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Thursday, 14 December 2017


18th December 2017

First Picture: Dinky Toy


Second Picture: The View Master
Third Picture: Scalectrix
Forth Picture: Dolls House

Christmas Presents of our Childhood.
Whether they'd been naughty or nice, children in the 1950s dreamed of finding very different things in their Christmas stockings to the kids of today.




There is a lovely film taken in the UK back in 1959, this black and white footage shows a group of adorable youngsters being asked by Santa what they'd like him to bring them. And they weren't looking for a Barbie, Buzz Lightyear, or Scalextric and definitely not electronic games.
Dressed in shirts, pinnies, winter coats with sewn in gloves, centre-partings and bobs, these cute primary schoolchildren only wanted for simple things - especially the girls.

Two little boys tell Father Christmas that they most wanted 'a bike', with two wheels and a bell, a clockwork mouse and a penny whistle.
But the girls are even cuter with their humble requests.

The kids of the 1950s didn't want for extravagant gifts. Bright-eyed Gillian, seven, asks for a toy ironing board - no doubt so she can help her mum around the house. Eight-year-old Lynne just wants to dress smartly and asks Santa for 'an underskirt' - not exactly a pony, is it?

The two other little girls ask for 'a bible' and 'oh, anything'.
Who's betting their grandchildren are asking for smartwatches, iPads, computers, talking dolls, robots and TVs?

The toys of our childhood were certainly simpler than today. No computer games, no internet, in fact we rarely needed batteries let alone a wireless connection! The ultimate high-tech toy was probably Scalextric or an electric train set and you were very lucky to have one of these.

We still loved simple games from the past like Jacks, but toys influenced by TV and film characters were the new thing - from Sooty puppets to James Bond’s Aston Martin and the ultimate… Thunderbird 2. It was F.A.B.!
Times were changing but play time still tended to be dolls and home making for the girls; cap guns and Airfix models for the boys. It was the likes of the Etch-a-sketch and Spirograph we all loved.

Here are a few favourite toys from the 1950s and 1960s. Bet you had at least one of them and we bet you wish you’d kept the box!

1. Dinky toys

Few things were more exciting than a bright yellow box containing the latest model.
2. Spirograph

The most amazing invention ever. Countless hours spent creating incredible, magical patterns and shapes with a few coloured pens and some plastic discs.
3. Etch-a-sketch

The laptop of its day! The instructions were simple: Turn the knobs to draw. To erase, turn it upside down and shake. I never quite mastered curves though…
4. View Master

Another bright red classic and a must on the Christmas list. Cartoons, Batman and Doctor Who in glorious Stereoscopic vision.
5. Sindy

‘The doll you love to dress’. Our own, far more wholesome, truly British alternative to Barbie and we loved her. Remember her Beatles era boyfriend, Paul?
6. Action Man

Dolls have never come more macho than this. He even had gripping hands. Deep sea diver, soldier, cricketer, martial arts expert. Was there anything he couldn’t do?
7. Scalextric

Days spent mastering the fine art of keeping those little cars on the track. Hours spent mesmerized by cars going round and round and round the racing track. Complete Heaven.
8. Play doh

“Don’t play with that in the front room. You’ll ruin the carpet!” was mothers cry!. Oops! Too late.
9. Dolls house

Usually made by Dad or an uncle from odd bits of wood with scraps of carpet on the floors and tiny curtains in the windows. Miniature versions of the home girls dreamt of living in with Prince Charming.

Has my pick of toys from simpler times put a smile on your face? Before you rush up to the attic in search of your original Mr Potato Head or Hornby train set, why not take a moment to share your play time memories with all of us?


Keep in touch

Yours

Peter

DUSTYKEAT@aol.com

You Write:


Chris Writes:-,

Just received today’s blog and was curious about the Carmarthen Avenue picture. I think I am right in saying the picture shows Aberdare Avenue. The white houses to the left cascade away down and around in Drayton Lane. The lower of these houses on the bend would have a view into the chalk pit.

In the picture of Aberdare Avenue, the top most on the east side of the road has yet to be built. This house with integral garage is of a completely different later style. The house opposite on the west side of the road is also different style to all but three others in the road, but looks like it was built in the same era late 1920s I believe.



