Thursday, 28 May 2009


Blimey - finding this old book in the Oxfam shop today for 99p certainly brings back some memories! I'm showing my age now I realise so permit me to wallow a while in nostalgia for those early days of children's television when there was only two channels - BBC and ITV, and everything was in a flickering black and white on a massive TV full of throbbing valves and a tiny screen about as big as a slice of bread!

Childrens TV back then was limited to one hour a day from 5 until 6pm and Whirlygig wasa kind of magazine programme with Mr. Turnip ( a stringed puppet) and Humphrey Lestocq ( a human) who introduced various cartoons and rather static animations. Also other puppets like Sooty and Prudence Kitten ( or was that another programme ? ) In the mists of time they do tend to merge into one another!
It also seems that Rolf Harris made an early appearance on the show drawing a character called Whilloby.

Discover more about Whirlgig HERE.

Friday, 22 May 2009

The Wildfowl Reels or Folk Songs by any other name - All For Me Grog

Well it's all for me grog, me jolly jolly grog
It's all for me beer and tobacco
For I spent all me tin with the lassies drinking gin
Far across the western ocean I must wander

Where are me boots, me noggin', noggin' boots?
They're all gone for beer and tobacco
For the heels they are worn out and the toes are kicked about
And the soles are looking out for better weather

Where is me shirt, my noggin', noggin' shirt?
It's all gone for beer and tobacco
For the collar is all worn, and the sleeves they are all torn
And the tail is looking out for better weather

I'm sick in the head and I haven't been to bed
Since first I came ashore with me slumber
For I spent all me dough on the lassies movin' slow
Far across the Western Ocean I must wander

Where is me bed, me noggin' noggin bed
It's all gone for beer and tobacco
Well I lent it to a whore and now the sheets are all tore
And the springs are looking out for better whether.

Where is me wench, me noggin' noggin' whence
She's all gone for beer and tobacco
Well her (clap) is all worn out and her (clap) is knocked about
And her (clap) is looking out for better whether.


Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Game Show Hosts - Hughie Green

And he seemed such a nice man too but there he was, philandering with goodness knows who, all the while he was presenting Thank Your Lucky Stars and Double your money.
For sure he was the stereotypical game show host of his day and, even if a little fake in his over enthusiastic smiles, rather amusing.
Of course, as we now all know, when not on the screen he was busy inseminating Jesse Yates wife who gave birth to the beautiful Paula Yates.
My Mum, and certainly my Grandmother, loved both his shows but then again, at the time, so did I.


Friday, 15 May 2009

Victor Maddern

According to my Mum, one of Victor Maddern’s daughters attended the same junior school as me. I cannot remember her at all but her Dad I certainly do. He was one of those reliable character actor’s whose talent made the big stars job all that much easier.
He was born in nineteen twenty eight in Ilford, Essex of working class parents and joined the Navy in nineteen forty three, at the age of fifteen, where he served until nineteen forty six. After being discharged from the Navy he joined RADA and got his first acting role in the film “Seven Days to Noon in 1950, playing a reluctant soldier obliged to shoot a psychotic scientist.
Although he often appeared in films, a great many too, it is as a TV actor that I best remember him where he plied his trade so admirably supporting those stars we all loved. One of his best for me has to be in The Dick Emery Show where he played the part of old Lampwick's son.
Ironically (for me that is) Victor Maddern owned a printers. I say ironically as my father too was a printer.
Victor Maddern died in nineteen ninety three of a brain tumor and at the relatively young age of sixty eight. He was a fine actor.


Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Theo Blaise

Living in the East End of London in the 80's was a real eye opener as far as music went. The flea markets off Brick Lane were especially rich in all manner of records from all over the world and this is where I found this excellent LP by Theo Blaise. From the Congo but living in Paris where a thriving scene of african music was growing. This LP was released in 1983.

Wikipedia says-

"Soukous (also known as Lingala or Congo, and previously as African rumba) is a musical genre that originated in the two neighbouring countries of Belgian Congo and French Congo during the 1930s and early 1940s, and which has gained popularity throughout Africa. "Soukous" (said to be a derivative of the French word secouer, to shake[1]) was originally the name of a dance popular in the Congos in the late 1960s, and danced to an African version of rumba. Although the genre was initially known as rumba (sometimes termed specifically as African rumba), the term "soukous" has come to refer to African rumba and its subsequent developments.

Soukous is called Congo music in West Africa, and Lingala in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania - referring to the Lingala language of the region from where it originated. In the 1980s and early 1990s, a fast-paced style of soukous known as kwassa kwassa – named after a popular dance, was popular. A style called ndombolo, also named after a dance, is currently popular."

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Peter Blegvad

Much under-rated singer songwriter/cartoonist who Hazel met when she had her exhibition at the Young Vic Studio back in the mid 90's. He brought his little girl along to see the blush cooler's and blossom catchers etc. He said he liked the show and sent Hazel one of his Leviathan books - inscribed "To Hazel from Levi, Cat and Peter Blegvad".

An excerpt from a promo. CD released to coincide with his 1990 release "King Strut & Other Stories".

"Peter Blegvad (born 14 August 1951) is an American musician, singer-songwriter, and cartoonist. He was a founding member of the avant-rock band Slapp Happy which later merged briefly with Henry Cow and has released many solo and collaborative albums since Slapp Happy split up.
He collaborated with bassist John Greaves (recording Kew. Rh%uFFFDne with Greaves in 1977) and a much later collection of spoken word pieces set to Greaves' music, Unearthed. In the 1980s, he released a number of commercially-unsuccessful albums on the Virgin Records label, including The Naked Shakespeare and Knights Like This, both of which show the influence of external producers with fulsome and contemporary instrumentation. By contrast, Downtime, an independent release in the late 1980s features mainly very simple demos, often recorded cheaply in professional studios' "downtime". King Strut and Other Stories (Virgin, 1990) is a collection of short stories set to simply-arranged, professionally-produced music played in many cases by noted session musicians. The album features XTC's Andy Partridge while Orpheus - The Lowdown (2003) is a whole album in collaboration with Partridge. Many of Blegvad's albums feature former members of Slapp Happy and Henry Cow and Slapp Happy have re-formed on occasion for specific projects."