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1 - On The Beat

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OTB 0001 (1CD) Thursday 21 November 1985, 8.05-9pm Jess Conrad, Hal Carter (manager of Billy Fury), Ken Pitt (first manager of David Bowie) First record played: ‘Rockin’ All Over The World’ by John Fogerty, possibly inspired by hearing Status Quo opening Live Aid a few months earlier. Odd that I should begin with one of the worst singers in the business. Maybe I was taking a chance and saying, “If you like this, you’ll like the rest of the series even more.” We talk about ‘This Pullover’; the original Italian version of this song, ‘Il Pullover’ by Gianni Meccia, was arranged by Ennio Morricone. I’d gone to the Theatre Royal, Windsor on a day trip the previous Saturday as Jess had opened in Cinderella. The interview was nearly cancelled as Jess’ daughter had fallen off a horse, but fortunately all was well. In the interview, Jess admits he was set up as “the British Fabian” by producer Jack Good but he said he sang “a little better now”. Hal Carter, who came from Liverpool and initially worked for Larry Parnes, had been Billy Fury’s manager and he let me play two unissued acetates, ‘Please Love Me’ (which Hal wrote) and ‘Getting Sentimental Over You’ (which sounds like a standard but was written by another Liverpool performer, Jimmy Campbell). This was part of a much longer interview with Carter, conducted at his office in Palmers Green, London. He got things done, but usually as cheaply as he could. I had many dealings with Hal Carter who always praised his own artists to the skies and had little time for anyone else. A complete contrast to the thrusting Hal Carter was the urbane Ken Pitt who had managed Manfred Mann and was the first to manage David Bowie and indeed spot his potential. I spoke to him in his London flat/office, which had a box of mint David Bowie’s Decca singles by the door, maybe 100 of them: hope he sold them for a good price. Conrad MD 0098 T, Carter MD 0077 T, Pitt MD 0079 T


OTB 0002 (1CD) 28 November 1985, 8.05-9pm Pete Best, Billy Bragg, a session with local blues band, Borderline Case and a review of 5LP box-set from Bill Haley Interesting that I should follow Jess Conrad with Pete Best, the drummer who lost his place in the Beatles. Is there a pattern here? No idea. After many years of not giving interviews or being involved in the music world, Pete Best allowed me to talk to him for the series Let’s Go Down The Cavern (1981) and even after that, he spoke to few journalists or broadcasters. This interview was to promote his memoir, Beatle!, written with Patrick Doncaster. In the interview, Pete says of his days in Hamburg, “The women were there for the taking and we were healthy young lads.” The Billy Bragg interview was before a London gig and time was limited as Billy wanted to see the opening act Ivor Cutler (and why not?). Some feminists wanted to talk to him too. There wasn’t enough time to do it separately and so we went in the dressing-room together. I recorded a bit of background noise as I felt I would need it. I kept the answers to the girls’ questions but I voiced their questions over actualité: unfortunately they weren’t questions for a male and on reflection, this was wrong. I should have said what had happened and broadcast their questions straight. Still, you live and learn. Talking of the Bob Dylan era, Billy says, “It has been proved that music hasn’t changed the world” but then he seems to contradict himself. Live. Borderline Case perform ‘Hello Blues’. Line-up: Jim James, Raphael Callaghan and Tony Gibbons Best MD 0026 T, Bragg MD 0086-7 PT


