Sunday, May 31, 2009

Clinton Ford

An Lp on the cheapo Marble Arch label from 1969 , distributed by Pye records. A compilation of children's songs. Nice versions of old novelties like Aba-daba Honeymoon and The Oyster Song.

"Clinton Ford, whose real name was George Harrison strangely enough was born in 1931 in Salford near Manchester in the North West of England.
"Clinton will now be best remembered for his novelty song, "Fanlight Fanny"- a recording he made while he was with Oriole, a minor label which had association with the Woolworth's budget record brand, 'Embassy'. In fact Clinton Ford was one of Oriole's most successful artists for a while, and "Fanlight Fanny" looked like Clinton's break into the big time. Sadly, it never quite happened.

Like many other artists of the time, Clinton had first excercised his entertainment ambitions by becoming a 'redcoat' at Butlins. Although his own leanings were towards country and western material, he began singing with traditional jazz bands and skiffle groups. This appears to have influenced his style somewhat and much of his best work was done in the company of trad groups like the Merseysippi Jazz Band and George Chisholm for example. Clinton's choice of recorded material was certainly diverse- with everything from the country flavoured sentimental 'Old Shep' and his confident interpretation of 'Run To The Door' through the most outrageous novelties like 'The Old Bazaar In Cairo' and even George Formby's 'Why Don't Women Like Me'."

Clinton Ford - Little White Donkey

Clinton Ford - Oh Dear What Can The Matter Be

Clinton Ford - Daisy Bell

Clinton Ford - Rosemary & Thyme

Clinton Ford - What Noise Annoys An Oyster

Bernard Miles

Found this EP by Bernard Miles today at the boot sale for 50p. I vaguley remember this act from the early 60's on TV where he appeared on The Good Old Days etc. as a bucolic old yokel leaning over a five bar gate - hence the title of this record.

Wikipedia says -

"Bernard James Miles, Baron Miles, CBE (27 September 1907–14 June 1991) was an English character actor, writer and director.

Miles was born in Uxbridge, Middlesex and attended Bishopshalt School in Hillingdon. While his parents were respectively a farm labourer and a cook, he was educated at Pembroke College, Cambridge. He entered the theatre in the 1930s, soon appearing in films. Like many actors, he featured prominently in the patriotic cinema during the Second World War, including classics of the genre such as In Which We Serve and One of Our Aircraft is Missing. He also had an uncredited role in the WWII classic The First of the Few, released in the US as Spitfire.

His typical persona as an actor was as a countryman, with a strong accent typical of the Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire counties. He was also, after Robert Newton the actor most associated with the part of Long John Silver, which he played in a British TV version of Treasure Island, and in an annual performance at the Mermaid. He had a pleasant rolling bass-baritone voice that worked well in theatre and film, as well as being much in demand for voice-overs. As a performer, he was most well known for a series of comic monologues, often given in a rural dialect. These were recorded and sold as record albums, which were quite popular. Some of his comic monologues are currently available on

He opened the Mermaid Theatre in London in 1959, the first new theatre opened in London since the 17th century. He was made a Commander of the British Empire (CBE) in 1953, was knighted in 1969, and was granted a life peerage as Baron Miles, of Blackfriars in the City of London in 1979. He was only the second British actor ever to be given a peerage (the first was Laurence Olivier). In 1981, he co-authored the book Curtain Calls with J.C. Trewin. He died in Yorkshire

His daughters are the actress Sally Miles and the artist Bridget Miles. His son John Miles was a Grand Prix Driver in the late 1960s and early 1970s with the Lotus team."

Bernard Miles - Over The Gate / Me an' Old Charlie

Bernard Miles - One Of The Old School

Bernard Miles - Billy & Toggie

Monday, May 25, 2009

Little Marcy

Not a great deal from the boot sales lately but did find this curiosity today for a few pence. Little Marcy is a ventriloquists doll and well known amongst collectors of strange records. It's on the Word World Wonder Series label out of Waco Texas. It has a price tag of 1:98 dollars on the sleeve depicting marcy and her animal friends.
It was released in 1968.

"Marcy Tigner, her puppet Little Marcy, and her unusual "child-like" singing voice, found her art, her niche, in the only venue available to so many like her - Christian childrens' music. Over three decades her unusual act has been fascinating, inspiring, sometimes repelling audiences from all over, depending on one's beliefs and point of view. Even today, when her music is often categorised as 'bad' or 'disturbing,' people find confirmation of their faith in it - and in fact, it stands head and shoulders above most of the other work in the genre thanks to top-notch production values.

Her albums have been released and re-released under various labels and at various prices, as was (and probably still is) typical for the genre. What we have here is an attempt - likely foredoomed to failure - to list every "Little Marcy" album and related release ever, along with whatever other data we can glean from thrift store record purchases and random bits of research."

Little Marcy - If I Could Talk With The Animals

Little Marcy - Oh, Miss Chicken

Little Marcy - Old MacDonald Had A Farm

Little Marcy - Never Smile At A Crocodile

Little Marcy - I Love Little Pussy

Little Marcy - Smokey The Bear

Ken Dodd

No apologies for uploading more Ken Dodd this time froma cassette I found a while back at a cheapo remaindered book chain. Taken from one of his old radio shows by the sound of it.

"Kenneth Arthur Dodd was born on 8th November 1927 in Knotty Ash, Liverpool.

Ken Dodd got his big break appearing at Nottingham Playhouse in 1954, going on to top the bill at Blackpool in 1958 from where his show was broadcast live the following year.

