I've been wanting to uplaod this for a while as i havent heard it myself. A very scratchy souvenir from a record making kiosk at the top of the Empire State Building. I imagine it to be at the top anyway. It was back in the 50's 40's when this was made. A little girl talks to her Granma or Granpa with whispered encouragement from Mom. She talks about going back to England and then she misses Toronto so not sure where she is from. She misses her friends, school and her Dad. It's very touching and sad. The other side is completely flat but has the same label. I think I found it many years ago at Brick Lane market in the East End of London like so many of these old records it caught my eye. It plays at 78 rpm and was able to speed it up using Audacity which is a shareware you can download for free.
Discover more about the Empire State Building HERE.
An LP from Mexico by Socios Del Ritmo bought back by a friend in the 80's. Released on Ariola in 1983. This track is a medley of old Bill Hayley songs including Florida Twist, Tren Nocturno, Ahi Nos Vemos Cocodrilo and Al Compas Del Reloj-j.
Very little information about this popular band in Mexico on the net. They have many LP's to their name but no website and not one biography.
A medley of old songs including "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes" and "Granada" by the Howard Morrison Quartet from New Zealand, recorded back in the 50's at the height of the skiffle boom.
Howard Morrison was born in 1936 in Rotorua, the son of Maori All Black Tem Morrison. In 1955 Howard started putting together vocal groups to entertain at Rugby Club socials in Rotorua. At that stage he had been working as a surveyor's chainman and later as a meter reader for the Tourist Department. He was also playing rugby on the back of the scrum for Waikite.
Music was strictly part-time and he had received a little experience, mainly at Te Aute College and in various Maori cultural groups, show bands and concert parties. At that stage he had dreams of becoming a professional entertainer. In 1956 he became a member of the successful Aotearoa Concert Party that toured Australia. On his return, while attending a family gathering, he heard a guitarist Gerry Merito and decided to put together a group with him and also roped in his brother Laurie and his cousin John. The group was called the Ohinemutu Quartet, but soon after they were renamed to the Howard Morrison Quartet. This became the beginning of the most distinguished Show Business career of any New Zealander permanently based there.
"The quartet began performing around Rotorua and before long bookings were coming in as word spread about this talented group. The group might never have strayed far from Rotorua had they not been spotted by Auckland entrepreneur Benny Levin in December 1957. He was putting together a group of artists to appear on his touring 'Pop Jamboree', and after seeing the boys at a talent quest, he signed them to be part of his show. He was so impressed with them that he started bringing them to Auckland to play at his venues there. With their reputation growing, Benny negotiated a recording contract with Eldred Stebbing at Zodiac.
The first release in 1958 was "There's Only One Of You"/"Big Man", available in both 78rpm and 45rpm format, as were three of the first four singles. The first wasn't a big seller, but the second, a Maori version of the tune "There's A Goldmine In The Sky", called "Hoki Mai" sold well. It was backed with "Po Karekare Ana" and also released in 1958, as were two more singles, "Haere Ra E Hine"/"Marama Pai" and "Marie"/"Deep Purple".
As tended to be the tradition at that time, Zodiac also released three four-track EP's in 1958. In 1959 Benny Levin took the Quartet on their first national tour, finishing with a full house at the Auckland Town Hall. It was at that show that Gerry Merito's parody of the Lonnie Donegan hit "The Battle Of New Orleans" was recorded as "The Battle Of The Waikato".
At one of their shows they were approached by another budding entrepreneur, Harry M Miller, who was looking for acts for his touring show. The Quartet didn't actually have a managerial contract with Benny Levin, so Harry signed them up and became their new manager. While he was at it, he also signed them up to his new La Gloria label. Meanwhile Zodiac released "Short Fat Fannie"/"Goodbye Baby" in 1959 and Stebbing was preparing to release his live version of "Battle Of Waikato", when Miller had the boys at his place doing a studio version of the same song. Miller was about to release his when Stebbing found out and the matter went to court. They were still contracted to Zodiac, so Miller was not allowed to release his version at this stage.
Zodiac released their version and it became one of their biggest hits. It was backed with a live recording of "Granada". The follow-up single was also a live double from the same concert, "Hawaiian Cowboy Song"/"Little Darlin' ". Zodiac only had one more song in their cupboard before the contract ran out, so they released it , "Because Of You" backed with the original "Hoki Mai".
As their new manager, Miller insisted that the boys become full-time professional. Laurie and John couldn't make that commitment, so two new members had to be found in a hurry. Howard persuaded Wi Wharekura and Noel Kingi from Rotorua to join him and Gerry, thus forming the best known Quartet combination."
"The diminutive Charlie Drake, who had a fine line in slapstick and pathos and a catch-cry of "Hello my darlings", featured in this BBC comedy series (which followed his successful 1959 - 1960 Charlie Drake program).
The Charlie Drake Show was scripted by Drake and Richard Waring, and produced by Ronald Marsh. It featured slapstick-style sketches and situations which brought out the pathos and genius of this much underrated comedian.
Meanwhile on ITV, Charlie featured in a comedy-music series (also called The Charlie Drake Show) in 1963 under producer Colin Clews with scripts by Drake and Lewis Schwarz. A very young Olivia Hussey also appeared in some of the routines.
Drake also starred in The Worker from 1965 - 1970 and then in the early 70's had a show called Slapstick and Old Lace in which he involved viewers in singalongs and madcap sketches in a Vaudeville style (7 x 30 minute episodes).
Charlie Drake was no stranger to accidents, but his narrowest escape was in the first of a new series entitled Bingo Madness. The plot called for Drake to be hurled through a bookcase by two villains, feign unconsciousness, fall to the floor and then be picked up and thrown out of a window.
The stunt nearly ended in tragedy as Drake really was knocked unconscious when he came through the bookcase. It was a live show and the actors, not realize anything was amiss, carried on, picking him up and bundling him through the window. Drake's head crashed against a stage weight.
After the initial applause, there was a hush as everyone realized something was wrong. The director blacked out the screen as millions of people witnessed what could have been the death of Charlie Drake. He lay in a coma for days, and the rest of the series was cancelled."
Charlie also had a successful recording career throughout the 50's and 60's- two of his biggest hits being "My Boomerang Won't Come Back" and "Please Mr Custer".
Here's an old Jamaican single on the Ska Beat label from 1965 to wish you a "Merry Christmas". I could not find anything about Cedric Bravo but I'm pretty sure Rico is Rico Rodriquez who has been a session musician for many years and has put out some fine records of his own. Now he plays with the Jools Holland Big Band. The B side also uploaded here is the same tune but with different lyrics.
"One of the most prolific session players of Jamaica's pre-ska era, trombonist Rico Rodriguez recorded both as a solo artist and as an honorary member of The Specials. Born October 17, 1934, his musical pursuits began while attending Kingston's Alpha Boys School, an institution for wayward boys, where he studied trombone under the legendary Don Drummond. In the years to follow, Rico emerged as one of Jamaica's most highly regarded session musicians, often working under the direction of the renowned producer Duke Reid.
