Some scratchy old 78's dubbed to minidisc here courtesy of Angel Radio who kindly sent me these when I was searching for novelty songs a few years back. There have been a few versions of Barnacle BIll The Sailor and this is one of the best despite the pops and crackles.
"Albert Whelan, Florrie Forde, and Billy Williams were the three most famous Australians who graced the stage of the British Music Hall. Born in Melbourne, Whelan first made a name for himself entertaining the miners in the goldfields of Western Australia. Emigrating to Britain, he debuted as a “scarecrow” dancer at the Empire Theatre, Leicester Square, but his versatile talents soon led him to singing and piano playing. Whelan invented the “signature tune,” and always came on stage whistling a waltz from Die Lustige Brüder [The Jolly Brothers]. Music Hall historian W. Macqueen-Pope (1950, 374) describes Whelan as having “an individual style which defies imitation, because it comes from his own inherent talent; he has, too, that perfect clarity of diction which was such a feature of Music Hall."
Somebody reminded me of the genius that was Max Wall the other day when directed to a certain video clip of his eccentric dancing on You Tube. I just had to find this track he did of a Ian Dury song and another called "Me & My Tune" from the 50's by the sound of it.
"Wall made his stage début at the age of 14, as an acrobatic dancer, in pantomime, but is best remembered for his ludicrously attired and hilariously strutting Professor Wallofski. This creation notably influenced John Cleese, who has acknowledged Max Wall's influence on the creation of his own Ministry of Silly Walks sketch for Monty Python. After appearing in many musicals and stage comedies in the 1930s his career went into decline, and he was reduced to working in obscure nightclubs. Wall re-emerged when producers and directors rediscovered his comic talents, along with the expressive power of his tragic clown face and of the distinctive sad falling cadences of his voice. He secured television appearances, and having attracted Beckett's attention, he won parts in Waiting for Godot and Krapp's Last Tape. In 1966 he appeared as Père Ubu in Jarry's Ubu Roi, whilst in 1972 he toured with Mott the Hoople on their "Rock n' Roll Circus tour", gaining a new audience."
A strange compilation from the 90's -full of odd football inspired songs and audio snippets. I think also the Exotica label produced several of these over the years and also dabbled in Beatles covers. There is a list of artists who appear on the CD which includes Brian Glover, Geoffrey Boycott, Michael Palin, Sophia Loren, Bruce Forsyth and Michael Caine. I must admit I listened through it a couple of times but never heard any of them!
Exotica Records also plans compilations of the worst songs ever and another about Manchester United.
Sad news of the death of George Melly today who was 80. I have a couple of his LP's but sadly unable to upload the tracks I wanted due to gadget failure. He is fondly remembered for his singing, his love of surrealism and dada and eccentric costumes. He also wrote three very funny autobiographies about his life in the navy and the art and jazz worlds.
"He was born in Liverpool and was educated at Stowe public school, where he discovered his interest in modern art, jazz and blues and started coming to terms with his sexuality. This period of his life is described in Scouse Mouse, a volume of his autobiography. He joined the Royal Navy at the end of the Second World War because, as he quipped to the recruiting officer, the uniforms were 'so much nicer'. As he related in his autobiography, Rum, Bum and Concertina, he was crestfallen to discover that he would not be sent to a ship and was thus denied the "bell-bottom" uniform he desired. Instead he received desk duty and wore the other Navy uniform, described as "the dreaded fore-and-aft". Later, however, he did see ship duty. He never saw active combat, but was almost court-martialled for distributing anarchist literature."
We have just booked tickets to see Ken in the summer so quite excited by the prospect as it's something we've always wanted to do as he's always been a big favourite of ours since his radio shows and TV shows of the 60's and 70's.
"Ken Dodd was Born on the 8th November 1927, In an old Farm House on the outskirts of Liverpool. A Village called, Knottyash.
Son of a Coal Merchant, Arthur Dodd and his loving Mother, Sarah Dodd. He went to the Knottyash School, and sang in the local church choir of St. Johns Church, Knottyash. At the age of Seven, was dared by his School chums to ride his bike with his eyes shut..... And he did. For about 10 feet and the bike hit the kerb. As did the young Doddy, open mouthed onto the tarmac. Resulting in his Famous Teeth you see today. It was around this time he became interested in showbiz. After seeing an advert in a comic, " Fool Your Teachers, Amaze Your Friends - Send 6d in Stamps and Become a Ventriloquist ! " And he Promptly sent off for the book. Not long after, His Father bought him a Ventriloquist's dummy and Doddy called it Charlie Brown. He started entertaining at the local orphanage, then at various other local community functions.
At 14yrs. He Left the High Holt Grammar School, and went into his Dad's Coal business. Though by his early 20's had branched out on his own. Selling Pots, Pans, and Brushes. And invented his own version of Softsoap for the Liverpool Housewives. He worked hard by day, selling his wares round the streets of Liverpool. And by night, became a regular and very popular performer on ' The Club's ' Circuit as " Professor Yaffle Chuckabutty. Operatic Tenor and Sausage-Knotter.
He Got his big break at the age of 27. In September 1954 he apeared at the Nottingham Playhouse. A nervous young man, he sat in a local Milk Bar for most of the Afternoon going over and over his lines before going to the theatre. Although he can't remember much of the actual act of that night. He did recal.,, " Well at least they didn't boo me off. " But there wasn't much fear of that, as Dodd's act went from strength to strength. Eventually Topping the bill at Blackpool in 1958 ! "