(Original soundtrack)
2002Live 2002 Robin Williams
2002Providence(Original TV soundtrack)
2002Sweet Is the Melody Aselin Debison
2003Best of the Definitive American Songbook, Vol. 2: I-Zvarious artists
2003Cafeteria: Hearvarious artists
2003Earth Rider – The Essential John Stewart 1964–1979John Stewart
2003Singers and Songwriters Christmas Songsvarious artists
2004California Wilson Phillips
2004 Campfire Songs: The Popular, Obscure and Unknown Recordings 10,000 Maniacs
2004De-Lovely(Original soundtrack)
2004IntermissionAmanda Marshall
2004Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow(Original soundtrack)
2004Taking a Chance on Love Jane Monheit
2005Live at Earls Court Morrissey
2005Goodies, Vol. 1various artists
2005SouvenirsTina Arena
2006You're Only LonelyRaul Malo
2007SirenSasha and Shawna
2006 I Love You Diana Ross
2010 Live at the Troubadour Carole King and James Taylor
2011 Buddy Holly: Listen to Me; The Ultimate Buddy Party Various Artists – Producer and Host
2013 Love Has Come for You Steve Martin and Edie Brickell
2013When Will You Come Home (EP)The Webb Sisters
2017The Long Awaited AlbumSteve Martin and The Steep Canyon Rangers

As executive producer

1989Harry's Cafe De Wheels Peter Blakeley
1999 Timbre Sophie B. Hawkins
2011 Listen to Me: Buddy Holly Various Artists

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  1. GRO Register of Births: June 1944 3a 826 Willesden – Peter Asher, mmn = Eliot
  2. Advocate, JOHN WIRT | Special to The. "From London to L.A., Paul McCartney to James Taylor, music is Peter Asher's world". The Advocate. Retrieved 2 March 2019.
  3. Press, Luanne HuntFor the Daily. "Peter Asher still intimately involved with music, with and without the Beatles". Retrieved 2 March 2019.
  4. Desk, BWW News. "British Invasion Duo Peter Asher & Jeremy Clyde Come to Midland Cultural Centre!". Retrieved 2 March 2019.
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  11. "Paul Jones - And The Sun Will Shine - The Dog Presides". Retrieved 23 December 2014.
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  14. "Obituaries". Retrieved 17 July 2016.(subscription required)
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  16. "Good Things Come in Threes » Listen to Me". True Great Original. Retrieved 17 July 2016.
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  18. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 31 December 2014. Retrieved 2015-12-31.Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  19. " 2016 Edmonton Folk Fest an understated, wonderful weekend". Edmonton Sun, By Fish Griwkowsky. August 07, 2016
  21. "Person Page". Retrieved 17 July 2016.