Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Those Radio Times: BBC TV and Radio For 31 August,1974


Today in 1974, fans of Star Trek were rejoicing for the return of  a brand new series of their favourite show to the BBC1 Saturday evening schedules (BBC1, 5.10pm) but on this occasion the voyages of the Star Ship Enterprise were going where no cartoon series had gone before!

The original series had pretty much already been cancelled when the BBC picked it up as a possible replacement for Doctor Who in 1969, and constant repeats of the series were pretty much standard by 1974.

So much was Star Trek's popularity that an animated series featuring William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy and Deforest Kelley recreating the voices of Kirk, Spock and Bones was given a prime time schedule on early Saturday evening on BBC1's new Autumn schedule.

From memory I recall been equally as unexcited about this cartoon version as I was of the original live action show, though I'm sure many Trekkies loved it...

Later on in the evening Cliff Richard hosted his own music show It's Cliff Richard (BBC1, 8.15pm), this is a series I'd love to see again though I understand not many still exist.

From what I remember there was generally much in the way of sketches and music, very much in the same style of shows presented by other stars of the day including Cilla Black, Lulu, and Englebert Humperdinck.

Cliff's guests on this weeks show included former New Seeker Lyn Paul, The Nolan Sisters and comedy actor Roy Kinnear.

Finally, if its late night chat you wanted Michael Parkinson was on hand to finish off Saturday nights schedule with the first in a new series. I was obviously way too young to see Parkinson (BBC1, 11.0pm) but as a child you generally used to hear about it from your parents the following day.

Michael Parkinson always attracted a fine calibre of guests on his show from Peter Sellers to Peter Ustinov, via Kenneth Williams, Morecambe and wise and Rod Hull and Emu, well maybe not so much the latter. However, Emu's appearance on Parkinson was one of the frequently repeated clips on Children's TV (somewhat edited for those of us who couldn't stay up to see it).

BBC Radio Highlights For August 31st 1974

There was some great comedy on BBC  today in 1974.

Bob Monkhouse hosted Mostly Monkhouse at (BBC R2, 1.2pm) with Hugh Paddick and Patricia Hayes. In this weeks edition Bob and the gang went in search of the first joke...

Lovers of comedy may have been slightly miffed however as Mostly Monkhouse clashed with a radio celebration of Peter Sellers (BBC R4, 1.15pm), mind you Mostly Monkhouse was repeated on Sunday at 7.2pm - did anyone happen to tape either of these shows?

Evening highlights held a bit of a radio clash around 7pm.

While Les Dawson invited you to Listen To Les (BBC R2, 7.2pm) in a repeat of the previous Sunday's programme, Procul Harum featured In Concert  (BBC R1, 6.30pm)  and Ornithologist, Phyllis Barclay Smith was Roy Plomley's castaway on Desert Island Discs (BBC R4, 7.2pm).

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Press To Play: The Rutles

The Rutles - Oh this is a good one!

The soundtrack to the original film spoof based on The Beatles story with words and music by Neil Innes. This was a bargain bin item I purchased from Woolworths in Darlington, County Durham  back in 1985.

I say "bargain bin", the cassette was £1.99 which was quite pricey for a tape back then, but I really liked the music from the repeat of the 1978 film "The Rutles: All You Need Is Cash" shown on BBC2 a few weeks previous, and couldn't find a vinyl equivalent.

Despite the cassette's age it still plays, though the playback sounds a bit heavy on bass - still it'll do until I get it on CD!

The Rutles - Warner Brothers, 1978
  1. Hold My Hand
  2. Number One
  3. With A Girl Like You
  4. I Must Be In Love
  5. Ouch!
  6. Living In Hope
  7. Love Life
  8. Nevertheless
  9. Good Times Roll
  10. Doubleback Alley
  11. Cheese And Onions
  12. Another Day
  13. Piggy In The Middle
  14. Lets Be Natural

Monday, 29 August 2011

Pick Of The Pops Compilation Album Previewed!

