Last week I Ogblogged recordings dad and I made exactly 50 years ago to the day, on 5 November 1967, including the Pick Of The Pops top three – click here, from Alan “Fluff” Freeman’s seminal chart show.
This week, I’m setting out the recordings I made of most of the top 10 from Pick Of The Pops the following week.
These recordings have more cutting in and out – probably a five-year-old’s attention span incapable of just letting the tape run and unaware at that stage of the wizardry that could be achieved post-recording in that medium.
The first extract actually has a bit of the Tony Blackburn show; the tail end of San Fransiscan Nights by The Animals therefrom. My guess is that it was my desire to record that better that sent me to Pick Of the Pops that Sunday evening, finding this song at number nine, then I kept going.
Next up – at eight – Long John Baldry with Let The Heartaches Begin:
At seven, Donovan with There Is A Mountain:
Then at six, the Kinks with Autumn Almanac:
Into the top five with The Troggs, Love Is All Around:
The least said about The Last Waltz by Englebert Humerdink at number four, the better:
Massachusetts by The Bee Gees at Number Three:
Zabadak by Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich at Number Two:
…by which point I guess it dawned on my very junior indeed mind that I already had the top three on tape from the previous week.
Still, I wouldn’t want to keep pop pickers in suspenders, so here is a YouTube of the Number One from that period – Baby Now That I’ve Found You by The Foundations.
Our machine was still playing (although not recording) when I let the scrap merchants take it to a better place in 2012.
The very end of the Hare and Guy Fawkes recording segues rather elegantly into the top three from Pick of the Pops:
Zabadak by Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich
…which is followed by…
Massachusetts by The Bee Gees
Baby Now That I’ve Found You by The Foundations.
With the excitable tones of Alan “Fluff” Freeman between the tracks.
I have split the audio track into parts, but if you run the files contiguously they run entirely unbroken.
The segue works so well, I can only surmise that dad was experimenting with that recording after we had made the Hare and Guy Fawkes recording.
I am pretty sure I must have been watching him carefully and working out what it took to rig up the radio to the tape recorder and record from the radio.
The next 20+ seconds of tape is taken up with “gunk”, as I describe it in subsequent notes, which I think is my early attempts to work out to record, stop, pause etc. some done that evening, the rest the next day or just a few days later.
The following week I recorded the whole of the top nine from Pick of The Pops. I’ll up that material next week.
Don’t try to compare these charts with anything you see from the Official Charts; the BBC Pick Of the Pops charts didn’t work that way in 1967; they tried to second guess the chart standings by making a “chart of charts” from the NME, Melody Maker and several other chart sources which would all be published on different days and different ways. But the only logical dates for my recordings are 5 November 1967 top three, some gunk in between and then the 12 November 1967 top nine.
After that, I recorded a whole load of other pop music stuff to fill up that side of the tape.
It could only have been me making those recordings after the initial part of the 5th November recording; the cutting and hacking about is too amateurish to have been dad or mum. I also remember mum telling me in later years their mixture of horror and pleasure when they discovered me making my own clandestine recordings.
The reason this particular spool survived is because of the Hare and Guy Fawkes recording and also some other material which dad wanted to keep on the other side of the tape.
Most of the recordings I made as a child would have been wiped by subsequent recordings I made as a child. Tape wasn’t cheap.
There is one other tape of similar vintage that survived; with Pick Of The Pops from August 1968. Those recordings include Fluff Freeman’s fabulous chart rundowns, which the 1967 recordings sadly lack.
I’ll up the August 1968 ones when they reach their 50th birthday.
In the meantime, pop pickers, hit the above MP3 files for the Pick of The Pops top three.
But those others are, I believe, all quite a bit earlier than this Hare and Guy Fawkes one. I believe this 5 November 1967 one is the last of the readings tapes, not least because I think my personal interest in the tape recorder transformed at that time from passive listener to active recorder on our trusty Grundig TK-35. Another story – I’ll cover that story a little more below and separately later.
Grandma Anne had, I think, fairly recently been widowed for a second time (my Step-Grandpa Nat I only recall vaguely from when I was very small), so it became our habit to take Grandma Anne to that strictly kosher restaurant in Soho for Sunday lunch.
I recall liking the chicken soup and the chopped liver but not much else there. I also recall my father’s favourite dish being “boiled capon” – a large chicken cooked in broth. I don’t believe that the kosher restaurant capon was a castrated bird – I’m not sure that kashrut would allow even the circumcision of a cock of the poultry variety. I think it was simply a big old boiler chicken that would make a tasty broth; the slow cooking of the aged creature would soften what would otherwise be rather tough meat.
My Vietnamese-style dish, chicken cooked in its own broth, is an exotic and delicious variation on that theme, which Janie and I love as comfort food. I remember distinctly not liking the Folman’s version much as a child, it was nothing like as tasty as my mum’s chicken.
But I wildly digress.
On the recording, you can hear my mum in the background, in another room, having an argument by the sound of it. I’m not sure whether she is arguing on the phone or with someone else who is in the house who is talking far more softly than my mum. I might do some audio-forensics on the sound file one day and see if I can listen in on that aggro from 50 years ago.
The argument can only have been family stuff…probably family business stuff.
I’ll guess that the Hare and Guy Fawkes story-telling at that time was as much about getting me out of the way while the family argument played out as it was about anything else.
But I’ll also guess that my beady-little eyes were, at that time, working out how to make recordings, because the rest of that side of that tape is strewn with recordings from the radio. One of those recordings I believe was made the same afternoon/early evening; I’ll Ogblog that a little later today.
As with our other story book recordings, I ring a bell at the turn of the page. I think the idea of that was to help me learn to read by following the story in the book while listening to the tape.
I also interject with some questions at times, which is rather cute, but I interject less in this one than I did in earlier recordings. I guess the question I really wanted answered by then was, “how do I operate this machine so I can make recordings for myself?”
Here’s the Hare And Guy Fawkes sound file and book cover again.