Author Topic: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s  (Read 19414 times)

purlieu

  • Woo-hoo, Lord Nimon!
Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #60 on: June 20, 2019, 04:30:30 PM »
Is it just me or are these songs getting shorter?

That one was alright anyway.

kalowski

  • the Zone of Zero Funkativity
Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #61 on: June 20, 2019, 05:43:31 PM »
It's an old saw from Rock lore - if I might do the honours:

On duty the night Eddie Cochrane crashed was a young Police Constable who took the chance to strum a few chords on Eddies guitar after it was retrieved from the scene. That young man's name? Why, it was only the soon to be Hold Tight! hitmaker David Deedozymickantitch.
Quote
Dave Dee: I wasn't at it, we went to it after the crash had happened. I was a police cadet then not a pc. It's been well documented that Eddie Cochrane and Gene Vincent were in the car. We sussed they were musicians soon after we got there because there guitars and gig things all over the road and in the car. We had to take everything back to the station and then realised that it was Cochrane's guitar. I was a huge fan of both him and Gene Vincent.

gilbertharding

  • Not even the rudest man in the Beatles
Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #62 on: June 20, 2019, 06:14:51 PM »
Quote from: David Dee
"I weren't at it - we went to it after the crash had happened...

That's how it usually works, numbnuts. Still, Wilts CC's loss was pop music's gain.

kalowski

  • the Zone of Zero Funkativity
Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #63 on: June 20, 2019, 07:05:42 PM »
That's how it usually works, numbnuts. Still, Wilts CC's loss was pop music's gain.
Ha. He could've incriminated himself.

machotrouts

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Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #64 on: June 21, 2019, 01:05:51 PM »
Incredibly into how the chorus of this one is basically a series of bird squawks. More of that thanks.

daf

  • Linishing Ferrules
Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #65 on: June 21, 2019, 02:00:00 PM »
Don't put your Willie down, its . . .

104.  Cliff Richard and The Shadows - Please Don't Tease



From : 24 – 30 July  1960 (1)
       + 7 – 20 August  1960 (2)
Weeks : 3
Flip side : Where Is My Heart

Quote
Richard's fifth single "Living Doll" triggered a softer, more relaxed, sound and saw him moving away from his Rock n Roll roots, and began Richard's journey towards being a mainstream pop entertainer.

In 1959 Cliff appeared in Expresso Bongo - a satire of the music industry directed by Val Guest, shot in an uncredited 'Dyaliscope' and starring Laurence Harvey, Cliff Richard, and Yolande Donlan. It was adapted from the stage musical of the same name, which was first produced on the stage at the Saville Theatre, London, on 23 April 1958.

In the film, Cliff Richard and the Shadows made their second screen appearance in a film released during 1959, the first being the much darker 'Serious Charge'. Expresso Bongo was made at Shepperton Studios, near London, with certain scenes shot on location in London's Soho district.

The music for the 1959 film was produced by Norrie Paramor. With the exception of one song, it was entirely different from the music that was used in the 1958 musical. The music and the plot were rewritten to downplay the satire and showcase Richard and his band. In the best ironic traditions of Tin Pan Alley, a satire became a tribute : 'Only The Shrine on the Second Floor' — a song that was intended to drive a sharpened stake into the heart of all sentimental ballads about mother – made it into the movie, but Richard sang it straight.

In January 1960, an EP made up of all the Cliff Richard and the Shadows' tracks from the album was released - consisting of :
'Love'  /  'A Voice In The Wilderness'  /  'The Shrine On The Second Floor'  /  and 'Bongo Blues'

On the tenth of March, Record Retailer published the first UK EP Chart with Expresso Bongo topping the chart. Prior to this, the EP had also made the UK Singles Chart reaching number 14.

He returned to Rock & Roll with two EPs released in January and February 1960 :
Cliff Sings No. 1 :  'Here Comes Summer'  /   'I Gotta Know'  /  'Blue Suede Shoes' /  'The Snake And The Bookworm'
Cliff Sings No. 2 :  'Twenty Flight Rock'  /  'Pointed Toe Shoes'  /  'Mean Woman Blues'  /  'I'm Walking'

In March he got to #2 in the chart with, 'Fall In Love With You', backed with a thinly disguised tribute to wanking - 'Willie And The Hand Jive' - before his next release, continuing the fruity theme, 'Please Don't Tease' took him back to the top of the charts.

