The Early Radio London Fab Forties

Sunday 18th April 1965

The Animals are up to #5 but nobody can topple the Fab Four. Bring It on Home to Me added a harder, Eric Burdon edge to a Sam Cooke song. This week, Herman's Hermits bring another Cooke cover straight in at #28. (Sam Cooke had died in 1964.) The CD Best of the Animals contains this, and 19 other favourites, all with preview clips.

For those who enjoy chart comparisons, below this week's Big L Fab 40, there is a copy of the C-FUNtastic Fifty, from Vancouver, BC. This is assumed to be the C-FUN chart for the week commencing 18th April, but as it is undated, it's possible it is from the week before. If anyone in Canada has any thoughts on the subject, please get in touch!
Last
This
 
Week
Week
1
1
Ticket To Ride Beatles
2
2
Here Comes The Night Them
7
3
Stop! In The Name Of Love Supremes
6
4
I Can't Explain Who
11
5
Bring It On Home To Me Animals
9
6
Little Things Dave Berry
17
7
King Of The Road Roger Miller
4
8
For Your Love Yardbirds
20
9
True Love Ways Peter & Gordon
16
10
Pop Go The Workers Barron Knights
3
11
The Times They Are A-Changin' Bob Dylan
21
12
A Little You Freddie & the Dreamers
5
13
Catch The Wind Donovan
30
14
A World Of Our Own Seekers
14
15
Nowhere To Run Martha & the Vandellas
10
16
The Minute You're Gone Cliff Richard
17
Oh No Not My Baby Manfred Mann
8
18
Everybody's Gonna Be Happy Kinks
19
Something Better Beginning Honeycombs
12
20
Concrete And Clay Unit 4 + 2
13
21
The Last Time Rolling Stones
27
22
Three Rooms With Running Water Cliff Bennett & the Rebel Rousers
19
23
Reelin' And Rockin' Dave Clark Five
18
24
I'll Be There Gerry & the Pacemakers
40
25
Make Me Know You're Mine Swinging Blue Jeans
29
26
The Kind Of Boy You Can't Forget Little Frankie
28
27
Love Her Walker Brothers
28
Wonderful World Herman's Hermits
31
29
Casting My Spell Measles
35
30
I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry Frank Ifield
31
I Want That Boy Chantelles
39
32
Don't Get Off That Train Tony Blackburn
33
That'll Be The Day Everly Brothers
23
34
Birth Of The Budd Roy Budd
35
That's Why I'm Crying Ivy League
36
Not Until The Next Time Jim Reeves
37
Satisfied Lulu & the Luvvers
38
Come On Over To My Place Drifters
15
39
Goodbye My Love Searchers
40
Blood Red River Silkie

40
Blood Red River Silkie Fontana TF556

All four members of Silkie, Sylvia Tatler (vocals), Ivor Aylesbury (guitar/vocals), Kevin Cunningham (double bass) and Mike Ramsden (guitar/vocals) are credited with writing Blood Red River.

The folky Hull University students were discovered and signed up in March 65 by the Beatles' manager Brian Epstein, who appointed his assistant Alistair Taylor as the Silkie's personal manager. Blood Red River was recorded shortly afterwards and released by Philips on April 9th – the same day as Ticket to Ride. Silkie fared well in the Fab Forty, making #14 on 020565, but the single never succeeded in the Nationals.

The band enjoyed an autumn hit when they released their follow-up You've Got to Hide Your Love Away, a song already familiar from the Beatles' second film Help, which had premiered at the end of July. Despite being assisted on the recording by fab stablemates John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison, and receiving plenty of Big L airplay, the single reached only #28 in the UK Nationals. It spent six weeks on the Fab Forty, peaking a #16. However, in the US, it made #10.

At the end of December '65 Silkie were due to start a promotional visit to the USA, following on from their Top Ten hit, but because they were unable to obtain the necessary visas and work permits (purportedly due to actions by the American Musicians' Union) they were forced to cancel the tour.

Two more singles released in 1966, another self-penned song Keys to My Soul and the Fifties Chordettes hit Born to Be With You (covered successfully in the Seventies by Dave Edmunds) both failed to chart and the band split.

Sylvia Tatler and Mike Ramsden married in 1966 and had two sons and a daughter. They continued to play as Silkie following the other two band members' departure and were in later years joined on stage by members of their family.

Mike suffered from kidney disease and underwent a transplant in 1993, but succumbed to illness early in 2004, at the age of 60. He continued to perform and raise funds for charity until shortly before his untimely death.

The Silkie (or Selkie) is a mythical creature of the Orkney islands that disguises itself as a sea creature, the word being the Orcadian-dialect word for 'seal'.

Silkie releases, courtesy of Paul Coates

UK - all released on Fontana

TF 556  Blood Red River / Close The Door Gently  4/65
TF 603  You've Got To Hide Your Love Away / City Winds  8/65
TF 659  Keys To My Soul / Leave Me To Cry  1/66
TF 709  Born To Be With You / So Sorry Now  5/66

Album
TL 5256  The Silkie Sing The Songs Of Bob Dylan  9/65
The Times They Are a-Changing / Dylan's Dream / When The Ship Comes In / Boots Of Spanish Leather / Blowin' In The Wind / Long Time Gone / It Ain't Me Babe / Tomorrow Is A Long Time / Black Crow Blues / Love Minus Zero-No Limit / Girl From The North Country / Mr. Tambourine Man.

