More news... Current Happenings Page 2

Rustic YouTube
Remember our story of Fab Forty one-hit-wonders, the Pack, who appeared in the Fab Forty in October 1965, with 'Do You Believe in Magic'? Our friend from the band Rustic Rod Goodway, has written to say:
If you don't mind listening to a bit of 1960's-type (West Coast) jamming, have a watch and listen to this item on YouTube:

If you can keep listening for five or six minutes without nodding off :) you can hear 'Do You Believe in Magic', as performed by me for the first time in 40 years, in the summer of 2005.
Webmaster's note: 'Do You Believe in Magic' starts at around 06.20 into the clip, and watch out for a familiar Shadows riff right at the end.

Art Wood 1936 – 2006

Musician Art Wood, brother of Ronnie and the late Vic, has died of cancer.

Art's band the Artwoods was renowned on the Sixties R & B club scene and appeared regularly at the legendary Eel Pie Island. The band climbed to 23 in the Fab Forty in May 1966, with their cover of Sam and Dave's, 'I Take What I Want' and were among the acts on the first Ready Steady Goes Live.

Art's widow Angie told the Richmond and Twickenham Times: "Music was a big part of his life, he was always arranging things. People would ask him to do gigs."

Full Richmond and Twickenham Times tribute here. Artwoods MySpace here.

'Imagine' playing the Cavern

John Otway's show at Liverpool's Cavern Club on October 27th was to have been the launchpad event for his World Tour. The tour may have been cancelled, but John gave his Cavern audience (in the words of Bachman Turner Overdrive) "something they'll never forget". The club was packed with both the disappointed passengers from the ill-fated World Tour and with other loyal fans who had gone simply to show their support for John.

What began as a poignant occasion soon became a great evening. Tour cancellation jokes abounded with Otway opening the first set with his own take on 'Imagine' - "Imagine there's no World Tour..." Later, the audience cheerfully sang 'Leaving on a Jet Plane', accompanied by special guest Glenn Tilbrook - whom even Otway had to admit had enjoyed one or two more hits than him, during his 25 years as frontman of Squeeze.

See our collection of photos and a very special 'movie' of the gig here.

Boosting the Restoration Fund
The shopping website RedSave exclaims, "Get yourself a Lord, Lady, Baron or Baroness Title from the Principality of Sealand! It's time to upgrade your social status, and demand the subservience of lesser mortals! Get your title now and watch your life change overnight! ...The title is not like the classic cliché, 'buy Scottish land and get a fake title', these are bona fide titles from a sovereign principality, recognised by the Sealand Government, so you ‘really’ will be a Lord, Lady, Baron or Baroness!
Become a Lord, Lady, Baron or Baroness is listed as RedSave's top-selling Chrismas gift – Retail Price £49.99. That should boost the Sealand restoration fund.
Gongs for Paul and Leading Pirate Hyde

We were very pleased to hear from Paul Rowley about his latest success in the Gillard Awards.

Renegades Skues and Scruton congratulate BBC Essex's
Leading Pirate Margaret Hyde

Paul (seen here with his Gillard Award) writes:

"I was honoured with the "outstanding contribution" to BBC Local Radio award in the annual Frank Gillard Awards, which took place in the Lake District.

It completes the hat-trick of Gillards for me, having won a bronze in the Reporter of the Year category in 2001 and silver in 2002.

If you include the nomination for "Kenny Everett : The BBC Local Radio Years", that's four awards in the last 5 years for me.

The awards were made by Mark Byford, deputy director general of the BBC. He spoke warmly about the late Frank Gillard, who was the voice of the BBC during the Second World War, as a distinguished correspondent.

He was also the pioneer behind BBC Local Radio, which is 40 years old next year - 2007, the first stations coming on the air in November 1967, three months after the Marine Offences Bill. Mark spoke of Frank's admiration for the "pirates" in tapping into an audience not catered for by the BBC, and his belief (against many opponents) that the BBC had to change to respond to the demand created by Big L, Caroline etc."

Margaret Hyde, the managing editor of BBC Essex who is responsible for Pirate BBC Essex, was also honoured for "outstanding contribution".

The two award-winners had both previously worked on the Liverpool Daily Post and Echo. When Paul joined Radio City in 1977, Margaret was on Radio Merseyside.

