In the 1960s when The Hollies were short of songs, guitarist Tony Hicks took to rooting around publishers in Denmark Street looking for something suitable. One afternoon he was played a demo by the writers Bobby Scott and Bob Russell. It sounded like a 45rpm record played at 33rpm, the singer was slurring, like he was drunk. But it had something about it. “We speeded it up and added an orchestra. The only things left recognizable were the lyrics. There'd been this old film called Boys Town about a children's home in America, and the statue outside showed a child being carried aloft and the motto He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother. We never got, or asked for, royalties. Elton John - who was still called Reg - played piano on it and got paid 12 pounds. It was a worldwide hit twice."
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