The Ragtime Postman

Edwardian postmanFound in a scrapbook of clippings and manuscript material dating from c 1914 – 1930 and entitled ‘Gags ‘ is this written down ditty called ‘Ragtime Postman’. We are informed that the first verse should be sung ‘ by 4 with movement ‘.

Morning, noon & night you’ll always hear

Rat a tat Rat a tat Rat a tat

Then the ragtime Postman will appear

On his back in a sack he’s got letters in a stack

For you and me

And all of us get a move on post man do

Letters with kisses from other fellows’ misses

All of want to see what’s in them

(enter comedy postman & sings chorus) Continue reading

How to dance the Hokey Cokey

60670Found- some sheet music for the song The Cokey Cokey which later became the song (and dance) the Hokey Cokey. This is what it is all about… There are many theories about its origins – dealt with at Wikipedia and in a Mental Floss piece on its ‘dubious origins.’ Possibly the name came from the magician’s ‘hocus pocus’. This version was written in 1942 by Jimmy Kennedy (1902-1984). Jimmy Kennedy states that his version is based on ‘a traditional action song known long ago in the mining camps and saloons of the Canadian West. The word ‘Cokey’ means a dope fiend but what this has to do with the dance is not at all clear!’ As he says – it then came over in World War 2 with the Canadian troops. He explains on the back of the sheet music exactly how to do the dance:

This is one of the simplest dances ever. You hold your partner in the normal way and while the verse is being played you may fox-trot using any steps you like.   When the chorus starts, that is, on the words, ‘Left arm out’, you put your left arm in line with your shoulder, continuing on the words ‘Left arm in’ by bending the left arm in and touching your shoulder, then ‘Left arm out’ as before.  You hold your partner with the other arm. ‘Shake it all about’ explains itself —you simply shake your hand and arm with a circular motion. On the next line ‘You do the Cokey Cokey and turn around’ the appropriate action is to place the forefinger of the right hand pointing downward on top of your head and do a complete turnaround. ‘That’s what it’s all about’ ends the actions and you take hold of your partner in the normal way. Then the chorus starts over again with the right arm, then left foot and then the right foot etc., It should not be taken to fast..

This dance, since its introduction here by the Canadian forces, has caught on like wildfire and bids fair to out-rival some of the most sensational dance successes of the past.

Note: Alternatively the dance maybe performed by partners facing each other in line as in the Palais Glide and on the words ‘That’s what it’s all about’ both hands are spread out palm upwards. SEE?

The tragic death of a famous Savoyard

Savoyard Luscinia tribute 001Found— an envelope crammed with an intriguing collection of newspaper cuttings and Velox snaps, most dating to 1931. The majority of the cuttings concern the failing health of forty three old Bertha Lewis, the famous ‘Savoyard’, who at the height of her singing career with the D’Oyly Carte Opera, was badly injured when a car driven by fellow singer, Sir Henry Lytton, veered off the road and rolled down an embankment during a violent rainstorm between Huntingdon and Cambridge.

The couple were returning from Manchester, when, according to Lytton, the front wheels of the car skidded on a patch of oil. After somersaulting, the vehicle came to rest the right way up. Lytton sustained injuries to his legs and kidneys, but Lewis was rendered unconscious and had serious spinal injuries. Both were rushed to hospital, but while Lytton was discharged after a few days, and later returned to work, Lewis, according to the bulletins which were issued daily to the newspapers, gradually succumbed to her injuries and died after five days.

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The 25 Favourite Sinatra Songs

Found among Peter Haining’s  papers a typed sheet, possibly from a 1980 newspaper article, listing the results of a poll of Frank Sinatra’s most loved songs. It is possible he was planning a book on Sinatra…

Frank_Sinatra_in_Till_the_Clouds_Roll_ByThe 25 Favourite Sinatra Songs

In 1980, Frank’s public relations firm, Solters and Roskin, conducted a poll to establish the singer’s most popular recordings. A total of 7600 fans from more than 11 counters were polled, and replies came from Britain, Canada, Australia, America, Japan, Brazil, France, Sweden, West Germany, Holland as well as various other place. In all 587 individual Sinatra titles were selected by fans, but the eventual winner proved to be a 25 years old recording, “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” with words and music by Cole Porter, released by Capitol in 1956! (Note; It has been suggested that the number 3 song on the list given as “Chicago” should, in fact, be “My Kind of Town”.)