Warmest congratulations to you both from Radio London.

Ray Ennis's Knees

Tony Nugus is interviewing Knees Club President Ray Ennis from the Swinging Blue Jeans. Tony tells us:

Ray Ennis will be appearing on my show Tone's Box of Delights on Goodmayes Hospital Radio on Tuesday 24 October. I will of course be discussing his involvement in the Knees Club during our chat. I hope you can tune in.

Tone's Box of Delights goes out every Tuesday 2000 to 2200. His celebrity interviews are usually edited and repeated.

Tony (right) and his wife enjoy a laugh with Duncan Johnson and Jon Myer at Roger Day's Margate lecture . Photo courtesy of Steve Szmidt.

Born in the UK, Big in the USA
British-born Ian Whitcomb, the first presenter of The Old Grey Whistle Test, found more chart success in the US than the UK, but he did appear on the Radio London playlist when 'Good Hard Rock' was chosen as Dave Cash's climber (060266). Ian toured the US in the 60s and 70s with lots of top 10 hits and tours with The Rolling Stones, Peter & Gordon, Dave Clark 5 and others of the British Invasion. More recently, he's been a producer of vintage music (ragtime, tin pan alley, swing, jazz, etc.) Ian, who has over 50 albums to his name, is a very talented, witty performer and he is also a noted musical historian with a long list of books to his credit including the bio of Irving Berlin. Visit Ian's website to see some great shots of him from the Sixties and read about his superstar status in Dublin, where he fronted the band Bluesville. His biography is here.

Top Tentacles

A while back we had an interesting scrapbook story from Paul Griggs, whose group the Cortinas were finalists in the Melody Maker National Beat Contest 1965. By 1969, the band had changed its name to Octopus, released a single, 'Phoebe's Flower Shop' and recorded an album, 'Restless Night'.

Complete with ten unreleased tracks, the album has now been reissued by Rev-ola as 'Restless Night. Complete Pop-Psych Sessions 1967-71' (Click on sleeve photo for details of track list and a review of the 22-track CD)

Another mini-Caroline reunion!

Bud Ballou (aka Howie Castle) was in town recently on a flying visit and caught up with George Hare (left), who used to pay the wages when he worked aboard the Mi Amigo and Penny Bowskill, widow of Jason Wolf. Jason was Howie's friend from Caroline North and a fellow Radio Free London adventurer. Jason, whose real name was Chris Bowskill, sadly died in 1986. Penny's story about Jason is here.

The tall chap between Penny and Howie is called Big Ben and he wasn't an offshore radio broadcaster.

George and Howie fly the flag for Caroline.

Remember the Area or the Inbetweens?
Journalist Martin Beckford is researching the stories behind a Times article about education secretary Alan Johnson, which describes his membership of sixties bands the Inbetweens (not to be confused with Slade forerunners the 'N betweens) and the Area. To confuse matters, there were two bands called the Area and the Danny Curtis mentioned in the Times article belonged to the 'other' Area, not Johnson's outfit. If you were a member of either band, remember seeing them perform or have any recordings or photos, please get in touch.
Radio 2 the Sound of the Nation?
Brian Matthew is taking some time off from Sounds of the Sixties, (BBC Radio 2, Saturdays 0800 – 1000 and 'listen again' for one week) for rest and recuperation. His temporary replacement is Johnnie Walker, who has naturally been making regular references to his time on Caroline. On Sept 9th he told listeners that he and Rick Wakeman had been part of a proposed boat trip to the wreck site of the Mi Amigo, but sadly, the North Sea had other plans and bad weather forced a cancellation. The story gave Johnnie the perfect opportunity to play 'Caroline' by The Fortunes. He has since played "Days of Pearly Spencer' and has given both Keefers and the Ross Revenge a name check.

Mike's a winner with... Radio London and Select records!

Thanks to all the entrants to our competition to win a pair of tickets to see P. J. Proby's terrific new show Ring of Fire. Select Records generously gave away a pair of tickets to the first entrant out of the draw who correctly answered three questions. Mike Terry from Bournemouth was the lucky winner, so many congratulations to Mike and better luck next time to the losers. The answers to the questions are below.

