Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Davy Jones 1945 - 2012

Davy Jones 1945 - 2012
I'm saddened to learn tonight of the passing of singer, musician and actor Davy Jones, the only British member of the 60s pop band The Monkees.

Frequently described as the first manufactured pop group, The Monkees consisting of Davy, Mickey Dolenz, Michael Nesmith and Peter Tork and scored several hits around the world between 1966 and 1969. These included I'm A Believer, Daydream Believer, Pleasant Valley Sunday and A Little Bit Me A Little Bit You. 

Their popularity rose due to their weekly TV series which after it finished in late 1968 continued to rerun around the world for decades afterwards. Following the groups’ disbandment in the early 70s they would regularly reform and tour with several line ups, frequently featuring Davy and Mickey at the helm.

In 1996, to commemorate the bands 40th anniversary the original group members of the Monkees reformed for a world tour. Rachel and I were fortunate enough to catch the Monkees live in Cardiff and it was a fantastic night. I particularly remember Davy been full of energy and sending some of the older ladies of the audience crazy to a point they were throwing undergarments at him. 

The Monkees were four individual talents whose creative ability was sometimes hindered by their producers or peoples preconceptions of them. In the end they were a great pop group, full of fun and recorded some pop classics that will continue to endure. Davy Jones was a big part of that unit and he will be sorely missed, thank you Davy!

On Radio: It Sticks Out Half a Mile - War Damage

In Episode 11 of It Sticks Out Half A Mile, Arthur, Frank and Bert travel to London in the hope of claiming compensation for Frambourne Pier which was damaged during the war.

It Sticks out Half a Mile is broadcast on BBC Radio 4 Extra at 17:00 Hrs and repeated again tomorrow morning at 05:00 Hrs. It is also available to listen again on the BBC iPlayer for a week after broadcast.

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

New AudioGO Releases - It Sticks Out Half A Mile and Parsley Sidings

Parsley Sidings -
Used With Permission: AudioGO
AudioGO have announced several new Vintage comedy releases for March including two Dad's Army related titles.

Parsley Sidings By Jim Eldridge

The first release, Parsley Sidings by Jim Eldridge sees Arthur Lowe, Kenneth Connor, Liz Frazer and Ian Lavender star in four episodes of the radio comedy series set in a sleepy railway station. 

The recordings featured in this collection broadcast between 1971 and 1973 are among the few that survive in the BBC archive. They include:
  • Goodbye Parsley Sidings (Series 1, Episode 10)  Horace Hepplewhite gets promoted and leaves for pastures new, but his replacement seems a right old ogre. 
  •  The Entente Cordiale (Series 2, Episode 3) After an exchange visit to France, the Head of French Rail is keen to see Gloria's tannoy. 
  •  A Night Out (Series 2, Episode 4)  Thanks to Percy and Bert, a lady misses the last train to Birmingham and has nowhere to stay the night. 
  •  The New Level Crossing (Series 2, Episode 8)  What will happen to Bradshaw now that Parsley Sidings gets a new automated level crossing? 

Parsley Sidings is available as an audio download from March 1st 2012 and on CD from March 8th 2012.

It Sticks Out Half A Mile...Continued
Used With Permission: AudioGO
It Sticks Out Half A Mile By Harold Snoad And Michael Knowles

Ian Lavender returns in the radio sequel to Dad’s Army in It Sticks Out Half A Mile... Continued which also features John Le Mesurier, and Bill Pertwee.

The collection features :
  • Inspecting the Piles (Episode 4) In order to save money, Hodges, Pike and Wilson decide to inspect the foundations of Frambourne Pier in an inflatable rubber dinghy  at night. 
  • Pike in Love (Episode 5)  Uncle Arthur is called in to give Pike a lesson on the birds and the bees. 
  • The Friends of Frambourne Pier (Episode 6)  Pike and Hodges decide to launch a campaign asking for volunteers. And so The Friends of Frambourne Pier Association (FOFPA) is born. 
  • The First Meeting (Episode 7) The first meeting of The Friends of Frambourne Pier Association is convened. Arthur Wilson attends, but has to explain his evening out to a suspicious Mrs Pike. 
It Sticks Out Half A Mile... Continued is now available on CD while the audio download format will be available from March 1st 2012.

Check Out AudioGO’s website for full information on their comedy releases.