Quote
"Please Don't Tease" written by the Shadows' rhythm guitarist Bruce Welch together with Pete Chester was recorded by Cliff Richard and the Shadows in March 1960 and released as a single in June, the song became their third No. 1 on the UK Singles Chart spending three weeks at the summit.

To decide upon the release of this track as a single, Richard's record company recruited a teenage panel to listen to and vote on a selection of his unreleased tracks. "Please Don't Tease" won the vote and was duly released.

The single also reached number 1 in India, Ireland, New Zealand, Norway and Thailand, and sold 1.59 million copies worldwide.

"Please Don't Tease" was included on the EP Cliff's Silver Discs, released December 1960. Its first inclusion on an LP was Cliff's Hit Album, released July 1963.

Other Versions include : Don Duke (1960)  /  Dig Richards with The R' Jays (1960)   /  Sharon (1960)  /   Ral Donner (1961)  /  a robot with a floppy disc (2016)

On This Day :
Quote
7 August : Jacquie O'Sullivan, (Bananarama), born in Hendon, London
12 August : Echo 1, 1st communications satellite, is launched by NASA
13 August : Central African Republic & Chad proclaim independence from France
14 August : Sarah Brightman, (Hot Gossip), born in Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire
16 August : Britain grants independence to crown colony of Cyprus
18 August : The Beatles give their 1st public performance at the Kaiserkeller in Hamburg
« Last Edit: June 21, 2019, 04:43:00 PM by daf »

purlieu

  • Woo-hoo, Lord Nimon!
Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #66 on: June 21, 2019, 08:54:48 PM »
Shit.

daf

  • Linishing Ferrules
Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #67 on: June 21, 2019, 09:03:42 PM »
Despite looking suspiciously like a Cliff Tribute act "Dig Richards" was his real name (short for Digby).

Rather marvelously he released a single in 1974 called "Do the Spunky Monkey" - sadly Cliff didn't return the favour & cover that one!

machotrouts

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Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #68 on: June 22, 2019, 12:20:00 AM »
That teenage panel just wanted to prank Cliff Richard into singing "doggone cool" on record. Owned

daf

  • Linishing Ferrules
Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #69 on: June 22, 2019, 02:00:00 PM »
Quivers down my back bone, its . . .

105.  Johnny Kidd and The Pirates - Shakin' All Over



From : 31 July – 6 August 1960   
Weeks : 1
Flip side : Yes Sir, That's My Baby

Quote
Frederick Albert "Freddie" Heath was born on 23 December 1935 in Willesden, North London, England.

He began playing guitar in a skiffle group in about 1956. The group, known as "The Frantic Four" and later as "The Nutters", covered primarily skiffle, pop and rockabilly.

In 1959, Heath and his band were given a recording test for their first single, a rocker titled "Please Don't Touch". Backed with 'Growl'), it reached number 25 on the UK singles charts in 1959. Although only a minor hit the song has been covered many times since, most successfully by the team of Motörhead and Girlschool known as Headgirl.

A contract with HMV quickly followed and the group were then informed during the session that their name "Freddie Heath and the Nutters" would be changed to Johnny Kidd & the Pirates. Their stage act was theatrical including wearing full pirate costumes which echoed some of their Rock 'n' Roll contemporaries like Screaming Lord Sutch & the Savages and Nero and the Gladiators, and anticipated theatrical rockers of the 1970s such as Alice Cooper and Dave Bowie from Dave Bowie and the Dave Bowie Band (feat. Dave Bowie).

Two further singles followed in December 1959 'If You Were The Only Girl In The World' (b/w 'Feelin'), and another number 25 hit in February 1960 - 'You Got What It Takes' (b/w 'Longing Lips')

Kidd and the Pirates' finest moment was the powerful song "Shakin' All Over", which reached number one in the UK singles charts in 1960.

The follow up - 'Restless' reached #22 in Sep 1960, while 'Linda Lu'  flopped in March 1961 at #47.

