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Old 09-02-2021, 10:05 PM
Esjayell Esjayell is offline
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Default It’s almost fifty years...

It’s almost fifty years since the tragic end to one of the wests greatest performers, yet how many of us remember him? He died on May 5th 1974 (aged just 43) in a car accident in which his soft top MG overturned on a roundabout outside Chepstow following a concert at, I believe, the Crystal Rooms, Hereford. In 1966 he wrote two songs that got recorded and were released in 1967. The A side was banned by the BBC and the B side became, to the BBC at least, the A side. Throughout the country the B side was the A side except here in the west. We knew the truth! The first song is the (un)official A side. It concerns a young lad who, whilst helping out during the hay-time (cutting, gathering and transporting to the barn), meets a young girl named Lucy Bailey (who up’d and zlip’d and zummat rip’d, an’ I went there twice daily), gets pregnant, ends up having a ‘shot gun’ wedding. Then, nine children and forty years together later, we are told that ‘Tho’ I’m old ‘n’ grey, when I getz me way, I ztill goez ther’ twice daily.’

Off topic a little here, but I was amazed by the similarities with this song and the event described by Laurie Lee in the first of his autobiographic trilogy Cider with Rosie (pub. 1959), where he (Laurie Lee) is seduced by Rosie Burdock underneath a haywagon after drinking cider from a flagon during the haytime. The question ‘Did one event inspire the other?’ comes to mind.

Here is the first song “Twice Daily” it is being performed by Roger Jenkins as a tribute to the singer/songwriter who is dressed in a similar attire to that of the original.



This is a live performance from the Royal Oak, Nailsea, Somerset (the town where he was born).


Next is the other side to the record released in 1967. More well known if you live anywhere other than the west,



this one has lyrics.


Finally this link takes you to all his songs (there may be be ads), the great Adge Cutler (named after his initials A.J.) and the Wurzels (named after a type of animal feed).


Another of the wests greatest performers also bowed out out relatively young (aged 67 in 2010). He was born and raised in the Redcliffe area of Bristol (think St. Mary Redcliffe, the church visited by Queen Elizabeth 1, and the place where lead shot was invented), was active from the 1960s until 2010, was associated with ‘The Pigsty Hill* Light Orchestra,’ had his own record company ‘Pillock Produckshuns.’ and acted with the Bristol Old Vic.

His most famous record(ing) is here (1981) with some eye candy!



This is my favourite.


As a point of interest, this performer also did a cover of the Adge Cutlers’ song “Thee's Got'n Where Thee Cassn't Back'n, Hassn't. Which tells the story of a couple living in the Totterdown area of Bristol (a city built on five hills), who buys a cheap car. However no matter where he drives he ends up stuck unable to reverse it, one of those places being Paris. To help I have put the Adge Cutler one first as it has lyrics which you can sing along to!




These two are not by any means the only comedy song writers/performers, George Formby originally took over his late fathers stage name, act and songs, upon his death in 1921. Then when he married another performer (Beryl Ingham in September 1924) who suggested he got an banjolele and that she took over his management. In 1936 he appeared in the film ‘Keep your seats please’ which featured the song ‘The window cleaner’ better known as ‘When I’m cleaning windows’ which was banned by the BBC. In May ‘41 the BBC relented as it was pointed out to them that Formby had performed this song in front of the King & Queen at the Royal Variety Performance, and it was a favourite of Queen Mary. The film also featured the song ‘Leaning on a lamp post’ which would become immortal. In 1937 George recorded the song ‘With my little stick of Blackpool rock’ by 1941 it was causing problems with the BBC, some thought it was banned while others thought only some of the lyrics were. George died on March 6th 1961 aged 56.

When I’m Cleaning Windows comes first,



now, Leaning on a lamp-post,



finally, With my little stick of Blackpool rock.



George Formby Banned by the BBC, why it happens to so many.



Flanders and Swan were a comedic duo, active from 1956-1967 Michael Flanders (1922-75) and Donald Swann (1923-94) most of their songs were originals, probably the most famous being ‘The Hippopotamus’ that featured the line ‘Mud, Mud, Glorious Mud.’