Monday, 27 February 2012

Website Of The Week: The Siren Sisters

The Siren Sisters - Used With Permission: Sarah Perryman
One aspect of Dad's Army I intend to feature in future posts is some of the wonderful music that originated from the 1940s and featured in the television show.

Much of the featured music always helped add authenticity to the Dad's Army shows and it was an added bonus a few years ago when I attended the stage show Dad's Army Marches On at Cardiff New Theatre that I caught a live appearance in the theatre's bar area of three girls, whom I later discovered were The Siren Sisters performing a selection of songs from the Second World War.

Before the show began the girls belted out a selection of classic wartime favourites capturing the essence of The Andrew Sisters  but adding much of their own unique charm.

Since that time, the girls (who all originate from Wales) have gone from strength to strength, and recently released a CD of Christmas songs.

Check out The Siren Sisters excellent retro style website which is packed with soundbytes and video clips as well as information on forthcoming live appearances.

Saturday, 25 February 2012

On Television: Dad's Army - The Armoured Might Of Lance Corporal Jones

In tonight's episode of Dad's Army Mainwaring's platoon acquires platoon transport courtesy of Lance Corporal Jones and Private Walker.

The Armoured Might of Lance Corporal Jones was the first colour episode of Dad's Army broadcast in September, 1969.

Dad's Army will be broadcast on BBC2 at 18:50 hrs (UK regions may vary).

Friday, 24 February 2012

Badge Friday: Dannii Minogue

I've featured a few badges from the pop magazine Big! before and here's another featuring Kylie Minogue's little sister Dannii.

Dannii was a regular in Home and Away before having reasonable chart success in the early 90s with hits such as This Is It, Love and Kisses, Jump To the Beat and All I Wanna Do.

Dannii has since gone on maintain careers in  modelling, endorse a variety of clothes and beauty products and present programmes on both radio and television (including - shock! horror! splat! - reality TV shows produced by Simon Cowell) - not bad for a former pin badge idol!

Thursday, 23 February 2012

On Radio: Dad's Army - Mum's Army

Captain Mainwaring (Arthur Lowe) opens the Platoon up to women members and seemingly his heart up to Mrs Gray (Carmen Silvera).

Dad’s Army’s take on Brief Encounter was originally broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 1975.

Dad’s Army is broadcast on BBC Radio 4 Extra at 08:30 Hrs, 12:30 Hrs and 19:30 Hrs and available to listen again on the BBC iPlayer for a week after broadcast.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Sketchbook: Buddy Holly Valentine Card Design

Valentine Card Cover
Here's my design for the Valentine card I made for Rachel this year.

I have to admit I usually get a bit stumped for designs on Valentines Day, I like to come up with something a bit different than the usual hearts and flowers stuff as I feel they lose impact after a while.

Anyhow, this year I took inspiration from the classic Buddy Holly song True Love Ways. I have to admit getting inspired when I saw Buddy Holly and The Cricketers live in concert at Newport Riverfront the Thursday before.
Valentine Card Inside Design
I put the art together in Photoshop using some clip artwork of a record disc (which I modified to include the Buddy Holly True Love Ways title, two hearts which I layered over the disc and a copyright free image of Buddy Holly which I pop art-ed!

I also found the lyrics to True Love Ways of which I superimposed over the pop art image inside the card.

All I then had to do was get the printer to play ball - which it did hours later!

A New Sherlock Holmes Adventure In Conan-Doyle Fashion!

George Mann has written
an all new Sherlock Holmes story
Nicholas Briggs and Richard Earl are currently starring in an exciting new series of Sherlock Holmes adventures from Big Finish Productions.

I've always felt quite free to dip in and out of Holmes stories over the years, Basil Rathbone was undoubtedly my favourite actor in the role as I grew up, however, in recent years I've gone more for Jeremy Brett and Robert Downey Jr's energetic portrayals.

Nicholas Briggs transfers some of that energy to audio too and delivers a fabulous audio Holmes in the new story  The Reification Of Hans Gerber by George Mann.

Read My Review of Sherlock Holmes: The Reification Of Hans Gerber here.

On Radio: It Sticks Out Half A Mile - The Builder

In today's episode of It Sticks Out Half A Mile, originally broadcast on BBC Radio 2 in 1984, old hostilities surface for Arthur, Frank and Bert when a workman’s nationality comes into question.

It Sticks out Half a Mile is broadcast on BBC Radio 4 Extra at 17:00 Hrs and repeated again tomorrow morning at 05:00 Hrs.