The swansong recording of this line-up in 1961, "Please Don't Bring Me Down" missed the charts entirely. However, it featured a B-side which turned out to be a minor UK rock 'n' roll classic. "So What" featured a racy piano solo from Morgan "Thunderclap" Jones. When the single failed to chart, the Pirates - Clem Cattini, Alan Caddy and Brian Gregg - decided to jump ship and joined Colin Hicks as his "Cabinboys" on a 6-week tour to Europe. After this liaison ended, Cattini and Caddy joined a Joe Meek backing band who evolved into the Tornados.

Kidd meanwhile cut a "solo" single backed by a bigger band sound. "Hurry on Back to Love" was more bluesy than anything Kidd had previously attempted and indicated a possible new musical path.

A new Pirate trio was recruited. Johnny Spence (bass), Frank Farley (drums) and Mick Green (lead guitar). The new line-up's first single with Kidd was the cracking "A Shot Of Rhythm And Blues" which managed to break Kidd's dry spell, entering the lower reaches of the chart toward the end of 1962. In retrospect this disc, which debuted Green’s unique playing style incorporating alternating lead and rhythm guitar figures, can be viewed as the sonic bridge marking the transition of British rock and roll into British Beat.

Over time, Kidd developed a visual show. The group would deck out in 19th century pirate costume in front of a huge backcloth of a pirate galleon, Kidd toying with a cutlass to great effect. Many a wooden stage received scarring from this prop until insurance cover could not be obtained for it. The group's German tours tightened their sound, as it did with many Liverpool combos who also made the trip.

The explosive rise of the 'beat groups' in 1963 outshone the slow-burning R&B scene, and Kidd soon opted for a slice of Merseybeat, recording Gordon Mills' "I'll Never Get Over You", and reaching number 4 on the UK chart in the summer of 1963. The hit put Kidd and the Pirates firmly on the beat music scene.  The follow-up, "Hungry For Love", was also written by Mills and broke into the top twenty during the autumn.

Eventually the group parted company with Kidd. Johnny Spence, Frank Farley and guitarist Jon Morshead continued as The Pirates and recorded one single, "Shades of Blue" for Polydor before a lack of success calling it a day in mid-1966.

Kidd, meanwhile, kept recording and gigging with an anonymous group of backing musicians. His penultimate single "It's Got To Be You", and an unreleased version of Otis Redding's "I Can't Turn You Loose", showed that a mix of R&B and soul may have been where his future musical path lay.

By 1966, it would seem that Kidd was on the verge of a re-emergence but this was soon to be cut short. On 7 October 1966, Kidd died in a motor car collision on the A58, Bury New Road, Breightmet, Bolton, Lancashire.  Pirates' bassist Nick Simper, who later became an original member of Deep Purple, was also in the car with Kidd, but he suffered only some cuts and a broken arm.

Johnny Kidd was cremated at Golders Green Crematorium, London. He was 30 years old.

Quote
"Shakin' All Over" was written by Johnny Kidd when HMV offered the band the chance to write their next B-side. The song was written in a hurry while sat in the basement of Chas McDevitt's Freight Train coffee Bar. It was recorded the following day in one take.

The musicians who performed on the recording were Johnny Kidd (vocals), Alan Caddy (guitar), Brian Gregg (bass), Clem Cattini (drums) and Joe Moretti (lead guitar).  On hearing the finished song, the intended A-side (a revival of the oldie, "Yes Sir, That's My Baby") was instead relegated to the flip.

Kidd was quoted as saying:
When I was going round with a bunch of lads and we happened to see a girl who was a real sizzler, we used to say that she gave us 'quivers down the membranes'. It was a standard saying with us referring to any attractive girl. I can honestly say that it was this more than anything that inspired me to write "Shakin' All Over".

The song and the group's proto-power trio line-up both made a strong impression on The Who, who would cover it in their 1970 album Live at Leeds, and it is often hailed as the second British rock classic, following Cliff Richard's "Move It".

Kidd's recording was not a hit outside of Europe. In other parts of the world the song is better known by recordings of other artists.

