‘Broken English’ (MRA part 2)

OK, now I’m making up a playlist of songs in ‘the vernacular’ from the period normally covered here (1950s/60s and maybe very early 1970s). To start with, I’ve avoided early exponents like Max Miller, George Formby or Gracie Fields and serious specialists (eg Shirley & Dolly Collins, Martin Carthy). I’ve  just trawled through acts in the Guinness Book of hit records – and I’ve avoided comedians like Bernards Bresslaw & Cribbins and he whose name must never be spoken again. Give me some more (no Mr Mook, not Jimmy Shand and his Band):

Lonnie Donegan “My Old Man’s a Dustman”, Anthony Newley “Do You Mind?”, Max Bygraves “Fings Ain’t What they Used to Be”, Tommy Steele “What a Mouth”, Mike Sarne “Come Outside”, Joe Brown “Picture of You”, Marianne Faithful “As Tears Go By”, the Kinks “Waterloo Sunset”, the Small Faces “Lazy Sunday”, the Beatles “Penny Lane”, the Who “Pictures of Lily”, Pink Floyd “Bike”, the Move “Blackberry Way”, the New Vaudeville Band “Winchester Cathedral”, Pentangle “Lord Franklin”, Scaffold “Lily the Pink”, Fairport Convention “A Sailor’s LIfe” (etc)

It seems to me that maybe what happened through the 60s was a gradual rehabilitation of singing in a British accent while moving away from the comic stereotypes of the earlier decades. It became more prevalent in later decades.






We do both …

We do both ...


Rock and Roll/Country and Western/Rhythm and Blues/Doo and Wop  (etc)

(Carnaby Street circa 1973)


Mad Men (or women?)

(But I suspect men) … Albie writes to tell me that Guildhall tickets for the Beatles in 1963 and Jimi Hendrix in 1968 are currently on Ebay at £72 and £172 respectively! Maybe those willing to pay the price assume they come with a Time Machine?

Many thanks for nice comments below – keep them coming (Mr Mook is right of course)


MRA (part one?)

Well as it happens, My Resident Astrologer is very well thank you but that was just to get your attention; this is actually

Musings on Representation & Authenticity

Don’t go away! Stick with me!

For some days I’ve been “musing” on Mr Greedy’s interesting observations around authenticity and the way in which after the 1960s, British singers (and it was particularly singers) increasingly sang in a British/UK voice – he certainly mentioned Ian Dury and Joe Strummer but there was also Johnny Rotten, Shane McGowan and others (what about the girls?)

The topic interests me hugely. ‘Oscar’ and I have exchanged fondness for Cyril Davies over many months. He was a 30+ year-old, balding, moustache-sporting panel beater from London trying to be Little Walter from Chicago and around 1963/4 speaking very clearly to two Grammar School boys from Portsmouth. How and why would that be? Mr Mook meanwhile has devoted much of his life to the adoration of all things Zappa while these days, Mr Tench is a devout follower of 60sBlue Note and all that jazz.

How do these things happen?

Going back to an earlier post of mine, since I have lived pretty well my whole life within the smell of the Solent,  why don’t I find myself drawn to Sea Shanties? My two main interests in life (besides MRA) are Portsmouth music and Hampshire cricket so I’m a pretty parochial bloke – if I can avoid it I never travel anywhere, certainly not on holiday. As a former art teacher I’m very fond of British painting through the centuries.

So how come the musicians who speak to (represent?) me most vividly are Muddy Waters, Bob Dylan, Miles Davis, Robert Johnson, Curtis Mayfield and Country Joe – maybe the latter had Fish so that helps …

Is there something different in music? I’d be pleased to hear your views and your examples – what works for you and why (if you know)? How can/does music ‘represent’ you.