Monday, 28 July 2014

Stars on 45RPM: Hit The Ground / Pretty Girl by The Darling Buds

Newport band The Darling Buds biggest hit single in chart terms was their second hit entitled Hit The Ground which spent five weeks on the UK chart in January 1989.

The Darling Buds were formed in Caerleon in 1986 and took their name from the title of  HE Bates novel The Darling Buds of May.

Fronted by Andrea Lewis the band came to prominence with their first release If I Said before a signing to Native Records and coming to John Peel's attention. The band would later be signed to Epic Records.

The single Burst gained particular prominence and several showings on Channel 4's The Chart Show in 1988 and managed to bubble under the top 40 for several weeks, however it was Hit The Ground covered with Pretty Girl that gave the band Top 40 success in early 1989.

I particularly remember the band for their hard edged feel good vibe and colourful videos. My copy of Hit The Ground was bought in Woolworths in Richmond, Yorkshire not long after it was released. So I'd like to think I actually helped get it to No.27!

Their album Pop Said followed shortly afterwards and I actually got my copy by swapping an old Tracey Ullman album with someone who wasn't as impressed with The Darling Buds as I was, a fair exchange at the time!

It would be many years later that I discovered The Darling Buds were a Newport band when working in The South Wales Argus newsroom and seeing a reporter had just interviewed Andrea Lewis! Small world!

I understand Andrea has since entered the world of acting but also recently reformed The Darling Buds for a selection of dates.

So there's still a hope I may see them live someday!

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Retro Vinyl Find: All Of Me by Shirley Bassey (Regal Starline, SRS 5032, 1970)

Shirley Bassey - All Of Me SRS 5032

All Of Me by Shirley Bassey (Regal Star Line SRS 5032) is another 20p find from a charity shop.

This time celebrating Tiger Bay's first lady of song returning to UK shores in 1970 from the USA  by highlighting tracks recorded in the early 1960s when she was signed to EMI's Columbia label.

As usual with Shirley Bassey compilations theres a nice mixture of songs from shows (Tonight from West Side Story, Moon River from Breakfast At Tiffany's) and a selection of popular songs (Ev'rytime We Say Goodbye, All Of Me and A Lovely Way To Spend an Evening).

Shirley Bassey: All of Me 
(Regal Starline, SRS 5032, Stereo, 1970)
Produced by Norman Newell

Side One
  1. Who Are We?
  2. Tonight
  3. Ev'rytime We Say Goodbye
  4. Moon River
  5. All Of Me
  6. A Foggy Day
  7. If You Love Me
Side Two
  1. Imagination
  2. So In Love
  3. I'm In The Mood For Love
  4. How Can You Tell
  5. Love Is A Many Splendored Thing
  6. I'll Get By (As Long As I Have You)
  7. A Lovely Way To Spend An Evening
Featuring orchestral accompaniment from Nelson Riddle and Geoff Love.

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Treading The Boards: Dora Bryan

Following the death of the actress Dora Bryan earlier this week at the age of 91, I thought it would be nice to include Dora's mini biography from a Dick Whittington theatre programme from 1977.

As previously stated in our Treading The Boards feature, Dora played The Sultana of Morocco in this production which took place at Eastbourne's Congress Theatre, opposite Harry H Corbett and Anita Harris.

There was of course much more to Dora Bryan than her stage appearances, a regular face on television in the 60s and 70s as well as numerous film appearances, among them A Taste of Honey, Carry On Sergeant and Two A Penny.

She also dabbled in the recording world releasing numerous singles and albums her most famous probably been All I Want For Christmas Is A Beatle!

Other Dora Bryan facts are that she appeared on BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs twice, in 1956 and 1987. Her luxury items were slides of her family (in 1956) and a stuffed dog (in 1987). Fans can hear Dora's Desert Island Discs from 1987 at The Desert Island Discs website.

Friday, 25 July 2014

Retro Vinyl Find: A Song For Everyone by Peter Dawson (Music For Pleasure MFP 1144)

Peter Dawson - A Song For Everyone (MFP 1144)
Here's another 20p vinyl find on the Music For Pleasure label from last Saturday. Many of Music For Pleasure's releases featured recordings by popular artists from previous decades.

An early example is this compilation from the 1960s (circa 1966)  looking at the work of Australian Baritone Peter Dawson (1882 -1961).

Entitled A Song For Everyone (MFP 1144), this release highlighted 12 of Dawson's recordings from the 1920s and 1930s.

Keith Davis provided the artwork cover of a fishing harbor, no doubt to illustrate the track Fishermen of England. Other songs to appear on A Song For Everyone included Old Father Thames, When The Sergeant Major's On Parade and Roses Of Picardy.

Peter Dawson:  A Song For Everyone
(Music For Pleasure, MFP1144, Mono, 1967)

Side 1
  1. When The Sergeant Major's On Parade
  2. Roses Of Picardy
  3. The Gay Highway
  4. Song Of The Flea
  5. Fishermen Of England
  6. The Erl King

Side 2
  1. The Bandolero
  2. Boots
  3. Somewhere A Voice Is Calling
  4. Old Father Thames
  5. Song Of The Volga Boatmen
  6. I Travel The Road