Billy ‘Crash’ Craddock

Billy Wayne Craddock was born in North Carolina, in June of 1939. At the age of six he had learned how to play the guitar and prior to reaching his teens had made a name for himself via a contest that showcased local talent.

Having been given the nickname, ‘Crash’, which reportedly related to his style of play in the arena of football, Billy formed a rockabilly band, The Four Rebels. His performances bore the influence of the legends of country, most notably Hank Williams and Ray Price. However, when he was signed to record for Columbia Records, in 1958, he became marketed as an idol to teenagers and recorded tracks that were aimed at appealing to them.

Try as he and Columbia might, to win over the American teenagers, Billy’s only entry to the singles chart was the plaintive “Don’t Destroy Me”, in November of 1959. Even then the single appeared for just one week, at No.94. Nevertheless, his recordings were receiving airplay in Australia and in December of that same year “Boom Boom Baby” entered the Top 40 at No.26 and for three weeks, from the 9th of January in 1960, sat atop the chart.

To capitalise on his initial success there, ‘Crash’ Craddock toured Australia with such stars as The Everly Brothers and Bobby Rydell. “I Want That” followed “Boom Boom Baby” and reached No.3 before “Well Don’t You Know” peaked at No.8.

“One Last Kiss” entered the Australian chart, in February of 1961, and spent a week at No.1 in March of that year. I have always found it somewhat incredulous that recordings of this calibre, being such prime examples of early rock, did not feature on the charts of Billy’s homeland.

Because of this continued lack of success on a much more lucrative market, Billy resorted to working at menial jobs until the opportunity arose for him to seek success within the sphere that initially influenced him as a lad.

Between 1971 and 1989 Billy ‘Crash’ Craddock entered Billboard’s country chart with forty-one singles. Of these, three ascended to sit at No.1: “Rub It In”, in 1974, “Ruby Baby” in 1975 and “Broken Down In Tiny Pieces”, in 1977.

“Ruby Baby” was a cover of an early composition by the legendary pairing of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, which had originally reached No.10 on America’s rhythm and blues chart for The Drifters, in 1956. Dion had also taken the song to No.5 (R&B) and No.2 (pop) in 1963.

Middlesborough Humiliates Australia: Sunday, 5th June, 1977

England fought back to amass one hundred and seventy-one runs. Australia, however, could not manage a similar recovery and was dismissed for just seventy. Its win means that England has already clinched this series of three matches as it has now won the first two.

I soon realised that the litre of Berger ‘Dusseal’ was not going to be enough. Despite this, I decided to make it do, anyway, by applying it sparingly. To add to my frustration, I found that the white liquid did not wash out in water and had to leave the brush, tray and roller unwashed.

“Namu, The Killer Whale”, a film that bears the copyright of 1966, is shown from 4.00 p.m. Robert “87th Precinct”/”Twelve O’Clock High” Lansing’s character befriends the creature.

The English side, Middlesborough, humiliates Australia’s national team at soccer, thrashing it by five goals to nil. Balmain and Eastern Suburbs drew eight all, this afternoon. I watched the edited replay of the match on “Seven’s Big League” programme from half past six. An hour later I turned the dial to Channel Nine to watch the edited replay of the rugby league international which had been played in the mud at Carlaw Park, in Auckland. Great Britain easily defeated France by twenty-three points to four, having led by sixteen to four at half-time.

“A Howling In The Woods”, a film from 1971, screens from half past eight. It brings together the pairing from “I Dream Of Jeannie”, namely Barbara “How To Marry A Millionaire” Eden and Larry Hagman. It also stars Vera Miles.

Liverpool’s European Cup: Monday, 6th June, 1977

I walked through a sun shower on the way to work and it began to rain, again, just after 11.00 a.m. Channel Two screened the highlights from the final of the European Cup, played between Liverpool and the German team, Borussia Moenchengladback, from six o’clock. The score was locked at one goal all when we turned to watch the news on Channel Seven from half past the hour. Liverpool went on to win by three goals to one.

The third match of the Prudential Trophy is being telecast live on Channel Two from a quarter to eight. England is attempting to complete a clean sweep of the series in heavy overcast conditions at The Oval. Captain, Mike Brearley — in his protective headgear — and Dennis Amiss have started briskly and are particularly severe on the bowling of Jeff Thomson. At the completion of the ninth over England is 0-41.

Episode 20 of “Rich Man, Poor Man: Book 2”, is shown on Channel Seven from half past eight. Wes, played by Gregg Henry, is severely beaten, in a fight, by Falconetti, portrayed by William Smith. England, at lunch, is 0-136 with both Amiss and Brearley each having scored sixty-six. Thirty-four overs have been bowled.

Animal Sponsorship: Tuesday, 7th June, 1977

Australia scored an outstanding win in the third and final one-day game of the series, in spite of knowing that England had already secured the Prudential Trophy. It was pleasing to hear that the tourists had battled so hard in such trying conditions to obtain the victory. England had been dismissed for 242, which were scored from 52.4 overs. Dennis Amiss and Mike Brearley had set the foundation for this by scoring 108 and 70 respectively.

Australia replied by amassing 8-246 from 53.2 overs. Despite the fact that five of the last six had been bowled in torrential rain. Ritchie Robinson scored 70 and earned the award for ‘Man of the Match’, in spite of his captain, Greg Chappell, having remained unbeaten on 125. It is his fourth century of the current tour.

The morning broke nice and sunny although by midday it had threatened to rain, yet did not. The New Zealand galloper, “Oranmore”, won the Pacesetters’ Handicap at Gosford this afternoon. This evening’s edition of “Willesee” includes a report by Paul Makin about how animals can be sponsored at Sydney’s Taronga Park Zoo. It costs five thousand dollars per annum to sponsor a koala.