The  scrub and the long grass is exactly as I remember it when I came to the area 1958. For some years, for November 5th a large bonfire was assembled 50/60 yards up from the top of the Avenue. There was also a sort of groove than ran down the hill in this vicinity that was very popular when we had a decent lay of snow.


Phil Writes re Fred Helyer:  
I was in the Senior Scouts when Fred Helyer was a leader (I think his surname had a single “L”) and he lived in Hilary Avenue. Looking at Google Maps I think he and his wife, June, lived at number 18; there was garage access gap between some houses and (I think) his house was one house from the access that went dog-legged through to The Close. I know he worked at the The Highbury Tech School (now the Highbury College) ; I think he was a lecturer for gas fitters. He used to drive a Bedford Dormobile which he also used to carry us scouts and equipment around in; he’d allowed the scouts to paint the Dormobile in 2-tone household paint light blue and light grey.

                I left the scouts in 1966 and moved to London. I don’t know what Fred did after that time.

                I may have a photo or two that include him; I’ll have a hunt for them. The scout leader (not senior scouts) around that time was Alan Nossiter who lived in Park Avenue, Purbrook. Alan turned up at my house in Australia 10 – 15 years ago and handed me a copy of 35mm film of those scouting days; I’m sure Fred Helyer was on that film, too. Alan was primarily in Australia visiting friends or relatives in Adelaide. He must have obtained my address from my brother. 


News and Views:

On this day 18th December 1960-1965

On 18/12/1960 the number one single was It's Now Or Never - Elvis Presley and the number one album was South Pacific Soundtrack. The top rated TV show was Knight Errant (Granada) and the box office smash was Psycho. A pound of today's money was worth £13.68 and Tottenham Hotspur were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.

On 18/12/1961 the number one single was Tower of Strength - Frankie Vaughan and the number one album was Another Black & White Minstrel Show - George Mitchell Minstrels. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was One Hundred and One Dalmations. A pound of today's money was worth £13.25 and Ipswich Town were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.

On 18/12/1962 the number one single was Return to Sender - Elvis Presley and the number one album was West Side Story Soundtrack. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was Lawrence of Arabia. A pound of today's money was worth £12.89 and Everton were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.

On 18/12/1963 the number one single was I Want to Hold Your hand - The Beatles and the number one album was With the Beatles - The Beatles. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was The Great Escape. A pound of today's money was worth £12.64 and Liverpool were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.

On 18/12/1964 the number one single was I Feel Fine - The Beatles and the number one album was Beatles For Sale - The Beatles. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was Dr Strangelove. A pound of today's money was worth £12.24 and Manchester United were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.

On 18/12/1965 the number one single was Day Tripper/We Can Work It Out - The Beatles and the number one album was The Sound of Music Soundtrack. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was The Sound of Music. A pound of today's money was worth £11.69 and Liverpool were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.



Thursday, 7 December 2017

Web Page  No 2430

11th December 2017

First Picture: Terry Scott




Second Picture: Terry and June
Third Picture: My Brother



Forth Picture: Blue Plaque in Bushey




Terry Scott

Owen John "Terry" Scott was born on 4th May 1927 and died on 26th July 1994 in his long career he appeared in seven Carry On films but was best remembered for the BBC1's popular domestic sitcom Terry and June with June Whitfield.

He was born and brought up in Watford and educated at Watford Field Junior School and Watford Grammar School for Boys. He was the youngest of three children and the only surviving son after his brother Aubrey died when he was six. After National Service in the Navy at the end of World War II, he briefly studied accounting then he used his demobilisation gratuity to enter show-business as a manager of seaside shows around Britain.. Spells on the radio on shows like Workers Playtime were followed by appearances on TV and he got an opportunity in farce when he joined the Whitehall Theatre Company of Brian Rix. With Bill Maynard he appeared at Butlin's Holiday Camp in Skegness and partnered him in the TV series Great Scott, It's Maynard!. During the early 1960s, he became well known to television audiences for his role alongside Hugh Lloyd in Hugh and I and they both appeared as Ugly Sisters in pantomime at The London Palladium and Terry Scott reappeared in that same role with Julian Orchard in later years. Later appeared with Hugh Lloyd as gnomes in the 1969 sitcom The Gnomes of Dulwich.

