Wednesday, 3 October 2012

TOTP 11/10/73 (tx 3/10/12): an intermission

Kenny Everett*'s Top Of The Pops record is a slightly odd one. He had a one-off go in November 1967 as co-host with Pete Murray, at a time when the show was working its way through the whole Radio 1 roster checking who might be good on telly - Tony Blackburn had debuted two weeks earlier. Clearly Everett's groundbreaking style hadn't transferred well to the screen just yet but in 1973 there was a sudden outbreak of activity which saw him present six TOTPs in six months, of which this was the last and is the only known survivor. This was almost exactly the length of his final stint on Radio 1 on Sunday afternoons before jumping ship to the breakfast show on the newly minted Capital Radio, which launched on 16th November, and being replaced on the Pops roster by DLT. Bar a cameo on the 25th anniversary show and a play for a video of his later in 1977 this was it for Everett's contribution to the show.

This is additionally TOTP number 501, Kenny having been one of four hosts for number 500 (the majority of which no longer exists - why would you wipe a special 500th edition?), number 499 having seen the debut of the celebrated circular logo. What's more this isn't taken from the original broadcast tape but from the unedited studio rushes, with retakes and errors, and as the original slot was 35 minutes this is an entirely new sort-of-director's cut. Exciting, isn't it?

(* Note for confused future readers: BBC4 made a Kenny Everett docu-drama and this was dredged up to make it a theme night alongside a couple of compilations of his BBC1 shows)

The gaudy-glam titles (which had been introduced those two weeks before, and look like this) are followed by a shot of the entrance, various people milling about before racing out and onstage comes...

Oh, we're off alright. David Cassidy's Puppy Song underpins the rundown, intercut with people dancing awkwardly as was their wont. As a man who looks like Brian Murphy from George & Mildred in a yellow bobble hat stands warily behind Kenny claims he's been "milking things I daren't mention" on the farm until being called to London. It's already fair to say nobody else presents like this.

Electric Light Orchestra – Showdown
There's a transparent umbrella on a stand at the back and the cellists are in full evening dress but the most glaring thing on stage is the breadth and depth of Jeff Lynne's facial hair, covering the entire circumference of his face with extra room to grow outwards, giving him the look of a hirsute deformed doughnut. The back of the set should be mentioned too, presumably a nod to the glamour of the gypsy dancing girl of the titles but instead seemingly based on a weak Barbarella cartoon:

Someone is literally bouncing up and down as we go back to Kenny, who is propositioning a female audience member STOP IT with a phrase that changed some of its intended meaning in the subsequent two decades: "what you doing after the show? We've got a rave going on in the pigsty if you fancy..." His mock attempt to regain composure leads him calling the song Raining All Over The World.

Elton John – Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
Then he calls this Goodbye Yellow Rose Of Kentucky, which means you can't tell whether that was deliberate or not. Not so much a video as a travelogue, this, as Elton stands in a variety of rooms, walks around an orchard, wanders around Sunset Boulevard, puts his arm round a man in a cowboy hat outside the Nudie Suit manufacturers and lets the camera linger a little too long on a Hollywood Boulevard shop called Drug King.

Michael Ward – Let There Be Peace On Earth (Let It Begin With Me)
Would have been here, except being longer than the slot (with no repeat) something had to give, and the youngest winner of Opportunity Knocks was it. Seems we also lost an interview, which is a shame just for how that would have played out between manaical in-character Everett and naive Ward.

Status Quo – Caroline
"Tony Blackburn gets fresh sets of teeth every day, but me..." One of Quo's 728 show appearances or whatever they're claiming now causes a number of youngsters at the front to hop from foot to foot, this presumably how rock was greeted in the days before the loudness wars, except for a small child in a tank top right by the back of the stage who is running on the spot. It should have caught on. A girl on the opposite side attempts to make small talk with her David Essex-resembling partner to little effect. Drummer John Coughlan, looking exquisitely bored at the front, looks the model for Derek Smalls of Spinal Tap. Throughout Quo are denimed and ready to go.

The Detroit Spinners – Ghetto Child
For some reason Kenny is in a star frame. Cuddling Camera 1 he throws to Pan's People, here in their classic Babs/Dee Dee/Ruth/Louise/TOCG lineup. They begin by... spinning across the stage, there, then back. Nothing gets past Flick. In full red jumpsuits with flared trousers, which is pretty much what you'd expect from a fully covered Pan's People wardrobe, there's some lining up and moving out in order, then some fun with raising arms against a backlit sheet which means spending whole choruses looking away from us.

