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Top Songs

Well I was going to reveal these gradually and surprise you with the number one but no chance, Mr Freeman has it already. According to the BBC, the most valuable song ever is “Happy Birthday to You” – well done Phil. Then (in order) are the following

2. White Christmas

3. You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling

4. Yesterday

5. Unchained Melody

6. Stand By Me

7. Santa Claus is Coming to Town

8. Every Step You Take

9. Pretty Woman

10. The Christmas (Chestnuts) Song

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Pete’s Holiday



Here’s our top overseas correspondent Pete White on his Christmas Disney cruise to the Cayman Islands – with Mrs W steering. Pete asks whether we recall sidecars on these machines way back and I can’t say I do

Happy New Year Pete – and keep writing.

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On Friday night BBC 4 ran a programme about the 10 most valuable songs ever – these were songs that had earned millions and millions through various versions, film/TV rights etc etc. I’ll tell you what they were tomorrow but leave you to guess for a few hours if you didn’t see the programme, as it’s quite fun.

There is one 1950s song and four from the 1960s – two of those five are perhaps best known on record by a duo from the 1960s. Two of the ten are British and there are quite a few surprises ….





From Nigel Grundy:

“Hi Dave,
A piece for the blog, photo attached.
Regarding Pete Cross’s question about favourite Birdcage records, I have been having a closer look at the photograph of the Birdcage’s jukebox that I included in My Back Pages. The photograph was taken by Richard Lunt at Reading Museum’s 2011 exhibition, Ready, Steady, Go – Life Through The Eyes Of a 60s Mod. By enlarging the photo some of the record titles on the jukebox can be seen – they include:
Geno Washington – Tell it Like it is/Girl I Want to Marry.
Bob and Earl – The Harlem Shuffle/I’ll Keep Running Back.
Donnie Elbert – A Little Piece of Leather/Do Wat’cha Wanna.
The Packers – Hole in the Wall/Go Head on.
Bo Diddley – You Can’t Judge a Book by its Cover/I Can Tell.
Bo Diddley – Road Runner/Pretty Thing.
Howlin Wolf – Little Girl/Tail Dragger.
Darrow Fletcher – That Certain Litle Something/My Judgement Day.
Prince Buster’s All Stars – Al Capone.
The Supremes – Baby Love/Ask Any Girl.
The Supremes – Back in my Arms Again/Whisper You Love Me Boy.
Phil Upchurch Combo – You Can’t Sit Down (Part One)/You Can’t Sit Down (Part Two).
The Butterflys – Swim/Goodnight Baby.
John Lee Hooker – Boom Boom/Frisco Blues.
Richard Temple – That Beatin’ Rhythm.
I don’t know whether the records are the original 1960s contents, or the choice of later owners of the jukebox, maybe bloggers could throw some light on it?”

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JIVE ACES – Thursday

From Spider John R

“Get your dancing shoes ready for a jive and swing extravaganza from THE JIVE ACES  at The Bullfrog Blues Club on Thursday 3rd January – the perfect way to blow those post Xmas blues  away!

Formed in 1989, THE JIVE ACES are a six-piece  high energy jive & swing band  and  have appeared at many music festivals and prestige venues, performing both classics and original material. They’ve appeared at The Bullfrog twice before (when we were on South Parade Pier) but this is the first time they’ve appeared at Bullfrog Blues Club’s present venue, The NBESCA (Dockyard) Club.

THE JIVE ACES are a VERY special band, and we are VERY lucky to have them, so to avoid disappointment please book your tickets NOW via www.barkingspider.abelgratis.com (secure via Paypal) or take your chances at the door!

Tickets are avaialable “on line”  for just £8 advance via Paypal through our secure website www.barkingspider.abelgratis.com. You can collect your tickets at the venue on the day of the gig
OR  buy in person (cash only!) from “Street Level” music store,  139 Albert Rd, Southsea, Hampshire, PO5 2SQ  – still £8 in advance.
OR you can take your chances on the door on the night -doors open at 8 p.m., and tickets will be £10.

We also have a great well stocked bar with drinks at social club prices to ensure you’ll have a great night without breaking the bank!  A recession buster if ever I saw one…..”

THE JIVE ACES appear at The Bullfrog Blues Club at The N.B.E.C.S.A. Club (a.k.a.The Dockyard Club), Onslow Rd, Southsea, PO5 2NH on   THURSDAY 3rd JANUARY. Doors open at 8 p.m.


Bring On the Groups

50 Years ago this week, 1962 approached its end, the Big Freeze had just begun*, the distinction in cricket between Gentlemen and Players was over for ever and the Top Ten were (in order): Cliff, Elvis, the Shadows, Rolf Harris, Frank Ifield**, Duane Eddy, Brenda Lee, Chris Montez, Cliff (again) and Susan Maughan – from 11-20 came Joe Brown, the Tornados, Kenny Lynch, Pat Boone, Ray Charles, Del Shannon, Mark Wynter, Joe Loss, Frank & Sammy Davis Jnr and Maureen Evans – not ONE vocal group.

12 months later the Top Twenty had five Beatles’ entries, a Rolling Stones EP, hits by Dave Clark 5, Freddie & Dreamers, Billy J Kramer & Dakotas, Swinging Blue Jeans, Gerry & Pacemakers as well as Dora Bryan’s “All I Want for Christmas is a Beatle” (they don’t make them like that any more …) – and loads more birds (Dusty, Singing Nun, Little Eva with Big Dee Irwin, Kathy Kirby) as well as Maria Elena.

* Pompey lost 2-4 at Preston on Boxing Day and because of the weather played just twice more in the next 11 weeks, before a short trip west along the coast and ( … I can’t bear to tell you)

** is this the only time there have been two top ten hits simultaneously by different Australians?