Friday, May 22, 2015

Eurovision Song Contest 1978/79

Paris holds the competition this year, but it was Israel that took the crown this year with a really uptempo song called A-Ba-Ni-Bi, sung by Izhar Cohen and Alphabeta.

Politics being politics meant that many countries not sympathetic to Israel cut away from their performance, and some countries dropped the broadcast when it was clear Israel were going to win.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

70s Artist Watch: Paul McCartney

Paul McCartney and the Beatles split up in 1970, after making the world a richer place and making tunes that never die, but the legal ramifications took years before The Beatles were legally split in 1975.

The last Beatles album "Let It Be" in 1970, included the tracks "Get Back" and the "Long and Winding Road

All the Beatles had hits after the group was dissolved, but McCartney was the one that seemed to have no problem with the hits continuing. The Beatles still had Greatest Hits out through the 1970s, and it therefore, kept Paul further in the public view, and maybe everyone was still hoping that The Beatles would get together, but as we know it never happened.

Monday, May 11, 2015

70s Artist Watch: Cliff Richard

Cliff entered the 1970s music scene,with a huge back catalogue from his huge stardom in the 50s and 60s, and of course his ongoing association with the Shadows.
The Shadows also entered the 1970s music scene and charted in the 1970s with three hits including the Theme from the Deer Hunter.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

In The 1970s Hot Chocolate


Errol Brown died in May 2015 in Barbados at the age of only 71from liver cancer and was originally from Jamaica. He was also an MBE.

He may have taken the Seventies music world by storm, but Brown was an accidental musician and only got caught up in hitmaker Mickie Most’s pop production line through a friend, Hot Chocolate co-founder Tony Wilson.
“Tony had been a songwriter for 10 years, but I used to get these melodies coming into my head,” he says. “I never grew up wanting to be a pop star, I never grew up interested in performing music at all.”
A statement from Brown's manager .
"Errol Brown MBE passed away in The Bahamas this morning with his wife Ginette and daughters Colette and Leonie by his side of liver cancer," he said.
"Errol was a lover of life and obviously 'music!' I never went into his home, car or a hotel room without music playing.
"Errol was a 'Gentle Man' and was a personal friend of mine who will be sadly missed by everyone who knew him," Phil Dale continued.
"His greatest legacy is that his music will live on!"
Fellow artists including Chic's Nile Rodgers have paid tribute on Twitter.
Rodgers wrote: "We had some good times back in the day. #ErrolBrown RIP".
Singer Beverley Knight tweeted: "I am so gutted. Errol Brown was such a charismatic performer."

These boys were so successful it is easy, therefore to forget that they were a British group. Hot Chocolate  were once named Hot Chocolate Band but pop guru Mickie Most took the word "band" off. In 1970 the voice of Errol Brown began to be heard in the charts.

Errol Brown was born in Jamaica in 1948 and is now an MBE and an Ivor Novello winner too and who sang lead on the first top ten single Love Is Life .on the RAK label. In 1971 two more hits arrived, the first being You Could Have Been A Lady which just missed the top twenty, the second was I Believe (In Love) which made No. 8 in the UK BBC charts.

1972 the group went off the boil with no top twenty hits, but in 1973 they had a huge hit with Brother Louie which was bout racial love and even the word "spooks" is used in the lyrics. The song had a real American feel about it and some of the spoken words were narrated by Alexis Corner the white blues musician and Radio One presenter who died in 1984.

The song was a hit six months later in the U.S. by another group.


1974 and a change of direction with a beautiful ballad song called Emma which went to No.3 and went silver in the UK. The song tell the story of a girl from five to seventeen and her eventual suicide.


Now the year is 1975 and in the 70s disco music is making its way through the charts. So of course it would only be proper that the group have their disco hit with Disco Queen . The follow up was A Child's Prayer, which had no sign of disco whatsoever.

