Sunday, 13 January 2019

They Turned Me On - Part Seven: Dilly Barlow


In an earlier instalment of this series I promised to devote a post to Dilly Barlow's long-vanished Radio 4 programme Friday Treat but - as is so often the way - I passed on to other matters and forgot all about it.

So here is my attempt to make amends and offer a belated but heartfelt thank you to Ms Barlow: her radio tenure, at least in the role of DJ, may have been short-lived in comparison to the likes of Hubert Gregg and Benny Green, then seemingly permanent fixtures on the sister BBC station Radio 2, but her musical choices had a profound influence on me.

Sunday, 6 January 2019

Stan and Ollie (new Laurel and Hardy film biopic by Jeff Pope)


I have just returned from a screening of Stan and Ollie, the new biopic about Laurel and Hardy written by Jeff Pope, centering around their declining years. What follows, however, is not so much a full scale review as a simple reassurance to those who may, like me, have been apprehensive about the prospect of their heroes being subject to such a treatment.

Wednesday, 26 December 2018

Now We Are Nine



To commemorate the fact that this blog is now nine years old here are some posts discussing the Five Satins' In the Still of the Nite.

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Clarke Davis shows on Top Shelf Oldies



I am delighted to share the news that the DJ Clarke Davis is back online, at Top Shelf Oldies. Clarke is currently presenting two shows, At the Hop and The Clarke Davis Experience, the latter dedicated to American pop of 1965.

Saturday, 10 November 2018

Harlem 29 or Twelve Men A-Swinging


The writer and broadcaster Stuart Cosgrove is currently on a tour to promote his latest book, Harlem 69, the final part of a trilogy about the development of soul music in the sixties.

Monday, 3 September 2018

Fiddler's Green and other adventures in sitcom


The discussion in the previous post of a sitcom which didn't make it to pilot stage has reminded me of one which did pass that hurdle at least, even though it was never broadcast. Fiddler's Green, starring Donald Sinden, was recorded in Teddington in July 1987 - not 1989, as The British Television Pilot Episodes Research Guide (above) has it; I can state this with some authority because I was present as an observer throughout rehearsals and recording.

Friday, 24 August 2018

Sid and Rich: the sitcom that never was



According to a new biography, when Sid James died in April 1976 he had been just about to finalise plans to record a sitcom pilot for Thames Television in which he had been slated to appear with ex-Beatle Ringo Starr. It's a sad tale of what might have been - and, author David Hamm suggests, so very nearly was.

Thursday, 23 August 2018

Kickstarter page for Peter Skellern's Complete Decca Recordings needs pledges before September 19th


[update: this Kickstarter project did not meet its target but a second attempt, which ends Dec 21st 1018, has already met its target - click on my main piece about Skellern for the link.]

If you have read my forever unfinished piece about the recordings of Peter Skellern, findable here, you may remember this lament:

Monday, 6 August 2018

Jeffrey Holland as Stan Laurel now at the Edinburgh Fringe


For readers who might be visiting the Edinburgh Fringe Jeffrey Holland is currently appearing in Gail Louw's play ... And This Is My Friend Mr Laurel at the Pleasance Courtyard at 11.30am. Here are my notes about the show from its 2016 London run:

Tuesday, 31 July 2018

Hello Goodbye to Berlin: How the Beatles Peppered the Melting Pot (new book by David Hamm)





Scan the famous faces who populate the Sgt. Pepper album cover and one may seem conspicuous by his absence: Irving Berlin, regarded by many as the father of twentieth century American popular song, fusing together elements of a range of musical genres to pen the opening pages of what we know today as The Great American Songbook.