For some incomprehensible reason Michael and I started talking about Jasper Carrott the other day. Do you remember him? He’s a singer, comedian and TV presenter who seemed to be around alot in 80s and 90s. We weren’t fans but realised that we hadn’t seen him on TV in ages and we wondered what had happened to him.
It appears that he was a part owner of a TV production company called Celador. This company was responsible for bringing Who Wants To Be a Millionaire to our screens. Mr Carrott sold his shares for £10 million so probably doesn’t need to work so much any more.
This prompted me to start wondering what had happened to some other big names of the past.
In 1968, I loved Wheels on Fire sung by Julie Driscoll. Not only the song but the whole package of the arrangement and the presentation. Definitely one of my all time favourite hits. But what happened to Julie? She continued singing, on and off, until about 2015. She moved into jazz but doesn’t seem to have achieved the fame and success she had in the late 1960s.
Another hit from 1968 was Those Were The Days sung by Mary Hopkins. I loathed this song and found it’s saccharine music and twee lyrics extremely annoying. But I must have been in a minority as it made No1 in the pop charts without any difficulty. In 1970 Mary Hopkins represented UK in Eurovision coming 2nd with Knock Knock Who’s There? She quit Apple Music, married and had a family. She continued singing with various bands and also solo until 2014. And she released a 50th anniversary version of Those Were the Days in 2018.
I noticed on her Wiki page that in the 1980s Mary sang at the London Palladium with Ralph McTell. You know: Streets of London. When I was at college McTell did a concert for the folk club but I’ve just read that he actually studied for a while at a teacher training college before becoming fed up with it and going into music full time. Now I’m wondering if he was at the same college.
McTell released Streets of London several times before a new version made the big time in 1975 selling millions of copies and winning him the Ivor Novello Award. Since then he’s recorded many, many songs, toured all over the UK and the rest of the globe and remains as popular today as he’s always been.
A bit earlier in the Swinging Sixties, I loved Let’s Dance sung by Chris Montez. Released in 1962 (when it was still really the 1950s as the Swinging Sixties didn’t start until the middle of the decade) the record got to No 2 in the charts. Montez is still singing but moved into ballads and easy listening as he got older. And he’s become a renowned champion of healthy eating and campaigns against obesity too.
I’ve enjoyed finding out what happened to these names from years ago. I’ll probably lookup some more another day.
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