Other Versions include :  Bobby Stevens (1960)  /  Tommy Bruce and The Bruisers (1961)  /  Vince Taylor et ses play-boys (1961)  / Johnny Chester with The Thunderbirds (1961)  /  The Searchers (1963)  /  Weedy : Les Swifts (1963)  / Swinging bum note : The Swinging Blue Jeans (1964)  /  Col Joye and The Joy Boys (1964)  /  The Rocking Ghosts (1964)  /  The Lords (1965)  /  Normie Rowe and The Playboys (1965)  /  Chad Allan & The Expressions (The Guess Who?)  (1965)  /  Mae West (1966)  /  The Who (1970)  /  Suzi Quatro (1973)  /  Flamin Groovies (1976)  /  Generation X (1979)  /  Lemon Kittens (1979)  /  Horslips (1980)  /  Those Darlins (2009)  /  Wanda Jackson (2010) 

On This Day :
Quote
1 August : Chuck D, (Public Enemy), born Carlton Douglas Ridenhour in Queens, New York
1 August : Aretha Franklin's 1st recording session
6 August : Chubby Checker performs his version of "The Twist" on "The Dick Clark Show" starting a worldwide dance craze.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2019, 05:23:59 PM by daf »

Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #70 on: June 22, 2019, 02:25:57 PM »


Rather marvelously he released a single in 1974 called "Do the Spunky Monkey" - sadly Cliff didn't return the favour & cover that one!


purlieu

  • Woo-hoo, Lord Nimon!
Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #71 on: June 22, 2019, 07:28:36 PM »
Ah, it's that song from Mind the Baby Mr. Bean.

Such a good twang on that guitar. Not hard to see how this song has endured.

daf

  • Linishing Ferrules
Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #72 on: June 22, 2019, 07:45:46 PM »
bonus : Shakin All Over Guitar Lesson

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
(was going to include it up there in the original post, but I missed the editing window)

bigfatheart

  • Breakdancing Detergent
Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #73 on: June 22, 2019, 10:30:21 PM »
Cows' version is good if extremely unfaithful.

Yeah, this is definitely one of the good 'uns.

machotrouts

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Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #74 on: June 23, 2019, 01:27:25 AM »
Good song. Jam. Ahead of its time. Blatantly rips off Franz Ferdinand's sound. Shameless. 0/10

Had to look up the Mr Bean thing because I didn't remember this in it. Hasn't endured as much as the Postman Pat theme clearly. Did you know the original broadcast of that episode was delayed by a year because of James Bulger? True. Because of the baby kidnap and that. Understandable. They are very similar you've got to admit. They eventually had to stop making Mr Bean because he kept inadvertently prophesying tragedies. The 1996 episode where he spends 5 years being radicalised by al-Qaeda before fucking a plane right into the World Trade Center has still never been broadcast and remains exclusive to VHS.

daf

  • Linishing Ferrules
Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #75 on: June 23, 2019, 02:00:01 PM »
Roll over Little Plum, and tell Big Twang the news, its . . .

106.  The Shadows - Apache



From : 21 August – 24 September 1960
Weeks : 5
Flip side : Quatermasster's Stores

Quote
The Shadows were not a typical backing group. They became contractually separate from Cliff Richard, and the group received no royalties for records backing Richard.

In 1959, the Shadows (then still the Drifters) landed an EMI recording contract of their own, for independent recordings. That year, they released three singles :
February : Feelin' Fine  / b/w Don't Be A Fool (With Love)  /  June : Jet Black  /  b/w Driftin'   /  December : Saturday Dance  /  b/w Lonesome Fella

Their next single - 'Apache' - would take them to the top of the charts, knocking themselves off the top spot (backing Cliff on 'Please Don't Tease') in the process.

Quote
"Apache" was written by English composer Jerry Lordan. The title "Apache" reflects the source of Lordan's inspiration: the 1954 American western film Apache.

The original recording was by British guitarist Bert Weedon in early 1960, but Lordan did not like the version, and it remained unreleased for several months. In mid-1960 the Shadows were on tour with Lordan as a supporting act. The band discovered "Apache" when Lordan played it on a ukulele. Lordan figured the tune would fit the Shadows; the band agreed, and recorded "Apache" in June 1960.

The recording was done at the EMI Abbey Road Studio in London. Singer-guitarist Joe Brown had bought an Italian-built guitar echo chamber that he did not like and gave it to Hank Marvin, who developed a distinctive sound using it and the tremolo arm of his Fender Stratocaster.

