Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Stuart Henry (1942 - 1995)

( Stuart Henry Image via pinterest)

Stuart Henry was born in Edinburgh and trained as an actor. By chance one of his first role as a professional actor was to play a DJ. He liked it so much he joined Radio Scotland as pirate jock.

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Chronic sea sickness prevented him from broadcasting from the ship (Comet) so many of his programs were pre-recorded or broadcast from the mainland. Stuart’s show was immensely popular and he was selected to join the Radio 1 stable when private radio was made illegal.

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Stuart was the master of understatement and spoke with a gentle East Coast accent which endeared him to his audience. He presented 'Midday Spin' (1967 -1974) as well as the Saturday Morning show (1966 -1967). When Stuart began to slur his words regularly on air his superiors thought he was intoxicated or under the influence of drugs. Somewhat controversially, Stuart’s contract with BBC was not renewed and he left to join Radio Luxembourg in 1974. Soon after the DJ was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

(Stuart and Ollie Henry image via Flickr)

Throughout his career with Radio Luxembourg he battled with the progressive disease and continued to broadcast until the illness finally overtook. By his side always in the studio was his wife Ollie. Stuart was always enthusiastic about the records he played and did much to introduce new acts to the listeners of Radio Luxembourg. He was a compassionate man and expressed his concern for ecological issues, as well as the plight of runaways living rough. Stuart died in 1995.

(Video Courtesy: Hoffer István Published by Youtube Channel)

Reviewed 22/07/2021

Sunday, July 4, 2021

Petrosomatoglyphs of Scotland

( Ancienbt Footprint Image via Axis of Evil World Tour)

A petrosomatoglyph is an indentation of parts of a human or animal body incised in rock. Feet are the most commonly found human petrosomatoglyph but knees, elbows, hands, head, and fingers are also in evidence. Early hominid footprints appear on rock beds found around the world. Footprints of Australopithecus boisei for example were discovered in Tanzania. These are thought to be 3.5 million years old. In Tchogha Zanbil, Iran at the ruins of the holy city of the Kingdom of Elam there is a stepped pyramid temple which dates back 3000 years. At the base of the steps is a child’s footprint. Many petrosomatoglyphs are natural whilst others are man-made. Although their original function is long forgotten many petrosomtoglyphs became associated with Saints, legendary figures, and fairies.

( Pro itu et reditu Image via Fluidr )

In antiquity many people carved footprints into stone including the ancient Celts. These became important symbols, used in religious and secular ceremonies, such as the crowning of kings. Sometimes petrosomatoglyphs were used by the superstitious. The Romans carved pairs of footprints in rock with the inscription ‘pro itu et reditu’, (for the journey and return). Before starting an important journey they stood in the carved footprints. Then on safe return they repeated the action as mark of thanksgiving. The same ritual was known in 6th c Wales when King Maelgwn of Gwynedd placed his feet in carved footprints to ensure his safe return from a pilgrimage to Rome.

( fossil hominin Image via Britannica )

In northern Europe, rock footprints were closely associated with Kingship or Chieftainship. Standing on a special stone was a link between the king and the land. Footprints may also have to do with the cult of the ancestors, whose spirits dwelt in the stone. The belief was the newly invested leader would received the luck (or mana) of his predecessors through contact with it. Petrosomatoglyphs used in the ordination of kings was considered a sacred place or Locus terribilis (awesome place), where only the rightful king was able to use them for the purpose that they were intended. Scottish Kings and Irish Chieftains were sworn to oath standing on footprints carved into the stone.

( Dunadd Hillfort Image via Wikipedia)

Dunadd Hillfort is regarded as the crowning place for the original Kings of Scotland. It was the ancient capital of the Gaelic kingdom of Dál Riata and lay on the west coast of Scotland. Built around 500AD after Fergus MacErc led a Scottish invasion from Ireland. The inhabitants of Dál Riata are often referred to as Scots, i.e., Latin scotti, a name for the inhabitants of Ireland and refer to all Gaelic-speakers. The kingdom's independent existence ended in the Viking Age (8th to 11th centuries), as it merged with the lands of the Picts to form the Kingdom of Alba.