His novelty record "My Brother" (written by Mitch Murray, released 1962 on Parlophone) was based on a schoolboy character (he dressed in the uniform to sing it on TV) and it received regular airplay on BBC Radio (in particular Ed Stewart's Saturday and Sunday morning programme Junior Choice) for many years. In the 1970s, he had a memorable role in TV commercials for a chocolate coated caramel bar called Curly Wurly, in which he again appeared dressed as a schoolboy, complete with short trousers and cap. This performance he also repeated more than once on BBC TVs long running variety show The Good Old Days. He had played a small role in the very first of the Carry On films series of films, Carry On Sergeant in 1958 but in 1968 he returned to the series with a role in Carry On Up the Khyber and went on to play main roles in six of the later films.

He is best remembered for starring alongside June Whitfield in several series of the comedy Happy Ever After and its successor, Terry and June. They had first worked together making a series of the sketch show Scott On (1968). They also featured in supporting roles together in the film version of Bless This House. From 1981 to 1992, he was the voice of Penfold the hamster in the series Danger Mouse.

In 1974 he narrowly escaped death when he was driving from a stage performance in Billingham to a radio interview in Middlesbrough nearby. His route took him onto the Middlesbrough Transporter Bridge which consists of a "gondola", carrying passengers and cars, suspended from rails on an overhead structure. He mistook this for a conventional toll bridge and accidentally drove his car through the safety gate on the approach road and off the riverbank, landing in the safety netting below.
He underwent surgery for a brain tumour in 1979 and in the late 1980s suffered a nervous breakdown and cancer of the bladder.
He suffered from ill health for many years. In 1979, he had a life-saving operation after a haemorrhage. He also suffered from creeping paralysis and had to wear a neck brace, even on television. When Terry and June ended in 1987, he suffered a nervous breakdown. The attack was in part brought on by his public confession that he had had a series of affairs since his marriage to dancer Margaret Peden in 1957. The couple had four daughters: Sarah, Nicola, Lindsay and Sally. He was also diagnosed with cancer in 1987and died at the family home in Witley near Godalming, aged 67 from the cancer he had suffered for seven years he was surrounded by his wife Maggie and their four daughters. His doctors had sent him home when nothing more could be done to treat the disease.
He said of his last illness: "I know it would be better to give up the booze, fags and birds, but life would be so boring, wouldn't it?".

Keep in touch

Yours

Peter

DUSTYKEAT@aol.com

You Write:

Martin Writes:


6 5 Special and R S G that does go back and you are right about Cathy McGowanshe came off like a real twerp.
In reference to Fred Hellyer and Hilary Road I not sure where Hilary Road is but if you mean Hilary Avenue. we lived there, number 44 right opposite the school from 1956 until I moved to London in 1968 so I knew  most of the families. Hilary Avenue was on my paper boy route so that helped me meet most of the Hilary Avenue residents..But I do not recall a Fred Hellyer. If I had met him, as he was a Scout leader I would remember him as  I was a member of the 70th Drayton Troop

Looking forward to book number eight

Steve Writes: I believe that Jonathon got it wrong regards Mrs Magee's dog "Bosun" it was more a Dachshund than a Corgi!!





News and Views:

On this day 11th December 1960-1965

On 11/12/1960 the number one single was It's Now Or Never - Elvis Presley and the number one album was South Pacific Soundtrack. The top rated TV show was Armchair Theatre (ABC) and the box office smash was Psycho. A pound of today's money was worth £13.68 and Tottenham Hotspur were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.

11/12/1961 the number one single was Tower of Strength - Frankie Vaughan The top rated TV show was "Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was One Hundred and One Dalmatians. A pound of today's money was worth £13.25 and Ipswich Town were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions. The big news story of the day was Sunday Night at the London Palladium.

11/12/1962 the number one single was Lovesick Blues - Frank Ifield and the number one album was On Stage with the Black & White Minstrels - George Mitchell Minstrels. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was Lawrence of Arabia. A pound of today's money was worth £12.89 and Everton were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.

11/12/1963 the number one single was She Loves You - The Beatles and the number one album was With the Beatles - The Beatles. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was The Great Escape. A pound of today's money was worth £12.64 and Liverpool were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.