The list, with dates of recording, is as follows:

1. I’ve Got You Under My Skin (January 26, 1956)

2. The Lady is a Tramp (November 26, 1956)

3. Chicago (August 13, 1957)

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Barry Ono (1876–1941) collector of Penny Dreadfuls

440px-Barry_Ono_Songbook_coverBarry Ono was a British variety theatre performer,music hall singer and collector of Penny Dreadfuls. Part of his is collection was bequeathed to the British Library in 1941. It is still there and available for research. This obituary was found in Collectors Miscellany (Fourth Series Issue 3 – February, 1942). It was an ephemeral “paper for anyone interested in old boys’ books, type specimens etc.,” and was founded in 1917 by Joseph Parks.

Barry Ono

An appreciation by his friend, John Medcraft.

The recent sad death of Frederick Valentine Harrison, better known as Barry Ono, at the comparatively early age of 68, came as a shock to his many friends. Although apparently in good health at the time, he had a severe heart attack at 11pm on Wednesday, February 5, 1941, and died from angina pectoris four hours later. An able and talented man, Barry Ono had the ability to shine in more than one profession, nut his activities and interest were many, and his life too full of permit just that little extra effort necessary to reach the top. An ex-councillor of Camberwell, he was also an active member of the Water Rats, the well-known music hall charitable organisation. Music hall audiences will remember his dual act with Maud Walsh, billed as Barry and Walsh, and afterwards as a solo turn in ‘An Old-Time Music Hall in 12 Minutes,’ which heralded a boom in the old songs about ten years ago. Latterly, he had retired from the Halls and devoted more of his time to the old Bloods and Dreadfuls he loved and with which his name will ever be associated. Known to the book trade as the ‘Penny Dreadful King,’ and to collectors and sentimentalists as the high priest of the cult of the penny dreadful, Barry Ono was proud of having attracted many new collators to the hobby. His fine collection contained many extremely rear items, some of which were probably unique, and was a never-failing source of wonder, admiration, and good-natured envy to those who were privileged to view it. Barry Ono retired to Barnstaple in September, 1940, but keenly felt the severance from his old friends and the haunts and interests of a lifetime. His collection is stored for the duration of the war, and will probably be handed over to the British Museum at the end of hostilities. Wartime railway restrictions denied Barry Ono a last resting-place in his beloved London, and he was buried at Barnstaple, on February 10, 1941.

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Poetry and Jazz at the Festival Hall

A press-cutting for June 1961 found among the papers of Daniel (‘Dannie’) Abse, CBE, FRSL (1923 – 2014) well respected Welsh and Jewish poet who worked as a doctor much of his life. From the days of poetry and jazz, duffle coats and beards. The Tribune (a left -wing weekly) emphasises the youth of the audience, this is from a time when ‘youth’ meant under 30 – the youth movement didn’t really begin until 1963 (see Larkin’s poem Annus Mirabilis.) Another press-cutting notes the presence of the ‘irrepressible’ Spike Milligan ‘the eminent goon poet.’ Press cuttings, like Poetry and Jazz, are surely a thing of the past. Are there agencies still cutting up (and pasting) newspapers that mention their clients?

The Hampstead Poets and Jazz Group whose first recital was such a success at Hampstead Town Hall last February, greatly daring,took the Festival Hall on Sunday for another performance of their unique form of entertainment. Their optimism was well justified, as the hall was just about full; again the majority of the audience was under 30, and they were given the mixture of poetry and jazz much as before, although unavoidably, the intimate atmosphere of the first occasion was lost in the vast auditorium.

The one newcomer was Laurie Lee, himself a young poet in the thirties when the chief pre-occupation was the Spanish Civil War, as these young men, Adrian Mitchell, Dannie Abse, Jon Silkin, Pete Brown, and Jeremy Robson, the organiser, are poets of the sixties under the H-bomb’s shadow. Cecily Ben-Tovim’s drawing shows Mrs Harriet Pasternak Slater reading to the audience…her poems and her translations of her brother Boris Pasternak’s poems… created a sense of quiet lyricism and nostalgia among the young voices of protest and dissent. The jazz group, helped by Laurie Morgan and Dick Heckstall-Smith, added their own special contribution to the atmosphere.