Ring of Fire pays tribute to the legacy of music left by the legendary country star Johnny Cash, who died in 2003. P J, who was a close friend of Johnny's for over forty years, is backed by the Tennesseans.


1) What was the name of the Box Office Film starring Joaquin Phoenix as Johnny Cash? a) Ring of Fire b) Man in Black c) Walk the Line

Answer: c) Walk the Line

2) What was the name of Johnny Cash’s Novel? a) Man in White b) Man in Grey c) Man in Black

Answer: a) Man in White

3) What was Kenny and Cash's nickname for P. J. Proby (clue: check the Fab Forties for September 1965).

Answer: P 'The Knees' Proby

Ring of Fire is touring till December. Full list of tour dates: Select Records; P. J Proby website.

Please Mr Postman
In January 2007, Royal Mail is issuing a set of six stamps depicting Beatles album covers, Sgt Pepper, Abbey Road, Revolver, Let It Be and With The Beatles are named as five of them.

'Pet Sounds' 40th Anniversary Limited Edition
"'Pet Sounds' is one of the classic albums of all time, and this re-issue is sure to please fans of The Beach Boys. Included is the full album in both stereo and mono, and there is a host of bonus features on DVD including promotional videos and a behind-the-scenes look into the making of the album. Includes the tracks 'Wouldn't It Be Nice' and 'Sloop John B'."

The limited-edition reissue comes in a faux-suede cover, which does not reproduce well as a sleeve photo, left.

Alan Hardy Reports:

On Sunday 12th November, Brian Wilson will be playing a one-off show at London’s Adelphi Theatre and perform his classic album ‘Pet Sounds’ in its entirety for the very last time in the UK, to celebrate its 40th Anniversary.

While Brian's here, he'll be inducted into the UK Music Hall Of Fame (on Nov 14th) along with Rod Stewart, Dusty Springfield, Led Zeppelin and Sir George Martin. He'll also be performing live as part of the event. The steering committee which oversees the selection of inductees is chaired by Paul Gambaccini. In this week's Music Week, Gambo is quoted as saying, "The decision to induct Brian Wilson could not have been delayed for too much longer. It was important to get him while he's still playing."

Soul Cellar Treats from PY

Tune in to Smooth FM (102.2 in London, also via digital, Freeview and the Internet) where Peter Young presents regular Saturday night shows, 1800 to 2100, with a trip to the Soul Cellar for the final hour. PY has compiled many compilation CDs but the two latest are dedicated to the Soul Cellar.

A 30-track, 2 CD compilation, Peter Young presents the Soul Cellar – 'A superior selection of funky soul favourites', includes gems such as 'This May Be the Last Time' - the Staple Singers' 1958 gospel song 'borrowed' by the Stones for their #1 'The Last Time', in 1965.

Newly-released in 2006, PY's latest compilation Peter Young presents Soul Cellar 2, has amongst its 30 tracks the Fascinations' Big L Fab Forty entry 'Girls Are Out to Get You'.

Click the sleeve photos for full track listings and sample clips.

Fab Forty Top Fives on Offshore Music Radio!

Rodney Collins (right) will be featuring a Top Five from a Big L Fab Forty, as listed on the Radio London website every week in his Sunday show on Offshore Music Radio. Rodney's programme airs between 1300 and 1400 BST and his Offshore Music Radio webpage, with contact details, is here.

Our friends Lyn and Dave at OMR tell us:

Offshore Music Radio has a new look web site with lots of additional features, there's a puzzle section, expanded programme guide, recipes, picture galleries, an on-line shop where visitors can buy from a choice of thousands of CDs and DVDs plus lots of other goodies for use around the home and garden. Jeff Martin's Gig Guide is now a comprehensive list of concerts and venues featuring 60s and 70s recording artists. Visitors can vote for their favourite offshore station and until late August, they can take part in a listener survey with a chance to win one of 5 prizes.

We now broadcast from 8 servers in the UK and mainland Europe with a choice of bitrates ranging from 128k for the hi-fi enthusiast on Broadband, right down to 20k for dial-up listeners. And of course, listeners can see the name of the track playing on nearly every page of the site and in either WinAmp or Real Audio players.

There's also a World Map, showing listener locations. You can add yours, and also your photo if you like.

(Photo courtesy of Offshore Music Radio)

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