Engelbert Humperdinck – Love Is All
Kenny noisily kisses one of the wall adornments ("cheese and onion!" Not unreasonably at least one audience member looks disturbed at this) as Brian Murphy grins his features off. Why didn't they keep this caption on?

Because it doesn't make sense, I suppose. Enge, face of woodstain and days in heavy wind, sideburns big enough to hide woodland mammals in, stares down an audience that looks oddly small in number and big ballads them into pliant submission. When he hits the break and the orchestra brass section is blaring away he gazes contentedly into the lighting gantry and then straightens out the mike lead. Massive notes, massive cymbals, Vegas ending, but even those swaying gently at the start are making like Easter Island heads, apart from the man in a leather jacket who chooses the apex of the climactic held note to check his watch ostentatiously. The applause is notable sparing. "Eee, what a grand song! What fun we're having!" Kenny lies. Then he collapses.

Slade – My Friend Stan
People don't tend to remember the period Slade experimented with John McCririck as singer.

Jim Lea's piano has two MY FRIEND STAN stickers on, as does Noddy's underused guitar. Yeah, but when you come to the next single (Merry Xmas Everybody, as it goes) you try getting all the bits off. By his standards Dave Hill is toned down in a kimono and sporting his infamous 'SUPER YOB' guitar. Not as much stomping as you'd imagine but a lot of moving and clapping along, including one woman out on her own in a floor-length gown. She must have thought her partner was taking her somewhere better.

Limmie & The Family Cookin' – Dreamboat

Oh, but they had money to burn on graphic design in those days. After complementing a woman's "fine set of udders" - ohhhh, everyone - Kenny, reading off the script in his hand, introduces their "second in a long series of two hits", which is as unintentionally cutting as anything Noel would later come out with. The camera then moves from gantry to stage like a guided missile, a floor manager in its path attempting to half-heartedly duck before almost literally running for his life. Some sort of graphical representation of rainfall threatens to get in the way but disappears as the vocals start, leaving a very clean shot - three singers on stage, audience awkwardly shuffling in front. It's when the director gets clever and, say, closes in out of focus on someone's hoop earring that overcomplicates things. Helpfully we see the camera encroach on that side of the trio shortly afterwards, surely blocking lots of people's view. The pan back finds five young men not quite sure what they're doing being looked at like that, before the reveal that Kenny is sitting on the floor. "Can I bring some cows next week? They're housetrained" he supposedly asks the director via a yellow box of indeterminate source.

Simon Park Orchestra – Eye Level
"Here's a group that's just like a violin, all varnished and covered in string". None of that makes sense, but given the time and no prior knowledge neither does an orchestra of men in mustard coloured jumpers being number one. The theme to Van Der Valk, of course, given the full live treatment, and it's fair to say Park does his job better than Martyn Ford later would. Kenny does a strange bandy legged walk, gibbers before falling over by way of exit, and Nutbush City Limits over the credits as the camera focuses largely on another camera. That was 1973, then. Can't we stay here?


grimwig said...

brilliant brilliant brilliant. As you say can't we stay here?

Tyrone Jenkins said...

Strangely muted studio graphics considering this was the high-watermark of Glam. Great shots of the audience in their trouser suits, floral dresses, tank tops, shirts with collars that required permission from the local planning department, a typical cross section of early 70s style.
Kenny Everett: better value for money than DLT or Tony Blackburn. The latter is better in his current 'Pick of the pops' incarnation.

THX said...

Nice to see the audience so into it (oh... well, bad luck Englebert) but I did notice the canned applause they use for the 76and 77 shows was missing, was that because of this new edit or did they not use it back then? If not, you can see why they did later on, if the audience was sparse/unenthusiastic.

Liked the New Release and Tip for the Top cartoons too, Noel could have done with those, though they might have gotten embarrassing given the DJs' track record of prediction.

That Detroit Spinners track is a great one, but the dance routine was a bit blah. I suppose we should be glad they didn't do their acting out the lyrics business.

Dunno why, but I've always really liked Eye Level, one of the great theme tunes from a show I barely remember watching afternoon repeats of in the late 70s. Surely the least pop star-looking bunch to appear for a while, though.

Just great to see Kenny, and the interview later on was fascinating as he obviously didn't want to be there - being interviewed or at the BBC.

