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1960s 45 rpm 7" Country Folk Single

Sun filtering though curtains

She was a southern belle with big hair and a husky voice, and for a short time she was the biggest thing in country music. Born in Mississippi in 1944 to dirt-poor farmers, Roberta Lee Streeter managed to get to college, where she studied philosophy and music. She was good at both, and adopting the […]

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12" 1960s 33 rpm Dance Folk LP

Kali or an octopus

The uilleann pipes is a musical instrument of such extraordinary complexity it could only have been invented by the Irish. It is related to the bagpipes, but you don’t blow into it. The uilleann pipes is inflated with a small set of bellows, strapped around the waist and the right arm. It has three sorts […]

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1960s 45 rpm 7" Choral Singing Singalong

A cheery song about nitro-glycerine

The Guns of Navarone was a movie which came out in 1961. It’s a stirring tale of derring-do, set in the Greek Islands during the Second World War. A small team of commandos blow up the eponymous guns, so that the Royal Navy can rescue stranded British troops. It is a great action adventure, and […]

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12" 1960s 33 rpm Folk LP

What became of her?

Somewhere in his sprawling masterpiece, Moby Dick, one of Herman Melville’s characters muses that “It’s a mutual, joint-stock world, in all meridians”. We are all interlinked and intertwined and astonishing coincidence happens so often that we should cease to be astonished. Even so. I was listening to an old LP, a compilation called Hootenanny Vol. […]

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1960s 45 rpm 7" Country

Stage fright

Mea culpa. Or, as young folks say these days: “my bad”. It’s like this. I pick up a battered old single, a local release, mid-sixties. I have not heard of the artist,  Ned Miller, but I recognise the song on the A-side. “Do What You Do Do Well”: one of Johnny Cash’s hits. Clearly, then, […]

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12" 1960s 33 rpm LP

Who killed Eleanor Rigby?

According to the song, Eleanor Rigby … died in the church And was buried, along with her name How did she die? The song gives no clues, though I used to be suspicious of Father McKenzie. But I now have a new theory. Eleanor Rigby was killed by a Moog. The Moog (which is pronounced […]

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12" 1960s 33 rpm LP Soundtracks Spoken Word

Flavoursome creamy goodness

I was born too late, but I would have loved to have done the voice-overs for the old newsreels. You know the kind of thing: we see grainy footage of Lancaster bombers taking off, while a slightly posh, nasal, monotone voice intones “The brave boys of the RAF take to the air, off to give […]

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12" 1960s LP Pop

Love song to a weed

The key to appreciating the music of Hawaii? Ignore the kitsch album covers. Pay no attention to the palm trees, hula girls, frangipani and bright shirts. As Hawaiian LPs go, this one actually isn’t too bad: just a murky sunset. Lame, rather than loud. Even more important: do not read the sleeve notes, which belong […]

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12" 1960s 33 rpm LP Pop Soundtracks

That fugitive thing

I have just read an article in which the author “hopes to catch that fugitive thing—Englishness”. He could do worse, I reckon, than contemplate the fictional secret agent John Steed. Here he is, in company of Emma Peel, with whom he shared many a rip-roaring adventure, saving the world from various villains in the 1960s […]

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1940s 1960s 7" Jazz Pop

He’s making a list …

Bing Crosby’s version of the Irving Berlin song “White Christmas” is the best selling recording of all time. First released in 1942, various versions of the single sold more than 50 million copies. Add in appearances on LPs, CDs and EPs (like this one) and you have total sales of something more than 100 million […]