His career as a comedian really took off with the advent of television but his act still owed a lot to the traditional "stand-up", prevalent in the old Variety Theatre.

Not only a legendary comedian however, his musical career has been sensational, particularly in the 1960's when his singles, such as 'Happiness', 'Promises' and 'The River' topped the Charts and in 1965, 'Tears' sold over two million copies, earned Ken two gold discs and went straight into the Charts at no.1. 'Tears' is still one of the biggest-selling singles of all time!

Ken has not been short of Radio and Television appearances either. 'Doddy's Music Box', 'The Ken Dodd Show', 'Ken Dodd's World of Laughter' and of course, 'Ken Dodd and the Diddymen' as well as the highly acclaimed 'Audience With' shows have all got high ratings.

Ken is also an accomplished actor. He has starred in both 'Twelfth Night' and the 1996 movie epic 'Hamlet', as well as famously starring in 'Dr. Who and the Bannermen'.

He was awarded an OBEin 1982 and in 1991 was given the British Comedy Awards' highest accolade for his lifetime contribution to humour, a 'Lifetime Achievement Award'."

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Psycho Serenade

A few strange records found on an LP called Psycho Serenade on the Beware label that came out in the 80's. Mostly trashy novelty songs and weird rock 'n' roll obscurities mixed in with old ads. and film trailers etc.

The sequence goes as follows-

1. Come With Me To The Casbah - Ganimian and his Orientals
2. Souie Baby Souie - Nanine
3. Cailifornia Hippy Murders - Red River Dave
4. Shake Your Tail Feather - The Five Du-Tones
5. The Riddler - The Riddler
6. Mad - The Social Outcasts

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Bob Kerr's Whoopee Band (re-Up)

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 various concerts with Chris Barber, Kenny Ball, Lonnie Donegan and Acker Bilk plus many many more."

Discover more about the Whoopee Band HERE.

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.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Roger Stevens

New song and animation from our poet friend Roger who used to be a Killer Rabbit and part of the Wrong Brothers amongst many others. He also plays keyboards in a band called Damn Right I've Got The Blues. Buy his books and music HERE and visit his poetry blog HERE.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Theo Blaise (Re-Up)

A great LP found at Brick Lane flea market back in the 80's. This record on the TBK label was released in 1982. Theo recorded in Paris but has since given up performing to study music I am reliably informed. No idea who the fabulous guitarist playing here is.

Wikipedia says -

"Soukous (also known as Lingala or Congo, and previously as African rumba) is a musical genre that originated in the two neighbouring countries of Belgian Congo and French Congo during the 1930s and early 1940s, and which has gained popularity throughout Africa. "Soukous" (said to be a derivative of the French word secouer, to shake[1]) was originally the name of a dance popular in the Congos in the late 1960s, and danced to an African version of rumba. Although the genre was initially known as rumba (sometimes termed specifically as African rumba), the term "soukous" has come to refer to African rumba and its subsequent developments.

Soukous is called Congo music in West Africa, and Lingala in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania - referring to the Lingala language of the region from where it originated. In the 1980s and early 1990s, a fast-paced style of soukous known as kwassa kwassa – named after a popular dance, was popular. A style called ndombolo, also named after a dance, is currently popular."

More theo Blaise at SoMEtHIng FoR tHE WeeKEnd.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Columbia Novelty Orch./ Savoy Havana Band

Another 78 from the same batch this morning. I've realised I already have this on a CD called "The Wibbly Wobbly Walk" on the Saydisc label released in 1985.

The sleeve notes by Brian Rust say -

Columbia Novelty Orchestra: The Little Wooden Whistle Wouldn't Whistle - Here is another studio band, probably including Jules levy Jr. a brilliant cornetist like his father, but who died in his thirties not long after, and certainly featuring Billy Jones as vocalist; he was one of the Hapiness Boys, the most popular act on pioneer American radio. Recorded on March 8th, 1924, this is a curious mix of romantic and almost surrealistic.

Savoy Havana Band: Why Did I Kiss That Girl? A smash hit from the first part of 1924, recorded by the Havana Band after Bert Ralton took the original band to Australia. Ramon Newton, it's violinist-director, is also the singer.

Columbia Novelty Band - My Little Wooden Whistle Wouldn't Whistle

Savoy Havana Band - Why Did I Kiss That Girl?

Tom Foy

A 78 found today in a charity shop amongst some others- mostly classical.
I know little about Tom Foy . He reminds me of George Formby but without the ukulele - a sort of northern gormless comedian that was popular back then. Looking back we wonder why!

"Although famed as "The Yorkshire Lad", Mr. Foy was born in Manchester, of Irish parents. After
serving his apprenticeship as a sign writer, he set up in business in Halifax, training in his spare time
as an acrobat at nearby Shroggs Park. Tiring of sign writing he joined a travelling circus as a scenic
artist and clown, and made his first music-hall appearance in Manchester as a lightning cartoonist.
There followed work as a song and dance man, a black-faced comedian in a Wild West show, then as
an Irish comedian. It was Eugene Stratton who urged him to go to London, and arranged a trial turn at
the Oxford. He soon became established in the West End, presenting his broad Yorkshire comedy
sketches, including "Tom Foy and His Donkey" [which included a live donkey]. In pantomime he was a
popular dame, but his real panto' speciality was as "Idle Jack." Tom Foy collapsed while playing the
Argyle, Birkenhead on 23 July, 1917, and died a few weeks later at the age of 38."

Tom Foy - In Trouble Again

Tom Foy - Much Obliged To Me