11/12/1964 the number one single was Little Red Rooster - Rolling Stones and the number one album was A Hard Day's Night - Beatles. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was Dr Strangelove. A pound of today's money was worth £12.24 and Manchester United were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.The big news story of the day was Poet Edith Sitwell dies

11/12/1965 the number one single was The Carnival is Over - Seekers and the number one album was The Sound of Music Soundtrack. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was The Sound of Music. A pound of today's money was worth £11.69 and Liverpool were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.


Thursday, 30 November 2017

Web Page  No 2428

4th December 2017



Firstly can any one help? I have had this request, where is Fred?

 I recently had lunch with two other former Patrol Leaders from the 62nd (1963-1967) who now live in north Wales and on the Isle of Wight.  The three of us moved on to a Senior, later Venture Scout group housed in a Nyssen hut sub-leased from Portsmouth Rugby Club at the former war-era army barracks at Hilsea.  The leader was Fred Hellyer, at the time in his thirties and living with his family on Hilary Road in Cosham.  I was wondering whether you or any of your local contacts might have any information about Fred and what became of him beyond about 1969, when the three of us left the scouts and the area.



First Picture: RSG Set



Second Picture: Donovan and Cathy McGowan

Third Picture: The Beatles, Helen Shapiro, Dusty Springfield, Eden Kane and Keith Fordyce on the set of RSG!


Ready Steady Go

Having Last week dealt with Don Lang who appeared on the 6-5 Special which was an hour programme and which ran for 97 episodes, it is time to look at the ITV challenger  Ready Steady Go which was only 30 minutes long for the first year and was extended to 50 minutes later and it lasted 52 episodes.

It was broadcast every Friday night from 1963 during its run until it ended on 23/12/1966. Presented by Keith Fordyce and Cathy McGowan  it featuring many performances by The Beatles, Rolling Stones,  Mick Jagger, Dusty Springfield, Del Shannon, the Animals, the Rolling Stones, the Beatles, and Dave Berry and The Who amongst other 60's greats. It had a simple formula – to showcase artists from both the UK and USA (usually miming), alongside an audience who danced or stood around during the performances. Performers were declared live from 2nd April 1965 when lip syncing was abolished.

Cathy MacGowan was an irritating, mini-skirted, giggler, while Keith Fordyce would have looked more at home as an assistant in a furniture shop – still, it was a start and pre-dated Top of the Pops by a few years. Big names who appeared on Ready, Steady, Go, included Dusty Springfield, Del Shannon, the Animals, the Rolling Stones, the Beatles, and Dave Berry. The theme tune was provided by Manfred Mann (the catchy 54321).
Perhaps it was not the most inventive of music shows – and suffered from the miming aspect which made most artists look ridiculous as they lip synched to a track which resounded around the huge space. It was hardly definitive but was the first attempt on British TV (after 6-5 Special) to provide a weekly showcase for the movers and shakers of popular music. As Cathy MacGowan would say, 'The weekend starts here …'.

The programme was broadcast every Friday and was conceived by Elkan Allan, head of Rediffusion TV. He wanted a light entertainment programme different from the low-brow style of light entertainment transmitted by ATV. The programme was produced without scenery or costumes and with a minimum of choreography and make-up. The programme was produced by Associated-Rediffusion, the weekday ITV contractor for London, called Rediffusion-London after 1964. The live show was eventually networked nationally.The show gained its highest ratings on 20th March 1964 when it featured the Beatles being interviewed and performing "It Won't Be Long", "You Can't Do That" and "Can't Buy Me Love" - the last a hit at the time.
In the 1980s Dave Clark of the Dave Clark Five acquired the rights to the 1960s UK music show and bought the rights to the surviving recordings.

In 1965 the programme was parodied in The Benny Hill Show  where Benny Hill impersonated Cathy McGowan, Peter & Gordon and a singer named P. J. Orbison (the amalgam of the names of P. J. Proby and Roy Orbison). Although not actually mentioned by name. Ready, Steady, Go! was parodied in the 1967 film Bedazzled featuring comedians Peter Cook and Dudley Moore (who both had appeared on Ready Steady Go).  The song used was filmed on the actual Ready Steady Go set in late 1966.
In the mod film Quadrophenia, the main character is watching the Who perform on Ready Steady Go!.

In episode 3 of Alan Plater's 1995 TV drama Oliver's Travels, Oliver (played by Alan Bates) says "Ready, Steady, Go!", to which his B&B hostess (played by Molly Sugden) replies, "If you're old enough to know that, you're as old as you look."

