In looking through various sources – like notes – and ideas – and luck for posing I often find something that is new to me. That has happened today when I found something by Dawn Powell. She was new to me so I dug a little deeper and discovered that she died in 1965. Going deeper I found her work was very nice and I’ll certainly ‘come back to her again’. The piece I chose is perfect for this – it was published on Wednesday 3rd November 1954 and reads as follows:
‘Notes for talk – people like different books at different times in their lives. It seems odd that such difficult ponderous writers as Walter Scott, Dumas, Victor Hugo are so often pets of our youth when later in life they seem almost over our heads. It must be that, at 12 or 13, our heads need filling – there are few experiences and knowledge to furnish resistance, so the story has a wide screen. The young reader has no experience of his own to debate the story; he accepts it wholly, is gullible, it blooms in his mind completely. Trollope is certainly a writer for adults.’
It was on Friday 14th November 1952 that the British singles music charts were first published – but I knew nothing about it! It was not until Friday 23rd October 1953 that I really ‘hooked into’ popular music of the day. I kept notes and I played records – and I was told by my parents quite often to ‘turn that noise down’. Sometimes I did as they asked! Below are the records for the first 8 years that I made sure I heard who was holding the number one slot on the Friday nearest that magical first date above
1953 – Frankie Laine with ‘Hey Joe’ [2 weeks]
1954 – Don Cornell with ‘Hold My Hand’ [4 weeks]
1955 – Jimmy Young with ‘The Man from Laramie’ [4 weeks]
1956 – Frankie Laine again, this time with ‘A Woman in Love’ [4 weeks]
1957 – Paul Anka with ‘Diana’ [9 weeks starting on 30th August]
1958 – Connie Francis with ‘Carolina Moon’ with ‘Stupid Cupid’ on the flip side of the double ‘A side’ [6 weeks from 26th September.
1959 – Bobby Darin with ‘Mack the Knife’ [2 weeks]
1960 – it’s a new decade and Roy Orbison has ‘Only the Lonely’ at number 1 for 2 weeks
Let’s just roll forward 40 years to the 23rd October 2000 and we find U2’s version of ‘Beautiful Day’ holding the top spot – for me another special number.
So that’s me – do you have musical memories like this? I’d love to know if you have.
It was on this day – Saturday 6th October 1962 – that a film of the book launched the James Bond saga across the world.
‘Doctor No’ was the sixth novel by author Ian Fleming to feature his British Secret Service agent James Bond. He had written the novel in early 1957 at his home in Jamaica and it was first published in the United Kingdom by Johnathan Cape on Tuesday 31st March 1958. The novel centred on Bond’s investigation into the disappearance in Jamaica of two fellow MI6 operatives.
Sean Connery – agent 007 – had to battle with the mysterious Doctor No – a scientific genius bent on destroying the whole U.S. space program. As the countdown to disaster began James Bond headed for Jamaica. There, surprise surprise, he encountered the beautiful Honey Ryder (played by the beautiful Ursula Andress). Together they have to confront a megalo-maniacal villain in his massive island headquarters.
Created on a one million dollar budget, the film box offices returned just short of 60 million dollars!
Two or three times my parents had said that we would go to the Festival of Britain – but the promises were never turned into fact. But now the whole thing was closing and I had been deprived of being part of it. However events had been held all over Britain, not just in London and, after all, we had haved one Festival in our village!
It was on Sunday 30th September 1951 that the Festival of Britain came to an end. It had been organised to mark the centenary of the Great Exhibition of 1851 and, after a special service attended by the King, Queen Elizabeth, Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret and other senior members of the royal family, King George declared the festival open in a broadcast from the steps of St Paul’s Cathedral.
The official closing ceremony was planned to also be pronounced by the King but, unfortunately, he was not well enough and the closing speech was given by the Archbishop of Canterbury. He described the Festival as being ‘a real family party’ and ‘the standard by which we shall face the future’. He said that there were many legacies of the Festival – trees planted, and statues and other artworks commissioned. He also said that the Festival had given a better awareness of Britain as a thriving economy with a skilled workforce.
A while ago a few of us were sitting and chattering about the comedy songs we had heard on the radio and decided that each of us would list our own ‘top five’ and then sort them into order from 5th to number 1. This was our result:
At number 5 was The Goodies song ‘Funky Gibbon’
At number 4 was Billy Connolly‘s ‘D.I.V.O.R.C.E.’ [one of the group had recently had a divorce and sympathy was shared!]
Number 3 was Andy Stewart‘s ‘Donald Where’s Your Troosers?’
Number 2 was Rolf Harris with ‘Jake the Peg’
At the top – at number 1 was Benny Hill with ‘Ernie, the fastest milkman in the West’
I know that many of our readers are not here in the UK but – if you had to pick a top five for your comedy songs and tunes we’d all like to know what ones you would choose
An hour or so ago I was reminding ‘us of a certain age’ some music of 13th July. This piece, though, touches the downside of my music recall.
It was on Wednesday 13th July 1988 that Josephine Douglas died. Again there will be readers who ask ‘Who’s she?’. But others of a certain age will remember her as the deviser, producer and co-presenter of ‘Six-Five Special’ on Saturday evening BBC TV. Without the aid of synthesisers, strobe lights, multi-track tapes, mime, colour and all the dressings of modern pop music ‘Jo’, as she was known, planted rock’n’roll firmly in the laps of people like me. With co-presenter Pete Murray she made the BBC very much aware of the fact that teenagers did exist – and could become avid watchers of programmes for them. The BBC may have been aware but it appears not to have listened. Despite its success the ‘Six-Five Special’ only ran from 16th February 1957 to 27th December 1958. Other popular music programmes took its place but us of a certain era missed Jo on our TV screens and even more on her departure on this day in 1988.
Do you like listening to current popular music? I used to – but now I seem to live in the past. The music I have in the car proves that. Let’s take today – 13th July – as an example.
On 13th July 1957 Elvis Presley had just started a seven week stay at number one with ‘All Shook Up’. It’s on one of the CDs in my car.
On 13th July 1958 the Everly Brothers were in the second week of a seven week stay with double sider ‘All I have to do is Dream/Claudette’. Yes that’s in the car as well.
However the music of 13th July 1985 is not in the car – but it is in the cupboard. So what is/was that I hear some of you asking. Well it was a dual-venue concert that was held simultaneously at Wembley Stadium in London (attendance 72,000 people) and the John F Kennedy Stadium in Philadelphia USA where around 100,000 people took part. On this same day, concerts inspired by the initiative happened in other countries including Austria, Australia, Japan, the Soviet Union and West Germany making it one of the largest-scale satellite link-ups and television broadcasts of all time. It was estimated that a global audience of 1.9 billion, across 150 nations, watched the live broadcasts. What was this magical event?
It was Live Aid.