It is also available to listen again on the BBC iPlayer for a week after broadcast.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Tom Baker Stars In Lost Doctor Who Audio Adventures

The Fourth Doctor Box Set
- Big Finish Productions
Big Finish Productions recently released a standalone box set of two Doctor Who Adventures originally written for television but never made.

The Foe From The Future was a six part adventure written by Robert Banks Stewart originally intended to finish the 1976/1977 series,  it eventually lost out to the classic serial The Talons Of Weng Chiang.

Big Finish Productions acquired the rights to produce The Foe From The Future for audio last year and the story with adjustments by John Dorney is now available on audio starring Tom Baker, Louise Jameson, Paul Freeman and Louise Brealey.

Read my full review for The Foe From The Future here.

The other adventure featured in Doctor Who: The Lost Stories - The Fourth Doctor Box Set is called The Valley Of Death, a review will appear online for that shortly.

Music Notes: Buddy Holly, Elsie, GLC and Alex Butler.

Welcome to this months Music Notes...

Starting off with a new release, my review of Alex Butler's Turn EP. Alex has a very British sound reminiscent of bands like The Jam and Nine Below Zero. He also has a free download at his website. You can check out my review of Alex' new release here: CD Review: Alex Butler - Turn EP

Pop Video Of The Month - Elsie: The Assassin

I first caught Elsie (or LC: Laura Critchley) supporting The Sugababes in concert a few years back . She had some good success with the summer pop hit Sometimes I... in 2007.

She's been busy since lending her vocal talents to Tom Jones on tour and is back with a fabulous new track The Assassin (Bang Bang). Here's the video and don't forget to check out Elsie's official website!

Buddy Holly and The Cricketers Reviewed

On February 9th 2012, I was fortunate enough to catch Buddy Holly and The Cricketers Rock 'N' Roll Jukebox at Newport Riverfront. This was the second time I caught this fine tribute act, the last time was several years ago at Carmarthen Lyric Theatre.

The bands line up was quite different then, and the person playing Buddy on that occasion Stephen Gray is now a member of The Cricketers making way for Dean Elliott as Buddy.

This latest concert coinciding with the 75th anniversary of Buddy's birth treat the audience to a bevy of Buddy Holly classics including That'll Be The Day, Peggy Sue and True Love Ways. You can read more about the gig here: Review: Buddy Holly and The Cricketers At Newport Riverfront

Free Download Of The Month

There's been lots of controversy here in Newport this last few weeks about a Channel 4 documentary entitled Bouncers highlighting the seedier side of nightclub life in the city. Whatever stance you may have on the programme (and I've heard plenty of opinion for and against), Newport's resident hip hop heroes Goldie Lookin Chain have put together a delightful ditty for your listening pleasure. Download Bouncers here - it's free!  But be warned! - the language is rather colourful!

And Finally...

Uncut Magazine this month features a great feature on The Beatles early gigs at the Star Club in Hamburg and also graces a CD of fabulous tracks that inspired many of the Star Club acts of the early 60s. Check out the Uncut website for more information...

Friday, 17 February 2012

Badge Friday: I'm A Snoopy Saver

Bristol & West Badge - 1980s
Here's another nice item from Rachel's badge collection. Bristol and West Building Society obviously decided to recruit young savers at some point during the 1980s and who better than Charles Schultz Peanuts star Snoopy?

Snoopy was obviously always saving up for his holidays which is why he spent so much time sleeping on top of that kennel!

Thursday, 16 February 2012

On Radio: Dad's Army - War Dance

An engagement is announced by Private Pike (Ian Lavender) at the War Dance in today’s radio episode of Dad’s Army originally broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 1975.

Dad’s Army is broadcast on BBC Radio 4 Extra at 08:30 Hrs, 12:30 Hrs and 19:30 Hrs and available to listen again on the BBC iPlayer for a week after broadcast.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

On Radio: It Sticks Out Half A Mile - The Fancy Dress Parade

The Pier Costume Party is in full swing until Frank (Ian Lavender) brings a piano and his mother turns up.

It Sticks out Half a Mile is broadcast on BBC Radio 4 Extra at 17:00 Hrs and repeated again tomorrow morning at 05:00 Hrs. It is also available to listen again on the BBC iPlayer for a week after broadcast.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

The Doctor and Leela Leave Victorian London And It's Destination: Nerva

Doctor Who:
Destination Nerva - Big Finish
Fans of Tom Baker were no doubt pleased when he recreated the role of the Fourth Doctor for a series of audio adventures for AudioGO a few years ago.

