Starting From Scratch: Thursday, 17th November, 1977

I met a Cypriot at work today. He asked me if I knew anything of Cyprus. “Nicosia, Famagusta…” I replied. He told me that he was from Famagusta. With the thought that I’d done rather well, I pushed my luck by volunteering to draw a map of the island on a sheet of paper. He, however, was unimpressed with my effort and drew a detailed one that showed the Greek and Turkish parts.

He is from the northern territory where he had owned twenty-three flats — in two blocks, each six storeys high — before he lost the lot in the Turkish invasion. He is starting all over again, here in Australia!

We gave a workmate of Tiki’s a lift home to Ramsgate as clouds threatened to storm. En route I told him of how, in 1970, it had cost me but two dollars to see The Beach Boys play for ninety minutes as the audience sat on the extremely hard wooden floor of the disused bowling alley in Corrimal. Even he stated that that had been “unreal” value.

It began to rain as I opened the doors to our garage, but it was destined to only continue for half an hour. I watched some of the Colgate ladies’ tennis on Channel Seven. Jeanne Evert, Chris’s plump sister, won her match. On “Willesee”, at seven o’clock, presenter, Paul Makin, interviewed John Denver, who is in Brisbane.

During our walk we stopped at the Gymea Hotel and purchased a bottle of Kahlua coffee liqueur at a cost of ten dollars. The hotel is owned by the former boxing champion, Vic Patrick. We tried to dodge the puddles on the way home, as stars shone above.

Workman’s Boots No More

Richard, a tiler, visited us earlier this year. During our conversation, he recounted how a policeman had informed that if one owns a dog one is seventy per cent less likely to be burgled.

The officer added that if one goes to the trouble of placing a pair of workman’s boots outside one’s front door then then the chance of one’s property being burgled diminish even further.

Armed with this knowledge Richard visited his elderly mother and, knowing that she already had a dog, arranged for her to receive a pair of such boots to display outside her front door.

However, when he revisited her, he noticed that the boots had been painted and further to this, on a subsequent visit, could not fail to observe that each contained one of her favourite flowering plants.

The Top 40 Fantasies: No. 22

  1. Catch A Falling Star (1958) Perry Como
  2. Lonely Boy (1959) Paul Anka
  3. My Sentimental Friend (1969) Herman’s Hermits
  4. The Lovebug Itch (1950) Eddy Arnold
  5. Look Homeward, Angel (1957) Johnnie Ray
  6. Spanish Lace (1962) Gene McDaniels
  7. I Will Follow Him (1963) Little Peggy March
  8. Peter Gunn (1959) Ray Anthony and his Orchestra
  9. It Hurts Me Too (1940) Tampa Red
  10. One Man Woman/One Woman Man (1974) Paul Anka and Odia Coates
  11. Just A Little (1965) The Beau Brummels
  12. Leah (1962) Roy Orbison
  13. ’57 Chevrolet (1978) Billie Joe Spears
  14. The Lovin’ Things (1969) The Grass Roots
  15. I Want To Walk You Home (1959) Fats Domino
  16. Another Fool Like Me (1963) Ned Miller
  17. Lollipop (1958) The Chordettes
  18. Mardi Gras In New Orleans (1949) Professor Longhair
  19. Rumble (1958) Link Wray and his Ray Men
  20. I Overlooked An Orchid (1974) Mickey Gilley
  21. Cinnamon (1968) Derek
  22. Dreamboat (1955) Alma Cogan
  23. In The Jailhouse Now (1955) Webb Pierce
  24. Albert Flasher (1971) The Guess Who
  25. School Days (1950) Louis Jordan
  26. I Don’t Believe You’ve Met My Baby (1956) The Louvin Brothers
  27. Baby The Rain Must Fall (1965) Glenn Yarbrough
  28. Isn’t Life Strange (1972) The Moody Blues
  29. That’s Where It’s At (1964) Sam Cooke
  30. The Credit Card Song (1974) Dick Feller
  31. Heart Of Glass (1978) Blondie
  32. I Ain’t Lyin’ (1975) George McCrae
  33. Sydney Town (1965) Gary Shearston
  34. Hey! Little Girl (1961) Del Shannon
  35. Hello Mudduh, Hello Fuddah! (A Letter From Camp) (1963) Allan Sherman
  36. Train Whistle Blues (1938) Sonny Terry
  37. The Tin Man (1974) America
  38. A Prayer And A Juke Box (1959) Little Anthony and The Imperials
  39. Call Me Maybe (2012) Carly Rae Jepsen
  40. People Are Still Having Sex (1991) La Tour