Next is Flanders & Swann describing what happened one Monday morning. You turn the gas cooker knob on and no gas comes out. You phone the Gas Board and they send someone out to investigate. Here is ‘when the gasman cometh’ with lyrics (they do help).


The only video of Flanders & Swann ‘At The Drop of Another Hat’



In closing this trip part-the-way down Memory Lane, I’m going to include someone who is (at the time of writing) still alive. He is well known for his humour particularly with regard to human observation. I’m going to add one of his here, recorded in 1975, also banned by the BBC for its content. Some of you may have heard this before, though I think most of you have not. You had to have known of its existence and where to find it.




This next offering is a parody of a well known song…




...as is this one.



I had to include this duo as it wouldn’t be (almost) complete with out them.



* Pigsty Hill is a small hill in the Bishopston area of Bristol, situated on the main A38 trunk road that passes through the city, it once had pigstys beside the road. The pigstys were removed, the area developed, only the hill and its unofficial name remained. Until a few decades ago, people would ask where Pigsty Hill was, invariably they were standing on it. Eventually the City Council put up a sign stating Gloucester Road (section known locally as Pigsty Hill).



Looking down the hill towards Bristol city centre.



Looking up the hill towards Filton (think Almondsbury interchange).



The large, brick built flats on the right of this pic is on the site of an old church ‘St. Michael and all angels’ Info about the church can be found here.
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Old 10-02-2021, 11:31 AM
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Holly Goodhead Holly Goodhead is offline
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To deal with the first part, it was a bit before my time

However, did put this to Bob and he said he remembers it, the tragic end to one of the wests greatest performers, that died on May 5th 1974 (aged just 43) in a car accident in which his soft top MG overturned on a roundabout outside Chepstow following a concert at, the Crystal Rooms, Hereford. In 1966.

Bob also said he went there to the Crystal Rooms many times as a boy, years ago Bob said the Crystal Rooms in bradge street Hereford was a farm store, and was used when he was a Boy, and went there many times with his Gran and Grandad, it was called Franklin Barnes back then.



Old photo of Franklin Barnes, later to become the Crystal Rooms

Here are some photos of when the building was made into the Crystal Rooms





Here you will see building front was left as it was a 60' icon.

It can still be seen today.



Here it opened as the Crystal Rooms and forms the first part of your story.
Holly
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Old 10-02-2021, 03:47 PM
Esjayell Esjayell is offline
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Thank you Holly & Bob for furnishing the info about the Crystal Rooms.

It was a few years later circa December 1977 or January 78 when I went to Hereford, stayed in a Trust House Forte Hotel, think it was called The Green Man or something similar. Along the road on the opposite side was a small photographic shop, around that corner on the left was Timothy Whites (or Timothy Whites & Taylor). Further down on the same side was F.W. Woolworth.

When I was there almost every store had a non advertised sale on. I purchased a Plus-o-Matic standard and super 8 cine projector from the photographic shop for, if I remember correctly about twenty five pounds, in Timothy Whites bought a coal effect, twin element with convector heater for about twenty pounds, both of these items were about half price.Then into the basement of Woolies where we found some 'everyday' china, bought dinner, side plates and saucers, these were a deep mustard colour with a brown band around. Brown mugs and cups. The dinner plates were 5p, side 2p, saucers and cups 1p each and the mugs 2p. About five-six months later this crockery became extremely popular, and expensive. To think Woolies were getting rid of it, if only they knew what was going to happen.

Sadly I haven't been back to Hereford, been near it a few times, just didn't have the time to make a detour.

You didn't mention whether you liked/remembered the music.
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Old 10-02-2021, 09:54 PM
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Holly Goodhead Holly Goodhead is offline
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Think you may have stayed at the The Green Dragon Hotel, is this it?



It is Trust House Forte, Bob had his wedding reception there, and it was also in Lady-J's Movie the Lloyds bank job, there is a Green Man pub, but that is well out of Hereford.

Yes really love all the music, and you well see lots here like that in Movies and on the site.
Holly
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