Spice Girls spice labels

[raw]

Sent in by a loyal jotwatcher this useful and amusing piece about the Spice Girls and Viz the cult British comic magazine. It probably dates from about 1996. Go easy on the nutmeg!

Spice Girls spice labels

Does anyone remember that issue of Viz that appeared at a time when the Spice Girls were at the height of their fame. This particular number featured cut-out ’n’-keep labels which could be stuck onto spice jars. Aping the designs of the famous Schwartz spice bottles, there was one label for four of the Spice Girls—‘Scary Spice’ was left out for some reason.  Was I the only person who actually cut out the labels and used them? I somehow doubt it. Anyway, I’ve still got them, although they are getting a bit grubby. Each label contains a description of each of the spices, together with a recipe contributed by one of the girls.

Victoria presents Basil.

There is no finer sight in a herb garden than a basil flower. Generally used to add colour a dish, Basil is completely tasteless, but compensates for this by being extremely flavourful. It can be bought in most supermarkets or stolen from posh people’s gardens.

Victoria’s recipe.
Welsh rabbit.     Place your rabbit (or hare if in season) on the toast and cover  generously with cheese. Then toast until Welsh throughout. Add Basil to taste and serve

Toast
Cheese.
Rabbit
Basil

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Rock and Roll Cookery

Found – an uncommon cook book called Cool Cooking. Recipes of your Favorite Rock Stars by Roberta Ashley ( Scholastic Book Service USA 1972). As it was published 40 years some of the stars are now dead (John Lennon, George Harrison, Eddie Kendricks, Wilson Pickett, Joe Cocker) or sadly forgotten (The Honey Cones, The Grass Roots, The Bells, Andy Kim, Odetta, The Delfonics, Rose Colored Glass, Mandrill) and Paul McCartney was still eating meat. He provides a pizza recipe with sausage and anchovies etc.,

Some recipes are long and complicated and some short to the point of minimalist. From Elton John (‘who doesn’t cook at all’) is a multi ingredient Shrimp Currry. Kris Kristofferson’s Tacos looks slightly difficult but he advises (unlike Nigella) ‘prepackaged taco shells’. George Harrison’ s Banana Sandwich requires bread and a banana with peanut butter optional -‘Slice  a ripe banana lengthwise and lay on a piece of bread. If you like, you can spread the bread with peanut butter.’ That’s it.

Another banana themed recipe comes from Carly (‘You’re so vain’) Simon. Carly ‘likes strange food combinations she creates spontaneously’. This concoction, she says, tastes great with yoghurt and mandarin oranges.

Carly’s Concoction
Chopped Walnuts
1 container cottage cheese
1 banana
honey ( as much as you like)
Mix the walnuts into the cottage cheese and sliced the banana over the top of this mixture. Pour honey over the whole concoction and serve.

Lastly John Fogerty ( Creedence Clearwater Revival) has a good egg recipe for a rock and roll breakfast.

Fogerty Scrambled Eggs
4 eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
salt and pepper
1/2 stick butter

 Beat  the eggs well and stir in the sour cream ; add salt and pepper and blend. Melt the butter in a skillet and pour in the eggs. Fry over a medium heat, stirring frequently, until the eggs are  solid. Serves 2.

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The Beatles – Where do they go from here? (1965)



Found in Photoplay from April 1965 this speculative article about The Beatles by Anne Hooper -'Where do they go from here?' Some now slightly forgotten names are mentioned -Pete Murray, Ray Noble, David Jacobs, Maureen Cleave and also the unfortunately not forgotten Jimmy Savile ('that crazy, way-out disc jockey') who claims (surely falsely?) that  he worked at Liverpool  docks with the lads...

What is to happen to our golden boys? How along will they last? What will they be doing in , say five years time? These are among the dozens of questions that are asked today about the phenomenal Beatles.