( Lands of Dunardry Image via Pinterest)

On rocks on the edge of Crinan Moss in Argyll, near the village of Lochgilphead there is a carved human footprint used during the crowning ceremony of the Kings of Scotland. This footprint is thought to be that of Oisin or Fergus Mór mac Eirc , the first King of Dalriada, who died in AD 501. The best preserved footprint (there are two) is 27 cm long, approximately 11 cm wide, 9 cm across at the heel and 2.5 cm deep. It is large enough to accommodate a shoe or boot. The second footprint of a right foot is, incomplete and measures 24 cm long and 10 cm in width.

( Fergus Mor Mac Erca Image via )

The spot where St. Columba (521 – 597 AD) is reputed to have first set foot in Dalriada, Scotland, is marked by two footprints carved in a crag near the chapel of Keil and St. Columba's Well, between Dunaverty Bay and Carskey in Kintyre. These are called Columba's Footprints. It appears one footprint may date to the period but the second print was carved by a local stone mason in the nineteenth century. Unfortunately he carved the wrong date for Columba's landing of 564. Other St. Columba's footprints are found at Southend in Argyll. In one of the caves on the Isle of Arran is prints of two right feet, said to be of Saint Columba. Forging links with St Columba in the 1800s was more to do with attracting tourists.

( Columba's Footprints Image via Undiscovered Scotland)

On Islay, the southernmost island of the Inner Hebrides, was the Stone of Inauguration which lay beside Loch Finlaggan. The stone measured seven feet square and had a footprint cut into it (size 8). It was the sacred stone of the island Lordship and is thought to have been since the time of Somerled (King of Argyll and the Isles in 1164 AD). When a chief of the Clan Donald was installed as the King of the Isles, he required to stand barefoot on the imprint whilst he swore an oath. In 1615, by the order of the Earl of Argyll the block was destroyed and the fragments dispersed. After considerable detection the footprint segment was eventually located.

(Sone of Inauguration Image via Aran Island Cottages)

Other Scottish petrosomatoglyphs include a 2-foot-long (0.61 m) footprint on a cave side in Arran , in Argyll. The Hand-Beast of Blackwaterfoot consists of a large hand-shaped rear footprint and smaller offset front footprint embedded into rocks and thought to be from the Triassic period (270 million years ago). Exoerts believe it may have been made by of a large chirotheroid animal called an Iso chirotherium . Fooprints of the long extinct ancestor of the modern crocdile have been found all over Europe, but rarely in Scotland. Despite being known to exist the Hand-Beast of Blackwaterfoot's prints were kept secret for fear of damaged and only made public in 1999.

(Sone of Inauguration Image via Aran Island Cottages)

There is also pair of footprints (Devil's footprints) carved in a stone slab in a causeway leading to the Broch (Iron Age drystone hollow-walled structure) of Clickhimin (or Clickemin), Lerwick, in Shetland. This site was occupied from about 1000 BC to AD 500 and the ootprint stones are thought to indicate where the safe passage-way to the broch started.

( Broch of Clickhimin Image via Westend61)

On neighboring Orkney, at St. Mary's Church in Burwick, South Ronaldsay, the Ladykirk Stone has two clear footprints cut into it, claimed to be the footprints of Saint Magnus (1075–1117). One common belief was the footprints held healing powers and were used in medicines.

( the Ladykirk Stone Image via Frontiers Magazine )

At Spittal (small hamlet) near Drymen on the western end of a long ridge of natural rock outcrop is a footprint. Many believe this is not human but instead due to natural weathering. The Auld Wives Lifts are found at Craigmaddie Muir, Baldernock, East Dunbartonshire. Cut into rock are a complicated assemblage of carvings incorprating serpent-like forms, crosses, cups and an impression of and adult foot (right). Most of the carvings are as recent as Victorian times when it became fashionable to deface ancient monuments but experts believe there are others which predate this time.

