Following the Fab Forty on Sunday 23rd October 1966

The Kenny Everett/Tony Blackburn Climber Review, 4.00pm to 5.00pm

"At four till five, Tony Blackburn joins me and we squash every Climber that we've got dead flat – except for the ones we like, of course!"
(Webmaster comments are in green)

Dandy Rockin' Vickers CBS CO2241

Tony revealed that there were two other versions of Dandy, the Clinton Ford one that had been played earlier and a version that was a huge (#5) hit in America for Herman's Hermits. Neither Tony nor Kenny had heard the Hermits' version, which is believed to have remained unreleased in the UK, perhaps due to an excess of competition. Kenny preferred the Clinton Ford release because he, "Put more guts into it", while Tony felt the Rockin' Vickers sounded more commercial.

Road To Nowhere Judy Henske Reprise RS 20485

Kenny: Putrid! The most diabolical load of old rubbish I've ever heard in my life!

Tony: Terrible record. I've never heard such a load of tripe!
Now come on guys, don't mince words. What did you really think of Judy Henske? (Hear the Everett/Blackburn review here...)

Webmaster comment:
Poor Judy! As the Oldies Project team has unearthed a recording of Road To Nowhere, we are now able to appreciate its apparent awfulness. Needless to say, the single never made it into the Fab Forty, but if you want to hunt it down, a mint copy could set you back around £5.

Judy Henske has probably remained blissfully unaware of this scathing review of her 1966 single. Dave Marsh's Playboy review (May 2000) of Loose in the World, her first album release since 1972 describes Judy Henske as, "beyond all categories except 'legendary' and 'great'". Visit Judy's Fan Club website

Back to Tony and Kenny...
Nineteen Days Dave Clark Five Columbia DB 8028

Tony: Difficult to know what to say about that one. I think it might grow on one after you hear it. They do better in America, but it could do OK for them, I think.

Kenny: Mmmm. It's better than Judy Henske anyway! Quite like it actually. It's non-offensive.

Kenny: Unit 4 + 2, after a lapse of about eight months where they haven't been doing anything, have suddenly come up with a new one. It's got the McCartney touch. [Referring to the Yesterday-esque solo guitar intro to the song]

I Was Only Playing Games Unit 4 + 2 Decca F12509

Kenny: I don't think I should comment about this one, because they're personal friends of mine, so I shall leave it to you, Blackburn.

Tony: I think it's a very nice record. I don't think the cello quite fits in there. Dunno if you agree with me on that?

Kenny. Yeah. It's a bit too fierce.

Tony: Beautiful melody line at the beginning of it. I think the strings in the middle are very good as well. Not as good as Concrete and Clay. I don't somehow think it will be a very big hit for them. I like it.

Kenny: They always write good stuff though, don't they – Parker/Moeller? They write some very good stuff, but this just doesn't getcha straight away. Maybe it'll grow.

Tony: Very nice record, though.

Kenny: This next climber is absolutely... mmmmmmmh!

Good Vibrations Beach Boys

Kenny: I don't think I should pass a comment on that one because I shall probably go up in the air. It's absolutely SUPERB! What do you think, Blackburn?

Tony: Well the first few times I heard it I didn't like it very much and I was disappointed, but now I love it, and Richard Swainson, administrator and twit on board here...

Kenny: [Interrupts to sing fanfare] Richard Swainson

Tony: ... he says that it's made up from all tracks from the Pet Sounds LP. Do you know what that's about?

Kenny: I think he's talking through his memos, because I haven't heard any of that on the Pet Sounds LP, have you?

Tony: I haven't either, actually.

Kenny: I know it took them about five days to record it in about seven different recording studios. You know, to get all the different sounds. It's so complicated. That's why people don't particularly dig it at first, but when you get used to it, ARGH!

Tony: Do you think it's too complicated to be a hit?

Kenny: No, I think it'll be Number One.

Tony: Possibly.

Tony: Here's the Stewpot's climber from Gene Pitney. [Crashes intro] Oh, I crashed there! [Kenny laughs wildly]

Just One Smile Gene Pitney Stateside SS558 Ed Stewart's climber

Tony: That's a great record, isn't it? It's the kind of record that 'sends' all the girls. It's a really kind of dreamy, romantic record. It sends me! No comments. Lovely record – I think it's going to be a hit.

