Another old Capital Rado show from the 80's. Malcolm Maclaren makes an entertaining guest and plays a variety of music from The Pink Floyd to Marie Lloyd. Again, apologise for the ropey sound quality of these ancient cassette tapes that have deteriorated over the years.
Wikipedia says -
"McLaren was born to Pete McLaren, a Scottish engineer, and Emmy Isaacs in post-World War II North London. His father left when he was two and he was raised by his maternal grandmother, Rose Corre Isaacs, the formerly wealthy daughter of Portuguese Sephardic Jewish diamond dealers, in Stoke Newington. McLaren told Andrew Denton on Enough Rope, that his grandmother always said to him, "To be bad is good... to be good is simply boring". In The Ghosts of Oxford Street he says Charles Clore (who bought Selfridges) became his mother's lover. When he was six, McLaren's mother married Martin Levi, a man working in London's rag trade. When McLaren was in his forties, a Sunday newspaper found Pete McLaren in an English "greasy spoon garage".
McLaren's stepfather and mother owned a rag factory in London's East End called Eve Edwards London Limited. They lived well but Malcolm and his stepfather never got along. He left home in his teens. Following a series of jobs (including one as a wine taster), he went on to attend several art colleges through the 1960s, being expelled from several before leaving education entirely in 1971. It was during this time that he began to design clothing, a talent he would later use when he became a boutique owner.
He had been attracted to the Situationist movement, particularly King Mob, which promoted absurdist and provocative actions as a way of enacting social change. In 1968 McLaren had tried unsuccessfully to travel to Paris to take part in the demonstrations there. Instead, with Jamie Reid, he took part in a student occupation of Croydon Art School. McLaren would later adopt the movement's ideas into his promotion for the various pop and rock groups with whom he was soon to involve himself."
A curious EP on the German Telefunken label I found today at a local boot sale. Recorded in 1960. A strange mixture of oompa bands and laughing and carousing folk intent on having a good time. I must admit the image of the young Helga and Rolf disporting themselves on the red road roller on the sleeve did attract my attention. Roughly translated the front cover says - "The mood roller. mitschunkein all times, laugh sing along! The S. Vierlinger brass band and a jolly round."
Songs include -
My hat has three corners - May has arrived - Beer here! Beer here! - It's a roundelay - Hark, what's really out there of 'pure - You, are you lying in my heart - Already, the youth - A Seefaht that is funny - Walking is the Mullers Lust - High he shall live.
A curious record found in a charity shop some time ago. It's from the Philippines- maybe brought back from a holiday? It's an instrumental album by PangKat Kawayan "The Singing Bamboos" and consists partly of traditional Filipino music and western classical favourites like The Skater's Waltz, Carnival In Vienna and Hungarian Dance No. 5. Here's what it says on the sleeve notes-
" This orchestral band whose solo medium of musical intrumentation come from the bamboo came to be created in late '66 at the the Aurora A. Quezon Elementary School through the initiative of the school's principal, Miss laura Gorospe, whose dream tehn was "to revive and develop an almost dying aspect of our native intrumental music - that of ' muiskong bumbong'......'
All the players are between 8 and 15 years.
Discover more about the traditional music of the Philippines HERE.
A 4 LP boxed set of George's finest work released on the World Record label in 1977.
Wikipedia says -
"Formby was born at 3 Westminster Street, Wigan, Lancashire, as George Hoy Booth, the eldest of seven surviving children (four girls and three boys). Formby was born blind due to an obstructive caul; his sight was restored during a violent coughing fit or sneeze when he was a few months old. His father James Booth used the stage name George Formby, adopted from the town of Formby, Lancashire, and was one of the great music hall comedians of his day, fully the equal of his son's later success. His father, not wishing him to watch his performances, moved the family to Atherton Road in Hindley, near Wigan, and it was from there that Formby was apprenticed as a jockey when he was seven and rode his first professional race aged ten when he weighed under 4 stone (56 lb; 25 kg).
The family then moved to Stockton Heath, Warrington on a property on London Road. It was from there that George Formby Jr. embarked on his career in entertainment.
