Hazel spotted this in a local charity shop the other day and bought it for me. She was attracted by the sleeve and I can see why. I usually dismiss these Spanish EP's as they are usually souvenirs from holidays in the 60's and very dull flamenco and this is no exception accept for a nice rhumba track "El Porompompero".
Babelfish translation from official Manolo Escobar site-
"Manolo Field of broom married the 10 of December of the 1,959 with Ana Marx, in the Church of San Michael of Colony. Neither it knew to speak the language of the other, and the wedding was celebrated in German and French. The fiancèe and the padrino, their father, following a German tradition, went to the church in a white float thrown by four white horses. The banquet was celebrated in a restaurant property of the parents of Anita. Previously, to 9 in the morning, the civil ceremony had been celebrated. The padrino of the connection was a young Spanish student, friend of Manolo, that also for of interpreter. The young person, something nervous surely, had to translate a phrase that said: "are here you you stop to marry". But what in fact he translated he was: "you Are married". Obvious, Manolo answered that no, which caused the considerable surprise between the assistants, mainly of the fiancèe and their parents. Luckyly, the ambiguity was clarified to the moment, and everything was in an anecdote. Manolo did mili in Larache (Morocco), that in first years 50 still was Spanish protectorate. He was destined in the Establishment of Equine Young and Flat Repair of the Greater one of Larache. It was a consomme' rider, as it demonstrated in the film "the guerrillas"."
I found this LP at a boot sale last year. Sadly the gate-fold sleeve has been stuck together after being left in the rain so trying to read the sleeve notes is made quite difficult. No information about them could be gleaned from the internet so as far as can make out they were formed in 1978 by Mr. Anthony Godwin, bass clarinettist with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. He had inherited a complete library of theatre music dating from 1880 to 1930 and it's from this that their repetoire is mainly drawn. They try and re-create the sound and atmostphere of those early days by using instruments of that era. For instance on the song "I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles" the soprano Linda Murray is accompanied by David Norton on the musical saw. Linda Murray also sings the other song featured here "Two Little Sausages" that I remember an old uncle of mine singing back in the 60's. This record was released in 1980 on the Chandos label.
A Decca LP in the "World of..." budget section. This compilation from the 40's and 50's of some of his "hits".
"William Edward Cotton (May 6, 1899 – March 25, 1969), better known as Billy Cotton, was a British band leader and entertainer, one of the few whose orchestra survived the dance band era. Today, he is mainly remembered as a 1950s and 60s radio and television personality, although his musical talent emerged as early as the 1920s. In his younger years Billy Cotton was also an amateur footballer, an accomplished racing driver and the owner of a Gipsy Moth which he piloted himself. Born in Lambeth, London, Cotton was a choirboy and then started his musical career as a drummer, an occupation he also pursued in the army during the First World War. In the interwar years he had several jobs such as bus driver before setting up his own orchestra, the London Savannah Band, in 1924. At first a straight dance band, over the years the London Savannah Band more and more tended towards Music Hall/vaudeville entertainment, introducing all sorts of visual and verbal humour in between songs. Famous musicians that played in Billy Cotton's band during the 1920s and 30s included Arthur Rosebery, Syd Lipton and Nat Gonella. The band was also noted for their African American trombonist and tap dancer, Ellis Jackson. Their signature tune was "Somebody Stole My Gal", and they made numerous records – 78s, that is – for Decca.
During the Second World War Cotton and his band toured France with the Entertainments National Service Association (ENSA). After the war, he started his successful Sunday lunchtime radio show on BBC, the Billy Cotton Band Show, which ran for more than 20 years from 1949. It regularly opened with the band's signature tune and Cotton's call of "Wakey Wakey". From 1957, it was also broadcast on BBC television. In 1962 Billy Cotton suffered a stroke. He died in 1969 while watching a boxing match at Wembley."
I've had this LP on the cut price Avenue label for a few years now and surprised I haven't featured it before here as it's quite rare. Recorded in 1971 by a country and western band which included Dave Peacock (later to be one half of Chas 'N' Dave ). Not much to be found onthe web about Spike Island but here's a brief biog from the Chas 'N" Dave official website which doesn't mention Spike Island either!