The drama-biopic was pretty depressing, I'd have preferred a documentary though it was well done. He didn't speak like that all the time, though, did he?

eightiespopkid said...

Ruddy fantastic stuff.

By the way, Kenny did make an appearance in March 1983 with a brief interview before the credits rolled and the audience danced to "Snot Rap" thus propelling it into the Top 10 the following week. Looking forward to seeing that edition again, if we're allowed.

Steve Williams said...

As mentioned, that set was demented, Englebert giving his all in front of a bad mural. Yet despite the studio looking massive, everyone seemed really crammed in, the stages themselves were tiny. Note the drummers at the front, a big Pops tradition to the extent that when Oasis first appeared they asked for the drummer to go at the front.

They were clearly big on the Gilliam-esque animations, and I liked in the chart rundown the big zoom in on the picture of Simon Park, and I imagine everyone at home in 2012 going "Who the hell's that?". You can see in 1977 that everything like the graphics and the opening titles were clearly far too much trouble to bother with.

When Limmie came back six months later to do Walking Miracle, a performance we see a lot as it's on one of the few surviving 1974 editions, she had a huge afro so clearly she had the relaxers out for some time before this performance. The violinist (Violinski?) from ELO proving again the violin is the worst instrument to do rock poses with, standing their stock still for most of it. I liked the guitarist looking a bit like a bank manager.

Presumably the reason Ken didn't do more Pops during his first stint at Radio 1 is because of a story he tells in his autobiography about Granada phoning up his agent to ask him to present Nice Time and his agent telling them they didn't want to hire Ken, he was unreliable, they wanted to hire their other client Tony Blackburn. Such a shame Ken left the Beeb a few weeks later, imagine this instead of DLT for the next decade.

Arthur Nibble said...

Blimey, I remember those weird starting credits! A cross between the Fry's Turkish Delight ad and an amusement arcade. I forgot they used to intersperse the chart rundown with live action shots and not namecheck the number one - I wonder how many people thought "Who the hell's that?". Shame we didn't get to hear "I've Been Hurt" by Guy Darrell. Had Bobby Pickett eaten some off chicken to go that green colour?

Proof that they were far hairier times in the early 70’s – you could barely see Jeff Lynne’s facial features, even Elton John had hair on top, and the main backdrop looked like something you’d find in a ladies’ salon (the other mural looked like Dracula tempting you with a plate of meatballs). I really should have bought shares in shampoo manufacturers back then. As for our Ken, mad as a box of frogs and pre-empting the House of Wurzel fashion sense, and a capital outing for that man. Boom boom! When did he make that remark about the Transport Secretary’s wife passing her driving test?

I used to enjoy (or was it endure?) the boy Cassidy in "The Partridge Family" but, then again, I was very young and naive. Proof that Status Quo have been round since the dinosaur. I noticed Kenny used the catchphrase “Pin back your lugholes” to introduce ver Quo. Did he nick that phrase from Cyril Fletcher of “That’s Life” or vice versa? I see Slade beat The Boomtown Rats’ ad style by five years with stickers on piano and bass advertising the song, but the lyrics? “The way you black my eye?” Was it caused by the chap with SuperYob on his guitar?

At least we were spared Michael Ward, an early slappable prototype of Aled Jones, and straight to...beautiful Babs! Can’t remember her name! And the late lamented Louise, bless her...and The Previously Omnipresent Cherry Gillespie! Sigh, just like old times. A silky smooth routine, though which director had the idea of loads of, silhouette backdrop shots? Not complaining, mind. Like ten hard boiled eggs in five hankies.

I loved the of-their-times logos for new release, tip for the top and number one. Sadly, only one was any use this week, proof that it wasn’t just Noel who was a rubbish tipster. Engelbert’s ballad only reached 44 – he was on the down slope chartwise by now and only managed one more week in the top 40 - and Limmie and the Family Cooking (didn’t realise they included a bloke) only made 31. Remember, folks, Eng was our Eurovision entry nearly 40 years later. Giggly girls in the front row, and a bored chap checking his watch near the end. Happy memories of Jerry in “The Good Life” enjoying The Hump and a curry when Margo was out. Classic.

Not as classic, though, as the chap running out of camera range as if avoiding a racing car just prior to Limmie’s disjointed four-songs-in-one attempt. At least you knew where you stood with Simon Park and the Star Trek Orchestra. Eat that, Pearson! You could see those craftsmen of the crotchet purring, thinking “This is the sort of music we want to play on the show, not that pop crap”. For anyone interested, this was a re-issue or re-make having only made 41 a year earlier, and the B-side to this eventual million seller was the end credit theme to “Crown Court”. This was one of only two singles my dad's mum owned - the other was "Milly Molly Mandy" by Glyn Poole, an offcut from the vile children's variety show "Junior Showtime".