But it was 1976 when the group came up with that song. The song was like most other Hot Chocolate songs and was written by Errol Brown himself and was originally only a B side. The song of course was You Sexy Thing. Lead singer Errol Brown wrote this about his wife Ginette.


1976 and a No. 11 hit with Don't Stop It Now followed by Man To Man.

1977 the group had their first No. 1 with So You Win Again written by Russ Ballard of Argent fame and achieved  Silver in sales in the UK.
Just to admit one mistake
That can be hard to take
I know we've made them fall
But only fools come back for more

Being the fool I am
I figured in all your plans, darling
Your perfumed letters didn't say
That you'd be leaving any day


 This was followed by a great song to along the same lines as the previous single. Put Your Love In Me was a beautiful song for the group and went silver.

1978 and the group had their first gold single with a song that only got to No. 12 in the UK charts.The song was Every 1s A Winner and Errol Brown told the Mail On Sunday January 25, 2009 that the band's producer Mickie Most suggested the song's title. He added: "I was getting nowhere with it when I heard my eldest daughter crying in a particular rhythm and used that for the melody."

The last top twenty hit in the 1970s for the group came wit the next single which reached No. 13. The song was I'll Put You Together Again.

The group still continued to have big hits in the 1980s and in total scored 22 top twenty hits up to the year 2000.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

1970s Minor Hits: Part One

Here is an occasional series of old vinyl records that upon listening again I have never recalled hearing the records before. So here is today missing hits of the 70s, do you remember them?

Friday, May 1, 2015

70s Artist Watch: Rod Stewart

Seventies music artist Rod Stewart entered the 1970s from The Jeff Beck group, the group also featured greats like Ronnie Wood and Jeff Beck himself , with the vocals provided by Rod Stewart, who was in-fact born as Roderick, but it was back in the 1960s that Stewart was first busking in London, singing Sam Cooke numbers, which was a long way from his mega success that would come in the 1970s, in-fact he was also no stranger to TV in the 1960s when he was in the documentary "An Easter with Rod" for Rediffusion TV London.

The Small Faces added Stewart to their line up in 1969, and changed their name to The Faces., and released their first album in 1970 called “First Step”, Stewart’s own album “Gasoline Alley” was also released, and as Python Lee Jackson(originally an Australian group) he released a single called "In a Broken Dream", made in 1969, and was partly produced by Radio 1 DJ John Peel, who died in 2004, and re-released in 1972, and again a hit in 1977, however Rod is alleged to have got no payment for that hit, even though it was a world wide hit. The song rarely appears against Rod’s catalogue, but there is no doubt that its a Rod Stewart classic.

Friday, April 24, 2015

70s Artist Watch: Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel

Steve's first hit was "Sebastian " in 1973,but the bigger hit "Judy Teen" was to come in 1974.
Judy Teen lyrics
Steve Harley: "When the first album came out, the record company said, 'We don't have a single.' And I said very arrogantly, 'I'll write one, I know how to do it.' That's exactly what I said and exactly what I did. Now I think - what an arrogant young man, fearless! Judy Teen was a boy/girl story, a teenage romance, a bit of sex in there, interesting drum rhythm, hooks all over the place - lo and behold big hit!

Friday, April 17, 2015

70s Artist Watch:David Soul

David Soul, born as David Richard Solberg in 1943, from the hugely successful 70’s TV series Starsky and Hutch, the detective show featuring David and Paul Michael Glazer. The series put these guys into the heart throb worldwide mode, so it was inevitable that David, who had a small career before in singing, would put a record out. What none of us new was how good he was, and he certainly was in the best of the 70s.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

70s Artist Watch; Gary Numan

Gary Webb born in 1958, he became Gary Numan just from picking his name from the phone book and made his impact late in the 1970s with "Are Friends Electric?", which he performed with his group Tubeway Army. The song was classified New Wave and it was something new for sure. I do not recall anything like it before and not much after either and that sound of synthesizers will always be associated with Gary Numan and New Wave and the best of the 70s.

