Monday, 31 October 2011

Those Radio Times: BBC's 50th Anniversary Radio Selections - October 31st 1972

Fifty Broadcasting Years - BBC Radio 4, Oct 31st 1972 - Radio Times
1972 was the year the BBC grandly celebrated its 50th anniversary and this week in that year the anniversary was celebrated both on radio and television through several different programmes.

Two shows on radio on October 31st 1972 celebrated that very anniversary.

Kent Walton introduced tracks from the BBC’s anniversary albums of dance music (BBC Radio 1 & 2, 9.15pm) in On The Air.

Meanwhile, Rene Cutforth presented the fifth and final part of Fifty Broadcasting Years (BBC Radio 4, 8.30pm), a magnificent look back of BBC archive recordings from Beatrice Harrison charming Nightingales in a forest on her cello in the 1920s via Alf Garnett, Monty Python, Tony Blackburn to the programmes that brought the BBC into the 1970s.

An edited version of Fifty Broadcasting Years featuring many important milestones was released as a BBC double LP in 1972 and even now makes rather grand listening with splendid narration from Rene Cutforth. I wonder if the entire series was retained.

Doctor Who and Timesplash Audiobook Reviews Now Online

Doctor Who:Blackout - AudioGO
Check out my latest reviews on audiobooks at Suite101:

Firstly; there's a new  Doctor Who audio adventure from AudioGO called Blackout by Oli Smith and read by Stuart Milligan.  Read on: Audiobook Review - Doctor Who: Blackout

Then if you like adult orientated Sci-Fi you might enjoy the futuristic tale from Iambik audiobooks  Timesplash by Graham Storrs and read by Emma Newman. Read on: Audiobook Review: Timesplash

Mono Mondays: Joe "Mr Piano" Henderson

Record Sleeve featuring a popular publicity shot of
Mr Piano
Remembered for helping Petula Clark get a start in her musical career and his popular 1958 hit Trudie Joe Henderson adopted the "Mr.Piano" tag after a concierge in a hotel he was staying at couldn't remember his name properly.

Scottish born composer and music arranger Joe adopted the title and became one of the most popular pop pianists on the British UK Chart of the 1950s along with Russ Conway and Winifred Atwell. His early single output on the Pye Nixa label largely consisted of medleys of popular songs with several session singers joining him as he played. It is strongly suggested that both Petula Clark and Alma Cogan feature on his first chart hit Sing it with Joe.



Joe, who wrote hits for Petula Clark and Anthony Newley among others scored major chart success in 1958 with his hit single Trudie. This was followed by further hits in the form of Chick, Treble Chance and Oh La La.

His diversity included an ability to play classic standards as well as dabble in popular music some hidden Henderson gems include Coffee Bar Jive and a rather funky mid 60s recording of Isle Of Capri.



After the hits declined he remained a popular draw in live shows and regularly appeared on The Arthur Haynes Show. in 1969 he took on a career as broadcaster regular presenting BBC Radio 2's Melody Time .

Joe presented his 50th Melody Time today in 1970. If anyone has any recordings from this series or indeed any of the daytime shows that Joe recorded for Radio 2 during the 1970s I'd love to hear from you.

Sadly Joe passed away in 1980 at the age of 60, but left a legacy of fabulous music.

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Torchwood: The Lost Files Audiobook Review Now Online

Torchwood : The Lost Files - AudioGO
I've always had a love/hate relationship with the Doctor Who spin-off Torchwood never particularly been sure who its supposed to be aimed at - and this years TV series Miracle Day threw me into such a frenzy (I mean why does Russell T Davies create good characters purely to kill them off?) while retain the bloomin' annoying ones.

Anyhow my heart sank when a new set of Audio plays entitled Torchwood: The Lost Files arrived - except on hearing them - they are not bad - infact one of them - House Of The Dead is pretty magnificent...

Read my full review here: Audiobook Review- Torchwood : The Lost Files

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Those Radio Times: Don't Forget To Put Your Clocks Back!

Radio Times - 22 October 1977
British Summertime ends this evening and I always loved the quaint illustrations The Radio Times used to attempt to remind us to put our clocks back with in the 1970s.

Here's the one featured in Radio Times for 22 October 1977 which features a cute elephant intent on not forgetting, and if you need another reminder - Andy Walmsley also has another Radio Times reminder on his blog from 1976 (also featuring our friend the elephant...)

So finally don't forget to put your clocks back one hour tonight!

Goodnight!

