Here comes the fourth monthly Mayhem Top 20 Song Chart and it is perhaps more eclectic than previous charts. June’s number one is from an old singer songwriter who has not featured on the Mayhem chart before, Randy Newman with “You’ve Got A Friend In Me” from Toy Story. That is quite a turn after number ones from Prairie Brigade, the Hazy Janes and Vaquelin. This month has a few newer artists in the lower end of the chart, but it is mostly classic oldies. The newer acta are Glytsh (number 11), Ideal Husband (12), Ruby Addy (17) and Bull (18). Meanwhile for the first time since we started the song chart last months number one remains in the chart, at number 20 it’s Vaquelin. Those Vaquelin lads have made Mayhem Song Chart history! A few songs feature after my recent weekend at the David Bowie World Fan Convention, “Starman” (Bowie), “Warszawa” (Donny McCaslin), “Rêvalité” (-M-) and “Love Me Tender” (Mick Ronson). Soul gets a few entries with Stevie Wonder, Millie Jackson and Mel and Tim. Reggae goes top 5, at number 5 it’s Clancy Eccles with “Fattie Fattie”. I suspect that not many charts include both “Prince Andrew Is A Sweaty Nonce” by the Kunts and “Be My Little Baby Bumble Bee” by Doris Day, but the Mayhem song chart for June 2022 does. The Doris Day tune was written more than 100 years ago in 1912, I think her version was from the early fifties. Also featured are Fleetwood Mac, the Wonder Stuff, Carl Douglas and Thin Lizzy. We would love to hear your thoughts on the Mayhem Song Top 20 Chart as we hope to make it a regular feature. Check out the complete list below.
1 You’ve Got A Friend In Me – Randy Newman 2 Welcome To the Cheap Seats – The Wonder Stuff 3 You Are The Sunshine Of My Life – Stevie Wonder 4 Albatross – Fleetwood Mac 5 Fattie Fattie – Clancy Eccles 6 Starman – David Bowie 7 Warszawa – Donny McCaslin 8 Rose Coloured Glasses – Millie Jackson 9 I May Not Be What You Want – Mel and Tim 10 Love Me Tender – Mick Ronson 11 (Hard)core Memories – Glytsh 12 SBB (Lo Fi Demo) – Ideal Husband 13 Rêvalité – -M- 14 Kung Fu Fighting – Carl Douglas 15 Be My Little Baby Bumble Bee – Doris Day 16 The Boys Are Back In Town – Thin Lizzy 17 Sour Milk – Ruby Addy 18 Stuck! – Bull 19 Prince Andrew Is A Sweaty Nonce – The Kunts 20 Roads Leading Nowhere – Vaquelin
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Last night was the first time I had been to a gig at the Brudenell in Leeds and I have to say it really is a fantastic venue. The eclectic and diverse mix of acts appearing there means that I will certainly come back. Anyway on to the main event; the Selecter. I had seen them once before but that would have been around 1979/ 1980 when I was younger than excellent support band the Tuts are now!
I arrived at the venue just before the doors opened and met some really nice people in the queue. Roger you’re a top bloke! Soon after I came in Pauline Black and Gaps Hendrickson were manning the Selecter’s merch stand. Obviously I was always going to buy something, so I bought a Selecter polo shirt and a CD of the band’s new album; ‘Subculture’ which the pair of them signed for me. Pauline also signed my copy of her autobiography ‘Black By Design’ which I had finished reading a couple of weeks ago. It is an excellent book and every bit as good as recent autobiographies by John Lydon and Viv Albertine. In the book Pauline comes across as very open and honest and having met her, albeit briefly, she really is a wonderful woman. She and Gaps were very attentive with all the fans in the queue for Selecter product.
