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Friday on my Mind 121: Pretty Ballerina

I’ve just been googling The Left Banke again and discovered that their bassist Michael Brown passed away on 19th March this year.)

He was a co-writer of Walk Away Renee (which I featured here) but this song, Pretty Ballerina, was all his.

The Left Banke : Pretty Ballerina

Michael Brown (Michael David Lookofsky): 25/4/1949 – 19/3/2015. So it goes.

Reelin’ In the Years 104: Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters

For some reason last week’s featured song always merges into my head into this one by Elton John (from his Honky Chateau LP.)

The mandolin on this is great.

Elton John: Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters

Not Friday On My Mind 33: Do I Still Figure in Your Life?

Firstly, a piece of English whimsy typical of Honeybus, which I have mentioned before.

Like last week’s offering – (Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay – Honeybus’s version of this Pete Dello song has brackets in its title.

Honeybus: (Do I Figure) in Your Life?

Joe Cocker reworked it in his own distinctive way – with title slightly amended, and no brackets. In Cocker’s hands the song has a totally different feel.

Joe Cocker: Do I Still Figure in Your Life?

Not Friday On My Mind 32: (Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay

Like Hard to Handle, Otis Redding’s biggest hit was released after his death. So it goes.

Not typical Redding, it has a more reflective feel.

Otis Redding: (Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay

Friday on my Mind 120: Terry

I just read yesterday that 60s almost one-hit wonder, Twinkle, has passed away.

Her big hit Terry caused a fuss at the time it was released as it was about a boy who died in a motorbike crash. Coincidentally The Shangri-Las’ similarly themed Leader of the Pack came out at much the same time. I do remember my next to oldest brother buying Terry. He had a thing for records by solo female singers.

Another of Twinkle’s claims to fame is that she eventually married the Milk Tray man.

Here are both sides of the Terry single.

Twinkle: Terry (plus The Boy of my Dreams)

Twinkle’s only other hit, Golden Lights, was later covered by The Smiths!

Twinkle: Golden Lights

Lynn Annette Ripley. “Twinkle.” 15/7/1948 – 21/5/15. So it goes.

RIP B B King

And now it’s blues legend B B King who has died.

There’s something pure about the music the great blues musicians played.

This is B B playing Sweet Sixteen, originally from 1959, live.

B B King: Sweet Sixteen

Riley B (known as B B) King: 16/9/1925 – 14/5/2015. So it goes

Not Friday On My Mind 31: Hard To Handle

Back to Otis Redding for some more soul. A no. 15 hit in the UK in 1967.

Otis Redding: Hard To Handle

Friday on my Mind 119: RIP Ben E King

I was away from home last weekend and didn’t note at the time the passing of another 60s icon in Ben E King.

After a successful career with the Drifters he left and recorded not just his biggest hit Stand By Me but also a succession of songs which would become standards including Don’t Play That Song (You Lied) (whose introduction could easily be mistaken for that of Stand By Me.)

Ben E King: Stand By Me

Ben E King: Spanish Harlem

Ben E King: Don’t Play That Song (You Lied)

Ben E King: I Who Have Nothing

Benjamin Earl Nelson (Ben E King): 28/9/1938 – 30/4/2015. So it goes.

Reelin’ In the Years 103: Love is Life / Brother Louie (RIP Errol Brown)

I was sad to hear the news yesterday of the death of Errol Brown.

His band, Hot Chocolate, first came to my attention with this song in 1970.

Love is Life: Hot Chocolate

They were notable for being one of only three acts to have at least one (UK) hit in every year of the 1970s with Brown writing (or co-writing) most of them. In fact that run of chart success continued till 1984.

Perhaps their bravest release was Brother Louie, with a spoken word part which was voiced by British blues legend Alexis Korner.


Brother Louie: Hot Chocolate

Lester Errol Brown: 12/11/1943 – 6/5/2015. So it goes.

Not Friday On My Mind 30: Fire Brigade

A rest from soul this week.

In Britain we don’t refer to the Fire Department. Instead it’s the Fire Service or the Fire Brigade.

Cue The Move.

This is a live performance:-

The Move: Fire Brigade

And here’s a rarity. Fire Brigade with Carl Wayne rather than Roy Wood on lead vocals. This version, somewhat flatter in sound, also lacks the siren sounding “woo-oo, woo-oo, woo-oo” singing behind the chorus and the “Ooh” punctuating the chorus and its repeat.

The Move: Fire Brigade

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