The Early Radio London Fab Forties
Sunday 13th March 1966

We are pleased to include this rare Dutch pic sleeve, which has kindly been scanned for us by Rob Messander from the Netherlands.

After climbing twenty places in one week, Kiki Dee is down one place, to #19. That's the Fab Forty for you. On March 17th, Record Retailer magazine commenced publication of the Fab Forties. This is somewhat ironic, considering that the Big L charts were never compiled from figures supplied by retailers!

 

Last
This
 
Week
Week
10
1
Shapes Of Things Yardbirds
15
2
Dedicated Follower Of Fashion Kinks
8
3
The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore Walker Brothers
1
4
I Can't Let Go Hollies
11
5
Elusive Butterfly Bob Lind / Val Doonican
5
6
Woman Peter & Gordon
7
7
Make The World Go Away Eddy Arnold
12
8
Nowhere Man Settlers / Three Good Reasons
24
9
What Now My Love Sonny & Cher
2
10
Lightnin' Strikes Lou Christie
37
11
Super Girl Graham Bonney
23
12
Hide And Seek Sheep
3
13
Backstage Gene Pitney
28
14
Working My Way Back To You Four Seasons
16
15
I Met A Girl Shadows
21
16
Norwegian Wood Frugal Sound
9
17
Barbara Ann Beach Boys
32
18
I Got You (I Feel Good) James Brown & the Famous Flames
18
19
Why Don't I Run Away From You? Kiki Dee
25
20
Invitation A Band Of Angels
21
That's Nice Neil Christian
27
22
Pop-Art Goes Mozart Tornados
23
Blue Turns To Grey Cliff Richard & the Shadows
30
24
Love Me With All Your Heart/The Sound Of Silence Bachelors
34
25
There'll Be Another Spring Frank Ifield
26
Try Too Hard Dave Clark Five
27
Up And Down McCoys
28
Call My Name Them
6
29
Jenny Take A Ride Mitch Ryder & the Detroit Wheels
4
30
Hold Tight Dave Dee Dozy Beaky Mick & Tich
31
Like A Man New Faces
14
32
Me And You Diane Ferraz & Nicky Scott
29
33
Homeward Bound Simon & Garfunkel / Quiet Five
34
Ballad Of The Green Berets Staff Sgt Barry Sadler / Alan Moorhouse Orchestra
38
35
So Much In Love Herd
40
36
Baby Never Say Goodbye Unit 4 + 2
37
It's Too Late Bobby Goldsboro
38
You Won't Be Leaving Herman's Hermits
39
If You've Got A Minute Baby Freddie & the Dreamers
13
40
Sha La La La Lee Small Faces

Following the five 'double-ups' in last week's playlist, we have another five this week with Nowhere Man, Elusive Butterfly, Ballad of the Green Berets and Homeward Bound joined by I/ He Fought the Law.

Call My Name (#28) was back on the Big L playlist in January and February of 1967, as recorded by James Royal.

DJ Climbers:
Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down) Cher Tony Windsor



Climbers:
It's Up To You Valerie Masters
Long Live Our Love Shangri-Las
We Wanna Stay Home Perpetual Langley
Alfie Cilla Black
He Fought The Law She Trinity
I Fought The Law Bobby Fuller Four
Someday, One Day Seekers
King Of The Whole Wide World Leapy Lee
Somewhere Len Barry
A Legal Matter Who
Walk Away Like A Winner Robert Henry
Shake Me, Wake Me (When It's Over) Four Tops
The Entertainer News
Just A Minute Or Two Gene Latter
Greig One Second City Sound
Night Train James Brown & the Famous Flames
Disc of the Week:
Somebody Help Me Spencer Davis Group

Walk Away Like A Winner Robert Henry Philips BF 1476

Because Walk Away Like A Winner (released 18/03/66) became popular in Northern Soul circles, a mint-condition copy can command a price tag of £40 or more, but information about Robert Henry is scant. In November 1965, he had released a single I Need Me Someone (Philips BF 1450) (listed in the Record Collector Rare Record Price Guide as I Need Someone) using the less-formal name of Bob Henry. (Price tag circa £18). It failed to appear in the Fab Forty.

(Click on the picture for a link to information about the Record Collector Rare Record Price Guide)

Henry penned That's All I Want, the B-side of Walk Away Like A Winner, which was assigned to the Radio London-associated publisher, Pall Mall Music and he was friendly with Radio London's original Programme Director Ben Toney (see Ben's Memoirs, Part 15). By 1967, after failing to set the charts alight with his singles, Henry had retreated to Italy to try and make his way in the movies. He arranged Ben's accommodation in Rome when Ben was also pursuing a celluloid career.

On their Raresoulman website in February 2011 John Manship Records offered for sale a 1965 Advision studio acetate (i.e. A-side only) of Walk Like a Winner (sic) by Robert Henry for £100. The webmaster speculated that Gene McDaniels' song and Henry's are so similar musically, that Henry's is probably based on McDaniels'. He described the valuable find (right) as:

"British 60s power-ballad at its outermost brilliant. Inspired by Gene McDaniels' 'Walk With A Winner' this is Bob Henry's WALK AWAY LIKE A WINNER mistitled in the studio. Pre-Philips BF 1476 [pressing]."

