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Born as Richard Palmer in Dunstable in 1943, D’Mond left school at 16.
His father, who had wanted to be a professional singer, worked for the printers Waterlows, and D’Mond also joined the firm as an apprentice.
Being an all-male group, part of the fun was parodying such female singers as Marianne Faithfull and Sandie Shaw.
They were less fortunate, however, with the new musical Evita.They experienced what was to be a recurring problem as the music publisher Dick James would not allow a rewrite of a Lennon and Mc Cartney song and so they reworked “Twist and Shout” instead.The single, recorded for EMI, went to No 3 and they had further Top 10 hits with “Pop Go the Workers” (1965) – this time using one of the two Beatles songs not published by James, “Love Me Do” – and “Merry Gentle Pops” (1965).Duke D’Mond was the lead singer of the pop parodists the Barron Knights.They scored their major successes with pastiches of popular hits on singles each of which had a particular theme such as conscription, the Olympics or Christmas.