I heard today that jazz trumpeter Kenny Ball has died.
My eldest brother was into trad jazz in the early 1960s and had several of Kenny’s singles. Some of those songs were in the run of early 1960s singles I included in this category about two years ago.
Here’s the band playing I Wanna Be Like You, one of the songs from the Disney version of The Jungle Book. I remember seeing them perform this on television – probably before I ever saw the relevant clip from the film.
Kenny Ball and his Jazzmen: I Wanna Be Like You
Kenny Ball (Kenneth Daniel Ball): 22/5/1930-7/3/2013. So it goes.
Three years ago it was the 1960s, two years ago the 70s and last year it was the 1980s from which we at work were to pick our favourite song as a piece of fun at Easter.
The 80s winner?
A Town Called Malice.
Second was Money For Nothing, both from the beginning of the decade I noticed.
I haven’t bothered doing 80s songs up to now as among other things it was the decade style forgot (at least if Ashes to Ashes can be relied on.) I also wasn’t paying that much attention to contemporary music then.
Mostly though it was because I couldn’t decide which song to go with for the series title.
I’ve opted for Live It Up because that’s what a lot of people purported to do during Thatcher’s time. (A lot more were miserable.)
This particular song always reminds me of Boghead, late lamented ground of the famous Dumbarton FC, the Sons of the Rock. It was a Second Division game when Tommy Burns’s Kilmarnock came calling on their way to promotion. (And thumped us, so ruining our already unlikely promotion prospects.) Live It Up was played over the tannoy.
The group which performed this were (are?) Australian – which also goes along with the Easybeats connection of Friday On My Mind – but their name could be Scottish. Except I suppose if it were, the last word would be much more expressive.
I’ve said before that for a while in the Sixties The Troggs were my favourite band so I was sad to hear of the death of lead singer and composer of a fair few of their hits, Reg Presley, earlier this week.
Thinking about it, it occurred to me that, with the sparseness of the arrangements in the raunchier part of their output, they were a kind of proto punk band.
This was the first single The Spencer Davis Group released after Steve Winwood left.
The heavy cello prefigures early Electric Light Orchestra (their eponymous first album featured the cello a lot, as well as brass) but does anyone else hear in the introduction pre-echoes of Oasis? (“Free to be whatever I …”)
I had remembered Family’s The Weaver’s Answer as a 1970 song. On listening to Sounds of the Sixties last Saturday though it seems it came out as an album track in 1969. As a result I have renumbered my Reelin’ in the Years category to take account of this and added The Weaver’s Answer to Friday on my Mind.
It does give me an excuse to use another Family track (definitely from the 1970s this time.)
Joe South whose Games People Play was no. 65 in my Friday on my Mind posts has died.
Joe was multi-talented. He played all the instruments on Games People Play as well as singing and writing the song. He contributed to Bob Dylan’s LP Blonde on Blonde as a bass player and to Aretha Franklin’s Chain of Fools.
After Games People Play won a Grammy Award Joe felt under pressure to come up with great songs every time. Many other artists have covered his songs including Elvis Presley with Walk a Mile in my Shoes. Joe’s version of that song is below. He also had a Grammy nomination with (I Never Promised You A) Rose Garden with which Lyn Anderson had a big hit.
Joe South: Walk a Mile in my Shoes
Joe South (Joseph Souter) 28/2/1940 – 5/9/2012. So it goes.