USA - all released on Fontana

1525  You've Got To Hide Your Love Away / City Winds 9/65  (reached No.10 in Billboard Hot 100 27/11/65)
1536  Keys To My Soul / Leave Me To Cry  12/65  (struggled up to 124 in Billboard bubbling under the Hot 100 chart 29/1/66)
1551  Born To Be With You / So Sorry Now  6/66

Album
MGF 27548 (mono) / SRF 67548 (stereo)  You've Got To Hide Your Love Away  12/65
You've Got To Hide Your Love Away / The Time They Are a-Changing / Mr Tambourine Man / Close The Door Gently /Dylan's Dream / Girl From The North Country / Blowin' In The Wind / Blood Red River / Love Minus Zero-No Limit / It Ain't Me Babe / Tomorrow Is A Long Time / City Winds.

It's interesting to note that the LP apparently got a stereo release in the USA, but not in the UK. But more likely it was listed as a stereo release, but actually only came out in mono. Apart from the two different titles, the track listing is different on the UK and U.S. versions with the first 2 UK singles (A & Bs) appearing on the US version, but not the UK version. – Paul Coates


To see a legible version of the C-Fun Fantastic Fifty, click on the chart in the center column. Another Fantastic Fifty is in the Fab 40 for 20/06/65

Al Jordan refers to nine British singles in the C-FUN Top Ten. (The Seekers were Australian, but we won't argue with Al...) They were:
1) Mrs Brown... – Herman's Hermits
2) I'm Telling You Now – Freddie and the Dreamers
3) Bumble Bee – Searchers (only released on an EP in the UK)
4) Silhouettes – Herman's Hermits
6) Tired of Waiting – Kinks
7) I'll never Find Another You – Seekers
8) I Can't Explain – The Who
9) I Know A Place - Petula Clark
10) The Last Time/Playing With Fire – Stones
Odd one out was American Gary Lewis, #5 with Count Me In. Only two of the tracks also feature in this week's Fab Forty – I Can't Explain and The Last Time.


28
Wonderful World Herman's Hermits Columbia DB 7546

Silhouettes was still in the Fab 40 last week at #25. Although it has vanished from this week's chart, Herman's Hermits return immediately with a new #28, Wonderful World. Written by Sam Cooke, Herb Alpert and Lou Adler, it had been a hit for Sam in 1960. The band also top the C-Fun Fantastic Fifty, above, with Mrs Brown You've Got A Lovely Daughter. The song also topped the US Hot Hundred, but was not released as a single in the UK.

One Amazon reviewer of the Best of Herman's Hermits CD, comparing the chart history of the band in the UK with that of the USA, says that their 1967 Donovan cover, Museum, did not chart on this side of the pond. Not so, as regards the Big L Fab 40, where it got to #13! Museum was chosen as Chuck Blair's climber on July 2nd '67. It was to have been named Disc of the Week, but was bypassed for the honour when the Who's Under My Thumb/The Last Time was rush-released in support of the jailed Jagger and Richards.
Click on the sleeve to read the review in full, and listen to clips of 24 of the 25 tracks.


Climbers:  
Comin' On To Cry/That's the Way it Goes Mojos
Come Back Tony Rivers & the Castaways
Hello Faithless Dora Hall
Disc of the Week  
Turn Your Eyes To Me Cannon Brothers

Turn Your Eyes To Me Cannon Brothers BRIT WI-1003

The Cannon Brothers (aka Cannon Brothers with the Shades) evolved from Johnny, Mike and the Shades (and permutations on that name). The line up for Turn Your Eyes To Me was Dave Summers, ld gtr, vcls, Johnny Cannon (Symonds) vcls, Mike Wayne (Long) vcls, Pete Rowney drms, Johnny Ranse (Ransom) rhythm, Noel Burns (Lawrence) bs, vcls.

Bassist Noel Lawrence, now resident in Canada, has written the full story of the Shades for the California Ballroom website. The band were hard-working Saturday Club regulars who played on the same bills as Roy Orbison, The Everly Brothers, Dusty Springfield, the Stones and the Who. They appeared on Thank Your Lucky Stars on May 22nd 1965, alongside the Spencer Davis Group and Billy J Kramer and the Dakotas. "Both John Lennon and Paul McCartney were early fans," says Noel, "And their manager, Brian Epstein, tried to purchase the band from (their then manager) Jack Fallon, who unfortunately wouldn't sell."

If Turn Your Eyes To Me was unsuccessful, it was not through lack of promotion. In Peter Alex's Who's Who in Pop Radio (1966) Jim 'Murph the Surf' Murphy cited pole-squatting as one of his hobbies. Jim (who died in 2000) had worked for various Texan stations and apparently regularly used this strange occupation to promote new records. No information is given as to what brought Jim to the UK, but prior to joining Radio Caroline, he was up the pole! Jim squatted outside Alexandra Palace on a 50-foot-pole, claiming that he would remain there till Turn Your Eyes To Me was a national hit. Whether or not the single's selection as Radio London Club Disc of the Week and its subsequent two-week Fab 40 stay was responsible for persuading Jim to come down, is unknown. It may have been the temptation of the prospect of mast-squatting which prompted Jim to join Caroline South in the summer of 65, before migrating north and making his mark aboard the Fredericia where his Midnight Surf Party gained him his nickname. (The Caroline North tribute site on which Jim was working at the time of his death, is here.)



Tune in next week for another Big L Fab 40!

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