The Story of the Knees Club Song
David Cummings, who co-wrote our Club Song 'Knees' for Kenny and Cash,
reveals the answers to questions that have persisted since 1965
|There has always
been a bit of mystery surrounding our Club Song, Knees/The 'B' Side (Decca
F12283) recorded by Kenny and Cash and released November 12th 1965. Why didn't it get in the Fab Forty? Why did it appear to have been released
with the eponymous B-side as the A-side? (For years, we suspected a mistake
in the catalogue numbering system.) And who was 'Cumming' whose name appears
as co-writer of both sides? After 42 years, the questions were answered when David Cumming(s) contacted
the Knees Club Founder to reveal all.
For anyone who wants to hear the famous Knees Club anthem, both 'Knees' and 'The B Side' are on Youtube'for your listening pleasure'.
On March 26th 2007, a knee-mail arrived from David Cummings in Australia.
I'm glad to know the Knees concept is still alive and kicking.
Some news about your theme song - I co-wrote and co-produced
the Kenny and Cash Knees single. Yes, I am real. And believe it or not,
still alive! I wrote the lyrics, Peter Lee Stirling wrote the music. The label says, Stirling-Cumming. Since then I have added an "s" to my
name and Peter has become Daniel Boone. It happened like this...
Not knowing what to put on the B-side I wrote a piece called, brilliantly, the B-side – the side nobody listens to. The backing music was the Kenny-Cash theme. Peter Lee composed it and played guitar. The most exciting thing for me about this whole episode was not the writing or producing but the fact that I played tambourine on the B-side. A big thrill for a non-musician. Kenny, as I remember, sulked a bit through the recording session with a, What the hell have I got myself into? attitude. Dave Cash was cheerful and seemed to really enjoy it.
The Sonny and Cher parody was a last-minute idea by Peter and co-producer Bernard as we did over-dubs. I was against it on the theory that comedy records should keep the music straight and the words and performances funny, but I was outvoted. There, after over 40 years I get to tell somebody how p****d off I was! So we sold the tape to Decca.
You are not going to believe this next bit but Decca turned it over. They made the B-Side the A-side. Why? I have never understood. How could anybody understand? They neither asked us nor told us why. So it is not a catalogue error. It is for real.
Around that time I was also a TV writer doing a lot of what we called special material for TV shows. I wrote the Val Doonican Show for years and the Rolf Harris Show for a couple of seasons. I penned specials for Lulu and Sandie Shaw and a bunch of other of 60s stars and was also involved in straight comedy.
I now live in Australia, still working as a performer
on the corporate circuit.
Pretty good words if you ask me. Although you didn't.
Thrilled that the Knees world is still proceeding in
an otherwise dull universe,
David, who sadly died in September 2011, made a very successful business in Australia out of appearing at corporate functions as a spoof lecturer. He had an amazing comedy-writing CV, having penned for top talents like Dave Allen, Stanley Baxter, Kenneth Horne and Dick Emery. David was head writer for the Dick Emery Show, for which he created the famous 'street interview' scenes featuring Dick as 'randy Mandy' and 'Hello honky-tonk Clarence', etc.
The Knees Club was kneelighted to hear from David and some time after our initial contact a cassette arrived in the mail. It contained his original demo recording of 'Knees', as recorded by Peter Lee Sterling! We were able to take a copy along to Pirate BBC Essex to surprise Dave Cash during his stint on the morning show of August 13th.
We were grateful to David for taking the trouble to send the copy of the demo and to explain the story behind the single and naturally awarded him honorary KC membership. His widow Patricia told us, "I'm happy to report that his knees were intact to the end."