Pick Of The Pops Will Be Released By Sony in September
To mark the 50th anniversary of Alan "Fluff" Freeman presenting his first edition of Pick Of the Pops this September, Sony in conjunction with BBC Radio 2 are releasing a 3 CD compilation revisiting 3 classic decades - the 1960s, 70s and 80s.

You can read my preview of this release here: Pick Of The Pops Compilation Revisits The Classic Hits Of Yesteryear

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Newport Scenes: Another Visit To The Wetlands

The Crew posing on the Bumble Bee seat
We visited the Newport Wetlands again last Sunday and despite the weather uttering rumblings come rain or shine we had a very pleasant afternoon. Seren lead our trip around a path route she recently undertook on a school trip while Jon picked Blackberries...

Reading The Map
A beautiful View with wildlife on the water
A swan looking for food
Another beautiful view
Reaching The Lighthouse
Never too old for a piggy back
"We're tired!"

Jimi Hendrix Experience - Winterland Review Now Online.

The new Jimi Hendrix Experience 4 CD release Winterland will be available from Sony on Monday September 12th 2011.

Featuring multiple versions of Hendrix classics recorded live over three days at San Francisco's Winterland Ballroom in 1968, Hey Joe, Purple Haze, Are You Experienced and Tax Free, this collection captures The Jimi Hendrix Experience at their peak uncompromising, uncut and honest.

You can read my full review of Winterland here: 
Album Review: Jimi Hendrix - Winterland

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Saturday Superstore: The "Body Bulk" Method

Move over Charles Atlas! Here's proof of the man you could become in April 1959!

This free offer to Wide World magazine readers offered you a chance to take the "body-Bulk" course of physical training just like Darrel Wilson pictured in the advert.

Whether you were thin, overweight, flabby, an ordinarily well-developed man or an athlete who wanted to move into a higher body-weight division the "Body-Bulk" method was an assured success!

Whats more it only took 20 minutes daily... Years later you'd probably take steroids...

Friday, 26 August 2011

St Fagans National History Museum - In Pictures

Here's the shops which were featured in the Doctor Who story
Family Of Blood
On Tuesday we went to St Fagans National History Museum. It's a neat open air museum focusing on life in Wales over the years and a brilliant place to take the children if the weather's nice.

Here's some pictures I took on the day... enjoy!

Thomas was quite taken with this shop...
Living room ... 1950s style
Where the wind blows...
Seren looking into the past...
Jon poses with an old letterbox
"It's a long walk to London..."
"Put that Light out!"
Once a regular sight on the streets...
a classic Red Phone Box
Jon and Tom admiring some candlesticks
at the Toll Station

Badge Friday: Madonna (6)

The fourth and final Badge Friday to celebrate Madonna's birthday  for August features this whopping large badge from the mid 80s.

Madonna looks totally Marilyn Monroe-esque here and it was at this period of her career (circa True Blue) that she actually stated Marilyn's look was a major inspiration to her.

Indeed so, as it was a look the queen of pop has constantly returned to over the proceeding years, however this image which was used to promote her 1987 Who's That Girl World Tour has remained just as iconic as any of Marilyn's images...

This badge again one of the many I bought from Darlington Market closes this particular Badge Friday chapter on Madonna, check out a different badge next week!

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Doctor Who - Daleks: The Chase Review Now Online

The latest Doctor Who audiobook to feature the Daleks is now available from AudioGO and I've had an opportunity to give this release a good listen over the last week.

The Chase was originally broadcast on BBC TV in 1965 and featured William Hartnell as The Doctor.

Maureen O' Brien who played Vicki in the original serial reads this novelisation of Terry Nation's script by John Peel. Furthermore, Maureen is joined on the reading by current Dalek voice - the excellent Nicholas Briggs.

Audiobook Review: Doctor Who - Daleks: The Chase is now online at Suite101 - check it out!


Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Those Radio Times! : Ricochet

Here's a great cartoon illustration which became a regular feature in the Radio Times when BBC Radio 2 launched it's crime /drama radio series Ricochet in 1974.