Well Tom is back once again, this time with Television sidekick Leela  (played by Louise Jameson) in the new audio drama by Nicholas Briggs entitled Destination: Nerva.

The events of this adventure follow on directly from the 1977 Doctor Who story The Talons of Weng-Chiang and true to classic Doctor Who is fast paced edge of the seat stuff as The Doctor finds himself heading for the Nerva Beacon, setting of TV adventures The Ark In Space and Revenge Of the Cybermen.

Read On:

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Treading The Boards: John Laurie In "The Improper Duchess" (1932)

Two programmes from the 
production of The Improper
in Liverpool 

and London performed 
only weeks
of each other in early 1932.

Production: The Improper Duchess by James B Fagan
Venues: The Globe Theatre, The Liverpool Empire
Date: Jan - Feb 1932
Starring: Yvonne Arnaud, Harold Thorley, Maxwell Lowe, John M Moore, Torin Thatcher, Zena Howard, Sam Livesey, Annie Esmond, Peggy Livesy, John Laurie, Hartley Power, Annie Esmond, Winifred Oughton.

By the time John Laurie joined Dad's Army in 1968,  he already had a spectacular CV behind him on stage and screen. John's career on stage went right back to the early years of the 20th Century where he had played many strong support roles to great actors of the day.

One major success was James B Fagan's modern comedy The Improper Duchess of which John toured extensively during 1931 and 1932.

The Improper Duchess starred French actress Yvonne Arnaud and Hartley Power (who would later go on to feature in many movies). John Laurie played the role of the Rev. Adam P. McAdam.
A page from the Liverpool Empire programme
for The Improper Duchess
The Improper Duchess was a well received production with Yvonne Arnaud receiving much praise and critic James Agate describing both John and Hartley Power's presentations : "As the egregious senator and pastor, Messrs Hartley Power and John Laurie do excellently." Another reviewer described John's performance : "Mr. John Laurie makes a grim ascetic of the pastor..." Shades of Private Frazer to come no doubt!

Yvonne Arnaud pictured in The Globe Theatre
programme for The Improper Duchess
John Laurie remembered the play well himself, recalling on Desert Island Discs in 1976 that one performance had coincided with him going to the races and getting "tight" and particularly remembering Arnaud's kindness to him when turning up for a performance not the best for wear.
The cast for The Improper Duchess
as featured in the Liverpool Empire programme
Described as an American skit The Improper Duchess  toured the UK in early 1932. Two venues  it was performed at were The Globe Theatre in London in January (which featured at least one performance of the role of The Duchess played by Zena Howard as opposed to Arnaud)  and The Liverpool Empire from 1st February.

Yvonne Arnaud later starred in a 1936 film adaptation, although John did not appear in this. John himself was already in demand featuring in films like The Edge Of The World and The Lady Vanishes.

Reviewing The Goons!

In the last few years I've enjoyed reviewing several audio releases featuring the Goons - so it's quite a thrill to see quotes from my newspaper reviews lifted to promote products.

Such is the case for Volume Six of The Goon Show Compendium which attempts to bring together all recorded shows performed by Peter Sellers, Harry Secombe and Spike Milligan between 1951 and 1960.

You can read a quote from my review and order the collection at AudioGO's website.

Read on:

Illustrated Retrospace: Norman Stanley Fletcher's Stir Of Porridge

This Radio Times Cover from September
1974 displays a photofit of Ronnie Barker
as Fletcher and also wrongly credits
Porridge as starting on Wednesday!
One of my all-time favourite sit-com's has to be Porridge.

Ian La Frenais and Dick Clement's comedic look at life behind bars in HM prison Slade kicked off as a pilot entitled Prisoner and Escort in 1973 as part of Ronnie Barker's series Seven Of One.