On the death of his father in 1921, Formby abandoned his career as a jockey and started his own music hall career using his father's material. He originally called himself George Hoy (the name of his maternal grandfather, who originally came from Newmarket, Suffolk, a famous horseracing town, where the family were involved in racehorse training). In 1924 he married dancer Beryl Ingham, who managed his career (and it is said his personal life to an intolerable degree—see biographies below) until her death in 1960. He allegedly took up the ukulele, for which he was later famous, as a hobby; he first played it on stage for a bet."
The last 78 for a while, this is a catchy pop hit from the 50's by Guy Mitchell who had many hits back then. I bought a CD compilation of his best work recently in a charity shop and realised just how many of the songs I knew from my childhood , listening to the radio. Knee Deep In The Blues has a nice rockabilly swing to it as did many of his later songs.
Wikipedia says -
"He was born Albert George Cernik, son of immigrants from Croatia, in Detroit, Michigan. At the age of eleven, he was signed by Warner Brothers Pictures, to be groomed as a child star, and he also performed on the radio on Station KFWB in Los Angeles, California. After leaving school, he worked as a saddlemaker, but supplemented his income by singing whenever he could. At this point in his life, Dude Martin, who had a country music broadcast in San Francisco, noticed him and hired him to perform with his band. He served in the United States Navy for two years, and after leaving the service became a singer with Carmen Cavallaro's big band. In 1947 he made recordings for Decca with Cavallaro's band, but had to leave due to food poisoning. He eventually went to New York City, and made records for King Records under the name Al Grant (one in particular, "Cabaret", appeared in the Variety magazine charts). He won on the radio show Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts in 1949 as a soloist.
Mitch Miller, who was in charge of talent at Columbia Records, noticed Cernik in 1950, and he joined Columbia and got his new stage name at Miller's urging: Miller is supposed to have said, "my name is 'Mitchell' and you seem a nice 'guy', so we'll call you Guy Mitchell." Bob Merrill wrote a string of top hits for Mitchell.
In the 1950s and 1960s he acted in movies as well as singing. He did movies with Teresa Brewer, Pat Crowley, and Rosemary Clooney (Red Garters). In 1957 he had his own television show on the ABC network. He also sang in the Braemor Rooms, Churchtown, Dublin, Ireland.
His first hit was 1951's "My Heart Cries for You".
Though he is a pre-rock pop singer, many of his songs have a decided rock beat to them, including "Knee Deep in the Blues", "Heartaches by the Number", "Rock-a-Billy", "The Same Old Me" and his biggest hit, "Singing the Blues", which was number one for 10 weeks in 1956.
Mitchell was an alcoholic. By 1984 he had been divorced three times and was a cancer survivor.
He died on July 1, 1999 of surgical complications due to his cancer."
More crackly shellac on 78. From 1958 this is Ella Fitzgerlad and Her Shepherds.
Wikipedia says -
"Fitzgerald was born in Newport News, Virginia, the child of a common-law marriage between William and Temperance "Tempie" Fitzgerald. The pair separated soon after her birth and she and her mother moved to Yonkers, New York with Tempie's boyfriend, Joseph Da Silva. Fitzgerald's half-sister, Frances Da Silva, was born in 1923.
In her youth Fitzgerald wanted to be a dancer, although she loved listening to jazz recordings by Louis Armstrong, Bing Crosby and The Boswell Sisters. She idolized the lead singer Connee Boswell, later saying, "My mother brought home one of her records, and I fell in love with it....I tried so hard to sound just like her."
In 1932, her mother died from a heart attack. Following this trauma, Fitzgerald's grades dropped dramatically and she frequently skipped school. Abused by her stepfather, she was first taken in by an aunt] and at one point worked as a lookout at a bordello and also with a Mafia-affiliated numbers runner. When the authorities caught up with her, she was first placed in the Colored Orphan Asylum in Riverdale, the Bronx.However, when the orphanage proved too crowded she was moved to the New York Training School for Girls in Hudson, New York, a state reformatory. Eventually she escaped and for a time was homeless.
She made her singing debut at 17 on November 21, 1934 at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, New York. She pulled in a weekly audience at the Apollo and won the opportunity to compete in one of the earliest of its famous "Amateur Nights". She had originally intended to go on stage and dance but, intimidated by the Edwards Sisters, a local dance duo, she opted to sing instead in the style of Connee Boswell. She sang Boswell's "Judy" and "The Object of My Affection," a song recorded by the Boswell Sisters, and won the first prize of US$25.00."
