Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Morecambe & Wise

The final one from this comedy set bought at the weekend. An early Lp by Morecambe & Wise from 1964 on the cheapo Music For Pleasure label.

Wikipedia says of their early days -

"Morecambe and Wise's partnership began in 1941 when they were each booked separately to appear in Jack Hylton's revue, Youth Takes a Bow at the Nottingham Empire Theatre. War service broke up the act but they reunited by chance at the Swansea Empire Theatre in 1946 when they joined forces again. They made their name in variety, appearing in a variety circus, the Windmill Theatre, the Glasgow Empire and many venues around Britain. After this they also made their name in radio, transferring to television in 1954. Their show, Running Wild, was not well received and led to a damning newspaper review: "Definition of the week: TV set – the box in which they buried Morecambe and Wise." Eric apparently carried this review around with him ever after and from then on Eric and Ernie kept a tight control over their material. In 1956 they were offered a spot in the Winifred Atwell show with material written by Johnny Speight and this was a success.

They had a series of shows that spanned over twenty years, during which time they developed and honed their act, most notably with the original move to the BBC in 1968, where they were to be teamed with their long-term writer Eddie Braben and it is this period of their careers that is widely regarded as their "glory days"."

Tracks are as follows -

1. Not Now later
2. Indians
3. Singing The Blues ( guitar - Ike Issacs )
4. Ton Up Boy (girl - Penny Morrell )
5. Why Did I Let You Go
6. Impressions
7. Grieg Piano Concerto

Orchestras directed by Ken Thorne and Harry Robinson with the Mike Sammes Singers.

Morecambe & Wise - Side One

Burl Ives

Another from the weekend haul. I have fond memories of Burl Ives on Childrens Favourites on the radio and many of the songs he sang on on this compilation on the MCA Coral label.

Wikipedia says of his early life -

"Ives was born in 1909 near Hunt City, an unincorporated town in Jasper County, Illinois, the son of Levi "Frank" Ives (1880–1947) and Cordelia "Dellie" White (1882–1954). He had six siblings: Audry, Artie, Clarence, Argola, Lillburn, and Norma. His father was at first a farmer and then a contractor for the county and others. One day Ives was singing in the garden with his mother, and his uncle overheard them. He invited his nephew to sing at the old soldiers' reunion in Hunt City. The boy performed a rendition of the folk ballad "Barbara Allen" and impressed both his uncle and the audience.

Ives had a long-standing relationship with the Boy Scouts of America. He was a Lone Scout before that group merged with the Boy Scouts of America in 1924. The collection of his papers at the New York Library for the Performing Arts includes a photograph of Ives being "inducted" into the Boy Scouts in 1966. Ives received the organization's Silver Buffalo Award, its highest honor. The certificate for the award is hanging on the wall of the Scouting Museum in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. Ives often performed at the quadrennial Boy Scouts of America jamboree, including the 1981 jamboree at Fort A.P. Hill in Virginia, where he shared the stage with the Oak Ridge Boys. There is a 1977 sound recording of Ives being interviewed by Boy Scouts at the National Jamboree at Moraine State Park, Pennsylvania; on this tape he also sings and talks about Scouting, teaching, etc. Ives is also the narrator of a 28-minute film about the 1977 National Jamboree. In the film, which was produced by the Boy Scouts of America, Ives "shows the many ways in which Scouting provides opportunities for young people to develop character and expand their horizons."

From 1927-29, Ives attended Eastern Illinois State Teachers College (now Eastern Illinois University) in Charleston, Illinois, where he played football. During his junior year, he was sitting in English class, listening to a lecture on Beowulf, when he suddenly realized he was wasting his time. As he walked out the door, the professor made a snide remark, and Ives slammed the door behind him. Sixty years later, the school named a building after its most famous dropout. Ives was also involved in Freemasonry from 1927 onward.

On July 23, 1929 in Richmond, Indiana, Ives did a trial recording of "Behind the Clouds" for the Starr Piano Company's Gennett label, but the recording was rejected and destroyed a few weeks later."

Tracks are as follows -

1. I Know An Old Lady
2. Molly Malone
3. Horace The Horse
4. The Whistling Rabbit
5. Polly Wolly Doodle
6. Big Rock Candy Mountain/Aunt Rhody/The Fox
7. Ballad Of Davy Crockett
8. What Kind Of Animal Are You?

Burl Ives - Side One

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Singing Postman

Another great find at the boot sale this week was this LP from 1966 on the Parlophone label by Allan Smethurst - The Singing Postman. His one big hit "Hev Yew Gotta Loight Boy?" is included on this curious selection of modern day folk songs sung with a Norfolk accent.

"As the Singing Postman, Allan Smethurst benefited from the British public’s endearing sympathy for the underdog. His most popular hit, Hev Yew Gotta Loight, Boy?, momentarily outsold the Beatles — in East Anglia, at least — and for a few weeks became a national catchphrase. But like many novelty stars before and since, his 15 minutes of fame was little more than that, and after four albums he faded from the public consciousness ending his days as an alcoholic in the care of the Salvation Army.
Smethurst, a postman from Norfolk who hummed his tunes on his daily round, bought his guitar from Woolworths in 1949 and started writing and playing his own dialect songs, initially confining his activities to his bedroom. “It was ten years afore I dare let people hear them,” he once admitted. Plucking up the courage to send a tape to the BBC in Norwich, he was given a spot on a local radio show compered by a sales promotion man, Ralph Tuck, who promptly founded a record label called The Smallest Recording Organisation in the World to promote the Singing Postman. The 100 discs which Tuck had cut in the early weeks of 1966 promptly sold out and Smethurst became an overnight star, ousting the Beatles from the top of the East Anglian hit parade."

