Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Clinton Ford

Found in the indoor market today. On the cheapo Chevron label from 1979. I prefer the Clinton Ford who does novelty songs I must admit - these are rather poor renditions of Jolson favourites which include Let Me Sing And I'm Happy, You Made Me Love You - Swanee, Down Among The Sheltering Palms, Pretty Baby, Back in Your Own Backyard and By The Light Of The Silvery Moon.

Wikipedia says -

"Born Ian George Stopford Harrison, in Salford, Lancashire, and a former Redcoat(Butlins holiday camp entertainer).

Initially he worked as a laboratory assistant but became a Butlins Redcoat in Pwllheli in 1957 and worked there for three summer seasons. In the winters he sang with a group called 'Merseysippi' at the Cavern Club in Liverpool, recording several songs with them including "Get Out and Get Under".

He began his recording career as Clinton Ford with the Oriole record label. He performed skiffle in a band called the 'Backwoods Skiffle Group' and changed his name because his own name did not sound right for some of the American material that he sang. Ford also recorded with the 'Hallelujah Skiffle Group', but the singles didn't sell. However he appeared at the Royal Albert Hall and with Ken Dodd on Dodd's television shows and later he appeared in Stars and Garters, The Billy Cotton Band Show and The Good Old Days.

Ford had his chart success in 1959, with a cover of the Red Foley's song "Old Shep"; albeit for just one week. Ford donated his royalties from "Old Shep" to the Battersea Dogs' Home, so he made nothing from this high-selling record. Nevertheless, Ford had the only version of this famous song ever to appear in the UK Singles Chart. Unable to give up chasing the musical fads of the time, his next chart entry was "Too Many Beautiful Girls" in a trad jazz style, and for his biggest hit he turned to the music hall days of George Formby, who had recorded "Fanlight Fanny" in 1935. This led to an eponymous album that reached No.16 in the UK Albums Chart in May 1962. After touring for a while with Kenny Ball & His Jazzmen, he returned for a stint at Liverpool's Cavern Club, to find that the market for trad jazz and country and western styled novelties had been replaced by the beat music of a certain local band called The Beatles."

Clinton Ford - Side One

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