Rumours of splits and break-ups are often heard. Fierce competition from groups like 'The Rolling Stones' has had the fans shaking their heads and saying, "Well, they've had it good, but can't last." But it has, though. The Beatle's last single "I Feel Fine" proved that the boys were still very much on top. They haven't been eclipsed by the Stones and, with their second film about to be produced, they're not likely to be by anyone...

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Accolades for Elvis, King of Rock

Found in an amusing slim music trivia paperback Rock's Follies: Soundbites from the world of rock this collection of (mostly) eulogistic quotes about Elvis Presley, oddly titled 'The father of us all?' The book was given away with the April 1996 issue of  men's lifestyle magazine Maxim. Amongst the quotes were these (1-11) and we were inspired to find a few more (12-22)  by this excellent book (illustrated  by the late, great Ray Lowry, R.I.P.) The last entry by Nik Cohn would probably end up in Pseud's Corner in the cynical U.K. but it addresses the King's spiritual side.

The father of us all?

1. Without Elvis, none of us could have made it. - Buddy Holly

2. I didn't think he was as good as the Everly Brothers the first time I ever laid eyes on him. - Chuck Berry.

3. It took people like Elvis to open the door for this kind of music, and I thank God for Elvis Presley. - Little Richard.

4. Gosh, he's so great. You have no idea how great he is, really you don't. You have no comprehension - it's absolutely impossible. I can't tell you why he's so great, but he is. He's sensational. He can so anything with his voice. He can sing anything you want him to, anyway you tell him. The unquestionable King of rock 'n' roll. - Phil Spector.

5. When I first heard Elvis' voice I just knew that I wasn't going to work for anybody; and nobody was going to be my boss. Hearing him for the first time was like busting out of jail. - Bob Dylan.

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The Beatles as a religious cult

Found in Photoplay- A British Film Magazine from March 1964, this piece by Ken Ferguson who appears to have been the magazine's editor. It was called 'Are the Beatles a Religion' and has soundbites from fans, vicars (who had more of a voice in 1964) teachers, impresarios and the lads themselves. The 'Adam' referred to is Adam Faith, a pop star of the time. 'Cliff', of course, is Cliff Richard…here is an abridged version:

Beatlemania, is a form of hysterical worship instigated by four young men who call themselves The Beatles. John, Paul, George, Ringo have written themselves into musical history with their savage, pulsating, hypnotic sound.

The other evening I felt the full blast and fury of Beatlemania as I sat in a theatre along with almost 2000 screaming, hysterical worshippers of the Beatles. It was fantastic. On stage, the four boys moved their lips and went through the motions of a performance but nothing could be heard above the roars of mass appreciation. How did it begin? Why did it begin? Where will it end?

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The Cavern – a view from 1964

Found in Arrows 87 (Summer 1964, edited by Roger Ebbatson) this amusing piece about 'Beat Music.' The magazine was produced by Sheffield University Union and had poems articles, graphics etc., This article was by Peter Roche a poet who was affiliated with the Liverpool Scene. He edited a 1960s anthology Love, Love, Love (The New Love Poetry) and is to be found in various poetry collections and anthologies. He was also a friend of John Peel and Cream lyricist Pete Brown.The article shows how, at the time, The Cavern (the club where the Beatles played and were discovered) was not universally loved...

Beat City by Peter Roche

Let me tell you all  a fairy story. Once upon a time, in a  city far away across the hills to the west, there was an old warehouse, in an alley off a side street. And underneath this warehouse was a cellar, where the local groups used to play their music far into the night. And people who lived on the banks of the river used to go to this cellar, because it was somewhere to go when the pubs had kicked out and you were half cut and there was nowhere else to go, and anyway there was a fair old chance of picking up a judy there. And everyone was fairly happy, minding their own business and having the occasional punch-up.

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Cafe Bizarre – Beatnik club

Found- a rare piece of Beatnik ephemera, a card from New York's Cafe Bizarre with the phone numbers and name of Rick Allmen who started the club in 1957. The Cafe Bizarre was one of the better known clubs to capitalise on the beatnik phenomenon, and the venue for many counterculture poets and musicians of the period. Musitron Records even recorded an album of Beat festivities at Cafe Bizarre in the late '50s. (In the post-beatnik-era Andy Warhol discovered The Velvet Underground there.) Another band who played there was the Lovin' Spoonful who described the place as a 'little dump' (1965 -post its Beatnik Glory).They played 3 gigs a night and were paid with tuna fish sandwiches, ice cream and occasionally peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. More can be found at Rock and Roll Roadmaps.