As for the gig it was the amazing Tuts who opened the show. They are the support band on the Selecter’s UK tour and Pauline Black has championed them every step of the way. I think that this is the fourth time I have had the pleasure of seeing this incredible young band and it is clear to me that they just keep on getting better and better each time I see them. The stage costumes for tonight were made from a material patterned with the leaf of a popular and some would say refreshing herb. They looked very effective too! Their set was energetic and powerful and they certainly know how to work a crowd. On”Tut, Tut, Tut” especially for International Women’s Day they invited Sarah Statham from local band Esper Scout to drum the intro while all three Tuts ran through the crowd making sure that we all sang along. New song “Do I Have To Look For Love” will become a classic and old favourites like “Worry Warrior” and “Dump Your Boyfriend” already are. The girls cover of the Clash’s “Rudie Can’t Fail” was sublime. Nadia berated the music industry about the apparent need to posses a penis to succeed in the music business. Now those of us with half a brain know that shouldn’t be true, but judging from the line-up for Reading and Leeds this year it certainly and sadly has some credence. So come on all you labels and management companies stop all the macho willy waving and sign this band! Metaphorically they have more balls than many of the men in the music industry! The queue and interest in the band at their merch table was incredible which shows that the fans are there! So come on record labels how about a deal. As for more gigs what about another support slot? Garbage must need a decent support band and the could not go wrong with the Tuts, are you listening Shirley Manson?
As for the headliners what can I say? The Selecter were awesome. They played most of their biggest songs; “On My Radio”, “Missing Words”, “Celebrate The Bullet” and my particular favourites; “Too Much Pressure” and “Three Minute Hero”. I thought “Danger” and “London’s Burning” went down a storm too and really got the crowd rocking! One of my newer favourites and it’s yet another crowd pleaser is “My England”. They played a few songs from the new album, which I have now played a couple of times now and it is bloody good. It gets an official release next month, but for now is available at the band’s merch stand on the rest of the tour. Some of the new material fits into the set so well that you’d think it had been around a while. “Box Fresh” could easily become a classic pop song. “It Never Worked Out” and “See Them A Come” are the Selecter at their best and on top form. Another song from the new album, “Breakdown” tackles the large number of black people who have died in custody in this country and is as you would expect very hard-hitting. This is clearly a band that stands up proudly for human rights and are openly anti racist and anti sexist, as frankly we all should be! The pre encore show ended with a magnificent version of “Last Train To Skaville” which had all the aging skinheads from the ska revival of the late 70s stomping and skanking hard enough to cave the floor in! Like me many of those folks now have a natural skinhead look given the lack of hair that age brings to some of us. The encore kicked off with a mighty version of “James Bond” and the Tuts joined the Selecter on stage at the end for a final goodbye to the Brudenell crowd. Nadia even managed to stage dive and briefly crowd surf. As for the energy of the band, Gaps must have sweated gallons! (Is there an exercise DVD that could be made from that performance?) Finally I should also mention two other covers that the Selecter performed; Doris Day’s “Secret Love” which worked really well when ska-ified and Springsteen’s “Because The Night” from the new album and for me worked even better when played live. Overall this was a cracking night and I would definitely not leave it as long before seeing the Selecter again and I am already looking forward to seeing the Tuts again.
You can still catch them both on the remaining dates of the UK tour and if you haven’t already done so then sort yourself a ticket out. You will not regret it!
OK and now for the usual public service note, this time the pictures were taken on my little phone but the videos were all obtained on You Tube.
Many of you know that Catwoman (a.k.a. Catherine Lee now Catherine Adamson) and I recently got married. As you might have guessed music did play quite a big part in the day, beyond just the choice of first dance. We chose a small but special group of songs for our guests to listen to while they were waiting for the beautiful bride to arrive and the ceremony to start. Those songs were;
We even chose the song for us to exit the ceremony room. That simply had to be “This Will Be” from Natalie Cole. We even managed a half decent jig on the way out of the room to that one!
We also chose a selection of swing type songs as background to the serving of champagne and canapés or as I like to say; fizzies n fod! The background music for the wedding breakfast (incidentally why is it called a breakfast when it’s not usually in the morning?) was carefully selected classic soul and Motown love songs. These two sets are included as a list at the end of this post.
