Top of the Pops January 1964

Dave Clark 5

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.

Thanks for reading my blog today.

You might also like:

Swinging Sixties memory failure!

My third Swinging Sixties pop record

Book of the Day

Leefdale
More details and a free sample to read at http://amzn.eu/hXgGQ6b

Do you like City Symphonies?

music

A couple of years ago I signed up for an adult education course looking at the history of documentary film in the 20th century.

The course introduced me to the concept of city symphonies about which I was completely unaware but for which I became hugely enthusiastic.

During my necessary chemotherapy resting periods I’ve started re-visiting city symphonies and enjoying once again some of the marvellous examples that are available on-line.

The concept of the city symphony evolved during the 1920s in the era of the silent film.

There’s a good explanation on the British Film Institute (BFI) website which begins:

The city symphony is an unusual genre, which belongs almost entirely to just one decade: the 1920s. It’s a divided genre too. These silent films could celebrate the splendours of modernity or castigate the decadence and the degradation of urban life. Occasionally they do both. These urban documentaries have no stars, no characters and no plot. Their structure is borrowed from the movements and motifs of orchestral symphonies or the hours of the day, rather than the dynamics of narrative pacing.

At their most avant-garde, city symphonies are invigorating examples of pure cinema: movement and abstraction animated by the camera. At their most documentary in technique, city symphonies can be seen as the forerunner of slow cinema: minimalist in style, meticulous in observation.

The best known city symphony is Berlin: Symphony of a Metropolis (1927).

Berlin was created by some of the greatest names in German silent cinema. Its avant-garde director Walter Ruttmann, screenwriter Carl Mayer and cinematographer Karl Freund all share credits for the screenplay.

Ruttmann cut the film which is important as city symphonies are shaped by the edit as much as the screenplay. The musical score was written by Edmund Meisel, who also provided music for Battleship Potemkin (1925).

Berlin typifies the city symphony in many ways, from its strict day-in-the-life structure to its emphasis on the fast pace and anonymity of urban living.

The film runs for just over an hour and if you don’t have time to watch it from start to finish it’s worth dipping into at different points to get a feel for it and the genre.

Hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Thanks for reading my blog today.

You might also like Metropolis premiered #OnThisDay in 1927

and

Book of the Day at http://www.spurwing-ebooks.com/ with details of a free Kindle download.

Don’t you think this is a beautiful music video?

birds on a wire

I  enjoyed Birds On The Wires a couple of years ago

and the other day I stumbled upon it again and loved it just as much.

The creator of Birds On The Wires, Jarbas Agnelli,

was reading a newspaper one morning when he saw a photograph of birds on an electric wire. He was inspired to make a tune using the exact location of the birds as they were positioned on the wires. Agnelli turned the birds into musical notes and played the melody the birds created.

Later, Agnelli sent the music to the newspaper photographer.

The photographer told his editor. The editor told a reporter and the story ended up as an interview in the newspaper. Eventually Birds On The Wires became the winner of the YouTube Play Guggenheim Biennial Festival.

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You might also like Celebrating St Nicholas and the pickled boys!

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#OnThisDay Frank Sinatra Sings For You!

Frank Sinatra

#OnThisDay

in 1915

Francis Albert Sinatra

was born.

Of all the many Frank Sinatra Youtube videos, I think this is one of the best.

For You

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You might also like 3 Hamlet Songs you might not have heard before!

Please check out the Christmas Book of the Day at http://www.spurwing-ebooks.com/

Mediaeval Sunrise

sunrise

I watched every episode of ITV’s Victoria before checking out the performers of the  “Gloriana” theme song. The Mediaeval Babes have several video clips on Youtube and I thought this was lovely.

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You might also like Well said, Daisy Goodwin!

Please check out the Christmas Book of the Day at http://www.spurwing-ebooks.com/

 

 

 

Celebrating St Nicholas and the pickled boys!

st nicholas

To celebrate St Nicholas Day I’m taking a walk down Memory Lane.

I’m going back to 1968

when I sang in a performance of Benjamin Britten’s St Nicholas Cantata which has remained one of my favourite pieces of music ever since.

Here’s a quick overview:

Britten wrote the cantata Saint Nicolas in 1948 for the centennial celebrations of Lancing College in Sussex.

He scored the piece for mixed choir, tenor soloist, three or four boys, strings, piano duet, organ and percussion. Although the piece was written for Lancing College, the first performance was actually the opening concert of the first Aldeburgh Festival in June 1948.