In 1961, in the months prior to the explosion of the ska phenomenon, he relocated to the UK, where he recorded a number of sides for the fledgling Island label and gigged extensively on the jazz and R&B circuits, playing with Georgie Fame's Blue Flames and others. He also remained a top-notch session man, appearing on Sugar & Dandy's 1967 classic "A Message to You Rudy," among others. "
Found this LP of Private Eye'sGolden Years of Sound at a boot sale a couple of years ago. It's a compliation of all the Christmas flexi discs they used to give away with the satirical magazine between 1964 and 1970. It has contributions by John Bird, Eleanor Bron, Barry Fantoni, Wiilliam Rushton and many others. On the two snippets here you can hear Peter Cook and Barry Humphries (doing his Barry Mackensie voice) and Dudley Moore singing a song as Whispering Jim Narg.This Lyn label copy was published by Private Eye in 1973. Most of it sounds pretty dated now , being mainly about the politics and personalities of the time who have long since passed from public conciousness (even in the U.K.).
More Xmas fun and frivolity now with part of a 1993 radio series "Chas 'N' Dave's Knees Up" on the BBC. Recorded live on Dec. 25th. at White's Club in Tottenham. Special guests are The Barron Knights.
1. Intro. 2. Darling I Don't Care 3. I Saw Mummy Kissing Santa Claus 4. The Jimmy Brown Song ( The Barron Knights ) 5. Flying 6. Sausage & Mash
"Chas & Dave are Cockney pop rock music artists, often billed as Chas 'n' Dave or erroneously as Chaz 'n' Dave. Their full names are Chas Hodges (piano, vocals, banjo, guitars) and Dave Peacock (bass guitar, vocals, banjo, guitars), with Mick Burt on drums. They were regulars on British TV from 1975 onwards and had hits like "Gertcha", their first, as well as "Rabbit" and "The Sideboard Song". Their music was featured in a TV beer advertising campaign which also helped to establish them in the United Kingdom. The unique cockney style of singing was from the start intentional. They felt an alternative to the way British bands copied American accents was needed. The songs above are partly comic, and Chas 'n' Dave are identified with London pub culture. But their 1982 number 2 hit, "Ain't No Pleasing You" was a more romantic record, with strings added to the usual piano, drum and bass sound. 'Rockney' has been coined as a term for their music style. They have always done a great deal of live work, and are currently doing shows all over the UK. "Snooker Loopy" is a comic song about snooker by Chas and Dave. Chas and Dave have remained famous, in part, because of the songs they have written and recorded for Tottenham Hotspur F.C. Among their most famous Spurs recordings are "Glory Glory Tottenham Hotspur", "Ossie's Dream", "Hot Shot Tottenham", "When the Year Ends in One", "Tottenham Tottenham" and the "Spurs Medley"."
Whilst I'm in the mood for uploadling these old 78's I might as well include this oddity which I've had for 30 years or more. It's a BBC soundtrack disc made of metal with a plastic coating. It plays at 78 and is very scratched so apologies for the crackles and pops. The handwritten label suggests it was made for inclusion in the radio series "Journey Into Space" that was popular in the 50's but why this song? I have another version of "When It's Night Time In Italy , It's Wednesday Over Here" by the Everly Brothers. Bing Crosby apparently recorded a version but I've never heard it. I assume its an old music hall song. I will delve further into the internet and see what I find.
One of the old 78's in my collection that I will upload from time to time now I know how to change the speed with Audacity. This one is by The Blue Lyres who I know nothing about. Its on the Zonophone label and recorded at the Dorchester Hotel in London sometime in the 30's I would guess.
"Arguably the best hotel band in Britain at the time, the Ambrose Orchestra at the Mayfair could count royalty among their audience and aquired the top Saturday night spot for radio broadcasts. Over two hundred HMV recordings were made during 1930-1932, and several recordings on Decca and Zonophone by the Blue Lyres are now regarded as being by members of the Ambrose Orchestra. During this time it was Sam Browne who delivered most of the vocals. "
"Sam's voice is easily recognisable and it has been quite an easy task for discographers to identify many of the anonymous 'vocal refrains' on records by the less famous bands. It's obvious now that Sam made over 1000 recordings. Bands that featured Sam on many records include Alfredo (on Edison), Bertini (on Eclipse), Harry Bidgood (on Broadcast), Harry Hudson (on Edison), and of course Lew Stone and about a dozen more.
Not regarded as a 'jazz' singer, Sam Browne nevertheless performs very adequately on a number of hot dance records, and as well as some of the early Ambrose recordings Sam also sang on a few other hot recordings by the bands of Jay Wilbur, Six Swingers etc. Sam is featured in several British films, including Calling All Stars, Variety Parade and Hi Gang, as well as numerous film shorts."
I've been aching to upload this daft children's record for a while now - since I found it in my local Oxfam charity shopfor 25p! I've just discovered there is a speed changer setting on Audacity which allows you to play 78's at the right speed. I only have 33 & 45rpm on my cheap record deck. So now I can upload some of my prized shellac recordings if I buy a suitable stylus. This one ofcourse is yellow plastic! The whole idea that these tracks are "Blue Beat" "Ska" or "Slop" is very amusing and quite ridiculous! Apparently there was a whole Lp of this stuff released in 1964 at the height of Beatlemania called "Nursery Rhymes Sung With A Beatle Beat".
The above medley comes from an Lp called "Alf Garnett's Music Hall" that was released on the Allegro label in 1967. The long running sit-com Til Death Us Do Partfeaturing the bigot Alf played by Warren Mitchell .
Wikipedia says of Warren Mitchell-
"Warren Mitchell, (born Warren Misel, 14 January 1926, Stoke Newington, London) is an English-born actor with Australian citizenship. Best known for his role as the bigoted Cockney West Ham United F.C. supporter, Alf Garnett in the BBC television sitcom Till Death Us Do Part, Warren Mitchell has a long and distinguished career on stage and television. Ironically, his real life persona is quite the opposite, being a left-winger, Jewish, and a staunch supporter of Tottenham Hotspur F.C.. Mitchell joined the RAF in company with his contemporary Richard Burton in 1944 and completed his navigator training just as the war ended. Mitchell had been reading physics at University College, Oxford. Richard Burton's description of the acting profession convinced him that it would be better than completing his physics degree and so Mitchell attended RADA for two years. In 1951, Mitchell became a professional actor but his big break did not occur until 1965 with the role of Alf Garnett in a Comedy Playhouse play. This was the pilot edition of the series Till Death Us Do Part with Dandy Nichols, Una Stubbs and Anthony Booth (now Tony Blair's father-in-law). Other small screen roles include performances in Lovejoy, Waking the Dead and Gormenghast. On stage he received extensive critical acclaim for his performances in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman and Harold Pinter's The Caretaker at the National Theatre; and Pinter's The Homecoming and Miller's The Price in the West End. Even after the cancellation of In Sickness And In Health, Mitchell played Alf on a number of occasions. ITV aired a series of mini episodes called A Word With Alf featuring Alf and his friends. When Johnny Speight died in 1998, the series was cancelled at the request of Mitchell saying he no longer wanted to play Alf now that Speight was dead. Warren Mitchell suffered a stroke in August 2004 and was back on stage a week later performing in Arthur Miller's "The Price", a two-hour play that featured four actors. Warren Mitchell is a Distinguished Supporter of the British Humanist Association."
To make up for the previous post I have found this lovely 1980's Colombian record on the Zeida lable for you. It certainly looks very xmassy but my guess would be that it's "Hits Of The Year" and these are some of the favourites in Colombia in 1980.