OTB 0003 (1CD) 5 December 1985, 8.05-9pm Ray Coleman, Michael Ochs, Stanley Booth (Part 1), a review of an 8CD box set by Conway Twitty, and live music from the folk duo, Pete Rimmer and Bev Saunders Ray Coleman, a former editor of Melody Maker, had turned rock biographer and he wrote John Winston Lennon (1940-1966) and John Ono Lennon (1967–1980), both published in 1984. He talked about criticisms of his book and he praised Philip Norman’s Shout! Of his own work he says, “It wasn’t exactly right but I was pleased to see it in print.” His new biography, Survivor, was an authorised biography of Eric Clapton. Michael Ochs had managed his brother, the agit prop folk singer Phil Ochs, and now he had a photo agency, publishing a fine collection, Rock Archives. He had been on Whistle Test and now was on a local radio tour. He was interviewed by Billy Butler on his morning show and after the interview, they went to the Holiday Inn for coffee. Chris Curtis, the former drummer of the Searchers, had heard the interviews and scurried down with a couple of bags of memorabilia. He told Phil Ochs, “You should have this” and Billy and I looked aghast as he handed over precious mementoes. I took Michael back over the road to Radio Merseyside and recorded this interview about his 1950s photos: “The camera captured the absurdity of rock and roll.” I also spoke to him about his brother but I did not use it here. Stanley Booth has an interesting tactic as a music writer. He likes to hang around them and see what happens. He had written a memoir of his time with the Stones in The True Adventures Of The Rolling Stones and our conversation about that was saved until next week. When I spoke to him, I found that he had been in the studio when Otis Redding and Steve Cropper wrote ‘Sittin’ On The Dock Of The Bay’, and this was broadcast here. It’s magical as Booth sets the scene so well: Otis with his cracked guitar said, “He can’t just be sittin’ in the morning sun. What’s he gonna do?” Live. Pete Rimmer and Bev Saunders perform ‘White Dress’ live, a song associated with Sandy Denny. Coleman MD 0210 T, Ochs MD 0043 T, Booth MD 0043, T


OTB 0004 (1CD) 12 December 1985, 8.05-9pm Stanley Booth (Part 2), Brian Poole (with unreleased tracks), live music from Borderline Case and a feature on Marvin Gaye. This time Stanley Booth talks about his memoir, The True Adventures of the Rolling Stones. He knocked around with Brian Jones and tells him, “You hate each other.” He also says, “In ‘I Wanna Be Your Man’, Brian plays an 8-bar break on bottleneck guitar unlike any music ever played before by a European. It’s just eight bars but it’s sensational and exhilarating and it shows how thoroughly Brian possessed the tradition of the blues. I was talking to Bo Diddly a few weeks and he remembered what an incredible blues musician he was.” And if that doesn’t want to make you hear the record again, I don’t know what will. I visited Brian Poole at his home in Barking, which turned out to be well worthwhile as he gave me copies of unissued Decca recordings by Brian Poole and the Tremeloes. They had never been played on air and I played ‘I’ll Go Crazy’ (James Brown cover), ‘Last Night’ (Buddy Holly cover, keyboards by Norman Petty), ‘Sure Miss You Baby’ (original bluesy song) and a very fine ‘You Don’t Know Me’ (Lesley Gore), which could easily have been a hit single. Brian Poole: “I’d love to see them released and maybe we’ll get some royalties this time.” Among the What’s On is The Wizard Of Oz on horseback, which my wife Anne was organising in Lydiate. Live. Borderline Case perform ‘The Going Home Song’, written by Jim James. Line-up: Jim James, Raphael Callaghan and Tony Gibbons Booth MD 0043 T, Poole MD 0067 T