Following “Good Times” we briefly switched to the live coverage of the service from St. Paul’s Cathedral, which forms a part of the celebrations for the Silver Royal Jubilee. We noted that Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, looked resplendent in pink before we turned to Channel Nine for the latter half of “Charlie’s Angels”. “The Vampire Lovers”, a film from 1970, which stars Peter Cushing, Ingrid Pitt and Dawn Addams, screens from half past eight.


‘Denise’s Joy’: Wednesday, 8th June, 1977

“Denise’s Joy”, a mare of four years, won the Gosford Cup this afternoon. Trained by the legendary T.J. (Tommy) Smith, she is already the winner of the V.R.C. Oaks, the Australian Derby and the Queensland Oaks, all at the level of Group One.

After “Flashez”, the highlights of Australia defeating England in the pouring rain were shown. “Circus Of The Stars”, hosted by John “Bachelor Father” Forsythe, follows “Willesee”. The French actress, Anny Duperey, clad in a bikini, performs on the trapeze without a net beneath her.

Thursday, 9th June, 1977

Teachers at a number of inner-city schools are on strike today. This evening’s television includes the Australian musical series, “Flashez”, which is presented on Channel Two from half past five by singer, Ray Burgess. It is followed by ‘Bears’ on “Last Of The Wild”, which includes a segment on both the Kodiak and the polar. Following “Willesee” on Channel Seven is another edition of “The Naked Vicar Show”, with Noeline “The Mavis Bramston Show” Brown and Ross Higgins to the fore. We retired after “Policewoman” had finished at half past nine.

Friday, 10th June, 1977

It has been a day of gale force winds and driving rain. “Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory” and “To Kill A Mockingbird” are two of the films screening on television tonight. The former is from 1971 and is based upon the book, “Charlie And The Chocolate Factory”, by the Welsh children’s author, Roald Dahl, who also wrote the screenplay. It stars Gene Wilder and Jack Albertson. The latter, which bears the copyright of 1962, is adapted from the book by the authoress, Harper Lee and stars Gregory Peck and Robert Duvall. It remains the only book that Harper Lee has had published.

The rain has now eased.

Silver Jubilee Bonfire: Saturday, 11th June, 1977

After breakfast I painted the cornice in the kitchen for a second time. When Tiki saw what I was doing she became upset because I had decided to paint over what she had done the other day. I proceeded to undercoat the walls of the kitchen with white Pascol. However, the roller had become quite rough, therefore, I resorted to smoothing the paint over with the brush.

Two men from Col Buchan Discounts delivered our Iberian oak ‘Cadiz’ bedroom suite and I wrote out a cheque for eight hundred and fifteen dollars to cover the amount that was owed on it. By two o’clock I had finished applying the undercoat in the kitchen. “Sir Wisp”, a galloper from Queensland, won this afternoon’s running of the Stradbroke Handicap, in Brisbane, from “Tiger Town” and “Maybe Mahal”. The winner started at triple-figure odds.

As I drove to Manly Vale, I listened to Frank Hyde’s description of the rather dull rugby league international, that was being played at the Sydney Cricket Ground. Australia led France by thirteen points to nil at half-time and nineteen to seven with a few minutes remaining.

Having dined at K’s Snapper Inn, we were looking at the lights from Edgecliffe Esplanade in Seaforth when we noticed a fire raging by the Spit Bridge below. As we drove past the flames, we noted that they were actually emanating from a bonfire, which had presumably been built and lit as a celebration of Queen Elizabeth II’s birthday, in this the year of her Silver Jubilee. While Her Majesty’s actual birthday falls due in April, it is celebrated here in June, in order to disperse the taking of public holidays.

Tommy Raudonikis Injured: Sunday, 12th June, 1977

This afternoon I listened to 2UE and former referee, Col Pearce’s description of the rugby league match between the Manly-Warringah ‘Sea Eagles’ and the Western Suburbs ‘Magpies’. It was played at the former’s home ground of Brookvale Oval and the score was locked at two all at half-time. Western Suburbs lost its half-back, Tommy Raudonikis, to injury in the second half before Manly-Warringah emerged victorious by fifteen points to four.

I washed the brush and roller under the tap in the backyard by five o’clock prior to embarking upon a walk that, by my calculations, brought up one hundred and sixty-six miles in my effort to reduce my blood’s potentially lethal level of cholesterol.

“Seven’s Big League”, between 6.30 and half past seven, features a full replay of this afternoon’s clash from Brookvale. Channel Nine then screened an edited account of this afternoon’s match in the Rugby League World Cup, which was played in Christchurch. Great Britain led by ten points to seven at half-time before it asserted its dominance in the second half to convincingly defeat New Zealand by thirty points to twelve. We stayed on Channel Nine to view the British motion picture comedy, “Dad’s Army”, which is set during the Second World War. Produced in 1972, the film is an adjunct to the popular television series of the same name, and focuses upon the antics of the part-time volunteers within Britain’s Home Guard which is supposedly the last line of defence against the Germans, should they set foot on home soil.

Fl** Off!

The time was, not so long ago, when we would use words such as capsised, somersaulted, cartwheeled, overturned or even rolled to describe an object that had careered wildly out of control.

Now our reporters can bring to mind just one word: flipped.

Is this the best our supposedly erudite presenters and their scriptwriters can do?

The use of any word greater than five or six letters appears to be becoming increasingly frowned upon. For example, the word conversely has become replaced by the trite “on the flip side”.

Those of us in this world who still possess the ability to express ourselves adequately, know what happens to the brain when its capacity is not regularly utilised.