"Pianist Chas Hodges and guitarist Dave Peacock were widely experienced around the British rock scene of the 1960s and early 70s before teaming up with drummer Mick Burt (another much-travelled musician who had gone back to his original trade as a plumber) to form the group. Chas had worked with the legendary producer Joe Meek, backed Jerry Lee Lewis, played with Mike Berry and the Outlaws, along with Ritchie Blackmore, and also the highly respected Cliff Bennett and the Rebel Rousers, which had Burt on drums. He then joined Albert Lee’s cult band Heads Hands and Feet before playing with Dave and Albert in Black Claw. Dave had been equally active, Starting out in The Rolling Stones (no, not them!) in 1960. Spells with The Tumbleweeds, Mick Greenwood, Jerry Donaghue, and the above mentioned Black Claw followed prior to the pair coming together to go out on their own as Chas & Dave."
An LP compiled by Morgan Fisher in 1980 on the Pipe label , which featured 51 tracks, all no more than one minute in length. Here's the first 16-
1. ollie halsall & john halsey / bum love 2. the residents / we're a happy family + bali ha'i 3. roger mcgough / the wreck of the hesperus 4. morgan fisher / green and pleasant 5. john otway / mine tonight 6. pete challis & phil diplock / my way 7. robert wyatt / rangers in the nightst 8. stinky winkles / opus 9. mary longford / body language 10. andy 'thunderclap' newman / andy the dentist 11. david bedford / wagner's ring in one minute 12. fred frith / the entire works of henry cow 13. maggie nicols / look beneath the surface 14. joseph racaille / week-end 15. the work / with wings pressed back 16. neil innes & son / cum on feel the noize
Morgan Fisher was overwhelmed by the number of ideas he thought up for albums that he could now record and release. Realising that it was impossible to do everything he conceived, he decided to see how many of these ideas could be included on one album. Rather than recording the music himself, he invited 50 musicians who he admired to send in tracks of up to one minute in length. They responded with unanimous enthusiasm, and as well as receiving tapes through the mail from all over the world, Morgan also packed up his Revox tape recorder and went to several musicians homes to record them there. Original artwork for the sleeve was provided by Ralph Steadman.
"Reg Varney Plays And Sings" on the EMI One-Up label from 1973. A bit off the usual meandering track now with a very MOR offering. I promise there won't be many of these. Sometimes I buy a record on the strength of it's sleeve and hope that it delivers more than it promises. Sadly this is a very dull record. Reg's party is with the Mike Sammes Singers and not the crew of "On The Buses"!
"Reg Varney's father worked in a rubber factory in Silvertown and he was one of five children who grew up in Addington Road, Canning Town. He was educated at nearby Star Lane Primary School in West Ham and after leaving school at 14, he worked as a messenger boy and a page boy at the Regent Palace Hotel. He took piano lessons as a child and was sufficiently proficient to get work as a part-time piano player. His first paid engagement was at Plumstead Radical Club in Woolwich, for which he was paid eight shillings and sixpence. He also played in working men's clubs, pubs and ABC cinemas, and later sang with Big Bands of the time. He and his mother decided that showbiz was the career for him, and he gave up his day jobs. During World War II, he joined the Royal Engineers, but continued performing as an army entertainer which included a tour of the Far East. After being demobbed, he starred on stage in the late 1940s in a comic revue entitled "Gaytime". His stooge in the act was Benny Hill. He then went on to become an all round entertainer, working his way around the music halls. In 1961, he got the role as a foreman in a TV series called The Rag Trade. Also around this time he did a show for BBC TV called The Seven Faces of Reg Varney where he performed seven different characters in front of an audience at the Shepherd's Bush theatre in London."
I love this Philips International label LP recorded in 1961 at the Metropolitan Theatre , Edgeware Road in London which features a few of the very last stars of the music-hall. Sadly the Metropolitan Theatre met the fate of so many old music halls and a hotel was built where it used to stand. Daniel Farson, who used to have his own programme on TV in the 60's and also owned a pub in the East End, takes us on a short history of the genre with the help of Hetty King, Albert Whelan, Ida Barr, G.H. Elliot, Billy Danvers and Marie Lloyd Jnr. As the sleeve notes say- " ... we are lucky that this valuable and poignant record exists to show us what music hall was all about."
I've mentioned Stanley Holloway before a couple of times but this LP on the Vanguard label from the 60's is quite rare I think and so here's a few more tracks of his reworking of some old music-hall favourites.
Stanley Holloway (born Stanley Augustus Holloway) was born on the 1st October 1890 in London, England, UK and died on the 30th January 1982 in Littlehampton, England, UK.