Earl Bostic again, this time on an old 78 from the coal shed. The usual standards given the bluesy saxaphone treatment.
Wikipedia says -
"Bostic was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He turned professional at age 18 when he joined Terence Holder's 'Twelve Clouds of Joy'. He made his first recording with Lionel Hampton in October 1939, with a.o. Charlie Christian, Clyde Hart and Big Sid Catlett. Before that he performed with Fate Marable on New Orleans riverboats. Bostic graduated from Xavier University in New Orleans. He worked with territory bands as well as Arnett Cobb, Hot Lips Page, Rex Stewart, Don Byas, Charlie Christian, Thelonious Monk, Edgar Hayes, Cab Calloway, and other jazz luminaries. In 1938, and in 1944, Bostic led the house band at Small's Paradise. While playing at Small's Paradise, he doubled on guitar and trumpet. During the early 1940s, he was a well respected regular at the famous jam sessions held at Minton's Playhouse. He formed his own band in 1945 and made the first recordings under his own name for the Majestic label.He turned to rhythm and blues in the late 1940s. His biggest hits were "Temptation," "Sleep," "Flamingo," "You Go to My Head" and "Cherokee." At various times his band included Jaki Byard, John Coltrane, Benny Golson, Blue Mitchell, Stanley Turrentine, Tommy Turrentine, Keter Betts, Sir Charles Thompson, Teddy Edwards, Tony Scott, Benny Carter and other musicians who rose to prominence in jazz."
78 from the 50's that was a big hit. All that screaming on Ma must have been quite revolutionary at the time. Now it sounds a bit crass.
Wikipedia says -
"Otis, the son of Alex J. Veliotes, a grocery store owner and his wife, the former Irene Kiskakes, is the child of Greek immigrants.
He is the older brother of Nicholas Veliotes, former U.S. Ambassador to Jordan (1978-1981) and to Egypt (1984-1986). He is the father of musician Shuggie Otis.
 Music career After playing in a variety of swing orchestras, including Lloyd Hunter's Serenaders, he founded his own band in 1945 and had one of the most enduring hits of the big band era, "Harlem Nocturne". This band played with Wynonie Harris and Charles Brown. In 1947, he and Bardu Ali opened the Barrelhouse Club in the Watts district of Los Angeles. He reduced the size of his band and hired singers Mel Walker, Little Esther Phillips and the Robins (who later became the Coasters). He discovered the teenaged Phillips when she won one of the Barrelhouse Club's talent shows. With this band, which toured extensively throughout the United States as the California Rhythm and Blues Caravan, he had a long string of rhythm and blues hits through 1950.
In the late 1940s, he discovered Big Jay McNeely, who then performed on his "Barrelhouse Stomp". In the 1950s he discovered Etta James, for whom he produced her first hit, "Roll With Me, Henry", (also known as "The Wallflower"). Otis produced the original recording of "Hound Dog" written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller with vocal by Big Mama Thornton, and was given a writing credit on all six of the 1953 releases of the song. As an artist and repertory man for King Records he also discovered Jackie Wilson, Hank Ballard, and Little Willie John, among others. He also became an influential disk jockey in Los Angeles.
He continued to perform, and in April 1958, he recorded his best-known recording "Willie and the Hand Jive", which relates to hand and arm motions in time with the music, called the hand jive. This recording went on to be a huge hit in the summer of 1958, peaking at #9 on the U.S. Pop chart, and becoming Otis' only Top 10 single. His most famous composition is "Every Beat of My Heart", first recorded by The Royals in the 1952 but which became a huge hit for Gladys Knight. In 1969 he recorded an album of sexually explicit material under the name Snatch and the Poontangs. In 1970 he played at the legendary Monterey Jazz Festival with Little Esther Phillips and Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson. Otis continued performing through the 1990s and headlined the San Francisco Blues Festival in 1990 and 2000, although because of his many other interests he went through long periods where he did not perform."
Another scratchy 78 from the coal shed. Bluesy big band singer from the USA. Ive not heard of her before I must admit but she seems to have been very popular back in the 40's 50's.
Wikipedia says -
"Gibbs was born Frieda Lipschitz, in Worcester, Massachusetts, the youngest of four children of Russian Jewish descent. Her father died when she was six months old, and she spent her first seven years in an orphanage in Worcester, separated from her other siblings.
