The Early Radio London Fab Forties
Sunday 12th September 1965

Kenny and Cash's all-time-#1-most-hated-single peaks at #4.

'Il Silenzio' (The Silence) was a trumpet solo plus heavenly choir, based on 'The Last Post' and was about as cheerful as 'Eve of Destruction'. Kenny and Cash delighted in playing noisy sound effects such as machine-gun fire over the entire single, at every opportunity.

British trumpeter Eddie Calvert recorded his own interpretation of 'Il Silenzio', which featured briefly in the Radio Caroline chart, but it was Nini Rosso who climbed to #7. Keely Smith recorded a vocal version called 'Goodbye My Love', released in the UK seven months later in April 1966.

 

Last
This
Presented by Dave Cash
Week
Week
2
1
Like A Rolling Stone Bob Dylan
10
2
Look Through Any Window Hollies
6
3
Whatcha Gonna Do About It? Small Faces
8
4
Il Silenzio Nini Rosso
12
5
Hang On Sloopy McCoys
5
6
Just A Little Bit Better Herman's Hermits
13
7
Take A Heart Sorrows
11
8
Universal Soldier (EP) Donovan
1
9
(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction Rolling Stones
18
10
Eve Of Destruction Barry McGuire
3
11
What's New Pussycat? Tom Jones
4
12
I Got You Babe Sonny & Cher
7
13
Make It Easy On Yourself Walker Brothers
25
14
(It Won't Hurt) Half As Much Them
15
15
Hark Unit 4 + 2
17
16
California Girls Beach Boys
27
17
Baby Don't Go Sonny & Cher
9
18
Laugh At Me Sonny
34
19
It's All Over Now Baby Blue Joan Baez
26
20
It's The Same Old Song Four Tops
21
Move It On Over Del Shannon
38
22
You've Got To Hide Your Love Away Silkie
20
23
Hurt Me If You Will Mark Four
23
24
Ju Ju Hand Sam the Sham & the Pharaohs
25
Night People Measles
26
If You Gotta Go, Go Now Manfred Mann
33
27
Whenever You're Ready Zombies
28
Shake And Fingerpop Junior Walker & the All Stars
32
29
She Belongs To Me Masterminds
30
Papa's Got A Brand New Bag James Brown & the Famous Flames
31
Tears Ken Dodd
14
32
All I Really Want To Do Byrds / Cher
37
33
Untrue, Unfaithful Nita Rossi
29
34
Run To My Lovin' Arms Billy Fury
28
35
Save Your Heart For Me Gary Lewis & the Playboys
36
She Needs Love Wayne Fontana & the Mindbenders
37
'Til I Lost You Vince Everett
38
Gloria Wheels
35
39
Some Of Your Lovin' Dusty Springfield
40
Agent 00 Soul/Agent Double O Soul Alex Harvey / Edwin Starr

40
Agent 00 Soul Alex Harvey Fontana TF610
40
Agent Double O Soul Edwin Starr Possibly unreleased

Edwin Starr's own version of his song Agent Double O Soul (sic) appeared in the Fab Forty for one week only, after which Alex Harvey had the chart all to himself.

Alan Hardy searched Edwin’s own website for his UK releases and also www.45cat.com for the Polydor single discography, but found no trace of its UK release in 1965; nor is it catalogued for '65 in the Record Collector Price Guide. As Radio London was renowned for playing many records well before they went on sale, it is possible that the Edwin Starr version was intended for release, but then withdrawn by the record company.

One version of the song by Starr on Ric-Tic, labels the A-side Agent Double O Soul, but the instrumental B-side as, 'Agent OO Soul', although it spells out the pronunciation so that DJs knew how to announce it. Another Ric-Tic version has the same title on both sides – Agent Double O Soul.

Alan says, "As for the different spelling of the title on the B-side instrumental, possibly that was deliberate. Instrumentals sometimes had a slightly different spelling simply to highlight that the track was different/an instrumental. I suspect that the US version was only initially pressed in a small quantity and then another run ordered to meet demand, from a different pressing plant(s) – hence the different colour label and possibly spelling. Maybe the one with the same spelling is the second release, just tidying up the variation.

Extra runs of singles were common in the US and Motown did it a lot. The US is a big place and sales were unpredictable. As we have seen from chart comparisons, there were often ‘regional breakouts’ with a record doing well in one area but not another. Therefore, different pressing plants were often used. Edwin Starr's Agent Double O Soul eventually reached #21 on the Hot 100, so a lot of copies were needed from a small local label. At Motown, for example, it wasn’t unknown for even new copy masters to be made from the original master to be sent to pressing plants. Several times that resulted in a different mix being sent and pressed. So there were sometimes different mixes of a song depending on whereabouts you bought it!