Saturday Superstore: The Audio Club Of Great Britain

Audio Club Of Great Britain Ad -
Radio Times, 1972
Back in the early 1970s, record clubs were fast looking for customers via mail order, taking the stress out of going down to the local record shop and ordering the latest albums.

The World Record Club commandeered this market towards the end of the sixties re-releasing popular titles with new covers and boxed sets.

The Audio Club of Great Britain continued this trend and as this ad featured in  Radio Times this week in 1972 displays was keen to promote the new format of audio cassette.

This ad offers four titles for the price of one from the likes of Bert Kaempfert, James Last and Nana Mouskouri.

Pop fans had a choice of titles from Manfred Mann, Cream, The Bee Gees and Dusty Springfield, all slightly out of date by 1972 but no doubt in-keeping with the tastes of your average Radio Times reader...

Friday, 28 October 2011

Badge Friday: BP William Davies, Carmarthen

Here's a badge from Rachel's collection promoting a local garage from the West Wales Town of Carmarthen.

I imagine as the badge was promoting British Petroleum there could be a few variations of it dotted around  England, Wales and Scotland.

The simplistic nature of the design indicates a 1970s feel for me. I lived in Carmarthen between 1994 and 1999 and remember this particular garage William Davies on St Catherine Street.

Unfortunately it closed down during this period and was demolished some years ago. It has since made way for a car park entrance leading to the wonderful new shopping centre that now graces the town, so this badge is something of a relic to Carmarthen's history!

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

The Barron Knights and Glen Campbell - Concert Reviews Now Online

The Barron Knights - Press Image
Further to the Hollies concert I attended last weekend I have also reviewed two other legendary music acts - both full reviews of which are now online.

The Barron Knights have been entertaining audiences since 1961 with classic parodies of popular hits including Pop Go The Workers, Call Up The Groups and A Taste Of Aggro.

Glen Campbell -
Wikimedia Commons
I caught them for the second time at Newport Riverfront last Friday - you can read : Review: The Barron Knights Live At Newport Riverfront here.

I also caught Glen Campbell performing his farewell tour at St David's Hall, Cardiff on Sunday evening. 

Glen performed many of his classic hits including Wichita Lineman, Rhinestone Cowboy and Southern Nights and was ably supported by the fabulous Instant People.

 it was certainly a gig to remember. Read: Glen Campbell Bids Farewell To Fans At St David's Hall, Cardiff here.

Glen Campbell Farewell Tour Review Now Online

Glen Campbell -
Wikimedia Commons
Following my previous post the final review of last weekends musical events I attended is now online.

I wouldn't say I'm a knocked out Country music fan but there are some artists which have always stood out, particularly Glen Campbell. I always loved Rhinestone Cowboy as a child and gradually got more into his music over the years.

However; I sort of had a Campbell rediscovery around 1995/96 when I had a part time cleaning job when I was a full-time student in Carmarthen. The lady whose house I cleaned had many CD's I used to play during the chores I recall Glen Campbell helping me through many hours of polishing and washing ... funny that!

Thankfully furniture polish and soap suds was the last thing on my mind on Sunday evening when I saw Glen and his backing band Instant People, live in concert.

You can read the full review: Glen Campbell Bids Farewell To Fans At St David's Hall, Cardiff  here


Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Press To Play: An Hour Of Cliff Richard

Hour of Cliff Richard
Presentation Box - MFP, 1986
Here's another of Music For Pleasure's Hour Of Compilations from the 80s featuring the Peter Pan of Pop - Cliff Richard.

Although I transferred the whole cassette to MP3 format I only retained a couple of the tracks for my iPod as I've obtained several of these since on CD format.

What strikes me about this particular release is the diversity of Cliff tracks included which feature hits, b-sides, film songs and a few from his religious albums. EMI have since reissued the album on compact disc. Many of the tracks also feature The Shadows backing Cliff, though they are not credited on the sleeve.

I mentioned in a previous Press To Play post that many of these Hour Of  releases originally came housed in presentation boxes, this is one of only two boxes I retained.

