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Reelin’ in the Years 178: RIP Emitt Rhodes

Emitt Rhodes died this week. He never made much of an impact on the charts in the UK despite being championed on Alan Freeman’s radio show. It’s still sad to see him go.

There’s a mellotron sound here (I’m a sucker for a bit of mellotron) and echoes of Barclay James Harvest.

Emitt Rhodes: Till the Day After

This one’s a bit more rocky.

Emitt Rhodes: Really Wanted You

Emitt Lynn Rhodes: 25/2/1950 – 19/7/2020. So it goes.

Reelin’ in the Years 177: Only You Can. RIP Kenny Young

The song-writer and producer of 1970s band Fox died earlier this week. He also wrote Captain of Your Ship – a hit for Reparata and the Delrons in the 60s – Under the Boardwalk and some hits for Clodagh Rodgers.

A list of his hit songs is on Wikipedia.

The biggest of those in the UK were recorded by Fox. This looks like a Top of the Pops appearance.

Fox: Only You Can

Shalom Giskan (Kenny Young,) 14/4/1941 – 14/4/2020. So it goes.

Not Friday on my Mind 61: Oh Well – RIP Peter Green

I was so sad to hear of the death of guitarist Peter Green, late of John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, the first incarnation of Fleetwood Mac and the Peter Green Splinter Group.

I have featured his music before here and Here. Both of those songs speak of a troubled mind and it is no secret that Green found life and fame difficult (not helped by taking LSD.)

His work speaks for itself though.

The first clip – Oh Well Part 1 is a live performance and misses out the acoustic last part.

Fleetwood Mac: Oh Well Part 1:-

That acoustic part was repeated at the beginning of Oh Well Part 2 so is included below.

Fleetwood Mac: Oh Well Part 2:-

Peter Allen Greenbaum (Peter Green,) 29/10/1946 – 25/7/2020. So it goes.

Jack Charlton

So, with the passing of Jack Charlton, another of that select group, English footballers to have won a World Cup, has gone.

Not the most cultured of players, unlike his brother Bobby, Jack was said to have thought when he learned of his England call-up that they’d picked the wrong Charlton. His position at centre-half though, has not historically been the preserve of the cultured. In his club career at Leeds United he had big shoes to fill, taking over from the Gentle Giant, John Charles, after his transfer to Juventus. In all he appeared for Leeds 629 times – a club record unlikely to be surpassed.

As a manager I remember him leading Middlesbrough to promotion to the top flight before spells at Sheffield Wednesday and Newcastle United but it was as manager of the Republic of Ireland international team that he made his greatest mark, taking them to a World Cup quarter-final in 1990. Four years later they had a famous 1-0 win over Italy (who went on to reach the final) in New York.

John (Jack) Charlton: 8/5/1935 – 10/7/2020. So it goes.

Ennio Morricone

Composer Ennie Morricone‘s death this week was well marked. He was one of the few film composers whose name was known to the wider public. All in all he composed scores of, em, scores.

Back in the day my elder brother took a liking to the music from Sergio Leone’s “Dollars” films starring Clint Eastwood (and bought the soundtracks as I recall) so I remember this, which absolutely screams Western film tune, well:-

Theme to A Fistful of Dollars

Morricone’s theme to the third film in the trilogy, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, was turned into a UK number one hit by Hugo Montenegro and his Orchestra.

Later, Morricone’s Chi Mai became the title music to the TV Series The Life and Times of David Lloyd George on the back of which it also found chart success, but only to number 2.

Chi Mai

Ennnio Morricone: 10 /11/1928 – 6/7/2020. So it goes.

Edited to add; I forgot Gabriel’s Oboe composed for the film, The Mission.

Margarita Pracatan

Margarita Pracatan, who died earlier this week, was one of the most idiosyncratic performers I have ever seen.

Brought to the attention of the British public via Clive James‘s TV shows, she was nominally a singer. She sang in English but her heavy Hispanic accent was at odds with the songs she performed, yet it was that same accent which made a large contribution to her appeal.