The Top 40 Fantasies: No. 21

  1. The Very Thought Of You (1934) Ray Noble and his Orchestra: vocalist: Al Bowlly
  2. Sky Pilot (Parts 1 and 2) (1968) Eric Burdon and The Animals
  3. Rainbow (1957) Russ Hamilton
  4. Sonny Boy (1928) Al Jolson
  5. The Baby Elephant Walk (1962) The Miniature Men
  6. Under The Boardwalk (1964) The Drifters
  7. White Silver Sands (1957) Don Rondo
  8. Chanson D’Amour (Song Of Love) (1958) Art and Dotty Todd
  9. Tobacco Road (1964 ) The Nashville Teens
  10. Leroy (1958) Jack Scott
  11. Nosey Joe (1952) Bull Moose Jackson
  12. Cuddle Buggin’ Boogie (1950) Eddy Arnold
  13. Swingin’ School (1960) Bobby Rydell
  14. The Freeway Of Love (1985) Aretha Franklin
  15. That’s The Way Boys Are (1964) Lesley Gore
  16. 634-5789 (Soulville, U.S.A.) (1966) Wilson Pickett
  17. Hoop-Dee-Doo (1950) Perry Como with The Fontane Sisters
  18. Hoop-Dee-Doo (1950) Kay Starr
  19. Another Brick In The Wall (Part 2) (1979) Pink Floyd
  20. Hoots Mon (1958) Lord Rockingham’s XI
  21. 5-10-15 Hours (1952) Ruth Brown
  22. The Swiss Maid (1962) Del Shannon
  23. The Theme From Adventures In Paradise (1960) Jerry Byrd
  24. Der Kommissar (The Commissioner) (1982) Falco
  25. Coffee, Cigarettes And Tears (1951) The Larks
  26. Loving Her Was Easier (Than Anything I’ll Ever Do Again) (1971) Kris Kristofferson
  27. A-Tisket, A-Tasket (1938) Ella Fitzgerald, with Chick Webb and his Orchestra
  28. I Fought The Law (1966) The Bobby Fuller Four
  29. Tee Nah Nah (1950) Harry Van Wells
  30. Nice Work If You Can Get It (1937) Shep Fields and his Rippling Rhythm Orchestra
  31. Love Is A Battlefield (1983) Pat Benatar
  32. Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polkadot Bikini (1960) Brian Hyland
  33. OK Dude (2021) Zuby
  34. Come Back Silly Girl (1962) The Lettermen
  35. I’m The Urban Spaceman (1968) The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band
  36. Back In The Saddle Again (1939) Gene Autry
  37. Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Again) (1970) Sly and The Family Stone
  38. Friendship (1940) Kay Kyser and his Orchestra; vocalists: Ginny Simms, Harry Babbitt, Jack Martin and Ish Kabibble
  39. All I Want For Christmas (Is My Two Front Teeth) (1948) Spike Jones and his City Slickers
  40. Helter Skelter (1968) The Beatles

