Reminiscing recently about a holiday in the Malvern Hills, sent me on a YouTube search for the 1962 Ken Russell documentary about Sir Edward Elgar.
The documentary has been uploaded in four parts but it’s the opening of the film that I remember most of all.
If you’ve never seen this documentary the first couple of minutes are fantastic.
Between 1959 and 1970, Ken Russell directed documentaries for the BBC Monitor and Omnibus arts programmes.
His best known works during this period include: Elgar (1962), The Debussy Film (1965), Isadora Duncan, the Biggest Dancer in the World (1967), Song of Summer (about Frederick Delius and Eric Fenby, 1968) and Dance of the Seven Veils (1970), a film about Richard Strauss.
Elgar was the first televised arts programme about an artistic figure made as a feature-length film rather than a series of shorter segments. It was also the first time that re-enactments were used. Russell fought with the BBC over using actors to portray different ages of the same character in addition to the traditional photograph stills and documentary footage.
Thanks for visiting my blog today and hope you had time to watch a bit of this marvellous film – even if only the opening scenes.
If you enjoyed the Berceuse by Frank Bridge that I blogged about in My new favourite piano music! , I think you’ll love this piece. A friend has loaned me the music, and believe me, it’s tricky. But lovely!
Top of the Pops started in 1964 and this week Roy Orbison’s “It’s Over” was Number One.
“It’s Over” knocked Cilla Black and “You’re My World” from the top spot which she’d held for four weeks.
Roy only stayed at Number One for a couple of weeks. I didn’t like the song at all and was delighted when The Animals knocked him out with “House of the Rising Sun”.
Many years later (after seeing the film of “Pretty Woman”) I re-discovered Roy Orbison and bought a compilation CD of all his most popular songs. The BBC did a brilliant docu-biog of Roy Orbison which unfortunately isn’t available to view at the moment but is well worth watching if it comes back on iPlayer.
This version of “Pretty Woman” has had over 23 million well deserved views. Love it!
Top of the Pops started in 1964 and this is how the show opened.
According to number-ones The Animals were at the top of the charts with “House of the Rising Sun” in July 1964 so presumably this clip was from then.
The BBC TOTP website says the show started on New Year’s Day 1964 but the film of the first show is lost.
The Dave Clark Five were at Number 1 in January 1964 with “Glad All Over” which, at the time, I thought was dreadful. Listening to it now, it’s quite jolly but unfortunately it stays in your head for hours so approach with caution!
The only other DC5 song I can recall is “Bits and Pieces” which I disliked even more than “Glad All Over”. It’s still really awful but this clip is hilarious and there are some good shots of Chelsea boots.
The Dave Clark Five originated from Tottenham, North London and the band was founded in 1957 but disbanded in 1970.
And after the breakup in 1970?
Wikipedia records that Dave Clark (drums) was also the band’s manager and producer of their recordings. Following the group’s break-up, he set up a media company. In the process, he acquired the rights to the 1960s pop series Ready Steady Go!. Additionally, he wrote and produced the 1986 London stage musical Time – The Musical where he directed the last performance of Sir Laurence Olivier. The production was seen by an audience of over one million and a two-disc vinyl album was released in conjunction with the stage production. Mike Smith (keyboard) returned to performing in 2003 after a hiatus of 25 years. He formed Mike Smith’s Rock Engine and did two mini-tours of the U.S. He died on 28 February 2008 in London from a spinal injury sustained after scaling a fence at his home in Spain. Denis Payton (sax, harmonica and guitar) died on 17 December 2006 at the age of 63 after a long battle with cancer. Rick Huxley (guitar) died from emphysema on 11 February 2013 at the age of 72. Lenny Davidson (guitar) taught guitar for many years at a school in Cambridgeshire, where he still lives. The Dave Clark Five were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2008.