In Prisoner and Escort Ronnie Barker took on the role of lovable lag Norman Stanley Fletcher sentenced to five years at Her Majesty's pleasure. Fletcher is seen making his way to Slade Prison accompanied by Prison Officers Mr MacKay and Mr Barrowclough.
The first full series of Porridge began with the
episode New Faces, Old Hands - Radio Times, September 1974
A recent reissue of two classic episodes on audio by Vintage Beeb prompted me to dig out some memorabilia from the series.
All three series of Porridge were novelised by BBC Books
during the 1970s, these two examples represent the
first two series.
Prison can seem an unlikely place to set a comedy series, however La Frenais and Clement's mix of dramatic storytelling sprinkled with dashes of comedy proved a winner when actors Ronnie Barker (as lovable lag Fletcher), Richard Beckinsale (as cell-mate Godber), Fulton Mackay (as stern Prison Offer Mr MacKay)  and Brian Wilde (as the gentle Mr Barrowclough) were added to the mix.
February 1978 saw Fletcher's third and final appearance
on the front of Radio Times as he leaves Slade Prison
in Going Straight
Porridge ran for three seasons on BBC1 between 1974 and 1977 and even spawned a spin off series about life after prison for Fletcher in Going Straight in 1978.
Porridge regulars Fulton Mackay and Tony Osoba featured
in the first episode of Going Straight. Richard Beckinsale
would join Ronnie Barker for subsequent episodes.
Going Straight launched on BBC1 in February 1978 accompanied by a Radio Times cover and feature artwork by celebrated cartoonist Bill Tidy. There was also a BBC single of the series theme tune recorded by Ronnie Barker and a novelisation.
The first episode of Going Straight was accompanied by a feature
in Radio Times written by former old lag Frank Norman about
coming out of prison.The article was accompanied with a cartoon
by Bill Tidy who used to feature regularly on TV's Quick On The Draw.
I always associate Porridge with Thursday night television during the 1970s, a great evening that usually began with Tomorrows World followed by Top Of The Pops and ultimately a classic sitcom before been packed off to bed! Several stirs of this classic sit-com certainly brought much laughter in my home as a child and even now I love revisiting these classic shows on DVD!
Going Straight was published
by BBC books in 1978
It's fascinating to find that Porridge's popularity saw several spin off book releases in the 1970s. Ian La Frenais and Dick Clement penned four novels for BBC books while Ronnie Barker also lent his name to Fletcher's book of cockney rhyming slang. In the last 15 years author Richard Webber also compiled several books on the series looking at the stars, quotes and scripts.
Robin Bootell provided this superb illustration
for Pan Books edition of Fletcher's Cockney
Rhyming Slang
by Ronnie Barker in 1979
Both Porridge and Going Straight have continued to be repeated on television over the years and releases on video and DVD have guaranteed its longevity. The series even transferred to a film in 1979 and was completed just before Richard Beckinsale died. There was a further adaptation in 2009 when Calibre Productions enlisted the series writers to adapt Porridge for the stage.
Porridge reappeared on the stage in 2009, written by
Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais and starring Shaun
Williamson from EastEnders as Fletcher.
The above is a flyer, ticket and my review from The
South Wales Argus.
Read On:

Saturday, 11 February 2012

On Television: Dad's Army - The Battle of Godfrey's Cottage

Captain Mainwaring leaps
into action!
The Church bells have sounded and with the majority of the platoon absent it’s up to Captain Mainwaring. Corporal Jones and Private Frazer to take the first line of defence against a Nazi invasion – Godfrey’s Cottage!

The Battle Of Godfrey's Cottage, like Operation Kilt, was for many years missing from the BBC archive until it was returned in 2001.

Dad’s Army begins on BBC2 at 19:00 Hrs. Check TV listings for regional variations.

Friday, 10 February 2012

Badge Friday: I'm Into Fire Safety (Fireman Sam)

Here's a little gem from the 1980s courtesy of Rachel's badge collection featuring none over than our hero next door -  Fireman Sam!

Anyone who hasn't caught Sam's adventures will know about his ongoing message of fire safety in the Welsh village of Pontypandy.

Three decades and several series on, the adventures of Sam still educate children on television and stage!

More On Fireman Sam: Make A Fireman Sam Mask
Fireman Sam - Pontypandy Rocks Stage Show Review

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Laugh Again With Bob Hope in The Laugh Makers

The Laugh Makers
Courtesy of Joe Bev.Com
For over two decades writer Bob Mills wrote scripts, gags and one-liners for film star and comedian, Bob Hope. Mills worked as part of a team of gag writers for the legendary comic and ultimately gained credits on no less than 85 television Specials.

Mills recalls these times in an audio reading of his book The Laugh Makers going behind the scenes of Bob Hope's famous TV specials, recounting stories of fellow gag writers and a cavalcade of legendary guest stars including George Burns, Milton Berle, Lucille Ball, Danny Thomas, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton.