She revealed a natural talent for singing at a young age, and was given the lead in the orphanage's yearly variety show. She was reunited with her mother (who had visited her once every other month) when the latter found employment as a midwife. However, her job often forced her to leave her daughter alone for weeks at a time with only a Philco radio for company.
Gibbs began her professional career at the age of thirteen, and was singing in Boston's Raymor Ballroom the following year. She recorded her first record with the Hudson-DeLange Orchestra in 1936 (aged 16 or 17). "You don't really know loneliness unless you do a year or two with a one-night band, Gibbs said of her life on the big band circuit, "sing until about 2 a.m. Get in a bus and drive 400 miles. Stop in the night for the greasy hamburger. Arrive in a town. Try to sleep. Get up and eat." (Worcester Telegram & Gazette, May 12, 1994.)
She soon found steady work on radio shows including Your Hit Parade, Melody Puzzles and The Tim And Irene Show. Gibbs freelanced in the late 1930s and 1940s singing with the bands of Frankie Trumbauer, Hal Kemp, Tommy Dorsey and Artie Shaw. It was with Shaw's band (then billed as Fredda Gibson) that she scored her first hit, "Absent Minded Moon" (1942).
In 1943, she changed her name to Georgia Gibbs and began appearing on the 'Camel Caravan' radio program, hosted by Jimmy Durante and Garry Moore. It was Moore who bestowed the famous nickname "Her Nibs, Miss Georgia Gibbs" upon her; the nickname was a playful reference to her diminutive stature of barely over five feet tall. She was a regular performer on this show until 1947."
I don't know much about Charlie Gracie I must admit. An Elvis clone singing songs that sound VERY familiar indeed . How he got away with it is anybody's guess!
Wikipedia says -
"Gracie performed at weddings, local restaurants, and parties, and on local radio and television. He also won regional talent contests. The owner of Cadillac Records, Graham Prince, heard one of Gracie's early radio performances, contacted the young musician and signed him to a recording contract. This association yielded the single, "Boogie Woogie Blues" backed with "I'm Gonna Sit Right Down And Write Myself A Letter". The record led to Charlie's first appearance on Bob Horn's American Bandstand television program. (This was four years before Dick Clark became the host). After cutting two more singles for Cadillac, "Rockin´ ´n´ Rollin´" being one of the titles (and remember, this was in 1952!) Charlie moved on to 20th Century Records where he put out another four sides. The discs he made embraced a wide variety of styles: jump blues, gospel, and country boogie with the influences of Big Joe Turner, B.B. King, Louis Jordan, Roy Acuff, and Hank Williams. By 1956, Philadelphia had given birth to the new Cameo record label. Its founders, in search of a strong talent, signed Gracie later that year. With a $600 budget, this new union went into the recording studio to record "Butterfly" backed with "Ninety Nine Ways". It became a hit record, reaching the #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Charlie received a gold disc for the two million plus sales. His only other Top 40 hit was with a song entitled "Fabulous" the same year, which reached #16. Two other substantial sellers followed; "Wandering Eyes", his third Billboard Top 100 hit, which peaked at #71, and "Cool Baby". The financial success of these hits bankrolled the Cameo label, which became a dominant force in the music industry for several years. Gracie's personal appearances grew until he performed and headlined some of the biggest venues of that time: Alan Freed's rock and roll shows at the Brooklyn Paramount, The Ed Sullivan Show, American Bandstand and the 500 Club in Atlantic City. He appeared in the 1957 film, Jamboree, and toured with Chuck Berry, The Everly Brothers, Bo Diddley and his close friend, Eddie Cochran."
Charlie Gracie - Just Lookin' Clearing out the shed today and came across a pile of old 78's. Some were cracked and broken but others like this Nat King Cole version of Love Letters still had some life left in them. I much prefer the Ketty Lester version but this has a certain charm despite the syrupy strings. Just him and his trio seemed just perfect but his later recordings leave me cold.
Wikipedia says -
Nathaniel Adams Coles was born in Montgomery, Alabama, on Saint Patrick's Day in 1919 (some sources erroneously list his birth year as 1917). At the age of 4, his family moved to Chicago, Illinois. There his father, Edward Coles, became a Baptist minister. Cole learned to play the organ from his mother, Perlina Coles, the church organist. His first performance, at age four, was of "Yes! We Have No Bananas". He began formal lessons at the age of 12, eventually learning not only jazz and gospel music but also European classical music, performing, as he said, "from Johann Sebastian Bach to Sergei Rachmaninoff".