Bruce Welch borrowed an acoustic Gibson J200 guitar from Cliff Richard, the heavy melodic bass was by Jet Harris, percussion was by Tony Meehan and Cliff Richard, who played a Chinese drum at the beginning and end to provide an atmosphere of stereotypically Native American music.

Record producer Norrie Paramor preferred the flip side, an instrumental of the army song "The Quartermaster's Stores", punningly re-titled "The Quatermasster's Stores" after the TV series Quatermass. Paramor changed his mind after his daughter preferred "Apache". Released  in July 1960, it topped the UK Singles Chart for five weeks.

In a September 1963 interview with the NME, The Shadows said:
    What's the most distinctive sound of our group? We often wondered what it is ourselves.
    Really, it is the sound we had when we recorded "Apache" – that kind of Hawaiian sounding lead guitar ... plus the beat.


It has been cited by a generation of guitarists as inspirational and is considered one of the most influential British rock 45s of the pre-Beatles era.

Other Versions include :
Jerry Lordan (1960)  /  Sam Butera and The Witnesses (1961)  /  Al Caiola Guitars with Orchestra (1961)  /   The Downbeats (1961)  /  Jørgen Ingmann (1961)  / a rare vocal version by Sonny James (1961)  /  Si Zentner (1961)  /  Los Pekenikes (1961)  /  The Ventures (1962)  / Xavier Cugat and His Orchestra (1962)  /  The Cousins (1962)  /  Karel Duba (1963)  /  Aki Aleong and The Nobles (1963)  /  The Challengers (1963)  /  The Surfaris (1963)  /  The Phantoms (1963)  /  Davie Allan and The Arrows (1965)  /  The Aces Combo (1966)  /  Santo & Johnny (1968)  /  The Imposters (1969)  /  Edgar Broughton Band (1970)  /  The Exotic Guitars  (1971)  / moog version by Rod Hunter (1972)  /   Byron Lee and The Dragonaires (1973)  /  Hot Butter (1972)  / Klaus Wunderlich (1974)  / Rockets (1976)  / The Tommy Seebach Band (1977)  /  The Portsmouth Sinfonia (1979)  /  Bjelleklang (1992)  /  General Base (1993)  /  The California Guitar Trio (1995)  /  Ritchie Blackmore (1996)  /  Jimmy Thackery (2003)  /  Scooter (2005)  /  Cisco Herzhaft (2010)  /  17 Hippies (2007)

Quote
A 1973 version by the Incredible Bongo Band has been called "hip-hop’s national anthem". Although this version was not a hit on release, its long percussion break has been sampled countless times on hip hop and dance tracks since the 1980s.

In 1981, The Sugarhill Gang covered the Incredible Bongo Band's version of the song on its second album 8th Wonder.

Other songs that sample The Incredible Bongo Band's "Apache", include :
DJ Grandmaster Flash -  "The Adventures of Grandmaster Flash on the Wheels of Steel" (1981)  /  West Street Mob - "Break Dance (Electric Boogie)" (1983) /  Young MC -  "Know How" (1988)  /  MC Hammer - "Turn This Mutha Out" (1988)  /  C + C Music Factory - "Things That Make You Go Hmmm..." (1991) /  The Roots - "Thought @ Work" (2002) /  The Jimi Entley Sound (2002)

On This Day :
Quote
23 August : Oscar Hammerstein II, American lyricist who worked with Richard Rodgers, dies at 65
23 August : World's largest frog (3.3 kg) caught in Equatorial Guinea
25 August : XVII Summer Olympic Games open in Rome, Italy
26 August : Branford Marsalis, jazz saxophonist, born in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana
30 August : East Germany imposes a partial blockade on West Berlin
2 September : William Walton's 2nd Symphony, premieres
5 September : Cassius Clay [Muhammad Ali] beats Zbigniew Pietrzykowski of Poland to win Olympic light heavyweight boxing gold medal at the Rome Games
8 September : Aimee Mann, ('Til Tuesday), born in Bon Air, Virginia
8 September : David Steele, English musician (The Beat), born in Cowes, Isle of Wight
9 September : Hugh Grant, actor, born in Hammersmith, London,
11 September : Olympic games close in Rome Italy
11 September : Neal X [Whitmore], (Sigue Sigue Sputnik), born in Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire
12 September : "Vintage '60" opens at Brooks Atkinson Theater NYC
17 September : "Vintage '60" closes after 8 performances
24 September : USS Enterprise, 1st nuclear power aircraft carrier, launched to boldly go where no man has gone before
« Last Edit: June 23, 2019, 04:02:26 PM by daf »

purlieu

  • Woo-hoo, Lord Nimon!
Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #76 on: June 23, 2019, 02:09:56 PM »
Hurray!
My parents bought our family's first CD player for Christmas 1994, and my dad picked up a Shadows compilation in Woolworths to try it out. I had no interest in music before then, so that CD quite literally changed my life in a very big way.