An Hour Of Cliff Richard
Music For Pleasure, 1986. HR 41 8122 4 Stereo

  1. I Could Easily Fall (In Love With You)
  2. Gee Whiz It's you
  3. Travelin' Light
  4. Unchained Melody
  5. Beat Out That Rhythm On A Drum
  6. Blueberry hill
  7. Got A Funny Feeling
  8. Spanish Harlem
  9. It Is No Secret
  10. We Say Yeah
  11. Day By Day (Live)
  12. Dancing Shoes
  13. Blue Turns To Grey
  14. A Voice In the Wilderness
  15. When My Dreamboat Comes Home
  16. "D" In Love
  17. I'm Walkin' the Blues
  18. Fire And Rain (Live)
  19. With The Eyes Of A Child
  20. Good News
  21. Sing A Song of Freedom
  22. Mr. Businessnan (Live)

Monday, 24 October 2011

The Hollies and The Barron Knights Concert Reviews Now Online

The Hollies Live In Concert -
Courtesy of Jimmy Smith Management
It's been a mammoth weekend for me having attended no less than three concerts featuring legendary chart acts since Thursday.

On Thursday evening, I attended St David's Hall to catch The Hollies live. I've been listening to The Hollies for as long as I can remember, I Can't Let Go always a personal favourite of mine.

Nearly fifty years on from their formation they are still going, featuring founder members Tony Hicks and Bobby Elliott. You can read my full review of The Hollies Live At St David's Hall here

The Barron Knights Live In Concert 
On Friday, I was out again to review the excellent Barron Knights. I remember watching The Barron Knights on television as a child performing their medley A Taste Of Aggro which consisted of paodies of The Smurf Song, Rivers Of Babylon and Matchstick Men and Matchstalk Cats and Dogs.

The band still retains a great balance of humour and classic rock n roll in their gigs. You can read my full review of The Barron Knights Live at  Newport Riverfront here.

If you want to know any further information on The Hollies or The Barron Knights check out their official websites :
Finally, I caught the legendary Glen Campbell at St David's Hall last night - there will be more on that review shortly!

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Saturday Superstore: Grundig Radio (1970)

Grundig Advert  - Radio Times (November,1970)
'We wouldn't sell you a cheap radio. Not at any price.' proclaims this Grundig Radio Times advert from this week in 1970, priding themselves with 'outstanding sound quality' and 'apply the same rigorous standards to all our radios without exception.'

The cheapest Grundig radio set back in 1970 was yours for a mere £18.19.10.

Does anyone still have one of these models?

Friday, 21 October 2011

Sketchbook: Comedy Club 4 Kids

Tom Webb, Jim Smallman and Tiernan Douieb
by Andy Howells
Okay here's a little part of this blog which has been somewhat sporadic and neglected, I'm going to try and do more in weeks to come even if some items are just a work in progress...

I was inspired last Saturday to put together a cartoon recreation of the three comedians :  Tiernan Douieb, Tom Webb and Jim Smallman who did a wonderful job in The Comedy Club 4 Kids session last Saturday afternoon at Newport Riverfront as part of the Comedy Port festival.

Here's My Argus Review of the event.

For more information on the guys check out their official websites:

The Hollies Live In Concert - Reviewed!

The Hollies captured live on their 2011 tour
- courtesy of Jimmy Smith Management
Last night I had the pleasure of catching one of my favourite bands The Hollies live in concert at st David's Hall , Cardiff.

I've sort of held off from seeing them until now - despite been such a big fan, I was aware that from their original hit making era only guitarist Tony Hicks and drummer Bobby Elliott remain in the band so was slightly worried that my findings might not be as good as those records I've listened to all my life.

However;  my reservations were ill judged as both Tony and Bobby along with Steven Lauri (guitar), Ian Parker (guitar), Ray Styles (synthesiser) and lead vocalist Peter Howarth delivered over two hours of classic tunes including I Can't Let Go, Yes I Will, I'm Alive, He Ain't Heavy He's My Brother and The Air That I Breathe. As Peter Howarth said "The Hollies aren’t about one person but about one voice" and he's right because that Hollies sound is so evidently still going strong.

Read my full review about The Hollies live at St David's Hall here and for latest news on The Hollies check their official website.

Badge Friday: Mr Beefeater

Another badge from Rachel's collection.

I don't ever recall Arthur Lowe telling the story of Mr Beefeater in the Mr Men TV series but I should imagine this Roger Hargreaves copyrighted character was created primarily for The Beefeater restaurant food chain.

Mr Beefeater was one of six designs available in 1989, the others including Little Miss Helpful, Little Miss Star, Mr Bump, Little Miss Trouble and Mr Nosey.


For more information check out www.badgecollectorcircle.co.uk

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Ralph McTell Live in Concert - Reviewed

Ralph McTell
by Phil Peabody / Leola Music
I'm a little behind on getting some of my reviews online at the moment, many of which are half completed - due to a chaotic few weeks. Hopefully, I'll get caught up over the next few weeks as well as adding several other reviews online.