English group Generation X wrote a song about the show "Ready Steady Go" in 1978, which made various references and had the lyric "because I'm in love with Cathy McGowan". As part of the Southbank's Meltdown Festival 2011, curator Ray Davies recreated Ready Steady Go on Saturday 11th June.

Looking back it is very lucky that some of the original ideas never were instituted. Their early intentions were to present the main show to an audience of about 150 inside Rediffusions London studio at Television House, Kingsway, where compere Keith Fordyce would introduce the artists, with additional activity in the lobby where his Canadian co-host, David Gell, would chat with audience members about their personal current favourites. Other ideas for show considered at the time included: selection of one of the invited audience members to be an amateur disc jockey; giving someone the chance to win that week's Top 50 singles; blindfolding members of the audience and getting them to try and identify a current chart hit; and having a weekly section with 'showbiz' news items. Thankfully, all these were dropped and the production concentrated largely on the artists and dancing inside the studio itself.
Keep in touch

Yours

Peter

DUSTYKEAT@aol.com

You Write:

Jonathan writes:-


Hello Peter,

It's a lovely warm day in Johannesburg and I have just read your Blog of the week. I noticed the picture of the Solent Road teacher Mr Wing "Pop" as we called him. It set me to thinking on the other school teachers of that era the 50's. I had in succession the following Form teachers. Mr White, Mrs Magee and Miss Moore. Mr White was strict and wielded the cane occasionally. He gave us all a model animal at year end. Mrs Magee was much easier and used to bring her corgi to school (imagine that being allowed now). Miss Moore was as hard as nails to the point of extreme cruelty I will say no more on this I have written about it before. Other teachers I remember were "Doc" King who sported an RAF style mustache a bit scary but really rather a good teacher. Les Rose our PT teacher and would today be in trouble........Mr Hawkins our headmaster, another slightly scary bloke who would fill in occasionally when a teacher was off sick. We enjoyed the finest education in those days as a result of the 1944 Education Act. The education system has been tinkered with by successive governments to the point that the UK has gone from the best in the world to well down the list. 

The Education Act of 1944 was authored by Conservative Rab Butler and known as "the Butler Act", it defined the modern split between primary education and secondary education at age 11; it also established the Tripartite System, consisting of grammar schools, secondary modern schools and secondary technical schools. Academically gifted students who passed the "Scholarship" exam (later replaced by a "Grading Test" and the 11+ examination) were able to attend a grammar school. Children who did not pass the selection test attended secondary modern schools or technical schools. The school leaving age was raised to 15. The elite system of public schools was practically unchanged.
The new law was widely praised by Conservatives because it honoured religion and social hierarchy, by Labour because it opened new opportunities for the working class, and by the general public because it ended the fees they had to pay. 

In 1965 the Labour government started to mess around with the Education System and required all local education authorities to formulate proposals to move away from selection at eleven, replacing the tripartite system with comprehensive schools. The introduction of such schools was resisted by many Local Education Authorities. The changes were finally put into effect by the Direct Grant Grammar Schools (Cessation of Grant) Regulations 1975. Some schools (almost all Catholic) became fully state-funded, while the majority became independent fee-paying schools.

In this same period the school leaving age was raised to 16 and saw the introduction of the Education (Work Experience) Act, allowing LEAs to organise work experience for the additional final year school students. In some counties around the country, these changes also led to the introduction of Middle schools where students were kept at primary or junior school for an additional year, meaning that the number of students in secondary schools within these areas remained virtually constant through the change.

Many secondary schools in areas without a Middle School were unable to accommodate the new 5th year students. The solution to the problem was to construct a new building for these schools (often referred to as "ROSLA Buildings" or "ROSLA Blocks") that needed to extend their capacity. providing them with the capacity to cope with the new generation of ROSLA students. The "ROSLA Buildings" were delivered to schools in self-assembly packs and were not intended to stand long-term, though some have proven to have stood much longer than was initially planned and some are still standing now.

