Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes) by Edison Lighthouse, with Burrows singing, has been watched more than two billion times on the social media app, and is still trending globally.
“It’s unbelievable,” Tony told the Sunday Express. “I got a message from a friend on January 6 asking if I knew about it, and the record company rang to tell me two hours later.
“I did not have a clue about TikTok; I knew it was a kids’ thing, so I suppose I’m down with the kids.
“I’ve no idea how it started, but there is a timeless quality about the song, that’s why it appeals across the generations. It’s been played more than two billion times and it’s still growing! What goes around comes around!
“My message to TikTok kids is keep doing what you’re doing, I’m loving it.”
Love Grows, written by Tony Macauley and Barry Mason, topped the UK charts for five weeks in 1970 holding off strong challenges from Peter, Paul & Mary and Canned Heat.
But Burrows only sang on it by chance. “They were looking for a vocalist and during the recording, the MD played Macauley a demo of me singing Frankie Valli’s You’ve Got Your Troubles, a ballad version.
“He immediately asked if I’d sing on the record,” Tony recalled. “Then when it took off they had to put a group together very fast. They got a London group called Greenfield Hammer to become Edison Lighthouse with me singing.
“I refused to tour as I wasn’t interested in being in a group, I had done all that. In fact I offered to let the writers buy me out. In the end I agreed to do all the TV promotion, but not the live shows.”
Incredibly, Exeter-born Burrows sang on four Top Ten hits concurrently – the others being Brotherhood Of Man’s United We Stand, Gimme Dat Ding by the Pipkins, and My Baby Loves Lovin’ by White Plains.
Three of his bands appeared on a single edition of Top Of The Pops in early 1970, he said, and two of them appeared on other episodes three more times.
Love Grows has now re-entered the iTunes Top 75. Said Tony, “Luckily I am on a royalty for it, as I was doing so many sessions, I requested one.”
His professional career began in vocal harmony group The Kestrels before he joined The Ivy League who then became The Flower Pot Men (which featured two future members of rock legends Deep Purple).
His last hit was 1974’s Beach Baby by The First Class,
Tony is now considering postponing his retirement. “I said I would stop performing when I was 80 – this April. But I’m being asked to do all sorts of things because of this,” he said.
“They keep asking me to go to America and perform the old hits, I could be tempted. I’m less tempted by reality TV though. I don’t want to eat horrible things or go dancing, no thank you.”