"Cole had three brothers - Eddie, Ike, and Freddy. Cole's sister, Joyce Cole, married the famous art supplier, Robert Doak, of Robert Doak & Associates, Incorporated. The family lived in the Bronzeville neighborhood of Chicago. Cole would sneak out of the house and hang around outside the clubs, listening to artists such as Louis Armstrong, Earl Hines, and Jimmie Noone. He participated in Walter Dyett's renowned music program at DuSable High School.
Inspired by the playing of Earl Hines, Cole began his performing career in the mid 1930s while still a teenager, adopting the name "Nat Cole". His older brother, Eddie Cole, a bass player, soon joined Cole's band, and they made their first recording in 1936 under Eddie's name. They were also regular performers at clubs. In fact, Cole acquired his nickname "King" performing at one jazz club, a nickname presumably reinforced by the otherwise unrelated nursery rhyme about Old King Cole. He was also a pianist in a national tour of Broadway theatre legend Eubie Blake's revue, "Shuffle Along". When it suddenly failed in Long Beach, California, Cole decided to remain there. He would later return to Chicago in triumph to play such venues as the famed Edgewater Beach Hotel."
An odd Lp from 1971 featuring Freddie Garrity of Freddie and the Dreamers fame in the soundtrack to a TV musical written by Mike Hazlewood. Released on the CBS label. Apparently a spin-off from a Southern Television series for children called Little Big Time. All the tapes were wiped to make room for more important stuff or just to save money. So many programmes met the same fate back in the 60's and 70's.
Wikipedia says of Freddie Garrity -
"Born in Manchester, in the early years of the band, Garrity’s official birth-date was given as 14 November 1940 to make him appear younger and, therefore, more appealing to the youth market who bought the majority of records sold in the UK. Garrity’s trademark was his habit of leaping up and down during performances. This, combined with his almost skeletal appearance and horn-rimmed glasses (without lenses), made him an eccentric figure in the UK pop scene of the early 1960s. He worked as a milkman before forming the group in 1959. Freddie and the Dreamers disbanded in the late 1960s and between 1971 and 1973 Garrity and former bandmate Peter Birrell appeared in the ITV children’s television show Little Big Time. Garrity also made an appearance on the Granada Television production The Wheeltappers and Shunters Social Club in early 1974. Garrity also appeared in an episode of Heartbeat as a DJ, who played a Freddie and the Dreamers record, "I'm Telling You Now". After his television career ended, Garrity formed a new version of Freddie and the Dreamers and toured regularly for the next two decades, but no further records or chart success came their way. He continued to perform until 2001, when he was diagnosed with emphysema after collapsing during a flight, thus forcing him into retirement. With his health in decline, Garrity settled in Newcastle-under-Lyme. He was married three times and had one child in his first marriage named Jackie and three children in his second marriage named Nicola, Danielle, and Matthew. Freddie Garrity died at Bangor in North Wales, at the age of 69, after being taken ill while on holiday."
This LP on the BBC label is from 1974 gives a flavour of the much loved children's variety show that graced our TV sets back in the 60's and 70's. Who could forget the much coveted "Crackerjack pencil" or Double Or Drop? The regular troupe of players included Leslie Crowther, Ronnie Corbett and Peter Glaze ( included here ) along with Don Maclean, Jacqueline Clarke and Christine Ozanne. So prepare for some corny jokes and silly songs including Jake The Peg, Talk To The Animals and the old Ray Stevens classic Gitarzan.
Wikipedia says -
"The shows were filmed in front of an audience of mainly children at the BBC Television Theatre (now the Shepherds Bush Empire) and were quite frantic. The format of the programme included competitive games for teams of children, a music spot, a comedy double act, and a finale in which the cast performed a short comic play, adapting popular songs of the day and incorporating them into the action. One of the highlights of the show was called Don and Pete, being Don Maclean and Peter Glaze in a silent comedy style section lasting maybe five minutes. Shows had them fishing, as sweepers, barbers, at a riding school, on a building site, on a farm, at a circus, window cleaners, bellboys, removals, etc. One of the most memorable games was a quiz called "Double or Drop", where each contestant was given a prize to hold for each question answered correctly, but given a cabbage if they answered incorrectly. They were out of the game if they dropped any of the items they were holding or received a third cabbage."