Last weekend as many regular readers know I attended The Big Splash festival, I reviewed several events for the local newspaper and have several extended reviews to feature online, the first of these is a review of singer/songwriter Ralph McTell's appearance at Newport Riverfront.

Ralph entertained the audience for over 100 minutes uninterrupted and of course played his signature classic - Streets Of London.

Read Ralph McTell Live at Newport Riverfront here.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Saturday Superstore: Woolworths - The Andy Williams Album

You could always depend on Woolworths to pick up absolutely anything you required from drawing pins to pick and mix and curtain tracking to LP Records.

I still miss Woolworths and its one of those business institutions the UK should not have been allowed to lose... and heaven forbid if the recession would have hit back in 1972 when this Woolworths exclusive release The Andy Williams Album came flying off the shelves at a mere £1.25 per copy.

I bet this ended up in a few Gran's Christmas Stockings in December that year...

"Come On Wales!"

Today's Commemorative Cover
I've done a couple of front page cover designs for the South Wales Argus this week ahead of today's Rugby World Cup Match. For full updates on the match and other news from New Zealand and Wales check out the Argus website.

Yesterday's Cover

Friday, 14 October 2011

Badge Friday: Midland Savings

Midlands Savings Badge - 1970s
If you were lucky enough as a child back in the 70s your parents would set you up with a neat little savings account for you to put a certain amount of money away for a rainy day until you were older. If you weren't well you just didn't get a neat little nest egg when you were 18!

That savings account may have come from the Midland Bank as this pin badge appears to have done.

Again, not sure on the date but judging by the design I'd say 1970s...

Any confirmation appreciated!

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Those Radio Times! : Scrapbook for 1926 and Henry Hall

Alan Whicker observed a few years ago that nostalgia isn't what it used to be be, and to a degree he's right because this blog post on Those Radio Times this week is getting nostalgic about a nostalgia series.

The BBC's Scrapbook series frequently revisited bygone years through recollections and sound bytes of available archive recordings from its conception in the early years of BBC Radio right through to the 1970s where the series was frequently featured on BBC Radio 4 schedules.

Today in 1971, Michael Flanders opened up the Scrapbook for 1926 (BBC Radio4, 7.30pm) which was compiled and produced by John Bridges.

The episode entitled Aspirations and Aspirin looked at the Jazz Generation, The General Strike, The Bright Young Things, The BBC's First Charter, The Evacuation Of The Rhine, Technological Advances, Cobham's Australian Flight, England Winning The Ashes and songs, shows and tunes of the time with the recorded voices of Jack Buchanan, Sir Neville Cardus, Stuart Hibbard, Al Jolson and John Snagge among others.

Scrapbook was indeed The Rock N Roll Years before Rock N Roll Happened, if anyone has a recording of any edition of Scrapbook available for me to review - I'd love to hear from you.

The BBC were still nostalgic a year later in 1972, as part of their 50th anniversary they celebrated The Golden Age of Dance Bands (BBC Radio 2, 9.15pm) spotlighting the work of Henry Hall.

Again anyone with any recordings of this series or indeed Henry Hall, please get in touch!

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Press To Play: An Hour Of Russ Conway

An Hour of Russ Conway
- Music For Pleasure, 1986
Here's another one of those great value for money Hour Of audio cassettes presented by Music For Pleasure in the 1980s. The subject of this particular release was none other than pop pianist Russ Conway who topped the UK charts twice in 1959 with Side Saddle and Roulette.

This release features many of Russ's UK chart entries between 1957 and 1962 including both sides of the Party Pops and More Party Pops medleys, Toy Balloons, Passing Breeze, Got A Match, Always You And Me and my personal favourite China Tea.

The versions of Side Saddle and Roulette do however sound slightly different on this album to the usual versions heard on radio and those featured on another Hour Of compilation The Hits of 1959.

Terry Horner of The Russ Conway Website takes up the story:
"The newer stereo recordings of Side SaddleRoulette were recorded at Abbey Road purely by chance in 1966.  
Russ had just overcome the effects of a stroke which threatened his career and piano playing ability. Going back in to the studio with his recording manager Norman Newell to record just two new tunes and see how things turned out, with ample time studio time left over, they managed to put a dozen or so recordings in the can and an idea for a new budget LP was born.  
These were marketed on the "Time To Play" MFP Long Player, and pictures Russ, his Rolls Royce and a pretty Lady on the front cover.

