The Early Radio London Fab Forties
Sunday 21st March 1965

Reelin' and Rockin' at #40 – it's the DC5!

Last
This
 
Week
Week
1
1
The Last Time Rolling Stones
4
2
I Apologise P J Proby
5
3
Come And Stay With Me Marianne Faithfull
8
4
Concrete And Clay Unit 4 + 2
2
5
I'll Stop At Nothing Sandie Shaw
9
6
Goodbye My Love Searchers
3
7
Silhouettes Herman's Hermits
20
8
I Know A Place Petula Clark
17
9
Give Him A Great Big Kiss Shangri-Las
7
10
In The Meantime Georgie Fame & the Blue Flames
6
11
I Must Be Seeing Things Gene Pitney
18
12
The Minute You're Gone Cliff Richard
22
13
Golden Lights Twinkle
15
14
Do The Clam Elvis Presley
11
15
I Can't Explain Who
10
16
Honey I Need Pretty Things
33
17
I'll Be There Gerry & the Pacemakers
18
Everybody's Gonna Be Happy / Who'll Be The Next In Line Kinks
14
19
The Birds And The Bees Jewel Akens
12
20
Yes I Will Hollies
19
21
Where Am I Sundowners
26
22
This Diamond Ring Gary Lewis & the Playboys
23
23
The Boy From New York City Ad Libs
40
24
For Your Love Yardbirds
32
25
Pretty Girls Everywhere Walker Brothers
38
26
Little Things Dave Berry
30
27
Hawaiian Wedding Song Julie Rogers
28
Catch The Wind Donovan
16
29
I Don't Want To Go On Without You Moody Blues
13
30
It's Not Unusual Tom Jones
25
31
I Belong Kathy Kirby
37
32
Bye Bye Girl Applejacks
33
Here Comes The Night Them
27
34
At This Moment Crispian St Peters
35
True Love For Ever More Bachelors
36
Bring Your Love To Me Righteous Brothers
37
Just For The Boy Lesley Duncan
38
Without You Matt Monro
39
King Of The Road Roger Miller
40
Reelin' And Rockin' Dave Clark Five

26
22
This Diamond Ring Gary Lewis & the Playboys Liberty LIB 10187

Singing drummer Gary Lewis is the eldest of the six sons of Jerry Lewis, who had once formed half of a comedic double-act with Dean Martin. Gary founded the Playboys while still in his mid-teens and they successfully auditioned for a summer season at Disneyland in 1964. The Playboys were David Costell (bass), guitarists Al Ramsey and John West, and David Walker on keyboards.

This Diamond Ring was a US million-seller that never charted in the UK nationals. Surprisingly, Gary's father Jerry had fared better with his revival of Al Jolson's Rock-a-Bye Your Baby (With a Dixie Melody) which hit the UK #12 in 1957.

This Diamond Ring was Al Kooper's biggest hit as a songwriter. He and co-writers Bob Brass and Irwin Levine had penned it with the Drifters in mind. (The trio also wrote this week's #11, I Must Be Seeing Things.) Gary pipped Elvis and Frank Sinatra to the post as Cash Box magazine’s 1965 Male Vocalist of the Year.

Although Gary and the Playboys enjoyed ten Top Twenty entries in the US Hot Hundred, they did not touch the UK Top Fifty until 1975, with My Heart's Symphony.

Official band website; Gary with Al Kooper in 2007.




25
31
I Belong Kathy Kirby Decca F12087

The glamorous Kathy Kirby (Kathleen O'Rourke) took I Belong (written by Peter Lee Stirling and Phil Peters) to the 1965 Eurovision Song Contest in Naples, where it gained second place for the United Kingdom. (The winning country was Luxembourg, with a ditty about a doll, written by 'Monsieur Je T'aime' – Serge Gainsbourg.)

I Belong had competed for BBC viewers' approval against five other Eurovision hopefuls. All six finalist compositions (penned by top songwriters of the day) were performed by powerful vocalist Kathy, during a January TV special hosted by David Jacobs. I Belong received the highest number of postal votes, beating One Day (writer Chris Andrews) My Only Love (Tom Springfield) I'll Try Not To Cry (Les Reed and Barry Mason) Sometimes (Leslie Bricusse) and I Won't Let You Go (Tony Hatch) to become the 1965 UK Song for Europe.

Although the Eurovision Song Contest took place in Naples on March 20th, only one day before this week's Fab was announced, I Belong was already on its way out of the fast-changing Big L chart. The British public apparently liked the song sufficiently to vote for it, but not to buy it. Despite its TV exposure, the second-placed song failed to climb higher than #36 in the Nationals, and I Belong was to be Kathy's final chart entry. It did fare far better in the Fab Forty, but one week after coming second in Eurovision, I Belong was gone.