It was sadly downhill from then on. He took up drink to try and cure his crippling stage fright but obviously he was destined to be a "one hit wonder" and the music biz moved on to the next novelty act.

Tracks are -

1. January Sales
2. Suffin Cold
3. Spring Cleaning
4. Wass The Bottum Dropped Owt?
5. Hev Yew Gotta Loight, Boy?
6. The Cricket Match

The Singing Postman - Side One

Clinton Ford

An Lp on the cheapo Marble Arch label from 1968 I found at the boot sale the other day for 50p. I have a couple of other Lp's by Clinton Ford and all the songs are from the music hall or written in that comedic style. Clinton is accompanied by George Chisholm (trombone) and the Inmates.

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'."

Tracks are -

1. My Baby's Wild About My Old Trombone
2. The Old Bazaar In Cairo
3. He Played His Ukulele As The Ship Went Down
4. The Pig Got Up And Slowly Walked Away
5. The Night I Appeared As Macbeth
6. The Biggest Balalaika In The World

Clinton Ford - Side One

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

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 - Side Two

Howdy Doody Time

"The Howdy Doody Show was one of the first and easily the most popular children's television show in the 1950s and a reflection of the wonder, technical fascination, and business realities associated with early television. While Howdy and his friends entertained American children, they also sold television sets to American parents and demonstrated the potential of the new medium to advertisers.

The idea for Howdy Doody began on the NBC New York radio affiliate WEAF in 1947 with a program called The Triple B Ranch. The three Bs stood for Big Brother Bob Smith, who developed the country bumpkin voice of a ranch hand and greeted the radio audience with, "Oh, ho, ho, howdy doody." Martin Stone, Smith's agent, suggested putting Howdy on television and presented the idea to NBC televi-sion programming head Warren Wade. With Stone and Roger Muir as producers, Smith launched Puppet Playhouse on 17 December 1947. Within a week the name of the program was changed to The Howdy Doody Show."

A strange record on the the Leslee label from the 60's I would guess by the graphics. A weird mixture of newsreel from the 50's and 60's and cut between songs and segments of a puppet show for children! Not quite sure who it is aimed at. Certainly a curiosity and I uplaod side two here for your bewilderment!

Howdy Doody - Side Two

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

American Top Pops

Curious Ep on the cheapo Gala label from the 60's - versions of pop hits of the time. The Lonely One sounds like it might have been by Duanne Eddy originally. The Coasters did the original of Charlie Brown ofcourse. Not sure about the other two. Anyone have any ideas?

The main reason I bought it from the boot sale in the first place though was the great sleeve photo of a woman with her hand up the horn of an old gramophone!

Richard Deane - The Lonely One

The Promineers - Charlie Brown

Bob Mitchell - I Got A Wife

Bobby Green - I Cried A Tear

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Ian Dury

A radio show from 1978 on BBC Radio One. I think it was called "Star Choice" - where pop celebrities of the day played DJ for two hours and raided the BBC Archives. It was Ian Dury's turn and a wonderful eclectic mix it was too -including Max Miller , Roland Kirk, Kay Starr and Albert Ayler to name but a few.

Wikipedia says -

"Dury was born in north-west London at his parents' home at 43 Weald Rise, Harrow Weald, Harrow (although he often pretended, and indeed all but one of his obituaries in the national press stated, that he was born in Upminster, Havering). His father, William George Dury (born 23 September 1905, Southborough, Kent; died 25 February 1968), was a bus driver and former boxer, while his mother Margaret (known as Peggy, born Margaret Cuthbertson Walker, 17 April 1910, Rochdale, Lancashire) was a health visitor, the daughter of a Cornish doctor, and granddaughter of an Irish landowner.

William Dury trained with Rolls-Royce to be a chauffeur, and was then absent for long periods, so Peggy Dury took Ian to stay with her parents in Cornwall. After the Second World War, the family moved to Switzerland, where his father chauffeured for a millionaire and the Western European Union. In 1946 Peggy brought Ian back to England and they stayed with her sister, Mary, a physician in Cranham, a small village bordering Upminster. Although he saw his father on visits, they never lived together again.

At the age of seven, he contracted polio; very likely, he believed, from a swimming pool at Southend on Sea during the 1949 polio epidemic. After six weeks in a full plaster cast in Truro hospital, he was moved to Black Notley Hospital, Braintree, Essex, where he spent a year and a half before going to Chailey Heritage Craft School, East Sussex, in 1951. Chailey was a school and hospital for disabled children, and believed in toughening them up, contributing to the observant and determined person Dury became. Chailey taught trades such as cobbling and printing, but Dury's mother wanted him to be more academic, so his aunt Moll arranged for him to enter the Royal Grammar School, High Wycombe which he attended until the age of 16 when he left to study painting at Walthamstow Art College, having gained GCE 'O' Levels in English Language, English Literature and Art.

From 1964 he studied art at the Royal College of Art under British artist Peter Blake, and in 1967 took part in a group exhibition, Fantasy and Figuration, alongside Pat Douthwaite, Herbert Kitchen and Stass Paraskos at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London. When asked why he did not pursue a career in art, he said, "I got good enough [at art] to realise I wasn't going to be very good."[citation needed] From 1967 he taught art at various colleges in the south of England.

Dury married his first wife, Elizabeth 'Betty' Rathmell (born 12 August 1942, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire), on 3 June 1967 and they had two children, Jemima (born 4 January 1969, Hounslow, Middlesex) and the recording artist Baxter Dury. Dury divorced Rathmell in 1985, but remained on good terms. He also cohabited with a teenage fan, Denise Roudette, for 6 years after he moved to London."

Ian Dury's Choice - Side One

Ian Dury's Choice - Side Two