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Reelin’ In the Years 114: California Man

The roots of both ELO and Wizzard are evident in this, the last of the hits by Birmingham band The Move, which by this time had lost original members Carl Wayne, Ace Kefford and Trevor Burton and reeled in Jeff Lynne from The Idle Race. ELO’s first single 10538 Overture was released only a month or so after this.

The Move: California Man

Reelin’ In the Years 113: Ball Park Incident

It’s that time of year again. I was in a shopping mall yesterday and over the tannoy came the sound of I Wish it Could be Christmas Every Day. It was the nineteenth of November!

Still, it got me to thinking about the band that recorded it, Wizzard, a project that Roy Wood had (ahem) moved on to from The Move following a brief stint with the earliest incarnation of ELO.

I Wish it Could be Christmas Every Day never made it to no 1, among other things having the relative misfortune to be first released in the same year as Slade’s Merry Xmas Everybody. I don’t suppose Roy Wood will complain. The residuals he gets every year for I Wish it Could be Christmas Every Day must keep him in mince pies well enough.

This was the world’s introduction to Wizzard. Their first single.

Wizzard: Ball Park Incident

Live It Up 25: So Good to be Back Home Again

Following on from last week’s offering….

This was just such a joyful pop song.

The Tourists – So Good to be Back Home Again 1980

Reelin’ In the Years 112: I Only Want To Be With You

Longdancer wasn’t the only pre-Eurythmics incarnation of Dave Stewart’s music – and not his first collaboration with Annie Lennox. That came in the late 70s and 1980 with The Tourists and a couple of top ten hits of which only the song below (which is more associated with the 1960s and Dusty Springfield) made any impression in the USA.

The Tourists: I Only Want To Be With You

Not Friday On My Mind 37: Wait For Me Mary-Anne

Different spelling of Marianne. Different song.

Scotland’s 60s finest, Marmalade, with their second hit.

Marmalade: Wait For Me Mary-Anne

Not Friday On My Mind 36: C’mon Marianne

This is very unlike the psychedelic influenced Dear Delilah (see Friday on my Mind 49.) The uninitiated could be forgiven for thinking this was by the Four Seasons who did of course record the song first.

Grapefruit: C’mon Marianne

Live It Up 24: RIP Jim Diamond

Scot Jim Diamond wasn’t perhaps the best known singer latterly. Still I wouldn’t have thought it easy to confuse him with the USian Neil of that ilk as someone of my acquaintance did when talking about his death this week.

Jim first came to prominence as part of trio Ph D with I Won’t Let You Down.The video is frankly, creepy.

Ph D: I Won’t Let You Down

Jim’s biggest hit as a solo artist was I Should Have Known Better in the year of Band Aid. Diamond’s song hit no 1 the week before the release of Do They Know It’s Christmas? Apparently Diamond said that people should buy the charity single rather than his. Good on him.

Jim Diamond: I Should Have Known Better

His best song though was probably Hi Ho Silver, theme song to the TV series Boon.

Jim Diamond: Hi Ho Silver

James “Jim” Diamond: 28/9/1951–8/10/2015. So it goes.

Friday on my Mind 126: Rosie/Blue Eyes/Breakfast on Pluto

Another set of unlikely hits was achieved by traditional busker Don Partridge, who played his instruments not only with his hands and mouth but also his elbows, legs – and knees for all I know. More of a one-man band than a busker he was apparently known as King of the Street-singers.

I don’t think this Rosie is a live version, but rather the record dubbed over some video.

Don Partridge: Rosie

Don Partridge: Blue Eyes

More topically here he is playing – live – Breakfast on Pluto, a song which I find reached no 26 but had hitherto vanished from my memory. I’m not sure I can find it there even now I’ve heard it again. (Again?)

Don Partridge: Breakfast on Pluto

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.

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