Friday, March 27, 2015

70s Artist Watch: Alice Cooper

Long before we entered the sensational 1970s, Vincent Furnier joined a group called Earwigs, a Beatles type group, and after a few name changes to the group, Vincent was inspired to call the group a name ”Alice Cooper”, who was Alice a person or a band?. The demon style dress was inspired by witches, Barbarella the film with Jane Fonda, also a bit of Emma Peel from the cult British TV programme "The Avengers" which was a huge hit in the US, and was part of that decades "British Invasion”, following on the tail end of the 1960s Beatles, Rolling stones and others.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

In The 1970s Free

Free formed in 1968 in the UK when they were all in their teenage years. Paul Rodgers was also in Bad Company in the 1970s and was the vocalist on Free's iconic singe All Right Now. Paul Kossoff another band member was the son of actor David Kossoff. Tragically  Paul died in 1976 following a drug overdose in the states.

Andy Fraser died in March 2015 from a heart attack.
 In October 2006 a BMI London Million-Air Award was given to Rodgers and Fraser to mark over 3 million radio and television plays of "All Right Now".] Simon Kirke later recalled: “All Right Now was created after a bad gig in Durham. We finished our show and walked off the stage to the sound of our own footsteps. The applause had died before I had even left the drum riser. It was obvious that we needed a rocker to close our shows. All of a sudden the inspiration struck Fraser and he started bopping around singing All Right Now. He sat down and wrote it right there in the dressing room. It couldn’t have taken more than ten minutes.

Band member Andy Fraser produced and co-wrote All Right Now for the band. Drummer Simon Kirke also went on to join Bad Company in the 1970s. It was in 1970 that the group had their biggest hit with All Right Now. This song really took off after Free's performance at the Isle of Wight Festival on August 31,1970 at the East Aftom Farm, Aftom Down, where over 600,000 people attended the festival. Los Angeles disc jockey Joe Benson told Paul Rodgers during an on air interview that "All Right Now" is playing over the airwaves somewhere around the world once every 45 seconds.

The second hit came in 1971 with My Brother Jake, which was the same year the group split up. 1972 Free still had a hit in the charts with A Little Bit Of Love from the album Free At Last recorded in 1970.

In 1973 All Right Now charted in the Top Twenty again along with a new single called Wishing Well from the album Heartbreaker.


Friday, March 20, 2015

70s Music Artist Watch: Judy Collins

This lady is pure music, she has been involved in so many types of music in her career, that its hard to put a label on her, so I wont. Suffice to say she seems at home in pop,classical music,folk and seems to have been influenced by everyone who is everyone during the 1960s, including Pete Seeger, Dylan,Joni Mitchell and on and on it goes.

After some albums in the 1960s, she moved effortlessly into the hits of 70s and appeared on the Muppet show too, singing "I know An Old Lady who Swallowed a Fly", along too with appearances on the children's TV programme "Sesame Street".

The Muppet Show appearance.

A former big smoker and a sufferer of Bulimea, and two marriages, Judy was and is a lady that really gets into life, especially during the 60s when she was an activist in many organisations.

Her album in 1971 was "Living" which had a song by Stacy Keach an actor who appeared in many films including "Jesus of Nazareth". Judy was having an affair with him at the time of making the album.

Another album in 1972 that included "Both Sides Now" and "Amazing Grace" which also appeared as her first hit single in the 1970 , and also from the album 1970 " Whales and Nightingales" with contributions from writers like Joan Baez and Pete Seeger and the one and only Bob Dylan.

Other hits in 1971 "Open the Door" and "Cook with Honey" in 1973, written by Valerie Carter and came from here album "True Stories and Other Dreams", another hit of the 70s.

But the biggest hit around the world in 1975 and in some regions 1977 was the "Send in the Clowns" from the album "Judith"The song from the 1973 musical "A Little Night Music" and was written by the great Stephen Sondheim and was also recorded by the man himself Frank Sinatra. Her version of the song was Song of the Year at the Grammy awards.

