Born on 10 May 1946 in Manchester, Graham was given his first guitar at the age of 11 and started playing with local bands at 15. He received early encouragement to develop his musical talent from his mother Betty and father Hymie, who also contributed with suggested lyrics and song titles.
Graham played with various Manchester bands before forming The Mockingbirds in 1965 (with Kevin Godley on drums), and when the record label Columbia rejected Graham’s first single composition for the band, it turned out to be a blessing in disguise. The song, For Your Love, became a huge hit for The Yardbirds.
Working by day in a men's outfitters shop and playing by night with his semi-professional band, Graham went on to write a string of hits, such as Pamela, Pamela for Wayne Fontana, For Your Love, Evil Hearted You and Heart Full of Soul (The Yardbirds), Bus Stop and Look Through Any Window (The Hollies), No Milk Today and Listen People (Herman's Hermits), and Tallyman for Jeff Beck.
In 1972, along with Eric Stewart, Kevin Godley and Lol Creme, he formed 10cc and enjoyed a string of Top 10 hits, including three No 1s - Rubber Bullets, I’m Not In Love and Dreadlock Holiday – along with Donna (No 2), Art For Art’s Sake and Good Morning Judge (both reaching No 5), The Things We Do For Love and I’m Mandy Fly Me (6), and The Wall Street Shuffle (10).
It’s the enduring popularity of these tracks and Graham’s love of playing songs acoustically, that led to the formation of Heart Full of Songs, which features many of these songs, Bridge To Your Heart (from Graham’s time in Wax with the late Andrew Gold) and other compositions including film sound tracks and material from his acclaimed solo albums Animalympics, And Another Thing, Love And Work and Play Nicely And Share.
Songs written or co-written by Graham Gouldman include:
- Art For Art’s Sake - 10cc
- Bridge To You Heart - Wax
- Bus Stop* - The Hollies
- Dreadlock Holiday - 10cc
- East West* - Herman’s Hermits
- Evil Hearted You* - The Yardbirds
- For Your Love* - The Yardbirds
- Good Morning Judge - 10cc
- Heart Full of Soul* - The Yardbirds
- I Got You - McFly
- I’m Mandy Fly Me - 10cc
- I’m Not In Love - 10cc
- Listen People* - Herman’s Hermits
- Look Through Any Window - The Hollies
- No Milk Today* - Herman’s Hermits
- Pamela Pamela* - Wayne Fontana
- Right Between Your Eyes - Wax
- Rubber Bullets - 10cc
- Stalking A Fan - Kirsty McColl
- Stronger - Gary Barlow
- Tallyman* - Jeff Beck
- The Wall Street Shuffle - 10cc
- The Way I'm Feeling Tonight - Paul Carrack
- Things We Do For Love - 10cc