"He tried to make a go of his first job as a clerk in a Billingsgate fish market, but the call of the theatre was loud and strong. Originally planning an operatic career, Holloway studied singing in Milan, but this came to an end when World War One began. Finishing up his service with the infantry, Holloway headed for the stage again, making his London premiere in 1919's Kissing Time. His first film was The Rotters (1921), and the first time the public outside the theatres heard his robust voice was on radio in 1923. Holloway toured the music hall-revue circuit with his comic monologues, usually centered around his self-invented characters "Sam Small" and "The Ramsbottoms."
Holloway's entree into talking pictures was with a 1930 film version of his stage success, The Co-Optimist. The British film industry of the '30s was more concerned in turning out "quota quickies" so that Hollywood would send over an equal number of American films, but Holloway was able to survive in these cheap pictures, occasionally rising to the heights of such productions as Squibs (1935) and The Vicar of Bray (1937). In 1941, Holloway was cast in one of the prestige films of the season, George Bernard Shaw's Major Barbara; this led to top-drawer film appearances throughout the war years, notably This Happy Breed (1944), The Way to the Stars (1945) and Brief Encounter (1947). Though he'd had minimal Shakespearian experience, Holloway was selected by Laurence Olivier to play the Gravedigger in Olivier's filmization of Hamlet (1947), a role he'd forever be associated with and one he'd gently parody in 1969's Private Life of Sherlock Holmes.
Gaining an American audience through repeated showings of his films on early-'50s TV, Holloway took New York by storm as Alfred P. Doolittle in the stage smash My Fair Lady - a role he'd repeat in the 1964 film version (after James Cagney had turned it down), and win an Oscar in the bargain.
Continuing his activities in all aspects of British show business -- including a 1960 one-man show, Laughs and Other Events -- Holloway decided he'd take a whack at American TV as the butler protagonist of the 1962 sitcom Our Man Higgins. It's difficult to ascertain the quality of this series, since it had the miserable luck of being scheduled opposite the ratings-grabbing Beverly Hillbillies.
Stanley Holloway perservered with stage, movie, and TV appearances into the '70s; in honor of one of his two My Fair Lady songs, he titled his 1981 autobiography Wiv a Little Bit of Luck.
An LP on the Decca label from The World Of.... series from 1970. It includes many of Kenneth Williams first songs and sketches from revue some written by Peter Cook when he was an undergraduate.
"Kenneth Williams was born in 1926 in Bingfield Street, King's Cross, London. The son of barber Charles Williams, he was educated at Lyulph Stanley School. His relationship with his parents—he adored his vivacious mother, Louisa ("Lou"), but hated his morose and selfish father—was key to the development of his personality. Williams became an apprentice draughtsman to a mapmaker and joined the army aged 18. He was part of the Royal Engineers survey section in Bombay when he had his first experience of performing on stage with Combined Services Entertainment along with Stanley Baxter and Peter Nichols.
After the war, his career began with a number of roles in repertory theatre, but few serious parts were to lend themselves to his style of delivery. His failure to become established as a serious dramatic actor would disappoint him, but it was his potential as a comic performer that gave him his big break. He was spotted playing the Dauphin in George Bernard Shaw's St Joan in 1954 by the radio producer Dennis Main Wilson, who was casting Hancock's Half Hour. He would lend his distinctive voice and amazing vocal talent to the radio series to almost the end of its run, five years later. His nasal, whiny, camp-cockney inflections (epitomised in his famous "Stop messing about..." catchphrase) would endure in popular lore for many years."
"Elsa Lanchester was born to an eccentric family on October 28, 1902, in England. Her parents (James and Edith) were considered as Bohemians in all aspects of the work, refusing to legalize their union in any conventional way to satisfy the era's conservative society. An older sibling, Waldo, completed the family. Edith's parents even successfully sent her to an asylum for a while, as she refused to wed James even if she wanted to live with him. Shocking! Consequently, Elsa and her family moved numerous times. At 11 years of age, Elsa was enrolled at Isadora Duncan's School of Dance, in Paris. Sadly, the start of the first World War would prevent her to ever graduate and she was sent home.
Still very young at 12, the war situation obliged Elsa to find work, as she soon became a college dance teacher. Four years later, she helped create the Children's Theater in London and gave lessons for some years. Of course, she was part of an artists group, Cave of Harmony Productions, performing many songs and short sketches in cabarets. In 1927, Elsa made her movie debut in ONE OF THE BEST. The same year, as she was part of the cast of the play Mr. Prohack, she met another young actor that would change her life in a definitive way: Charles Laughton."
