Sunday, July 23, 2006

Tony Capstick

Tony Capstick

Found this cassette today at a bootsale with a few others for 25p. Always wanted an excuse to upload "Captick Comes Home" Which is a send-up of a commercial for a particular brand of wholemeal bread which was on television in the 70's and early 80's. Released in 1981.

"Capstick was born in Mexborough, near Rotherham, a town at the heart of a very conservative (although eternally Labour-voting) community, whose traditions he absorbed and then turned on with energetic glee. He went to school locally, and for as short a time as legally possible, but became a talented guitarist and a fine mimic.

He made a local name for himself singing at clubs and thrived on radio, starting a connection with BBC Radio Sheffield in the early 1970's, which was to last more than 30 years. Thanks to spirited station managers like Phil Sidey in Leeds, this often disdained arm of the BBC used its position, away from the controllers' gaze, to produce some wonderfully subversive radio. Capstick thrived on that.

He developed a range of other activities, folk-singing, telling long, bizarre Yorkshire stories in the style of an old-fashioned raconteur, in clubs and on south Yorkshire radio, and writing a local newspaper column.

Soon after, he married Gillian, a supermarket worker 18 years younger than himself. They made a base at Hoober, close to one of a collection of eccentric follies on the former estate of the Earls of Wentworth; an aspect of South Yorkshire that much appealed to Capstick, who enjoyed rural stately homes.

Tony Capstick was a radio genius and never achieved his full potential as an entertainer and broadcaster because he loved South Yorkishire so much, he never left the area to expand his career further. He will be sorely missed by the listeners of BBC Radio Sheffield, of which he had a massive following of loyal listeners who tuned in daily to enjoy his unique entertaining banter."

Tony Capstick - Capstick Comes Home

Tony Capstick - Radio Wassock (edit)

These SendSpace files are available for seven days or until exhausted.


spice-the-cat said...

Hi Michael - I see you've become an active member of the Yahoo Ivor Cutler group. Welcome to the gang.

This post brings back some memories - I'm originally from Yorkshire - as I have some personal connections with BBC radio. You're quite right about there being some maverick people in the outer reaches of the organisation - One that I knew well was Martin Kelner, who should have made it to national radio but was just a little too subversive for the powers that be. He did have a big hand in Mrs Merton's rise to fame when she used to appear on his evening show. Incidently, Mrs Merton also appeared on a couple of Frank Sidebottom's albums back in the 80's.

michael said...

Hi spice, yes I've been a fan of Ivor's for years and had the pleasure of having tea with him a couple of times. A lovely and strange man and much missed.

Do you know Frank Wappatt? I found a cassette of one of his Stars On 78 shows down the boot sale yesterday. It has some odd stuff on it as well as some very ordinairy dance band tracks. The oddest was a japanese version of "Show Me The Way To Go Home"! 25p well spent I think!
Making some searches I discovered that Frank still works for the beeb but doesnt do the Stars On 78 show anymore ( at least I found no record of it ) but works for York radio, Radio Newcastle ( one of the oldest serving DJ's) and Cumbria Radio . Maybe more? He seems busy anyway.

What happened to Frank Sidebottom? I was editing some old cartoon tapes the other day I recorded in the 90's for my son (and for me) and had a brief glimpse of frank threading a film into a projector on some kids Saturday morning prog. I'd forgotten he used to do that sort of thing.

patricianuk said...

Hi Michael, thank you for the Tony Capstick soundbites.
I am also from South Yorkshire and I understand why anyone would resist ANY temptation to leave anywhere in Yorkshire.
Many people of course will remember Tony from TV rather than local radio as he was a very popular policeman in Last of the Summer Wine - a series written by yet another Yorkshireman - in fact South Yorkshireman, Roy Clarke - the relaxed dry humour suited Tony perfectly. He is still sadly missed. It is however a strange fact that Tony came into the show when Louis Emerick had to leave at short notice when his other employers, (Channel 4's Brookside!), decided that the 2 characters were 'not sympatheic to each other'! After Tony passed away the part was once again taken by Louis Emerick!

michael said...

Thanks for adding your info about Tony, Patricia. I used to watch Last Of The Summer Wine in the early days but I think I must have missed his policeman. I shall look out for tapes at the boot sales now in an effort to catch him!

spice-the-cat said...

A note to patricianuk - How about house prices, crime levels, the cost of living and corrupt councils? - Only joking - I left because I married a Canadian.

Michael - Frank Sidebottom is still doing the occasional gig - he (Chris Seivey - who was also part of The Freshies - went bankrupt several years ago and I think this is what caused his general disappearance.

I do remember frank Wappatts Stars On 78 - it was one of the evening shows broadcast across all of the Northern BBC local radio stations as part of the night network.

Do you remember a guy named Tony Schaeffer? He was part of the Manchester output - I know he was on Key 103 but I can't remember if he made the jump to the BBC.

michael said...

Don't remember Tony Schaeffer. I rarely listen to the radio these days. I ususally hear about good programmes Ive missed and catch up on the internet using the "listen again" service most radio stations provide now. At present following an excellent series re-broadcast on BBC Radio 7 on Sunday afternoons (repeated in the evening) called "Laughter In The Air" about the radio comedy from the early days of Music ~Hall up to the 60's. Well worth checking out.