The label of Alex Harvey's Fontana single spells the title 'Agent OO Soul' and erroneously credits Harvey as the songwriter, when the writers were in fact Charles Hatcher (aka Edwin Starr) and Bill Sharpley.


Alan Field's Fab Notes:
This week's Fab 40 is Brian Long's updated/corrected version of the chart originally published in his book The London Sound.

When you're hot, you're hot.... This chart contains no less than five Bob Dylan compositions. As he hits #1 with his own recording Like A Rolling Stone, it's worth mentioning that Bob also wrote It's All Over Now Baby Blue (Joan Baez, #19), (the Leroy Van Dyke version having vanished after pacing Joan's for two weeks), If You Gotta Go, Go Now (Manfred Mann, #26), She Belongs To Me (The Masterminds, #29) and All I Really Want To Do (two versions: The Byrds and Cher, #32). Hats off to Mr Zimmerman!

38
Gloria Wheels Columbia DB 7682

This is the Van Morrison song, recorded by Them as the B-side of Baby Please Don't Go. Like Them, the Wheels were a Belfast band, but they later relocated to Blackpool and the record became a huge hit on Caroline North. All three of Wheels singles from 1965-66 are much sought-after, and according to the Record Collector Rare Record Price Guide a mint condition copy of Gloria is worth over 130. (Click on the picture for an Amazon link to more information about the Record Collector Rare Record Price Guide)

DJ Climbers:    
It's Good News Week Hedgehoppers Anonymous Pete Brady
Message Understood Sandie Shaw Dave Cash
That Means A Lot P J Proby Tony Windsor

That Means A Lot P J Proby Liberty LIB 10215

James Marcus Smith, who once had a job cutting demo discs on behalf of Elvis, records a Lennon/McCartney song! P.J., who was born in Houston, Texas, originally used the stage name Jett Powers and penned songs with his friends Sharon Sheeley and Jackie De Shannon. It was Sharon who named him P.J. Proby, after an ex-boyfriend of hers.

In 1960, PJ found himself at #1 in the US Hot Hundred, (UK #24) with Kim Fowley's manufactured group, The Hollywood Argyles and their novelty hit Alley Oop. (See also They're Coming To Take Me Away, Ha Haa! Fab 14th August 66, and Dallas Frazier, Fab 17th July 66)

When Jack Good came to England in 1963 to produce The Beatles' TV special, he brought some P.J. demos which impressed Brian Epstein and the Fabs to the extent that P.J. was flown over from the States to participate in the show, which was broadcast world-wide via Telstar.

P.J.'s beribboned ponytail hair style plus his on-stage gyrations, which resulted in the infamous on-stage 'split pants' incident, scandalised an easily-shocked British nation in January 1965. The over-stressed trouser velvet gave up the ghost again a couple of days later, resulting in over-reaction by theatre management and TV companies, barring the singer from performing or even making personal appearances. He released the single, I Apologise as an appeasement.

Here, I have to disagree with the following statement from P.J's website "I Apologise still reached number 11 in the charts with no radio or television promotion." That certainly wasn't the case with offshore radio, where a great deal of promotion was going on!

It was inevitable that Kenny and Cash would award Mr Proby the nickname of P 'The Knees' Proby and in 1965, P 'The Knees' spent many weeks in the Radio London Fab Forty. I Apologise appeared as a climber on Feb 14th, entered the Fab at #27 the following week and stayed in the chart for six weeks, peaking at #2. Let the Water Run Down was picked as Disc of the Week for June 20 and enjoyed another long run in the Fab, peaking at #3. A month later, P 'The Knees' is back with That Means a Lot, one of the lesser-known Lennon/McCartney compositions. The Beatles' own version is on 'Anthology 2'.

Radio London (and no doubt, other offshore stations) was also arranging promotions for P 'The Knees' , as fellow #2 Fab Forty artiste, David Ballantyne, recalls:

Earl Richmond turned up on my doorstep in Ealing one Saturday evening with P.J. Proby sitting in the passenger seat, swearing that I had promised to do a P.A. with him in Luton, as I remember. Unfortunately, I had to turn him down as I had agreed to sing and play guitar in a band for a wedding in Hatfield. The line-up was: me, guitar and vocal; my oldest school friend Tony Smith, drums; Tim Rice, bass guitar; Andrew Lloyd Webber, piano. Of course, Proby was a big star in those days; Rice and Lloyd Webber were unheard of.

Dates and details of P 'The Knees' tour dates and his latest releases are on the P.J. Proby website


Disc of the Week:  
Green Is The Grass Jonathan King

The Caroline 'Sounds of '65' chart (south ship) for this week, with 'Il Silenzio' stuck at #18, is here


Tune in next week for another Big L Fab 40!

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