I've had this record for many years but it's a favourite for adding odd and exotic tracks to compilation tapes, especially the extraordinairy "The Yashmak Song". She was most famous for her role as the female monster in James Whale's "Bride of Frankenstein" and her marriage to Charles Laughton who pops up between tracks on this record to make pertinant remarks and join in on the chorus of the old music hall song "She Was Poor, But She Was Honest".
If you ever wondered what else producer George Martin was doing in the early 60's besides guiding the Beatles, he was also producing records by such novelty acts as the Temperance Seven. This record on the Music For Pleasure budget label is a compilation of songs from 1961 to 1963. They had big hits in the U.K. around this time with "Pasadena" and "You're Driving Me Crazy" featuring their affectionate tribute to those dance bands of the twenties and thirties they modeled themselves on. They were the forerunners of such novelty acts that were to follow like the Bonzo Dog Band and Bob Kerr's Whoopee Band. The original band broke up in the late 60's but a new personel, sometimes augumented by past members are still active to this day.
"Arthur Bowden Askey was born in Liverpool in 1900. He was very small at 5' 2" (1.6m) and wore distinctive horn rimmed glasses, with a breezy, smiling personality. He served in the forces in World War I and performed in army entertainments. His career began in the music halls, but he rose to stardom in 1938 through his role in the first radio sitcom, Bandwagon on BBC, prior to which radio comedy had consisted of broadcast standup routines. It had begun as a variety show, but had been unsuccessful until Askey and his partner, Richard Murdoch, took on a larger role in the writing. Askey's humour owed much to the playfulness of the characters he portrayed, his improvising and his use of catchphrases, as parodied by the Arthur Atkinson character in The Fast Show. His catchphrases included "Hello playmates!" "I thank you" (pronounced "Ay-Thang-Yew") and "Move along the bus please." During World War II, Askey starred in several Gainsborough Pictures comedy films, notably The Ghost Train (1941), "Charlie's Aunt," "I Thank You," "Back Room Boy," "King Arthur Was A Gentleman," "Miss London Ltd.," and "Bees in Paradise." When television arrived, he made the transition well, his first TV series was "Before Your Very Eyes!" (1952) named after another of his catchphrases. In 1957 writers Sid Colin and Talbot Rothwell revived the Bandwagon format for Living It Up, a series that reunited Askey and Murdoch after an absence of 18 years. He also made many stage appearances as a pantomime dame."
This LP on the budget Music For Pleasure label came out in the 60's I think though there is no date on it anywhere. It's mostly songs about animals and birds and one about a pixie.
I seem to be rediscovering some old African records just lately and here's another found at Brick Lane in the 80's recorded in the 60's. It's on the Melodisc label who also ran the Blue Beat label who put out a lot of the early ska and r&b records by Prince Buster etc.
"Nat Atkins real name is Obafunsho Akinbayo, born in Nigeria, formed his own band in England and also plays with the Edmundo Ros Orchestra."
"Highlife, dance music played mostly in Ghana and Nigeria, represents one of the century's first fusions of African roots and western music, and before 1970, it ruled dancefloors across much of West Africa. Trumpeter and bandleader E.T. Mensah, born in 1919 in Accra, Ghana, formed his first band in 1930s and went on to be crowned the King of Highlife. The World War II era introduced American swing to the highlife mix, already a blend of Trinidadian calypso, military brass band music, Cuban son and older African song forms. In 1948, Mensah formed the Tempos whose songs in English, Twi, Ga, Fante, Ewe, Efik and Hausa seduced admirers as far away as England. In 1956, Mensah's career reached a peak when he performed with the great Louis Armstrong in Ghana. With the rise of Congolese music in the 1960s, highlife's golden era ended. But Mensah continued to perform, as did other top big bands, Jerry Hansen and his Ramblers International, and Uhuru. In the Tempos' wake came many guitar highlife outfits, including Nana Ampadu and his band the African Brothers as well as the City Boys and A.B. Crentsil. Nana now operates a recording studio where he produces releases for the African Brothers, the City Boys, and other highlife groups. Dr. K. Gyasi and his Noble Kings pioneered a sound called sikyi highlife, a lulling, wistful take on the classic dance music. Gyasi too still records, as does Kumasi-based sikyi highlife singer Nana Tuffour.