(Auld Wives Lifts Image via Ancient Scotland)

In Ayr, on the southern bank of the River Ayr is 'Wallace's Heel', a natural sandstone slab, Sir William Wallace (1270 – 1305 ) is said to have left the imprint behind whilst rushing to escape English soldiers who were pursuing him.

( Wallace's Heel Image via wikipedia)

At Dunino Den , near St Andrews in Fife, there is a footprint carved int the surface of a sandstone outcrop. Nearby a large Celtic has been carved into the rock which is possibly an attempt to make the site Christian.

(Dunino Photos Image via Anosmia )

There are other examples of petrosomatoglyphs found in Scotland including two footprints on a boulder at Carnasserie, two miles (3 km) from Kilmartin in Argyll. In Memus , a small village, north of Kirriemuir, Angus is an impression in stone of a cloven hoofprint thought to be made by a kelpie (a black horse-like creature able to adopt human form). The Kelpies Footmarked Stone is found at at Shielhill Bridge in Angus.

( The Kelpies Image via Undiscovered Scotland )

Lewis Clark N D 2011The Hand-Beast of Blackwaterfoot Research Gate.

Reviewed 05/07/2021

Monday, June 21, 2021

Jimmy Johnstone 1944 - 2006

( Jimmy Johnsone Image via )

Jimmy Jinky Johnstone was one of the Lisbon Lions and although just a wee man he was a giant soccer hero to thousands and thousands of fans of the beautiful game.

( Celtic's Lisbon Lions Image via The Sporting Blog )

Jimmy played for Celtic and Scotland and was a tanner ba' player and grew up kicking a ball against a wall. Jimmy learned his trade on the streets of Glasgow, perfecting his balance and poise suffice as a professional player he could roll and twist or jink to the absolute delight of half the crowd and the pure disdain of the opposition supporters.

( The Doc Image via The Herald )

Tommy Docherty , ex manager of Manchester United and Scotland was once asked to comment on what it was like to manage Jinky Johnstone. His reply was you don’t bother Jimmy with game tactics, just give him the ball and wait for it up the other end to be delivered to your feet or head. Off the park Jimmy could be as tricky as he was on the field with his school boy hiJinks usually feuked with drink. Sadly his drunken buffoonery got him eventually dropped from Scotland's World Cup Squad in 1974 .

(Jimmy Johnstone Image via The Herald )

After he left Celtic in 1975 and played with several other clubs until 1979. Off the park the wee man had his demons and battled addictiion until eventually his health deteriorated. Sadly the gifted player fell victim to motor neurone disease in his mature years and despite a brave fight succumbed and passed away in 2006.

(Video Courtesy: Squigster01 by Youtube Channel)

Reviewed 22/06/2021

Monday, June 14, 2021

The National Game of Scotland : Fitba Crazy

(Edinburgh Academical Football Club Image via wikipedia )

The Edinburgh Academical Football Club is the oldest football club of any code in Scotland (rugby football) and was founded in 1857. As late as the 1860s, football was still played in Scotland with players allowed to handle the ball, whereas in England, only the goalkeeper was permitted to use their hands and then only in his own area.

( Queens Park FC Image via wikipedia )

Scotland's oldest soccer club was Queen's Park FC (formed 1867) and in the absence of official rules developed their own unique code. Initially they affiliated to the (English) Football Association then after helped form the Scottish FA in 1873. Queens Park played in the English FA Cup and reaching the final twice.

( Scotland National Football team Image via pinterest )

Scottish Association football was enthusiastically taken up by the working class particularly in the central belt of Scotland. By contrast English Association football had been the prerogative of public school boys.