A rather battered LP on the Sue label, a subsidary of Island Records that was released in the mid 60's.
Wikipedia says -
"Preston began playing piano while sitting on his mother's lap at age three, and he was considered something of a child prodigy on piano and organ. By the age of 10 he was performing in the bands of gospel singers Mahalia Jackson, James Cleveland, and Andrae Crouch. At age 12 he began a side career acting, and appeared in the 1958 Paramount Pictures film St. Louis Blues, portraying blues composer W.C. Handy as a young man. In the 1960s he performed with Little Richard and Ray Charles. He also began a recording career as a solo artist with the 1965 album The Most Exciting Organ Ever. He was also a regular on the mid-1960s ABC-TV musical variety series Shindig! as a member of the show's house band.
Preston is one of several people sometimes referred to by outsiders as a "Fifth Beatle." At one point during the Get Back sessions, John Lennon even proposed the idea of having him as the "Fifth Beatle" (Paul countered that it was bad enough with four. Preston first met The Beatles in 1962 while part of Little Richard's touring band, when their manager Brian Epstein organized a Liverpool show, which The Beatles opened. The Washington Post explained their subsequent meeting: “ They'd hook up again in 1969, when The Beatles were about to break up while recording the last album they released, Let It Be (they would later record Abbey Road, which was released prior to Let It Be). George Harrison, always Preston's best Beatles buddy, had quit and walked out of the studio and gone to a Ray Charles concert in London, where Preston was playing organ. Harrison brought Preston back to the studio, where his keen musicianship and gregarious personality temporarily calmed the tension. ” Preston played with The Beatles for several of the Get Back sessions, some of the material from which would later be culled to make the film Let it Be and its companion album, during which he joined the band for its rooftop concert, its final public appearance. "Get Back", one of the album's singles, was credited to "The Beatles with Billy Preston," the only time such a joint credit had been given on an official Beatles-sanctioned release (as distinct from an unsanctioned reissue of some Hamburg-era recordings on which they were the backing group for Tony Sheridan). The credit was bestowed by The Beatles to reflect the extent of Preston's presence on the track; his electric piano is prominent throughout and he plays an extended solo. Preston also worked (in a more limited role) on the Abbey Road album, contributing to the tracks "I Want You (She's So Heavy)" and "Something."
An LP on Ace Of Clubs cheapo label from the 60's with various artistes including Ella Shields, Nellie Wallace and Tom Leamore that I have featured before.
Wikipedia says of Hetty King-
"Winifred Emms (4 April 1883 – 28 September 1972), best known by her stage name Hetty King, was an English entertainer who played in the music halls over a period of 70 years.
Emms was born in Shoreditch, London on 4 April 1883. Emms was born in New Brighton a seaside resort in Cheshire Cheshire and performed with her father on the beach in a company of minstrel
Emms adopted the name Hetty King when she first appeared on the stage of the Shoreditch Theatre, at the age of six with her father, William Emms (1856-1954), a comedian who used the stage name of Will King. By 1905, she was appearing in music halls, with her solo act, as a male impersonator, often dressed as a "swell". Her career spanned both World Wars when she performed in the uniform of either a soldier or a sailor. In the First World War her acrt included, in 1916, "Songs the soldiers sing" when she sang some of the less rude of the songs invented by soldiers in the trenches. She also played the "principal boy" in many pantomimes. She continued to entertain until the end of her life, touring with the show Thanks for the Memory."
Wikipedia says of Albert Whelan -
"Albert Whelan (5 May 1875 – 19 February 1961), was an Australian popular singer and entertainer, who was prominent in the English music hall during the first half of the twentieth century. Like his exact contemporary and fellow music-hall artist Florrie Forde, Whelan was born in Melbourne, Australia, in 1875. Early in his career, Whelan moved to Western Australia, where he found fame as a singer and dancer, entertaining the miners working the gold fields. At the turn of the century, he emigrated to Britain, making his debut in a novelty dance act at the Empire, Leicester Square. He rapidly honed his act, and settled on a style which would vary little over his career, although his ability to update the content of his act ensured his career was both long and successful, lasting well into his eighties. Whelan was acknowledged as one of the first entertainers to have a signature tune, appearing on-stage (and exiting at the end of his act) whistling Robert Vollstedt's waltz from Die Lustige Brüder (The Jolly Brothers). Immaculately dressed in bow-tie and tails, he sang, danced and played the piano. He was an excellent mimic, and adapted easily to changing vocal styles. His recording career spanned the first half of the twentieth century, from The Whistling Bowery Boy in 1905 to his final recordings made in 1960. He also had minor roles in a number of British films of the 1930s and 1940s."