Kenny: Yes. That's a very nice tune. It's a bit melody-lacking, though, don't you think?

Tony: I think it's one you have to hear a few times. It's not as strong, I don't think, as his last one.

Kenny: What was his last one?

Tony: I can't remember. I was hoping you wouldn't ask me that!

Kenny: Oh you fool! It went quiet in the middle, didn't it?

Tony: Yeah. I thought it was very nice. I thought the backing was nice. He's got a unique sound, his voice is very unique and I just think it's going to be a hit. It'll grow on you the more you hear it.

Kenny: Yeah. All right. While this next one's playing, we'll try and think of his old record. Of course you [meaning the listener] know it already, but we... sort of... with all these buttons and switches and scripts and things, it just drifts away from your mind. Here's a thing by Gerry and the Pacemakers called Girl on a Swing.

Girl On A Swing Gerry & the Pacemakers Columbia DB 8044

Kenny: I've heard that tune somewhere before, have you?

Tony: Yeah. I can't remember what it is, though.

Kenny: Oh, by the way, we've remembered Backstage. Richard Swainson...

Kenny and Tony chorus fanfare: "Richard Swainson"

Kenny: ....just rang up and said, 'It was Backstage, you idiot fools'.

Tony: I hate it when he guesses one.

Kenny: I just hate him!

Tony: He's so conceited for the rest of the day.

Kenny: He's just a bad human being. He turned out wrong as a child, didn't he, Richard Swainson?

Tony: That's it, yeah. [Laughs]

Kenny: That's finished him off! Yeah, that was Girl On a Swing, and I like it very much indeed.

Tony: Yeah, very nice. As you said, I've heard the tune somewhere before. I think it was a big hit in America, this one, and it's a nice singalong type of record, nice backing. One that you can kind of sing along with. Very nice sound. I like it.

Kenny: So that's three we've got so far. We've got Gene Pitney, Good Vibrations and Girl On a Swing. OK. Three down and about eight to go.

Webmaster comment:

Girl On a Swing was, indeed a US Hot Hundred hit. The group's final US chart entry reached #28 . In the UK nationals, it failed to chart at all . Just One Smile peaked in the UK Nationals at #8, but only scraped into the US Hot Hundred at #64.

Tony: [Speaking over intro] Here comes the latest from Jackie Wilson ...er Jackie what's his name?

Kenny: Edwards, you fool!

Tony: Edwards, that's right. What's it called?

Kenny: I dunno. I Feel So Bad, it's called

I Feel So Bad Jackie Edwards Island W1 3006 Mike Lennox's climber

Kenny: I Feel So Bad. It's Mike Lennox's climber, yeah? Good?

Tony: Yeah. Very good. It's kind of like Come On Home which was one on an LP track. I think he deserves a hit. He's written many hits, Keep On Running and Somebody Help Me. A good rhythm for cutting your toenails, actually.

Kenny: Yes, I agree.

Webmaster comment:

According to the Record Collector Rare Record Price Guide, a mint condition copy of I Feel So Bad is worth around £90! Did Tony hang on to that climber to assist him with his chiropody, or is it lying on the seabed, several miles off Frinton?

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


Gimme Some Lovin' Spencer Davis Group

Kenny: Were you listening to that one, Blackburn?

Tony: Yes I was. I've heard it before, actually

Kenny: Oh I see. That's another, what's his name, Jackie Edwards composition.

Tony: No it isn't actually, it's by Stevie Winwood. Sorry.

Kenny: Got all me facts wrong today. You'd better take over. Go on.

Tony: No, it's a very good record. I like it, it's got a lot of beat. It's a kind of typical Spencer Davis one. I prefer it to the last one. I think it's gonna be a very big hit for them, Yeah, I like it.

Kenny: The last one, you thought was going to be a big hit.

Tony: No. No, the last one, I didn't like quite so much. I thought it was too short to start off with, but this one I think is great.