(Scotland versus England Image via Tumgir )

The world’s first official international match under the new Football Association rules took place between Scotland and England in 1872. Bad weather caused the first fixture to be cancelled but a rescheduled game took place at the West of Scotland, Cricket Ground in Patrick, Glasgow. The game ended in a nothing each draw.

( Hibernian FC Image via Historical Football Kits )

Hibernian FC was formed in 1875 by impoverished Irish émigrés living in Edinburgh and sported the green and white to celebrate their Irish roots. Heart of Midlothian FC formed two years later and played in red white and blue. The Edinburgh derby match is the oldest regularly played rival match in the world. Sectarianism was strong in the Scottish cities at that time and only decades later when sectarian affiliations faded did things change. The main exception was the intense rivalry between Glasgow Rangers (1872 rowing enthusiasts) and Glasgow Celtic (1887).

( The Scottish Cup 1973/74 Image via Wikipedia )

The Scottish Cup is the world’s oldest national cup competition and was first contested in 1873.

( The Scottish Football League Image via Scottish Sports History)

The Scottish Football League was formed in 1890 and in the inaugural season of competition was between 10 teams: Abercorn (Paisley) , Cambuslang, Celtic, Cowlairs (Glasgow) , Dumbarton, Heart of Midlothian, Rangers, St. Mirren, Third Lanark and Vale of Leven (Dumbarton).

( Knickerbockers Image via wikipedia commons )

Scottish players soon developed and mastered a ‘passing and running’ play which became known as the “combination game ”. Greater reliance was placed on fast wingers to bring the ball forward before passing to the striker. This technique was pioneered by Queen's Park FC and in order to distinguish colleagues from opponents distinctive self coloured strips were introduced. Players had to cover their knees by the rules and wore “knickerbockers” or "knickers". Socks were initially self-coloured but quickly design features such as contrasting rings ("cadet stripes") on the turnover began to appear. In early days players had to buy their own kit.

( Fergie Suter Image via The Guardian )

Towards the end of the 19th century illicit inducements were offered to Scottish players to join English clubs. Fergie Suter ( Partick Thistle) was the first to cross the border to join Darwen FC (Lancashire) for an undisclosed incentive in 1878. Rows over broken time payments, poaching, financial inducements or the offer of a job (with paid time off for training) became a serious issue and led in 1885 to a decision by the FA to recognise professionalism in England. Payments to players were not permitted in Scotland until 1893. One of the consequences of the introduction of professionalism in England was that the best players in Scotland moved south to play for wages.

(Video Courtesy: AP 1974 Published by Youtube Channel)

Reviewed 14/06/2021

Sunday, June 13, 2021

FIFA World Cup songs : Scotland vs England

The largest sporting event in the world is the World Cup. Professional sport and marketing are closely wedded and by the time of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia . arrives we will be wearing the same gear the soccer players are wearing during the competition. The best team in the World meet every four years to see who is the very best .

Scotland, is one of the oldest football nations in the world (England is the other), the former fiercely proud of playing in eight World Cup tournaments. The latter won it in 1966. Scotland has qualified on nine occasions and in 1950 took the unprecedented decision to not participate because they felt ill prepared and did not consider themselves worthy as British Champions. Despite the nation’s unenviable record the squad have never advanced beyond the first round of the finals competition. Historically they are considered talented and brave hearted with their play sometimes bordering on brilliant, but the efforts of the qualifying Scottish National Squads have always been fruitless.

To the Tartan Army failure to qualify to the World Cup competition is a national disgrace. Scotland’s failure yet again has left all ‘Jock Tamson’s bairns’ melancholic. The last time Scotland qualified for a World Cup final was in 1998 in France. The only positive note to all of this is we have not been exposed to yet another Scottish Football Squad song. Such events kicked off in 1966 when England won the World Cup (and we have never been allowed to forget it). The tournament had an official song called 'World Cup Willie'. It was sung not by an Englishman, but by a Scot called Lonnie Donegan. Jimmy ‘Greavsie” Greaves, himself a member of the England Squad, was less than complementary about the choice of singer at the time and considered him passé. The single did not sell particularly well and remains a curio.