The 1988 Education Reform Act further tinkered around with the education system. These changes were aimed at creating a 'market' in education with schools competing with each other for 'customers' (pupils). The theory was that "bad" schools would lose pupils to the "good" schools and either have to improve, reduce in capacity or close. The reforms included the following:
-The National Curriculum was introduced, which made it compulsory for schools to teach certain subjects and syllabuses. Previously the choice of subjects had been up to the school.
-Formula funding was introduced, which meant that the more children a school could attract to it, the more money the school would receive.

Best regards Jonathan 



News and Views:

On this day 4th December 1960-1965

On 04/12/1960 the number one single was It's Now Or Never - Elvis Presley and the number one album was South Pacific. The top rated TV show was Armchair Theatre (ABC) the first episode of Coronation Street on shown and the box office smash was Psycho. A pound of today's money was worth £13.68 and Tottenham Hotspur were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.

 On 04/12/1961 the number one single was Tower of Strength - Frankie Vaughan . The top rated TV show was Coronation Street and the box office smash was One Hundred and One Dalmations. A pound of today's money was worth £13.25 Ipswich Town were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions. The big news story of the day was Sunday Night at the London Palladium (ATV).

 On 04/12/1962 the number one single was Lovesick Blues - Frank Ifield and the number one album was On Stage with the Black & White Minstrels - George Mitchell Minstrels. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street and the box office smash was Lawrence of Arabia. A pound of today's money was worth £12.89 and Everton were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions

 On 04/12/1963 the number one single was She Loves You - The Beatles and the number one album was With the Beatles - The Beatles. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street and the box office smash was The Great Escape. A pound of today's money was worth £12.64 and Liverpool were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions. Christine Keeler arrives in prison to serve her sentence of nine months for perjury.

 On 04/12/1964 the number one single was Little Red Rooster - Rolling Stones and the number one album was A Hard Day's Night - Beatles. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street and the box office smash was Dr Strangelove. A pound of today's money was worth £12.24 and Manchester United were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions. Poet Edith Sitwell dies.


 On 04/12/1965 the number one single was The Carnival is Over - Seekers and the number one album was The Sound of Music Soundtrack. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street and the box office smash was The Sound of Music. A pound of today's money was worth £11.69 and Liverpool were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Web Page  No 2426

27th  November 2017

First Picture: Don Lang

Second Picture: Don Lang and his Frantic Five

Third Picture: On Set of 6-5 Special

Forth Picture: The Big Hit The Witch Doctor ( I bet you can all still sing the chorus!)





Don Lang

Gordon Langhorn (Don Lang), was a trombonist who was born in Halifax on 19th January 1925 and died of Cancer in London on 3rd August 1992.
He was that rare species, a popular entertainer and household name during his heyday in the late 1950s who still retained the respect of his fellow jazz musicians, critics alike. A natural performer, he could stir an audience to cheers with one of his 300-words-a-minute vocal workouts and the next instant pick up his beloved trombone and play a sublime jazz ballad in the style of his favourite, Bill Harris.

Born Gordon Langhorn he had the physique even as a child to follow his father and grandfather into professional rugby football but preferred first the piano, then double bass, only progressing to trombone at 21 after hearing recordings of the American jazzman Jack Teagarden. An obvious natural, he was soon asked to play with the local dance bands while still working daytime as an electrician. But his first fully professional engagement, on the Isle of Man in 1947, this set the course for the rest of his life.

Spells with Peter Rose and the Teddy Foster orchestra led to a call from Vic Lewis, then putting together a 'progressive' big band to tour Europe, for an inventive and creative trombone voice. As featured soloist, he left behind a series of fine solos on Lewis recordings such as 'Sunday Girl' and 'The Man I Love'.

It was during the next four years with the Ken Macintosh band that he began to sing regularly, initially as a gag with the in-house vocal quartet the Macpies but, as his confidence grew, and he often broadcast as a solo artist. It was with Macintosh that he co-wrote and recorded the hit instrumental 'The Creep', covered no less than 17 times in the US alone, notably by Stan Kenton.

Encouraged by his success and tired of spending his life 'up and down the A5', he decided to form his own group and develop his own vocal style - setting to the music lyrics to known jazz solos, usually at a breakneck tempo. After producing his own demonstration recording in this style he was immediately signed to HMV in 1955 and the resulting record 'Cloudburst' was an instant success. Whilst King Pleasure and Annie Ross had recorded in this style, no one had managed to combine fast tempos with such clear diction, a fact not lost on the 'Cloudburst' lyricist and famed American vocaliser John Hendrix, who professed himself an admirer and wrote 'Jumping to Conclusions' specifically for the now-renamed Don Lang. This abbreviation of his real name was chosen because 'the shorter the name, the bigger the billing'.

