With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

Music trivia, useless info, extra added random stuff and the odd rant from me

Catherine Rocks The Cleveland Way! May 26, 2018

Many of you who know me will by now know that my wonderful wife Catherine will very soon be embarking on a mammoth 109 mile charity walk on the Cleveland Way in the North East of England. A map of the Cleveland Way is shown at the very end of this post. Why is she doing this? Well four years ago Catherine and I were totally devastated by the loss of two children as a result of an adoption disruption. It was clear to us that the support needed by vulnerable children was just not available. There was no money and no urgency to the long term support that was needed. It is incredibly important to both of us that the children and young people in our community have access to the support they need to thrive and to grow into happy and resilient adults. We know that we are unable to do anything now for the children we lost, but we want to try and make a difference to the lives of other children and young people. We want to do whatever we can to try and prevent what happened to our children from happening again. Please feel free to contribute toward Catherine’s target of £10,000. Her efforts so far means that she is already at 46% of that total. Click here for the link to donate.

Anything you can add to that will be invaluable to the two charities we are supporting. Those charities are The Island (Enhancing the quality of life for vulnerable children and young people in York) and SASH (Working to prevent homelessness in young people aged 16-25 in York, North Yorkshire & East Yorkshire).

The Island offers support to vulnerable 8-13 years olds in York who are struggling to cope at home, at school, or in the wider community, or who are experiencing difficult transitions in their lives. The Island links these young people with volunteer mentors with whom they meet on a weekly basis over the course of a year (or longer if required). This allows them to develop supportive, ongoing relationships, whilst also providing them with the undivided attention and the ‘islands of space and time’ they need to increase their confidence and self-esteem, participate in worthwhile recreational activities, and move forward in their lives.

SASH run supported lodgings schemes which help young people develop the skills they need to live on their own. They provide an emergency nightstop service that makes a difference to young people’s lives when most needed.

Both charities need your support. They only exist because people in our community care enough to help them do what they do. Please click here to find Catherine’s Virgin Money Giving page. Now obviously this blog is essentially a music blog so I have picked ten walking themed songs (ok the first one loosely links to Catherine’s walking route) I hope that you enjoy them. In fact feel free to listen while you donate 🙂



“But someone picked you from the bunch, one glance was all it took” July 11, 2014


One of my most favourite Motown songs is the Jackson 5‘s “I Want You Back”. It’s a great song and it feels like it was made especially for the group. However it seems that whilst the Jackson boys made the song their own it was actually written for Gladys Knight and the Pips. I wonder what their version would have sounded like? Gladys had discovered the Jackson 5 and brought the group to the attention of Motown. But it is usually Berry Gordy‘s Motown teacher’s pet; Diana Ross that gets the credit for that.




“I wish the world were truly happy living as one” December 24, 2011

Happy Christmas dear readers and good people of the blogosphere. This is the last post in my ABC of Motown Advent Calendar. It’s the 24th December and technically that means the letter Y, but I’ll throw in X and Z for free along with a couple of Motown Christmas songs. The big bearded dude in red arrives on his venison powered sleigh tomorrow. I hope that you get everything you want this Christmas and more importantly I hope that you have a really enjoyable Yule.

The first song for the letter X has been a tough one to find. But I have found one, I know hardly anything about it so if you have any information feel free to get in touch. I do feel like I’ve cheated you a little though, the song is called “Xmas Twist” although the chorus uses the proper phrase ‘Christmas Twist’. The song was released by a group calling themselves the Twisting Kings. So clearly no cynical tie-in with a popular dance craze then! The song was written by Berry Gordy and Barney Ales. Gordy was the producer for the song which was released in November 1961. It can be found on a couple of compilation albums to my knowledge; #A Motown Christmas Volume 2′  and ‘The Complete Motown Singles Vol. 1 1959-1961’ released in 2001 and 2005 respectively.