OTB 0005 (1CD) 19 December 1985, 8.05-9pm Alexei Sayle, Alan Bleasdale, Mark Lewisohn I went to interview Alexei Sayle at a London venue where the supporting act was John Otway. As I walked to the stage, John Otway was doing a summersault, so he even did them at soundchecks. Contradicting public opinion, Alexi said, “Some of the worst comedians come from Liverpool, Jimmy Tarbuck for example.” He said, “If the entire First Division was wiped out, then the Second Division would be the First Division, but the players wouldn’t be as good. There’s a lot of mediocrity in the pop business today and Bruce Springsteen is one of them.” I had done a short interview with Otway but I didn’t broadcast it. Otway’s time to shine in On The Beat was to come. The Alan Bleasdale interview was at a preview for his film, No Surrender, being shown at the Classic in Crosby. I wanted his views on his West End success, Are You Lonesome Tonight. I was pleased to find that he had read Priscilla Presley’s memoir, Elvis And Me. He said, “I find it interesting that Priscilla told a far more dismal story than I did.” This is the first of many interviews with Mark Lewisohn in On The Beat, and from my introduction I hear that in 1985 he was best known as the Beatle Brain of Britain, but his book The Beatles Live! was about to be published and he talked very well about why the Beatles didn’t play South Africa and how many times they played the Cavern. He thinks their music will never die but “the phenomenon of the Beatles may subside in 20 years because the newspaper editors and radio station managers will have grown up in the 80s and will have less inclination to report on the activities of the Beatles anymore.” I played Gerry Marsden’s version of ‘Fool On The Hill’ from his new tribute album to Lennon and McCartney’s songwriting. Paul McCartney wrote a flattering endorsement on the sleeve, presumably before he had heard the results. Sayle MD 0079 T, Bleasdale MD 0176 T, Lewisohn MD 0210 T


The trial run went okay so On The Beat began in a new time slot, and a prime one, following Billy Butler’s Hold Your Plums on Sunday lunchtime. Billy and Wally had about 50 people crammed into Studio 1 in Paradise Street, which would certainly break today’s fire and safety regulations, and the programme was full of laughter. Occasionally, when the other studio was out of action, the studio had to be cleared while the final record was playing and I had to be in place when it ended. In turn, I was followed by the Liverpool novelist and former docker, Brian Jacques, with Jakestown, which was an eclectic mix of opera, folk music and scouse humour. Brian was an extraordinary character, considerably larger than life, and Radio 3 missed a good opportunity to bring opera to the masses through employing Brian nationally with his Liverpool accent. Brian once asked me if I would like to put a fiver on a fight in Sefton Park between two Liverpool bouncers. Big Stan, say, was a sure-fire bet. Maybe but although I wasn’t interested, the next week I asked him what happened. He said, “George cheated. He bit Big Stan’s ear off.” Eric Wise once told off Brian Jacques for smoking in the building and Brian said to Eric, “You find somebody who’s bigger than me to tell me to stop and I’ll do it.” In the first Sunday programme, I referred to him as BJ The DJ so I might have been heading for a punch myself. On The Beat adopted a more measured approach. The initial programmes had been quick moving – if you don’t like this item, it doesn’t matter as there will be another one in a minute, and the fact that some records aren’t played in full emphasises this. The idea now was to have one guest per programme; that is, until I got restless. I was taking over from John Kennedy’s oldies programme, Now And Then, which mostly played rock and roll. John’s show was very popular but his wife wasn’t keen on a local headmaster playing rock and roll on air and after 12 years, he was giving up the weekly show, but still doing some holiday specials. I played Chuck Berry’s ‘Bye Bye Johnny’ for him. He had previously had a Saturday night slot and I used to wonder why he got so many requests from Walton. When I took over his show for a couple of weeks when he was ill, I found out the answer: they all came from Walton Prison. OTB 0006 (1CD) Sunday 2 March 1986, 1-2pm Alan Freeman It was cunning of me to start my Sunday series with one of the country’s top DJs, Alan Freeman, the man who said, “Hi there, pop pickers”. He did, as it were, top Billy Butler and it put my programme in safe hands. I had travelled to London one Saturday morning to interview Alan after his stint on BBC Radio London. He was hot-seating with Kenny Everett and when Kenny came in, they kissed each other on the lips, the first time I had seen two men kissing. It hadn’t been difficult to secure an interview with Alan as he had an acting role in the new film, Absolute Beginners, to publicise. It was, I think, a decent interview covering his career and he said, “There I was, approaching 40, heading for middle age, and the Beatles made me feel young again. They were sensational.” Unreleased Merseybeat. Denny Seyton and the Sabres with ‘That’s What Love Will Do’ (1964), played 55 minutes in. I was continuing to answer listeners’ questions. One of them, “What happened to Marion Ryan who was a small woman with a big bust?” In the introduction, I refer to covering all forms of popular music – pop, rock, soul and country – oh, how simple life was then. The programme has an odd piece about people over 40 having hit records – the first person of pension age to have a No.1 was Louis Armstrong at 67. This research had been prompted by Frank Sinatra entering the charts with ‘New York, New York’, which, oddly enough, was popular in discos. Freeman MD 0045 T