More music hall songs from the late 1800's and early 1900's on a double LP on EMI. It claims to have been digitally re-mastered but still sounds very scratchy to me. One wonders what it was like before!
Wikipedia says of Gus Elen-
"Gus Elen began his career busking, and found a position singing in a minstrel troupe. His solo success began with the coster songs, sung in 1891 at the Middlesex Music Hall, when his comedy partner, a man named Daniels, died in a boating accident. They had performed a 'blackface' comedy act, but solo he performed cockney songs and sketches as a 'coster' comedian, dressed in the clothes of a poor East End costermonger, coming himself from a similar background. In an interview, given after he had become a star, he said, “ Years before I entered the ranks of music hall performers proper, I used to contribute to the programmes of the weekly sing songs held at such places as 'Poppy Lords' in Lisson Grove; the 'Magpie and Stump', Battersea; or the 'George Street Recital Hall'. At the last named hall, the salaries ranged from a shilling to three and sixpence a night with a cup of coffee and a bun thrown in by way of refreshment. In those days I often filled in a season on the 'waxeys' (on the seaside) at Margate and Ramsgate in a Negro minstrel troupe ” —in Vaudeville, Old and New: An Encyclopedia of Variety Performers in America Elen was praised as an "authentic cockney from the poor streets" and was well known for his involvement in personally organized charity events. For many years he and his wife distributed free christmas gifts to the poor in public."
I thought I had uploaded some tracks from this LP on the Music For Pleasure label (1968) but seems I haven't which is much remiss of me. I have fond memories of Jack in Dixon Of Dock Green that was on TV for many years from the 50's through the 60's on the BBC. He made his name earlier though as a star of music hall and variety performing monologues very much like you hear on this record but these have been re-recorded in the 60's.
Jack Warner OBE (24 October 1895 – 24 May 1981) was an English film and television actor. He was born in London, his real name being Horace John Waters. His sisters Elsie and Doris Waters were well-known comediennes under the names Gert and Daisy. Like them, Jack Warner made his name in music hall and radio, but he became known to cinema audiences as the patriarch in a trio of popular post-World War II family films beginning with Here Come the Huggetts. He also co-starred in the 1955 Hammer film version of The Quatermass Xperiment and as a police superintendent in the 1955 Ealing Studios black comedy The Ladykillers. Warner attended the Coopers' Company's Grammar School for Boys in Mile End, while his sisters both attended the nearby sister school, Coborn School for Girls in Bow. The three children were choristers at St. Leonard's Church, Bromley-by-Bow, and for a time, Warner was the choir's soloist. By the early war years Warner was nationally known and starred in a BBC radio comedy show Garrison Theatre, invariably opening with, "A Monologue Entitled...". It was in 1949 that Warner first played the role for which he would be remembered, PC George Dixon in the film, The Blue Lamp. One observer predicted, "This film will make Jack the most famous policeman in Britain". Although the police constable was shot dead in the film, the character was revived in 1955 for the BBC television series, Dixon of Dock Green, which ran until 1976. In later years though, Warner and his long-past-retirement-age character were confined to a less prominent desk sergeant role. The series had a prime-time slot on Saturday evenings, and always opened with PC Dixon giving a little soliloquy to the camera, beginning with the words, "Good evening, all". According to Warner's autobiography, Jack of All Trades, Elizabeth II once visited the television studio where the series was made and told Warner "that she thought Dixon of Dock Green had become part of the British way of life"."
Two more Undercurrents shows from Charlie when he was on Capital Radio - a one hour lunchtime show on Sundays from 1980 to 1982 I think. Mostly punk and new wave records from independent record companys. One contains live session from The Shakin' Pyramids.
