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Friday on my Mind 118: Try a Little Tenderness

After Percy Sledge last week, some more soul.

This was the first track by Otis Redding that I remember hearing. If I can believe Wikipedia the backing was provided by Booker T and the MGs and Isaac Hayes worked on the arrangement.

Otis Redding: Try a Little Tenderness

Friday on my Mind 117: Warm and Tender Love. RIP Percy Sledge

Soul singer Percy Sledge has gone to the great auditorium in the sky.

Percy Sledge: Warm and Tender Love

His big hit was of course When A Man Loves A Woman, whose origins and authorship are disputed, but to me it has always had more than a touch of Pachelbel’s Canon about it. (See here, and here, and here.)

Percy Sledge: When A Man Loves A Woman

Percy Tyrone Sledge: 25/11/1940 – 14/4/2015. So it goes.

Memory Failure

It seems my memory has let me down. I originally categorised Canned Heat’s Let’s Work Together as Friday on my Mind 102 but have now discovered the song did not come out till 1970.

As a result I have now altered that post’s title and content slightly and the subsequent Friday on my Mind entries have been renumbered.

Advancing years, eh? It’s a bugger.

Not Friday On My Mind 29: Shine on Brightly

Not a single but Procol Harum were one of the forebears of Prog Rock. As this track, among many others, evinces.

Procol Harum: Shine on Brightly

Not Friday On My Mind 28: My Name is Jack

I did get ribbed about this one, though. Not at school, but by a neighbouring boy when visiting my grandparents in Johnstone. (They only lived there for a few years before moving on.)

Manfred Mann: My Name is Jack

Not Friday On My Mind 27: Happy Jack

Somewhat surprisingly the appearance of this song on the radio and in the charts in my schooldays didn’t lead to much poking of fun at me.

The Who: Happy Jack

Friday on my Mind 116: Noggin the Nog

One of the enduring memories of my childhood and early adolescence is the animated BBC TV series Noggin the Nog, one of that long list of delightful creations from the team of Oliver Postgate and Peter Firmin which also included Ivor the Engine (a bit early for me,) The Clangers and Bagpuss (a bit late.)

Noggin the Nog was such a hit with my schoolmates that one of our secondary school teachers was dubbed with the nickname of the show’s baddie, Nogbad the Bad.

Each episode always had an intro narrated against the muted strains of Hall of the Mountain King, “In the lands of the North, where the Black Rocks stand guard against the cold sea, in the dark night that is very long the Men of the Northlands sit by their great log fires and they tell a tale,” which then went on into that particular storyline.

Noggin the Nog intro:-

Noggin and the Ice Dragon:-

Friday on my Mind 115: The Highway Code

Another of the singles my eldest brother bought was this novelty record by the Mastersingers, setting the first part of the Highway Code in the form of an Anglican chant.

And why would he buy such a thing?

Well, my family is steeped in the Anglican tradition and my brother would later, as he would put it, “take Holy Orders” – the latest in a line from my grandfather (the original Jack Deighton,) his brother Frank, and son Ian, though none of the children of my generation follow on in what might have been called the family business – so we found the conceit amusing. All the more so since everyone in my immediate family – mother, father, two brothers, myself – were in the church choir and were used to singing Psalms and Canticles as Anglican Chant. I remember spending several years looking forward to following my brothers in singing as leading choirboy the part of the page in Good King Wenceslas at Christmas only to be disappointed when in my year the choirmaster decided to change the format to having the congregation sing it instead. That’s life, though.

The Mastersingers (of whom a history is on this website) actually reached the top thirty with The Highway Code, though their subsequent release, The Weather Forecast, did not fare quite so well.

The Mastersingers: The Highway Code

Friday on my Mind 114: Rhubarb Tart Song

The B-side of The Ferret Song (see last week) had a tune based on the middle part of one of John Philip Sousa’s marches, The Washington Post, and had a lyric which became typical of the Monty Python style since the song references a slew of philosophers and artists and also includes nods to popular culture as well as Shakespeare – all wrapped around an idea of the utmost silliness.

I really like the cleverness of the rhymes with the word tart, though.

John Cleese with the 1948 show choir: Rhubarb Tart Song

Not Friday On My Mind 26: Rain and Tears – RIP Demis Roussos

So Demis Roussos has gone. He was only 66. Strange that in the 70s he seemed quite old.

He first came to my attention in the 60s as lead singer of Aphrodite’s Child, another of whose members was Vangelis.

I posted their song It’s Five O’Clock here. It was out of songs and groups like this that Prog Rock developed.

I’ll skip over Roussos’s 70s solo number 1 For Ever and Ever and instead feature a live version of Aphrodite’s Child’s only UK hit, a number 29 no less, Rain and Tears.

Aphrodite’s Child: Rain and Tears

Artemios “Demis” Ventouris-Roussos: 15/6/1946 – 25/1/2015. So it goes.

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