OTB 0007 (1CD) Sunday 9 March 1986, 1-2pm Millie It is surprising that so many of my early interviews were in London but if I went there on a Saturday daytrip, it was only £10 return and I could fit in two, even three, interviews. I spoke to Millie of ‘My Boy Lollipop’ fame at her flat in Pimlico: she had been out of the music business for 15 years. She was thinking of returning but it hasn’t happened yet. Millie was breastfeeding her baby while I was talking to her, hence you can hear a happy, gurgling sound from time to time. We were alone in the apartment and no one would ever conduct an interview or be interviewed in such conditions today, but I don’t think either of us thought twice about it. During the interviews, Millie sang snatches of Bob Marley’s ‘Don’t Worry About a Thing’, Fats Domino’s ‘I’ve Been Around’ and her own ‘In A Dream’: it’s always good when an interviewee starts to sing: it shows that they’re relaxed and happy. Unexpected songs for Mother’s Day: ‘Mother Of A Miner’s Child’ (Gordon Lightfoot), ‘Mama, This One’s For Me’ (Jerry Lee Lewis), ‘Your Mother Should Know’ (Mike Batt) and ‘Julia’ (Beatles). I said that Jerry Lee Lewis had referred to himself over 300 times on his records. Had I counted them? Unreleased and very fine version of Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Shut Out The Light’ by the Tom Russell Band, given to me by Tom himself. I had seen something about him in a US magazine and dropped him a line. He had made a couple of albums but was still unknown. Millie MD 0065 T


OTB 0008 (1CD) Sunday 16 March 1986, 1-2pm Mike Batt I spoke to Mike Batt at his home alongside Hyde Park. It was about 11am and as we started talking, his fax started whirring. He broke off to see what the urgent communication was. At the time he was preparing an all-star version of Lewis Carroll’s The Hunting Of The Snark for an LP and the fax was a ‘Yes’ from Sir John Gielgud. He was delighted and was in a very good mood as we completed the interview. Mike Batt described an early job where he was writing a horn line for Family with Tubby Hayes playing saxophone. When he heard it, he knew he had the notes all wrong but Dave Mason the producer was delighted as he had never heard anything like it before. Great line from Mike on album credits: “The producer produces it and the executive producer doesn’t.” Mike describes watching Wogan and hearing Richard Adams say, “I hated ‘Bright Eyes’.” His response: “I hated The Plague Dogs.” Good question: if a record is said to have advance sales of a million, why isn’t No.1 on the next chart? I try to justify it but who can tell what hype a record company puts into a press release. Batt MD 0001, T


OTB 0009 (1CD) Sunday 23 March 1986, 1-2pm Ronnie Hawkins As far as I know, the rock and roll legend Ronnie Hawkins did few interviews when he came to London in 1986, but the UK promoter Ian Wallis offered me half an hour at the Mountbatten Hotel in London, a very sedate place for the Arkansas wild man. His opening words to me were, “It’s Wednesday, let’s get drunk.” I wondered what he did on Thursdays. When a girl harpist came into the lounge ready to play for the guests, Ronnie said, “Hey, you sweet-looking young thing, are you looking for a gig on Friday night?” It sounded like his standard chat-up line and maybe sometime it worked. At the end of interview he said, “90% of what I made went on women, whiskey, drugs and cars. Guess I just wasted the rest”, which is similar to George Best’s line. Ronnie spoke in aphorisms: “In 1954 Elvis couldn’t spell Memphis and by 1957 he owned it.” Great fun and good entertainer. Good tales about playing the chicken wire circuit and Dave Brubeck called him “the abortion of music”. Hawkins, MD 0037, 1986. Interview feature in Record Collector, January 1987.