Then of course it was time for the first dance, the title of which was also immortalised on my cufflinks for the wedding day. It had to be
the really beautiful Nick Cave ballad, “Into My Arms” Probably the only song I know that includes the phrase ‘interventionist god’ in its lyrics.
We hired a swing band for the evening; the truly excellent and very talented Chris Hilton Little Big Band. They did two sets of around an
hour each combining swing classics and swing arrangements of many other hits too. Their version of “I Wanna Be Like You” from the Jungle Book was a real rocking party tune.
There was also a very special guest appearance after the bands first set. A long overdue set from the superstar DJs of the 70s ‘Bill
& Glen the Disco Men’ this was their first gig in more than 30 years. They had specially designed wigs and costumes. Well ok cheap T Shirts with their pictures on and tacky 70s wigs from the party shop. None the less the boys really rocked the joint with a storming set of pure 70s disco classics, many of which haven’t been aired in years. In case you were wondering, the Bill part of the team is me and the Glen part is my best buddy Glen Voisey. We went to Ryefield Primary School together in Hillingdon in the late 60s. It was my selection that managed to actually clear the dance floor though; personally in my defence I just feel that there was no one with enough class and taste to really appreciate the finer points of Mr Dooley Silverspoon’s amazing “Bump Me Baby” The full Bill and Glen set was;
“Boogie Nights” – Heatwave
“Get Dancin'” – Disco Tex And The Sex-O-Lettes
“Ain’t Gonna Bump No More” – Joe Tex
“Bump Me Baby” – Dooley Silverspoon
“You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)” – Sylvester
“Get Down Tonight” – KC & The Sunshine Band
“Rock The Boat” – Hues Corporation
“September” – Earth, Wind & Fire
In addition to all of this there were also two other musical related items on the day; one was a reading of the lyrics of Bob Dylan’s “Wedding Song” lyrics from the Planet Waves album. This was read by our good friend and wife of my best man, Caron Godbold-Derbyshire. (The other two readings were not music related but were superb none the less, so thank you also to Rachel Vernelle and Ruth Smethurst). The second of these musical pieces was a part of my speech at the end of the wedding breakfast. I wanted to do
something along the lines of what Peter Sellers did in the 60s with George Martin, when he recorded a version of the Beatles “A Hard Days Night” in the style of Laurence Olivier.
It took me ages to come up with the right song. I considered Kylie’s “I Should Be So Lucky” and “Love Is All Around” from the Troggs or Wet Wet Wet. But then the weekend before the wedding I saw Madness at the Reading Festival and I knew what song I was going to try in a Olivier style; it simply had to be “It Must Be Love”, and it was! I introduced that part of the speech as something Shakespearian, using some props; a cape and a skull. I kicked off with “Alas poor Yorrick…….” And then went straight into “It Must Be Love” in my
best Olivier style. I felt it could have worked really well or could have bombed completely. I think it went quite well, but obviously I would appreciate any comments from those of you who were there!
I should also add that my excellent Best Man, Mr John Williams also managed to include a little section from David Bowie’s “Heroes” in his speech!
Thank you for reading this far into what has been a rather self-indulgent post, but I hoped that you have enjoyed the music too. I would
also be interested to hear any stories you have of music used at weddings; be they your own or those of friends and family.
This is the first in a not particularly regular series of posts covering some of my most favourite and in some cases poorly recognised artists. First up it’s Mr Johnny Nash. Johnny, despite his greatest success coming with reggae was actually born in Houston Texas on August 19th 1940. Like many of his contemporaries he sang in the choir at his local Baptist Church in his childhood and youth. He became a regular on a local television show called ‘Matinee’ in 1953 where he mainly performed covers of current hits. In another potential big break he entered a talent contest in the early 50’s where he eventually lost out to none other than the mighty Joe Tex. In 1956 he began a seven-year run of appearances on Arthur Godfrey’s radio and tv shows. Godfrey claimed to have ‘discovered’ Nash. Perhaps in the same way that Diana Ross ‘discovered’ the Jackson 5, she didn’t and it was in fact Gladys Knight. Johnny’s recording career began in the fifties when he signed a deal with ABC-Paramount and released his debut single “A Teenager Sings The Blues” Indeed he even had some US hits. Notably a cover of the Doris Day song “A Very Special Love” in late 1958 and also “The Teen Commandments” The latter was actually a collaboration with Paul Anka and George Hamilton IV. ABC had tried to market Johnny as another Johnny Mathis which led to him becoming disillusioned and did nothing to enhance his fledgling career. In my opinion this suggests that even in the 50’s the record labels would still opt for the easy route. ABC had a handsome black crooner on their books so they thought the easiest step would be to market him just like another handsome black crooner; Johnny Mathis. I feel that both had very distinct voices and should have been developed and promoted as individuals.
