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Ray Clemence and Des O’Connor

I was sad to hear of the death of Ray Clemence, one of the best goalkeepers of my lifetime, with a medal haul it would be difficult to surpass. About the only one misssing from his collection was a World Cup medal. Had it not been for the presence of Peter Shilton as a contemporary his total of 61 international caps would have been substantially higher.

England goalkeepers have not habitually been prone to error but Clemence is probably best remembered in Scotland for exactly that. In a game against Scotland he misjudged a weak Kenny Dalglish shot, allowing it through his legs for a goal. I noticed that his obituary piece on the BBC news featured a clip of that incident. Perhaps the compiler was a Scot with a sense of irony.

Judge for yourselves:-

Raymond Neal Clemence: 5/81948 – 15/11/2020. So it goes.

A day earlier, Des O’Connor, butt of many jokes from the mouth of Eric Morecambe, had passed away. O’Connor first came to my attention via his chart success with Careless Hands and I Pretend, not songs to my taste. His comedy was perhaps on the bland side and, contrary to Morecambe’s jibes, which he took in good part, even playing up to them, his singing was perfectly acceptable. He made a successful career out of them in any case and the attention from Morecambe may in fact have boosted it.

Desmond Bernard O’Connor: 12/1/1932 – 14/11/2020. So it goes.

Reelin’ in the Years 182: Easy Livin’ – RIP Ken Hensley

So this week it was Ken Hensley, keyboardist and chief songwriter for the metal band Uriah Heep, who has died.

I have featured the band twice before with Rain, which Hensley wrote, and Come Away Melinda.

They never troubled the British charts much (a no 76 and a no 85, both in 1983) but had more success in Germany.

This song was their first and biggest hit in the US. More representative of their œuvre I would say.

Uriah Heep: Easy Livin’

Kenneth William David (Ken) Hensley: 24/8/1945 – 4/11/2020. So it goes.

Sean Connery and Nobby Stiles

The deaths of Sean Connery and Nobby Stiles were reported in the past two days.

Connery needs no introduction being one of the best known actors of the late twentieth century. A child of Edinburgh and a proud Scot. And the first screen James Bond, a part which became the juggernaut it now is due in large measure to his defining of it.

Nobby was a no less proud Englishman I’m sure, the latest in that select band of his countrymen to win a football World Cup to leave the wider pitch. He was what would nowadays be called a holding midfield player but in his time was more often called a hardman. As an oppposing player you certainly didn’t want him to be coming near you when you had the ball. His cavorting on the pitch after that World Cup win, waving the trophy above his head, is one of that occasion’s iconic moments.

Thomas Sean Connery: 25/8/1930 – 31/10/2020, Norbert Peter Stiles: 18/5/1942 – 30/10/2020. So it goes.

Poppy Watch 2020

For my previous posts on this topic see here. (I suppose this post will also appear there now.)

Well. This year’s award as virtue signalling, sanctimonious tosser goes to Andrew Rosindell MP who posted the below on Twitter. Before poppies were even on sale to the public.

Andrew Rossindell MP

Proud to be first to wear a poppy in the House of Commons this year?

I wasn’t aware it was a competition.

(I also suspect he might be wearing last year’s.)

As for his colleague Anthony Brown:-

Anthony Brown

A normal poppy’s not good enough for you, then? You obviously feel you have to shove it in our faces.

Methinks the lady doth protest too much.

Not Friday on my Mind 62: I’m a Man – RIP Spencer Davis

Spencer Davis, leader of his eponymous group and discoverer of Stevie Winwood (who played keyboards and sang on all the group’s big hits) died earlier this week.

The top ten hits Keep on Running, Somebody Help Me, Gimme Some Lovin’, I’m a Man all came in the years 1965-1967 and were split by the No 12 When I Come Home (which I confess I do not remember at all but of which there’s a film clip on You Tube featuring Nicholas Parsons!)

When Winwood left to form Traffic the group’s sound changed to something more heavy and psychedelic – I featured Time Seller here – but only that song touched the top 30 and that at no 30. Its follow-up Mr Second Class was a no 35.

Davis later moved into the record business as a promoter.

This was the last of the top ten hits:-

The Spencer Davis Group: I’m a Man

Spencer David Nelson Davies (Spencer Davis): 17/7/1939 – 19/10/20. So it goes.

Friday on my Mind 195: You Got Soul – RIP Johnny Nash

I noted the passing of Johnny Nash last week. Apparently he was instrumental in ensuring Bob Marley’s first recording contract. He certainly recorded Stir it Up and got a UK hit with it.

Nash’s most famous song is of course I Can See Clearly Now (1972) but his only No 1 was Tears on My Pillow in 1975. His first UK hit was Hold Me Tight in 1968. This song was its follow-up and shows off his rock-steady/reggae background.

Johnny Nash: You Got Soul

John Lester (Johnny) Nash: 19/8/1940 – 6/10/20. So it goes.

Yesterday Once More

This is getting to be like 2016 all over again.

I’ve already noted the recent deaths of Mac Davis and Helen Reddy. I hadn’t mentioned Toots Hibbert, who reportedly invented reggae, as I’ve never been much taken with that genre of music but I knew Toots and the Maytals were influential. Nor did I note earlier the passing of Tommy DeVito of the Four Seasons. (Their work wasn’t particularly outstanding to me.)

But now there have been two losses in 24 hours. I saw last night that Eddie Van Halen had died and I woke this morning to the news of the death of Johnny Nash.

What with the wider world in a state of confusion it feels like we’re still in that annus horribilis 2016.

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.

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