This week in 1982 saw the one and only UK chart entry for Kokomo. Now, so as not to confuse matters, there were two different acts called Kokomo – one was a solo artist and one was a band. In 1961, Jimmy Wisner had a top 40 hit with Asia Minor and he went by the name Kokomo. The other – this week’s clip – was a band from 1982 whose hit was called A Little Bit Further Away.
Kokomo were formed in 1973 and evolved out of another seventies band called Arrival who had two hits, both in 1970 called Friends which reached number six and the follow-up, I will Survive peaking at number 16. Sadly, they didn’t survive after that hit despite recording three more singles, but their record company ripped them off.
Kokomo comprised vocalist and composer Frank Collins, keyboard player Tony O’Malley, bassist Alan Spenner, drummer Tony Beard & backing singers Dyan Birch & Paddy McHugh. Birch was the lead singer with Arrival and had a fantastic voice.
In 1975, on his request, they backed Bob Dylan on the album Desire. They disbanded in 1977 but reunited in 1982 for the hit and remained intact until 1991 when Alan Spenner died.
There have been a couple of line-up changes and a couple of reunions since, but no more chart acts.
Let’s remember that hit from 1982.