"Swaranlata, a tall and alluring Sikh girl from Rawalpindi, was interested in dance, music and films since her childhood. After completing her education, she joined Academy of Music and Arts - Lucknow (UP), and married a rich merchant P.C. Balmoria at the age of 18. Luckily, P.C. Balmoria was himself interested in films and music; therefore, he introduced Swarnlata to the world of films. Swaranlata's first film Awaaz was released in 1942, which was directed by Rafiq Rizvi. Although Swaranlata was cast in a secondary role, she did her role with great confidence opposite such seasoned actors like Maya Banerji and Wasti. Seeing her enthusiasm for films, she was offered the lead role in Najam Naqvi's Tasveer (1943) opposite superstar hero of his time Motilal. Tasveer, a romantic comedy about a philandering doctor did great business at box-office and there was no looking back for Swaranlata. She was showered with offers and was cast as the leading lady in lots of movies including Rattan (1944) which is still considered as one of the greatest hits of Indian Cinema. In 1945, director-cum-producer-cum-actor Nazir started Laila Majnu (1945) under the banner of Hind Pictures, and Swaranlata was cast as Laila. Indian playback singer, Mohd Rafi also appeared in this film, alongside lead pair Swaranlata and Nazir to sing the chorus in tera jalwa jisne dekha. This film, an Arabian love legend, gave rise to a real life romance off the screen as well. Swaranlata converted to Islam and changed her name to Saeeda Bano. Swaranlata and Nazir got married and were inseparable till Nazir's death in 1983".
A Highlife LP on the Decca label from West Africa recorded in 1969.
The sleeve notes say-
"It is over a decade now since Decca started recording local artists in West Africa. During this stretch of time dance bands have sprouted and wilted away to die in the true tradition of musicla groups. Somehow one band has satyed around longer than most; it seems to have succeeded where others have failed. The Ramblers Dance Band, nearly eight years old, have introduced glamour to the West African Highlife scene. the band have provided it's dance fans with their highlife tunes, while for those who prefer to listen it has supplied the necessary innovations to the traditional forms."
"From its early development in Ghana through the 1970s, Highlife was Africa's first big popular music trend. Evolving from the the music of society bands and military marching bands, Highlife music re-africanized these contemporary instrumental ensembles, adding local percussion, indigenous rhythms and crafting local lyrics around powerful local themes. Highlife, named for the lifestyle of the high society Africans who were its early patrons, was the first major popular music trend in West Africa. Some of Nigeria's early highlife luminaries Bobby Benson, Cardinal Rex Lawson, EC. Arinze, Stephen Amechi, Inyang Henshaw, Celestine Ukwu and many others are still revered to this day. Though highlife lost some of its national power during the Civil War years, Highlife Heavies like Chief Stephen Osita Osadebe and Oliver DeCoque remain powerful National forces. Recentely a young generation has worked to put highlife back on the map."
"Let There Be Drums" by Sandy Nelson was one of the very first singles I ever bought back in the 60's - probably an ex juke box single with the centre punched out I used to buy cheaply at Pitsea market in Essex. This compilation of some of his hits is on the budget Sunset label, released in 1962.
"His song "Teen Beat", released on Original Sound Records, rose to #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1959. Subsequently he signed with the Imperial record label, and pounded out two more Top 40 hits, "Let There Be Drums", which went to #3 in the UK Singles Chart, and "Drums Are My Beat". All three were instrumentals (a feat rarely repeated). Guitar on these hits was by co-writer Richie Podolor (aka Richie Allen), later a respected songwriter / producer in his own right. He attended high school with Jan Berry, Dean Torrence (who together became Jan and Dean), and Kim Fowley. After gaining respect as a session drummer, he played on such well-known songs as "To Know Him Is To Love Him" (Phil Spector's Teddy Bears, 1958), "Alley-Oop" (The Hollywood Argyles, 1960), "A Thousand Stars" (Kathy Young and the Innocents, 1960) and many more. Near the end of 1963, Nelson was involved in a serious motorcycle accident. The resulting injuries necessitated amputation of his right foot and part of that same leg. Nonetheless, he managed to resume his drumming career, and Nelson continued to record into the early 1970s, releasing 2 or 3 albums a year, mainly consisting of cover versions of popular hits at the time plus a few original compositions. Nelson, now approaching his seventies, lives in quiet seclusion in Boulder City, NV. and continues to experiment with music on keyboards and piano."
A really odd record I bought today at a boot sale. It was released on the Happy House label ( Made In America ) in the 60's I imagine. One side a has a story and the other is all songs ,or rather, tunes- sub funk backing tracks that have percussive intruments like bells, marracas and squeakers layered over the top in a strange haphazard fashion. The resulting mess is quite alarming! I recognise a few tunes here including James Brown's "Papa's Got A Brand New Bag". Maybe you can spot some others? Goodness knows what children thought of this when it was played at their parties!