Starring  popular TV actor Ray Barrett as Fleet Street investigative journalist Rick O' Shea turned crime fighter this drama series caught audiences imaginations for three years.

The theme music was provided by Norrie Paramor who for many years held the record of producing the most number one singles in the UK.

Ricochet was broadcast twice on BBC Radio 2 every weekday at 10.45pm in the evening with a repeat the following day at 1.45pm.

I'd love to know a bit more about this series.

Do you have any recordings of episodes, features, articles or further Radio Times cartoons? If so, please get in touch!

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Press To Play: Bobby Vee - The EP Collection

Bobby Vee - The EP Collection
I totally forgot I’d even bought this compilation of hits featuring clean cut early sixties American pop star Bobby Vee until I stumbled across it in a box of tapes, again it looks like a charity shop purchase and a delightful find it was.

Featuring several hits by Bobby including Run to Him, Sharing You, Rubber Ball and The Night Has a Thousand Eyes, this release seems to feature better quality masters of several of his hits that turned up on Music for Pleasures Hour of releases in the 1980s.

There’s also some neat versions of tracks you wouldn¹t usually associate with Vee including Do You Wanna Dance, Walk Right Back and A Forever Kind Of Love. What’s more the tape transferred to digital very well, particularly the mono tracks - a good find.

Bobby Vee: The EP Collection, Track Listing:
  1. Little Star
  2. Lollipop
  3. Rubber Ball
  4. Someday
  5. Bo Diddley
  6. The Night Has A Thousand Eyes
  7. Peggy Sue
  8. Walk Right Back
  9. Linda Lu
  10. Take Good Care Of My Baby
  11. At A Time Like This
  12. More Than I Can Say
  13. Run To Him
  14. A Forever Kind Of Love
  15. Sharing You
  16. Since I Met You Baby
  17. Devil Or Angel
  18. Don't You Believe Them
  19. Do You Want To Dance
  20. One Last Kiss (From Bye Bye Birdie)
  21. Sincerely
  22. I Can't Say Goodbye
See For Miles, 1991

Monday, 22 August 2011

Mono Mondays: Frank Ifield

This week's star of Mono Monday's topped the British charts on no less than four occasions in the early 60s, was a regular crowd puller on TV and radio, shared an album credit with The Beatles in the U.S. and he could yodel pretty good too - Frank Ifield!


Despite his tag as an Australian - English country music singer Frank was actually born in Coventry, England in 1937, though he moved with his parents to a rural part of Australia called Dural in 1946. It was in Dural, Frank learned how to sing country music and yodel. He began to forge a career as a number  one recording artist in New Zealand and Australia and ultimately returned to the UK in 1959 where he still had to make any impact at all.

Under the direction of EMI's Norrie Paramor , Frank released his first UK Single in 1960 entitled Lucky Devil, though it wouldn't be until 1962 that he would score his first number one with I Remember You. Frank's following single Lovesick Blues also reached the UK Number One slot in 1962 an uptempo number which featured a classy piece of yodelling.


Two more number ones followed in 1963 with The Wayward Wind and Confessin', quite an achievement  for a chart that was rapidly making way for new beat acts such as The Beatles, Gerry and The Pacemakers and The Searchers.

Frank scored further hits, perhaps most notably a new arrangement of Bing Crosby's popular hit  Please, a cut Norrie Paramor noted on the sleeve notes of Frank's 1964 Greatest Hits album to send a copy to Mr Crosby himself... I wonder what Bing thought of it?

Frank also shared musician credits on an American album released by VeeJay Records in 1964 entitled Jolly What!: Englands Greatest recording Stars: The Beatles and Frank Ifield on Stage.

Described as a "cash in" album on The Beatles early US success - Veejay held the rights to some of The Fab Four's early recordings before they cracked the States.

Taking four of these (including From Me To You which didn't appear on any other US Beatle LP until the release of The Beatles 1962-1966 in 1973)  they paired them with 8 tracks by Frank.

Despite the impression the albums title gave; neither The Beatles or Frank Ifield tracks are live recordings.