The text of Saint Nicolas was written by Eric Crozier who researched the legendary life of Saint Nicholas, Bishop of Myra, Lycia.

The cantata is written in nine sections:

Introduction

The Birth of Nicolas

Nicolas Devotes Himself to God

He Journeys to Palestine

Nicolas Comes to Myra and is Chosen Bishop

Nicolas from Prison

Nicolas and the Pickled Boys

His Piety and Marvellous Works

The Death of Nicholas

I love the whole piece but particularly like the seventh section, Nicholas and the pickled boys. Nicolas finds himself in an inn where a group of travellers have paused for the night. They invite the bishop to dine with them, but Nicolas stops them from eating, realising that the meat that they eat is in fact the flesh of three boys murdered and pickled by the butcher. Nicolas calls to the boys, “Timothy, Mark, and John, put your fleshly garments on!” and the boys come back to life, singing “Alleluia!”

At school in the lower sixth, I studied ‘O’ level Music and the music teacher invited us to join the local Choral Society of which he was the conductor. Rehearsals had commenced for a performance of St Nicholas and the choir needed more high voices. With a couple of other pupils, I went along to a rehearsal and by the end of the evening was hooked.

Our teacher / conductor was also the organist of the parish church. I remember him as a marvellous teacher and a lovely person but it’s only after googling his name that I’ve realised what a well regarded musician he was.

Mervyn Byers was Australian by birth and studied at the Sidney Conservatoire. A Fellow of Trinity College, London; Associate of the Royal College of Organists; and Fellow of the Royal School of Church Music, he was appointed as organist at Bridlington Priory, Sidney Cathedral and Selby Abbey. On retirement, Mr Byers returned to Australia where he died in 2011 aged eighty six years.

The dress code for the choral society was anything black: black suits for males and black dresses for females. In 1968 I didn’t have anything black to wear so this was a great excuse to buy my first little black dress. Obviously in 1968 it had to be a mini-dress. And Chelsea Girl, the first boutique chain in the UK, was the only place to buy it. The fabric had a tiny white polka-dot all over and it was flimsy. Not really suitable for a December night in a cavernous, medieval, monastical building but I thought the dress was beautiful. My mum was not impressed and nattered on about catching cold which, naturally, I ignored. By the end of the performance I was seriously shivering but it was worth it! A lovely dress and a lovely piece of music – perfect.

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You might also like On This Day in 1828 Franz Schubert died. #OnThisDay

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National Jukebox Day

jukebox

Jukeboxes and American Diners seem to go in the same sentence so on National Jukebox Day why not visit

Jumping Jack’s Diner in Whitby

Holy Moly’s Deep South Kitchen in York

East Coast Kitchen in Scarborough

Rebels’ Smokehouse in Beverley

and try American Dining Yorkshire style!

Or if you just want some music

try

The Immortal Jukebox

A Blog about Popular Music and Culture.

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You might also like I ❤💟80s Music!

Please check out my Book of the Day.

 

On This Day in 1828 Franz Schubert died. #OnThisDay

Franz Schubert

When I was in the Lower 6th Form  in the late 1960s I had the opportunity to take ‘O’ Level Music in one year.

I’d already passed Grade 5 Theory and the music teacher thought that this would get me well on the way with the ‘O’ Level music syllabus.

And, it turned out, there was a considerable overlap between the two.

But not when it came to an in-depth analysis of certain pieces of music. We had to learn the ins and outs of one of the J.S. Bach French Suites and Schubert’s 5th Symphony. A considerable departure from the Theory Paper.

At the time, I wasn’t particularly familiar with Schubert’s music but came to love it.

Recently I’ve re-visited the 5th Symphony, amazed to find that the full score is available as a free download. And I’ve greatly enjoyed the re-acquaintance.

You can get the score here if you want to read it.

Schubert died before his 32nd birthday but he was an extremely prolific composer during his lifetime.

His output consists of over 600 secular vocal works (mainly Lieder), seven complete symphonies, sacred music, operas, incidental music and a large body of chamber and piano music.

I would guess that Schubert’s beautiful Trout Quintet is his most popular work.

Here’s the fourth movement:

With Barenboim, Du Pre, Perlman, Mehta and Zuckerman.

Lovely!

RIP Franz Schubert.

And here’s a couple of quotes attributed to Franz Schubert (1797 – 1828).

You believe happiness to be derived from the place in which once you have been happy, but in truth it is centered in ourselves.

No one feels another’s grief, no one understands another’s joy. People imagine they can reach one another. In reality they only pass each other by.

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