At the next FIFA World Cup Mexico (1970) Scotland did not qualify. The defending champions England went to Mexico strong in squad and with a team song that would top the UK charts. “Back home” was recorded in a tiny recording studio with all the England team present. The song was written and produced by Bill Martin (Scotsman) and Phil Coulter (Irishman) – well it is Great Britain after all. ‘Back Home’ set the bench mark for all squad songs to follow. A lyric triumphantly proclaiming the trophy was pretty much in the bag and there was not much point in anyone else turning up set to a simple tune. England got knocked out in the quarter finals after a major scandal alleging misbehaviour in the camp.

By 1974, Scotland were back in the finals which were hosted in West Germany. To celebrate their return to the world stage the Scottish squad recorded a little ditty entitled “Easy Easy.” Although the single got into the UK Top Twenty, Scotland was eliminated in the first round (What’s new?). England did not qualify for the FIFA World Cup West Germany.

Argentina hosted the World Cup in 1978 and horror of horrors, England again failed to qualify. The Scottish manager, Ally McLeod mistakenly talked up his team strongly inferring it was more or less a foregone conclusion they would win the championship. The ever gullible, Tartan Army thought so too and in the resulting euphoria which proceeded the competition saw comedian, Andy Cameron (born in England) jump on the bandwagon. He recorded Ally’s Tartan Army which became a hit.

Determined to succeed in the charts (at least) the Scotland World Cup Squad engaged the help of another cockney Jock, Rod Steward. 'Ole, Ola' (Mulher Brasilieira), like Ally’s Tartan Army the single sold well and both charted in the UK Top Ten. Sadly Scotland fared less well on the field and was dismissed somewhat dramatically from the competition at the end of another scandal filled first week. Rod and Andy did likewise and were summarily dismissed from the pop charts.

Spain hosted the FIFA World Cup 1982 and old rivals Scotland and England were back in contention. The England World Cup Squad released ‘This time (We’ll get it right)’ (co-written by Chris Norman of Smokie) and the Scottish Squad had “Bonnie Scotland We have a dream” written by B.A. Robertson. Both songs charted but while England went through to the second leg of the competition, Scotland was un-ceremonially dumped at the end of the first week. What’s new?

In 1986 the World Cup was again held in Mexico. Scotland qualified this time but were knocked out in the first round of the competition. England meantime lost in the quarter finals. England’s official world cup song "We've Got the Whole World at Our Feet"/"When We Are Far from Home" and Scotland’s ‘Big trip to Mexico’ both faded quickly. The same song writers wrote both songs.

The Old Enemies were back at it in the Italian World Cup finals in 1990. Scotland World Cup Squad’s "Say It With Pride" flopped at the lower end of the Top 50 as the Tartan Army’s team failed to make it through to the second week of competition. World in motion by Englandneworder (England and New Order) topped the charts but the England team went out in the semi finals on penalties.

By the time the 1994 FIFA World Cup was hosted by the US (neither Scotland nor England qualified), so there was no song. Four years on the World Cup France 1998 saw Scotland qualify and this time with the help of Del Ametri and their dedicated single "Don't come home too soon." As usual the song did better than the team and the Scottish squad was back home to listen to it in the Top Twenty. The official song of the England National Football Team was "(How Does it Feel to Be) on Top of the World?" by "England United." This was a makeshift ‘supergroup’ consisting of Echo and the Bunnymen, Space, Spice Girls and the lead singer of Ocean Colour Scene, Simon Fowler. The song was written by Ian McCulloch. The song and the team did quite well but England lost again on penalties and failed to make it through to the quarter finals.