The album didn't do very well and even when later re-released featuring artwork of The Beatles on the cover failed to attract many sales. The album is a much sought after collectors item particularly for its curio value, so if you do happen across one of these albums, look well after it!


Frank's career has continued though his chart entries dwindled, however a remix of an old B-Side of She Taught Me How To Yodel did enter the charts in 1991.

He is still a fondly remembered act of the early sixties however and I was told by a friend of someone who worked with him in the 60s what a lovely chap he was with a big beaming smile and time for everyone who met him!

You can check out Frank Ifield's official website here!

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Patti Smith - Outside Society Reviewed




Patti Smith: Outside Society - Sony CMG
I have to admit I was intrigued when I heard Patti Smith's new compilation Outside Society  came up for review.

I have many memories of channel hopping on a transistor radio as I used to complete my school homework in the late 70s and early 80s and funnily enough Patti's music used to turn up quite regularly - well the stuff the deejays could play did...


Particular favourites at the time were Because The Night (co-written with Bruce Springsteen - before his promotion to The Boss) and Frederick which is a clever piece of poetry driven pop.

Outside Society pulls 18 tracks from Patti's 32 year musical output - check out my review here: Album Review: Patti Smith - Outside Society

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Saturday Superstore: Wide Angle Binoculars

If you wanted a decent pair of binoculars back in 1959 these German High Precision Wide Angle Prismatic Binoculars could be just the job, that's providing you didn't mind them been German (note the capital letters in the advert).

The binoculars for the connoisseur were yours for a £1 deposit on 14 days trial if you so wished - plenty of time to do a bit of bird watching!

Friday, 19 August 2011

Badge Friday: Madonna (5)

Continuing August as Madonna month on Badge Friday here's another gem from the 1980s. 

I particularly remember this pose being featured in a 1984 edition of Smash Hits when Madonna was promoting her first single Holiday in the UK. 

Again, I recall buying this badge from Darlington Market - a regular haunt of mine on Saturdays in the mid 80s...

Another Madonna badge next Friday...

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Tom Baker Returns in "Doctor Who - Serpent Crest: Tsar Wars"




The Cover of Doctor Who:
Serpent Quest -Tsar Wars

- Used With Permission: AudioGo
AudioGO have announced a third series of Doctor Who audio dramas starring the fourth actor to play the role on television - Tom Baker.

The series entitled Serpent Crest will begin in September and the first title to be released will be entitled Tsar Wars.

The CD comes with full colour artwork paying homage to Geoff Love and His Orchestra's 1978 album Star Wars and Other Space Themes.

You can read a full preview, release dates of the Serpent Crest series and information on guest stars over at Suite101.com: Tom Baker returns To Doctor Who in "Serpent Crest" Audio Series.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Press To Play: Bing Crosby - Forever

Forever Bing Crosby - RCA
Bing Crosby - Forever was a purchase in a Newport Charity Shop a few years back for a mere 50p

This long play tape (an equivalent of 2LP's) features over 30 tracks,  covering Da Bingle's career over 4 decades from been a member of The Paul Whiteman trio in the 1920s through to duets with Rosemary Clooney in the 1950s.

Some outstanding performances from Mr. Crosby include Ol' Man River, Brazil and Just a Gigolo, the soundtrack of which I have since paired up with an old silent Felix the Cat movie.

Again, the tracks nicely digitised making this a neat little purchase.

Bing Crosby - Forever (30 Great tracks)
Complete Track Listing : 

  1. I'm Gonna Sit Right Down And Write Myself A Letter
  2. Whispering
  3. Dream A Little Dream Of Me
  4. Let A Smile Be Your Umbrella
  5. Some Sunny Day
  6. Down Among The Sheltering Palms
  7. Exactly Like You
  8. Mamma Loves Papa
  9. Mack The Knife
  10. Just A Gigolo
  11. Them There Eyes
  12. Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams
  13. I'm Through With Love
  14. Just One More Chance
  15. It's A Good Day
  16. Mary (What Are You Waiting For)
  17. Make Believe
  18. Muddy Water (A Mississippi Moan)
  19. High Water (A Spiritual)
  20. Loveable
  21. I'm Coming Virginia
  22. Ol' Man River
  23. Three Little Words
  24. Fancy Meeting You Here
  25. Brazil
  26. Here We Are (Face To Face Again)
  27. I Can't Get Started
  28. How About You
  29. You Came A Long Way From St.Louis
  30. You Can Take The Boy Out Of The Country
  31. It Happened In Monterey
  32. Isle Of Capri

