Birds in the Bush/The Virgin Fellas

1 9 7 2 (UK/Australia) 13 x 30 minute episodes English water diviner Hugh (Hugh Lloyd) inherits a rundown property in the Australian Outback which is being run by a gaggle of beautiful women, collectively known as ‘the fellas’. Hugh is aided and abetted by his Australian half-brother Ron (Ron Frazer). ‘The fellas’ included former Miss(…)

Wackers, The

Guitarist and singer/songwriter Bob Segarini formed The Wackers in northern California in 1970 before relocating to Montreal, Canada, two years later. The Wackers released their debut album, Wackering Heights, in 1971 on Elektra. Two more albums followed, Hot Wacks (1972) and Shredder (1973). Produced by Gary Usher, Hot Wacks fulfilled Segarini’s desire to distil the best of The Beatles – just two years after their(…)

Emile Ford dies in London, aged 78

11 April 2016 Emile Ford has died in London, aged 78. Ford was born Michael Emile Telford Miller on 16 October 1937, in St Lucia, Windward Islands (Bahamas). He emigrated to London during the 1950s and by early 1959 he was heading his own group, The Checkmates – featuring his brother George and college friend Ken(…)

Barbara McNair

Brenda Holloway had one genuine rival in the Motown glamour stakes. The delectable Barbara McNair from Racine, Wisconsin, even went into the annals as the first Motown artiste to pose for Playboy, in October 1968. In truth, McNair wasn’t in Holloway’s class as an outright soul singer, but that wasn’t why Berry Gordy signed her up(…)

Marv Johnson

When Berry Gordy first started his Motor Town touring spectaculars (the precursors of the celebrated Motown revues) Marv Johnson was a headliner on an equal footing with the likes of Mary Wells and The Marvelettes. His early songs for Gordy, many actually released on United Artists since demand outstripped the junior record mogul’s pressing and(…)

Ronnie Corbett dies aged 85

31 March 2016 Ronnie Corbett, one of Britain’s most popular entertainers, has died aged 85 surrounded by his family. Corbett first came to fame on The Frost Report in the 1960s but was best known as half of The Two Ronnies with his comedy partner, Ronnie Barker, who died in 2005. A statement from his publicist(…)

Andy ‘Thunderclap’ Newman dead aged 73

30 March 2016 Musician Andy “Thunderclap” Newman has died aged 73. The pianist for British band Thunderclap Newman died at his home in London. Pete Townshend of The Who matched guitarist Jimmy McCulloch with drummer and vocalist Speedy Keen (who had been Keith Moon’s chauffeur) in a new group named after its pianist, and this(…)

Child Star Patty Duke Dies at 69

29 March 2016 Patty Duke, the Oscar-winning actress renowned as a child star of stage, film and television, who, amid public struggles with bipolar disorder, went on to cultivate a respected career in adulthood as an actress and mental-health advocate, died on Tuesday 29 March, 2016, at a hospital near her home in Coeur d’Alene,(…)

“5” Royales, The

The “5” Royales began life in the 1940s as a gospel group called The Royal Sons Quintet but rechristened themselves The Royals after going secular and signing to New York’s Apollo label in 1952. But Hank Ballard‘s backing band at the time was also called The Royals, so guitarist/songwriter Lowman ‘El’ Pauling and co added(…)

Clayton Squares, The

Of all the Liverpool bands desperate to escape the long shadow of The Beatles in the 60s, The Clayton Squares (named after a city centre landmark) were, ironically, the most worthy heirs to the Fab Four’s throne. A headlining Cavern draw, the Scouse sextet possessed an infectious mod swagger with which they infused the two(…)

Cascades, The

Rhythm Of The Rain provided The Cascades with a worldwide hit in 1962, and became the ninth most-played song on radio in the 20th century. With that sort of impact, it’s hardly surprising that the group’s follow-ups didn’t wander too far from the formula. Shy Girl, The Last Leaf, My First Day Alone, Cinderella and For(…)

Powder

San Mateo anglophiles Rich and Tom Martin pursued a different musical path to many after the Beatles epiphany they shared with millions of other American teenagers in 1964. Smitten by The Who and The Move rather than Stones and Kinks they formed the Bay Area’s only mod band, even braving its psychedelic peak with obscure(…)

Hip-Pocket Records

The Hip-Pocket Record was introduced by Philco, the electronics division of the Ford Motor Company in the US in 1967. 41 Hip-Pocket Records were issued from 1967 to 1968, the first two being Tommy James & The Shondells releases licensed from Roulette. Sold for 68 cents and available through FW Woolworth or direct from Ford(…)

Don’t Look Back (1965)

In April 1965, when Bob Dylan arrived for a two-week tour of Britain, director D.A. Pennebaker followed his entourage around, filming him in concert, in hotel rooms, in cars and trains: always surrounded by friends and hangers-on, and only alone when isolated on stage – performing. Some of the dialogue is distorted and inaudible, and(…)

Point, The (1971)

This animated fantasy movie for grown-ups and children was conceived by singer/songwriter Harry Nilsson at probably the most prolific period of his career. Its music lay somewhere between the soft romanticism of the albums Ariel Ballet and Harry and his commercial and artistic success with Nilsson Schmilsson and the single Without You. Although Harry had been involved with movies prior(…)

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