Scotland did not qualify for the FIFA World Cup South Korea/ Japan 2002 but England did and once again lost in the quarter finals. The official World Cup song did not involve the squad that task fell to the golden tonsils of Ant & Dec with We’on the ball.

By this time there was a plethora of other songs and music associated with the competition but most were unconnected to the English Football Association. In 2006 Germany again hosted the World Cup finals. No Scotland, but England was there with “World at Your Feet" by Embrace as the official England World Cup song. Did well too but England were knocked out on penalties in the quarter finals again.

The 2010 FIFA World Cup was held in South Africa (and Scotland was not be represented). Despite England qualifying for the 2010 World Cup, the Football Association announced there would be no official song. However James Cordon and Dizzie Rascal cover of Shout (previously a hit for Tears For Fears) was adopted. The FA refused to be associated due to links to hooliganism in the lyrics. In any event England were knocked out in Round 16 .

England's 2014 Official World Cup Song is Greatest Day by Gary Lineker and Gary Barlow. It is a cover of Take That's "Greatest Day"

The Official World Cup Song for the 2014 Competition is We Are One (Ole Ola)

Worth a listen
Lonnie Donegan
World Cup Willie (1966)

English World Cup Squad
Back Home (1970)
This time (We’ll get it right) (1982)
We've Got the Whole World at Our Feet" / "When We Are Far from Home (1986)
Englandneworder (English World Cup Squad with New Order)
World in Motion (1990)

Scottish World Cup Squad
Easy Easy (1974)
Ole, Ola' (Mulher Brasilieira) [We're gonna bring that World Cup back from over there] with Rod Stewart (1978)
We have a dream (1982)
Big trip to Mexico (1986)
Say It With Pride (1990)

Andy Cameron
Ally’s Tartan Army (1978)

Del Ametri
Don't come home too soon (1994)

England United
(How Does it Feel to Be) on Top of the World? (1994)

Ant & Dec
We’on the ball (2002)

World at Your Feet (2006)

Ricky Martin
La Copa de la Vida'(1998)

Boom (2002)

Reviewed 14/06/2021

Saturday, June 12, 2021


( Lulu Image via PAILISH )

Marie McDonald McLaughlin Lawrie was born in 1948 in Lennox Castle, Lennoxtown, Scotland, the daughter of a butcher. Marie grew up in Dennistoun, Glasgow, where she attended Thomson Street Primary School and Onslow Drive Junior School. Little Marie loved to sing as a child and started at the tender age of 12 year old with a local group called the Bellrocks. At 14 she joined The Gleneagles and had a regular spot at the Lindella Club, Glasgow.

( British singer -songwriter Lulu Image via getty images)

The owner of the club had a sister, Marion Massey (c.1930 – 2014) who was one of a few female theatrical agents based in London. In 1962 Marion signed up the new girl and gave her the stage name Lulu and the backing band The Gleneagles became The Luvvers. Lulu and the Lovers became part of the Decca stable of artist. The precarious nature of the music business and the vulnerability of a young girl was enough for Massey to invite Lulu to live with her family in her London home. Lulu attributes much of her success to having had a family-oriented and mature manager in Marion Massey. Decca released Lulu’s first record in 1964. It was a raucous cover version of The Isley Brothers’ “Shout” and it became an instant UK hit and reached #7. She was fifteen.

(Video Courtesy: Timeline - World History Documentaries by Youtube Channel)

Decca quickly followed up with the more soulful ‘Here Comes The Night' (1964), and 'Leave A little Love' (1964). 'Try To Understand' (1965) was a bit more poppy and all reached the lower end of the UK charts.

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By the end of 1965, Lulu was voted 'Britain's Most Promising Newcomer in Showbusiness,' and she and The Lovers briefly featured in 'Gonks go Beat' released in the same year. Lulu also sang 'Choc Ice' over the title sequence.