Back due to popular demand . This is an LP I found years ago and have only just had the chance to rip the tracks using my new ION USB turntable ( from Santa ). Hopefully I can upload more vinyl now after being restricted to CD tracks for a couple of months. Excuse the pops and crackles.
"Ken Dodd was born on the 8 November 1927 in Knotty Ash on the outskirts of Liverpool, son of a coal merchant, Arthur Dodd and wife Sarah Dodd. He went to the Knotty Ash School, and sang in the local church choir of St. Johns Church, Knotty Ash. At the age of seven, he was dared by his school friends to ride his bike with his eyes shut.....and he did, for about 10 feet and the bike hit the kerb. Ken went flying open-mouthed onto the tarmac, resulting in his famous teeth of today.
He then attended Holt High, a Grammar School in Childwall, but left at 14 to work for his father. Around this time he became interested in showbusiness after seeing an advert in a comic entitled; "Fool Your Teachers, Amaze Your Friends - Send 6d in Stamps and Become a Ventriloquist!" and sending off for the book. Not long after, his father bought him a ventriloquist's dummy and Ken called it Charlie Brown. He started entertaining at the local orphanage, then at various other local community functions.
He got his big break at the age of 27. In September 1954 he appeared 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 recall, "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."
This is the other Australian cassette I found the other day for a few pennies. Its on the ABC label and based on a radio show of the same name hosted by Ian McNamara who choose all the songs and did the liner notes. In them he says- "This recording is really a slice of life - Australian style. The music overflows with the spirit and the soul of the country. It reflects the humour, lifestyle, natural environment and it's history."
I was thinking the other day that there should be more songs about sheds and lo and behold there is a great one here by John Williamson. Also an amusing song about a snack bar by the Tallowood Bush Band. Ted Egan apparently found the song "Two Little Boys" for Rolf Harris but we won't hold that against him!
Found this cassette recently in the local hospice shop with another Australian tape. Its all drinking songs including the big hit "Pub With No Beer". I think this is another version though.
"In 1951, Slim Dusty married Singer-Songwriter Joy McKean and with her help, achieved great success around Australia. In 1954, Slim and Joy launced a full time business career and launched the Slim Dusty Travelling Show His 1957 hit "A Pub With No Beer" was the biggest-selling record by an Australian to that time, and the first Australian single to go gold. In 1958 David Kirkpatrick was born. Over the course of his career, he collected more gold and platinum albums than any other Australian artist. (The "Pub with No Beer" is a real place, in Taylors Arm, not far from Kempsey where Slim Dusty was born). In 1959 and 1960 Dutch and German cover versions of the song became number one hits (even evergreens) in Belgium, Austria and Germany, brought by the Flemish country singer-guitarist and amusement park founder Bobbejaan Schoepen. 1964 saw the establishment of the annual Slim Dusty round Australia tour, a 30,000 mile 10 month journey. Dusty not only recorded songs written by himself and other fellow Australian performers, but also recorded classic Australian poems by Henry Lawson and Banjo Paterson with new tunes, to call attention to the old 'Bush Ballads.' An example is The Man from Snowy River by Paterson.
Slim Dusty plaque at the National Truck Driver Memorial at TarcuttaIn 1970, he was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire for services to music. In 1971 he won Best Single at the Australian Country Music Awards at the Tamworth Country Music Festival (Slim's wife Joy McKean won Song of the Year as writer of the song for which he won best single). In all, he won a record 35 "Golden Guitars" over the years. The General Manager of the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee invited him and his wife Joy McKean to perform in 1997, recognizing 50 years contributing to Country Music. He was given the honour to sing Waltzing Matilda in the Closing Ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, with the whole stadium singing along with him. Slim Dusty, with wife Joy McKean, were patrons of the National Truck Drivers' Memorial located at Tarcutta, New South Wales."
Jim in Basingstoke sent this cassette to me recently. Its a rare copy of a 10" LP on the Philips label from the late 50's early 60's that he was sent many years ago and he has been wanting to hear more of Texas Kitty but the internet does not tell us much. The only image I could find is of an EP. called "Texas Kitty" that was put out about the same time and contains some of the same tracks.
Luckily a Dutch friend Jan managed to track down a short biography on a dutch website. Her real name was Kitty Prins.
"She was born in Groningen, The Netherlands. She was not only a singer, but a professional painter as well. However her carreer in our country never really got from the ground. She was more succesfull in Vlaanderen (the Dutch speaking part of Belgium). She also had a fan-club in South Africa and she had contacts with the Country Music Assocation in the VS, where she perfromed in the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville. After being seriously disappointed in The Netherland by people breaking contracts and so on, she decided to move to Vlaanderen permanently. Untill 1981 she presented a country show on Belgian radio. The last years of her life she spent painting. The website isn't clear about her birth and death date (1900-1900?)."