Pop Archives

Liv Maessen - Knock Knock Who’s There? (1970)

(John Carter - Geoff Stephens)
Australia Australia
#1 Sydney #3 Melbourne #1 Brisbane #8 Adelaide #1 Perth

Single on Fable April 1970. Co-charted in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth with the original by Mary Hopkin.

This Fable cover version of a British release charted in May 1970. It probably benefited from the Radio Ban which began on 23 May. After that, the competing original version by Mary Hopkin would not have been heard on Australian commercial radio. Fable’s records were not affected by the ban.
See under The Mixtures – In The Summertime for more background on the Radio Ban.

Deep-voiced Melbourne-based singer who won 1970 Logie Award (Australia’s equivalent of the Emmys) for Best New Talent.

See also, at this site, the origins of Liv Maessen’sSnowbird and The Love Moth.

Further reading: Liv Maessen biography at Milesago.

Andra Willis - Knock Knock Who’s There? (1970)

(John Carter - Geoff Stephens)

Single on Paramount by singer from West Virginia (b.1943). This version charted regionally in the US (ARSA search).

Andra Willis was a regular singer on The Lawrence Welk Show in the late 60s. Her husband, the musician, arranger and conductor Larry Muhoberac was keyboardist with Elvis Presley’s TCB band in the late 60s and worked with a number of big names over the years.

Since the mid-80s The Muhoberacs have lived in Australia. Andra’s recordings as Andra Willis Muhoberac appear here and there: her Carol For The Wheat Country is on ABC Radio’s Macca By Request, and she duets with John Rowles on one of his albums. Larry has, for example, produced for Grace Knight, arranged for Silverchair, and conducted on Neil Diamond’s tour of Australia.

Thanks to Terry Stacey for finding and verifying this version.
Image from Old Favourites page at WelkMusicFamily.com.

Mary Hopkin - Knock Knock Who’s There? (1970)

(John Carter - Geoff Stephens)
Original version
#2 UK #92 USA #1 Sydney #3 Melbourne #1 Brisbane #1 Perth #1 NZ

Single on Apple, #26. This was a Eurovision Song Contest entry, produced by Mickie Most: it came second to All Kinds Of Everything.

The breakthrough for Welsh singer Mary Hopkin was her appearance on the talent show Opportunity Knocks. Her first single, an international hit, was Those Were The Days, the second single released on The Beatles' Apple label (1968, #1 UK, #1 USA Cashbox and elsewhere). She was something of a protégée of Paul McCartney who produced Those Were The Days and her first album, Postcard.

See also Que Sera Sera.

Further reading: 1. MaryHopkin.co.uk (official site; the biography page simply links to the Wikipedia entry). 2. Mary Hopkins Friendly Society (fan site).

The writers, John Carter and Geoff Stephens, were behind many British hit recordings, especially during the late 60s and into the 70s. (See also their composition Take The Money And Run, a hit in NZ by Bunny Walters.)

John Carter (born John Shakespeare) is usually associated with Ken Lewis (born Kenneth James Hawker), his longtime partner in songwriting and performing since the end of the 50s. With Perry Ford, they recorded as The Ivy League from 1965. Later, Carter and Lewis were involved, for example, in The Flowerpot Men (Let's Go To San Francisco), White Plains (My Baby Loves Lovin') and First Class (Beach Baby).

Geoff Stephens, who collaborated with a number of other writers, wrote Winchester Cathedral, the oldtime-radio styled hit for his New Vaudeville Band, a project that included John Carter on vocals.

Carter and Stephens were among a number of British songwriters, many of whom worked as performers and producers, whose projects were seldom off the charts during the late 60s and early 70s. Others included Roger Cook, Roger Greenaway, Les Reed, Tony Macaulay, Barry Mason, Peter Callander, Mitch Murray, Graham Gouldman, Ken Howard, Alan Blaikley, Tony Hatch & Jackie Trent.

Some better known songs by Carter and Stephens:

John Carter & Geoff Stephens: Semi-detached Suburban Mr Jones (Manfred Mann, 1966)
My Sentimental Friend (Herman's Hermits, 1969)
Take The Money And Run (Joe Dolan, 1972).

John Carter:
Beach Baby (First Class, 1974)

John Carter & Ken Lewis:
Funny How Love Can Be (Ivy League 1965)
Let's Go To San Francisco (Flowerpot Men, 1967)
Sunday For Tea (Peter & Gordon, 1967)
Little Bit O' Soul (Music Explosion, 1967).

John Carter, Ken Lewis & Perry Ford:
Tossing And Turning (Ivy League, 1965)

John Carter & Gillian Shakespeare
Dreams Are Ten A Penny (Kincade, 1973)

Geoff Stephens:
The Crying Game (Dave Berry, 1964)
Winchester Cathedral (New Vaudeville Band, 1966)

Geoff Stephens & Les Reed:
Tell Me When (Applejacks, 1964)
There's A Kind Of Hush (Herman's Hermits, 1967)

Geoff Stephens & Tony Macaulay:
Sorry Suzanne (Hollies, 1969)
The Lights Of Cincinnati (Scott Walker, 1969)

Geoff Stephens, Mitch Murray & Pete Callander:
Goodbye Sam, Hello Samantha (Cliff Richard, 1970)

Geoff Stephens & Pete Callander:
Daddy Don't You Walk So Fast (Daniel Boone, 1971; Wayne Newton, 1972)

Some pages at this website (songs recorded by Australian artists) by the British songwriters mentioned above:

Tony Macaulay and Barry Mason: Melanie Makes Me Smile and She Works In A Woman's Way;

Graham Gouldman: You Stole My Love, and Going Home;

Roger Cook and Roger Greenaway: Everything Is Out Of Season, Gimme Dat Ding, and Can You Feel It Baby;

Tony Hatch/Jackie Trent: One In A Million, You Made Me What I Am, Heart, You're The One and It's Not Easy Lovin' You;

John Carter and Ken Lewis: That's What I Want and [with Bill Bates] Sweet And Tender Romance;

Roger Cook and Bobby Wood: Your Love Still Brings Me To My Knees.

References: 1. Hiroshi Asada's John Carter Song List; 2. John Carter and 3. Ken Lewis at Wikipedia. 4. BMI. 5. Gillett & Smith, Rock File 3, 1975 (out of print).

John Carter - Knock Knock Who’s There? (1969)

(John Carter - Geoff Stephens)

Demo version by one of the writers of Knock Knock Who's There?

Unreleased at the time, now available on the 2003 RPM Records album Measure For Measure: The John Carter Anthology 1961-1977. More details at RPM Records.

The Orlons - Knock! Knock! (Who’s There?) (1964)

(Bob Crewe - Larry Santos)
Red herring
#64 USA

Same title but not the same song as ‘Knock Knock Who’s There?’ by Liv Maessen.

Single on Cameo by early 60s Philadelphia vocal group whose first and biggest of three Top 5 singles was The Wah Watusi (1962, #2 USA). One of The Orlons’ B-sides was the original version of Don’t Throw Your Love Away (1963), famously recorded by The Searchers in 1964. See ARSA for some regional chart activity.

Thanks to Terry Stacey for Red Herring alert.