(Video Courtesy: DestructibleMan by Youtube Channel)

The lack of major chart success forced her to leave The Luvvers behind and join Columbia as a solo artist and there she was teamed with producer Mickie Most. In April 1967, Lulu was back in the UK singles charts (#6) with "The Boat That I Row", written by Neil Diamond.

(Video Courtesy: Funktastic Ed by Youtube Channel)

The relationship between artist and producer was not always as harmonious as her singing but the results in chart success gave her the most successful years (1967-68) in her career. All seven singles cut with Most made the UK Top Ten Singles Chart. These included: 'Let's Pretend'(1967), 'Love Loves To Love Love ' (1967) 'Me The Peaceful Heart' (1968), 'Boy' (1968) and 'I'm A Tiger' (1969)'.

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(Video Courtesy: Lulu by Youtube Channel)

In 1967, Lulu had shown herself a credible actress when she co-starred with Sidney Poitier in E. R. Braithwaite's 'To Sir with love' directed by James Clavell. Lulu also sang the title song which surprisingly did not chart in the UK, but topped the charts in the US, ensuring her internationaal success.

(Video Courtesy: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment by Youtube Channel)

In 1967, Lulu appeared with The Monkees at the Empire Pool, Wembley, and quickly there were rumours she and Davy Jones were an item.

(Video Courtesy: The Monkees by Youtube Channel)

By now she had become a polished performer and toured extensively. In 1968 she co-hosted a new TV show (BBC) entitled Three Of A Kind, with Mike Yarwood. Lulu was such a hit she appeared regularly until 1975. Her popular variety shows went under various titles including: Lulu's Back In Town, Happening For Lulu, Lulu and It's Lulu, which featured Adrienne Posta. Her BBC series featured music and comedy sketches and star guests, including Jimi Hendrix. TV history was made when Jimi Hendrix shocked everyone with an impromptu tribute to Cream on live TV.

(Video Courtesy: HENDRIX COLLECTOR by Youtube Channel)

In 1969, Lulu was chosen to represent the UK in the Eurovision Song Contest and won with, "Boom Bang-a-Bang", written by Peter Warne and Alan Moorhouse.

(Video Courtesy: 5maz9 by Youtube Channel)

In the same year Lulu married Maurice Gibb (Bee Gees). A romance which started after the couple met backstage at Top of the Pops. Sadly careers and his heavy drinking forced them apart and they divorced in 1973.

(Video Courtesy: British Pathé by Youtube Channel)

In 1970, she embarked on a trans-American tour with Englebert Humperdinck and also took time out from her heavy schedule to co-host television's 'Andy Williams Show' with singer Ray Stevens.

(Video Courtesy: Tony Hiller by Youtube Channel)

She toured Australia, New Zealand and the Far East at the peak of her career. Despite this chart success eluded the singer then in 1974 she released a cover version of David Bowie’s “The Man Who Sold the World" and "Watch That Man". Bowie and Mick Ronson produced both recordings and the former became Lulu's biggest record successes going to #3 in the UK and Top Ten in other countires but failed to chart in the US.

(Video Courtesy: MrHaggis64 by Youtube Channel)

Lulu was chosen to sing the title song for the James Bond film 'The Man with the Golden Gun.'

(Video Courtesy: AvengedS939 - The James Bond Network by Youtube Channel)

Her follow up release 'Take Your Mama For A Ride' (1975) sold reasonably well but barely broke into the Top 40 in the UK.

(Video Courtesy: TOP401975 by Youtube Channel)

The singer got married to London Hairdresser John Frieda in 1976. The couple separated in 1990. The erly 80s saw more chart success for Lulu in the US with 'I Could Never Miss You (More Than I Do)' (1981), 'If I Were You' (1982), and the Grammy nominated track 'Who's Foolin' Who' (1982).

