Formed in 1966 by singer/songwriter Adge Cutler, British country-folk/novelty outfit the Wurzels wrote, performed, and recorded rustic and occasionally comedic tunes (and reworkings of whatever songs were popular at the time) teeming with the industrial and rural images of their West Country farming communities, specifically the drinking of cider.
Originally conceived as a backing band for Cutler before his death in 1974, the band hit it big in 1976 with "Combine Harvester," a parody of Melanie
's "Brand New Key." The song sat atop the U.K. pop charts for two weeks, resulting in a string of similarly successful outings like "I Am a Cider Drinker" and "Farmer Bill's Cowman." The group fell beneath the pop culture radio in the 1980s, but never stopped recording and performing. New manager Sil Willcox (the Stranglers
) brought with him a brief resurgence in the mid-'90s with the Wurzels' collection of British rock covers, Never Mind the Bullocks. The veteran group appeared on a split single with enigmatic Brit-pop revivalists British Sea Power
in 2005, and remain quite popular in their West Country homeland. ~ James Christopher Monger, Rovi