An Early Shot Of Johnny Nash
This disillusionment with the record industry saw Nash take his first steps in what could have been a very successful parallel career as an actor with a starring role in the film “Take A Giant Step”. It turned out to be his only starring role. He played a black teenager raised in white neighbourhood who struggles to fit in. Johnny won a Silver Sail award from the Locarno International Film Festival for his performance. The film’s Executive Producer was Burt Lancaster. It was filmed in 1958. As far as I am aware there has never been a DVD release. In 1960 he appeared in the movie ‘Key Witness’ alongside the supremely talented Dennis Hopper which received some good reviews and a degree of critical acclaim in Europe. After this he made a return to the recording studio where he recorded a string of middle-of-the-road tunes. None of these singles (which included releases on the Warner Brothers, Groove and Argo labels amongst others) were able to even dent the charts so once again his singing career began to tail off. Eventually he recorded the R & B song “Let’s Move And Groove Together” in 1965. This reached the dizzy heights of the US R & B top 5. But perhaps much more significantly for Nash the record became a massive hit in Jamaica. He embarked on a promotional tour of Jamaica in 1967. In a follow up trip he recorded the single “Hold Me Tight” which was based around a very strong reggae groove. This recording was made at Byron Lee’s (off of Byron Lee and the Dragonaires) Federal Studios. The single was released on the JAD label, which Nash had set up with producer Arthur Jenkins and businessman Danny Simms. The label’s name was made up of the first letter of the owner’s first names. The song reached the top 5 in both the US and the UK. He also reached the top 40 again with a reggae cover of the late great Sam Cooke’s “Cupid” which has more recently been covered by the talented Miss Amy Winehouse. In the same period he also had a hit with a cover of the Bill Johnson song “You Got Soul” Sadly JAD folded in the early 70’s. Click here to listen to Johnny’s “(I’m So) Glad You’re My Baby” from 1967 and a cover of “Ole Man River” which I had never heard until I started researching this post, just click the title for that one 🙂
The cover of Johnny Nash’s “Hold Me Tight” album
After “Cupid” went higher in the UK chart (no. 6) than it did in the US (no. 39) Nash decided to move to the UK in 1971. That year he became the first artist to have a major hit with a Bob Marley composition, the classic “Stir It Up” This was the first Johnny Nash single I ever bought and it also made me search for more of Bob Marley’s music too. Nash had met the Wailers while visiting Jamaica in the late 60’s. Nash was impressed enough to sign Bob, Bunny Wailer and Peter Tosh to an exclusive deal with JAD records. He also produced a number of songs for the band. By the time he released “Stir It Up” Nash was signed to CBS/ Epic Records. The follow up was the classic “I Can See Clearly Now” which was a top ten hit in the UK and went to the top of the charts in the US where it stayed for four weeks. Click here to see Johnny performing the song on Bert Sugarman’s Midnight Special TV Show in 1973. Many people have covered the song. Notably Jimmy Cliff for the movie ‘Cool Runnings’ and perhaps rather strangely, given that he was blind, Ray Charles. Following his success with a reggae influenced sound Johnny moved to Jamaica in 1972 where I believe he still owns a recording studio. The Wailers had backed Johnny on some of the recordings he made in 1971/72 and John ‘Rabbit’ Bundrick who also played with Free was a contributor to the ‘I Can See Clearly Now’ album. One of Bundrick’s songs and indeed one of my favourites from that album was “The Fish And The Alley Of Destruction” This has strangely been left off the extremely hard to find CD reissue of the album. Click here to listen to Johnny perform the excellent “Cream Puff”