Bob Mills spirited reading of The Laugh Makers recalls decades worth of anecdotes with fun, enthusiasm and affection supplemented in many places with some of the classic material he and other writers wrote for Bob Hope during the 70s, 80s and 90s.

Hope was one of the last true performers of the Vaudeville era and his professionalism and keenness to deliver a perfect show comes across in The Laugh Makers. On one occasion; Bob Mills recalls a comedy sketch that had to be remounted when it was noticed at playback the naval officers featured were wearing the wrong insignia on their uniforms.

Another anecdote relates to the first moon landing in 1969. Keen to get a few jokes in about the historic event, Hope called the TV studio to have the pre- recorded TV special paused to enable him to insert a few gags relevant to the moon landing live on air - a precarious scenario even for 1969 - but one that subsequently worked.

The Laugh Makers is far from an expose on Bob Hope, if anything it reflects the star in a very good light, as someone who worked extremely hard to deliver comedy to his audience conducting his work in a fun but professional manner.

Even though The Laugh Makers reflects the latter decades of Hope's career, Bob Mills also recalls comical stories from Hope's wartime Hollywood career including a few teasing glimpses of his days working alongside Bing Crosby and Dorothy Lamour on the Road movies.

Bob Mills also recounts his own personal road to laughter as an up and coming script-writer which included an early encounter with Bob Hope in the 1950s, decades before he would write for him. These personal accounts never detract from the ongoing story and serve to create a broader and even more personalised account of events.

The Laugh Makers provides a fascinating glimpse into the world of the writers who wrote for Bob Hope and a revealing insight into the legend himself. Running for approximately 11 hours and 24 minutes, The Laugh Makers is available as a download along with many other exciting and original audio titles from the Joe Bev Experience.

The Laugh Makers is a fabulous tribute to the legendary Bob Hope and his script-writing team and is an essential document of comedy history leaving the listener recalling the sentiments of Bob Hope's signature tune "Thanks for the Memory" and we are!

To purchase the Laugh Makers on audiobook visit Joe Bev's website

  • This post was updated on August 19, 2014 to accommodate the review

On Radio: Dad's Army - Brain Versus Brawn

Captain Mainwaring (Arthur Lowe) and the platoon are on exercise dressed as firemen when they find themselves called to deal with a real-life crisis in today's episode of Dad's Army from 1975.

Dad’s Army is broadcast on BBC Radio 4 Extra at 08:30 Hrs, 12:30 Hrs and 19:30 Hrs and available to listen again on the BBC iPlayer for a week after broadcast.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

On Radio: It Sticks Out Half A Mile - Marooned

Arthur Wilson (John Le Mesurier) and Miss Perkins take a trip to the pier in today’s episode of It Sticks out Half a Mile, but will they get back?

It Sticks out Half a Mile is broadcast on BBC Radio 4 Extra at 17:00 Hrs and repeated again tomorrow morning at 05:00 Hrs. It is also available to listen again on the BBC iPlayer for a week after broadcast.

Monday, 6 February 2012

New Music From Chris Townsend, Tobias and Goldfrapp

Chris Townsend Releases The Electric Pylons EP
2012 has got off to a great start enabling me to review some great music EP's from new artists. I actually quite like EP format, because I think if an artist is passionate about getting new sounds across as well as experimenting with their music they have to work hard on the tracks they give their listeners. In both these cases they work well!

First off is the Electric Pylons EP by singer/songwriter Chris Townsend. Chris has worked on this great EP with Greg Haver who has produced recordings for The Manic Street Preachers among others.

Read on: CD Review: Electric Pylons EP by Chris Townsend

Tobias Robertson's Debut EP is Knight In Shining Armour
Secondly, Newport-based Tobias Robertson is already wowing crowds around the South Wales area with his raw live performances. Tobias also performed live at Liverpool's famous Cavern Club in the fall of 2011. His debut EP Knight In Shining Armour is available now!

Read on: Tobias Discusses Debut CD Release: Knight In Shining Armour

Goldfrapp - The Singles
If you haven't heard of Goldfrapp (where have you been since 1999?) the chances are you will have heard one of their songs either in the charts or attached to a TV soundtrack.

February sees Goldfrapp release their excellent compilation The Singles Collection featuring hits like  Ohh La La and Rocket as well as two new tracks . Read On: CD Review: Goldfrapp - The Singles Collection

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Illustrated Retrospace: Just A Minute at 45

Nicholas Parsons has hosted Just A Minute
since December 1967 - Radio Times 1973
Tomorrow, without repetition, hesitation or deviation the 62nd series of Just A Minute will commence on BBC Radio 4 at 18:30 Hrs. Created by Ian Messiter, the series will celebrate its 45th year on air, the first Just A Minute having been broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in December 1967.