Cor, it's still a hell of a tune, isn't it? There's a real sense of menace underlying it that just hasn't been there in this thread for a long time.

daf

  • Linishing Ferrules
Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #77 on: June 23, 2019, 05:54:31 PM »
Hearing the Sonny James vocal version was a weird experience - like watching a film with the audio description on : pipe down mate, the twang is already telling the story!

Johnboy

  • rub a dub dub
Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #78 on: June 23, 2019, 08:17:59 PM »
One of the best so far

machotrouts

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Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #79 on: June 24, 2019, 04:39:17 AM »
I'm so much more familiar with the Sugarhill Gang version – well, with 'We Run This' by Missy Elliott, which I spent my teens thinking was a wholly original composition – that I've ended up thinking it just sounds wrong played on a guitar. The quavering makes me itch a bit now that I'm accustomed to hearing this melody blared by a brass band in big bold primary colours.

This may also be why I can't hear any menace in it at all, and I love hearing menace in things. I will wring drops of menace out of any innocuous old shit. I found 'I'll Be Home' by Pat Boone menacing. But this is a celebratory tune about Missy Elliott running this shit! Woo! Shadows just don't know how to play it properly. ♪ My style can't be duplicated or recycled! ♪

Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #80 on: June 24, 2019, 09:37:26 AM »
Pretty sure I watched one of those "Top 10" shows Channel 4 used to do, and there was a segment on the Shadows that somewhat laughably tried to portray them as founding fathers of hip-hop, based on some figure from that scene enthusing about 'Apache'.

daf

  • Linishing Ferrules
Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #81 on: June 24, 2019, 02:00:00 PM »
Tell La Bamba I've nicked his name, its . . .

107.  Ricky Valance - Tell Laura I Love Her



From : 25 September – 15 October 1960
Weeks : 3
Flip side : Once Upon A Time

Quote
Ricky Valance was born David Spencer on 10 April 1939 in Ynysddu, Monmouthshire, Wales, he is the eldest of seven children.

After leaving the RAF, he performed in local clubs for a couple of years before he was discovered by an A&R representative from EMI, placed with the record producer Norrie Paramor and signed to EMI's Columbia label. At the first recording session, he was given the chance to cover Ray Peterson's American hit, "Tell Laura I Love Her". He was rewarded with a number 1 hit in September 1960, thanks to airplay on Radio Luxembourg.

It was for ‘Tell Laura’ that Spencer chose his new stage name, and it is an issue on which he is particularly sensitive, especially if anyone suggests that his name has anything to do with the late Richie Valens - which is obviously just a complete (ahem) "coincidence".
As Ricky explains  :
“I’d always liked the name Ricky and when looking for a surname to go with it, one day I was at a horse racing meeting when I noticed that the trainer of one of the the horses was a Colonel Valance, which I immediately liked and so, Ricky Valance was born.”

("Well, I like the name Ellis, and my favourite herb is Parsley, so . . . .")

After topping the UK Singles Chart, Valance appeared in the 1961 A Song For Europe competition, hoping to represent the UK in the upcoming Eurovision Song Contest. His song, "Why Can't We?", placed third out of the nine entries; the winner was "Are You Sure?" performed by the Allisons.

Further singles included :  'Movin' Away'  /   'Jimmy's Girl'  /  ‘Bobby’   /  ‘Don’t Play Number 9’ /  and ‘Six Boys’ 

With arrival of the Merseybeat sounds of 1963, Ricky departed from Columbia Records and took a different path into acting, television, theatre and country music.