For the letter Y I have chosen a song from a superb act who haven’t yet appeared in this ABC of Motown. It’s Gladys Knight and the Pips with “You Need Love Like I Do (Don’t You)”. The most memorable line up from the Pips included her brother Merald ‘Bubba’ Knight and two of her cousins; Edward Patten and William Guest. Her first pitch at fame came when she won a local TV talent show aged 7 in 1952.Gladys and the Pips were the first Motown act to record the classic song “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” which they took to number two in the US charts. In their early Motown career they were the opening act for Diana Ross and the Supremes. It is alleged that Diana had them kicked off the tour because Gladys and the Pips were far more powerful a talent and probably a very tough act to follow.  “You Need Love Like I Do” was an US hit in 1970 reaching number 25 in the Billboard charts and number 3 in the US R & B charts. It never charted in the UK. The song was another from the talented song writing partnership of Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong. It was also recorded by the Temptations.

The final song from my ABC of Motown selection is a rather well-known album track from the Commodores who made an appearance in this Advent Calendar with the letter J on December 10th, click here to read it. The song is “Zoom” and should not be confused with the Fat Larry’s Band song of the same name. It was never released as a single in the US but made it to number 38 in the UK charts in 1978. The album it came from was released in 1977 and in the US it was called ‘Commodores’ whilst in the UK it was called ‘Zoom’. The song was written by Lionel Richie and Ronald LaPraed from the band. The album also included two other Commodores classics in “Brick House” and “Easy”. Fergie sampled “Zoom” on her ‘Duchess’ album on the track “All That I Got (The Make-Up Song)”

Finally let me wish you a Happy Christmas once again and to finish please enjoy two of my favourite Motown Christmas songs from the Jackson 5 and then Stevie Wonder.

Incidentally if you’d like to know the songs that came before in the ABC of Motown Advent Calendar, here they are;

  1. ABC – Jackson 5
  2. Bernadette – Four Tops
  3. Cloud Nine – Temptations
  4. Do I Love You (Indeed I Do) – Frank Wilson
  5. Endless Love – Diana Ross & Lionel Richie
  6. Farewell Is A Lonely Sound – Jimmy Ruffin
  7. Gotta See Jane – R Dean Taylor
  8. How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You – Marvin Gaye
  9. I’m In A Different World – Four Tops
  10. Just To Be Close To You – Commodores
  11. Keep On Truckin’ – Eddie Kendricks
  12. Let’s Get Serious – Jermaine Jackson
  13. Money – Barrett Strong
  14. Needle In A Haystack – Velvelettes
  15. Ooo Baby Baby – Smokey Robinson & the Miracles
  16. Pops We Love You – Various
  17. Quicksand – Martha Reeves & the Vandellas
  18. Rockin’ Robin – Michael Jackson
  19. Superstition – Stevie Wonder
  20. Take Me Girl I’m Ready – Junior Walker & the All Stars
  21. Up The Ladder To The Roof – Supremes
  22. The Night – Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons (this is the only one based on artist name rather than song)
  23. War – Edwin Starr

“Oh I used to be disgusted and now I try to be amused” May 17, 2011

A revolution is taking place in Matehuala in the north-west of Mexico. This is not a violent or political revolution, it’s a footwear revolution. It’s not women’s shoes we’re talking about, it’s mens boots! A few dance troupes in the area have taken to wearing heavily customised and very, very pointy boots. But they’re not simply pointy-toed, many of them are immaculately decorated with lights and sequins.

It appears that they are also creeping into the southern US States as well. Indeed it is also said that they make the wearer look a little sexy! Really? more like a little twat in my opinion. They could put clown shoes out of business.Let’s just hope that they don’t take off over here in the UK. Although to be fair you could probably sail across the Atlantic in one of them. So let me know what you think of them. Are they shoeperb or just a load of cobblers?

