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1960s 45 rpm 7" Pop R&B Soul Soundtracks

Better than the house red

I have always found the term “house band” vaguely disparaging, as if a recording studio has a house band in the same way an Italian bistro offers the “house red”: unlabelled and, at best, unremarkable. Sometimes, undrinkable. There may well be the odd house band out there that is like that – a bunch of […]

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12" 1940s 1970s 33 rpm LP Soundtracks

We need to tell the story again

The World at War was, when it was made in the early 1970s, the most expensive documentary series ever produced. Mixing archival footage and survivor interviews, in 26 episodes it told the story of the Second World War, skillfully shifting the focus between grand strategy and colossal battles, and the individual lives and experiences of […]

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10" 1950s 45 rpm 7" 78 rpm EP Soundtracks Spoken Word

Hurry back to your seat

It is 1957. You are sitting in a cinema in Melbourne, Australia, and it is Interval. Younger folk may never have experienced an “interval” in a cinema, but it used to be a thing, equivalent to half time at the football. As the house lights brighten and you rise, contemplating whether to buy an ice-cream, […]

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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 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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12" 1970s 33 rpm Folk LP Soundtracks

Big in Norway

Jon English, an Australian singer and actor, died earlier this year. I had one of his records for sale online, the soundtrack to a 1978 historical drama, all about Australia in convict times, Against the Wind.  Soon after Jon died, someone ordered it. Not too surprising – except that the order came from, of all […]

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1960s 7" Choral Singing Folk Soundtracks

Going to movies alone

I saw the film An Angel at My Table at a difficult time in my life. I was very young, and working as a journalist on a daily paper. It was a stressful and high pressure job with a boozy workplace culture. The killer was the shiftwork. You could be rostered to start work at […]

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12" 1960s 33 rpm Classical LP Soundtracks

A flower on the cliff’s edge

A few years ago, my eldest daughter came down with chicken pox. I was primary carer at the time, and so needed to come up with creative ways to entertain and distract a bright and precocious child who itched all over and couldn’t play with other kids. So, we took up stamp collecting. I bought […]

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1960s 33 rpm Country LP Soundtracks

A western, and sad

We did not have a television at home when I was a boy. This was the 1970s, when TVs had become pretty much universal in Australia, but my Mum and Dad did not approve of this trend. Although I didn’t like it at the time I am grateful for their non-conformity now. Much of my […]

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1950s 7" Children's Single Soundtracks

The Inn of Six Degrees of Separation

Six degrees of separation between Dr Barnardo and John Travolta. Thomas John Barnardo was an Irish philanthropist. While training as a doctor in London in the 1860s, he became aware of the miserable plight of the many homeless children in the city’s slums. He established the first of “Dr Barnardo’s Homes” for children in that […]