The Rubettes band was formed in 1973 by John Richardson and was originally assembled as a session outfit led by the songwriting team of  Wayne Bickerton, the then head of A&R at Polydor Records, and his co-writer, Tony Waddington. In October 1973 and recorded for Polydor, this fine group of talented session musicians released "Sugar Baby Love" featuring the distinctive falsetto and lead vocals of Paul Da Vinci, who was also lead vocalist on the ‘B’ side of the record "You could have told me", recorded at 1.30 am Lansdowne Studios, Holland Park, London.  ​
Wayne Bickerton said… 
We had Paul DaVinci singing in that incredibly high falsetto voice and then a vocal group sings ‘Bop-Shu-waddy’ over and over for about 3 minutes. Gerry Shury, who did the string arrangements, said, ‘This is not going to work; you can’t have a vocal group singing ‘Bop-shu-waddy’ no-stop.
A lot of people said the same thing to us so the more determined I became to release it. The record was dormant for 6 or 7 weeks and then we got a break on Top of the Pops and it took off like a rocket and sold 6 million copies worldwide. Gerry said to me. ‘I’m keeping my mouth shut and will concentrate on conducting the strings.
"Sugar Baby Love" was an instant hit remaining at number one in the United Kingdom for four weeks in May 1974, selling around 500,000 copies in the UK, reaching #37 in the US charts that August, selling three million copies globally.
The Rubettes' original line-up in 1974 featured John Richardson on drums, Mick Clarke on bass, Bill Hurd and Peter Arnesen on keyboard, and Tony Thorpe on guitar. However, Paul Da Vinci decided not to join the others to become a member of the band and instead pursued solo work, having signed a contract with Penny Farthing Records. Subsequently, in 1974, John Richardson introduced Alan Williams as Da Vinci’s replacement to front the group and to sing lead vocals on all future songs. (nota bene - Alan Williams’ vocals never appeared on the original 1973 recording of "Sugar Baby Love").
With the band members now in place and wearing trademark white suits and cloth caps on stage, their name, like their music, was selected to consciously tap into '50s America iconography, and the revival sound bore fruit in the U.K. on several more singles.
In early 1975, the band became a quintet with the departure of Arnesen, leaving members Richardson, Clarke, Hurd, Thorpe, and Williams. The band went on to have several other top ten hits across Europe during the mid-1970s, such as "Tonight", "Juke Box Jive" and "I Can Do It”, with “Sugar Baby Love" remaining their best-known record. In 1979 saw the departure of Tony Thorpe, Bill Hurd, and John Richardson; consequently, the band dissolved in 1980. In 1983 the Rubettes re-grouped with a line up consisting of Clarke, Hurd, Williams, and drummer Alex Bines.  
From the reformation to the late 90s the band members remained stable. John Richardson returned to the Rubettes in 2000 and the band continued to tour well into the 2000s. However, in 2002 the group hit the headlines once more when, following an acrimonious split and legal action, the Rubettes became the latest in a long line of bands (including the Beach Boys and Spandau Ballet) to end up in the courts in a dispute over ownership of the band’s name. Unfortunately, bands break up all the time, and band name disputes often follow. Some­times one or more mem­bers want to con­tinue using the band name, as was the case. In 2002, the High Courts of Justice ruled that both Williams and Hurd could tour as the Rubettes if it was clear which member was fronting the band and thus leaving two line-up bands in existence. From 2000, former original founders John Richardson and Mick Clarke continued to perform alongside Alan Williams with keyboard player Mark Haley, under The Rubettes feat. Alan Williams.
Bill Hurd formed his version of The Rubettes feat. Bill Hurd with long-time drummer Alex Bines, vocalist Paul Da Vinci who had performed lead vocal on "Sugar Baby Love", bassist Billy Hill, and guitarist Rufus Rufell. Da Vinci departed the band in 2006 and was replaced by George Bird, and guitarist Rufell leaving in 2009 and replace by Ian Pearce.
On 28 March 2008, “Sugar Baby Love” was declared to be the most successful oldie of all time by the German television station RTL. ​In May and June 2008, The Rubettes feat. Alan Williams was part of the ‘Glitz Blitz & 70s Hitz’ tour of the UK alongside Sweet and Showaddywaddy. In 2014, and as part of the Rubettes' 40th anniversary, it was announced that Richardson, Clarke, Williams, and Haley would perform at the Olympia in Paris, the same venue at which the Rubettes had their first appearance in France in 1974 when "Sugar Baby Love" topped the French and European charts. ​In early 2015 this version of The Rubettes underwent their first line-up conform when Mark Haley departed the band and was replaced by Steve Etherington who had been one of the creative forces behind the Rubettes music since 1995 when the original band recorded vocals to his track for a song called “Rum” and has been inextricably linked with them since.
As with most good things, sometimes an original band's journey eventually changes, often because band members want to pursue solo careers or disagreements between band members regarding the band's direction. Music is a lot like life, where nothing is set in stone and everything is subject to change, and at the drop of a hat, your favourite band could have a new member – or even an all-new line-up. You spend months on the road together, live in each other's pockets doing recording and promo. So, it's not entirely surprising when one member decides they want to move on to try something new.
Of course, people have left bands for a variety of reasons, whether it be creative differences, wanting to branch out on their own or because of personal reasons and this happened to the Rubettes feat. Alan Williams in 2018 when Williams informed Richardson, Clarke, and Etherington that his position became untenable and as a result left the band to move to Australia.​
Following Williams’ departure, original founder members Richardson, Clarke along with Etherington continued performing as The Rubettes feat. John, Mick and Steve. Less than one month after William's exit, the band signed with Sobel Nation Records distributed by Warner Brothers and released a single “ Let the Music In” and within a week of its release, the song hit the top 20 in the United States. Then came a further release in June 2019 called "Ya Lovin' Rocks." The band also has its own radio station playing only music from John Richardson, Mick Clarke, and Steve Etherington called "Jukebox Jive Radio", a licensed radio station.
To ensure the safeguard of the brand name and continue to work as a group, Mick Clarke became the UK trademark owner of The Rubettes® / UK00003348207 in July 2019. For any band that has attained com­mer­cial suc­cess, Trademark law may not be very “Rock and Roll”, but it sure is important these days and is an essential part of legal protection. From a legal perspective, the issue of who owns a band name usually falls under trademark law.
In late 2020 former original member Bill Hurd re-united with John, Mick, and Steve under their trademark brand The Rubettes®  to collaborate on a re-release of their 1977 track  “Ladies of Laredo” which featured a guest appearance of German singer, songwriter, and producer, Michael Voss, who also featured on a Michael Schenker video for his album, which entered the German chart at number 8 in February 2021.
Today, as a result, The Rubettes® now have three original founder members performing together for the first time since 1974. With this amazing alliance, The Rubettes® will be one of the only few 70s bands that has three of its original founder members performing to their audiences in the UK, Europe and Worldwide.
The Rubettes® thank their fans all over the world for their incredible support through the years.  This has been a momentous journey and one that has been made possible by the tremendous support by you, the fans. You have our unreserved admiration and utmost respect.
YOU are truly the best.
The Rubettes®

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