Ah well, back to the future tonight...sort of.

PS - That ten minute TOTP / interview slot was informative, weird and hilarious, and some of those questions were almost psychic. Loved the "I'll let you know" backchat from the young girl!

Zygon said...

Jeff 'Werewolf' Lynne

Damn, we need to see more of this era!

Tyrone Jenkins said...

Strangely Kenny reminded me of John Lydon in the interview with the two kids. You'll probably think "What the f***is he on about?!" but there was something in the facial expressions, vocal mannerisms and responses that suggested the later Mr Rotten. I know that Lydon has suggested that he filched aspects of his public persona from various sourses, primarily Oliviers Richard 111 and the acerbic Peter Cook; I wonder if K. Everett was also an inspiration?!

Tyrone Jenkins said...

I've just noticed my misspelling of 'sources'. A product of a 70s education!

Arthur Nibble said...

Such a shame so few TOTPs of this era exist, and I agree wistfully with other comments - to think we could have been treated to this on a regular basis and got lumbered with DLT instead.

Anonymous said...

Spot on, Tyrone, I thought Kenny was very Lydonesque.

The 1973 show was more vibrant in places than the "current" 1977 ones we have. I wondered whether this was near or around the 500 mark (they bloody wiped Roxy Music!). Kenny seems ill at ease compared to his 1978 video shows.

Where do you get your info about the shows, Simon?

charlie cook said...

Brilliant! Perhaps the Beeb could package a whole series of the early shows on a DVD?
Was one of the pans people girls pregnant or was it just a case of 'does my tum look big in this'? Nice to see lovely Babs again.

John G said...

Was that kid in the tank top watching Quo Michael Ward? He looked similar to the chart picture, and it would explain why the camera focused in on him.

I really enjoyed this show. Kenny was inspired, and the whole thing was so much more lively and exciting than the vast majority of 76/77 shows. Great to see My Friend Stan featured too - one of my favourite Slade songs, but one you never hear on the radio nowadays.

Anonymous said...

Engelbert Humperdinck probably inspired Harry Hill's big collars! The TOTP title sequence in 1973 which preceded this one featured a reference to the Eagles, who at that time hadn't had a British hit single - is that available anywhere on the net?

Simon said...

Arthur: the Mary Peyton (to give her a name) incident was July 1970, and contemporary reports suggest it was as much because he'd criticised the BBC in a Melody Maker interview. He returned to the BBC local radio network a little while later and then to Radio 1 in 1972.

The Man: this was show 501, one of only eight (including Christmas) that survive in full. Given how many classic Pops performances are still around from that year - The Jean Genie, Blockbuster, Whiskey In The Jar, My Coo-Ca-Choo, Pan's People's Get Down and Monster Mash, Merry Xmas Everybody where Noddy gets custard pied - the whole thing must have been fascinating and lively. The info comes from a highly secret source (Popscene - see the sidebar)

John G: good spot, though I also thought it might be the kid in Meet... (which, by the way, is here on iPlayer)

wilberforce said...

great to see this show from a different era which is similar in some ways and yet different in others - more please, bbc! i wasn't sure what kind of statement kenny was trying to make in his "farmer palmer" outfit, and it seemed he couldn't make his mind up to keep in character or revert back to his usual zany self. i'm guessing the yellow "telephone" he had an imaginary conversation on was a guitar effects pedal...?

what the f*ck was the hump doing in amongst all this? presumably gordon mills had taken the producer out for a very good lunch, or else he had turned up at the totp studio instead of the two ronnies' one by mistake? anyway, whatever the reason his appearance brings the words "pork pie" and "barmitzah" to mind, and the audience unlucky enough to have to stand in front of him reflected that with their couldn't-give-a-sh*t stance - you could almost see the thought bubbles saying "old people's music"...

i'm ashamed to say that not only can i not 100% remember if "caroline" was the first-ever single i bought (it could have been "ballroom blitz"), but also that i must have been 11 at the time, which now seems rather embarrasingly late to have started collecting records... nonetheless, a pleasant stroll down memory lane, and francis didn't have that stupid ponytail back then!

Fuller said...