"Modern Colombian music is a mixture of African, native Indigenous and European (especially Spanish) influences, as well as more modern American and Caribbean musical forms, such as Trinidadian, Cuban, and Jamaican. The national music of Colombia is said to be cumbia. Cumbia is a mixture of Spanish and African music, the latter brought by slaves. In the 19th century, slavery was abolished and Africans, Indians and other ethnic groups mixed more fully. Styles like bambuco, vallenato and porro was especially influential. When the waltz became popular in the 19th century, a Colombian version called pasillo was invented. International Latin, a type of pop ballad, and salsa music are best-represented by Charlie Zaa and Joe Arroyo, respectively."
As everyone seems to be uploading all their Christmas junk, I thought I would find a few horrors lurking in my collection and join in with the festive fun ( or not, as the case may be ). This LP on the Major Minor label was released in 1968 when Freddie was at the height of his powers. As you will hear his comedy was not very subtle and relied heavily on a strange impediment - a lisp with a limp.
"He learned his craft as a Butlin's Redcoat in the 1950s. By 1963 he had pulled an old hat over his face and adopted a ferocious lisp to become "Parrot Face", pronounced "Parrot Faith".
A sniffy producer at the BBC told him: "You can't do that voice - it's an impediment."
Two years later, having won Opportunity Knocks outright and become a national favourite, Davies returned to the Beeb. Was his "impediment" now acceptable?
"I suppose it will have to be," flounced the same producer.
But as quickly as he flew to stardom, this Parrot vanished from sight. New, alternative comedy came along and tastes changed, he smiles ruefully.
"People get fed up with performers doing the same thing and they move on, particularly with comedy in the 1980s."
And yet there's more to it than that. Looking back, he reckons he was never focused enough to be a great comedian.
"A lot of comedians are not very nice people," he confides. "They have this single-minded selfishness. I wanted other things."
He had a spell in drama management, spent years entertaining cruise-liner passengers, starred in the brilliant Lee Evans film Funny Bones, toured in the Victoria Wood play Talent, and became a fixture for two years in the TV series Harbour Lights."
A selection from the privately pressed? tape of old xmas songs and adverts cunningly cobbled together by Eddie Gorodetsky in 1997 that someone sent me a couple of years ago.
1. Christmas For Moderns - Maynard Ferguson 2. Jingle Bells - Jimmy McGriff 3. Frosty The Snowman - The Lizard Men 4. Cowboy Santa Claus - Bill Lacey & Group
"One of the all-time giants of the Hammond B-3, Jimmy McGriff sometimes gets lost amid all the great soul-jazz organists from his hometown of Philadelphia. He was almost certainly the bluesiest of the major soul-jazz pioneers, and indeed, he often insisted that he was more of a blues musician than a jazz artist; nonetheless, he remained eclectic enough to blur the lines of classification. His sound -- deep, down-to-earth grooves drenched in blues and gospel feeling -- made him quite popular with R&B audiences, even more so than some of his peers; what was more, he was able to condense those charms into concise, funky, jukebox-ready singles that often did surprisingly well on the R&B charts. His rearrangement of Ray Charles' "I Got a Woman" was a Top Five R&B hit in 1962, and further hits like "All About My Girl," "Kiko," and "The Worm" followed over the course of the '60s. McGriff spent much of the '70s trying to keep pace with the fusion movement, switching to various electric keyboards and adopting an increasingly smooth, polished style."
1. Murphy's Wedding Day 2. Izzy Izzy Izzy 3. Holiday Time Is Jollity Time 4. The Yodelling Sailor
Little is known of George Van Dusen and despite extensive searches on the internet have failed to find anyone who knows anything about him except that he was a renowned yodeller held in high regard and a contemporary of Harry Torrani and Ronnie Ronalde in the 30's and 40's. His "Yodelling Chinaman" track is probably his most well known and popped up on several compilations of novelty songs over the years. These tracks are from 1937 and kindly supplied by Jim Benson who will doubtless phone me up to tell me I've got it all wrong and that infact George was a dutchman who died in 1929! I love this photo of him from the only one I could find.
Since this was last blogged I had some interesting comments to say that George was born Thomas Harrington , probably in the East End of London in the early 1900's and recorded for the Rex record label. He was still perfoming well into his 80's though confined to a wheel chair. He apparently had a minor hit in the 60's but I can find no record to confirm this.
My friend Jim in Basingstoke sent me this cassette from the Armpit Jug Band recently. It's a rare live recording from 1995 at the Silver Jubilee Jamboree at the Bedworth Civic Hall on April 1st- hence the title of the LP "April Fool". Some great tracks including typical jug band fare- Blues My Naughty Sweetie Gave To Me, St. James Infirmary etc. but some original and daft songs like the excellent Slug Surfin'.
"If life is like a tale told by an idiot, then being in the Armpit Jug Band is a lot more like life than we realised. What Strange Chemistry connected this band?
Before the Armpit Jug Band there was the Gosford Armpit Band. And before that there were several disparate and desperate individuals wandering the mysterious and joyous landscape of the early 60s.
Jazz Beasley and Hot Lips Haines, his surly companion in schoolboy criminality, were struggling out of the musical straightjackets of the Boys Brigade to form the ill fated Tame Valley Juke Stompers. It foundered on the rocks of discordant incompetence. Little Wedge Beasley was kicking at his pushchair straps and beating his Tommee Tippee in time to Budgie and Iron Maiden.
Somewhere on the others side of the Birmingham tracks, in the depths of Shard End, was T-Bone "Axeman" Jones, treading the solitary path of a blues Visionary. He was to be a catalyst in the evolution of Fleetwood Mac . . . He told Peter Green to give all his money away.
In the days when Fred West was just another cowboy builder with a spare bag of cement .... somewhere in Gloucester was Stringbean, the tortured aesthete standing alone in the shadows of the match factory . . . England's Glory! He tossed a coin up into the foggy glare of a sodium lamp and lost his bus fare home.
Jazz and Stringbean, with others too inept to mention, became the Gosford Armpit Band while students in Coventry. At first it was just holding hands . . . but before they knew it they were going steady. There were hours of rehearsal . . . ( was it 3 or 4?) . . . in a tiny room made of foetid with the secretion of bodily odours and the acrid smouldering of Park Drives.
At last they were ready to thrust themselves into the world of musical history."
I have picked up so many Fats Waller CD's and LP's over the years and they are all fantastic. He really could have a whole blog to himself he was so prolific. Lots still available on cheap compilations so go out and find them.
"Thomas "Fats" Waller is one of the more important of the modern pianist-composers. Born in New York on May 21, 1904, the son of a minister, "Fats" played the organ and sang in the choir of the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem, where his father preached until he was fifteen years old. Shortly after, the lure of the stage beckoned him to the interesting field of the Harlem cabaret, and he remained in that gay section of the city until 1924, occasionally doubling as a theatre organist and as a. piano-roll artist for the Q-R-S Company.
Some of "Fats' " other accomplishments include vaudeville appearances with the famous blues singer, Bessie Smith, soon after which he wrote the music to the show "Keep Shufflin'". In 1930, he composed the score for "Hot Chocolates," the hit song of which was "Ain't Misbehavin," and when this production closed, he subsequently appeared in leading supper clubs in London, Paris, Berlin and Vienna.
In 1932, he joined the artist staff of WLW at Cincinnati, where he instituted the famous "Fats" Waller Rhythm Club, which created millions of Waller fans throughout the country.
Mr. Waller is currently considered Victor's best record seller. He has been a feature in RKO films and at the time of this writing is in Hollywood for the filming of "King of Burlesque," a 20th Century--Fox production in which he will have an important role.
