Crispian St. Peters (April 5, 1939 - 8 June 8, 2010) was an English pop/folk rock singer and songwriter who became famous during the mid 1960s. He is best remembered for the exuberant feel-good 1966 smash hit, "The Pied Piper."
He was born Robin Peter Smith in Swanley, Kent into a musical family and began playing the guitar as a boy. He gave his first public performance in 1956 while in his teens and played with a number of local bands during the late 1950s and early 1960s while also serving for a time in the army. He was discovered in 1963 by David Nicolson of EMI who arranged to have him record some demos for Decca Records and helped him come up with a new stage name.
After releasing a number of non-charting singles, Crispian St. Peters hit his stride in 1966 with his cover of the Sylvia Fricker-penned "You Were On My Mind" which reached #2 on the U.K. charts. He made his debut on the U.S. charts that same year with "The Pied Piper" which became a Top 5 hit on both sides of the pond. "The Pied Piper" was previously a minor hit in 1965 for The Changin' Times, a songwriting and performing duo consisting of Steve Duboff and famed Woodstock promoter Artie Kornfeld who had co-written this song. St. Peter's version has a small but significant change in the lyrics, with the trendier "I'll show you where it's at" replacing "I'll show you where life's at."
St. Peters also had a Top 40 hit in 1967 with his 1966 U.K. breakthrough, "You Were On My Mind," a song previously made famous in the U.S. by We Five. Other hits included "Changes" (1966), "Your Ever Changin' Mind" (1966), and "Look Into My Teardrops" (1968).
St. Peters continued performing actively through the mid 1990s and wrote some 250 songs over his long career, both for himself and other bands and artists. Besides pop and rock, he recorded in a variety of genres that also included country and gospel. He released his final album, "Songs From The Attic," in 2000.
- Crispian St. Peters discusses his career and how he came up with his unusual stage name in an interview with Douglas Antreassian (ca. 1995).
- The Guardian remembers Crispian St. Peters.
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Crispian St. Peters
- The Pied Piper 1966
(This song was previously a hit for the Changin' Times (1965).)
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