Incidentally the record of the year at that Grammy awards was "Love Will Keep Us Together" by Captain and Tenille. See video.

"Send in the Clowns", according to Sondheim, was really just about fools, and not directly related to Clowns, however when it appeared on the BBC Top of The Pops, the producers must have misread the title, as it was introduced with smoke, pretending to be "Clouds", so some people believed it was called "Send in the Clouds".

In fact one drunken night in the late 70s I remember phoning up a radio station with my friend Debbie, to ask the DJ what the title was. We did not get to air, but he did confirm on air it was "Clowns".


Part of the lyrics
Isn't it rich?
Are we a pair?
Me here at last on the ground,
You in mid-air.
Send in the clowns.
Isn't it bliss?
Don't you approve?
One who keeps tearing around,
One who can't move.
Where are the clowns?
Send in the clowns.
Just when I'd stopped opening doors,
Finally knowing the one that I wanted was yours,
Making my entrance again with my usual flair,
Sure of my lines,
No one is there.

1977 Judy released her album "So Early in the Spring" which included many of songs penned by herself, with help again from some famous friends like Tom Paxton and Leonard Cohen.

Judy Collins talks to Larry King on CNN

Top Twenty featuring Judy Collins from 1970

                Judy Collins 

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Seventies Music Charts: Top Ten Hits from Jan 1975

Here are the pop charts of the week ending 4th January 1975
1 Lonely This Christmas by Mud

Article about Mud

The 1970s culture of glam rock, had one of its biggest groups in the band MUD, who had a huge hit with this song, it has entered the British charts numerous times and is played as a Christmas classic.

Written and produced by Chapman and Chinn, it certainly has the Elvis style of singing from the lead singer Les Gray (died in in 2004 at the age of 57) and drummer Dave Mount killed himself in 2006.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Seventies Music: Football-Related Songs


Back Home by the England football team
On the 16th May 1970 the "football song" was born with this sing along record from the England football team. I remember as a boy scout in Wales singing this with all my heart. Needless to say my singing did not help, as England in no way repeated the 1966 win.
But football music, amazingly had a hold on the British charts through the music of 1970s.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Thursday, January 29, 2015

70s Music Artist watch: Queen

Back in 1971 a group was formed, the group was called "Queen", who would have thought they would have  now survived the 70s, 80s, and 90s, and were the kings of global stadium rock band? Their 70s music  hits laid the paving stones for the group, and Brian May C.B.E.( who is now married to ex British soap star Anita Dobson), and Roger Taylor already had a group called "Smile".

With Farrokh Bulsara a songwriter, they joined a group called "Queen", along with a few others, who came and went, they settled with John Deacon the guitarist, and the 70s music magic was born. Who was Farrokh?, well he became Freddie Mercury the writer and lead singer of the group.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

1970s Music Part One

Test your memory in this 70s music compilation, and just see how many you can remember. 
Take a look at the Top Twenty January 1979

Monday, January 26, 2015

In Memory Demis Roussos

Demis Roussos died in January 2015 in Athens, Greece. Demis was born in 1946 in Egypt and has sold over 60 million records as solo and in groups. In the lates 1960s he joined the group Aphrodite's Child which was formed by Vangelis.

They had a few small singles
1970"It's Five O'Clock"

1970"Spring, Summer, Winter and Fall"

1971"Such a Funny Night"


Roussos started a solo career in the early 1970s and had several Top Twenty UK singles.

In 1975 he had a hit called Happy To Be An Island In The Sun, followed in 1976 by the groundbreaking Forever And Forever, which actually was an EP with two other songs.

Forever and Ever got to No. 1 and the next single even reached No. 2 with When Forever Has Gone, this made Demis a household name, especially with his great Greek clothing being seen on TV.

