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Friday on my Mind 125: Drink Up Thee Zider

Prior to their big chart success in the mid-70s the Wurzels had been fronted by Adge Cutler – who wielded what seemed to be a cudgel. As Adge Cutler and the Wurzels they had a minor hit in 1967 with his song Drink Up Thee Zider sometimes written as Drink Up Thy Zider.

I’m astounded at how young Adge Cutler looks in this video. I’d remembered him from his television appearances as being much older than the rest of the group. (I was very young then myself of course.)

Sadly Adge died in a car crash in 1974. So it goes.

Adge Cutler and The Wurzels – Drink Up Thee Zider

For a longer piece featuring this clip and showing how cider is produced see here.

Reelin’ In the Years 111: The Combine Harvester

From the sublime (Al Stewart, last two weeks) to the gorblimey.

I’d almost forgotten about this till the good lady said she’d heard it on the radio this week

The Wurzels were a band from Somerset – a traditional rural farming county – who dubbed their style Scrumpy and Western after the name for a type of cider and a USian music genre.

A parody of Melanie (Safka)’s Brand New Key from 1971 with lyrics more appropriate to agriculture this, believe it or not, was actually a number one hit in the UK in 1976. For three weeks!

Bits of it are still funny, though. I especially like the spoken, “Just you wait till I get me ‘ands on your laaaaand,” towards the end.

The Wurzels: The Combine Harvester:

Another Wurzels parody, this time of Una Paloma Blanca, got to number three in 1976.

The Wurzels: I am a Cider Drinker

There are clips on You Tube of the Wurzels performing this on TV but on one of them they are introduced by a paedophile and the other is incomplete.

Reelin’ In the Years 110: Roads To Moscow

Another example of Al Stewart’s lyrical eclecticism.

This one is about the Great Patriotic War.

Al Stewart : Roads To Moscow

Reelin’ In the Years 109: On The Border

Not the only “pop” song to be about the Spanish Civil War but the subject certainly marks it out as lyrically unusual. But then Al Stewart’s lyrics tended to the eclectic.

This is a live version.

Al Stewart: On the Border

Reelin’ In the Years 108: Daddy Don’t Live In That New York City No More

More Steely Dan.

Pity about the poor grammar in the title.

Steely Dan: Daddy Don’t Live In That New York City No More

Reelin’ In the Years 107: Rikki Don’t Lose That Number

Steely Dan’s second UK hit – but it only achieved the heights of no. 58. Though their singles got a lot of airplay I suppose they were more of an albums band this side of the pond.

Steely Dan: Rikki Don’t Lose That Number

Reelin’ In the Years 106: Teenage Rampage

I’ve not done one of these for a while.

The Sweet: Teenage Rampage

Friday on my Mind 124: It’s Gettin’ Better

This is just a wonderful feel-good song. Cass had a distinctive voice. Pity she died so young. (So it goes.)

Cass Elliott:- It’s Gettin’ Better

Reelin’ In the Years 105: Hazell

Taggart’s wasn’t the first TV theme tune Maggie Bell had taken on. From the previous decade here’s her version of the Hazell theme.

Maggie Bell: Hazell

Not Friday On My Mind 35: RIP Cilla Black

I know it’s not good form to speak ill of the dead but I’m afraid I can’t share the “National Treasure” stuff surrounding the passing of Cilla Black. She was undoubtedly a substantial entertainment figure of the 1960s though, with several big hits and many smaller ones. Yet to my mind her singing voice became too harsh when she upped the volume. In softer tones she could be quite effective though.

As to her later incarnation as a television presenter, I saw Blind Date once. It wasn’t for me. I never watched Surprise, Surprise.

I went off her completely when she was introducing some awards ceremony or other and mentioned Margaret Thatcher, at which the audience booed. Cilla then protested (against all reason) “But she’s put the great back in Great Britain.” Maybe for successful entertainers, but not for those left behind.

This was Cilla in her 1960s pomp, in a clip from Top of the Pops:-

Cilla Black: Surround Yourself With Sorrow

And here she is in her softer register. (Interesting that in the intervening almost forty years since I first heard her perform this song, to reflect our modern sensibilities the lyric has been changed from “ye’ll gerra belt from yer da’,” to “Ye’ll get told off by your da’.”)

Cilla Black: Liverpool Lullaby

Priscilla Maria Veronica White (Cilla Black): 27/5/1943-1/8/2015. So it goes.

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