"Fats" is generally known as "Radio's Harmful Little Armful," and for many years studied under Godowsky in Vienna and Carl Bohn in New York."
Flash animation for "Gotto Wee", a quirky song by Manchester band Dear Eskiimo that Archie, my 14 year old son made last year. It was a three week Easter Challenge for the Cornerhouse in Manchester and was shown at the Cornerhouse on a Music Video Night in 2005. It has since been seen on BBC 2 and yesterday we went to see a screening as part of the Under Exposed young persons ( under 18 ) film festival at the Cornerhouse.
"So it is refreshing, not to mention rare, when a pop band arrive on the scene who actually know each other's names before they step into the recording studio together. It's even more heartening when their music is as original as Manchester based trio, Dear Eskiimo, whose Be Patient EP is primed to help burst the shiny, manufactured bubbles of Cowell's cash cows in record time. Perhaps what makes them stand out is their contrasting musical backgrounds: Katie White gains her inspiration from iconic female vocalists like Joni Mitchell, Janis Joplin and Debbie Harry ("Someone with a bit more to say than just standing there and shouting"), fellow vocalist and main songwriter, Jules De Martino, has his roots in indie while sampler-wielding deck-hand Simon Templeman has a heart with a hip hop beat."
Another big band from the 40's but this time from Canada. Someone sent me this recording recently and just had to share this great novelty songs with you.
"Gaetano Alberto "Guy" Lombardo (June 19, 1902 – November 5, 1977) was a Canadian bandleader and violinist famous in the United States. With his three brothers Carmen, Lebert, and Victor and other musicians from his hometown of London, Ontario, he formed the big band The Royal Canadians in 1924, famous for playing what is considered "The Sweetest Music This Side of Heaven." His very first recording session took place where Bix Beiderbecke made his legendary recordings — in Richmond, Indiana, at the Gennett Studios — both in early 1924. The band played at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City from 1929 to 1959, and their New Year's Eve broadcasts (which continued until 1976 at the Waldorf Astoria) were a major part of New Year's celebrations across North America. In 1938, he became a naturalized citizen of the United States. They were noted for playing the traditional song "Auld Lang Syne" as part of the celebrations. Their recording of the song still plays as the first song of the new year in Times Square. The Lombardos are believed to have sold more than 300 million phonograph albums during their lifetimes, a considerable feat given that many homes had no record players in the 1920s and 1930s. Although Lombardo is not considered by most to have been a top tier musician, Louis Armstrong famously enjoyed Lombardo's music. When questioned about this, Armstrong quipped "The man gets the melody right.""
From an LP on the Spark label released in 1973. Jimmy edwards sings bawdy pub songs and plays his trombone accompanied by Ken Mackintosh and his band. Also on the record is special guest Joe "Mr. Piano" Henderson.
"Jimmy Edwards was a British radio and television comedy actor, best known as Pa Glum in Take It From Here and as the headmaster 'Professor' James Edwards in Whack-O.
Born James Keith O'Neill in Barnes, London, Edwards served in the Royal Air Force during World War II, winning the Distinguished Flying Cross. His Dakota was shot down at Arnhem in 1944, resulting in plastic surgery — he disguised it with the huge handlebar moustache that later became his trademark.
A feature of London theatre in the immediate post-War years, having previously performed in the Cambridge Footlights review, Edwards gained wider exposure as a radio performer, appearing in the long-running Take It From Here, where he developed the Glums alongside June Whitfield.
Graduatating to television, his appeared in shows such as the panel game Does the Team Think?, The Seven Faces of Jim, as well as guest slots in Make Room for Daddy and Sykes. Edwards also worked with Eric Sykes when he acted in the Sykes-penned short films The Plank (1967) (alongside Tommy Cooper) and Rhubarb (1969) (which also featured Harry Secombe).
He published his autobiography, Six of the Best, in 1984, as a follow up to the earlier Take it From Me. Amongst his outside interests were brass bands and the handlebar Club, in which all the members had such moustaches. During the 1970s he also came out as a homosexual."
A great Lp I found a few years back in Brick Lane in East London. It's a compilation of amusing r&b songs from the archives of Herb Abramson. Released in 1985 on the Red Lightnin' label.
"He was born in 1916 in Brooklyn, New York City and initially studied to be a dentist. But he landed a job with National Records producing such performers as The Ravens, Billy Eckstine and Joe Turner. Herb founded his first record company, Jubilee Records, in 1946 with Jerry Blaine. Herb aspired to record jazz, R&B and Gospel recordings. Though Blaine was having some success recording Jewish novelty records, this genre did not interest Abramson, so he sold his interest in Jubilee to Blaine. Herb and his wife Miriam were close friends with fellow jazz buff Ahmet Ertegun and together they founded Atlantic Records in 1947. Herb was president of Atlantic and Ahmet was vice-president. Both Herb and Ahmet handled the creative end of the business and Miriam handled the business end."
Cosmotheka sing a few old favourites from the days of music hall on their 1992 BBC radio show "Cosmotheka's Comedy Songbook" live from the Palace Theatre , Redditch in the West Midlands.
"For those of us that had the pleasure of witnessing the ‘act’ that was Cosmotheka (Dave & Al Sealey) should count ourselves lucky. I say this in the knowledge that I, along with countless others will recall with nostalgia the songs set before us for the first time on CD. So, congratulations to Graham Bradshaw at Folksound for issuing it. I won’t re-trace the history of the duo (Dave does that in the accompanying booklet) but needless to say a majority of the most popular numbers from their extensive repertoire appear here. To name-check a few, we have ‘Wot A Mouth’, ‘Don’t Do It Again, Matilda’, ‘Thuthie’ and ‘Wot I Want Is A Proper Cup Of Coffee’. Dave and Al’s tireless pursuit of the rich music hall heritage that was so much a part of Britain’s social structure is a testament to all song collectors. I reflect with fondness my particular association with the duo when I was asked to play a difficult banjo break on one of their recordings and all the encouragement they gave me in completing the task. Without the likes of Cosmotheka, the world of folk music (which they embraced as much as the music halls) would be a poorer scene. Sadly Al passed away in 1999 leaving a legacy of recordings that if they were to be released today would bring a smile to the sternest of critics. Perhaps now the ball has started rolling someone somewhere will re-issue all of Cosmotheka’s back catalogue."
Buy the CD of some of their best known songs HERE.
A short radio programme from a series Bob Kerr did for the BBC I imagine back in the 80's or 90's. This taken from a cassette someone sent me and it is sadly lacking in any info. Bob Kerr Is currently on tour with the re-formed Bonzo Dog Band.
"The WHOOPEE BAND have performed on stage and TV in most European countries, had their own 45 minute TV show in Germany, not to mention their very own TV series for London Weekend Television in the 70's, it was called "Making Whoopee". They have worked with many leading stars including Lionel Bart, Peter Cook & Dudley More and Max Wall. They have toured with Ralph McTell, Manhattan Transfer and many more. Such is the bizarre nature of this outfit they not only play Theatres and Festivals all over Europe and beyond, they even played at the legendary BOB DYLAN concerts in Earls Court London in the late seventies and when Roger Daltrey of The Who got married they even played at his wedding. The WHOOPEE BAND have appeared in concert at the Philharmonic Hall in St. Petersburg, Russia and in Denmark with Dame Edna Everage ............in various concerts with Chris Barber, Kenny Ball, Lonnie Donegan and Acker Bilk plus many many more."
