Mickie Most, a music producer who helped craft the sound of the 1960s' British invasion, has died. He was 64. Most died of cancer on Friday at his home in north London, his family said.

Mickie Most, a music producer who helped craft the sound of the 1960s' British invasion, has died. He was 64. Most died of cancer on Friday at his home in north London, his family said.

Born Michael Peter Hayes in Aldershot, England, in 1938, Most broke into Britain's fledgling rock'n'roll scene in the 1950s as a member of the Most Brothers. The band failed to make it big, but the name stuck. Moving to his wife's homeland of South Africa, he topped the charts by covering U.S. hits with his band the Playboys.

But his biggest influence was as a producer who helped British acts like the Animals, Lulu, and Donovan break into the U.S. marketplace. "Mickie's musical success in the U.S. stemmed from his monthly trips to New York and L.A. carrying a briefcase full of his latest tapes," said longtime friend Deke Arlon. "He knocked on the doors of top record executives and wouldn't leave until they'd heard his music."

Among the hits he produced were the Animals' "House of the Rising Sun" -- an international smash in 1964 -- "I'm Into Something Good" by Herman's Hermits, and Donovan's "Sunshine Superman." However, his commercial pop instincts fit less well with the hard-rocking Yardbirds -- the "Little Games" album he recorded with them in 1967 was a flop.

Through the 1970s and '80s Most worked with commercially, if not always critically, successful bands including the Sweet, Suzi Quatro, Smokie, and Hot Chocolate. He also was a panelist on the TV talent show "New Faces," renowned for his withering assessment of hopefuls' prospects.

He is survived by his wife, two daughters, and a son. His funeral will be held on June 9 in London.


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