The kid in the tank top only looked about 12, thought you had to be older than that to get into TOTP. Looked like he was having a whale of a time with his two chums.
Anyone else notice the girl with the big spots on her trousers lose her balance and fall off the small stage during Slade ?
All great fun, and I just dug out my diary from 1973 when I was 12 years old (sad git that I am, I've kept 'em all) and I can confirm that the entry says I watched that very evening on 11th October 1973, Tomorrows World, TOTP, Mastermind and Eastward With Attenborough. Before that I played football in the garden with my two pals. Happiest of days......

Noax said...

Oh, that's lovely Fuller - don't I think I ever write down my TV viewing in my diary sadly!

This show was lovely too, and a real trip into the unknown as I was trying to guess what the songs would be from the artists mentioned on the TV guide (which included Michael Ward!) and yes - I had no idea who that was at Number 1 from the picture alone.

Incidentally, the tradition of cardboard cutouts and oddly coloured pictures in the rundown is one that did endure, even if the waterskiing lady 'New Release!' caption didn't.

Nice of Kenny to back announce ELO's song as one that would be a disappointingly minor hit for a completely different band about 20 years later (look it up!) rather than give it the proper title. Not one of my fave ELO tunes, I got the feeling Ken didn't care for it much either. As well as Jeff Lynne's face fuzz, I enjoyed the almost completely square glasses. he had on.

I've never seen that 'video' for Elton's tune before - although it's more like Reggie's holiday snaps, isn't it really? Great song, anyway.

The biggest shout of the night from me was predictably 'CHERRY GILLESPIE!!' though close-ups were sadly lacking.

It's amazing how little separates the Hump of 73 from his Eurovision incarnation of nearly 40 years later. A 'proper' live rendition of a bland song to great public indifference.

Not keen on the Slade song, one of their weaker ones for me. Strange to think THAT tune was still to come. I was also hoping that Limmie & The Family Cookin' would be one of the 2 good singles, not this one.

I actually enjoyed The Simon Park Orchestra doing the theme to 'Mid Morning Matters with Alan Partridge'. This song, as instrumentals occasionally do, inspired a vocal version by Matt Monro too. Which I also like, for some reason.

As for our host, he was ace of course. I really hope we get to 1983 so we can see him for 'Snot Rap' which got played to death in my house. Imagine my shock when I found that a 7" called 'Snot Rap Part 2' had come out after I found it in a second-hand shop. Imagine my lack of shock to discover that it wasn't very good.

Bamaboogiewoogie said...

This was an absolute treat with Kenny at his zany best. I must admit that until recently I didn't even know that Kenny had
presented any editions of TOTP and certainly not in October 1973 by which time I thought he'd jumped ship and gone to Capital although I now realise that was literally the week after this broadcast.

With that in mind the word "EXIT" that the cameraman focused on when Kenny made his entrance was rather apt - perhaps an in-joke by the producer (Robin 'Bow tie' Nash).

Did anyone else notice that Kenny almost knocked over ELO drummer Bev Bevan when he made his ungainly entrance?

I'm guessing he was dressed like country yokel because he famously lived on a farm in Wales (as featured in the play). The audience seemed to be genuinely
happy. How lucky they were to be there.

David Cassidy doing a cover of a Harry Nilsson song, I'd forgotten about that one. It was actually a double A side with Daydreamer. It got to number one!

Ah ELO with the wonderfuly-named Michael D'Albaqueque on bass (he of the corduroy suit, big specs and roll neck sweater). He also released a solo album around this time called We May All Be Cattle But We've All Got Names.

Never seen that video for Goodbye Yellow Brick Road before. Elton clearly had difficultly walking in those stack-heeled boots, and he had trouble getting in the car. I noticed his manager John Reid in the shop sequence at the end.

Poor old Michael Ward didn't make the edit but I agree that it was him in the audience as he seemed younger than the rest. Someone mentioned the other child singer Glyn Poole. I knew him for a while in the 1980s when he worked at the film library of Granada TV (I worked for a film research company). Not long after he was 'rediscovered' and was going to resurrect his singing career but it never came to anything.

When he started I thought Engelbert was going to break into a cover of The Beatles' Yesterday but it was a typical Hump dirge, not far off the sack-of-shite he presented at Eurovision.

Limme and The Family Cooking were real life brothers and sisters, a poor man's Sly and The family Stone. I love the fact that this 'Tip for the Top' only got to number 31. Their others two hits were much better.