The glory days of highlife gave many Ghanaian musicians opportunities to move abroad. In the late '60s, the band Osibisa took their "Afro-rock" pop/highlife fusion to a warm reception in England, a harbinger of the world music phenomenon that would explode there a decade later. Highlife stars like Pat Thomas, George Darko, and C.K. Mann have all made the journey from country to city to foreign port-of-call. In Germany, a young singer called Daddy Lumba made his name in the German burgher scene, but now spends half his time in Ghana where his blend of highlife, hip-hop and dancehall reggae has earned him a strong youth following."
"Les Dawson (2 February 1931 - 10 June 1993) was a popular Lancashire comedian, known for his deadpan style. Dawson was a curmudgeon, famous for jokes about his mother-in-law and his wife. Dawson began his entertainment career as a club pianist ("I finally heard some applause from a bald man and said 'thank you for clapping me' and he said 'I'm not clapping - I'm slapping me head to keep awake.'"), but found that he got more laughs by playing wrong notes and complaining to the audience. He made his television debut in the talent show, Opportunity Knocks, and was seldom absent from British television screens in the years that followed. His best known routines featured Roy Barraclough and Dawson as two elderly women, Cissie Braithwaite and Ada Sidebottom who, having worked in a mill in their youth, spoke some words aloud and mouthed others--particularly those pertaining to bodily functions and sex; they also repeatedly pushed up their bosoms, in pantomime dame style, an act copied faithfully from his hero, Norman Evans. Dawson's humour, though earthy, was seldom coarse, and he was as popular with female as with male audiences."
A very funny man and in reality he could play the piano really well. Most of this record is comedy routines but I have extracted two "musical" interludes for your enjoyment, or not as the case may be! A bargain at 49p!
A great old Decca compilation from the 70's probably featuring a host of acts ( mostly Spike Milligan ) who graced our radios and TV sets back in the 50's and 60's. Someone requested Marty Feldman's "The Great Bell" and so here it is with a few other gems.
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.
Phil Harris' original hits is a great CD to find if it's still out there. This on the other hand is a re-recorded selection of some of them on the MFP label from 1969. They didn't do such a bad job and the big band numbers especially retain the impact and verve of the originals.
"Although he was born in Linton, Indiana, Harris actually grew up in Nashville, Tennessee and identified himself as a Southerner (his hallmark song was "That's What I Like About the South"). His upbringing accounted for both his trace of a Southern accent and, in later years, the self-deprecating Southern jokes of his radio character. Harris began his music career as a drummer in San Francisco, forming an orchestra with Carol Lofner in the latter 1920s and starting a long engagement at the St. Francis Hotel. The partnership ended by 1932, and Harris led and sang with his own band, now based in Los Angeles. From December, 1936 through March, 1937, he recorded 16 sides for Vocalion, most were hot swing tunes that used a very interesting gimmick; they faded up and faded out with a piano solo (probably these were arranged their pianist Skippy Anderson). This was a novel approach and quite unusual for the time. On September 2, 1927, he was married to actress Marcia Ralston in Sydney, Australia. The couple adopted a son, Phil Harris, Jr. (b. 1935). They were divorced in September, 1940. Phil Harris played drums in Henry Halstead Big Band Orchestra in the 1920s. In 1933, he made a short film for RKO called So This Is Harris, which won an Academy Award for best live action short subject. He followed it up with a feature-length film called Melody Cruise. Both films were created by the same team that next produced Flying Down To Rio, which started the successful careers of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers."
An LP on the Emotan record label from Nigeria (1982). One of a big stack of Afrobeat I bought in a junk shop in Stepney, East London where I lived for a while in the 70's and 80's. It may even come from Brick Lane flea market which was nearby and a regular haunt on a Sunday.
"Osayomore Joseph arouses too the same curiosity; due to his talent, his energy, his commitment, he calls back(reminds) without hesitating his elder son(brother), Fela. Its style, its musical game(set,play), draws its roots from the earth(ground) edo; but the culture and the language(tongue) edo are strongly influenced by the yoruba culture for centuries. By listening to Osayomore Joseph, we feel(smell) his(her,its) originality edo with its oriental impulses but the inheritance of Fela and the yoruba culture is quite obvious. This sensation can arrest(dread) in the evolution of the artist since its musician's stage(stadium) of the soil until its highlight of all over the world known national singer, as well as in its rhythmic game(set,play) and its instruments. The theme of the contesting, the posture of public polemicist, the rhetoric warrior or politics(policy), satyr, the irony, the stage setting and the parody, all this pulls the decoration(set) of a democratic kalakuta Republic version. Where from the subject of the walking(march), the fight, and especially the name of its firebrand-lighthouse: Osayomore Joseph Liberation Army."