Saturday 20th December 2014 ‘Off The Wall

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CIMG6891Remember, you can listen to the day’s story of the music whilst reading my blog by clicking this link.   1979, The UK Christmas album chart at Our Price Records, Michael Jackson’s ‘Off The Wall’, £3.74. The Police, ‘Regatta De Blanc’, £3.49, and the No.1 album Pink Floyd’s ‘The Wall’, £6.45

The weather was nice but I had things to do early in the day. Anne went out socialising and I fought a battle with a lighting unit which was to go under the kitchen cabinet. The units are not ultra expensive but are supposed to be easyfit. After a reasonable battle fought with my head upside down straining to see where my screwdriver was attempting to penetrate I decided that necessity was once again proving to be the Mother of Invention. Job done and I’m sworn to secrecy regarding my methodolgy!

From this battle I venured outside to scrape a wall which will evenually be painted white and I then decided to complete a small job involving trunking. With the sun shining powerfully I found a sheltered spot and decided to complete my deberes or Christmas Spanish homework to you. I felt the morning had not been wasted.

Leter in the afternoon we went out gigging. We had a lovely party of Dutch people who really appreciated our music and this made the gig really worthwhile. We did a great guitar/vocal set and then we did a rock ‘n’ roll set for good measure.


I have written about the drug Ritilin and how horrified I was to see how widespread the drug had become ten years ago. This day two years ago, I read the following in the Sun online

“A staggering 714,000 prescriptions for Ritalin — used to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder — were written by GPs last year.  That is more than 50,000 up on 2010 and a five-fold increase since 1999.  The drug is said to help calm kids with learning and behavioural problems caused by ADHD, a condition said to affect one in ten UK youngsters, mostly boys.  But critics fear Ritalin, which costs the NHS £27million a year, is given too readily and its long-term effects aren’t yet known.

At least 13 users have died in the UK since the drug became available 20 years ago. Some committed suicide while others suffered fatal heart trouble and other conditions. There is no proof Ritalin was to blame, but a five-year study is under way.

ADHD charity Addiss believes it is safe and has helped thousands of kids to improve at school. Its head Andrea Bilbow said: “I am more worried about children who need it not managing to get it.”

The drug’s maker Novartis said: “Ritalin is the most prescribed and most widely-researched medication to treat ADHD.”  Source

However, let’s be honest about one thing. Are kids ever diagnosed as being naughty? I know there are parents who are happy for their child to get the drug and for the family to get the supplementary benefit if it applies. In the meantime society is kidded all kids need the drug and the pharmaceutical company grows its profits. I have neither seen nor heard nothing about the progress of this product during the last year.


On a bitterly cold winter’s morning a husband and wife in Glasgow were listening to the radio during breakfast.  They heard the announcer say, “We are going to have 8 to 10 inches of snow   today. You must park your car on the even-numbered side of the street, so   the Snow ploughs can get through”.  So the good wife went out and moved her car as instructed.

A week later while they are eating breakfast again, the radio announcer said, “We are expecting 10 to 12 inches of snow today. You must park your   car on the odd-numbered side of the street, so the snow ploughs can get through”.  The good wife went out and moved her car again.

The next week they are again having breakfast when the radio announcer says,   “We are expecting 12 to 14 inches of snow today. You must park…….”  Then   the power went off. The good wife was very upset, and with a worried look on   her face she said, “I don’t know what to do. Which side of  the street do I   need to park on so the snow ploughs can get through?”

Then, with all the love and understanding in his voice, that men who are married to blondes always exhibit, the husband replied, “Why don’t you just   leave the bloody car in the   garage this time?

The Day’s  Events 20th December

1606 – The “Susan Constant,” “Godspeed” and “Discovery” set sail from London. Their landing at Jamestown, VA, was the start of the first permanent English settlement in America. Amazing people.Very brave

1699 – Peter the Great ordered that the Russian New Year be changed from September 1 to January 1.That makes sense to me

1790 – The first successful cotton mill in the United States began operating

1803 – The United States Senate ratified a treaty that included the Louisiana Territories from France for $15 million. This is why there’s such a strong French influence there…

1820 – The state of Missouri enacted legislation to tax bachelors between the ages of 21-50 for being unmarried. The tax was $1 a year.How weird was this?

1892 – Alexander T. Brown and George Stillman patented the pneumatic tyre. Two names unknown to most of us but we have a debt of gratitude to them.

1946 – In Indochina (Vietnam), full-scale guerrilla warfare between Vietnam partisans and French troops began. It’s easy to forget that France was a major colonial power

1962 – A world indoor pole-vault record was set by Don Meyers when he cleared 16 feet, 11/4 inches. Brilliant

1963 – The Berlin Wall was opened for the first time to West Berliners. It was only for the holiday season. It closed again on January 6, 1964.Sad

1973 – The Spanish premier Carrero Blanco was assassinated in Madrid. