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21 21


I've had many times, I can tell you,
Times when innocence I'd trade for company,
And children saw me crying.
I thought I had my share of that.
But these Miss You Nights are the longest.
Midnight diamonds stud my heaven,
Southward burning lie the jewels that eye your place,
And warm winds that embrace me,
Just as surely kissed your face.
Yeah, these Miss You Nights they're the longest.

How I missed you,
How I missed you, I'm not likely to tell.
I'm a man,
And cold daylight buys the pride I'd rather sell.
All my secrets,
All my secretes are a wasted affair,
You know them well.

Thinking of my going,
How to cut the thread and leave it all behind.
Looking windwards, for my compass,
I take each day as it arrives.
But these Miss You Nights are the longest.

Lay down,
Lay down all thoughts of your surrender,
It's only me who's killing time.
Play down,
Play down all dreams and themes once remembered,
It's just the same, this miss you game.

Yes, these Miss You Nights are the longest.


I'm not that much of a fan of Cliff Richard. There's nothing that I can put into sensible enough words to explain why but there it is. What I can acknowledge is the fact that Cliff has had a remarkable career, lasting more than 50 years. That is a remarkable achievement in any walk of life, but in the fickle, ever-changing world of popular music, it is truly incredible. His fans are the most loyal of any artist, ever. He is a devout and clean-living Christian, and no hint of scandal has ever been associated with his name or reputation. Even after saying all that, I still cannot bring myself to actually like him, as a person or a singer. Sorry!

I've only ever bought 2 records by Cliff. "Travellin' Light" and "Miss You Nights". The former was my first ever "45" purchase, so can I be excused on the grounds of juvenile irresponsibility please? However, I was a more mature person when in February 1976 I added "Miss You Nights" to my collection. It was a medium-sized hit nearly 3 years after his previous top 10 entry, but surely it is the very best song he has ever recorded. It's a beautiful song - a marvellous song and has been acknowledged by Cliff as his personal favourite (so he has got good taste after all!). I've got a version by Art Garfunkel, but it's not the definitive version, Cliff's is.

Now, guess what! I worked with the composer of "Miss You Nights". Honest, guv. Dave Townsend is a Tauntonian. What he was doing in the post room of the Education Department of the Somerset County Council I really don't know. But he was, and we were on reasonably close speaking terms. It was at a time when the rigid dress code and grooming was being relaxed, and I clearly remember Dave with very long flowing hair and white (ish) trainers! Not the usual County Hall image, but he was a nice guy. He also sang in a quite well-known local group which had some limited success.

So, to have this slight acquaintance with the composer of one of the most poignant and heart-rending songs of the Century is something special - special enough to help elevate "Miss You Nights" up there in a very high no.21 place. I've not met Dave Townsend since those days in the early 70's, and I didn't like Cliff Richard much then either.

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22 22


I was perched outside in the pouring rain
Trying to make myself a sail,
Then I'll float to you my darlin'
With the evening on my tail,
Although not the most honest means of travel
It gets me there nonetheless,
I'm a heartless man at worst, babe
And a helpless one at best.

Darling I'll bathe your skin,
I'll even wash your clothes,
Just give me some candy
Before I go,
Oh, darling I'll kiss your eyes
And lay you down on your rug,
Just give me some candy
After my heart.

Oh, and I'm often found explaining
But to her it plays out all the same,
And although I'm left defeated
It gets held against my name,
I know you got plenty to offer baby
But I guess I've taken quite enough,
Well I'm some stain there on your bed sheet
You're my diamond in the rough.

Darling I'll bathe your skin,
I'll even wash your clothes,
Just give me some candy
Before I go,
Oh, darling I'll kiss your eyes
And lay you down on your rug,
Just give me some candy
After my hug.

I know that there are writings on the wall
But darling I'll bathe your skin
I'll even wash your clothes,
Just give me some candy
After my hug.

I'll be there waiting for you.
I'll be there waiting for you.

All the cut throats and their jagged ends,
All of them have got me waiting and waiting,
All the cheap and sugary philosophies
Have got me on the fence just waiting and waiting,
All the angels and their halo's, all of them
Have got me waiting and waiting.


Paolo Giovanni Nutini is a Scottish singer, songwriter and musician of Italian extraction from Paisley and his family has been in Scotland for three generations. Aged just 17, Nutini moved to London and performed regularly at The Bedford pub in Balham, and other radio and live appearances followed, including two live acoustic spots on Radio London, The Hard Rock Cafe, and support slots for The Rolling Stones, Amy Winehouse and KT Tunstall.

His debut album, "These Streets", was released in the UK in July 2006 and included the singles "Last Request", "Jenny Don't Be Hasty", "Rewind" and "New Shoes". "Last Request" was the most successful, reaching number five in the Singles Chart in the UK.

In June 2009, Nutini released his second album, the brilliant, self-produced "Sunny Side Up", which debuted at number one in the UK and has produced four singles, "Candy", "Coming Up Easy", "Pencil Full of Lead" and "10/10". Then, in January 2010, "Sunny Side Up" topped the UK Album Charts for a second time. It continued to sell in sizeable quantities throughout 2010. In February 2010, it scooped "Best International Album" at the 2010 Meteor Awards.

I have been buying records since the mid to late '50's and I very rarely get really excited by a "new" voice on the music scene anymore. In the 21st century, Paolo Nutini is most definitely one of those voices that does excite me. It has an undefineable quality that lends itself to many different styles of song and "Sunny Side Up" showcases that quality. In my opinion, it is the best album released by any artist in the 21st century - so far! I love it. "Candy" is the standout track on the album and when released as a single did reasonably well. But I'm sure its' sales were affected by the high numbers buying the album from which it was taken. "Candy" is a love song with poetic words and memorable melody. It is beautiful. I look forward so much to more from this talented young man - there must be another album somewhere on the horizon. The quicker the better!

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23 23


Hey, hey baby
I wanna know
if you`ll be my girl

When I saw you walking down the streets
I said that's the kind of gal I`d like to meet
she's so pretty, Lord she`s fine
I'm gonna make her mine all mine

Hey, hey baby
I wanna know if you`ll be my girl

When you turned and walked away
that`s when I want to say
come on baby give me a whirl
I wanna know if you`ll be my girl

Hey, hey baby
I wanna know
if you`ll be my girl


If there's one pop song from the very early days of the 60's that encapsulated the joy and sheer happiness of being a teenager at that most wonderful of times it was Bruce Channel's smash hit "Hey! Baby".

A very unusual voice - that's what is most striking about Bruce's record. But, did you know that the harmonica intro directly influenced a fledgling British foursome so much that they made a similar, almost "tribute" style intro to their first hit - which was called "Love Me Do"? The Beatles actually were influenced by Bruce Channel.

Bruce didn't go from strength to strength after Hey! Baby. The follow-up was the identical "Number One Man" which sunk without a trace (I bought it though, and all the other misses he had in the decade!). I really enjoyed the soulful sounds emanating from a singer who has never really become known to the masses. He did have two minor successes some years later - "Keep On" & "Mr Bus Driver", but nothing else - ever!

That's not to say he has been forgotten completely, however. I searched the net and a surprising amount came to light - including the fact that a bluesy album from those husky vocal chords was released not so long ago - I may well invest a few dollars by ordering it from the States!

So, "Hey! Baby" is a super reminder of my formative years - of the evenings spent after school in Radlet Close and Priorswood Playing Fields with my many friends of the time. It's a biggie in my charts - and I really do wonder if those from my past associate it with those few wonderful years as much as I do.

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24 24


If I didn't have a dime, and I didn't take the time to play the juke box
Saturday night would have been a sad and lonely night for me

And if you weren't standing there ruby lips and golden hair, beside the juke box
I'd have lost my chance to hold you while you danced with me

While the records turned and turned we danced and learned, our hearts had yearned for this
`Neath the moon we walked and walked and talked of love, and then...we kissed

Now with every sweet caress, oh my darlin' how I blessed that little juke box
Love songs that they sing wouldn't mean a single thing
Even though you're standing there ruby lips and golden hair
If I didn't have a dime and I didn't take the time...to play the juke box

Now with every sweet caress, oh my darlin' how I blessed that little juke box
Love songs that they sing wouldn't mean a single thing
Even though you're standing there ruby lips and golden hair
If I didn't have a dime and I didn't take the time...to play the juke box


I'd bought "Love My Life Away", Gene's first chart hit some time earlier, but it was just another U.S. hit (a good one though) by an unknown U.S. artist.

There are always quintessential moments in your life, and musically speaking the day I heard "If I Didn't Have A Dime" was one such moment. We all liked singers like Neil Sedaka, Del Shannon and other top pre-Beatle Era American singers, but one evening in Radlet Close, Taunton, listening to Radio Luxembourg on a well-used tranny with the "gang" (gangs were nice, friendly, social things then, not like today), there came this sound across the airwaves. Ray Poole's ears waggled!!! What was this pretty little song? I liked it - I liked it a lot. Very few songs hit you straight away - most grow on you, but this was one that was an immediate favourite. Radio Luxembourg faded out - I didn't catch the title. Shock/horror! One of the lads wanted to help - "It was by some girl called Jean, I think they said". No-one else seemed to care too much, and more important things were on the agenda!

For several days, I kept trying to recall that little song about a jukebox by a girl called Jean and also consulted my Friday copy of "New Musical Express"! Nothing, zilch.

As I said, this just happened to be a defining moment in my record-buying history! For when I finally stumbled upon what the record was and who sang it, it was the start of nearly 40 years of buying, playing and enjoying the recordings of a great singer. There it was - a small mention in another music paper, "Disc". The clue was in the brackets! "If I Didn't Have A Dime (to play the jukebox) by Gene Pitney.

Adam Faith was about to be deposed! Gene was tops now. The bonus was that Mr Pitney was such a fine person to have as a pop hero. Clean-cut, tidy, very decently dressed and when interviewed, highly articulate too. Girls in the "Close" liked him as he was a good-looking chap - the lads liked him because he could sing well.

Those were the days of the twice-nightly pop concert tours involving up to 6 top attractions of the moment and the "Radlet Gang" were always up for it when these shows were on tour in the south-west. Amazingly, Gene never actually appeared in Taunton, but regular visits to Bristol and Exeter over the next few years gave us the opportunity to see Gene live, and he was one of the few artists who were as good on stage as on record.

I championed Gene Pitney for several unproductive years as far as chart hits were concerned, until there came the big breakthrough -"24 Hours From Tulsa", of course. The rest, as they say, is history.

Gene Pitney, a name who has been with me musically for over 40 years, sadly passed away after a concert in Cardiff on 5th April 2006 - midway through another sell-out tour of the UK. I admired him so much as a man and as a musical perfectionist. A true Star.

I can't remember who it was in Radlet Close who thought Mr P. was a girl singer, but I do realise that Gene wasn't a British male name in 1962. Radio Luxembourg continued to play his music throughout the decade, and we all knew by then who it was - a male Gene!

Happy, happy days.

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25 25


Don't speak of my heart, it hurts too much, hurts to touch,
I'm writing the book each and every day.
Take a look at my face, I still need, I still bleed,
I've been running on empty since you went away.

The spirit world looks down on us, sad that we're apart,
So please don't speak of my heart.

Whenever we talk she says hang on, just hang on,
Meanwhile I'm drowning in the pouring rain.
And each time we meet there's a sad farewell, sad farewell
She tells me someday I'm gonna love again.

The way that she walked out on me still tears me apart,
So please don't speak of my heart.

Every day's an endless maze of dreams that fade and die,
No one believed we were saying goodbye.
And every night I think of you I'm still left wondering why,
I can't believe that we're saying goodbye.

And when I wake up in the morning and wonder where I'm going to,
It all came without a warning, what's a man supposed to do?

Don't let your heart break down, don't let your heart break down.

Don't speak of my heart, it hurts too much, hurts to touch,
I'm writing the book each and every day.
Take a look at my face, I still need, I still bleed,
I've been running on empty since you went away.

The spirit world looks down on us, sad that we're apart,
Don't wanna talk about it, don't make me think about it,
So please don't speak of my heart.


Of course, "Baker Street" will always be the song most associated with the late Gerry Rafferty. However, he has a list of albums accredited to him which proves that he is far from a one-hit wonder.

"Don’t Speak Of My Heart" is a fabulous composition. It has just about everything that a song should have. Great tune, descriptive lyrics and an orchestral accompaniment to die for! When you think it has reached perfection, it gets even better. Its 6 minutes, crafted perfectly by Gerry and his brother Jim, which produces something nigh on perfect.

The greatest tribute I can pay is to say that when it’s finished I want to play it all over again - and enjoy the way that it builds to a great pinnacle of perfection only achieved by very few songs. I’ve a feeling that "Don’t Speak Of My Heart" may will achieve an even higher placing when I review the list sometime in the future.

The classic pop song had no greater ambassador throughout the 1970s than Gerry Rafferty. Ironically the greatest charge to his work was when he was battling the music business - the innate fire and passion of the Scotsman pouring forth on the cool, manipulative machinations of the record industry in London; it was a classic 'city to city' confrontation, a fact which he readily acknowledged in the title of his most successful album.

But if Gerry Rafferty was often his own worst enemy then the beneficiaries were a growing army of fans who were to push international sales of City to City above 5.5 million.

Gerry Rafferty arrived in London in 1969 having replaced Tam Harvey alongside Billy Connolly in The Humblebums. For a while their different musical backgrounds provided a fertile counterpoint and yielded two collectors albums but when, in Gerry's words "Billy's jokes were getting longer and longer, the songs shorter and shorter", it was time to go their separate ways.

The miraculous low-budget solo album Can I Have My Money Back? (another provocative title) fulfilled the contract with Trans-Atlantic and set in progress a long, fruitful relationship with producer Hugh Murphy.

It was during the second phase of his career that Gerry Rafferty was to gain his first taste of commercial success after forming Stealers Wheel with Joe Egan, whom he'd first met on the Glasgow pop scene when he was 17. The band should also have featured fife folk luminary Rab Noakes with Gerry and Roger Brown in a British answer to Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, but Noakes pulled out, to be followed by a series of personnel changes. True to form, Stuck in the Middle With You, which was a stateside #1 and a song which Paul Simon at the time remarked was his favourite pop song, was conceived as a tongue-in-cheek lampoon on a farcical management pre-signing party for record execs.

"The party was held in a fashionable restaurant in London. We all sat at a huge long table, like one of those scenes from the Last Supper. A few days later Joe Egan and I wrote this humorous little ditty about everyone getting out of it, never thinking it would go to number one in America", Rafferty recalls, "But in some ways it was our downfall because it put a lot of pressure on us."

Refusing to tour the States and generally "play the industry game", he left the band and returned to Scotland as the collapse of their management company eventually brought the curtain down - some would say prematurely, some would say for the best - on Stealers Wheel's chequered four-year run.

Unfettered by management or musician problems, Gerry Rafferty was now to embark on the most consistently productive period of his career. He had left London disillusioned and licking his wounds, but back in the bosom of his family he was soon ready to demo five or six songs in Edinburgh and set off in search of the recording deal that was to lead him to United Artists. "I knew I'd written a good bunch of songs so I called Hugh Murphy and we recorded at Chipping Norton. I remember thinking I'd be pleased if City to City sold 50,000 copies" he recalls. It sold five and a half million, delivered arguably the best pop song of the year in Baker Street and certainly the most memorable sax intro of all time, although Raphael Ravenscroft's line had actually been written and performed by Rafferty on the original demo of the song."

Both he and Murphy knew they had an outstanding track but felt it too esoteric to foist on a record company and indeed United artist pre-empted its release with the album's title track before a groundswell from among the ranks at UA demanded its inevitable single status.

The shadow of melancholy now seemed to rise like a weight from Gerry Rafferty's shoulders. Baker Street was an instant smash and he went on tour with the core of top session team that had made City to City - men like Tommy Eyres, Gary Taylor, Hiugh Burns, Jerry Donahue, and Henry Spinetti.

The album was slow to move but by the time they reached Belgium they learnt that it had finally gone top ten in America. Still Gerry refused to tour the States but conceded to make a single appearance on the David Frost Show - which catapulted City to City straight to the top spot. The album's success was duly reinforced by sales of the next single Right Down the Line, which was another Transatlantic hit.

Gerry now decided to leave home base in Scotland once again and return to the south-east of England. Through 1979 he was writing and recording Night Owl in a period of frenzied output. His creative juices turning out songs like the title track and the unforgettable Get It Right Next Time, which both chalked up bigger successes the other side of the Atlantic where his FM/AOR formula was perfectly suited to American audio ears. With very little promotional back up, Night Owl reached a sales aggregate of 2.5 million units.

Inevitably this album was to be the turning point. Financially secure on the one hand and the "production line" pressure to turn out hits on the other, Gerry Rafferty was feeling creatively spent by the time he sat down to produce Snakes and Ladders. Having lost the desire to manufacture chart hits he went to George Martin's studio in Montserrat and delivered one of his best socio-political polemics in The Garden of England (on the CD version of this compilation), as well as Look at the Moon (on the vinyl version) and a beautifully remixed Bring It All Home. But if The Garden of England best summed up Gerry Rafferty's Snakes and Ladders mood, a song called The Right Moment fulfilled that position on the subsequent Sleepwalking album - a song considered by the artist to be among the best he'd ever written.

Finding himself at the crossroads and looking to replace the treadmill with a new dimension in his life he built a recording studio at his Kent farm and by the time Sleepwalking was released by EMI in 1983, following their take-over of UA, he and his family were off on the road - living for a year in Italy, then driving across America. "I enjoyed travelling outside the confines of the music business. But eventually my puritanical streak emerged once again so I settled down, set up a home studio and started to write and record.

Working once again with co-producer Hugh Murphy, the resulting North and South album showed the song writer to be back to his hungriest and most creative. The autobiographical title again dwelling on the dichotomy between the years living in and around London and his genuine need to stay in touch with his Celtic roots.

Gerry's life came to an end in early January 2011. Fans will always have an extensive musical library of his work to call upon, but will for ever be saddened that his final years did not add to his reputation as a genuinely talented artist. Rest in peace, Gerry. Thank you so much for "Don't Speak Of My Heart".

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26 26


Second Street on Broadway
Sittin' in a doorway, head held in his hands
Looked to all the world like he was prayin'.
Foot wrapped in old rag, bottle in a brown bag,
I saw him trying to stand
Then I heard the words that he was sayin'

He said...

Come on, Carrie,
Carry me a little farther
Come on, Carrie,
Carry me one more mile.
I don't know where it's leadin' to,
But I know I can make it if I lean on you,
So come on, Carrie,
Carry me a little
I carried you, now carry me a little
Come on, Carrie, carry me a little while.

Well he struggled to his feet and staggered down the street
To the window of a five and dime
He stood and laughed a while at his reflection.
And then I heard him shoutin' something 'bout a mountain
He could surely climb
If she was only there to point the right direction.
But she ain't, no, but she ain't, no....

He said

Come on, Carrie,
Carry me a little farther
Come on, Carrie,
Carry me one more mile
I don't know where it's leadin' to,
But I know I can make it if I lean on you,
So come on, Carrie,
Carry me a little.
I carried you, now carry me a little
Come on, Carrie,
Carry me a little while....


Picture it.......perhaps remember it from experience.......Dr Hook troop off the stage, all except Dennis. Alone on stage with just his guitar, he builds the expectant audience up to this - the highlight of the 1970’s /1980’s concerts.

We loved the change of pace from the frenetic clowning around, but we didn’t know then that it was a foretaste what was to happen 30 years or more down the road, when Dennis was the solo star, alone on stage with just his guitar, and a 165 minute performance. No, it was 5 minutes back then, with "Carry Me, Carrie" - a Shel Silverstein classic about drunkeness and pleas for assistance to get him that one more mile. It’s so desperate a song, so gut-wrenching that you can almost smell the alcohol fumes. It was a truly marvellous few minutes that we treasured greatly - and still do.

So that is "Carry Me, Carrie" by Dr Hook & the Medicine Show, taken from the 1972 album "Sloppy Seconds". A great pop song.

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27 27


You and I can share the silence
Finding comfort together
The way old friends do

And after fights and words of violence
We make up with each other
The way old friends do

Times of joy and times of sorrow
We will always see it through
Oh I don't care what comes tomorrow
We can face it together
The way old friends do

We can face it together
The way old friends do


I think I explained in the Introduction Page to this Top 100 that sometimes I've made a choice of a track for personal reasons as much as for the fact that it is a great song.

Well, I guess that this live Abba performance qualifies on both counts. The final track on the highly successful 1980 album "Super Trouper", and I can think of few Abba recordings that pluck at the heart-strings as much as this one. Perhaps there have been more famous songs from the Swedish pop phenomenon, but I have some personal reasons for choosing "The Way Old Friends Do". For once I really don't want to explain more fully why, but the words are central to its' selection and recall some emotional times for me.

As I comment later in the count-down, Abba's songs are very deceptive and once again, the simplicity of the delivery hides a more complex arrangement. Critics continue to question how strongly the group deserve the acclamation poured upon them over the years, but for me they sum up the true essence of a successful pop act.

The girls' voices combine as well as any twosome ever have - in fact, I cannot bring to mind any female duo that can even come close. I bet you their songs will still be sung in a hundred years from now.

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28 28


The time has come for me to hang my head in shame
The time has come for me to say that I'm to blame
The time has come for love's return but it won't be the same
Oh please believe me I won't make the same mistakes again.

The time has come to end this very sad affair
The time has come for you and I once more to share a summers kiss
But love's return won't ever be the same
Oh please believe me I won't make the same mistakes again.

No more sorrows, no more cheating
Our tomorrows won't be repeating the past

So here am I to ask if you can still forgive
If you can love, the time has come for love to live
With no regrets, but take my word that love won't be the same
Oh please believe me I won't make the same mistakes again

Oh please believe me I won't make the same mistakes again.


Come on, you people who remember me when I was a spotty, immature 14 year-old! Was I, or was I not, Adam Faith's biggest fan? Yep! When I had that Dansette record player for Christmas 1959, it was Adam who was my hero. Those appearances on early the Saturday evening's BBCtv pop shows in `59 were just at the time I was developing strong personal musical tastes.

"What Do You Want", "Poor Me", "Someone Else's Baby" etc., etc., etc. All were bought and played to death, as was "Adam", my first LP purchase. I related with Adam, for some reason. I suppose he had straight hair with a parting. So did I. He wasn't that tall. Nor was I. He couldn't sing that well! Nor could I! How on earth could I chose Cliff Richard compared with Adam Faith?

I saw Adam live, at the Princess Theatre, Torquay, with pen-pal Janet Hurt from Sheffield when we were on holiday in Paignton in `61 - he was actually a lot shorter than me, and he could sing a lot better than me! His hair was a lot blonder than mine. Yes, I liked Adam and all his efforts at singing.

Then he made a totally ridiculous "comedy" film about (whisper this, please) the Loch Ness Monster, starring Sid James and Wilfred Bramble amongst others who are instantly forgettable! But the film contained a performance of a song which will always be in my favourites list. Adam's rendition of "The Time Has Come" conjures up memories of those early teenage years of mine, before the Swinging 60's were to take our innocence. Exciting times where friends had strong allegiances to such superstars as Lonnie Donegan (Terry Ling), The Everly Brothers (Alan Vowles), Duane Eddy (David Eele) and French stars like Francoise Hardy (Colin Matthews)!

It was Adam Faith for me, bless him. Then along came the Beatles and we changed those strong allegiances for ever! Adam continued for a while with a Mersey-sounding song or two, but times had changed for ever, and I found a new hero to support - Gene Pitney.

I listen to Adam's songs today and realise how ultra-commercial they were, but they were right for the times, and I am not ashamed to say that I still enjoy singing along to them all, but none more so than "The Time Has Come". O.K., "byebee"!!!!

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29 29


We went to the room and we bolted the door,
The bass from the jukebox was coming through the floor,
And out through the walls we could still hear the roar of the trains.
Was this all the comfort we got for our sins?
No candles, no waiters, no soft violins?
A dirty electric convector plugged into the mains.

I had wanted much more for the first night with you,
But the Railway Hotel was the best I could do.
I knew the Savoy would have suited you well,
But the best I could do was the Railway Hotel.

Away in the sky were the lights of a jet,
Burning in the night like a slow cigarette.
The lamp in the street threw a soft silhouette on the wall.
And though it was crumbling and rundown and dead
A chair and a sink and an old single bed,
The love we began and the things that we said, I recall.

I had wanted much more for the first night with you,
But the Railway Hotel was the best I could do.
I knew the Savoy would have suited you well,
But the best I could do was the Railway Hotel


Mike Batt is an unsung hero of British contemporary music - one of the major figures in our generation's music history. He may not have notched up many chart successes as a solo singer, but the list of songs that he has penned for numerous other world stars is absolutely staggering! Almost every hit from the pen of this prolific British composer is a classic - beautiful tunes, descriptive often-emotive lyrics are his trademark. This is a self-penned song which has been recorded by several other well-known singers including a memorable version by Roger Whittaker. However, I feel that Mike's way of delivering the plaintive, wistful lyrics of gentle regret is just about perfect.How many of us have wished for a situation to have been so much better than it was only to realise some time later that the reason we recall it with such nostalgia is because it wasn't as wonderful as it could have been? I think that "Railway Hotel" is a very romantic song. Not in a slushy, candle-lit, floral way but in a more realistic way, and Mike Batt has picked the right mood and reminded us all that love songs come in all guises, including no-star hotels next to a railway-line!

Isn't he a fine composer/song-writer. Talent comes in all shapes and sizes and Mike is a great example of achieving the very best that you can. His consistent track record of success includes production, composition and conducting on projects as diverse as Watership Down (writing and producing Art Garfunkel's 10 million selling international number one single, "Bright Eyes") Phantom of The Opera (producing, co-writing with Andrew Lloyd Webber and orchestrating the first hit) and a great deal of symphonic work, including many television and film scores. He is the only composer ever to have won the Ivor Novello Award for "Best Film Music" two years in succession, once with "Watership Down" and once with "Caravans" the epic adaptation of James Michener"s novel, starring Anthony Quinn. He has conducted many of the world's great orchestras including the London Symphony, The London Philharmonic, The Royal Philharmonic, The Sydney Symphony Orchestra, the State Orchestra of Victoria and The National Symphony Orchestra Of Ireland. He has also had successes as a stage and TV designer and director, having developed a unique system of animation design for the live theatre and television productions.

He began his career in popular music at the age of eighteen, as a signed artist and subsequently Head of A&R (Artist signing and Record Production) at Liberty/United Artistes Records, leaving to form his own music publishing company two years later, and simultaneously working as a recording artist. His first hits as a singer/songwriter/producer were by The Wombles, in 1974. After eight hit singles and four Gold albums with The Wombles, he moved on to work with Steeleye Span ("All Around My Hat"), the Kursall Flyers ("Little Did She Know"), Elkie Brookes ("Lilac Wine"), Barbara Dickson ("Caravan Song") and Art Garfunkel ("Bright Eyes") all of which were top five in at least the UK.

As a singer, his solo albums include "Schizophonia" and "Tarot Suite" (both with the London Symphony Orchestra). From these albums came the European hit songs "Railway Hotel", "Lady Of The Dawn", "The Winds Of Change" and "The Ride To Agadir". He achieved the number 4 position as an artist in the UK charts in 1976 with his single "Summertime City". In 1983, Mike wrote and produced three more top ten hits, "Please Don't Fall In Love" (for Cliff Richard), "A Winter's Tale" (for David Essex, with lyric co-written by Tim Rice) and "I Feel Like Buddy Holly" (for Alvin Stardust).

He made his concert debut as a conductor at the Barbican with the LSO in 1984, with a programme including the Carmen Suites (Bizet), The Sorcerer's Apprentice (Dukas) and other light classics, and has since conducted the LSO, LPO and RPO in various programmes and/or recordings of well-known repertoire pieces such as The Planets Suite (Holst), Scheherezade (Rimsky Korsakov) and Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture (Tchaikovsky). In 1990, he was Music Director of the Melbourne Summer Music Festival, with the State Orchestra of Victoria.

He produced, arranged and conducted the "Cover Shot" album by David Essex (top three in the UK albums chart) and recorded his Symphonic Suite "The Dream Stone" with the London Philharmonic Orchestra at Abbey Road Studios. He was then commissioned to write the official Anthem for the inauguration of the Channel Tunnel by the Queen. Mike composed and produced the three million-selling album with classical violinist Vanessa Mae (EMI Classics, 1995) from which the top ten single "Toccata and Fugue in D minor" was taken.

In 1997, Mike produced and conducted the hit album "A Night At The Movies" for David Essex and composed a special celebration piece, "Royal Gold" commissioned by the military for the Queen's 50th Wedding anniversary. This was recently performed for Her Majesty at the Royal Tournament, by the massed bands of the Scots, Welsh, Irish, Colstream and Grenadier Guards, together with 100 pipers. That year, he also composed the score for the two hour American TV documentary, "The Eye Of The Storm", about Richard Nixon, - recorded with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, including the title song co-written with Don Black. He also acted as music supervisor to the film "Richard III" starring Sir Ian McKellern.

Also in 1998, Mike produced, arranged and conducted the album, "Philharmania" with the Royal Philharmonic and guest singers including Roger Daltrey, Marc Almond, Bonnie Tyler, Status Quo, Huey Lewis, Kim Wilde, Justin Hayward and many others. Also in 1998, he relaunched the Wombles pop group, with two hits, "Remember You're A Womble" (at number 13) and "The Wombling Song" (at number 22).

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Wish they hadn't seen you walk away
And heard me beg you "Stay, please stay"
Why, why did we choose this crowded place
They all know it, 'cause I show it in my face

Everybody knows you said goodbye
Everybody knows we're through
Now they all can see the tears I cry
Running down my face for you

They all said it's too good to be true
It'll make a fool of you one day
I just laughed and said our love was strong
But you left me and they all know I was wrong

Everybody knows you're tired of me
Everybody knows we're through
Though I'm on my own I can't be free
Baby, I just live for you

Everybody knows you said goodbye
Everybody knows we're through
Now they all can see the tears I cry
Running down my face for you

Everybody knows you're tired of me
Everybody knows we're through
Though I'm on my own I can't be free
Baby, I just live for you


This is another of those little songs that is of quite strong personal significance to me. I’d rather not delve too deeply into that, but I’d like to commend this contemporary group of the Beatles from the 1960’s.

There were 4 or 5 groups challenging the “Fab 4” for top spot in the affections of the record-buying public both here and in the States. The Dave Clark 5 were one of those groups. They released hit after stomping hit - normally upbeat songs perfect for dancing to. Then, of course, the time came for them to be brave and ask their fans to buy a ballad.

Naturally, Ray Poole loved the tuneful, pretty song and it soon became a strong favourite. I particularly like the ‘cello in the orchestral backing - it adds a strong yet sweet sound to the accomplished vocals, and it lifts the whole thing to a higher level.

The Dave Clark 5 played their part in the British domination of world music in the 60’s and I think this performance ranks up there with the very best. An interesting fact to finish on - the group actually released 2 singles in the 1960’s with the same title, “Everybody Knows” - that must be unique, don’t you think?

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The mornin' sun touched lightly on the eyes of Lucy Jordan
In her white suburban bedroom, in her white suburban town
As she lay there 'neath the covers, dreaming of a thousand lovers
'Til the world turned to orange and the room went spinnin' round

At the age of 37, she realised she'd never ride
Through Paris in a sports car, with the warm wind in her hair
And she let the phone keep ringin' as she sat there softly singin'
Pretty nursery rhymes she'd memorised in her daddy's easy chair

Her husband, he was off to work, and the kids were off to school
And there were oh so many ways for her to spend her day
She could clean the house for hours, or rearrange the flowers
Or run naked down the shady street screaming all the way

At the age of 37, she realised she'd never ride
Through Paris in a sports car, with the warm wind in her hair
And she let the phone keep ringin' as she sat there softly singin'
Pretty nursery rhymes she'd memorised in her daddy's easy chair

The evening sun touched gently on the eyes of Lucy Jordan
On the rooftop where she'd climbed when all the laughter grew too loud
And she bowed and curtseyed to the man, who reached and offered her his hand
And led her down to the long white car that waited past the crowd

At the age of 37, she knew she'd found forever
As they rode along through Paris with the warm wind in her hair

With the wind in her hair.


Which ever spelling is accepted as the correct one (“Jordon” on the Hook 1974 single and 1975 album, or “Jordan” on Dennis's 2000 solo album “Out of the Dark”), there is little doubt that Shel Silverstein’s exceptional song is a giant in Dr Hook’s history.

After initial success early in the decade, the group was not faring at all well as far as sales were concerned when the single “Ballad of Lucy Jordon” was released in 1974. It was the title of a compilation album which was their swan-song on CBS, before their switch to Capitol with “Bankrupt” and then later in 1975, smash hit album “A Little Bit More” (Noel Edmonds’ Morning Show on BBC Radio 1 extensively plugged this LP - thanks Noel, Hook fans will always be grateful to you!).

Dr Hook’s “Lucy Jordon” - also released by Marianne Faithfull - wasn’t a commercial success either, but Dennis, Ray & Co. were touring the U.K. extensively, and that’s where the story really blossoms!

It was “Lucy Jordon” that was the song I played and played at the Boys Club, night after night, in 1974/5, after watching, with some of the club members, the group appear on “Old Grey Whistle Test” (read more about this on the Dennis Locorriere section of this website). A number of members, including brothers Brian & Colin Chidgey, Management Committee Member and local community policeman, Dave Lodge, and I were converted to big fans of Dr Hook, so we just had to see them live - on stage.

Promoting “Bankrupt”, the group appeared at the Colston Hall in Bristol in early 1975, and we were there, encouraged by Dennis to use the cover of the album as headwear!!! This scruffy lot up on stage entertained us royally. We were totally won over, and this loyal affinity grew and grew at the Boys Club over the years.

Club helper and stalwart, Toni Milton was also another convert, as we toured the country from Birmingham to Cardiff to Bristol to Bournemouth over the years to share our love of the music of Shel Silverstein.

So that’s the story of why “Ballad of Lucy Jordan” - the original version recorded by Hook with Dennis as lead vocalist is in my Top 100. Yes, it was the song that became synonymous with the beginning of the musical journey I’ve taken with Dennis Locorriere - 40 long, enjoyable years, and the end of the road is not yet anywhere in sight. Thank goodness.

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Why must every generation think their folks are square
And no matter where their heads are they know mom´s ain´t there
Cause I swore when I was small that I´d remember when
I knew what´s wrong with them that I was smaller than

Determined to remember all the cardinal rules
Like sun showers are legal grounds for cutting school
I know I have forgotten maybe one or two
And I hope that I recall them all before the baby´s due
And I know he´ll have a question or two

Like "hey Pop, can I go ride my zoom
It goes two hundred miles an hour suspended on balloons
And can I put a droplet of this new stuff on my tongue
And imagine frothing dragons while you sit and wreck your lungs"
And I must be permissive, understanding of the younger generation

Then I´ll know that all I´ve learned my kid assumes
And all my deepest worries must be his cartoons
And still I´ll try to tell him all the things I´ve done
Relating to what he can do when he becomes a man
And still he´ll stick his fingers in the fan

And "Hey, Pop, my girlfriend´s only three
She´s got her own videophone and she´s taking L.S.D.
And now that we´re best friends she wants to give a bit to me
But what´s the matter Daddy, how come you´re turning green?
Can it be that you can´t live up to your dreams?"


Throughout musical history, songs have been written about the “generation gap”. How each generation is puzzled, upset and troubled by the differences in attitudes, life-styles, loves and habits of mothers & fathers and their sons & daughters, is a favourite subject of songwriters.

“Younger Generation” is the Prince of such songs! The very first time I heard John Sebastian and his highly entertaining group, the Lovin’ Spoonful, performing “Younger Generation”, I couldn’t help but gently smile and somehow immediately understand what he was getting at. The lyrics are the important factor here. They are clever, amusing, sad, full of gentle comparisons and jokes, and underlying it all it’s quite prophetic. It was written by John in 1968 for goodness sake! It could easily apply to the worries today’s parents everywhere have when they look at their young offspring and wonder what is to be faced up to in the coming years as the kids grow up.

Just read the lyrics and like me, smile at something that rings a bell, touches a nerve, stirs a distant memory when you were “reasoning” with your parents!

From “Daydream” through “Summer in the City” to “Nashville Cats” and “Rain on the Roof”, the Lovin’ Spoonful were the USA’s good time group, and I really enjoy John Sebastian’s vocals. They are an inoffensive, “summery” light sound which brings back very happy memories of the late 60’s. The group’s song list is varied and surprisingly famous. Get to listen to a “Best of” CD if you can - you’ll be surprised at how many songs attributed to them that you recognise.

And........I don’t think tiny tots really were into hallucinatory substances back in ‘68, but many have “wrecked their lungs” on legal things since, haven’t they?

In early 1965 as the "British invasion" dominated the American music scene, two rockers from Long Island, Steve Boone and Joe Butler, teamed up with two folkies from Greenwich Village, John Sebastian and Zal Yanovsky, to form the Lovin' Spoonful and go on to record and perform some of the songs that would dominate the charts and establish them among the greats of the mid-sixties era. Combining the best of folk music and rock and roll, with a touch of country thrown in, they gave us such hits as "Do You Believe in Magic," "Daydream," "You Didn't Have to be So Nice," "Nashville Cats" and the anthem for a hot July evening, "Summer in the City." All this in the span of 4 years and 5 albums. In addition to that they also wrote and performed two soundtrack albums for two directors very early in their careers, Woody Allen "Whats Up Tigerlily" and Francis Ford Coppola "You're a Big Boy Now."

They toured almost constantly during this period and were one of the first rock bands to perform on college campuses almost as much as for teenage concert goersIn 1967 Zal Yanovsky left the band to pursue a solo career and was replaced by Jerry Yester, a member of the Modern Folk Quartet and friend of the band since its earliest days. All of the band's energy was soon focused on recording their fourth album the very ambitious Everything Playing. It was the first attempt for a rock band to record an album on the new Ampex 16 track tape recorder and quite a challenge it was. It was worth the effort however, producing hits like "Darlin' Be Home Soon," "Six O-Clock" and "She's Still A Mystery To Me" on the American charts and "Boredom" and "Money" in the UK and Europe.

In June 1968 John Sebastian left the band to go solo and Joe, Steve and Jerry went back into the studio to record what would be their last hit single of the 1960's, "Never Goin' Back" with legendary Nashville session player Red Rhodes on pedal steel guitar. As 1969 approached the skies were darkening in Good Time Music land and sensing opportunities in individual endeavors the three remaining members went their separate ways with a promise to not let the spark go out.

In 1991 a long awaited settlement with their record company inspired Joe and Steve to contact Jerry and start up the Lovin' Spoonful again. After a two month rehearsal in the Berkshire Mts., the group started touring anew, visiting over 150 cities and countries worldwide and reaching out to a whole new audience in addition to those that have enjoyed their music over the years. So look for them coming to your neighborhood bringing a brand new batch of Good Time Music. You can also click the concert info button for a calender of their future appearances.
It is impossible to think of the music of the 1960s without thinking of THE LOVIN' SPOONFUL. And it is impossible to think of the music of THE LOVIN' SPOONFUL without thinking of JOHN SEBASTIAN.

Most Netizens may only know the name JOHN SEBASTIAN by having a fond recollection of "Welcome Back", the theme to the 1976 American television situation comedy, which was his biggest hit as a Solo Artist. Or, conversely, they may connect his name instead in its association with the numerous hit songs he wrote and performed with the popular mid-sixties electrified jug band that he co-founded, THE LOVIN' SPOONFUL. "Do You Believe in Magic?". "You Didn't Have To Be So Nice". "Daydream". "Did You Ever Have To Make Up Your Mind?". "Summer In The City". "Darling Be Home Soon". "Six O'Clock". "Younger Generation". To name a few.

Mr Sebastian, Zal Yanovsky, Steve Boone and Joe Butler formed THE LOVIN' SPOONFUL in Greenwich Village in New York. Over several precious years, they produced several precious albums that yielded songs that both kept them in The Top Ten and, it would turn out, kept their delicious lyrics and melodies a part of Our Stream Of Musical Consciousness for more than thirty years. What is remarkable, however, is that JOHN SEBASTIAN's Solo Albums for Reprise Records are every bit as wonderful as anything in his entire recorded oeuvre.

For fervent proof of this we our proud to offer our new collection of the five Particularly Wonderful albums he recorded for Reprise between the years 1969 and 1976, which we are calling JOHN SEBASTIAN 'Faithful Virtue: The Reprise Recordings'.

For those of you who may not already know, Mr Sebastian is also fondly remembered for an unscheduled, unplanned appearance at The Woodstock Festival of Music and Art and Aquarian Exposition in Bethel, New York, on the afternoon of Friday, 15 August 1969.

This performance happened during time when his fans were waiting to see what Mr Sebastian would do next, coming as it did a full year after his departure from THE LOVIN' SPOONFUL. He was, at the time, on the verge of beginning his Solo Career at the time, and so his impromptu set during this epochal event provided his fans then with one of his first post-Spoonful appearances.

The plain truth of it however was that Woodstock Emcee Chip Monck was trying to fill up time after COUNTRY JOE AND THE FISH's performance, during that first rainy afternoon, and asked Mr Sebastian if he would be so kind to help out by going out, totally unrehearsed, to perform a few songs before what was then the largest audience in Rock n' Roll history. Mr Sebastian obliged Mr Monck by borrowing an acoustic guitar from Tim Hardin, walking on to the stage and playing a 20 minute set of songs, including "Younger Generation", a popular 1968 track by THE LOVIN' SPOONFUL, and "I Had A Dream", a song that would later appear on his first solo album.
A few months later, in January 1970, Mr Sebastian saw the release of his first solo single, "She's A Lady"/ "Room Nobody Lives In", on Kama Sutra Records, the company who had issued The Lovin' Spoonful's recordings. Mr Sebastian, meanwhile, had signed with Reprise Records and began recording his first album.

'John B. Sebastian' was released to critical acclaim in January 1970. That charming debut album which featured "Magical Connection", a moody, trippy paean to mutual attraction later recorded by jazz guitarist Gabor Szabo, and Sebastian's remake of "You're A Big Boy Now," the first of 14 songs originally recorded by THE LOVIN' SPOONFUL which would eventually reappear on his solo albums was produced by Paul Rothchild.

Contributing to the album were musicians David Crosby, Stephen Stills, Graham Nash (who contributed harmony to "What She Thinks About"), and Mr Sebastian's longtime pianist/arranger Paul Harris.

Unfortunately, at the same time, Mr Sebastian experienced a full measure of Former Record Company Musical Espionage as the very same 'John B. Sebastian' album was "bootlegged" by the MGM Records company, Kama Sutra Records' distributor at the time, who apparently felt that Mr Sebastian was contractually obligated to continue releasing Mr Sebastian's recordings only on MGM.

It seems that Mr Mike Curb, then president of Mr Sebastian's former record company, MGM Records, made the executive decision to allow his company to bootleg the Reprise recordings of his first solo album, taking them straight from needle drops off the original vinyl LP released by Reprise. They also attempted to replicate their own 'kinda-looks-like' cover artwork using photos from an earlier John Sebastian photo shoot along with featured photographs of Mr Sebastian performing at Woodstock.

Apparently, this did not deter MGM from further fascinatingly obstructive behaviour on their part. Later that year, in October 1970, MGM released 'John Sebastian Live', an album culled from an inferior quality live recording of Mr Sebastian in concert, which had been recorded at a music festival in Woodstock, New York well after the legendary Woodstock Music And Art Fair that was held in Bethel, New York.

Within six months, Reprise Records, Mr Sebastian's legitimate record label, released a much superior Live Album, which was cheekily given the name 'Cheapo-Cheapo Productions Presents Real Live John Sebastian'. Actually, the album was a collection of performances from four of Mr Sebastian's California concerts, with backing by Mr Paul Harris.

The album artwork itself was quite a lot of fun, with liner notes on the LP jacket written in Mr Sebastian's own handwriting. "Side One" and "Side Two" were re-named "Live One" and "Live Too". Nine numbers from THE LOVIN' SPOONFUL's catalog were performed on the album, which was engineered by Fritz Richmond, of THE JIM KWESKIN JUG BAND, who was later a member of Mr Sebastian's J-Band.

The music on this album is also great fun. Mr Sebastian allows audience members to participate in the fun by shouting requests of Rock n' Roll and Doo Wop classics like "Teen Angel", "Ballad Of A Teenage Queen", "In The Still Of The Night" and "Blue Suede Shoes". At one point, Mr Sebastian even announces that his next song, "Rooty-Toot", was one that he wrote at age 14 while sitting in his family bathroom. (Now, try to imagine what most fourteen year old boys do in the bathroom when they have time on their hands and you will appreciate this story even more.) In truth, Mr Sebastian admits that the song "Rooty Toot" was actually written by his cousin, Mr John Lewis.

After a legal settlement safely pulled Mr Sebastian from the lingering clutches of MGM Records, he returned to the recording studio again to begin his second studio effort, 'The Four Of Us', a heartfelt and personal album that expressed his inner feelings about being on the road, and being away from his family.

For his next album, 1974's 'Tarzana Kid', Mr Sebastian recorded "Stories We Could Tell". The song had originally been written by Mr Sebastian for THE EVERLY BROTHERS' album of the same name. Phil Everly of THE EVERLY BROTHERS joined Mr Sebastian on his own version, singing vocal harmonies. Other Important Guests on the album included Lowell George, Emmylou Harris and THE POINTER SISTERS. 'Tarzana Kid' also featured Mr Sebastian's rendition of the Lowell George-penned LITTLE FEAT classic "Dixie Chicken" and a new Sebastian-George collaboration called "The Face Of Appalachia".

In September 1975, millions of Americans heard Mr Sebastian's voice for the first time since Woodstock. Mr Sebastian's "Welcome Back", the superbly warm and tremendously fuzzy theme song for the hit ABC network sitcom, "Welcome Back, Kotter". It would end up being his biggest hit after Reprise released it as a single in January 1976.

Mr Sebastian returned to the studio and recorded another album, which was also called 'Welcome Back', which would feature newly recorded versions of THE LOVIN' SPOONFUL's "Didn't Want To Have To Do It" and "Warm Baby".

JOHN SEBASTIAN 'Faithful Virtue: The Reprise Recordings' collects into one niftily-designed place all five of his Reprise albums. The 1970 'John B. Sebastian' debut, 1971's 'Cheapo Cheapo Productions Presents Real Live' and 'The Four Of Us' (with the side-long epic "The Four Of Us" suite), 'Tarzana Kid' from 1974 and his final Reprise album, 1976's 'Welcome Back'. In addition, The Archivists have included both sides of his NON-LP 1972 'Give Us A Break' single and, we are equally pleased to say, for the first time anywhere his complete five-song performance from the original 1969 Woodstock Music And Art Fair in Bethel, NY. A quote from the liner notes of 'THE BIG BALL', one of the fabled 2-LP promotional albums released by Warner Bros/Reprise in 1970, puts Mr Sebastian's recordings in a proper context: "Name a folk or rock and roll idiom in which John has not written an incredible song, and we'll ship you a storeroom full of albums. Name us a more versatile songwriter-singer on the current American scene, and we'll provide you with a chauffeur for six months. Name a young ex-Village-folkie who comes as close to capturing the sheer joy of being alive in his songs, and we'll paint voluptuous nudes all over your van. If you think we're enthusiastic, you're right."

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This is the last mornin' that I wake up in this dirty city
Lookin' for the sunshine as the buildings block the skies,
This is the last mornin' that I wash in rusty water
And to try to shave a face that I don't even recognize.
Down the hallway, rats are skitterin', I can smell the garbage rottin'
Hear the children cryin' in apartments down below,
This is the last mornin' that I'm gonna have to listen to it,
I'm goin' home.

This is the last mornin' that I try to breathe the heavy air
Fight the crowds, avoid the traffic, watch the world turn grey,
This is the last mornin' that I drink my coffee standin' up,
Smile and speak to strangers who just turn and walk away.
This is a tough cold city here, I guess I'll never cut it here
And I'm so tired of tryin' to stand against it all alone
This is the last mornin' that I'm gonna have to fight it,
I'm goin' home.

This is the last mornin' that I wear these greasy overalls
Punch the clock and do just what I'm told to get get along,
And face the long evenin' lyin' close beside my radio
Imagining the kisses of the girl who sings the song.
Down below the subway's screamin', as I lie here half way dreamin'
Lookin' at the ceiling wonderin' where the dream went wrong,
This is the last mornin' that I'm gonna have to think about it,
I'm goin' home.


This was the song which featured in the 1971 Dustin Hoffman film “Who is Harry Kellerman and Why is he Saying Those Terrible Things About Me?”, and was the “screen” debut of Dr Hook and the Medicine Show - they had a tiny walk on part as musicians in the film! (with Shel, of course, who was responsible for the music score).

It may not be one of the best films ever made - in fact, it definitely isn’t! - but the subject matter and rather strange “suicide” ending (yes, it was a comedy!) is brilliantly encapsulated in the poignant, bitter Shel Silverstein lyrics of “Last Mornin’”. Taken completely on its own, it’s a typical Silverstein song, beautifully performed by Dr Hook, but in relation to the film it is quite special, and that alone elevates it into my favs. list. One of the songs on the second Dr Hook album, “Sloppy Seconds”, released in 1972 after “Sylvia’s Mother” was a gigantic hit on both sides of the Atlantic, “Last Mornin’” wasn’t a chart success, but it is a strong favourite of most Dr Hook/Dennis Locorriere fans.

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Lately, I have had the strangest feeling
With no vivid reason here to find,
Yet the thought of losing you's been hanging
'round my mind.

Far more frequently you're wearing perfume
With, you say, no special place to go,
But when I ask will you be coming back soon
You don't know, never know.

Well, I'm a man of many wishes
Hope my premonition misses,
But what I really feel my eyes won't let me hide
'Cause they always start to cry,
'Cause this time could mean goodbye.

Lately, I've been staring in the mirror
Very slowly picking me apart,
Trying to tell myself I have no reason
With your heart.

Just the other night while you were sleeping
I vaguely heard you whisper someone's name,
But when I ask you of the thoughts you're keeping
You just say, nothing's changed.

Well, I'm a man of many wishes
I hope my premonition misses
, But what I really feel my eyes won't let me hide
'Cause they always start to cry,
'Cause this time could mean goodbye, goodbye.

Oh, I'm a man of many wishes
I hope my premonition misses,
But what I really feel my eyes won't let me hide
'Cause they always start to cry,
'Cause this time could mean goodbye.


Born on 13th May 1950 in Saginaw, Michigan, the third of six children, Stevland Hardaway Judkins, known by his stage name Stevie Wonder, is an American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer and activist. When Stevie Wonder was four, his mother left his father and moved herself and her children to Detroit. She changed her name back to Lula Hardaway and later changed her son's surname to Morris, partly because of relatives. Morris has remained Stevie Wonder's legal name ever since. He began playing instruments at an early age, including piano, harmonica, drums and bass. During childhood he was active in his church choir. Blind from shortly after birth, he signed with Motown Records' Tamla label at the age of eleven and by 13, Stevie had a major hit, "Fingertips (Pt. 2)", a 1963 single taken from a live recording of a Motor Town Revue performance, issued on the album Recorded Live: The 12 Year Old Genius. The song, featuring Wonder on vocals, bongos, and harmonica, and a young Marvin Gaye on drums, was a #1 hit on the U.S. pop and R&B charts and launched him into the public consciousness.

In 1964, Stevie Wonder made his film debut in Muscle Beach Party as himself, credited as "Little Stevie Wonder". He returned in the sequel released five months later, Bikini Beach. He performed on-screen in both films, singing "Happy Street," and "Happy Feelin' (Dance and Shout)," respectively. Dropping the "Little" , Wonder went on to have a number of other hits during the mid-1960s, including "Uptight (Everything's Alright)", "With a Child's Heart", and "Blowin' in the Wind", a Bob Dylan cover which was one of the first songs to reflect Wonder's social consciousness, co-sung by his mentor, producer Clarence Paul. He also began to work in the Motown songwriting department, composing songs both for himself and his label mates, including "Tears of a Clown", a number one hit performed by Smokey Robinson & the Miracles.

He managed to score several hits between 1968 and 1970 such as "I Was Made to Love Her"; "For Once in My Life" and "Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours". In September 1970, at the age of 20, Wonder married Syreeta Wright, a former company secretary for Motown and songwriter. For his next album known as Where I'm Coming From, his newly-wed wife Syreeta gave him a helping hand with the writing and producing aspects, with the permission of Gordy. The album flopped in the charts. In 1970, Wonder co-wrote, and played numerous instruments on the hit "It's a Shame" for fellow Motown act The Spinners. His contribution was meant to be a showcase of his talent and thus a weapon in his on-going negotiations with Gordy about creative autonomy. Reaching his twenty-first birthday on May 13, 1971, he allowed his Motown contract to expire.

Some of Wonder's best known works include singles such as "Superstition", "Sir Duke", "I Wish" and "I Just Called to Say I Love You". Well known albums also include Talking Book, Innervisions and Songs in the Key of Life. He has recorded more than thirty U.S. top ten hits and received twenty-two Grammy Awards, the most ever awarded to a male solo artist. Wonder is also noted for his work as an activist for political causes, including his 1980 campaign to make Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday a holiday in the United States. In 2008, Billboard magazine released a list of the Hot 100 All-Time Top Artists to celebrate the US singles chart's fiftieth anniversary, with Wonder at number five. and then, in 2009, Wonder was named a United Nations Messenger of Peace.

The superb, "Lately" was recorded for his 1981 album "Hotter than July", and released as a UK single in the spring of that year. It was prevented, sadly, from reaching the number one spot by Shakin' Stevens and Bucks Fizz - what an absolute disgrace!!!! It is a sad, bitter, yet beautiful song about infedelity and cheating in a relationship. Stevie's delivery is perfect - as one would expect from this great artist.

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One day more! Another day, another destiny.
This never-ending road to Calvary
These men who seem to know my crime
Will surely come a second time.
One day more!

I did not live until today.
How can I live when we are parted?
One day more.
Tomorrow you'll be worlds away
And yet with you my world has started!
One more day all on my own.
Will we ever meet again?
One more day with him not caring.
I was born to be with you.
What a life I might have known.
And I swear I will be true.
But he never saw me there!

One more day before the storm!
Do I follow where she goes?
At the barricades of freedom.
Should I join my brothers there?
When our ranks begin to form.
Do I stay; and do I dare?
Will you take your place with me?
The time is now, The day is here
One day more!

One more day to revolution
We will nip it in the bud
We'll be ready for these schoolboys
They will wet themselves ... with blood!

Watch 'em run amuck
Catch 'em as they fall
Never know your luck
When there's a free-for-all.
Here a little 'dip'
There a little 'touch'
Most of them are goners
So they won't miss much!

One day to a new beginning.
Raise the flag of freedom high
Every man will be a king
Every man will be a king
There's a new world for the winning
There's a new world to be won!
Do you hear the people sing?

My place is here, I fight with you One day more.
I did not live until today
How can I live when we are parted?
I will join these people's heroes
I will follow where they go
I will learn their little secrets
I will know the things the know.

One more day all my own.
One day more.
Tomorrow you'll be worlds away
And yet with you my world has started.
One more day to revolution
We will nip it in the bud
We'll be ready for these schoolboys
Watch 'em run amock
Catch 'em as they fall
Never know your luck
When there's a free-for-all.
Tomorrow we'll be far away

Tomorrow is the judgement day.
Tomorrow is the judgement day.
Tomorrow is the judgement day.
Tomorrow we'll discover
What our God in Heaven has in store
One more dawn
One more day
One day more!


I have always been interested in music and even back in the 60's when I was an avid collector of singles and LP's from the many super-stars of the day, I enjoyed popular classics and "musicals" both on record and film. It was "West Side Story" then "Sound of Music" and "Oliver!" which introduced me to the musical show as such - although as a very young pre-teen, I recall going to the Gaumont with my parents to see the local operatic society perform "The Merry Widow"!

However, it wasn't until the 1980's that I had the inclination to actually book to see a live theatrical musical production in the West End. That show was "Evita" and I was immediately captivated by the sheer professionalism and vibrancy as well as the inspiring singing in that marvellous show, and I definitely wanted more.

So, on March 8th 1986 (I've still got the ticket stub!) on a day trip to London, I passed the Palace Theatre and was attracted to the signs outside imploring the public to do just about anything to get a ticket to see "Les Misérables". I was lucky enough to be able to get a single seat for that afternoon's matinee, and ........ well, words cannot really describe the 3 hours that followed!

Every emotion possible was wrung from me - along with everyone else at that full house - as I sat there totally overwhelmed by what I was fast realising was a defining moment in my musical education. This was special, very special indeed. Three and a quarter hours later when the final notes of that very emotional Finale flowed over us all, I leapt up with everyone else to cheer and cry and give a standing ovation to what I knew was the best show I had ever seen. I had to see the show again - and I did, two months later. I had to spread the word, and over the next few years, joined friends and relatives to rack up my attendances into double figures. On every single occasion, the performance confirmed my original thoughts that "Les Mis" was more than just a show. The magic has never wavered. One of my ambitions was to see "Les Mis" in its home town - Paris. On 26th October 1991, I achieved that ambition when I entered "Théatre Mogador" in that lovely city and witnessed the locals give the show a standing ovation - even hats were thrown in the air!

I have had the opportunity to see at least a dozen other musicals since 1985, and all have entertained me, but nothing has affected me so deeply as "Les Mis". That first ever visit to a musical back in the early 1950's to see "The Merry Widow" awakened in me a love of the genre which has culminated in "Les Misérables". I owe many things to my parents in so many respects - my discovery of Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg's adaptation of the great Victor Hugo novel being just one. The many hours of enjoyment it has given me is unquestionable - "Les Misérables" has enriched my life so much. I could easily have walked past the Palace Theatre on 8th March 1986. I am very glad I didn't.

There are 3 or 4 classic songs that were in the running for inclusion, but this has to be the chosen one - the closing song of Act 1. It brings together all the major elements of the show in a rousing climax, where all the main characters have an input. “One Day More” stirs the blood of all those who have seen and enjoyed this fine work.

Merci beaucoup, Messieurs Schonberg et Boublil.

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36 36


If Joan of Arc had a heart,
Would she give it as a gift.
To such as me who longs to see,
How a legend oughta be.

Had dreams to give her heart away,
like an orphan along the way.
She cared so much,
She offered up her body to the grave.


The early 1980’s weren’t the most exciting years musically for my own personal tastes. I wasn’t buying many singles anymore, and the “new-romantic” style of performers weren’t tempting me into buying many albums either. I relied very much on records being lent to me by Boys’ Club member, Dave James, whose purchases rivalled, even surpassed my prolific expenditure two decades earlier! He rather liked OMD, so I had a chance to listen to their material more closely than other artistes from the period. I liked “Enola Gay” - the song based on the carrier of the bombs that effectively ended World War 2, but electronic music wasn’t high on my favourites list, as I was firmly in the camp which, at the time, supported what was seen as “real” instruments as compared to the synthesised sounds of the 80’s!

However, when I listened to OMD’s album “Architecture and Morality”, the strange mechanical intro, then the insistent beat, then the melody followed by a very catchy, lengthy instrumental finish - what was this fine composition? “Maid of Orleans”, it said on the cover. From then on OMD impressed me as the best of their era - their genre. Simple lyrics they may be, but when I listen to “Maid of Orleans” today, I hear a fine pop song, well-performed, with a very hummable tune. OMD may not go down in history as the greatest Liverpool band, but they certainly possessed a talent that I am happy to acknowledge, and I am pleased to include this song in 36th place of my all-time top 100.

Liverpool's music scene in the late 1970's was an exciting and dynamic place to be. Everyone was either in a band, in-between bands or were forming a band. In the midst of all this activity was Eric's Club - a small discreet venue that was a favoured haunt for the people who would later form bands such as The Teardrop Explodes, Echo & The Bunnymen and Frankie Goes To Hollywood. So it was quite apt that Eric's was the venue of choice for the debut performance of Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark in October 1978.

Founder members Andy McCluskey and Paul Humphreys had originally been inspired by the experimental electronic music of German bands such as Kraftwerk and Neu. Working with radio sets and home made synthesisers, Humphreys and McCluskey christened themselves VCLXI (after a valve diagram on the sleeve of Kraftwerk's Radioactivity album) and began their own musical experiments. This, however, was still a side project the pair indulged in on odd weekends while they were active in local bands such as Equinox, Pegasus and The Id. However, although they had gained a lot of experience from working in a traditional band environment, it was never quite the creative platform they were looking for. It was time for a new approach.

Naming themselves after an obscure VCLXI song, Humphreys and McCluskey launched their own unique style of catchy electronic melodies that helped form OMD's reputation for intelligent pop. Back then, to burden your band with such an unwieldy name as Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark might have seemed somewhat unwise, but the obvious commercial appeal of their music provoked enough interest that it eventually led to Factory Record's supremo Tony Wilson offering them the cha'Electricity' (and its flip side 'Almost') perfectly captured OMD's infectious blend of melody and melancholia. 'Electricity', with its frenetic dance rhythm, rapidly became OMD's theme song and maintained its status as a live favourite right into the 1990's. Attracting the interest of Virgin, OMD signed to their subsidiary label Din Disc in 1979. An advance from Din Disc enabled the band to plough the money into building their own studio (situated close to Eric's Club) where they could continue writing and recording new material.

This included their self-titled debut album which was released the same year. After a brief period of touring, notably as support for Gary Numan, OMD quickly established themselves with a number of classic singles. 'Messages', with its simple but infectious melody, managed to get OMD into the public eye in 1980 by reaching No. 13 in the UK charts. Later the same year they made No. 8 and scored their first international hit with the dance pop of 'Enola Gay' - an up tempo number inspired by the plane that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. This bizarre style of wrapping pop songs around unusual ideas was something that OMD were to prove to be quite adept at throughout the band's career.

The success in 1980 helped OMD to rapidly become one of the UK's premier pop acts. Their initial use of extra personnel for live performances led to Humphreys and McCluskey recruiting people in the studio as well. After some initial line-up shuffles, the band soon established itself as a four piece outfit with the assistance of Martin Cooper (keyboards, saxophone) and Malcolm Holmes (drums) who were both friends from pre-OMD days.

OMD's third album, the ethereal 'Architecture and Morality' proved to be one of their finest moments. Blending choral effects and wistful melody the album produced three classic singles: 'Souvenir' with its bittersweet Humphreys vocal, the religiously inspired 'Joan Of Arc' and its epic follow-up 'Maid Of Orleans'. All three singles secured a top 5 chart position and by 1982 had turned OMD into household names and cover stars for Smash Hits.