The cover of Johnny Nash’s “I Can See Clearly Now” album
After this success in the early 70’s Nash had yet another chart hiatus despite releasing what I believe to be his best album “My Merry Go Round” in 1973. This has now been reissued on CD, you really should make every effort to buy it! He was back in the charts in July 1975 where he reached number one in the UK with the song “Tears On My Pillow” Contrary to some sources on the internet this was not a cover of the Little Anthony And The Imperials song of the same name nor is it the same song that Kylie Minogue released a few years back. The song was originally called “I Can’t Take It” and was written by Ernie Smith a Jamaican singer/songwriter
The cover of my favourite Johnny Nash album “My Merry Go Round”
The cover of Johnny Nash’s “Tears On My Pillow” album
Johnny had a few more chart hits in the 70’s, notably with another Sam Cooke cover “(What A) Wonderful World” he was known to be recording with engineer Andy Bradley at Sugarhill Studios in Houston in 2006, although this might have been remastering old material rather than recording anything new. He seems to have retired now although I would love to hear from someone who can tell me that isn’t the case. In the meantime I think it’s a travesty that his back catalogue has largely been ignored for CD reissue. “My Merry Go Round” and “Tears On My Pillow” were both reissued in 2007 and apart from a number of compilations that’s about it. Surely it’s about time all of the Nash albums were reissued on CD I for one would buy them all! Those reissues should also include an album he recorded with Kim Weston in the late 60s and also the score he recorded for a Swedish movie in 1971. Who knows if it hadn’t have been for Johnny maybe Bob Marley and indeed reggae wouldn’t have proved so successful and durable as it did. I’m not religious in any way but if I did believe in angels I reckon they would sing with a voice like the wonderfully talented Johnny Nash!
Johnny Nash with Andy Bradley at the Sugarhill Studios in Houston, Texas in April 2006
OK I’m going to open with a little experiment, the other day when I included a link to a fart joke on this blog I had three times the amount of the usual daily views I had been getting, many of which came from people searching ‘fart’ on t’interweb. I’m not going to get into why you would do that, it’s to each their own right? Anyway the experiment is that todays blog text will include a phrase which I suspect many people may search on, so here goes! Lily Allen Naked!!! Well let’s see how many views come to the blog based on that shall we? I would like to thank Tom W for coming up with that idea, top thinking mate! Incidentally if you arrived at this blog to see Lily Allen naked I’m sorry to disappoint you, but here is a picture of her anyway!
Lily wondered where she had hidden the torch again
In case you didn’t see any news yesterday, Mr Springsteen has been confirmed as the Saturday headliner for this years Glastonbury Festival. That was the slot which was somewhat controversially filled by Jay Zed (copyright Karen McP) last year. well I say controversial, I mean Noel Gallagher was somewhat aggrieved by it! The strong rumours for the Friday and Sunday nights are Blur and Neil Young. Here is the Bruce news on the Beeb
It’s also big congrats to ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ which swept up at the Oscars yesterday, winning eight in total including best film score and also best individual song for “Jai Ho“. Incidentally one of the other best individual song nominees was featured on this very blog just a few days ago, that was “Down To Earth” by Peter Gabriel from the wonderful ‘Wall-E’. How many of you have seen ‘Slumdog Millionaire’? I thought it was a superb movie. Funny, moving, serious, feelgood, great music, all in all a great combination of the best of everything. What did you think of it?