Demis interviewed in 1973

Thursday, January 22, 2015

1970s Music: James Bond themes

The first James Bond movie theme in the 1970s started with the original Sean Connery, who in 1971 hit the cinema with "Diamonds Are Forever" sang so dramatically by Shirley Bassey, the welsh songstress who would later become Dame Shirley Bassey. This was Shirley’s 2nd hit f  from a James Bond theme, the first being in 1964 with "Goldfinger". The man behind the song was John Barry who died in 2011 at the age 0f 77, he who was the composer of the actual Bond theme, we all sang that in the school playground, and along with Don Black this must be one of the most powerful Bond themes.

Shirley was to have over 20 single hits in the 1970s, with another james bond movie theme too, "Moonraker".
See the Diamonds are Forever video here

Part of the lyrics

Diamonds are forever,
They are all I need to please me,
They can stimulate and tease me,
They won't leave in the night,
I've no fear that they might desert me.
Diamonds are forever,
Hold one up and then caress it,
Touch it, stroke it and undress it,
I can see every part,
Nothing hides in the heart to hurt me.
I don't need love,

For what good will love do me?
Diamonds never lie to me,
For when love's gone,
They'll lustre on.

70s awards

1972 – Best Female Singer – TV Times
1973 – Best Female Singer – TV Times
1974 – Best Female Entertainer – American Guild of Variety Artists
1976 – Best Female Singer – Music Week
1976 – 22-day British tour to mark twenty years as a recording artist
1976 – EMI Award for twenty years as a recording artist – UK
1977 – Best British Female Solo Artist in the previous 25 years – BRIT Award
1977 – Golden Rose of Montreaux nomination for The Shirley Bassey Show

New Bond in 1973, a Mr Roger Moore, formally "The Saint" from the 1960s TV series. The new film was "Live and Let Die", the soundtrack this time was performed by Paul McCartney and Wings. The song was even Oscar nominated, and it was a mini reunion in the fact that Beatles producer George Martin worked on the single with Paul. This version was not the original to be used, but thanks to Paul’s insistence that only he would do it, it became a Bond anthem, and later covered by 80s group Guns and Roses.

Part of the lyrics
When you were young and your heart was an open book,
You used to say live and let live.
(You know you did, you know you did, you know you did)
But if this ever-changing world in which we live in
Makes you give in and cry,
Say live and let die!
Live and let die,
Live and let die,
Live and let die.

In 1974 John Barry took back the control of the theme, and "The Man With the Golden Gun", this time 60s female singer Lulu, her with the big voice of "Shout" and long term friends to the Beatles. Not much to say about this record, but its still a great pop record.
Alice Cooper had a song of the same name that was to be used, but it was dropped in favour of the Lulu version. 

It was three years later that in 1977, the next Bond film hit the cinemas, this time "The Spy Who Loved Me", was the title, but John Barry brought in Carol Bayer Sager , who had her only 70s hit with "Moving Out Today", she supplied the lyrics to the theme, called "Nobody Does It Better", sang by Carley Simon, her of "You’re So vain " fame. Complicated? Well add this fact too, Marvin Hamlisch had the music score, he of other 1970s hits like "The Sting" and "The Way We Were".

Some of the lyrics
Makes me feel sad for the rest.
Nobody does it half as good as you.
Baby, you're the best.
I wasn't lookin' but somehow you found me.
I tried to hide from your love light,
But like heaven above me the spy who loved me
Is keepin' all my secrets safe tonight.
And nobody does it better
Though sometimes I wish someone could.
Nobody does it quite the way you do.
Did you have to be so good?
The way that you hold me whenever you hold me.
There's some kind of magic inside you
That keeps me from runnin' but just keep it comin'
How'd you learn to do the things you do?