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Dattatreya Rama Rao Parvatikar

Found among the papers of Leslie Shepard this article on the Indian holy man and musician Dattatreya Rama Rao Parvatikar (1916 - 1990). Shepard refers to him as Sri Ramdatta Parvatikar. The article appears not to have been published. For more on Shepard follow this link to an earlier piece of his on Charles Fort.

SRI SWAMI RAMDATTA PARVATIKAR

A Portrait of an Indian Musician

by LESLIE SHEPARD

  It is twilight in the Himalayas, by the side of the sacred river Ganges, a magic moment when the forms of the visible world tremble as night falls. The dark outline of the hills with a shaggy growth of jungle might be a giant's head. Across the water comes the cry of rooks and the call of a boatman. The white domes of temples become unreal in the fading pink glow of the half-light. The sound of rushing water is like the music of dreams.
  From the old Sri Shatrughana Temple comes another music - the notes of a Rudra-Vina, a traditional instrument, played by a master hand. On the temple steps is a picturesque figure with a small group of devotees. Sri Swami Parvatikar Maharaj has the long uncut hair of a sadhu plaited and twisted round the top of his head. He has a majestic beard and keen eyes. He wears a tattered red cloak, and sits in padmasana, the lotus posture, as he plays his instrument in the service of the Lord. A cow stumbles past noisily, but nobody takes any notice, entranced by the subtle and powerful vibrations that pour from the strings of the Rudra-Vina like the swift current of the Ganges.
  Sri Swami Parvatikar is a commanding figure, with an extraordinary dignity and power. He is a sadhu - a wandering monk - but he is also a Bachelor of Science, a radio artist, and one of India's greatest religious musicians. With all his contradictions, the man is inseparably connected with his background...
  The scene is part of a timeless India. Day by day in the big cities, men are struggling with the hard economics of five-years plans, with the new threat of enemies on the border, but here, at Rishikesh, one man is preserving an ancient way of life for the benefit of a modern world.

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A musical genius in Tottenham Court Road

This account of an amazingly talented musician (reminiscent in some of his skills of Percy Edwards) occurs in various forms in trivia collections of the 19th century. This version is from the 20 volume Percy Anecdotes published by Berger in London in 1852.

It is related of a gentleman who resided in London some years ago, that he possessed such extraordinary musical talents, that he could play upon two violins at one time, and imitate the French horn, clario- net, organ, and trumpets, in so astonishing a manner, as to make them appear a whole band, with the sound of different people singing at the same time. The pieces of music which he played were principally from Handel's oratorios. His imitative faculty was not confined to musical instruments. He could imitate a carpenter sawing and planing wood, the mail coach horn, a clap of thunder, a fly buzzing about a window, a flock of sheep with dogs after them, a sky-rocket going off, the tearing of a piece of cloth, the bagpipes, and the hurdy-gurdy. He generally finished his performance with the representation of beating a dog out of the room, which was accounted the most difficult, and, at the same time, the most natural imitation of all.

In The Entertaining Companion (1805) the same story is told with further information. It states the man is 'now living in Tottenham Court Road' and is an 'extraordinary genius in the musical  line, a person of independent fortune who has the most wonderful powers of voice of any man in the kingdom yet he is under 5 feet high…' The account concludes -'...what a pity it is, that his abilities were not given to a poor man; for such a one might have made a fortune by them.'

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The Folk Revival, Skiffle and Protest Songs of the early 1960s

Found in the Haining archive - part of a typed article, possibly never published, by the writer and folklorist Leslie Shepard. He was particularly interested in street literature and broadsides and this piece is inspired by what he saw as a revival of broadside literature which came with a renewed interest in folk music in the early 1960s, also the time of Skiffle…

Chas McDevitt Skiffle Group with Nancy Whiskey*
Twentieth Century Ballads - Leslie Shepard. The Arts in Society

At the dawn of the twentieth century even the broadsides had disappeared, while the countryman had little to sing about. In a more material age people read prose newspapers instead of the verse broadsides and studied practical affairs instead of a romantic past. Both traditional and printed pieces became museum relics, of interest to scholars, country parsons and antiquarians rather than to a modern world - until the folk song revival of barely ten years ago.