Simon Park's real name was Simon Haseley (that's not you is it Simon?) and he composed a few TV themes including most memorably the ITV murder-mystery panel game Whodunnit. I've got the Eye Level LP and it also includes the theme to Man About The House.

Incidentally Simon Park's orchestra were the same as the Top of the Pops orchestra, both included more-or-less the same people but in this case they were encouraged to wear matching puke-coloured rolls neck sweaters and black trousers.

I loved the opening credit sequence with the overlaid shots of pinball machines, slot machines, the girl dancer in the headdress and what looked like Picadilly Circus. And we essentially get the rundown twice - I remember those animated numbers very well. My favourites are Elvis as number 7 and the way number 20 is a venetian blind and closes turning into number 19. But number 17 looks two stubbed out cigarettes. That's what's missing from the 1977 editions (titles, not stubbed out cigarettes) but I suppose it does add to the running time.

Wellieman said...

Let me say right up front this is all brilliant, showing this ultra-rare episode from 1973 has been one of the highlights of the year for me.

That said, I go against the grain here by saying that I thought our Ken's hosting was shambolic. Trying too hard to be funny for me, give me Noel's professionalism any day. No doubt that Kenny got it spot-on with his TV shows though, fabulously funny even today. I have in my mind that he was even better (edgier) when he was on ITV before transferring to BBC. It somehow got watered down on the Beeb - where were Hot Gossip and the disastrous DIY man??

Am I the only one disappointed Michael Ward was chopped? I've no doubt the song would have been ghastly, but thats were all the magic moments come from. A good example being Englebert.... unbelievably ill-suited for 73 TOTP but the audience non-reaction to him was priceless. I could have happily accepted Quo or ELO being chopped as we've seen these performances a million times; or the non-Elton video.

Oh, and the classic Pans line-up was a real treat. Choreography was crap but who cares!

80sblokeinthe70s said...

Amazing show but it also makes me so disappointed that just about all the rest from 1968-73 (the classic era)were wiped. AS you can tell from the performances that exist from those years they were all like this - actually this is aside from Kenny actually a slightly more subdued version. There's absolutely no comparison between this and the shambolic, shabby. Light Entertainment shows of 1977.

Agree about Englebert looking like a fish out of water.By 1973 this type of music had retreated to the working-mens clubs - it had hardly been cutting edge when he broke through in the mid-60s.

Also agree that it's shame that they excised Michael Ward I also like watching the never shown clips whatever the merits of the music.

Simon Park even annoyed me as an 8 year old as did 'She' by Charles Aznavour but unlike 'She'(which I now love) I still can't stand Eye Level.

And obviously great to see Kenny in all his "zany" glory - reminds me of him being on in the background on "Cuddly" Capital(as he used to call it) when I was a kid.

Nathan Barley said...

The really interesting thing about this show is Kenny quit the BBC for the fledgling Capital a day or so later - giving an added poignance to the "other bits", and the survival of the whole thing in the archive.

Bad News for those wanting to see or purchase any pre-76 shows - out of the 49 shows that exist in full or almost-complete form, 24 are hosted by the new Public Enemy No.1 - something else to thank ITV and their sponsers The Daily Mail & The Sun for.

Steve Morgan said...

1973, my spiritual home, I'd go back there if only I could.
I was 17 in '73, I'd turn 18 towards the end of the year, and the year had been especially memorable in that I got my first job, a bit more independance and a bit more money. My first wage incidentally was £11.50.
It was indeed a rare treat to see this show and a great variety of acts, and yes, I too was disappointed they cut Michael Ward's spot, although I spotted him in the audience during Quo's performance, a little chubby Jimmy Osmond clone. I must admit though that, even though I've a good memory for 70's hits, I have no recollection of this song at all, hence my disappointment at its cut, and I've spent many fruitless years trying to track it down, perhaps I should try you tube, but I'd imagine the song, and Ward's performance to be something along the lines of a shmaltzy Neil Reid number.
Lovely to see Everett in the only surviving Pops that he presented, but I did wonder how on earth he got away with the "lovely set of udders" line to that girl.

Tyrone Jenkins said...

The 'Hump' may have looked dated and out of place by 73 but remember cabaret-style pop was still an important strand in the charts of the early/mid 70s. In 1973 Peters and Lee had a no 1 with 'Welcome home' and the likes of Charles 'Hasnovoice', Telly Savalas and The Brighthouse and Rastrick Brass Band were to torment the under 60s during the next few years. I suppose the difference was that middle of the road acts increasingly became catagorised as 'novelty' acts, ripe for ironic revaluation in the 90s and 2000s.

thebandplayedbamaboogiewoogie said...

