According to an uncited (and therefore quite dubious) tidbit on The Tremeloes’ Wikipedia page, the band was signed by their label (Decca) over another English band, The Beatles, who were deemed a bit too far away in Liverpool.
I’ll be honest, I’ve never known the specifics of Cat Stevens’ conversion to Islam and later controversies. I just did a quick read of his Wikipedia entry and, as I suspected, it’s not as extreme as I’d thought.
Back in high school, though, I remember hearing the most popular Cat Stevens story, that he supported the fatwa calling for the death of author Salman Rushdie, and being totally depressed by it. I had a couple Cat Stevens albums (Tea for the Tillerman and Teaser and the Firecat) and I just loved them. How could the ‘Peace Train’ guy support the death of another artist?