In 1956, he was chosen with his band the Frantic Five to be one of the cornerstones of the new BBC informal 'teenage' show The Six Five Special and for two years appeared as resident accompanist and in his own right, performing every week on live television such hits as 'Six Five Hand Jive', 'Red Planet Rock' and 'I Want You To Be My Baby'.

Whilst enjoying his popularity and a firm believer in giving the public what it wanted, on the demise of the Six Five Special in 1968 he retained his firm foothold in the jazz and big-band fields, but continued to make successful records like 'The Witchdoctor'. As a sight-reading musician the rocketing popularity of the Merseybeat did not affect him as badly as many of the other rock-and- rollers: indeed, when he was a session man on one of the Beatles' recordings, John Lennon actively sought him out to say hello.

Working in cabaret with his own band and as featured sideman with larger bands followed throughout the Seventies and early Eighties, but the last few years saw him in virtual retirement, apart from the occasional rock-and-roll revival show and some rehearsal band workouts just to keep his lip and trombone in good shape.

A strong but gentle man, who could keep you amused for hours over a long lunch, he retained the affection and respect of both the public and the many musicians who knew him. Typically his long fight with cancer was born bravely and with humour.

Anyone who ever heard him sing The Witch Doctor or The Auctioneer will never forget Don Laing.

Keep in touch

Yours

Peter

DUSTYKEAT@aol.com

You Write:


News and Views:

On this day 27th  November 1960-1965

On 27/11/1960 the number one single was It's Now Or Never - Elvis Presley and the number one album was South Pacific Soundtrack. The top rated TV show was Take Your Pick (AR) and the box office smash was Psycho. A pound of today's money was worth £13.68 and Tottenham Hotspur were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.

On 27/11/1961 the number one single was Little Sister/His Latest Flame - Elvis Presley and the number one album was Another Black & White Minstrell Show - George Mitchell Minstrels. The top rated TV show was Sunday Night at the London Palladium (ATV) and the box office smash was One Hundred and One Dalmations. A pound of today's money was worth £13.25 and Ipswich Town were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.

On 27/11/1962 the number one single was Lovesick Blues - Frank Ifield and the number one album was Out of the Shadows - Shadows. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was Lawrence of Arabia. A pound of today's money was worth £12.89 and Everton were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.

On 27/11/1963 the number one single was You'll Never Walk Alone - Gerry & the Pacemakers and the number one album was Please Please Me - The Beatles. The top rated TV show was Conservative Party Political Broadcast (all channels) and the box office smash was The Great Escape. A pound of today's money was worth £12.64 and Liverpool were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.

On 27/11/1964 the number one single was Baby Love - Supremes and the number one album was A Hard Day's Night - Beatles. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was Dr Strangelove. A pound of today's money was worth £12.24 and Manchester United were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.

On 27/11/1965 the number one single was Get Off Of My Cloud - Rolling Stones and the number one album was The Sound of Music Soundtrack. The top rated TV show was Take Your Pick (AR) and the box office smash was The Sound of Music. A pound of today's money was worth £11.69 and Liverpool were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.


Thursday, 16 November 2017

Web Page  No 2424

20th  November 2017

First Picture: Teddy Girl.