OTB 0010 (1CD) Easter Sunday, 30 March 1986, 1-2pm Bernard Cribbins I met the comedy actor Bernard Cribbins when he was in Run For Your Life in the West End. He had been born in Oldham in 1928 and he talked of his time at the Liverpool Playhouse and living in Huskisson Street. His comedy singles like ‘Hole In The Ground’ and ‘Right Said Fred’ are as timeless as Tony Hancock. Annie Ross told him that the Count Basie Band heard ‘Hole In The Ground’ when they were in the UK and were buying copies to take back to the US. Much praise from Bernard Cribbins for his producer George Martin and his use of sound effects. It’s Easter Sunday so I played an a cappella ‘When I Survey The Wondrous Cross’ by Cliff Richard. Well, I shouldn’t think that’s had many airplays. Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show had a US hit with ‘Cover Of Rolling Stone’ but it was banned by the BBC for advertising. The PR people at CBS thought it would get airplay if they dubbed a new vocal over the title line and they changed it to ‘Cover Of Radio Times’. Still advertising and still banned. I’m confident it had never had airplay until this programme. Cribbins MD 0217 T


OTB 0011 (1CD) Sunday 6 April 1986, 1-2pm Fairport Convention Fairport Convention had reformed and released a new album, Gladys’ Leap. I speak to them in turn about the album to bass player Dave Pegg (who called their megaphone “the Spinners PA”), new boy and multi-instrumentalist Maartin Allcock, new boy and violinist Ric Sanders and drummer Dave Mattacks (talking about Sandy Denny). The interview was around the time of a soundcheck and from what I remember, Simon Nicol was arriving from elsewhere and as he arrived after the others, I didn’t get to talk to him. Dave Pegg said that they pressed 8,000 copies of Gladys’ Leap and they only had “a couple of hundred left”: it’s not often that you get that sort of information. Show opens with the Radio Caroline favourite, ‘Days of Pearly Spencer’ by David McWilliams. Ultra-rare version of ‘You Are My Sunshine’ by Duane Eddy, Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson. Another oddity was ‘Make My Day’ by T.G. Sheppard and Clint Eastwood, played because Clint was standing for Mayor of Carmel. Following Ronald Reagan, we were witnessing the start of celebrity politicians. One listener had asked me why I hadn’t asked Mike Batt about ‘Railway Hotel’. Actually, I had but I couldn’t broadcast everything. A great and underrated pop song and I played the version by Andy Williams. The question about the worst records ever made came from John Cochrane, who was the drummer with Wump and his Werbles, the first rock and roll band to play the Cavern. As a contender, I played Arthur Mullard with ‘I Only ’ave Eyes For You’, released on RCA who should have known better: “I bought that record in a sale for 5p and clearly I was robbed.” Fairport MD 0046-7 T


OTB 0012 (1CD) Sunday 13 April 1986, 1-2pm Stanley Black The pianist, composer and conductor Stanley Black was conducting a Pops Spectacular at the Liverpool Phil and I interviewed him after a rehearsal. I was keen to talk about his involvement with pop stars of the 50s and when I asked what he thought about working with David Whitfield, he said, “Do I really have to say? It was all right, I suppose, a job of work.” He was happier talking about the Goons and he said that he hadn’t appreciated the quality of the Beatles’ songwriting until he heard an album by Keely Smith. Quite a dominant speaker, rather like a schoolteacher. The reaction to the demo by Tom Russell had been very good – I read out a list of admirers to prove the point and John Cochrane commented, “I wish I could join a band like that.” I played another track, ‘As The Crow Flies’. Mick O’Toole, who became something of a regular reviewer, made his first appearance by writing in about Bobby Bare’s involvement in Bill Parsons’ US hit, ‘All American Boy’. Black MD 0193 T