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Music News: SuperHeavy Releases and Queen BMI Honour Articles

SuperHeavy - Kristen Burns
Used With Permission:
LD Communications
Amongst some of my recent articles posted to Suite101.com are music articles.

SuperHeavy are a brand new music collaborative featuring Mick Jagger, Dave Stewart, Joss Stone, Damian Marley and AR Rahman.

Defying genre stereotype the band have come together from different musical backgrounds to produce a fabulous debut single entitled Miracle Worker.
More music news is that  BMI are to give Queen a well deserved Icon honour. You can get the full low down on Queen's Icon accolade here -  BMI To Honour Queen As British Music Industry Icons

Other Music News:
Retrospace Mono Mondays looks at music artists from the age of mono music. Recent features have included The Shadows, The Mamas and The Papas, Emile Ford and Petula Clark.

Check out my Retrospace blog for further musical wonders!

Those Radio Times: BBC Radio and TV Highlights - 16 August 1968

The 300th edition of BBC kitchen sink drama The Newcomers kicked off the early evening schedule on Friday August 16, 1968 at 7.5pm. Vivienne (Maggie Fitzgibbon) was offered the chance of promotion while Vera (June Bland) suggested a solution to the Harkers problem. Robin Bailey, Wendy Richard, Colin Douglas and Naomi Chance also starred.

The News Headlines followed at 7.29pm then an evening of music programmes for all tastes on BBC1 and 2 began at 7.30 when Scott Walker sang his own kind of music for half an hour with Peter Knight and His Orchestra and The Breakaways in Scott.

There was more music at 8.0pm when Ian Carmichael and Anne Rogers appeared in scenes from Act 1 of a new musical by Tom Jones with music by Harvey Schmidt in I Do! I Do!


Over on BBC2 at 9.5pm (and if you were really lucky in Colour) there was International Cabaret From Sweden  starring singer Georgia Brown, The Horgan James Duo and The Young Generation.

Spike Milligan, Clive Dunn and Frank Thornton featured in the comedy series The World of Beachcomber at 9.55pm while Late Night Line Up at 10.30pm presented its colourful musical Friday diversion Colour Me Pop featuring The Tremeloes.... Where's my time machine?

BBC Radio Highlights for August 16 1968

I love looking through old Radio listings from the late 60s and early 70s, for me there's such a wonderful choice of shows with great names and personalities from the era.

Today's radio in 1968 kicked off with Ray Moore presenting Breakfast Special (BBC R2, 5.33am). Ray was very much in his early years at the BBC here, as was another broadcasting legend - Terry Wogan who book ended the day with Late Night Extra (BBC R2,10pm).

Household names of the day from film and music also presented their own shows on the Radio. Jimmy Hanley, remembered for his roles in films such as The Way Ahead and The Blue Lamp  presented Melody On The Move (BBC R2, 11.31am) while wartime bandleaders  Joe Loss and Henry Hall also presented their own shows on Radio's 1 and 2 today.

Joe Loss's guest on The Joe Loss Show (BBC R1, 1.0pm) was singer Long John Baldry while later that day Henry Hall presented a musical mixture from today and yesterday in Now and Then (BBC R2, 7.45pm).


There was all this and radio regulars Dave Cash (BBC R1, 2.0pm), The Stuart Henry Show (BBC R1, 4.15pm), Rick Dane with newly pressed pop records in What's New (BBC R1, 5.45pm) and Kenny Everett with Foreverett (BBC R1, 6.45pm). What a great way to start a weekend!