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John Mason Neale

John Mason Neale (1818 – 66), was a High Church Anglican best known today as the author of several Christmas carols, such as ‘Good King Wenceslaus’ and hymns like ‘All Glory, Laud and Honour’. A talented classicist at Cambridge, he was nevertheless prevented from taking an honours degree because of his poor performance in mathematics. This must have been dire indeed considering how very few undergraduates of promise were failed because of their ineptness in this particular discipline. Indeed, there could be more sinister reasons for this treatment. It is easy to imagine that someone with his quasi-Romanist leanings, which he probably did not hide, displeasing die hard Anglican dons at the University.

Be that as it may, Neale was appointed Chaplin of Downing College in 1840 and two years later became Vicar of Crawley. However, disagreements with his diocesan bishop, which dogged him for fourteen years, led to his resignation in 1846. Luckily, soon afterwards he was appointed Warden of Sackville College, a large almshouse of seventeenth century origin in East Grinstead. Here he remained until his early death aged 48 in 1866.

The attached document, found among some autograph material, is dated 1850 and is headed by an engraving of the courtyard at Sackville College. Under it Neale has penned a letter, or the draft of it, in Latin, seemingly to a fellow scholar, possibly in Europe, the first few lines of which some Classicists among the growing audience of Jot 101 might wish to translate. Here are the opening few words:

Viro doctissimus ----Brossch, Academiae Petropolensis Socio, Joannes M. Neale S.P.D.

Quantas gratias , Vir Clacissonie, et ago tibi et agere delco, qui literas tuas humanissimas…

At this point we at Jot 101 gave up. Some of the rest can be viewed above. Unafraid of religious controversy, Neale went on to found the Society of St Margaret, an order of Anglican women dedicated to tending the sick. At a time of strong anti-Papal feeling, such High Church activities were regarded with hostility by both the higher clergy and the laity, and Neale was banned from any preferment in the country of his birth. When recognition for his scholarly work eventually came, it was in the form of a doctorate from a college in Connecticut. [RMH]
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P.J.Proby

Who remembers P.J.Proby? He was that twenty something, good looking Texan, born James Marcus Smith, who with his jet black hair tied back an  energetic, gyrating act and hit single covers from West Side Story ( 'somewhere there’s  a place for us…) was the sensational new male vocal act in 1965---a sort of Elvis lookalike, but with a better voice, many thought, than the King of Rock himself. Then he split his pants, not once but twice, and was banned from the BBC and from just about every venue in the UK. By then he had a fleet of Rolls Royces a yacht and Lear Jet and homes in Beverley Hills and Chelsea, but nowhere to sing, at least in the UK, which had become his adopted home.

Frustrated, he still recorded the odd album, and once the split pants furore had died down, he took to the stage in various musicals.   Before too long, however, he had an alcohol problem and a failed marriage. The cars and properties were liquidated, but he continued to sing and act, most notably playing Elvis. But the drinking continued. Other marriages went under. His lowest point came in 1985, according to a cutting from a magazine  collected by Peter Haining, when he was snapped in his Bolton bedsit slumped on a sofa clutching a can of Special Brew—still just 47,but hardly recognisable as the sleek mid sixties sex symbol. By then he was reduced to gigs in northern clubs, but with a reputation as a ‘no show’. Haining seems to have been fascinated by the singer’s fall from grace, because he also archived a special Sunday Times Proby supplement of 1965, when the singer was at his height.

