December 6th, 2014

Blue Red

Last shout out for anyone living outside the UK - it's our last posting date in the next few days.

I have made quite a number of new friends this year and I love sending Christmas cards, so if you would like a card from me, please PM me with your address. Also if anyone has moved to a new address since last December let me know too. Actually if you are one of my old friends and you aren't sure if I have your address then let me know you would like a card and I'll ask for your address if I need it.
Blue Red

63 UK Christmas No.1s - 1966

Tom Jones - The Green Green Grass Of Home

"Green, Green Grass of Home", written by Claude "Curly" Putman, Jr. and first recorded by singer Johnny Darrell, is a country song originally made popular by Porter Wagoner in 1965, when it reached No. 4 on the country chart. That same year it was sung by Bobby Bare, and Jerry Lee Lewis. Tom Jones, recorded the song in 1966, when it became a worldwide No. 1 hit. Jones had learned the song from Lewis's version.

Welsh singer Tom Jones, who was appearing on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1965, visited Colony Records while staying in New York City. On asking if they had any new works by Jerry Lee Lewis, he was given the new country album.

Impressed with the song, Jones recorded and released the song in the UK in 1966 and it reached No. 1 on 1 December, staying there for a total of seven weeks. The song has sold 1.23 million copies in the UK as of November 2012. Jones' version also reached #11 pop, #12 easy listening on the Billboard US charts.

In September 2006, Jones performed the song as a duet with Jerry Lee Lewis during the taping of the latter's Last Man Standing TV special in New York City, and credited Lewis with providing the inspiration behind his own recording.

I have always liked this song. My parents owned this single so I grew up with it around the house and being played a lot on the record player. I think Tom Jones has a very, smooth voice. in the 80's I had a phase where I discovered what a fit body he had but I never really found him attractive. Nowadays I think he is quite good looking and I think he is much more attractive as an older man than he was when he was younger!!
Blue Red

63 UK Christmas No.1s - 1967

The Beatles - Hello Goodbye

"Hello, Goodbye" is a song by the Beatles. Though the songwriting credit is Lennon–McCartney, it was written solely by Paul McCartney.

The song was released as a single in November 1967, and topped the charts in the United States, the United Kingdom, France and Norway. The song also was a number two hit in both Austria and Switzerland. In the United States, it becoming the band's 15th #1 there and was also included on the Magical Mystery Tour album released three days later, In Britain, however where it spent seven weeks at number one, and was the Christmas number one for 1967, the song was not made available in the UK on an album (or in stereo) until the release of the 1973 compilation album 1967–1970.

Alistair Taylor, who worked for the Beatles' manager, Brian Epstein, had asked McCartney how he wrote his songs, and McCartney took him into his dining room to give him a demonstration on his harmonium. He asked Taylor to shout the opposite of whatever he sang as he played the instrument—black and white, yes and no, stop and go, hello and goodbye. Taylor later said, "I wonder whether Paul really made up that song as he went along or whether it was running through his head already."

Three promotional films were made for the song; directed by McCartney, they were filmed on 10 November 1967 at the Saville Theatre in London. The films were not aired by the BBC due to the Musicians Union's strict rules on miming; with no such restriction in the US, one of the films was screened on The Ed Sullivan Show on 26 November.

Blue Red

63 UK Christmas No.1s - 1968

Scaffold - Lily The Pink

"Lily the Pink" is a 1968 song released by the UK comedy group the Scaffold who were a comedy, poetry and music trio from Liverpool, England, consisting of Mike McGear (real name Peter Michael McCartney, the brother of Paul McCartney), Roger McGough and John Gorman. It is a modernisation of an older folk song titled "The Ballad of Lydia Pinkham". The lyrics celebrate the "medicinal compound" invented by Lily the Pink, and, in each verse, chronicle some extraordinary cure which it has effected.

The Scaffold's record, released in November 1968, became No. 1 in the UK Singles Chart for the four weeks encompassing the Christmas holidays that year. Backing vocalists on the recording included Graham Nash (of the Hollies), Elton John (then Reg Dwight), and Tim Rice; while Jack Bruce (of Cream) played the bass guitar.

The lyrics include a number of in-jokes which may have been missed by many listeners. For example, the line Mr Frears has sticky out ears refers to film director Stephen Frears who had worked with the Scaffold early in their career; while the line Jennifer Eccles had terrible freckles refers to the song "Jennifer Eccles" by the Hollies, Graham Nash's former band.

Another version of the song, released a few months after the Scaffold's by the Irish Rovers, became a minor hit for North American audiences in early 1969.

The U.S. American folk (or drinking) song on which Lily the Pink was based is generally known as "Lydia Pinkham" or "The Ballad of Lydia Pinkham". It has the Roud number 8368. The song was inspired by Lydia E. Pinkham's Vegetable Compound, a well-known herbal-alcoholic patent medicine for women. Supposed to relieve menstrual and menopausal pains, the compound was mass-marketed in the United States from 1876 onwards.

This proved to be a difficult single to find for some reason. I managed to finally buy it in 1997 for £3.

Although the information says that The Scaffold got the name Jennifer Eccles from the Hollies song I know that my nickname of the last 18 years "Jennifer Freckles" originated from this song.