Wikipedia says -
"The Shakin' Pyramids (also known as Shakin' Pyramids) were a Scottish rockabilly band formed in Glasgow in the late 1970s. The band consisted of Dave Duncan (vocals, harmonica, percussion) James G. Creighton (acoustic & electric guitar, vocals) and "Railroad" Ken McLellan (acoustic guitar, vocals).
During the band's recording career from 1980–1983, they released two studio albums, four singles and three extended plays—one of which was recorded with the late British recording star Lonnie Donegan. A 1983 compilation album was released shortly after the group's disbandment, and a live album followed in 2001. Although the band did not enjoy any major chart successes, their work was generally well received by critics. They earned a fan base through their energetic live performances, which were originally honed on the streets of Glasgow and later exhibited via their extensive touring and a number of television appearances. In recent years, their work has been described as having helped define the short-lived rockabilly revival of the early 1980s."
Another boot sale find today which I remember from my youth. An EP on the London label from 1961. Its a bit scratchy on side two so sorry for the clicks and jumps.
"The String-A-Longs were an instrumental group from Plainview, Texas, produced by Norman Petty on Warwick Records. They consisted of Richard Stevens, lead guitar, Keith McCormack and Jimmy Torres, rhythm guitars, Aubrey de Cordova, bass guitar and Don Allen, drums.
Their biggest hit single was "Wheels" in 1961, which was revived later the same year by the Joe Loss Orchestra as "Wheels Cha Cha". The tune peaked at #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was the number 8 single of 1961 according to Billboard. The track reached number 8 in the UK Singles Chart. It sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc. The tune became popular in France later in 1961 under the title "Dans le cœur de ma blonde". "Wheels" was followed by "Brass Buttons" (U.S. #35), "Should I", and "Replica"."
An EP I found the other day in a charity shop for a quid. I was struck by the title and the cover design. Not a great lover of flamenco myself but some of you might enjoy this. Obviously a holiday purchase I would imagine from the 60's on the Spanish Regal label.
"Flamenco is a style of music and dance which is considered part of the culture of Spain, although it is actually native to only one region: Andalusia. Andalusian, Gypsy, Sephardic, Moorish and Byzantine influences have been detected in flamenco, often claimed to have coalesced around the time of the Reconquista in the 15th century. The origins of the term are unclear; the word flamenco itself was not recorded until the 18th century. Flamenco is the music of the Andalusian gypsies and played in their social community. Andalusian people who grew up around gypsies were also accepted as "flamencos" (Paco de Lucía). Other regions, mainly Extremadura and Murcia, have also contributed to the development of flamenco, and many flamenco artists have been born outside Andalusia. Latin American and especially Cuban influences have also contributed, as evidenced in the dances of "Ida y Vuelta"."
Continuing the homage to the late Charlie Gillett here are two Undercurrents shows on Capital Radio from 1980/81 - not sure of exact dates. In the first Charlie has guest Jello Biafra the singer with the Dead Kennedys. Biafra chooses a few punk and new wave records including UKDK and ? and the Mysterians. The second show Charlie plays some independent records ranging from the sublime Gregory Issacs to the ridiculous "Puppet On A String" by Big Hair. Charlie reckons this was his favourite record of the moment back then - hard to believe!
Wikipedia says -
"Jello Biafra (born Eric Reed Boucher; June 17, 1958) is an American musician, spoken word artist and leading figure of the Green Party. Biafra first gained attention as the lead singer and songwriter for San Francisco punk rock band Dead Kennedys. After his time with the band concluded, he took over the influential independent record label Alternative Tentacles, which he had co-founded in 1979 with Dead Kennedys bandmate East Bay Ray. Although now primarily focused on spoken word art, he has continued as a musician in numerous collaborations.
Politically, Jello is a member of the Green Party and actively supports leftist political causes. Biafra ran for the party's Presidential nomination in 2000, finishing second to Ralph Nader. He is a self-identified anarchist who advocates civil disobedience, direct action, culture jamming, and pranksterism in the name of political causes. Biafra is known to use absurdist media tactics in the tradition of the Yippies to highlight issues of civil rights, social justice, economic populism, boosterism, anti-corporatism, peace movements, anti-consumerism, environmentalism, anti-globalization, universal health care, LGBT rights, anti-capitalism, abortion access, feminism, and the separation of church and state."