If you were still listening to Radios 1 and 2 gone midnight, you could catch Alexis Korner presenting Jazz at Night (BBC R2, 12.5am) followed by Pat Doody presenting Night Ride (BBC R2, 12.35am).

While Alexis Korner went on to present further radio shows in the 70s, Pat Doody progressed to television becoming a regular in-vision continuity announcer on various ITV networks including Tyne Tees Television and Border. He died in 1990.





Monday, 15 August 2011

Mono Mondays: Petula Clark

This weeks star of Mono Mondays features an artist whose musical career spanned the years from the 1940s through the 50s, 60s,70s and beyond - Petula Clark!

A star of radio, film and stage, Petula is probably best remembered for her hit records which spanned the 1950s and 60s, particularly in the latter decade when she scored hits in several countries.

Coached in her early career by accompanist  Joe "Mr Piano" Henderson (with whom shared the limelight for a while with a radio series in the 1950s), Pet became one of the most prominent female recording artists of her era. She also appeared in several films too which no doubt helped her gain wider fame in the UK and abroad.

Without a doubt, Pet recorded some memorable songs including  Romeo. Downtown and Don't Sleep In The Subway, but few would have suspected that the catchy melody of her 1966 recording of Tony Hatch's  I Couldnt Live Without Your Love would gain recognition again in 2011 by been used in an advertisement campaign for Cesar dog food!

Following her association with promotion manager Claud Wolff (whom she married in 1961) Petula's career took on greater direction as she began to make many recordings in different languages, making her one of the few British female recording artists to have a successful career outside of the UK.

She topped the British Charts twice with Sailor (1961) and This is My Song (1967) while scoring number ones in other countries: The Little Shoemaker (Australia, 1957), Romeo (France, 1961), Chariot (Italy, 1961), Monsieur (Germany, Italy, 1961), Ya Ya Twist (France, 1962), Coeur Blesse (France, 1963), Downtown (Australia, Canada, Germany Italy America, 1964), I Know A Place (Canada, 1964), My Love (Canada, America, 1965), I Couldn't Live Without Your Love (America, 1966), This is My Song (Australia, France, Italy, 1967), Don't Sleep in the Subway (Canada, America, 1967). All in all, an impressive list of chart toppers worldwide...

Nevertheless Pet always did have appeal to fans of all ages. Pet's version of Downtown re-entered the charts on several occasions, and has also been covered by Dolly Parton and Emma Bunton.

Pet was also such a recording artist of note that she was chosen to open the BBC's Colour TV service in 1969 with a special concert - now, does anyone have a recording of that?

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Robert Robinson 1927 - 2011

Robert Robinson on Call My Bluff
Alas!, it turns out broadcaster, journalist and TV presenter Robert Robinson has bid us goodbye for the final time at the age of 83!

A stalwart of television from the 1960s and 70s, and always a welcome presence on TV and radio, I always remember watching Robert presenting Ask The Family and Call My Bluff and associating sitting down watching those shows as a youngster with a cup of tea and toast before going to bed!

Andy Walmsley has paid a fine tribute to this gentleman broadcaster over on Random Radio Jottings blog as part of his Radio Lives series...check it out!

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Saturday Superstore: Thorens Non Electric Shaver

Back in 1959, dry shaving was a very new concept for men and this product from Thorens with no wires, plugs, adaptors or batteries.

Sounds like the ultimate in dry shaving even by the energy saving standards of 2011.

Furthermore you could carry it around in your pocket and use it ANYWHERE!

Anyone who had one of these please let us know how good this product was!

Friday, 12 August 2011

Badge Friday: Madonna (4)

Madonna month continues on Badge Friday celebrating the Queen of Pop's birthday on August 16th...

This pin badge dating from the mid 80s features an earlier Madonna pose, record collectors will no doubt remember the image from her 7 inch single photograph of the 1985 hit Material Girl.

I got the 12 inch version of this remixed by Jellybean Benitez as it was one of the first 12 inch singles I ever bought!

I remember picking this one up on a Saturday trip to my favourite badge stall on Darlington market.

More Madonna musings next Friday!

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