OTB 0013 (1CD) Sunday 20 April 1986, 1-2pm Sonny Curtis Sonny Curtis of the Crickets was working with British musicians on a UK tour and his concert at the Montrose club in Liverpool was recorded by Radio Merseyside. This interview package included his composition ‘I Fought the Law’ from that concert. With wry humour, Sonny talked about playing with Buddy Holly, working with the Crickets after Holly’s death and the objections to the film, The Buddy Holly Story. The show ended with David Bowie singing ‘Volare’ from the soundtrack of Absolute Beginners, which sets us for next week’s show… Curtis MD 0009 T


OTB 0014 (1CD) Sunday 27 April 1986, 1-2pm Eurovision Special (7 past performers) I haven’t made enough use of my past interviews in On The Beat, really because I always have had new interviews that I prefer to broadcast. Here the Eurovision Song Contest was taking place the next weekend and I put together past UK entrants in chronological order: Teddy Johnson (‘Sing Little Birdie’ with Pearl Carr, 1959), Bryan Johnson (‘Looking High, High, High, 1960), Ronnie Carroll (‘Ring-A-Ding-Girl’, 1962 and ‘Say Wonderful Things’, 1963), Clodagh Rodgers (‘Jack In The Box’, 1971), Brian Bennett and Bruce Welch (‘Let Me Be The One’, The Shadows, 1975) and Lynsey De Paul (‘Rock Bottom’ with Mike Moran, 1977). It works fine but it is hard to imagine a naffer collection of songs. None of the interviews had been done specifically for this Eurovision special. The interview with Bryan Johnson came from Bob Azurdia and he had spoken to him when he was in panto in St. Helens. Bryan was in Donald Wolfit’s acting company and played the Fool in King Lear, causing Wolfit to proclaim “He was the best Fool I ever had”. Teddy Johnson MD 0213 T, Bryan Johnson MD 0058 T, Carroll MD 0019 T, Rodgers MD 0089 T, Bennett MD 0002 T, Welch MD 0003 T, De Paul MD0159 T


OTB 0015 (1CD) Sunday 4 May 1986, 1-2pm No guests; just answering listeners’ questions and playing a few records. I say that I’ve got over 200 questions so that’s good going, but it shows that many listeners don’t buy music books, not even UK Hit Singles. I should have answered more as I only took about 10. Played a topical song by Tom Paxton (‘We Can Have the Olympics over at Our House’), a solo track (‘Turning of the Wheel’) from Chuck McDermott who had been with John Stewart at Radio Merseyside’s fine concert, and a comedy sketch from Marty Feldman and Tim Brooke-Taylor, ‘Funny He Never Married’, which would be politically incorrect these days. I recall seeing Jack Jones at the Liverpool Empire and he asked where his girlfriend, Susan George’s parents were. “Here we are,” they said from way back in the theatre. “Couldn’t they have found you better seats,” he asked. “Listen, mate, we paid for our seats,” said some wag at the front. So many people have left Genesis that they could be renamed Exodus: not a bad joke. No show on 11 May 1986 as Liverpool were being paraded around the city having beaten Everton 3-1 in the Cup Final.