He lives with his wife in Cabo Roig on the outskirts of Torrevieja on the Costa Blanca in Spain, where he enjoys the freedom of the nearest golf course and can often be seen playing in Charity events in the UK and Spain with many of his show business friends. A few years ago he was invited to host his own Talk Show in Spain and is presently the star of ‘Play A Round With Ricky’, a golfing based chat show, based on the Costa Blanca.

Quote
"Tell Laura I Love Her", a teenage tragedy song written by Jeff Barry and Ben Raleigh, was an American Top Ten hit for singer Ray Peterson in 1960 on RCA Victor Records, reaching #7 on the U.S. chart.

"Tell Laura I Love Her" is the tragic story of a teenage boy named Tommy who is desperately in love with a girl named Laura. Although they are only teenagers, he wants to marry her, so he enters a stock car race, hoping to win, and use the prize money to buy Laura a wedding ring. Tommy is fatally injured and his last words are "Channel 5 is all shit, isn't it? Christ, the crap they put on there. It's a waste of space" "Tell Laura I love her... My love for her will never die."

The lyrics of "Tell Laura I Love Her" originally concerned a rodeo, not an automobile race, as composer Jeff Barry was an aficionado of cowboy culture. However, at RCA's instigation Barry rewrote the song, in order to more closely resemble the #1 hit "Teen Angel".

Decca Records in England decided not to release Ray Peterson's 1960 recording on the grounds that it was "too tasteless and vulgar" and destroyed about twenty thousand copies that had already been pressed. A cover version by Ricky Valance, released by EMI on the Columbia label, was No. 1 on the UK Singles Chart for three weeks, becoming the second Welsh singer to reach the top spot after Shirley Bassey (with "As I Love You" in February 1959).

John Leyton attended an audition with producer Joe Meek and subsequently recorded the song, which was released on the Top Rank label. At that time, however, Top Rank was undergoing a takeover by EMI, which had already released Ricky Valance's version of the same song, so the John Leyton recording was withdrawn from sale.

Other Versions include :  Paul Rich (1960)  /  Dickey Lee (1962)  /  Don Lee Wilson (1964)  /  J. Frank Wilson & the Cavaliers (1964)  /  Faroe Boys (1967)  /  Sha Na Na (1971)  /  Creation (1973)  /  Albert West (1973)  /   Johnny T. Angel (1974)  /  Wednesday (1974)  /  Svenne & Lotta (1975)   /  Curt Haagers (1975)  /  The Boppers (1978)  /  Billy Connolly (1981) 

International Versions include : 
Dutch : 'Ik blijf van Laura houden' by Charles Tuinenburg and The Melody Strings (1960)
Croatian : 'Lora, ja te volim' by Miodrag Jevremović  (1962)
Italian : 'Dite a Laura che l'amo' by Michele (1966)   
Finnish : 'Sua kauheesti kaipaan' by Hector (1974) 
French : 'Dites lui que je l'aime' by Frank Michael (1974)
Danish : 'Hils Lillian kærligt' by Heaven (1975)
German : "Sag' Laura, ich liebe sie" by Rudolf Rock & die Schocker (1984)

An answer song, "Tell Tommy I Miss Him," was released by Marilyn Michaels in 1960   /  Laura Lee  (1960)  /  Skeeter Davis (1961)

On This Day :
Quote
27 September : Sylvia Pankhurst, English suffragette, dies in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, aged 78
28 September : Jennifer Rush, singer, born Heidi Stern in Astoria in Queens, New York
29 September : "lrma La Douce" opens at Plymouth Theater NYC for 527 performances
5 October : British Labour party demands unilateral nuclear disarmament
6 October : Richard Jobson, (The Skids), born in Kirkcaldy, Fife, Scotland
6 October : "Spartacus", directed by Stanley Kubrick, opens at the DeMille Theatre in New York City.
10 October : "Laughs & Other Events" opens at Barrymore Theater NYC (and closes after 8 performances)
12 October : Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev bangs his shoe on his desk at UN General Assembly session, the big ninny!
14 October : Steve Cram, English runner, born in Gateshead, County Durham

purlieu

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Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #82 on: June 24, 2019, 02:07:38 PM »
Back down into the pits again.

gilbertharding

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Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #83 on: June 24, 2019, 02:38:35 PM »
Pretty sure I watched one of those "Top 10" shows Channel 4 used to do, and there was a segment on the Shadows that somewhat laughably tried to portray them as founding fathers of hip-hop, based on some figure from that scene enthusing about 'Apache'.