(Video Courtesy: gaynormartin by Youtube Channel)

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She continued to make records and popped up in the top ten charts starting with a release of 'Shout' (1986). 'Relight my fire,' with Take That topped the charts in 1993, and a duet Ronan Keating, "We've Got Tonight" reached Number 4 in 2002. This would mark her last chart entry.

(Video Courtesy: Take That by Youtube Channel)

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She continues to to entertain and from time to time has successfully diversified into acting. Lulu was made a Companion of the British Empire (CBE) in 2021 for her serves to music and her charity work. Lulu remains without question the greatest Scottish Female entertainer of the 20th century.

(Video Courtesy: Lulu Youtube Channel)

Reviewed 13/06/2021

Friday, June 4, 2021

Chas McDevitt (The Chas McDevitt Skiffle Group)

(Chas McDevitt Image via pinterest )

Charles (Chas) James McDevitt was born in Eaglesham, Ayrshire, Scotland in 1934. The family moved to Camberley, Surrey where he grew up. As a teenager he suffered a long illness and during this time developed a liking for American Blues and Jazz. He taught himself to play the banjo and later joined a local college jazz band called The High Curley Stompers. In 1955 McDevitt moved to London and played with the Crane River Jazz Band. Fellow band members included Ken Colyer, Sonny Morris and Marc Sharratt.

(Video Courtesy: Krzysztof Zajkowski by Youtube Channel)

Keen to progress he also busked and performed in a skiffle group with blues singer Redd Sullivan (The Thameside Four). Quickly they established themselves as coffee bar favourites and appeared regularly at the 2Is Coffee Bar and other Soho Jazz Clubs. Chas McDevitt became a featured artist at the Cy Laurie Jazz Club and during the intervals as a trio with Marc Sharratt still (washboard) and Pete Timlett (piano) later joined by guitarists Dennis Carter and Alex Whitehouse. In 1956, Oriole Records recorded a demo the group’s version of Elizabeth Cotton’s “Freight Train” (composed by Paul James and Fred Williams).

(Video Courtesy: missyouboth by Youtube Channel)

The group regularly played "Freight Train" as part of their live set and featured it in a talent contest promoted by Pye Records on Radio Luxembourg. Bill Varley, their new manager suggested they recruit a female vocalist to help them stand out from other skiffle groups and they asked a Scottish folk singer called Nancy Whiskey (1935 – 2003) to join them. They re-recorded Freight Train with Nancy as lead vocalist and when the single was released in 1957 it reached # 5 in the UK Singles Chart. Riding high on chart success the group toured Europe and America featuring on the Ed Sullivan Show.

(Video Courtesy: MrSamascot by Youtube Channel)

Chas McDevitt Skiffle Band had a second lesser hit with `Greenback Dollar' on which Nancy was again vocalist.

(Video Courtesy: Oldiesrrockin by Youtube Channel)

The popular skiffle group made guest appearances in a couple of movies including The Tommy Steele Story (Rock around the world) (1957); and The Golden Disk (1958). When Nancy left the band at the height of ther fame, she was replaced by Irish singer, Shirley Douglas (1939 - 2013), who later married Chas McDevitt. Dennis Carter and Alex Whitehouse also left the group to form a rival group, i.e. The Oldtimers Skiffle Group.

(Video Courtesy: Krzysztof Zajkowski by Youtube Channel)

New members came and went including Jimmie MacGregor, Tony Kohn, Lennie Harrison and bass player, Bill Bramwell as the group continued tp tour extensively.

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Once the skiffle phase had passed the The Chas McDevitt Skiffle Group broke up in 1959. They did reform briefly in the 80s for festival performances with Chas McDevitt, Marc Sharatt, John Paul and Nick Lawrence. The Chas McDevitt Skiffle Group still survive with Steve Benbow (lead guitar), Jack Fallon (bass) and Chas' daughter, Kerry on vocals and washboard. Occasional members include Martyn Oram (fiddle), Mike Martin, (guitar and banjo) and Richard Sharp (bass).

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Reviewed 5/06/2021