Russ also re-recorded Side SaddleChina Tea again in 1973 when he changed labels to Pye Records where Norman Percival became his musical and recording director. 
In 1989 Russ again re-recorded Side Saddle as Side Saddle MK11 along with a newer upbeat version of Roulette (2000) for his own Churchill Records label. The 2000 Roulette recording was used by BBC Radio 1's Mark And Lard show, and listeners found the tune so compelling, Mark & Lard played the whole album on their show with Russ as their honoured guest. 
In addition, these final cuts of "Side Saddle MK11 & Roulette" are still available on Russ's last album "Old and New" (Limited Stocks) on cassette and/or CD and are available from  The Russ Conway Website .
I have to admit, under the circumstances I think Russ did a neat job of recreating that sound adored by millions years before!

An Hour Of Russ Conway - His Greatest Hits
MFP HR 418108 4 Stereo/Mono*, 1986

  1. Side Saddle
  2. Mack The Knife
  3. The Westminster waltz
  4. Pixilated Penguin
  5. Snow Coach
  6. Sam's Song
  7. Always
  8. The Wedding Of The Painted Doll
  9. The World Outside*
  10. China Tea
  11. Lesson One
  12. "Party Pops"*
  13. Roulette
  14. Toy Balloons
  15. Pepe
  16. Royal Event
  17. Lucky Five
  18. Passing Breeze
  19. Got A Match*
  20. Always You And Me*
  21. Pablo
  22. Fings Ain't What They Used To Be (Pt.1)*
  23. Forgotten Dreams
  24. More "Party Pops"*

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Newport Festival Big Splash 2011 Pictures - Part 3

Malarky Arts providing  fabulous street art by the Newport Centre
The last of this years Newport Big Splash Festival events have come to an end and I have to say from what I've caught of it over the last few days has been a lot of fun!

Saturday's BMX Bike event had
some interesting stunts!
Today,  Seren managed to squeeze in some climbing while the boys were delighted with some balloon designers.
Seren and Jon rediscover Elvis as a Lion
There was also some cartoon characters and further music events going on around the Riverfront and a fabulous show featuring Mike and CBeebies Andy called Box Of Banana's which was great fun for all the family (and a big smile for Tom as they wished him a Happy Birthday for Wednesday!).
Seren's fabulous flag design from Saturday
Here's a further selection of pictures from yesterday and today - hand if  you visited The Big Splash - hope you enjoyed your experience of it as much as we did!

The completed artwork by Malarky Arts
Seren prepares for some rock climbing
Seren scaling heights
The children meet The Riverfront's Mynci
The children meet Andy and Mike
Seren says "Hello Kitty!"
Balloon fun
Balloon Designers bring smiles to the children

Newport Festival Big Splash 2011 Pictures - Part 2

Bran The Blessed In Action
Here's some further pictures from The Big Splash, this time Saturday's main event  of Small World Theatre's presentation of The Healing of Bran The Blessed at The Red Wave.

"Where's His Head?"
This event featured a 30ft puppet  of the Welsh legend Bendigeidfran and was presented bilingually.
The Head Arrives
The event drew many people to Newport Riverfront and was a stirring piece of drama enhanced by some excellent actors and stirring music - and the boys enjoyed it too!
Bran Procession
Some Of The Singers Who Provided Stirring Music
The King At His Bridge
Bran The Blessed At Rest

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Newport Festival Big Splash 2011 Pictures - Part 1

Big Splash Chalk Art - Newport Riverfront
I'm doing a few reviews in and around The Big Splash events here in Newport this weekend. There have been some great events (which started last night) including an Escapologist on The Newport Footbridge, Ralph McTell in concert and lots of music, dance and free arts events!

Escapologist Chris Cross Suspended
Across The Footbridge In Newport
The events continue until tomorrow Sunday (so get down to Newport if you are near!)  For further info check out Newport Festival Big Splash Website.

Escapologist Chris Cross Helps Open
Newport Festival's Big Splash 2011
For a small taste of what's already been happening here are some photos from last night and today!

Fabulous Night Music on The Riverfront Terrace
With The Zen Hussies
The Zen Hussies Display A Fine Fusion Of Jazz And Reggae
Jumping The Groove With The Zen Hussies

Love is all you need around Newport City Centre on Saturday
Arts and Crafts on the Top Floor of
Newport Market

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