Yeah, I remember that. It promised a lot, if I recall, building up clickbait style to "You'll never guess who the kings of all hip hop are???!!" before the reveal.

A stretch... The Shadows didn't even write Apache, but it could be argued if they hadn't recorded it, it wouldn't have been a hit and the Incredible Bongo Band wouldn't have covered it, and then all those early hip hop DJs would have had to find a different hook. Lot of 'ifs' there... but then there are a lot of obscure R&B singles with killer breaks, I bet.

gilbertharding

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Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #84 on: June 24, 2019, 02:42:38 PM »
Quite a good way to get a hit single that - make your song about a tragic vehicular accident. There's this one, obv... and Leader of the Pack (quite a lot of people fail to survive a Shangri Las song)... and the best in my opinion: Terry by Twinkle.

Only need two more and we've got a genre.

Were they all banned by the BBC?

Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #85 on: June 24, 2019, 02:43:24 PM »
A stretch... The Shadows didn't even write Apache, but it could be argued if they hadn't recorded it, it wouldn't have been a hit and the Incredible Bongo Band wouldn't have covered it, and then all those early hip hop DJs would have had to find a different hook. Lot of 'ifs' there... but then there are a lot of obscure R&B singles with killer breaks, I bet.
A lot of those 'ifs" can be nixed by knowing the Shadows didn't have a hit with the song in America - one Jørgen Ingmann took it to #2 over there.

Quite a good way to get a hit single that - make your song about a tragic vehicular accident. There's this one, obv... and Leader of the Pack (quite a lot of people fail to survive a Shangri Las song)... and the best in my opinion: Terry by Twinkle.

Only need two more and we've got a genre.
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Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #86 on: June 24, 2019, 02:49:13 PM »
Quite a good way to get a hit single that - make your song about a tragic vehicular accident. There's this one, obv... and Leader of the Pack (quite a lot of people fail to survive a Shangri Las song)... and the best in my opinion: Terry by Twinkle.

Only need two more and we've got a genre.

Were they all banned by the BBC?

Teenage tragedy songs - or death discs - are regarded as a sub genre. Dead Man's Curve by Jan & Dean is another morbid cracker.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teenage_tragedy_song

It would seem the BBC had no problem whatsoever with songs about teenagers meeting a grisly fate, as they never banned any of those records.

Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #87 on: June 24, 2019, 05:40:07 PM »
My sister came to truly despise that song in her youth.

Not sure why. She's called Sharon.

machotrouts

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Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #88 on: June 25, 2019, 03:58:21 AM »
There are plenty of songs I've liked up to this point, but I'd long considered Teen Traffic Tragedy Pop to be, chronologically, the first genre of chart-topper I liked, rather than just going "well this is alright as far as rock and roll goes" every now and then.

Unfortunately, on the evidence of this, and that list on Wikipedia, I don't know what gave me that impression. I think maybe just 'Johnny Remember Me' and my vivid childhood memory of a Stars in Their Eyes contestant doing 'Leader of the Pack' in the style of Julian Clary (!?). I sort of hoped this would sound like, I don't know, a bloke Lana Del Rey or something. It's not good. The backing vocals seem horribly misjudged?

♪ He couldn't get Laura on the phone, so to her mother, Tommy said "BOM BOM BOM BOM!" ♪
♪ But as they pulled him from the twisted wreck, with his dying breath, they heard him say "BOM BOM BOM BOM!" ♪

These days, Ricky Valance has a Twitter account with 142 followers.

(I know this from my deadpooling research. Haven't had him on my team yet, but I've preemptively pencilled him in for his second heart attack in 2020. Hopefully the 'Tell Laura I Love Her' hitmaker doesn't have a problem with ghoulish death voyeurism.)

buzby

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Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #89 on: June 25, 2019, 12:51:52 PM »
...my vivid childhood memory of a Stars in Their Eyes contestant doing 'Leader of the Pack' in the style of Julian Clary (!?).
Julian Clary used to do it as part of his Joan Collins Fan Club act (and released it as a single in 1988). A bloke called Steve Edward covered Julian's version on Stars In Their Eyes on March 22nd 1997. Are you really that young?