In the early Sixties, songwriter Peter Lee Stirling (then known as Peter Green) had been a member of Tommy Bruce's backing band The Bruisers and another Birmingham outfit, the Beachcombers. He then carved his niche as a songwriter, scoring big hits for the Merseybeats and others. Peter's own recording The Sweet And Tender Hold Of Your Love, was a Big L climber for two weeks running, in June '66, but failed to get into the Fab 40. Greater chart success came in the Seventies, when he recorded under the name of Daniel Boone and scored with Beautiful Sunday and Daddy Don't YouWalk So Fast.(Note for arch-Anoraks: Peter Lee Stirling also co-wrote (with David Cumming) both sides of the Kenny and Cash single, Knees and this week's #21, Where Am I.)

'I Belong' is one of 38 tracks on a 2-CD compilation, The Collection, released in 2005. Click on the sleeve photo for full track listing and information.

Kathy died in May 2011. The Official Kathy Kirby website, with many photos from Kathy's personal collection, is here.




Climbers:
Birth Of The Budd Roy Budd
All Cried Out Pinky
Can't Stop Thinking About Her Chapters

Two new climbers added March 2015

Mike Barraclough discovered that Javed Jafri had put a recording of a Dave Dennis Show on his website Let the Universe Answer.

The show is from Tuesday, March 23rd 1965 and gives an interesting insight into the early days of Big L. It includes specially-recorded personal DD messages from Twinkle (who the following year modelled T-shirts for the station) and Marianne Faithfull. A promo advertises a midnight matinee benefit in aid of Thalidomide victims, starring comedians Spike Milligan and Eric Sykes. During the DD programme, Johnny Rivers' version of Sam Cooke's Cupid was played as 'a big Stateside hit', as was The Race is On.

From this recording, two new climbers have been discovered - both identified on air by a 'Climber' sound effect. This seems to have been an early idea on the fledgling station that subsequently fizzled out. These new climbers are both very obscure and both seem to be the only releases under a specific name for the musicians in question. Finding information has proved difficult.

All Cried Out, released on Polydor by Pinky, is a cover of Dusty Springfield's 1964 single, recorded with Johnnie Spence and his Orchestra. The Record Collector Price Guide links the single to post-Big L releases by Pinky and the Fellas, (right) who seem to have been popular in Japan. A Japanese sleeve lists the line up as Pinky aka Caroline Gardner, lead vocal; John Gardner (Pinky's brother), guitar; Las Hunter, guitar (possibly Les Hunter?); Bobby Burns, drums; Huey Dempsey keyboard, John Steve, bass.

45.cat, lists a Japanese release from 1980, with Sixties recordings from Pinky and the Fellas on one side and Tinkerbell's Fairydust on the other. The highly-collectable Tinkerbell's Fairydust does not, however, appear to have any links to the other band. Assuming that the Tinkerbell lineup on Wikipedia is correct and the Japanese album sleeve line-up for Pinky and the Fellas is also correct, the two bands have no members in common.

On March 25th, while on shore leave, Dave Dennis interviewed Pinky for his programme.

Can't Stop Thinking About Her was released on Pye by the Chapters. Kenny Lynch's name can just about be made out on one of the few photos of the single's label posted on the net, and he may well have been the song's publisher. The songwriting credits are indecipherable. A theatre programme from a PJ Proby show describes the Chapters as a new group from Bradford discovered by Mervyn Conn in a West End Club. It unhelpfully names the band members as Mick, David, Ian and Malcolm from Bradford, but does not identify them in the accompanying photograph and gives no surnames. However, the programme does name the group's first release, due on March 22 1965, as Dance Little Lady. That particular song ended up on the B-side - possible a Pye decision. According to the blurb, the Chapters were scheduled to appear on popular TV shows Ready, Steady Go! and Thank Your Lucky Stars, but whether or not these appearances ever happened is unknown.

Can't Stop Thinking About Her appears to be quite a rarity and in top condition can change hands for around £50.

Aboard the Galaxy this week
April 20th, Radio London's output was increased to the transmitter's full 50kW output.

Ashore
April 20th, Keith St John drove his first Big L-sponsored race, the Senior Service 200 at Silverstone. Keith's second Radio London race was the following day at Snetterton.

April 22nd, Interviews were recorded with Tamla Motown artists who were in the UK on a package tour.


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