As ever, Nicholas Parsons continues to present and is joined by series regular Paul Merton, but here's a brief trip through some golden moments of the show courtesy of Radio Times cuttings...

A Radio Times Billing from
November 17, 1969 
In the above listing from Radio Times, regular Just A Minute panelists Kenneth Williams, Clement Freud and Derek Nimmo are joined by actress Fenella Fielding. Notice the plug for Derek Nimmo's stint in Charlie Girl.
Radio Times Cutting from February 1971
The Rt. Hon Barbara Castle joined the Just A Minute Regulars in February 1971...

Radio Times Cutting From September 1974
The dream team of Just A Minute regulars for its first few decades consisted of Clement Freud, Derek Nimmo, Kenneth Williams and Peter Jones. Several of these shows are now available on Compact Disc from AudioGO.

Radio Times Cutting
- February 1979
Kenneth Robinson and Goodie Tim Brooke-Taylor joined the Just A Minute team for half an hour of fun in February 1979.

Radio Times Cartoon From 1978
Kenneth Williams and Derek Nimmo featured alongside this delightful cartoon commissioned for Radio Times in 1978 alongside guest panelists Bernard Cribbins and Sheila Hancock.

A recent image of series host with regular Paul
Merton who has made frequent appearances on Just A Minute
since the 1980s - BBC Media
Just A Minute enters its 45th year with a new radio series and talks of a tv series also to be fronted by Nicholas Parsons. Happy Birthday Just A Minute!

Read On: Just A Minute Website
Review: Just A Minute: The Classic Collection
Review: Just A Minute The Best Of 2011

On Television : Hattie

Ruth Jones stars in Hattie on BBC Four Tonight
Ruth Jones, Robert Bathurst and Aidan Turner star in the drama Hattie on BBC4 today at 21:45 Hrs. 

The drama, based on real life events looks at Carry On actress Hattie Jacque’s relationship with her chauffeur while she was married to John Le Mesurier.

Robert Bathurst takes on the role of John Le Mesurier.

For a review of Hattie read on: Television Review: Hattie

Saturday, 4 February 2012

On Television : Dad's Army - Operation Kilt

Private Pike's not such a Stupid
Boy in today's Dad's Army
Captain Mainwaring’s platoon find themselves pitted against the might of a Highland regiment in today’s episode of Dad’s Army on BBC2 at 19:30 Hrs.

Operation Kilt was originally broadcast in 1969 and was lost for many years before it was recovered along with The Battle of Godfrey's Cottage as part of the BBC's Treasure Hunt in 2001.

Check TV listings for regional variations.

Friday, 3 February 2012

Badge Friday: Mistar Urdd

Mistar Urdd Badge
The 90th anniversary of the foundation of the Urdd Gorbaith Cymru literally the Welsh Language of Hope but usually translated as the Welsh League of Youth (referred to in Wales as The Urdd) was celebrated across many Welsh language schools last Friday.

For the past 36 years the triangular red,white and green logo has had a personification in the form of Mistar Urdd, created by Wynne Melville Jones.

Mistar Urdd has subsequently toured schools and visited the Eisteddfod to the delight of many children and even had a tongue-in-cheek homage paid to him by The Super Furry Animals.

This gem from Rachel's badge collection reflects the early days of Mistar Urdd (possibly 1970s/80s) and a pleasure to feature on Badge Friday!

Love These Goon Shows!

Goon Show Classics - Vintage Beeb / AudioGO
The Beatles, Monty Python's Flying Circus and even HRH Prince Charles have all confessed to been fans of the 1950s radio series The Goon Show.

Over the years many episodes have been made available from AudioGO, now as part of their Vintage Beeb releases AudioGO have turned the clock back to 1975 and reissued the first BBC records album with two episodes The Dreaded Batter Pudding Hurler of Bexhill-On-Sea and The Histories of Pliny the Elder on Compact Disc and audio download.

The release comes with vinyl looking CD and original artwork by David Machell.

Read On: Audio Review: Goon Show Classics
Audiobook Review: The Goon Show: The Indigestion Waltz
Audiobook Review: The Goon Show Compendium Volume Six


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