'Electricity' (and its flip side 'Almost') perfectly captured OMD's infectious blend of melody and melancholia. 'Electricity', with its frenetic dance rhythm, rapidly became OMD's theme song and maintained its status as a live favourite right into the 1990's. Attracting the interest of Virgin, OMD signed to their subsidiary label Din Disc in 1979. An advance from Din Disc enabled the band to plough the money into building their own studio (situated close to Eric's Club) where they could continue writing and recording new material. This included their self-titled debut album which was released the same year. After a brief period of touring, notably as support for Gary Numan, OMD quickly established themselves with a number of classic singles. 'Messages', with its simple but infectious melody, managed to get OMD into the public eye in 1980 by reaching No. 13 in the UK charts. Later the same year they made No. 8 and scored their first international hit with the dance pop of 'Enola Gay' - an up tempo number inspired by the plane that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. This bizarre style of wrapping pop songs around unusual ideas was something that OMD were to prove to be quite adept at throughout the band's career.

The success in 1980 helped OMD to rapidly become one of the UK's premier pop acts. Their initial use of extra personnel for live performances led to Humphreys and McCluskey recruiting people in the studio as well. After some initial line-up shuffles, the band soon established itself as a four piece outfit with the assistance of Martin Cooper (keyboards, saxophone) and Malcolm Holmes (drums) who were both friends from pre-OMD days.

OMD's third album, the ethereal 'Architecture and Morality' proved to be one of their finest moments. Blending choral effects and wistful melody the album produced three classic singles: 'Souvenir' with its bittersweet Humphreys vocal, the religiously inspired 'Joan Of Arc' and its epic follow-up 'Maid Of Orleans'. All three singles secured a top 5 chart position and by 1982 had turned OMD into household names and cover stars for Smash Hits.

With 3 hit albums and a string of million selling singles it seemed that the band had a Midas touch. It was about to desert them with the release of their most radical album to date. The 1983 album 'Dazzle Ships' described a fractured futurist soundscape of ideas that drew on everything from East European radio broadcasts to industrial robots for influences. Although the album concealed some fine pop songs, its lack of critical and commercial success was perhaps responsible for OMD taking a more conservative approach in the future.

The album 'Junk Culture' from 1984 saw the band steering closer to a more traditional band approach. The instant pop of 'Tesla Girls', percussive dance flavour of 'Locomotion' and pastoral, dreamlike quality of Talking Loud And Clear proved that they could still deliver classic 3 minute pop songs, while retaining a flavour for the unusual.

Producer Stephen Hague was drafted in for the 1985 album 'Crush' and the subsequent 1986 album 'The Pacific Age'. Hague managed to give the songs on both albums a polished edge, while retaining an essential energy that was vital to the songs. Singles such as 'So In Love' and '(Forever) Live & Die' drew on OMD's flair for writing engaging melodies, while demonstrating that they were taking much more of a traditionalist approach to song production.

This period also saw the band touring extensively in North America and finally achieving the chart success that had eluded them for so long in the USA. 'If You Leave', specifically written for the John Hughes movie 'Pretty In Pink', was a huge success globally (although strangely not in the UK). However, the consistent schedule of touring took a toll on the band both professionally as well as personally and 'Dreaming', released in 1988, was to be the last single written by Humphreys and McCluskey.

OMD ended an era in 1989 with the departure of Humphreys, Holmes and Cooper leaving Andy McCluskey to forge ahead under the OMD banner. Teaming up with local Liverpool musicians Stuart Kershaw and Lloyd Massett, Andy continued writing and recording before releasing a new album Sugar Tax in 1991. It was a brash and dynamic approach that fused the classic OMD sound with a more mainstream 90's dance approach. 'Sugar Tax' managed to win over a lot of new converts, as well as the die-hard OMD enthusiast, with singles such as the spectacular 'Sailing On The Seven Seas' and the dance pop of 'Call My Name' and 'Pandora's Box' (a paean to silent movie star Louise Brooks). OMD capitalised on the success of 'Sugar Tax' with its 1993 follow-up 'Liberator'. This album saw OMD broadening their field of influences with the Barry White inspired 'Dream Of Me'.

Following the 'Liberator' tour, Andy McCluskey took some extended time off to reflect and consider OMD's future. Suitably refreshed, he begin writing again - taking a unique musical direction. The result of this work was premiered in 1996 with the release of a new single - the subtle and rhythmic 'Walking On The Milky Way' and the follow-up album 'Universal'. With its mix of ethereal ambience and epic production 'Universal' captured a sense of wistful mood that hinted at early OMD, yet still had a unique style and character that was very much its own.

From the beginning, OMD have managed to occupy that rare space between the alternative and the commercial, writing songs about such diverse subjects as airplanes, oil refineries, religious icons and movie stars. These songs capture perfectly the balance between energy and emotion; a pop melancholia that echoed around the walls of Eric's Club over twenty years ago and that still sounds fresh and exciting today.

Maid Of Orleans was actually written before Joan Of Arc, but the waltz-style of the song was something that the band felt didn't work too well and it was shelved. A new song was written about Joan Of Arc, but during the Manor sessions the original version was dusted down and the band decided that this version had some merit after all. Maid Of Orleans also proved to be quite successful in Europe, reaching No 1 in Belgium, Holland, Austria and Portugal - it had originally been written on 30th May 1981 - the 550th anniversary of Joan of Arc's death. The sleeve was inspired by a stained glass design by Anton Wolff.

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37 37


The smoke was slowly rising as the light began to fade
There were fires on the skyline from some distant border raid
I was riding out at seventeen to join my first brigade
Many years ago

And I chanced upon a farmhouse where the woman took me in
She gave me food and wine she gave me shelter from the wind
She delayed me from my regiment and service of my king
Many years ago

She said "Soldier before I lose you to the fight
Oh my soldier I'll make a man of you tonight"
She took me over in the fading fireglow
On that wild and misty night she was my woman

When I rose next morning I was gone before she stood
Tore myself away from there and left without a word
The sound of distant infantry was the only sound I heard
On that morning

And in that day I aged ten years and died a thousand deaths
I learned the feel of frozen steel and fear within my breast
But the lesson I'll remember till they lay me to my rest
Keeps returning

And when the dice of war were thrown and victory was won
My drunken young compatriots went out to have their fun
And there was no single house they didn't burn or overrun on that evening

And I rode out to that place again as hard as I could ride
But I found her by the cradle on that lonely mountainside
In the hands of those brave friends of mine she suffered and she died
Many years ago

"Soldier before I lose you to the fight"
She said "Soldier I'll make a man of you tonight"
She took me over in the fading fireglow
On that wild and misty night she was my woman


Here comes another Mike Batt composition. "Soldier's Song" was only a minor hit for one of Britain's best-ever groups - the Hollies, from Manchester. Allan Clarke and the group notched up a vast number of top 10 hits in the 60's and 70's - and some (including me) think that they were the best singers of the British groups of the era. Where most groups performed live with massive speakers amplifying their guitars at the expense of the vocals, the Hollies reversed the leads, and their glorious harmonies dominated the musical accompaniment on stage. "Soldier's Song" is very different from most of their hits in that it has an extremely serious "war theme" set of lyrics, which didn't impress everyone. I love it!

Formed in Manchester in 1962 by childhood friends Allan Clarke (b. 15 April 1942, Salford, Lancashire, England; vocals), and Graham Nash (b. 2 February 1942, Blackpool, Lancashire, England; vocals/guitar). They had already been singing together locally for a number of years as a semi-professional duo under a number of names such as the Guytones, the Two Teens and Ricky And Dane. They enlarged the group by adding Eric Haydock (b. 3 February 1943, Burnley, Lancashire, England; bass) and Don Rathbone (drums), to became the Fourtones and then the Deltas. Following the recruitment of local guitar hero Tony Hicks from the Dolphins (b. 16 December 1943, Nelson, Lancashire, England) they became the Hollies. Almost immediately they were signed to the same label as the Beatles, the prestigious Parlophone. Their first two singles were covers of the Coasters' '(Ain't That) Just Like Me' and 'Searchin''. Both made the UK charts and the group set about recording their first album. At the same time Rathbone left to become their road manager and was replaced by Bobby Elliott (b. 8 December 1942) from Shane Fenton (Alvin Stardust) And The Fentones. The group's excellent live performances throughout Britain had already seasoned them for what was to become one of the longest beat group success stories in popular music. Their first two albums contained the bulk of their live act and both albums became long-time residents in the UK charts. Meanwhile, the band was enjoying a train of singles hits that continued from 1963-74, and their popularity almost rivalled that of the Beatles and Rolling Stones. Infectious, well-produced hits such as Doris Troy 's 'Just One Look', 'Here I Go Again' and the sublime 'Yes I Will' all contained their trademark soaring harmonies. The voices of Clarke, Hicks and Nash combined to make one of the most distinctive sounds to be heard in popular music.

As their career progressed the aforementioned trio developed into a strong songwriting team, and wrote most of their own b-sides (under the pseudonym 'L. Ransford'). On their superb third collection, Hollies in 1965, their talents blossomed with 'Too Many People', an early song about over-population. Their first UK number 1 came in 1965 with 'I'm Alive' and was followed within weeks by Graham Gouldman 's uplifting yet simple take 'Look Through Any Window'. By Christmas 1965 the group experienced their first lapse when their recording of George Harrison 's 'If I Needed Someone' just scraped the UK Top 20 and brought with it some bad press. Both the Hollies and John Lennon took swipes at each other, venting frustration at the comparative failure of a Beatles song. Early in 1966, the group enjoyed their second number 1, 'I Can't Let Go', which topped the New Musical Express chart jointly with the Walker Brothers''The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore'. 'I Can't Let Go', co-written by Chip Taylor, had already appeared on the previous year's Hollies and was one of their finest recordings, combining soaring harmonies with some exceptionally strong, driving guitar work.

The enigmatic and troublesome Eric Haydock was sacked in April 1966 and was replaced by Hick's former colleague in the Dolphins, Bernie Calvert (b. 16 September 1942, Brierfield, Lancashire, England). The Hollies success continued unabated with Graham Gouldman's 'Bus Stop', the exotic 'Stop! Stop! Stop!' and the poppier 'On A Carousel', all UK Top 5 hits, and (at last) became major hits in the US charts. The Hollies were quick to join the 'flower power' bandwagon, as a more progressive feel had already pervaded their recent album, For Certain Because, but with Evolution, their beads and kaftans were everywhere. That same year (1967) the release of the excellent Butterfly showed signs of discontent. Inexplicably, the album failed to make the charts in either the UK or the US. It marked two distinct types of songs from the previously united team of Nash/Clarke/Hicks. On one hand there was a Clarke-influenced song, 'Charley And Fred', and on the other an obvious Nash composition like 'Butterfly'. Nash took a more ambitious route. His style was perfectly highlighted with the exemplary 'King Midas In Reverse', an imaginative song complete with brass and strings. It was, by Hollies standards, a surprising failure (UK number 18). The following year during the proposals to make Hollies Sing Dylan, Nash announced his departure for Crosby, Stills And Nash. His replacement was Terry Sylvester of the Escorts. Clarke was devastated by the departure of his friend of more than 20 years and after seven further hits, including 'He Ain't Heavy He's My Brother', Clarke decided to leave for a solo career. The band soldiered on with the strange induction of Mickael Rickfors from Sweden. In the USA the million-selling 'Long Cool Woman (In A Black Dress)' narrowly missed the top spot, ironic also because Allan Clarke was the vocalist on this older number taken from the successful album Distant Light.