I thought the mural at the back looked like someone holding a tray of Ferrero Rocher.

'Oh Monsieur, with zese 1973 Top of Ze Pops, you're really spoiling us'.

Chris Brown said...

I bought my first record at the age of 17! I've kind of made up for it since though...

I remember Noddy Holder claiming in an interview some years ago that they'd been disappointed by the lack of pre-release airplay for 'My Friend Stan' until they found out the promo copies were labelled 'My Friend Satan'. Which is a good story if not a very plausible one.

Anonymous said...

great dj kenny enjoyd the show but what sort of set was that it only lasted a month or two tops and looked tiny bland and dull apart from kenny cheering us up just wish he was alive today giving some cheek on twitter or fbook the mans a legend .

80sblokeinthe70s said...

Don't think it's fair to lump Charles Aznavour in with workingmen's club stuff like Engelbert Humperdinkck.

And surely Telly Savalas and Brighouse & Rastrick Brass Band were looked on as novelties then as much as they would be now.And in the case of Telly Savalas bought primarily by those kinds of young people who buy novelty records/jump on bandwagons of the latest craze.

Incidentally I actually like "If" because IMO Telly was about as cool as celebrities get and this tune is a 3 minute distillation of that coolness.

Tyrone Jenkins said...

Oh, I agree about the effortless cool of Savalas and I quite like Aznavours 'She'.
You are quite right about the the acts I have cited; I lumped middle of the road crooners in with the one hit affairs and the festive ditties; the novelty strand is in a category of its own!
I'm not necessarily critical of cabaret-style pop, after all it adds an often perverse charm to the TOTP repeats! Its just that having made my comment I was stumped for more examples of Humperdinck-esque blandness, though it was regularly there as an incongrous presence amongst the rock and glam etc. I suppose there was still a large middle-aged audience whose tastes were formed before the advent of rock also a large number of young people with middle of the road tastes

THX said...

Just a note to mention Kenny's Captain Kremmen serial is repeated on Radio 4 Extra this month, weekdays throughout the day. They're on Listen Again too if you want to catch up. You won't believe some of the jokes he gets away with.

John G said...

Johnnie Walker played the Michael Ward song on his Sounds of the 70s show this afternoon, as a request from someone who had been disappointed about its removal from the repeat! Having heard it, I think BBC4 definitely made the right call...

Noax said...

THX - I heard about one joke that somehow slipped through the net (maybe this was on Capital rather than the Beeb though) where Carla talks to Captain Kremmen about going to a Country Club, because he is a 'Country Member'.

To which Kremmen replies 'Yes, I remember...2

THX said...

@Noax: I think it's the Capital serial they're repeating, so I'll listen out for that joke!

Arthur Nibble said...

John G, against my sanity I decided to try and find Michael Ward on YouTube and couldn't, but found a Gladys Knight version of the song, and wished I hadn't bothered. Baby Don't Change Your Mind" it isn't. I gave up after 30 seconds but now have a vague memory of the syrupy tune and the smug little beggar who sang it. Michael's version was released on Philips, the same label which gave us 5000 Volts on the plus side and Hughie Green's political rant on the very minus side.

Arthur Nibble (again) said...

Thinking about it..."Let There Be Peace On Earth (Let It Begin With Me)" is a bit of a selfish / self-centred song title, isn't it?

Tyrone Jenkins said...

Harry Secombe recorded a version of'Let there be peace on earth' and released it as part of a Christmas collection. This would have been during the period when he was shaking the Goons out of his system and moving toward his alter on the Sunday evening 'God Spot'. Its of a piece with similar secombe recordings like 'If I ruled the world', though I've not heard the 'club mix!' His contribution to Punk is assured!

John G said...

Arthur - the Gladys Knight version sounds intriguing. I might give it a quick listen and see if it is any better (it certainly can't be worse). Philips was also Dusty Springfield's home for much of the 60s, if memory serves me correctly.

Arthur Nibble said...

Correct, John. Philips was a main player in the early years of the singles charts, with Doris Day, Marty Wilde, Frankie Laine, Frankie Vaughan, The Four Seasons, the Walker Brothers and Dusty Springfield among their roster (oh, and Harry Secombe as well).

wilberforce said...

if memory serves, peters & lee and nana mouskouri were also on philips - never the hippest of labels...

and regarding michael ward's single, had you got the full title correct (including "open brackets" and "close brackets") a certain DJ who shall remain nameless wuld have awarded you a million points!