The Top 40 Fantasies: No. 20

  1. It’s Only Make Believe (1958) Conway Twitty
  2. Oh, Pretty Woman (1964) Roy Orbison
  3. The Crazy Otto (Medley) (1955) Johnny Maddox and The Rhythm Masters
  4. You’re The Reason I’m Living (1963) Bobby Darin
  5. My Baby’s Boogying (1946) Amos Milburn
  6. How Long Must I Wait For You (1951)
  7. I Wonder What She’s Doing Tonite (1967) Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart
  8. My Happiness Forever (1956) LaVern Baker
  9. When My Little Girl Is Smiling (1962) Craig Douglas
  10. My Gal’s A Jockey (1946) Joe Turner
  11. Memphis (1963) Lonnie Mac
  12. Love Is The Foundation (1973) Loretta Lynn
  13. Jeepers Creepers (1938) Al Donohue and his Orchestra, vocalist: Paula Kelly
  14. Hooray For Hazel (1966) Tommy Roe
  15. Shorty’s Got To Go (1946) Lucky Millinder
  16. When My Little Girl Is Smiling (1962) The Drifters
  17. What’s The Use Of Getting Sober (1942) Louis Jordan
  18. I’ve Been Thinking About You (1991) Londonbeat
  19. You Are My Sunshine (1940) Wayne King
  20. Amanda (1973) Don Williams
  21. I’m On The Outside (Looking In) (1964) Anthony and The Imperials
  22. Australiana (1983) Austen Tayshus
  23. Girls Just Want To Have Fun (1983) Cyndi Lauper
  24. Pledging My Love (1955) Johnny Ace
  25. Big Ship (1969) Cliff Richard
  26. Faith (1987) George Michael
  27. Little Blue Riding Hood (1953) Stan Freberg; with Daws Butler and June Foray
  28. Loddy Lo (1963) Chubby Checker
  29. Molly Darling (1948) Eddy Arnold
  30. I’m A Midnight Mover (1968) Wilson Pickett
  31. Seven Lonely Days (1953) Georgia Gibbs
  32. La La (1969) The Flying Circus
  33. Let’s Turkey Trot (1963) Little Eva
  34. Second Solution (1997) The Living End
  35. When I Stop Dreaming (1955) The Louvin Brothers
  36. You Need To Calm Down (2019) Taylor Swift
  37. You Left The Water Running (1969) Sam and Dave
  38. Shaggy Dog (1964) Mickey Lee Lane
  39. Baby Let’s Wait (1968) The Royal Guardsmen
  40. Those Oldies But Goodies (Remind Me Of You) (1961 ) Little Caesar and The Romans

Fortieth Anniversary: Monday, 3rd September, 1979

It was 8.37a.m. before I awoke to venture outside to our toilet. Our pup, ‘Daisy’, who is just eight weeks of age, hovered about my feet and ankles. She’s extremely active, as, I suppose, most pups are!

Having left Tiki in bed, I walked to Miranda Fair to purchase some polish, in order to shine our car. Despite me having attended both Woolworths and Nock and Kirby’s, I failed in my mission to purchase the one-year polish that I’d seen being advertised so freely on television. Instead, I returned home having purchased a bottle of ‘Turtle Wax’, at a cost of three dollars and sixteen cents.

After breakfast I emerged, again, this time to polish our Chrysler ‘Sigma’ that was parked in our driveway. As the weather was overcast, I was pleased,, for I had heard that such conditions were perfect when polishing a vehicle outdoors. I attempted to remove as many specks of bitumen from the car’s duco as I proceeded.

At noon, I adjourned to watch Channel Nine’s ‘The Mike Walsh Show’ which, in Mike’s absence was hosted by the slim Brian Bury. The singer and actor, Howard Keel, who is sixty years of age, was a guest as were ‘Shirley’ Williams, Jeannie Little and Joe Martin, along with footage of their weekend at the Walgett Rodeo in the north-west of New South Wales.

Tiki’s boss rang to verify that she was, indeed, returning to work, this afternoon, after her holiday of four weeks. She told Robyn of how much we had enjoyed our eleven days in the New Hebrides.

The American serial, ‘Days Of Our Lives’, followed ‘The Mike Walsh Show’ from half past one. Its cast includes Macdonald Carey and Susan Seaforth.

Having driven Tiki to work by a quarter past two, I stopped in Gymea to buy a copy of ‘The Sun’ for ten cents.

It was twenty past three before I returned to our driveway to continue to polish our year-old Sigma. However, when it began to rain I was left with no alternative but to return it to the garage, where I continued to polish the vehicle although, I have to admit, my desire to do so wasn’t there.

This was compounded when, as I was attempting to remove bitumen bespattered on the mudguard, behind the near wheel on the passenger’s side, my hand slipped and the base of my right thumb’s nail painfully struck the bottom edge of the mudguard, drawing blood in the process.

I ceased to polish at eight minutes to five and set out to walk to Miranda and back, this time in the name of exercise.