The label's typist seems to have suffered from misinformation and/or a pre-release change of plan. Henry can clearly be heard singing 'walk away like a winner' and that is undoubtedly the correct title of the song. It's hard to decipher the original typing of the artist's name, which has subsequently been scratched out and replaced by a handwritten 'Robert Henry', but if it was simply a change of 'Bob' to 'Robert' it seems unnecessary for the entire name to have been obscured.

In the late Seventies, a singer/songwriter called 'Bobby Henry' released singles on Charlie Gillett's Oval label, but this was a different singer who came from Glasgow.


Night Train James Brown & the Famous Flames

Night Train had been included as a Fab 40 climber ever since Brian Long published his book The London Sound in 1994, containing the first-ever published Fab Forty charts. The Oldies Project team spotted that this was rather strange, because James Brown was still riding high in this this week's Big L chart at #18, with I Got You (I Feel Good). None of the Fab Forty contributors had ever been able to explain this, as there was no indication of Night Train having been rereleased in '66.

Brian Long confirmed that the climber list he used in The London Sound for March 13, which included the unexpected James Brown title, came from Record Retailer and that this information was derived from the Curzon Street list, but he acknowledged that mistakes could arise. Because initially, we were unable to discover any evidence of the record being released in March '66, we withdrew Night Train from the climbers, concluding that an error had been made.

Some time later, however, Kees Brinkerink discovered that in the Record Mirror of March 19, 1966, Night Train is shown as entering the R & B singles top 20 at #14, reaching #5 on April 2.

When originally released in '62, Night Train was on the US King label and in the UK it came out on Parlophone. The Record Collector Price Guide has it listed as being on Parlophone R4922 b/w Why Does Everything Happen to Me (with mint copies fetching around £40). Sue first released the single two years later at the end of '64 (Sue WI-360) (note that the label is undated) with Record Mirror reviewing it on December 9th.

Although in 1966, JB was currently releasing records through Pye International, Night Train seems to have been reactivated by Sue. Kees points out that most record companies, when re-releasing a single, gave it a new catalogue number and often a different B-side, but this was not the case with Island/ Sue Records. (Perhaps a deliberate reason for not dating their labels.) Reissues which retain the same catalogue number also are often omitted from the Record Collector Price Guide, making them even harder to verify.

Kees cites another example of a Sue single that was not 'officially' re-released – Harlem Shuffle by Bob & Earl. Originally, this came out in the UK on Sue WI-374 in July 1965. On 8 January, 1966 it appeared in the Record Mirror R&B top 20 and stayed there until mid-March, reaching #3. It was #56 in the Radio City Sixty for April 9th - 16th. In May 1968, it was announced as a reissue, but with the same catalogue number as in 1965. Then, finally Harlem Shuffle became a hit after Island re-released it in January 1969, as Island WIP-6053, by which time UK Sue no longer existed.

On March 11 '66, Ready Steady Go! devoted an entire programme to 'The James Brown Revue'. The set was based on their current stage show and included club favourite, Night Train. James Brown and his Famous Flames had arrived in the UK on Wednesday, March 9, spent the next day rehearsing for their RSG special on Friday 11 and on Saturday 12 played the Walthamstow Granada. An intended gig in Newcastle the following day was replaced by one at a different venue, then the band flew to Paris to play the Olympia on March 15 (See extract from Black and Proud: the Life of James Brown by Geoff Brown)

Ready Steady Go! was an influential programme with record-buyers and a major publicity platform. The RSG special and UK stage performances around that date undoubtedly influenced a decision by Sue to reactivate the single

Alan Field comments:
"If there were plans to re-issue Night Train (in response to whatever new interest sent it back into the Record Mirror R&B charts) it may well have been picked as a Big L climber, even if the re-release never actually happened. We have reliable examples of other records being listed as climbers without an official release e.g. Sharon Tandy's Uphill Climb to the Bottom, the first appearance of It Tears Me Up by Percy Sledge in October '66 and Tony Brandon's Just Leave It To Me.

We could speculate on whether Night Train would have been officially designated as a climber if people were only able to buy up old copies, but while we might think twice about adding such a record to the climber list if we weren't sure of its status, the further research indicates we're no longer justified in dismissing Night Train's appearance in the Record Retailer/Curzon Street climber list as a mistake."
 

Night Train is included on UK Sue Label Story Vol.3: the Soul of Sue [Cd]

Many thanks to Kees Brinkerink, Alan Field, Alan Hardy and Peter Young for their assistance with tracking down the above information.

This week aboard the Galaxy
Thursday, March 17th, Dave Cash launched his 'Bring Back the Byrds' campaign on his Breakfast Show.

This week ashore

On Friday, March 18th, at the Target Club in the Co-op Hall, High Wycombe, Earl Richmond (Knees Club member #13) introduced David Bowie who joined the KC as #127, and David Ballantyne (#129). Neither singer was currently in the Fab Forty, but they would both reappear on April 3rd, each with a new climber. Also joining the KC that evening was John 'Ego' Eager (#128). The event is covered in extensive detail here.

Also on March 18th, KC Founder Mary Payne won a John Purpleknees Edward (#17) competition – along with about 100 other entrants! The Glittering Prize? An autographed centre removed from a seven-inch single! Appropriately enough, Knees Club member #17 has his own connection with member #127, as 'Purpleknees' had played lead guitar with Bowie (then known as Jones) and the Manish Boys.


The Caroline 'Countdown Sixty' chart (south ship) for this week is here

This week's Radio City 'City Sixty' on the Pirate Radio Hall of Fame is here
Tune in next week for another Big L Fab 40!