Sunday, 28 February 2016

Entertainment South Wales Top 5 Popular Posts for February 28

A few posts were added to the Entertainment South Wales blog this week. The popularity of local musical theatre has kept my Q&A with Phoenix Productions cast in the top 5, while my Q&A's with both Creeper and Enter Shikari have made way for new entries from Field Music and The 4Tunes...

Monday, 22 February 2016

Book Collection: Daily Mail Quiz Book Number 10 - Television (1957)

A recent book find was a Daily Mail Quiz Book from 1957 on the subject of Television. Its been well used (lots of sellotape around the cover) but is a fabulous little book.

The book is no.10 in a series of 12,the other quiz books in the series been London, Aircraft, Football, Ships, Animals, Films, Food and Drink, Inventions, Birds, Fact or Fiction? and Books. Strangely enough, radio, perhaps the most dominant broadcast medium until that date didnt get a book dedicated to it.

Television in the UK was still very much in its infancy in 1957. Great Britain only had two channels, one provided by the BBC and the ITA was only two years old. There was still enough information in this book however to fill over 160 pages.

The Quiz Book itself is probably more comprehensive than most quiz books I've seen before. The front is largely made up of facts and figures on the early years of the history of television from viewing figures, landmark moments and personalities. Only the last eight pages are made up of questions derived from the information at the front of the book.

One interesting fact is the details of early colour TV transmission tests.
The BBC commenced a new intensive series of colour tests in November 1956 over the London transmitter on Band 1. These tests went out on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, commencing at 11.10pm after normal service hours. 
The ITA, on Band 3, also sent out colour tests from their Croydon Transmitter.
Of course, both channels wouldn't start regular colour TV broadcasts for  another decade (BBC2 would start in 1967, while BBC1 and ITV would follow in 1969)

Perhaps the most interesting is a set of television personality biographies accompanied by line sketches of some of the stars of the era. I've included Arthur Askey, Eamonn Andrews, Bernard Braden, Max Bygraves, Billy Cotton and Tommy Cooper here for your enjoyment!

The original price of the Daily Mail Quiz Book: Number 10 - Television  in 1957 was Two Shillings and Sixpence

Sunday, 21 February 2016

Whats New Over at Entertainment South Wales

Many of you are probably aware of my freelance writing which seems to have taken over a lot of my blogging time these days. hopefully I'll re-address that in coming weeks and try and get some more creative things going with fun stuff too.

In the meantime, I've started trying to compile all my freelance work into an online archive over at my Entertainment South Wales Blog.  I decided to do this as a result that a lot of material I was writing wasnt getting published online and I know there is only a limited audience to who sees something printed on the printed page.. It also provides an opportunity for those I write about to retweet articles to their followers or publish them on Facebook.

Anyhow - here's this weeks popular posts:

Of course, there's much more to read too, recently added this week are interviews and Q&A's with Steve Ellis of 60s band Love Affair, singer/songwriter Allison Weiss and Spanish indie rockers Hinds. Check out the main blog where you can read all the stories and even watch specially selected videos.

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Adventures In Vinyl: Andy Williams - Danny Boy and Other Songs I Love To Sing

There's an eternal coolness to Andy Williams' delivery of a song and as this album from 1962 proves he always had it.

Danny Boy and Other Songs I Love To Sing was Williams' first album for Columbia records (CBS) following his departure from Cadence Records. It would be the beginning of a very successful partnership with the label, although this album would only reach No.19 in the US charts and didn't chart at all on release in the UK (which makes my vinyl find for 20p in Tenby charity shop last summer quite an achievement!)

Recorded in the latter months of 1961, this album focuses predominantly on ballads both traditional and modern (for the time). Williams'rendition of Danny Boy sits beautifully alongside songs such as The Twelfth Of Never and Secret Love which would become popular standards in their own right during the 1960s spawning hit records for the likes of Cliff Richard and Kathy Kirby respectively.

Robert Mersey who worked with Frankie Avalon, Jimmy Jones and Bobby Darin does a sterling job of producing and arranging setting the tone and pace for many Andy Williams recordings to follow in the ensuing decade.

Tracks like Come To Me, Bend To Me and Summertime hold the real Williams magic, indeed this whole album is a delightful treasure trove of Andy Williams coolness.


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