Another selection of songs here including Pasadena, Hard Hearted Hannah and Somebody Stole My Gal. In fact I think these may not be radio shows atall but television shows on London Weekend as mentioned in the website.
A rather battered and bruised EP found at Crewe Flea market yesterday for 50p. Winnie had loads of hits in the U.K. in the 50's- mostly medleys of music hall and popular songs like we have here. She paved the way for other pianists who made it big later on, like Russ Conway and Mrs. Mills.
Here's what Wikipedia says about her -
"Winifred Atwell (February 27, 1914 - February 28, 1983) was a pianist who enjoyed great popularity in Britain in the 1950s with a series of boogie woogie and ragtime hits. Atwell was born in Tunapuna in Trinidad and Tobago. Her family owned a pharmacy, and she trained as a druggist, and was expected to join the family business, Winifred , however played the piano since a young age, and achieved considerable popularity locally. She used to play for American Serviceman at the air force base (which is now the main airport). It was whilst playing at the Servicemen's Club at Piarco someone bet her she couldn't play something in the boogie woogie style that was popular back home in the USA. She went away and wrote "Piarco Boogie" which was later renamed "Five Finger Boogie"."
Happy to upload some more Hank Snow found on this LP recently at charity shop for a few pennies. Hank plays a mean guitar and his songs are uplifting rather than maudlin. He's not afraid to introduce some interesting Latin influences as in the song "Panamama" and "When Mexican Joe Met Jole Blon" is enriched by some Creole sounds and nimble guitar picking.
Clarence Eugene "Hank" Snow was born on May 9th, 1914 in the sleepy fishing village of Brooklyn, Queens County, on Nova Scotia's beautiful South Shore, just down the tracks from Liverpool.
"As a boy, Hank faced many difficulties and shortcomings. He had to face the trauma of his parents' divorce at just eight years old and he was forced to stay with his grandparents. He then had to deal with an abusive grandmother who forbid him to see his mother. He regularly sneaked out at night and walked the railroad tracks to Liverpool where his mother was living. Not willing to return to his grandmother, who would often beat him for visiting his mom, he would sometimes seek shelter in Liverpool's railway station, now home of the Hank Snow Country Music Centre.
Both his parents had musical talent and Hank picked up his basic guitar-playing skills from his mother. In 1926, Hank went to sea as a 12-year-old cabin boy on fishing schooners based out of Lunenburg to escape his abusive step-father and never returned to school. With his first earned income he bought his first guitar, a T. Eaton Special for $5.95. While at sea, Hank would listen to Jimmie Rodgers on the radio and began to imitate him and entertain the crew. It wasn't long before Hank had picked up his own style."
"For this one, he contacted an old friend with whom he had performed in a Country Western Band (he played pedal steel guitar). Maureen McElheron, whose band it had been, agreed to score "Your Face." Due to budgetary considerations, she also sang. Her voice, eerily decelerated to sound more masculine combined with a fantastically contorting visage helped garner the film a 1988 Oscar nomination for best animation."
Aother found cassette on the boot sale on sunday. "The Golden Age of Lew Stone" on the EMI label from the 80's. All songs from the mid 30's.
"London native Lew Stone was an extremely popular bandleader, arranger, and pianist throughout the '30s. The self-taught musician also authored Harmony and Orchestration for the Modern Dance Band, a book that was the standard in its field against which all others were measured for several decades. In his late '20s, he spent a brief period playing piano for Bert Ralton, but this association ended when Ralton passed away while he was hunting in Africa. Stone farmed himself out as a freelance arranger for numerous bands for a period of four years, beginning in 1927. By 1931, Stone was working with Roy Fox in Piccadilly, enchanting audiences from the stage of the Monseigneur Restaurant. Stone stepped into the leader's position the following year, when Fox decided to move on.
As he formed his own outfit, Stone continued to utilize some of Fox's musicians, among them popular singer Al Bowlly, drummer Bill Harty, saxophone players Ernest Ritte and Joe Crossman, trombonists Lew Davis and Joe Ferrie, bassist Tiny Winters, and trumpeters Alfie Noakes and Nat Gonella. Stone's band, which played on the radio once a week, recorded a number of songs. These included "Call of the Freaks," "Tiger Rag," "White Jazz/Blue Jazz," and "Milenbourg Joys." Bowlly stayed with the band for two years, during which he was featured on "Isle of Capri," the bandleader's only hit on the other side of the Atlantic. He also sang on "What a Little Moonlight Can Do," "With My Eyes Wide Open I'm Dreaming," "Just Let Me Look at You," and "I'll Never Be the Same." Although Bowlly left Stone's band in 1934, he returned later in the decade for a short period. Stone went on to lead the Stonecrackers and the Novatones during the '40s."
Podcast of first few tracks from an old mix tape I found recently. Mostly old hawaiian and old timey tracks from the 30's and 40's.
Tracks are as follows-
1. Abdul Abulbul Ameer - Frank Ifield 2. Hula Girl - Sal Hoopii's Quintet 3. Hawaiian Cowboy - Sol K. Bright & His Hollywiians 4. Jonah In The Whale - Golden Gate Quintet 5. Ol' Man Mose - Golden Gate Quintet 6. New Jole Blon - Moon Mullican
FRANK IFIELD is an Australian who had a few hits in the U.K. in the early 60's. His first was "I Remember You" and was one of the first records I ever bought. It was the first time I'd heard any yodelling in the pop charts!
SOL K. BRIGHT. "Solomon Kekipi Bright was born in Honolulu, and became famous as a composer, musician, comic dancer, producer, director and actor. The author of 'Hawaiian Cowboy,' 'Sophisticated Hula,' and many others began his career with his sister Hannah Bright's orchestra. He joined Sol Hoopii's orchestra in 1928 on the mainland, then returned to Honolulu and formed his own band. He toured the west coast from 1936 through 1957, while appearing in every major Waikiki venue when on island.
Sol's brother Andy popularized 'Hawaiian Cowboy' on Hawaii Calls, using a dummy horse as a prop, an idea Hilo Hattie appropriated for her shows. Sol's other comic hit, 'Hawaiian Scotsman,' made a star out of Bill Akamuhou. Sol's hundreds of recordings sold millions of copies. He was a moving force behind the formation of the Hawaiian Professional Songwriter's Society and the Hawaiian Music Awards Academy."
GOLDEN GATE QUARTET. "When the GGQ burst onto the gospel music scene in the 1930's out of the Tidewater region of Virginia, black churches were quite musically conservative and not given to rhythmic experimentation or nods toward popular music. Thus there was a fair amount of head-shaking when the GGQ emerged as the leader of a very fine pack of Gospel groups during a very difficult and trying time in American history. Appearing on a North Carolina radio station led to a move north, then to a Bluebird recording contract. The strong beat and counterpoint in those first recordings are looked upon as a turning point in Gospel music, a rebirth of the spiritual."
No vinyl today but this cassette from the 80's. A re-issue of some tracks from the 40's by Felix Mendelssohn and His Hawaiian Serenaders. Sadly very little on the internet about Felix and his Serenaders but he was British and caught the Hawaiian bug in the 30's and although not a musician himself managed to gather some accomplished musicians around him and spread the music of the South pacific around wartime Britain. His lavish stage shows had "hula" dancers and the band dressed appropriately in grass skirts and flower garlands travelled around until the early 50's.
Rare piece of film of Felix and the Serenaders from a daft British Film .
