Procol Harum are a British rock band, formed in the 1960s, who contributed to the development of progressive rock, and by extension, symphonic rock. Their best-known recording is their 1967 single "A Whiter Shade of Pale." Although noted for its classical influence, Procol Harum's music also embraces the blues and pop.
Based in Southend, Essex, The Paramounts, led by Gary Brooker and Robin Trower and including Chris Copping, scored a moderate British success in 1964 with Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller's "Poison Ivy," which reached number 35 in the UK singles chart. They were unable to generate followup success, however, and the group disbanded in 1966.
In April 1967, Brooker began working as a singer/songwriter and formed Procol Harum with non-Paramounts Keith Reid (poet), Hammond organist Matthew Fisher, guitarist Ray Royer and bassist David Knights. The band name was chosen by its original manager Guy Stevens after a friend's Burmese cat, Johansen, "
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Procol Harum