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Not Friday on my Mind 53: I See the Rain. RIP Dean Ford

I was sad to hear the news of the death of Dean Ford, lead singer of (The) Marmalade (once known as Dean Ford and the Gaylords,) the first Scottish group to have a no 1 in the UK. To make it, of course, they had to leave Scotland and move to London where their initial efforts under their original name didn’t meet with much joy. Calling themselves The Marmalade also didn’t bring instant success. It was only when they adopted a more pop profile – and with songs written by others – that they achieved a measure of success, peaking with that no. 1, a cover of The Beatles’ Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da.

Ford was no mean song writer though. Along with fellow band member Junior Campbell he wrote Reflections of My Life, Rainbow, and My Little One, hits between 1969 and 1971.

Plus this pre-success psychedelia-tinged song, said to be Jimi Hendrix’s favourite of 1967.

The Marmalade: I See the Rain

Thomas McAleese (Dean Ford): 5/9/1946 – 31/12/2018. So it goes.

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

Reelin’ In The Years 54: The Pie

This was The Sutherland Brothers before they took up with Quiver. Only the second Scots group I could remember making the UK charts (after Marmalade) The Pie was their first – relatively minor – hit.

The Sutherland Brothers: The Pie

The Brothers version of Sailing which they wrote and Rod Stewart later took to number one can be found here.

Friday On My Mind 25: Reflections Of My Life

According to the sleeve notes on a collection tape I looked at once, this song was the single most played track on US FM radio during the last quarter of the twentieth century.

Not a Beatles tune, not one from the Stones, not even an effort by a US band but instead the accolade goes to a bunch of boys from Glasgow.

I have featured Marmalade (as they became) before; to brighten up my post on the demise of the name Norman.

This is probably the best song they ever did.

Marmalade: Reflections Of My Life

Normans Conquer No More

It has recently been reported that soon there will be hardly any Normans left, and no Gertrudes at all. Other names which are on the way out include Walter, Percy (What, despite Thomas the Tank Engine?) Harold, Edna, Irene, Ada, Ernest, Nora (Compo you must be devastated!) Herbert, Olive, Agnes, Clifford, even Frank.

So new parents are unlikely to repeat the bizarre decision that those of a certain Norman (whom I have met, and spoken to professionally as a result of my day job) did. He’s even written several text books.

A man called Norman Conquest? Yes, really.

In Scotland, the tradition used to be that, since the mother chose the name, a first son was named after the mother’s father and a second son after its mother’s husband. Sometimes the mother’s maiden name was used. The use of surnames as given names was very common as a result. There are all those Murrays, Camerons, Dougals, Duncans, Gordons, Calums and Finlays, not to mention the odd Menzies or Tavish – I’ve even heard of McKenzies, MacDonalds and Brodies. However, this practice is also now tending to die out.

Despite being the third son in my family, I was named after my mother’s father. (Perhaps it took my parents so long because he wasn’t a Scot.) This caused problems when I was a lad because almost nobody had Jack as a first – in those days it was referred to as a Christian – name. A lot of men were called Jack but their legal name was John. As a child I lost count of the number of times that I was asked, “Are you sure it’s not John?” before sighing and explaining that Jack was indeed my “proper” name.

Yet nowadays Jack is one of the most popular boys’ names (I blame Richard and Judy) and all sorts of weird and wonderful monikers are in vogue.

And I feel sad to hear that the name Norman, in particular, has fallen into disuse.

You see, my other grandfather was called Norman and it is my elder brother’s middle name. I also have a cousin Norman, so I almost feel as if part of my heritage is dying.

What better excuse to embed this inoffensive ditty from Dean Ford & the Gaylords (you wouldn’t get away with that name now!) otherwise known as Marmalade?

Marmalade: Cousin Norman

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