Not a boot sale find ( they are a bit thin on the ground just lately ) but I promised some tracks by G.H. Elliott to a friend who asked if i had any and searching through my old cassette tapes found several that had been dubbed from various sources from 1912 up until the 50's. The recording above is from a radio show- one of the last he made I imagine ,singing " I Used To Sigh For The Silvery Moon" which was his theme song.
"G.H. Elliott was one of Britain’s best-loved blackface entertainers in the days before such things became unthinkable. He was, like Gracie Fields, born in Rochdale, Lancashire, and as a child was taken to the United States, where he learned his craft with the Primrose West Minstrels (Gammond 1991, 176). He was elegant and sophisticated — Peter Honri (1974, 20) relates that, in blacking up, he always used champagne corks. Music Hall historian W. Macqueen-Pope (1950, 163) calls him “the nearest approach to the wonderful Eugene Stratton the Halls ever knew” (although S. Theodore Felstead accords that accolade to another blackface performer, Dubliner Tom E. Finglass). Among the songs particularly associated with him are Idaho, I Used To Sigh For The Silvery Moon, and Sue, Sue, Sue. Elliott’s long career carried him well into the 1940s." He died in 1962.
"After a series of low-key UK school bands, Robert Lloyd (b. 1959, Cannock, Staffordshire, England) formed the Prefects - one of the earliest punk bands - who toured with the Clash. They split up in 1979 and Lloyd assembled the Nightingales using the best of the musicians who had passed through the ranks of the Prefects. The first of many subsequent line-ups comprised Lloyd, Alan and Paul Apperley, Joe Crow and Eamonn Duffy. They were ably championed by BBC Radio 1 disc jockey John Peel, for whom Lloyd recorded more sessions under various guises than any other artist. The Nightingales' debut single, "Idiot Strength", was released in 1981 on the band's own Vindaloo label in association with Rough Trade Records. Joe Crow then departed and his replacements, Nick Beales and Andy Lloyd, brought a totally different sound to the band. Cherry Red Records picked them up and the band's career began in earnest. Lloyd soon established himself as one of the more interesting lyricists on the independent chart. Most of his tirades were draped in humour: "I'm too tired to do anything today, but tomorrow I'll start my diet, and answer some of my fan mail ('Elvis: The Last Ten Days'). The lack of success of subsequent releases led Lloyd and friends to the new Red Flame label started by Dave Kitson, the promoter of the Moonlight Club in London's Hampstead. Still unhappy with the way record companies were handling his band's career, Lloyd decided to reactivate the Vindaloo label. Ironically, this led to the demise of the Nightingales as Lloyd needed to spend more time as songwriter, producer and label boss for his relatively successful roster of artists such as We've Got A Fuzzbox And We're Gonna Use It and comedian Ted Chippington. When Fuzzbox toured America, taking the Nightingales' keyboard player with them, Lloyd dissolved the band and concentrated on a solo career. The Nightingales" legacy was wrapped up in 1991 with a compilation album for Mau Mau Records with sleeve-notes written by a still devoted John Peel."
A cassette from 1986 that I found down Brick Lane market I think. Good newsd is that Ted has a 4 CD boxe set of all his work coming out in 2007! I can't quite believe it either!
A Panda Children's Record distributed by the Connoisseur Record Corp. back in the 50's. One side is a medley of nursery rhymes and the other from which the four tracks below are lifted is an odd mix of hits of the day, blues and more nursery rhymes. I think Jim Reeves had a hit with "Bimbo" but not sure who is singing here? No names of tracks or artistes on the sleeve and a bare list of titles on the record itself. "Choo Choo Train" sounds very firmiliar too but can't quite place the singer. Any ideas?
"Tandem Song" from "John Inman - With A Bit Of Brass" . Found vinyl on the Webb Ivory label 1978. Here John Inman is accompanied by the Webb Ivory newall Band and the West Midlands Police Male Voice Choir.
"John Inman was just thirteen when he first appeared at the South Pier in Blackpool, his home town. Since then he has never looked back, with innumerable appearances on television, in cabaret and stage productions all over Britain and overseas and with starring roles in London's West End. His West End debut came in the musical Ann Veronica at the Cambridge Theatre, followed by seventeen months at the famous Windmill Theatre after which John starred as Lord Fancourt Babberley in the production of Charley's Aunt at the Adelphi Theatre in the Strand. However it was as Mr. Humphries in the long running BBC series Are You Being Served? that he became a household name throughout the country and world-wide. He was chosen to be the subject of This Is Your Life and was later honoured by the Variety Club of Great Britain as BBC television personality of the year. He was also voted funniest man on television by the readers of T.V. Times. Summer seasons have also been an important element in John's varied career. His favorite show is pantomime, of which he has done over 40, and he is firmly recognised as the best dame in the business. He has appeared in six Royal Variety Performances, before most of the members of the Royal Family. In spite of his world tours, he still returns home each christmas for his pantomime appearances. Are You Being Served? is shown on American television from coast to coast with huge success, which makes John a truly International star."
Four tracks from side one of "Twist With Jimmy McCracklin" on the Crown Records label released in the early 60's I imagine at the height of the Twist craze.
1. I'm Gonna Tell Your Mother 2. My Mother Says 3. That Ain't Right 4. Please Forgive
Wikipedia says of him-
"McCracklin was born in St. Louis, Missouri. He joined the United States Navy in 1938 following a successful run as an amateur boxer. McCracklin began recording after World War II. His first recordings were released by Globe Records in 1945. He formed the Blues Blasters in 1946. His first recording under his name were on the Trilon Records label in 1948. He recorded on many labels in ensuing years, including Swing Time Records in 1951, Peacock Records in 1952, as well as Modern Records, Irma Records, and Gedinson's Records."
An LP on the Kalypso label in Kingston, Jamaica, in the late 50's early 60's I imagine by the look of the sleeve. Typical calypso and mento tracks here including Yellow Bird, Jamaica Farewell and Island In the Sun. I have chosen a few novelty numbers to share.
"Mento music had its beginnings in Jamaica in the 19th century, and was uniquely Jamaican fusion of African and European musical traditions. In the 1920s, a number of mento songs were put to vinyl by Caribbean jazz artists. In the 1930 and 1940s, Slim and Sam, a mento duo who performed in Kingston, gained renown and are remembered today. This act is remembered for their originals, and sold "tracts" -- printed lyrics -- at their performances. (The book "Reggae Routes" by Kevin O'Brien Chang and Wayne Chen lists the names of some of these originals, and has additional information and even a picture of Slim and Sam.)
But it wasn't until the early 1950s that true mento recordings first began to appear on 78 RPM discs. This decade was mento’s golden age, as a variety of artists recorded mento songs in an assortment of rhythms and styles. It was the peak of mento's creativity and popularity in Jamaica and the birth of Jamaica's recording industry.
These recordings reveal mento to be a diverse musical genre, sometimes played with reckless abandon and other times with orderly precision. In addition to mento's African and European roots, by this time it has also encompassed pan-Caribbean influences, as well as American jazz. Although it was informed by a world of music, mento is clearly, uniquely Jamaican. And as Jamaica's original music, all other Jamaican music can trace its roots to mento."
A charity shop find from a couple of years ago. This Lp on the Beggars Banquet label came out in 1978 at the height of punk.
"This(The Winker's Song) notorious first single by Ivor Biggun and the Red-Nose Burglars was released on 2nd September 1978 on the blue Beggars Banquet label, and was immediately banned by the BBC as being 'sexually explicit'. Early editions came in plain bags, because the ladies in the first pressing plant refused to handle sleeve-designer Dave Brett's revolting artwork. After a few weeks, it appeared on the picture sleeves we know and love. It is the same ukelele-pronged pervert you see on the sleeve of The Winkers Album.
