The song was introduced on the 1966 album Winchester Cathedral by Geoff Stephens' group the New Vaudeville Band; like that group's hit "Winchester Cathedral", "There's a Kind of Hush" was conceived as a neo-British music hall number although it is a less overt example of that style. The first single version of "There's a Kind of Hush" was recorded in 1966 by Gary and the Hornets, a teen/pre-teen male band from Franklin, Ohio whose version—entitled "A Kind of Hush" produced by Lou Reizner—became a regional success and showed signs of breaking nationally in January 1967; the single would reach No. 4 in Cincinnati and No. 3 in Erie PA. However an expedient cover by Herman's Hermits was released in the US in February 1967 to reach the Top 30 of the Billboard Hot 100 in three weeks and proceed to a peak of #4—affording the group their final US Top Ten hit—with Gold certification for US sales of one million units awarded that April. In the UK Herman's Hermits' "There's a Kind of Hush" would reach No. 7. The success of the Herman's Hermits version led to the release of the original New Vaudeville Band track as a single in some territories with both of these versions charting in Australia with peaks of No. 5 (Herman's Hermits) and No. 12 (New Vaudeville Band) and also in South Africa where the New Vaudeville Band bested the Herman's Hermits' No. 9 peak by reaching No. 4.
The Carpenters remade "There's a Kind of Hush"—as "There's a Kind of Hush (All Over the World)"—for their 1976 album release A Kind of Hush for which it served as lead single, reaching No. 12 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and affording the Carpenters' their thirteenth No. 1 on the easy listening chart.
The single's lack of comparative success indicated a drop in the Carpenters' popularity, it being the first lead single from a mainstream Carpenters' album to fall short of the Top 5 since "Ticket to Ride" from the group's 1969 debut album Offering, while the No. 33 chart peak of the A Kind of Hush album afforded the Carpenters' their first Top 20 shortfall since Offering (Horizon would prove to be their last album to reach the top 20 in the United States). "There's a Kind of Hush" would remain the Carpenters' final top twenty hit until 1981's "Touch Me When We're Dancing".
Richard Carpenter explained in the liner notes to the Carpenters' 2004 best-of compilation, Gold, that although he and Karen Carpenter loved the song, he was not particularly pleased with how their remake turned out:
"...one of Karen's and my favorite songs from the '60s. In hindsight, however, even though our version was a hit, I wish we'd never recorded it. Here are three reasons why: (1) The original was, and is, perfectly fine. (2) Our foray into the oldies should have ended with the medley featured on side 2 of Now & Then, 1973. (3) The use of a synthesizer in some of our recordings has not worn well with me, on this track, or just about any other track on which I used it."
In the summer of 1968 Karel Gott reached No. 7 in Czechoslovakia with his rendition of "There's a Kind of Hush" (sung in English); a Czech rendering of the song entitled "Požehnej, Bože Můj" would be featured on Gott's 1970 album Poslouchejte! Karel Gott Zpívá Lásku Bláznivou A Další Hity.
As "There's a Kind of Hush (All Over the World)" the song made a C&W chart appearance with a No. 42 peak in 1972 via a recording by Brian Collins.