OTB 0016 (1 CD) Sunday 18 May 1986, 1-2pm Brook Benton Brook Benton was opening for Nancy Wilson at Southport Theatre. I would have liked to have spoken to both of them, but Nancy wasn’t doing interviews, possibly because the tabloids thought she was dating Tom Jones. I went into Brook Benton’s dressing-room and asked him to sign a couple of albums, one was a UK compilation that he had not seen before. He said, “Can I have this record?” I said, “I was rather hoping you would it sign for me.” He replied, “You do want an interview, don’t you?” So he went back to America with my LP. The interview was okay, a nice rich voice but he wasn’t very forthcoming. The guitarist he was trying to remember on ‘Rainy Night In Georgia’ was Cornell Dupree. Back with the listeners’ questions, someone had noted that Josh MacRae had three Top 20 hits in one chart book and none in another. I thought that one chart sampled more Scottish shops than the other, which may be true, but I know now that Record Mirror sometimes manipulated the charts. Benton MD 0085 T


OTB 0017 (1CD) Sunday 25 May 1986, 1-2pm Mark Lewisohn Hard to say why it took so long but Mark Lewisohn was my first live guest. He was also my first repeat guest, having appeared in OTB 0005, an interview recorded at the Beatles Convention. There were five copies of The Beatles Live! to be given away. I had asked the listeners for questions and Mark had no advance knowledge. They presented no problems at all and he talks with authority about the writing of ‘Nowhere Man’; when they became the Beatles; when they were first wore suits; Jim McCartney’s jazz band; the Beatles at the David Lewis Theatre; the Beatles’ view of the Hollies (There was an early headline, ‘Lennon blasts Hollies’: ML says “The Hollies were contemporaries of the Beatles and came along because of the Beatles.”); the Litherland Town Hall performance of the Beatmakers: Johnny Gus playing bass for the Beatles at St John’s Hall while Paul went into the audience with a mike; Bernard Purdie’s claim in Modern Drummer that he played on 21 Beatle records: the two versions of ‘Love Me Do’; Monty Lister’s questions to the Beatles; the NME said that they had recorded ‘Keep Your Hands Off My Baby’ for EMI (erroneously); a gig in Portsmouth that was cancelled because Paul had flu; the Beatles at Little Theatre, Southport: the value of Beatles autographs on a napkin (“£50 perhaps”); the sacking of Pete Best (“jealousy, drumming ability and shyness”); the fact that Paul wants sight of questions before an interview “but he can speak for two minutes and you would be none the wiser”; why Pete Best didn’t make it (“Some people are cut out for fame and some aren’t.”): why didn’t the Beatles record in America (“They nearly did in Memphis”); why the Hollywood Bowl album did not come out at the time (The Beatles didn’t want it out); the Beatles’ last performance and last song at the Liverpool Empire (‘I’m Down’, Liverpool Empire, 5 December 1965). Mark chooses the prize-winners: Neil Foster, Bob Rankine, Brian Bowman, Bill Williamson, Geoffrey Davis. Gosh, that’s a full and informative programme. There was a passing comment from Kenny Johnson that Sonny Webb and the Cascades for £7.50 for playing the Grafton Rooms. He wanted to know what the Beatles were paid: Mark said that it depended on which show it was. The Beatles had played the Grafton three times and got £30, £100 and £300. Beatle quotes Live T


OTB 0018 (1CD) Sunday 1 June 1986 Petula Clark (Part 1) Following Let’s Go Down The Cavern, I had been conducting interviews for Shakin’ All Over, which would look at British popular music before the Beatles – 12 one-hour programmes. Petula Clark, born in Epsom in 1932, had agreed to an interview at her apartment in South Kensington – I remember an enormous glass coffee-table and noting that her nearest grocer’s was Harrod’s. I got an hour of her time and she was a superb interviewee, modest and yet proud of her success. Pet wasn’t sure about rock and roll: “I found Bill Haley completely boring.” There’s a wonderful story about Charlie Chaplin wanting to give his composition, ‘This Is My Song’, to Al Jolson. He had to be shown a photograph of Jolson’s grave to be sure he was dead and then the song went to Petula Clark. Though I say it myself – there’s a neat edit of the English, Spanish, French and Italian versions of ‘Downtown’. To meet a listener’s request, I played Perry Como’s ‘Look Out The Window And See How I’m Standing In the Rain’. They don’t write them like that anymore. Clark MD 0103 T. Interview feature in Record Collector, January 1986.


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