It spent 12 weeks in the charts and reached its highest position at number 19, 20, 21 or 22 (depending whose Charts you read), and was Number One on the Indie/Punk Charts for several weeks, being the first big hit for Beggars Banquet Records."
From the LP "Moshi" by Barney Willen and friends on the French "Saravah" label. Released in 1972. A curious blend of field recordings and studio tracks, modern jazz and pop songs.
1. Balandji In Bobo 2. Sannu ne Gheniyo 3. El Hadji
Seems that Barney and friends went to live and travel in Africa in the late sixties after hearing some music by a pygmy tribe. He stayed in Algeria and travelled accross the Sahara to Senegal and Mali long befor the notion of "World Music" was ever thought of and recorded this double Lp on his return.
"Wilen's contract for IDA helped create a comeback for a fine musician. In the 1980s he tinkered with jazz-rock and African rhythms (he went to live in Africa in the late 1960s) and his return to a bop-inflected style has something of the full-circle maturity which Stan Getz came to in his later work; Wilen's tenor sound does, indeed, have something of the magisterial sweep which Getz delivered, but the main character of his playing continues to lie in his even trajectory. His solos have a serene assurance which eschews dynamic shifts in favor of a single flowing line. With his tone still exceptionally bright and refined, it grants his playing a rare, persuasive power."
Another calypso record from Brick Lane picked up in the 80's. It's on the cleverly titled Kalypso label and released in 1963.
"Christo made a living as a cabinet-maker and sang in church choirs before he became the lead singer for the John "Buddy" Williams Band in the 1940s. His calypso career began in 1952 when he appeared at Atilla the Hun's Victory Tent. He then joined the McLean Brothers and accompanied them on a tour of the USA in December 1952. He later moved over to the Young Brigade Tent in 1955. The Young Brigade Tent became the Original Young Brigade Tent (OYB) in 1956, and Christo continued to sing with the OYB until he left for Chicago, Ilinois, USA, where he appeared at various nightclubs and on television. He returned to Trinidad in 1960 and continued to sing at the OYB for the rest of his career. Although he never won a title, Christo's popular songs "Miss Universe" and "Chicken Chest" were tailor-made for steelbands and were played extensively on the road during the 1957 Carnival."
A great archive of old calypso HERE at Irwin Chusid's radio show in the last hour. Well worth a listen if you like this kind of stuff. The first couple of hours is good too!
I can't remember where I found this - probably a flea market in London some years ago. Released in 1973 on the Charisma label. O'Riley (Jim Pembroke) went to Harrow School of Art and later fell in love with a Finnish au pair in Finchley and followed her back to Helsinki in 1965. He stayed and joined a band called Wigwam who make up some of the musicians on this odd recording. Complete line up includes - Ronnie Osterburg- Drums, Mats Hulden, Pekka Pohjola and Mosse Groundstroem - basses, Jukka Gustavson - organ . Jim pembroke played piano, harmonium, bass, guitar, harmonica and vocals.
As Halloween is approaching I thought I would give these old rockers as airing. From an Lp called "Monster Rock 'n' Roll" on the Crypt label with a dedication to Screaming Lord Sutch. One can see why he would enjoy some of these offerings. Mostly from the late 50's. The tracks are as follows-
1. Monster Hop - Bert Convy 2. Mad House Jump - The Daylighters 3. Split Personality - Jim Burgett 4. The Monster Hop - Jimmy Dee 5. Nightmares - John Sowell 6. The Horror Show - Sharkey Todd 7. Igor;s Party - Tony's Monstrosities
"Convy was born in St. Louis, Missouri to Monica and Bert Convy. Convy was a member of the 1950s vocal band, The Cheers, who had a Top 10 hit in 1955 with "Black Denim Trousers (and Motorcycle Boots)". He was also a minor league baseball player."
"The Daylighters -- not to be confused with the Texas blues band of the same name -- was a Chicago soul male vocal group of the '60s. The Birmingham, AL-born group was started by high school student Tony Gideon in the mid-'50s. Seeking fame and fortune, Gideon, Eddie Thomas, George and Dorsey Wood, and Levi Moreland moved to Chicago, IL, in 1958. Two months later, Moreland returned to Alabama. WGES radio DJ George "G.G." Graves introduced him to record shop/record label/club owner Norvel "Cadillac Baby" Eatmon, who issued the group's first record "Mad House Jump" on his Bea and Baby label."
"What happened to him later is not quite clear. Some say he joined the Houston police force, others like Joel Whitburn reckon he managed the Houston Astrodome. A third source puts him in Chicago living the life of a very wealthy man with no interest in his rocking past. This Jimmy Dee apparently recorded for Inner-Glo and Pixie, but he's not the Little Jimmy Dee on Infinity, nor the Jimmy Dee on Ace and Scope."
A selection of novelty songs by British Dance Bands and duo who graced the radio and ballrooms between the wars.
1. Egyptian Ella - Jack Hylton v. Pat O'Malley 1931 2. Let's All Be Fairies - Durium Dance Band v. Leslie Sarony 1933 3. Keep It To Yourself - Henry Hall v.Les Allen, Les Bermon 1933 4. Little Betty Bouncer - Flotsam & Jetsam 1927 5. Shirts - Lupino Lane 1934 6. Paper Hat Brigade - Jack Jackson v. Jack Jackson 1935
Find out more about Jack Hylton at his official website HERE
"Trumpet. b. 1907, Barnsley, Yorkshire, England, UK, d. Jack completed his musical studies at the Royal Academy of Music, early on in the 1920's. His first jobs were as sideman in the small bands working on ocean liners, following which, he worked with Jack Hylton and Bert Ambrose. Jack went with Bert Ralston on his South American tour in 1931, the tour on which Ralston died.
He was with Jack Payne from 1931 to 1933, and then left to form his own band. It was booked into the Dorchester Hotel in August 1933, and remained until April 1939, when, unable to get together with the management on a salary agreement, the band left. During this time, the band did quite a few recordings, some of which featured the great American black vocalist, Alberta Hunter. The band toured after leaving the Dorchester, playing the theater and ballroom circuits, as well as some hotels, including Rector's and the Mayfair.
In private correspondence, Mr. Frank Reuben, has mentioned that "My uncle, Harry Reuben, played piano in the Jack Jackson Orchestra for a number of years prior to the second world war....."
In 1941, his band was seen in the British made film 'Pathetone Parade of 1941'. Jack disbanded in 1947. He finished his career as a disc jockey; TV personality, and theater soloist. He later retired to the Canary Islands."
"Henry Hall is now recognised as one of the important figures during the dance band era in Britain from the 1920's to 1950's. After years of being ignored by record collectors Henry Hall's recordings with his BBC Dance Orchestra are now being recognised for the quality that they are, and Henry's work on radio and TV shows is also now being recognised as visionary. Thankfully Henry wrote his autobiography in 1955 giving us many details and great insight into how his career developed and how he reacted to events and changing musical tastes during those decades. A band that had to broadcast at 5.00pm had to cater for everyone and the reputation as a novlety band playing children's songs did stick with Henry and his BBC Orchestra, and this wasn't helped by having a signature song like Here's To the Next Time. Today, with several CD re-issues available, collectors have had the opportunity to listen to a broad range of Henry's work with the BBC, and come to appreciate the talent of the numerous music arrangers and excellent vocalists employed during those short 5 years, 1932-37."
