Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Max Bygraves


"b. Walter Bygraves, 16 October 1922, London, England. Performing as a soloist in his school choir and employing Max Miller impressions in the RAF, with music hall dates in the late '40s, led Bygraves quickly to his recording debut and first Royal Command Performance in 1950. His debut record, with the Carrol Gibbons Band, contained impressions of Al Jolson, and was followed by a string of novelty hits through the '50s such as, Cowpuncher's Cantata, Heart Of My Heart, Gilly Gilly Ossenfeffer Katzenellen Bogen By The Sea, Meet Me On The Corner, You Need Hands/Tulips From Amsterdam, Jingle Bell Rock and Fings Ain't Wot They Used To Be. On the popular BBC radio show, EDUCATING ARCHIE, scripted by comedian Eric Sykes, he gave a receptive nation catch phrases like, ‘a good idea son!’ and ‘bighead!’. Bygraves became enormously popular on stage and television with his clever mix of song and patter, defying the dramatic changes in music and entertainment taking place in the '60s. In the early '70s with Pye Records musical director Cyril Stapleton and the Tony Mansell Singers, Bygraves recorded an album of standard songs in medley form, called SING ALONG WITH MAX. It was the first of an amazingly successful series for which he has now won over 30 Gold Discs. Surprisingly, he has never adapted his ‘song and dance’ image to films, although he has played several, mainly dramatic, roles to substantial critical acclaim, including A CRY FROM THE STREETS and SPARE THE ROD. As early as the late '50s he formed his own music publishing company, Lakeview Music. It was intended to publish his own songs, like You Need Hands, however he bought the publishing rights to a 16 song show score for £350 because he liked one of the numbers. The show was Lionel Bart's OLIVER, and in the '80s he sold the rights to Essex Music for a quarter of a million pounds."

I found this old four track EP today in Chester's branch of what used to be the Spastic Society until they changed it to a name I can never remember. I've always avoided Max Bygraves like the plague but the youthful sleeve photo and the titles of the songs convinced me I should part with my 75p.

Max Bygraves - I Bought Myself An Old Guitar

Max Bygraves - Coming Out Party

These Rapid Share files are accessible by scrolling down the page and clicking on the FREE button. Wait at the bottom of the page for your file to appear (about 20 seconds ).

7 comments:

Cocaine Jesus said...

Shame on you. You didn't mention "I'm a Blue toothbrush, you're a Pink toothbrush".
(I have no idea what the proper title was though)!!

michael said...

A few of his other "novelty" songs get a mention though.

Cocaine Jesus said...

There used to be a Radio programme, long before Radio 1 days, and long before Ed "Stewpot" Stewart's days as "Uncle Ed". It was always on a Saturday morning and featured a variety of songs such as dear old Max's and 'Inch Worm' by Danny Kaye and stuff by Doris Day and ?Michael Halliday?.
Funny thing, must be age, but I feel strangely nostalgic about it and reading this site reinforces that feeling.

hazel said...

you need hands......
thats another

michael said...

I did mention "You Need Hands". Its a shame he turned his back on all that novelty songside and concentrated on being an all round family entertainer and sold out just like so many others have. I suppose the lure of big bucks is just too much temptation.

michael said...

There is a good set of CD's (which i have ofcourse) celebrating the days of Uncle Mac and Childrens favourites. I must confess i have the same nostalgic feeling steal over me whenever I hear Nelly The Elephant, Tubby The Tuba and They're Changing Guards At Buckingham Palace etc.

Cocaine Jesus said...

There you go 'Uncle Mac and Childrens favourites'. Once in awhile they would play a Beatles or Shadows record.