Tuesday, 28 April 2009

G.H. Elliot


I have a soft spot for the songs of the music hall era and always delighted to find CD's or records of old 78's and even wax cylinders that have been carefully preserevd for the nation. These treasures should always be available and I do my best to give them an airing every once and awhile.
The recording above is from a radio show - one of the last he made I imagine ,singing " I Used To Sigh For The Silvery Moon" which was his theme song.

"G.H. Elliott was one of Britain’s best-loved blackface entertainers in the days before such things became unthinkable. He was, like Gracie Fields, born in Rochdale, Lancashire, and as a child was taken to the United States, where he learned his craft with the Primrose West Minstrels (Gammond 1991, 176). He was elegant and sophisticated — Peter Honri (1974, 20) relates that, in blacking up, he always used champagne corks. Music Hall historian W. Macqueen-Pope (1950, 163) calls him “the nearest approach to the wonderful Eugene Stratton the Halls ever knew” (although S. Theodore Felstead accords that accolade to another blackface performer, Dubliner Tom E. Finglass). Among the songs particularly associated with him are Idaho, I Used To Sigh For The Silvery Moon, and Sue, Sue, Sue. Elliott’s long career carried him well into the 1940s." He died in 1962.

Friday, 24 April 2009

Arthur Haynes






Arthur Haynes: a Londoner, born in Fulham on 19th May 1914. Not a name that means much nowadays but back when I was younger,during the late fifities and early sixties, Arthur Haynes was a famed television comedian whose programme, The Arthur Haynes Show, ran from ninteen fifty seven until nineteen sixty six which was also the year of his death.

The thing I remember him for was playing the part of a tramp often supported by another incredible actress, Patricia Hayes who would perform as the female tramp equivalent. Although my memories of the actual content are foggy, the idea of having a tramp who was posh struck me as very funny indeed. A character for Fekenham me thinks.




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aNOtHEr dIp INtO ThE mAGpIE mEMOrY pOOoL.








Wednesday, 22 April 2009

The Wildfowl Reels or Folk Songs by any other name - A Begging I will Go




Of all the trades in England, a-beggin' is the best
For when a beggar's tired, You can lay him down to rest.
And a-begging I will go, a-begging I will go.

I got a pocket for me oatmeal, and another for me rye.
I got a bottle by me side to drink when I am dry.
And a-begging I will go, a-begging I will go.

I got patches on me cloak, and black patch on me knee.
When you come to take me home, I'll drink as well as thee.
And a-begging I will go, a-begging I will go.

I got a pocket for me ... and another for me malt
I got a pair of little crutches, you should see how I can halt.
And a-begging I will go, a-begging I will go.

I sleep beneath an open tree, and there I pay no rent.
Providence provides for me, and I am well content.
And a-begging I will go, a-begging I will go.

I fear no plots against me. I live an open cell.
Who would be a king then when beggars live so well.
And a-begging I will go, a-begging I will go.

Of all the trades in England, a-begging is the best.
For when a beggar's tired, you can lay him down to rest.
And a-begging I will go, a-begging I will go.




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aNOtHEr dIp INtO ThE mAGpIE mEMOrY pOOoL.





Tuesday, 21 April 2009

English Public Houses



There is nothing quite like 'em, The English Public House. No matter where you roam, be it Italy, France or Japan, no where has watering holes quite like the ones we Brits have. Sad to see so many closing these days. This is The Shepheard and Dog in Ballards Gore, Essex. Not far from where I live.




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aNOtHEr dIp INtO ThE mAGpIE mEMOrY pOOoL.

Saturday, 18 April 2009

Money Boxes


We seem to have aquired a dozen or so cast iron money boxes that are copies of old victorian money boxes. Hazel's sister buys her one every Xmas. They are great fun and employ some clever mechanism whereby the coin is catapulted into the slot with the aid of a trigger and spring. They are displayed on the stairs - one on every step so you have to be careful not to trip over them.

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Tops


Simple toys - you can't beat 'em. Mind you, you could whip some tops back in the old days. Yo-yo's, toy soldiers, water pistols, hoop and stick, diabolo, balloon, ball, skipping rope, bow and arrow, chalk on pavement, boats and cars and paper planes. Still as popular today as they ever were despite the influx of computers and video games. Here's a short film I made using just tops.

Saturday, 11 April 2009

The Carry On Films




Where would my Village Tales of Fekenham Swarberry be without this wonderful series of films? Bawdy, risqué and sometimes just damn silly but always funny, the irrepressible Carry On series that featured so many irreplaceable and unique character actors and all under one banner. I mean, how could the likes of Frankie Howard, Sid James, Charles Hawtrey, Kenneth Williams, Kenneth Connor, Joan Sims, Hattie Jacques, Barbara Windsor, Patsy Rowlands, Peter Butterworth, Terry Scott, Jim Dale, Peter Gilmore, Bernard Bresslaw, June Whitfield, Jack Douglas and Dilys Laye all appear, at different times of course, together on one set? Just the thought of Sid James besides Kenneth Williams is enough to set the pulse pounding. A truly remarkable set of films that can never be replaced or repeated so I wonder why on earth someone intends to start them up again?



Wot a fab Carry On!

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aNOtHEr dIp INtO ThE mAGpIE mEMOrY pOOoL.

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Warren Smith


I've always had a soft spot for rockabilly and Warren Smith is a prime example of one it's best exponants as these four tracks demonstrate.
Living in Stepney back in the 70's and 80's I used to frequent the local Brick Lane market and discovered a rich seam in genres that I had not heard much of before. Ska and reggae to start with and then rockabilly and r&b. Encouraged by DJ's such as John Peel and Charlie Gillett I found music from further afield - Africa, India and the Far East. It made me realise that music is a universal language and each country has a something interesting to offer.

Part of one side of an LP on the Harvest label that came out in 1978. A concert at the Rainbow Theatre in London U.K. on April 30th 1977. Four Rock'n Roll legends including Charlie Feathers, Buddy Knox and Jack Scott. Here are the 4 tracks by Warren Smith-

1. Ubangi Stomp
2. Rock 'n' Roll Ruby
3. Blue Suede Shoes
4. I'm Movin' On

The sleevenotes by Geoff Barker say-

" Warren Smith is rightly introduced on the record as "The guy we've waited twenty years to see". Born in Mississippi in 1933, he was one of the many young rockabilly singers recorded by Sam Philips In Memphis, Tennessee for his legendary Sun record label. While the labels stars ( Elvis, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis and Johnny Cash) were making it in a big way, there were a host of others laying down some equally innovative recordings. Warren Smith's first single issude in March 1956, was a Johnny Cash song - Rock 'N' Roll Ruby. This sold well around the Memphis area, and the follow-up Ubangi Stomp became a rockabilly standard, first coming to the attention of Britsih audiences via Jerry Lee Lewis's first album."