Anyway as I have said on many occasions this is a music blog, so here are a few shoe related songs for your entertainment (yes I do know that the second one is a Christmas song, but who cares?). Feel free to let me know what your favourite footwear related songs are (Mickey I’ve left an obvious Kate song open for you!);


“Whenever blue teardrops are falling…” April 2, 2009

Hello again good people and the bad ones too, I don’t discriminate! England beat the Ukraine last night, what a great result. But Gareth Barry was somewhat shite wasn’t he? Ooops sorry let’s get back to music, this is not a football (or soccer if you live across the big pond) blog. But Peter Crouch does do the Robot Dance as a goal celebration so I think I’m justified. If you want to do the Robot Dance click here

Crouchy scores one of England's goals last night in the World Cup Qualifier against Ukraine

Crouchy scores one of England's goals last night in the World Cup Qualifier against Ukraine

Let’s kick off with a birthday for 2nd April. I promised yesterday there would be more of the late great (welcome back l’s & g’s) Marvin Gaye and today there is. He would have reached the ripe old age of 70 today. I’ve enjoyed Marvin’s music since I first started collecting singles in 69/70. I bought a copy of the “Save The Children” single which was taken from his classic album “What’s Going On?” in about 1971. I then pooled all the spare cash I had and undoubtedly borrowed some from my folks too, because I had to have that album. I got it second hand and it cost me around £1.50 I think. It remains one of my favourite albums of all time. I hope everyone reading this owns a copy, if you don’t then why not? Go out and buy it right now and send photographic evidence which I will be happy to print here for you! I reckon in the UK you can buy the CD for around £5, so I’ll make you a deal. The person that comes up with the best way of making £5 from next to nothing, which does not include stealing, borrowing or begging will receive a copy of the CD. The judges decision will be final and if you’re outside the UK you will need to pay postage.If you don’t win just click here to buy it from Amazon! I think it’s a real shame that the message of this album is still so relevant today, almost 40 years after it was recorded. The planet is still dying and there is still more than enough war to go round.

Another Marvin favourite of mine is “Let’s Get It On“. The song itself is a classic and the album is damned good too. What really irks me though is that it is being used in a UK TV Advertising campaign for bloody pizza’s! That’s how you ruin the feel of such a great song in my opinion.

Marvin always felt this way after too much pepperoni and chilli on his pizza

Marvin always felt this way after too much pepperoni and chilli on his pizza

Marvin originally joined Motown as a session drummer after a stint with Doo Wop act the Moonglows. His drumming can be heard on many Motown hits, notably “Please Mr Postman” by the Marvelettes and the live version of Little Stevie Wonder’s “Fingertips” Marvin’s first songwriting success also involved the Marvelettes, he co wrote their hit “Beechwood 45789“. Perhaps the biggest hit of his early Motown career was “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” which was originally recorded and taken into the US charts by Gladys Knight and the Pips. Click here for their version. I like both versions although I think Marvin’s just shades it for me. Marvin also recorded a number of duets with Tammi Terrell (discussed in a earlier post), Mary Wells, Kim Weston and Diana Ross. How many people know that Kim Weston also recorded a duet with my all time favourite black singer Mr Johnny Nash? It was in the late 60s and I used to have a copy on vinyl. does anyone else own it?

Despite buying the boots Marvin still didn't the part of the Pinball Wizard in the film version of the Who's "Tommy", he lost out to Elton John

Despite buying the boots Marvin still didn't the part of the Pinball Wizard in the film version of the Who's "Tommy", he lost out to Elton John

For me Marvin was never as good after he left Motown although the highlight of those post Motown years has to be “Sexual Healing” which incidentally has been covered by another one of my all time favourite artists, Kate Bush. Click here for her version of the song. Kate is currently getting the most searches from people who arrive at this very blog. More than 350 in total in just the last two days. As seems to be usual lately that includes two searches for Kate Bush naked!

And finally for you fact fans out there and those who know that I am a big fan of Stephen King, did you know that in King’s ‘The Dark Tower III: The Wastelands’ Jake’s father has a Marvin Gaye poster hanging in his study? well now you do!

Did you know that Marvin Gaye gets a mention in this? The train on the cover if you're interested is called 'Blaine The Mono' - nothing to do with David Blaine!

Did you know that Marvin Gaye gets a mention in this? The train on the cover if you're interested is called 'Blaine The Mono' - nothing to do with David Blaine!


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