I found little on the internet about James Young so have gone to the sleeve notes of this Emerald Gem LP from 1970, found recently in a charity shop.
" This Lp "The Ballymena Cowboy" is a follow up to "Behind The Barricades". It is true to say that no other artiste, including The Beatles, has sold as many records in Northern Ireland. We feel sure when you listen to this LP you will know why, and we hope we will be favoured with many more LP's as this from James, in the years ahead."
I'm not sure if he made any more but very surprised he out sold the fab four in Northern Ireland!
"Don Craine (real name Don O'Donnell) and Sutton had previously been in a Twickenham band called the Downliners. The name came from a Jerry Lee Lewis b-side that had been written by Roy Orbison. Following the end of this band, Grant (real name Keith Evans) and Gibson were recruited and the band renamed the Downliners Sect. The band soon gained a following at Eel Pie Island in Twickenham and made an EP called A Nite In Newport Street. The R&B direction of the band had been decided after seeing the Rolling Stones at the Station hotel in Richmond. Previously, the group played more rock & roll classics. The EP was recorded live and featured four R&B classics including Booker T's Green Onions. This EP is available on the See for Miles collection called The Definitive Downliners Sect Singles As and Bs. This contained the band's interpretations of R&B classics such as Green Onions and helped the Downliners Sect to secure a recording deal with EMI.
The group had initial success in Sweden where they toured and had a number one record. However, this may have meant that they neglected the UK.
Ray Sone joined the group on harmonica, apparently beating Rod Stewart and Steve Marriott for the role. The group signed to Colombia Records and, shortly after this, the first single, Baby What's Wrong was released. This failed to make the chart but did receive some attention in Europe. The group also toured with the writer of the single, Jimmy Reed. The follow-up single was a cover version of the Coasters' Little Egypt. This showed the humorous, irreverent side of the Downliners. This was also captured on the debut album which was released in 1963. The Sect is a superb collection of British R&B which, nevertheless, did not endear the band to many fans of the music as it was seen to deviate from the pure R&B. The album consisted mostly of covers but with a few original tracks written by members of the Sect. Don Craine had become quite distinctive with his trademark deerstalker hat. He had worn the hat at a gig at Studio 51 and it subsequently become part of his and the band's image."
An LP on the French "Sono-Disc" label released in 1983. I think I may have bought this from a real shop - going through a phase of world music discovery back then fueled by the radio DJ Charlie Gillett who had a wonderful show on Capital Radio in London at the time. I have always had a soft spot for "soukous" and M'Bilia Bel is one of it's finest exponents.
Wikipedia has this to say about her-
"M'bilia Bel is a Congolese soukous singer, known as the Queen of Congolese rhumba. She rose to fame after being discovered by Tabu Ley Rochereau. Born and brought up in the Democratic Republic of the Congo M'bilia Bel became successful in the mid-1980s when she recorded and toured with Tabu Ley Rochereau, and made her own solo albums. The birth of her first child prompted her to take a break from performing, however, and after a last album with Ley in 1987, she moved to Paris. There she started working with guitarist Rigo Star, and between 1989 and 1990 she went on to tour the United States, the United Kingdom, and West Africa."
Delighted to find this rarity at the Help The Aged the other day - an LP soundtrack of a film, the first feature, by Dick Lester who went on to direct the Beatles first two films "A Hard Day's Night" and "Help". The motely selection of clean cut pop crooners and jazz bands are what mostly filled the U.K. charts before the beat boom a few months later.
"Lester's first movie was a 1962 cheapie about the resurgent traditional jazz movement, "It's Trad, Dad" (released in the United States as "Ring-a-Ding Rhythm"). With the trad-jazz boomlet fading even as the movie was nearing completion, Lester improvised by hiring Chubby Checker to do a twist number near the end. Next came "Mouse on the Moon," a sequel to the Sellers hit "The Mouse That Roared" (minus Sellers). While these epics may not have secured Lester's place in the film pantheon, they would prove significant in unforeseen ways. It was through "Mouse on the Moon" that Lester met producer Walter Shenson. And it was one of the musicians featured in "It's Trad, Dad" who played Lester some records he'd bought after hearing a group in Liverpool's Cavern Club."
A 10" LP found in the Help The Aged shop yesterday with a bunch of others that will no doubt be featured here soon. This scratchy record (sorry) is on the Estoril label from Lisbon from the 50's I would guess by the artwork and the aged look of the sleeve etc.
On the sleeve notes- both in Portuguese and in English - it states -
"Fado is fate. The fate of a humble and sensitive people. It is the feeling of it's greatness, which is expressed by this mood of nobel ancestry, the spirit of a Christian race, the tradition of past glory and faith."
In an article in the Christian Science Monitor it says -
"The mournful roots music of Portugal was born on the narrow streets of Lisbon's working-class quarters in the mid-19th century and has been nurtured in neighborhood tabernas ever since.
Like American blues and country music (and like its distant Spanish cousin, flamenco), fado laments lost love and dashed expectations, sometimes with the sting of social critique. Even the name fado (literally "fate") speaks to its melancholy nature.
Backed by a Spanish guitar and the tinkling runs of a Portuguese guitarra, fado singers tremble with intensity. Their voices swoop up and down minor-key octaves, holding notes with anguished tremolos."
A 12" single on the Rokel label from 1983 found at Brick Lane some years ago.
"The undisputed master of nouveau highlife a.k.a highlife fusion opened the flood gates to West Africa’s new popular rhythm with the recording of friends with the hit track Akoo Te Brofo in 1982. The rhythm was pulsating, the melody infectious and the lyrical content pleasantly instructive.
Everything about George Darko’s new found music was outstanding. The voice, the instrumentation, the arrangement, the overall technical production, and yes! the most outstanding of all was the man’s mastery of his instrument- the guitar. Acoustic or electric, the guitar was and is simply an extension of the man.
Now Tufuhene of Akropong traditional area George was born in 1951 to the paramount chief of Akropong. Growing up in the Palace exposed him to the traditional drumming and dancing of the people of Akuapem. Here he also studied the customs of his people whilst attending elementary school.
At the Okuapeman Secondary School where he continued his education, George discovered the guitar through Dobson his Canadian biology teacher- who played a self made acoustic guitar during leisure times."
Above is "Monster Holiday" by Bobby "Boris" Pickett and the Crypt-Kickers from an LP "Monster Mash" on the London label that was released in 1973.
Here's what Wikipedia has to say about him-
"Bobby "Boris" Pickett (born Robert George Pickett, February 11, 1938, in Somerville, Massachusetts) is a musician and actor, best known for singing and co-writing the 1962 hit novelty song "Monster Mash". Pickett performed the track in an impersonation of veteran horror film stars Boris Karloff, and Bela Lugosi (as in the line "Whatever happened to my Transylvania Twist?"). Bobby Pickett co-wrote the song along with Leonard Capizzi. It became a million seller, as well as reaching Number One on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The song was styled as being by Bobby "Boris" Pickett & The Crypt-Kicker 5. In Britain it took until October 1973 for the tune to become popular, but it then pinnacled at Number 3 in the UK singles chart. A Christmas themed follow-up, "Monster's Holiday", was also released in 1962 and became a minor hit. In October 2005, Pickett protested inaction on global warming by releasing "Climate Mash", a new version of his hit single."