Kenny: You know they got together with that one. Whatshisname, the one with the Spencer Davis Group thought it up and everything and then he couldn't get any further with it when he got half way through, so he rang up Jackie Edwards in America and asked him to do the rest. It's true. It's absolutely true.
OK, onward. Mammas and the Papas disc coming up next. It's new, it's Norman St John's climber and... favourite group of mine, I suppose.

Webmaster comment:

The previous Spencer Davis Group release was When I Come Home

Look Through My Window Mamas & Papas RCA Victor RCA 1551 Norm St John's climber

Kenny: Yeah. The Mamas and Papas and Look Through My Window. Tony?

Tony: Yeah, if you fade my mic up. It's very difficult with this microphone system, isn't it?

Kenny: Yeah.

Tony: (still talking about the mic system) Terrible! Er I like it a lot. I don't think it's as strong as I Saw Her Again or Monday Monday, but I think it's a hit and I think it's one that will probably grow on you. I've heard it twice now and I like it. Fabulous group.

Kenny: Same thing happened to me with I Saw Her Again. I heard that at first and I thought, ooh, you know, the era is over, etc. But then, about five plays later, it was all knockout and happening and psychedelic and stuff. So it'll probably happen with this one as well.

Tony: I tell you what I do like now on the records; they're having a big kind of band feel to them, with string backing, and we're getting away from this group sound, 'cos I don't think you can produce a good sound with four guitars.

Kenny: Yeah, that's true. I think you can go the other way as well. You can go very quiet in a disc and have just a few classical instruments and a modern sort of arrangement and make it sound knockout.

Tony: That's true. I think it's a good record, though.

Kenny: OK, Here's your climber, Tony. Supremes!

You Keep Me Hangin' On Supremes Tamla Motown TMG 585 Tony Blackburn's climber

Kenny: [Getting title completely wrong] 'I'll keep on holding on', I think

Tony: That's a great record. It's my climber this week. Don't think it's quite as good as You Can't Hurry Love, but the Supremes can't do any wrong for me. It's a hit.

Kenny: Oh, you great twirler! How can you say that an artist will not do any wrong? What about if they make a diabolical record next time? Will you still say that?

Tony: Yeah. The Supremes are prettier than you! Oh I dunno though, come to think of it.

Kenny: (camping it up) With me Big L T-shirt!

Tony: I think they're gorgeous to look at. They haven't made a bad record yet, as far as I'm concerned.

Kenny: Do you know there's a knockout cover, an LP cover of theirs, down here somewhere, which you'd better take into your cabin and hang on the wall, because if you like 'em that much you'll be knocked out by it. They've got doves and everything and it's all sort of sexy and oh my God!

The Supremes and You Keep Me Hangin' On and that's a very good record and it will definitely get to Number One. Probably.

The Hair On My Chinny Chin Chin Sam the Sham & the Pharaohs MGM MGM 1326 Paul Kay's climber

Kenny: Load of old rubbish. That's Paul Kaye's climber. Paul Kaye's OK, but his climber's terrible. Sam the Sham & the Pharaohs and 'I'll huff and puff and blow your house down'. Terrible.

Tony: [Referring to Paul Kaye] Doesn't do his beard justice really, does it?

Kenny: Ha! No it doesn't. It's awful and I hate that one to bits. What do you think?

Tony: Well, I thought Woolly Bully was very good but they haven't got off this beat. Absolutely diabolical. Can't they think of anything different?

Kenny: No they can't.

Tony: It's the obvious answer, isn't it? Terrible record.

Kenny: Mmm, it is. It's absolutely 'filthy swine'. So don't buy it and make it a horrible flop! Thank you.

Webmaster comment: Hate to tell you, guys, but the 'absolutely diabolical', 'filthy swine', Hair On My Chinny Chin Chin reached #22 in the States.

Kenny: These buttons are getting harder to press every day. They should have some bicycle oil on board.

Tony: They've got bicycles, but no oil!

Kenny: This one's called Psychotic Reaction by the Count Five

Psychotic Reaction Count Five Pye International 7N 25393 Kenny Everett's climber

Kenny: That's called 'Psychotic Reaction', for some odd reason and the only good bit in that I can find is the 'nnnkk tikka tikka tikka tikka tikka whoo'! That's very good, but the rest of it's rubbish, I think.