The news on Channel TEN was co-read by John Bailey and Katrina Lee, and at a quarter to seven I left to collect Tiki from her place of work prior to us watching ‘Willesee At Seven’ on Channel Seven. Mike Willesee recalled the Second World War because today marks forty years since Great Britain declared war on Germany.

Gene Pitney is a guest on the programme and during his interview a clip of him performing his single, ‘Blue Angel’, a hit in 1974, is played.

We viewed “John Laws’ World”. Tonight it centres upon Alaska. Thence, from half past eight, another episode in the Australian series, ‘Cop Shop’, on Channel 7.

I took this opportunity to adjourn to the kitchen and listen to the radio, in particular races from the greyhounds. Some Australians prefer to label these racing dogs as “dish-lickers”.

Tiki occupied herself by using a pack of cards to play games of ‘Patience’ on our carpeted floor in the loungeroom, as I returned to read articles printed in today’s copy of ‘The Sun’.

At half past nine we turned the dial to Channel Nine and ‘The Don Lane Show’. “The Lanky Yank”, as Don is affectionately known here, has amongst his guests tonight the forty-five year old Jerry Lee Lewis.

Jerry performed ‘Great Balls Of Fire’ and “Whole Lot Of Shakin’ Going On”, his initial hits in 1957, and while his playing of the piano sounded like that in those recordings his voice, unfortunately, did not.

Jerry barely gave more than one-word answers, in reply to Don’s questions and after Gene Pitney had performed one of his hits from 1962, namely, ‘(The Man Who Shot) Liberty Valance’, he outspokenly said that he knew that Jerry Lee had the ability to perform better than he had done tonight.

As the show is televised live from Melbourne, its resident comical personality, Bert Newton, kept taking the liberty of impersonating Jerry Lee on numerous occasions during the programme.

We retired to bed at five past eleven.

The Top 40 Fantasies: No. 19

  1. Whole Lotta Love (1969) Led Zeppelin
  2. Just Walking In The Rain (1956) Johnnie Ray
  3. Walk On By (1961) Leroy Van Dyke
  4. The Old Lamp-Lighter (1946) Sammy Kaye and his Orchestra, vocalist: Billy Williams
  5. Sister Golden Hair (1975) America
  6. Psychotic Reaction (1966) The Count Five
  7. Midnight In Moscow (1961) Kenny Ball and his Jazzmen
  8. It’s Too Late (1956) Chuck Willis
  9. Duke Of Earl (1962) Gene Chandler
  10. Garden Party (1972) Rick Nelson and The Stone Canyon Band
  11. You Really Got A Hold On Me (1962) The Miracles
  12. Trying To Love Two Women (1980) The Oak Ridge Boys
  13. It Must Have Been Love (1987) Roxette
  14. The Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy (1941) The Andrews Sisters
  15. Invisible Tears (1964) Ned Miller
  16. To The Door Of The Sun (1974) Al Martino
  17. Exactly Like You (1930) Harry Richman
  18. Walking Along (1958) The Diamonds
  19. Shapes Of Things (1966) The Yardbirds
  20. Angel On My Shoulder (1960) Shelby Flint
  21. Hey Girl (1966) The Small Faces
  22. I Am Pegasus (1973) Ross Ryan
  23. Sad Mood (1960) Sam Cooke
  24. I Know (1959) Perry Como
  25. Red High Heels (2006) Kellie Pickler
  26. Two Faces Have I (1963) Lou Christie
  27. Groove Me (1970) King Floyd
  28. I Should Be So Lucky (1987) Kylie Minogue
  29. I Want To Be With You Always (1951) Lefty Frizzell
  30. Cry Myself To Sleep (1962) Del Shannon
  31. Will It Go Round In Circles (1973) Billy Preston
  32. Crazy World (1948) Julia Lee and her Boy Friends
  33. High Hopes (1959) Frank Sinatra
  34. Dead Letter Blues (1938) Leadbelly
  35. How Is Julie? (1962) The Lettermen
  36. Freedom Comes, Freedom Goes (1971) The Fortunes
  37. Goodnight Baby (1965) Sam and Dave
  38. Barbie Girl (1997) Aqua
  39. All About The Bass (2019) Meghan Trainor
  40. Wonderboy (1968) The Kinks

No Bag!