So without further delay let’s kick off with a birthday. Today is the 24th February and it is the 62nd birthday of Rupert, not the bear, but Mr Rupert Holmes. His biggest hit was “Escape (The Pina Colada Song)” which was a massive hit in the US where it went to number one. Obviously at that particular moment we had a bit more taste in the UK as it only managed number 23 here! Rupert was born in Northwich, Cheshire in the UK although he grew up and has lived most of his life in the US. His Mum was English and his Dad American. It may seem unreal now but at the height of his Pina Colada driven success Rupert toured the world and the Marcos government in the Philippines even had to provide with a military escort when he was there. There is a very special distinction for “Escape” that as far as I am aware in US chart history didn’t happen before and hasn’t happened since. “Escape” reached number 1 in December 1979 then fell to number 2 in the first week of January 1980 (replaced by “Please Don’t Go” by KC and the Sunshine Band, before jumping back to the top spot the week after. It thus became the only song to end a decade at number one and climb back the following decade a real 70s/ 80s hit. Now that would be an interesting argument for the DJs that work 70s and 80s clubs (we have one of each in York). Maybe it wouldn’t though, because in my experience most DJs in those type of clubs are a long way from good! But of course I would say that as I am a very good Mobile DJ! I’m still taking bookings for this year if any of you are interested. Highlights in the coming months are weddings, 40th Birthdays, 30th birthdays and indeed a 70th birthday! I am happy to do gigs all over the planet, but please be aware that if the travelling distance from York in the UK is significant then so will the price be 🙂
Rupert didn't quite appreciate the difference between cufflinks and handcuffs
Of course having discussed Pina Coladas I couldn’t leave you without the recipe, so just click here! Mr Holmes has also said at various times “whatever else I do in my life my tombstone will be a giant pineapple!”
On this day in 1973 the final live appearance of the Byrds took place at the Capitol Theatre in Passaic, New Jersey. The Byrds are one of the acts, along with Jimi Hendrix, who recorded classic interpretations of Bob Dylan songs. The most famous of those Byrd songs is probably “Mr Tambourine Man” which you all know was written by Bob Dylan, but did you know that their version was produced by a chap called Terry Melcher, who is Doris Day’s son? Some radio stations apparently refused to play the Byrds “Eight Miles High” claiming that is was completely drug related. Roger McGuinn, David Crosby and Gene Clark who wrote the song said that in fact it was about their experience of flying in a plane at 40,000 feet. How wrong can one be? 😉 My favourite song by the Byrds is probably “So You Want To Be A Rock N Roll Star” which was written by Roger McGuinn and Chris Hillman, supposedly about the manufactured and overnight success of the Monkees. The song was also groundbreaking in that it featured an African musician, Mr Hugh Masekala on trumpet. The observant among you will have noticed that there are two Byrd song links on this piece…… enjoy!
Upon arrival at the Police Station the boys realised that they had been framed
This day in 2004 saw the death of Estelle Axton who had helped to create Stax Records. She set up the Satellite Record label with her brother Jim Stewart. They were contacted by lawyers in 1960 and told that the name was already in use. They changed the name to ‘STAX’ which comes from the first two letters of each of their surnames. I guess ‘AXST’ just didn’t work out! Estelle was heavily involved with the selection and development of many artists on the label including Booker T & The MGs, Isaac Hayes, Rufus Thomas and the wonderful Mr Otis Redding. Stax was to Memphis what Motown was to Detroit. It is also interesting to note that whilst Stax specialised in soul, r &b and predominantly black music it’s two founders were white. This must have been seen as quite a brave move considering segregation was still widespread in the US in the late 50s/ early 60s. Here is the late great (see they’re still around) Otis Redding with the rather excellent “Try A Little Tenderness” from the Monterey Festival in 1967
Estelle Axton with her brother Jim Stewart
The rather splendid Stax Records logo
And finally on this day in 1958 the classic song “Get A Job” by the Silhouettes was number one in the USA. It was recorded in October 1957 and is seen by many as the definitive doo wop song. It went on to sell a million copies and has been used in some great movies too. Notably ‘American Graffiti’ which starred a young Richard Dreyfuss and one of my favourite movies the excellent adaptation of Stephen King’s novella ‘The Body’ which was filmed as ‘Stand By Me’. The song is quite appropriate for many of us now too, given the current economic climate which those clever marketing people have re branded and made into the commodity we now know as ‘The Credit Crunch’ which in layman’s terms remains a recession surely?
The boys were frequently caught bragging about their many fishing trips