Still with Roger Moore in 1979, and the last film of the 1970s was "Moonraker", again it was sang by Shirley Bassey, after Johnny Mathis turned it down. He went on to have many hits in the 1970s including "Too Much, Too Little, Too Late"."Moonraker" It was not a big hit, and is not that well remembered either.
Bond is still going and the james bond movie hits still flow.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

70s Music Artist Watch: T.Rex

T.Rex, were originally named after the prehistoric monster Tyrannosauruses Rex in the 1960s, and fronted by Marc Bolan,, who had there first album as T.Rex in 1970 with "T.Rex", and he really did change 70s music with his GLAM style..
The first single hit of the seventies got as high as number two in 1970 called "Ride A White Swan" and came from Marc's own writing ability, with a little help from his wife.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

70s Music Chart January 3rd 1970

Here are some brief news events that take you back to January 1970.   It was a time when the official population of the United States of America reached a grand total of  two hundred and three million and three hundred thousand odd. And sticking to the American point in sports Superbowl IV: Kansas City Chiefs beat Minnesota Vikings, 23-7.

The war in Biafra which was also known as the Nigerian Civil war had been going since 1967. Nigeria was formed by the British decades before and when they left in 1960 it became a civil war over religious and territorial  claims. With more British involvement the war came to an end after a December 1969 battle. The British at the time seemed to support one side only, and the small state of Biafra was engulfed back into Nigeria. The cost in human life for this war may be as high as three million people. There in the background of the dispute of course was oil.   It was the month that the US set off a nuclear bomb in the Nevada desert, and the US shows the film version of MASH at the cinemas starring Donald Sutherland. The Robert Altman film was set in Korea, but rang a big bell with Americans still suffering the problems in Vietnam. The film  also starred Robert Duvall and Eliot Gould.

 January 1970 Russia responds to the US NEVADA bomb with their own at Semipalitinsk.   Gadaffi becomes Libya’s Prime Minster and  in one form or another continued to rule Libya into 2011. His country would always be linked with terrorism and a dictatorship, he was never afraid to rub the British or the US the wrong way, and he usually won too.   London Heathrow welcomes the first commercial landing of the new Jumbo jet the 747. It was the month that Rhodesia claimed independence from the UK by Ian Smith making it a Rhodesian republic after eighty years of British involvement. Smith said  "Today is not such a tremendous day for us Rhodesians. Our Independence Day is the great day. Rhodesia did not want to seize independence from Britain. It was forced upon us." Rhodesia  stayed a republic throughout the 1970s, right up to 1979, when it became the African state of Zimbabwe. Ian Smith died in 2007. “Ian Smith lived an exemplary family life and in private was a down-to-earth, modest man. Ian Smith was not corrupt nor was he a megalomaniac. However whilst Ian Smith acted in what he thought were the best interests of then Rhodesia he made some disastrous political decisions as Prime Minister which directly contributed to the trauma that Zimbabwe is suffering from today... The policies of his Rhodesia Front party radicalized black nationalists and directly spawned the violent and fascist rule of Zanu PF.” David Coltartmember of the Zimbabwe Parliament (House of Assembly and Senate) since 2000.   We had a few well known deaths too in January 1970. The pioneer of quantum  mechanics Max Born, David McKay the president of the Mormon church.   Born in January 1970 was the actress Mini Driver famous for such films as Goodwill Hunting, another actress to share that month of birth was Heather Graham who appeared in the film Austin Powers:The Spy Who Shagged Me.

Let's take a look at the pop charts from January 3rd 1970, the music charts in the 1970s has the legacy of the 1960s included, so this makes it a very special chart indeed.
Let's look at the stars and the songs that we sang and danced to when the music charts meant something very important. These charts represent the British charts as broadcast by the BBC. The charts were compiled by the British Market Research Bureau. Part One Number Twenty To Number Eleven

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Seventies Music Chart Top Ten: January 1976

Here are the pop charts of the week ending 3rd of January 1976.
1 Bohemian Rhapsody See Queen article  

2 I believe in Father Christmas by Greg Lake
Wow what a record, this record sounded like a huge musical to me when I first heard it, all those years a go in the pop chart.
Greg Lake was in so many groups including Uriah Heap,then in 1970 he formed Emerson,Lake and Palmer, and this hit was a surprise to him, as he wrote the record as an anti Christmas song.