Last year, Tiki asked me to prepare for her a cup of tea.

Having taken but a few sips, she was moved to utter that my offering tasted like nothing more than a mixture of milk and water. Prior to her exclaiming, “You did remember to use a teabag, didn’t you?”

I used my advanced age as an excuse.

Wizzard

Roy Wood rose to fame as the leader of The Move (I refer you to the post, ‘The Move’) in the 1960s before becoming the co-founder of The Electric Light Orchestra with Jeff Lynne. When Roy departed from the latter group, he took keyboardist, Bill Hunt and cellist, Hugh McDowell with him. This trio was joined by Rick Price, who was formerly a bassist in The Move, as well as drummers, Charlie Grima and Keith Smart.

This new British glam-rock band, which was based in the English city of Birmingham, took the collective name of Wizzard and performed live for the first time at Wembley Stadium, in August of 1972. In December, Wizzard debuted on the British charts with the single, “Ball Park Incident”, which was to peak at No.6. It was followed by the group’s most successful recording, “See My Baby Jive”, which spent four weeks at No.1 in Britain, and, in rising to No.11 in Australia became the group’s only entry to the charts in that country.

“Angel’s Fingers” also briefly reached No.1 and before 1973 had finished the almost obligatory festive number, “I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday” peaked at No.4.

http://youtu.be/idsdcF3_WJs

http://youtu.be/r89CjMZDQpQ

As Roy Wood was simultaneously pursuing a career as a soloist, the excessive pressure began to affect his health. He released the album, ‘Boulders’ and the singles, “Dear Elaine” (No.18) and “Forever” (No.8), were on the charts along with those from Wizzard.

http://youtu.be/PwBMT1unh9w

Although a tour of the United States failed to generate success there, back in Britain Wizzard posted its last two singles, namely “Rock ‘N Roll Winter” and “Are You Ready To Rock”, which peaked at Nos. 6 and 8 respectively. The latter reminds me of the days of Bill Haley and his Comets, with bagpipes added.

http://youtu.be/kBkegBqo9gQ

The era of punk, which was to bring The Sex Pistols seven British Top Ten hits, was approaching and, without success abroad, Wizzard disbanded in 1975.

Not Such A Bright Idea!

Only the other day I recalled Tiki’s twenty-fourth birthday. My intention was to surprise her, knowing that she would have to walk through our house in order to open the doors to our garage.

Therefore, prior to me leaving to collect her from her place of work, at 6.35 p.m., I had lit the twenty-four candles. I had ringed the cake using the majority of them and employed those that remained by forming a small heart in its centre.

When she did open the doors to the garage and I had perceived no cheerful reaction on her face, I feared the worst.

Sure enough! Instead of her having come upon a cake with twenty-four candles aflame, there were that number of blobs of wax, with the red of their bases having melted into the cake’s icing and scarring the cake’s blue writing in the process.

While Tiki had sensed my disappointment, she loved the cake and was genuinely touched by the efforts I had made to surprise her.

Dee Clark

Although Delectus Clark was born in Arkansas, in November of 1938, he was raised in Chicago. Delectus had always enjoyed an inherent love of music, which was fostered by his mother who was a singer of gospel.

As Dee Clark he performed with a succession of groups from 1952 before embarking upon a career as a solo artist, in 1957. In late 1958, Dee recorded “Nobody But You” which, early in that following year, ascended to No.21 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart and No.3 on its rhythm and blues chart.

Dee’s three subsequent entries also performed more creditably on the rhythm and blues chart when “Just Keep It Up” reached No.9 and “Hey Little Girl”, No.2, also in 1959, and “How About That”, No.10, in 1960.

However, the best was yet to come! This took the form of the uptempo ballad, “Raindrops”, which became an international hit in 1961.

Dee’s entries to the charts had petered out by 1963, nevertheless, quite out of the blue, he appeared on the British pop chart, in 1975, via the single, “Ride A Wild Horse”, which peaked at No.16.

When Dee was fifty years of age I saw a report on television, which showed him to be virtually penniless and living in a dilapidated motel. Just as sad, was the fact that his health appeared to mirror his pecuniary situation. Two years afterwards, he died from a heart attack, in December of 1990, in Georgia.