80sblokeinthe70s said...

@ Tyrone I think you’ve hit the nail right on the head when you say that there would have been a sizeable group of people around then whose musical tastes would have been formed before the advent of rock n roll. I suppose most people born before about 1940 would fit into that category. They’d all be in their 70s now but it isn’t long since I worked with many such blokes.
Also with Engelbert I should imagine the vast majority of his fans were women and probably in many cases also easily young enough to have been into rock n roll (probably born as late as the early 50s in a lot of instances) but who also liked the big ballad. As an aside I should imagine they’d also be almost wholly working class too as I can’t see many university educated girls born in the late 1940s or early 50s wanting to be seen with these type of records. His buyers were probably a similar demographic to those who bought the “Soldier Soldier” stuff in the 1990s in droves which also maybe shows that to a large extent that market still exists even today.

Finally it’s obviously important to note the massive difference between the irredeemably “uncool” music (in many peoples eyes anyway) made by those like Engelbert, Ken Dodd, Vince Hill and Des O’Connor and the top quality, classy Easy Listening of Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett , Andy Williams etc. The kind of stuff that on at least two occasions I can remember (the New Romantic merging into jazz/latin scene of the early 1980s; and then the time in the 2nd half of the 90s when Easy became trendy in its own right) when the hippest of the hip were spinning this kind of music up.

thebandplayedbamaboogiewoogie said...

Englebert certainly isn't completely uncool, his 1968 version of From Here To Eternity (arranged by Johnny Harris) was sampled by Kinobe on their techno-lounge hit Slip Into something Comfortable.

80sblokeinthe70s said...

I remember that Kinobe tune (had it on a chill out compilation I think)but didn't know it was EH - I'll have to download 'From Here To eternity' now. TBH as I put his name with the others I did wonder if there was any decent stuff from his catalogue and if I was doing him a diservice putting him with the rest. I used to think Matt Monro was in the same category but he made loads of top quality records with his 'On Days Like These' being one of my favourite records of all time.

wilberforce said...

i remember well the early 80's latin/jazz fad as practiced by the likes of modern romance, matt bianco, animal nightlife and blue rondo a la turk - i think they meant well but as ex-punks their lack of knowledge of such music (they seemed to think a pair of bongos and a baggy pastel suit would suffice) meant it hardly sounded like the real thing (although the latter at least had a couple of brazilians in their ranks) - i used to own the complete set of the "new sounds, new styles" magazine that was devoted to the new romantic/electro scene, which once dedicated practically a whole edition to this craze... sadly my collection got lost in the mists of time and these days they are extremely to get hold of, although thanks to writing this i checked ebay and picked one up for only £2.99! (but sadly not the latin edition)

80sblokeinthe70s said...

I know what you mean however I thought Blue Rondo were quite good and Spandau Ballet (who had 'Coffee Club" on their 2nd album) were actually ex-soulboys who used to go to the Bournemouth weekenders - Gary Kemp's autobiography (which is a really good read (very moving at the end)mentions those influences.
Although as you'll know you'd never have heard anything that had the remotest connection with the white rock scene in the jazz-funk world I was immersed in.
I used to get New Sounds... too although I never kept them - which I had!

wilberforce said...

along with spandau and others, blue rondo themselves were part of the bournemouth bank-holiday scene and regularly played there (despite his exotic moniker, sax player moses mount bassi was a native of the town - i know this because i was also resident at the time, although i never hung out with the london soulboy crowd). yes, i also read the gary kemp autobiography (i picked up the £18 rrp hardback for a quid at a car-boot!) and thought it was excellently-written with no ghostwriter (no surprise really as he's always been very eloquent and opinionated despite his working-class roots). i admired him for what he was trying to do musically and culturally: i just wish i could like his musical efforts more than i actually did!

when i was about 11, i went to the "saturday morning pictures" to watch "children's film foundation" movies among other things - i've always remembered an exciting crime-story where a kid had escaped from reform school and hiding out when he was discovered and befriended by another kid, and reading this book was rather shocked and pleased to discover that not only was my memory on that correct, but that the other kid was actually played by gary! the good news is that this film is now finally available on dvd so i'm looking forward to seeing it again some time in the near future...