Amazingly, Proby refused entirely to go under, performing and recording as he needed to, proving his versatility by doing covers of two punk rock classics in the late eighties. The most astonishing departure must be his recording of Eliot’s Waste Land in 1999—perhaps not so remarkable when one considers that the Harvard educated poet grew up in St Louis, which is not  so too far away from Proby’s home town of Houston. By this time the singer had cleaned up his act and had settled in Evesham, Worcestershire (which he pronounced 'Woostershire' ), in a house surrounded by five acres, he having in a later interview confessed that he hated cities and was a country boy at heart. However, disaster struck in 2012, when the seventy-four year old was brought to court on a charge of benefit fraud. Indignant at the very notion, he defended himself, arguing that any benefits he received were due to him as someone who suffered from alcoholism and a disability sustained while playing American Football.

He was acquitted, though he afterwards confessed that the whole affair had forced him to downsize to a bungalow in the hamlet of Twyford, in prime apple growing country just north of Evesham, where he still lives, his garden peopled with totem poles and palms planted in large pots. This year Proby will be 77. He still belts out the old R & B classics and though, despite the prominent sideburns, he would now win no prizes as an Elvis lookalike, the voice, which back in 1965, was regarded by many in the know as one of the most powerful in pop, is undiminished. [R.R.]

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Mr. Presley Sheds Some Mannerisms

Found in an old book, a press-cutting from November 10th 1960 about Elvis. The style and look is of The Times but it is not stated.They regard the movie G.I.Blues as 'nothing' but seem (in a very stiff manner) to have fallen under Elvis's spell.. On the back is stuck another cutting, tabloid in style, stating that Sandra Dee does not like Elvis ('he acts a little undignified when he wiggles…') and  noting Hollywood's Louella Parsons remarks about the King - 'I'm  glad I put my money on Elvis Presley in those early days when so many people were ridiculing him -in GI Blues he sings well without wiggling and acts in a perfectly natural way...'

Mr. Presley Sheds Some Mannerisms

Style of his own in 'G. I. Blues'.

The young popular entertainer, especially if he is singer, is apt to be judged less by reason than by prejudice - and prejudice derives its impulse largely from the accident of age. A large and enthusiastic tick will be placed opposite his name by the vast majority of those who have yet to experience the joy of being 21; crabbed middle-age, and all on the wrong side of it, will draw through it a thick line, eloquent of disgust and disapproval.

Mr. Elvis Presley had had considerable experience of both kinds of treatment, but even those most determined to condemn must, it they are at all fair-minded, have second thoughts after seeing 'G. I. Blues', directed by Mr. Norman Taurog and now to be seen at the Plaza Cinema. The film itself, one of those American service comedies which so painfully stress the licentiousness of the soldiery, is nothing, and serious criticism would soon lose itself in the vast wastes of vulgarity that are its natural home, but Mr. Presley himself is a different matter.

As Tulsa, a tank gunner serving in western Germany, he is an acceptable person. Gone are the "side-boards" that were such an offence to the conservative, and gone, too, are those convulsive jerks of the body, making him resemble a jelly in a high wind, which used to accompany his singing. He has in this film a considerable number of songs, some of them above the average in tunefulness, to sing, and he sings them pleasantly. He has an unmistakable style of his own, yet there are moment when the ghostly image of the youthful Bing Crosby flickers across the screen.

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Silence Please!

Bits and Pieces: The Penguin Book of Rock and Pop Facts and Trivia (Steve Smith 1988) has a useful section on silence in music. Naturally it starts with John Cage's piece entitled 4′33". I have seen the sheet music for this which, as I recall, has instructions about opening a piano and closing it at the end, after 4 minutes 33 seconds of obligatory silence. Smith notes that the performer, 'usually a pianist,' is expected to use his fingers to show the audience which of the song's three parts they are listening to… In Wikipedia's piece they mention that Frank Zappa recorded it as part of A Chance Operation: The John Cage Tribute on the Koch label in  1993. It was also recorded by Swedish electronic rockers Covenant in 2000 (the piece was entitled You Can Make Your Own Music.)

4'33" was first publicly performed in 1952. In 1953 CBS issued a blank record entitled 3 Minutes of Silence - it was intended for juke boxes, enabling those tired of the music to purchase a few minutes of peace and quiet. Steve Smith notes 'Hush records released a similar disc in 1959.'

The last note of She's Leaving Home on The Beatle's Sergeant Pepper album lasts 43 seconds - the last part of which appears to be silence but is at a high frequency only audible to dogs.

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