Second Picture: Teddy Girl Group

Third Picture ; Teddy Boy fashion

Forth Picture: Teddy Boys and girl

Fifth Picture: Warning Poster


The Ted’s
We all remember the ‘Teddy Boys’ and the havoc that some of them caused in the late 1950’s but who remembers the ‘Teddy Girls’?
The Teddy Boy, was characterized by an unlikely style of dress and fashion inspired by Edwardian period dandies fused together with American rock ’n roll fashion. They originally formed gangs based in East London through to North Kensington and became high profile rebels in the media and within a short space of time the movement had spread nationwide. But an important sub-subculture of the Teddy Boys, was the unlikely female element, The Teddy Girls.
In 1955, freelance photographer Ken Russell was introduced to Josie Buchan, a Teddy Girl, who introduced him to some of her Teddy Girl friends in Notting Hill. He vividly remembered a 14 year-old teddy girl, who, he said, had attitude by the truckload. The teddy boys were tough, they’d been born in the war years and food rationing only ended in about 1954. They were proud. They knew their worth. As they had the money they just wore what they wanted.
To understand the teddy girls style, we first have to go back to the boys culture. They emerged in England as post-war austerity was coming to an end and working-class teenagers were able to afford good clothes and began to adopt the upper-class Saville Row revival of dandy style Edwardian fashion. By the mid-1950s, second-hand Edwardian suits were becoming readily available on sale in markets around the country as they had become unwearable by the upper-class gentlemen once the Teddy Boys had started sporting them.
The ‘Teds’, as they called themselves, wore long coloured drape jackets, velvet collars, slim ties and began to pair the look with thick rubber-soled creeper style shoes and the ‘greaser’ hairstyles of their American rock ’n’ roll idols. Despite their overall smart style of dress the Teds were a teenage youth culture which were out to shock their parents’ generation, and they quickly became associated with trouble by the media.
Teddy girls were mostly working-class teenage girls as well, but considered less interesting by the media who were more concerned with sensationalizing the violent working-class youth culture of the boys. While teddy boys were known for hanging around on street corners, looking for trouble, a young working-class woman’s role at the time was still focused around the home.
But even with lower wages than the boys, teddy girls would still dress up in their own style of drape jackets, rolled-up jeans, flat shoes, tailored jackets with velvet collars and to put their feminine spin on the Teddy style with straw boater hats, brooches, espadrilles and elegant clutch bags. They would go to the cinema in groups and attend dances and concerts with the boys, collect rock ’n’ roll records and magazines. Together, they essentially cultivated the first market for teenage leisure in Britain.
In the end, it was the troublesome reputation of the teddy boys that got the better of this youth subculture. Some of the violence and vandalism, but not all, was exaggerated by the media, but there were notably a few gangs that chose a far darker path.
While most dedicated teddy boys were, at worst, involved in petty crimes, there were instances of gangs rioting and using razors, knuckledusters and knives to carry out attacks. The racist tendencies of some of the teddy boy gangs in the end lost to the unstoppable rock ’n’ roll movement centred around many African-American acts. The British pop boom of the 1960s brought new music and new youth cultures and the era of the teddy boy was coming to an end.
It’s certainly a great shame that such an interesting and elegant style of dress for young people had to be associated with such negativity and violence. The Teddy Boys were the first group in Britain whose style was self-created.
Were you one?

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Yours

Peter


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On this day 20th  November 1960-1965

On 20/11/1960 the number one single was It's Now Or Never - Elvis Presley and the number one album was South Pacific Soundtrack. The top rated TV show was Take Your Pick (AR) and the box office smash was Psycho. A pound of today's money was worth £13.68 and Tottenham Hotspur were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.

20/11/1961 the number one single was Little Sister/His Latest Flame - Elvis Presley and the number one album was Another Black & White Minstrel Show - George Mitchell Minstrels. The top rated TV show was Sunday Night at the London Palladium (ATV) and the box office smash was One Hundred and One Dalmations. A pound of today's money was worth £13.25 and Ipswich Town were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.

On 20/11/1962 the number one single was Lovesick Blues - Frank Ifield and the number one album was West Side Story Soundtrack. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was Lawrence of Arabia. A pound of today's money was worth £12.89 and Everton were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.

On 20/11/1963 the number one single was You'll Never Walk Alone - Gerry & the Pacemakers and the number one album was Please Please Me - The Beatles. The top rated TV show was Conservative Party Political Broadcast (all channels) and the box office smash was The Great Escape. A pound of today's money was worth £12.64 and Liverpool were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions. The big news story of the week was Socialists win Dundee West by-election.

On 20/11/1964 the number one single was Baby Love - Supremes and the number one album was A Hard Day's Night - Beatles. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was Dr Strangelove. A pound of today's money was worth £12.24 and Manchester United were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.

On 20/11/1965 the number one single was Get Off Of My Cloud - Rolling Stones and the number one album was Liverpool. The top rated TV show was "Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was The Sound of Music.

A pound of today's money was worth £ 11.69. The big news story of the day was Take Your Pick (AR)".