Tony: Yeah, Doesn't do much to me. I think it's a hit in America, isn't it? We're playing it as an all-time US hit.

Kenny: [Affects BBC accent] An American recording, yes.

Tony: It doesn't do much for me, I must admit. I find it a little bit ordinary. And as it's your climber, I'll vote it a miss.

Kenny: Well thank you.

Tony: I don't see it as a hit.

Kenny: No I don't. I think they're trying to be clever using words like 'psychotic reaction', don't you?

Tony: Yeah. Especially when they're playing to big idiots like us that don't know what it means

Kenny: Do you mind. Speak for yourself, ducky.

Webmaster comment:
This is a clear example of a DJ having his climber chosen for him! Kenny obviously didn't pick this one himself and given the choice would undoubtedly have gone for Good Vibrations. Tony, on the other hand, obviously got the Supremes climber he wanted.

The 'little bit ordinary' Psychotic Reaction (a 'psychotic reaction' being a probable effect of taking LSD) was a #5 one-hit-wonder in America. Mint-copies of Pye International 7N 25393 can fetch £25.

Tony: I don't know what's happening next. Oh, Buddy Greco. We've got Buddy Greco for you next, a Radio London climber. Nobody's climber in particular.

Kenny: Yes it is. It's one of our departed members. Keith Skues, who is now having trouble with the space where his appendix gave him trouble, but they took it out.

Tony: [Using serious announcement voice] I believe he's returning to Big L.

Kenny: Well, my God!

Walking On New Grass Buddy Greco Reprise RS20515 Keith Skues's climber

Tony: Yes, it's one of those kind of happy-go-lucky-type songs, which to me don't mean very much. Buddy Greco - very fine artist. Very good on the piano.

Kenny: Is he?

Tony: Oh, he's very good on the piano.

Kenny: I suppose he's OK on stage as well?

Tony: Actually, I could do my soft shoe routine to that one.

Kenny: Don't bother, Tony. Just forget it.

Tony: I've only got me plimsolls with me in any case.

Kenny: Buddy Greco. He's one of the quality artists like Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jnr, Peggy Lee... Tony Blackburn. And others.

Tony: They all bring out the same records though, don't they?

Kenny: They do, yeah. Mind you, when we probably get as old as they are, we'll appreciate them as well.

The White Cliffs Of Dover Righteous Brothers London HL 10086 Pete Drummond's climber

Tony: The Righteous Brothers there and The White Cliffs of Dover, which according to Kenny, was a Vera Lynn number.

Kenny: It was too. It was one of the all-time sacred Vera Lynn numbers.

Tony: Sounds a bit different now, doesn't it?

Kenny: No. I don't like it. I like Vera Lynn's version. I may be an old-fashioned so-and-so, but the good old days of Vera Lynn will remain in a part of my heart reserved for, I dunno, good old days of Vera Lynn, I suppose

Tony: I remember her from when I was in the trenches.

Kenny: Why don't you go back to the trenches?

Tony: Wasn't she the 'Forces' Sweetheart?'

Kenny: That's right, yes.

Tony: I think it's a good record - getting back to the Righteous Brothers, I think it's rather nice. It's not as good as You've Lost That Loving Feeling, but nothing could be and I think it's very nice indeed, but I don't think it will be a hit though.

Kenny: No. Remember Vera Lynn singing We'll Meet Again. Oh, by George, that brings back memories. Those were the days. Oh yes.

Tony: Oh my God, what's happened to you? We'll Meet Again?

Kenny: I like Vera Lynn. Vera? Send us a card, ducky!

That was it! No sign-off, and no weather, as they go straight into the Troggs and I Can't Control Myself, which is the first record in the Mike Lennox Show. Sounds very much like a case of an overrunning Climber Review!

Webmaster comment:
The White Cliffs Of Dover was Pete Drummond's climber. Oddly enough, Pete's climber for the following week was called We'll Meet Again, on the Reaction label. Paul Cunningham, wrote to say that he recalls the song in question. He says:

I can confirm this is definitely not the same song as the Vera Lynn one. I don't have the record and I haven't heard it since it was played on Big L, but I can still remember it quite well. Funny, because many of the others listed I don't remember at all...

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