James said of her that she could make some of the world’s most recognisable songs seem unfamiliar, new and strange and that, “She never lets the words or melody get in her way.” But he also added, “She is us, without the fear of failure.” Her personality was so big any failings of technique or timing simply did not matter. She embodied exuberance and joie de vivre.

I hesitate to put this under my music category. Nevertheless. If you have never seen her before marvel at this small sample of her œuvre.

¡Pracatan!

Margarita Pracatan: You Were Always on my Mind

Juana Margarita Figueroa (Margarita Pracatan,) 11/6/1931 – 23/6/2020. So it goes.

Vera

So, Vera Lynn has died.

I suppose it’s too much to hope that that will mean the Second World War is finally over and will no longer be invoked by those trying to make some spurious point about contempoorary life. It was 75 years ago after all.

Oh, well.

A flavour of this sentiment colours this Pink Floyd Track from The Final Cut.

Pink Floyd: Vera

Perhaps not, then.

Lynn is repeatedly referred to as the Forces’ Sweetheart but I have it on good authority that isn’t quite true – at least for the rank and file. When she was on tour giving concerts she spent most of her time with officers. As a result, more popular among the ordinary soldier was the much lesser heralded Anne Shelton.

Still, print the legend, eh?

But at least Lynn didn’t forget the Fourteenth Army and actually visited Burma.

Most people – not least the BBC – no doubt opted for We’ll Meet Again to mark her passing. This one’s slightly less sentimental.

Vera Lynn: A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square

Vera Margaret Lynch (Vera Lynn;) 20/3/1917 – 18/6/2020. So it goes.

Reelin’ in the Years 174: Burning – RIP Steve Priest

So, farewell then, Steve Priest, bass guitarist with The Sweet.

On one of the band’s Top of the Pops performances Steve managed to outrage my father with his make-up and pouting to the camera. I just thought all of that was an in-joke, a very muted kind of rebellion.

I’ve already featured what I think of as the band’s good hits; the ones that weren’t mere bubblegum fluff.

The Sweet’s B-sides were their attempt to show that they were serious musicians. Some see them as forerunners of and influences on later heavy metal bands. At the time most of my acquiantances thought they were maybe trying a bit too hard.

On this one (the B-side of Hell Raiser) it sounds like they were trying to channel Led Zeppelin, specifically The Immigrant Song.

The Sweet: Burning

Stephen Norman (Steve) Priest, 23/2/1948 – 4/6/2020. So it goes.

Little Richard

By the time I started listening to popular music Little Richard had passed his heyday. It was still obvious though that he had been important in the development of rock’n’roll – an influence on so many popular musicians of the 1960s and later. Sadly he joined the roll call of the departed this week.

There is really only one phrase with which to sign him off.

Awopbopaloobop alopbambom!

Little Richard: Tutti Frutti

Richard Wayne Penniman (Little Richard) 5/12/1932 – 9/5/2020. So it goes.

Tim Brooke-Taylor

I was very sad to hear of the death of Tim Brooke-Taylor, especially so since it seems he succumbed to Covid-19.

I suppose most people will remember him from The Goodies (goody, goody, yum-yum.) However, Taylor’s “character” in that series always seemed to me to be composed too much of the upper-class English twit, which did him an injustice.

I first encountered him, though in the radio show I’m Sorry, I’ll Read That Again, (episodes of which are available on the iPlayer) in which he played many parts but most notably for me, Lady Constance de Coverlet, a woman of bountiful proportions the source of many jokes, and perenially man-mad.

One particular memory I have of the character came in the serial “Professor Prune and The Electric Time Trousers” where in one episode the show’s perenially popular dog Spot was carried away in the time trousers along with the Professor. “Come back, Professor,” said Lady Constance. “Come back, Spot.”

“Come back Spot?” came the query, as if mystified by her affection for a dog.

Lady Constance – “I chase anything in trousers.”

Timothy Julian Brooke-Taylor: 17/7/1940 – 12/4/2020. So it goes.

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