Clarke returned after an abortive solo career which included two albums, My Real Name Is 'Arold and Headroom. The return was celebrated with the worldwide hit, 'The Air That I Breathe', composed by Albert Hammond. Over the next five years the Hollies pursued the supper-club and cabaret circuit as their chart appearances began to dwindle. Although their albums were well produced they were largely unexciting and sold poorly. In 1981 Sylvester and Calvert left the group. Sensing major problems ahead, EMI suggested they put together a Stars On 45-type segued single. The ensuing 'Holliedaze' was a hit, and Graham Nash was flown over for the television promotion. This reunion prompted the album What Goes Around, which included a minor hit with the Supremes' 'Stop In The Name Of Love'. The album was justifiably slammed by the critics, and only made the US charts because of Nash's name.

Following this, the Hollies went back to the oldies path, until in 1988 a television beer commercial used 'He Ain't Heavy', and once again they were at the top of the charts for the first time in over a dozen years. In 1993 they were given an Ivor Novello award in honour of their contribution to British music. The mid-90s lineup in addition to Clarke, Elliott and the amazingly youthful Hicks featured Alan Coates (guitar), Ray Stiles (bass) and Ian Parker (keyboards). The Hollies' catalogue of hits, like those of the Beach Boys, Beatles and Kinks will continue to be reissued for future generations. Their longevity is assured as their expertly crafted, harmonic songs represent some of the greatest music of all mid-60s pop. Two of the core members, drummer Bobby Elliott and lead guitarist Tony Hicks, still perform with The Hollies in the new millennium. The legendary, former lead singer Allan Clarke had retired was replaced with Carl Wayne, ex lead singer of The Move. Despite the line-up changes throughout the years, the Hollies have always managed to put out great music with the trademark Hollies three part harmony. One of the best and most successful bands from their birth professionally in 1963 to the present day. They are celebrating thirty-eight years of still charming audiences all over the world. Also in today's line up is, Ian Parker on keyboards, Ray Stiles (Ex Mud, remember 'Tiger Feet') on bass guitar and last but not least, Alan Coates on guitar and vocals.

Allan Clarke decided to retire from The Hollies due to personal circumstances. I think everyone knows what a traumatic year Allan had in 1999 and how he managed to cope admirably with the serious illness of his wife and yet still manage to complete two tours of the United Kingdom, only missing out on three shows early in the Spring Tour. Allan's decision has to be respected after such a long, successful and distinguished career in a very intensive and often intrusive music industry.

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38 38


Josie, it's been a long hard day
Down the road to where it's at
I must have lost my way
When I got there, they said I was too late
Now you're the only one can get me straight

So won't you sing me a rainbow, Josie
Roll me a song
Just tonight make it right
Cause it's been wrong for oh so long
There's lots of shades of darkness, Josie
Deep inside a man
So sing me a rainbow if you can

The train I went to meet had come and gone
Seems like I spend all my time
Gettin' off and gettin' on
I sold my mind
And gave my dreams away
And tomorrow I'll start lookin' 'round for yesterday
But til then...

Sing me a rainbow, Josie
Roll me a song
Just tonight makes it right
Cause it's been wrong for oh so long
There's lots of kinds of hunger, Josie
You don't understand
So sing me a rainbow if you can...
If you can, if you can
Sing me a rainbow if you can.


I have tried to be sensible when it comes to Dennis and Dr Hook! As my favourite group and my favourite solo singer, the “100” was bound to reflect that they are my favourites, but not to the exclusion of the many other acts that I admire immensely. So, folks, here is another of the songs from Dennis & Co.

I could go on all day, but let me just state simply that without Dennis, my enjoyment of pop music would be greatly diminished. “Sing Me a Rainbow” is a track from Dr Hook’s 1972 debut album. It is a song Dennis still features in his solo performances today, and is a typical Shel Silverstein ballad, full of pain and pathos. Rest in peace, Shel.

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39 39


Wise men say
Only fools rush in,
But I can't help falling in love with you.

Shall I stay,
Would it be a sin,
If I can't help falling in love with you.

Like a river flows
Surely to the sea,
Darling so it goes,
Some things are meant to be.

Take my hand,
Take my whole life too,
For I can't help falling in love with you.

Like a river flows
Surely to the sea,
Darling so it goes,
Some things are meant to be.

Take my hand,
Take my whole life too,
For I can't help falling in love with you.

For I can't help falling in love with you.


Early in 1962, when the weather was cold and wet, this young man hurried out of school on a February Friday afternoon to get my bike and cycle down to Lock's Record Shop to pick up the latest Elvis single - a double a-side no less, which had been playing on Radio Luxembourg for a few days. It was a song from the new Elvis film which was on the regional circuit but had not got to Taunton yet! The song was a gentle rocker with Hawaiian guitars and was "OK" - not as good as "His Latest Flame", Elvis's previous no. 1 from the previous October/November, but it was Elvis, so it had to go into my blossoming singles collection. I bought said disc and brought it home to play on the "Dansette"!

Yep, it was "OK", not brilliant though - what about the flip side? Hadn't heard that yet and Elvis's b-sides were usually great ("Little Sister" was the "Flame" b-side - fantastic!). A ballad wafted from the speakers. That's really good. 3 minutes later I was ready to play it again - and again! What a beautiful song. Mum agreed. Next morning I cycled to my friend's house with the record for him to play on his "Dansette". It was so early he was still in bed asleep. Finally he was up and about and accompanied by my over-enthusiastic praise, played "Can't Help Falling In Love". He didn't like it very much! Ah well, he must have been too grumpy at being woken up at 10am on a Saturday! It didn't dampen my enthusiasm though, and I continued to rave about the song. Today - 50-odd years later - I still rave about the song, Elvis's finest ballad. It has a tune you can sing easily along with, and it even brings up goose-bumps on me all these years later.

"Can't Help Falling in Love", by George Weiss, Hugo Peretti and Luigi Creatore, is based on "Plaisir d'amour" by Jean Paul Egide Martini. Like "Rock-a-Hula Baby", it was adapted for inclusion in that 1961 film "Blue Hawaii", which we finally got to see in Taunton later that spring. Despite my friend not liking it, I was vindicated as it shot to no. 1 in the national charts very soon after - and stayed there for 4 weeks. Elvis was very much "King of the Charts" in those early months and years of the 60's, and "Can't Help Falling In Love" is a majestic pop song worthy of its high placing here.

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40 40


It ain't no use to sit and wonder why, babe,
It don't matter any how,
And it ain't no use to sit and wonder why, babe,
If you don't know by now,
When the rooster crows at the break of dawn,
Look out your window and I'll be gone,
You're the reason I'm trav'lin' on,
Don't think twice, it's all right.

It ain't no use in turnin' on your light, babe,
That light I never knowed,
It ain't no use in turnin' on your light, babe,
I'm on the dark side of the road,
Still, I wish there was somethin' you would do or say,
To try and make me change my mind and stay,
We never did too much talkin' anyway,
So don't think twice, it's all right.

I'm walkin' down that long lonesome road babe,
Where I'm bound, I can't tell,
But goodbye is too good a word, gal,
So I'll just say fare thee well,
I ain't sayin' you treated me unkind,
You could have done better but I don't mind,
You just sorta wasted my precious time,
But don't think twice, it's all right.

It ain't no use in callin' out my name, gal,
Like you never did before,
It ain't no use in callin' out my name, gal,
I can't hear you any more,
I'm a-thinkin' and a-wond'rin' all the way down the road,
I once loved a woman, a child I'm told,
I give her my heart but she wanted my soul,
But don't think twice, it's all right.


Peter, Paul and Mary were an American folk-singing trio who ultimately became one of the biggest acts of the 1960s. The trio was composed of Peter Yarrow, Paul Stookey, and Mary Travers.

Manager Albert Grossman created Peter, Paul and Mary in 1961, after auditioning several singers in the New York folk scene. After rehearsing them out of town in Miami, Grossman booked them into The Bitter End, a coffee house and popular folk music venue in New York City's Greenwich Village. They recorded their first album, "Peter, Paul and Mary", the following year. It included "500 Miles", "Lemon Tree", and the Pete Seeger hit tunes "If I Had a Hammer" (subtitled "(The Hammer Song)") and "Where Have All the Flowers Gone?". The album remained a top seller for decades to come, eventually selling over two million copies, earning Double Platinum certification from the RIAA in the United States alone.

In 1963 the group also released "Puff the Magic Dragon", with music by Yarrow and words based on a poem that had been written by a fellow student at Cornell, Leonard Lipton. Despite urban myths that insist the song is filled with drug references, it is actually about the lost innocence of childhood. That year the group performed "If I Had a Hammer" at the 1963 March on Washington, best remembered for Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech. One of their biggest hit singles was the Bob Dylan song "Blowin' in the Wind". They also sang other Bob Dylan songs, such as: "The Times They Are a-Changin'"; "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right"; and "When the Ship Comes In". "Leaving On A Jet Plane" became their only US no.1 hit (as well as their final Top 40 Pop hit) in December 1969, and was written by the group's friend John Denver. It was the group's only million-selling Gold single. The track first appeared on their million-selling Platinum certified Album "1700" in 1967.

The trio broke up in 1970 to pursue solo careers, but found little of the success which they had experienced as a group and, sadly, the Peter, Paul and Mary trio came to an end on September 16, 2009, when Mary Travers died at age 72 of complications from chemotherapy, following treatment for leukemia. It was the same year that they were finally inducted into the Hit Parade Hall of Fame. Mary will be very sadly missed - she was much loved and admired by her legion of loyal fans of which I count myself but one. However, we do have the many recordings of her beautiful and pure voice to remember her by. Here at no.40 is that Bob Dylan classic "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right" with Mary featuring prominently. It helps me recall a magical evening out at the Colston Hall in Bristol with several friends as we attended a PP&M concert there in the mid-60's. It was in the era of "Package Tours" with up to 6 or 7 top stars appearing. This was the very first concert we booked for which featured just the one act - Peter, Paul & Mary. Would we be bored? No we most definitely weren't! For two hours we were royally entertained by this magnificently talented trio and couldn't stop talking about it for weeks.

I loved Peter, Paul and Mary then and I still do today - 45+ years later.

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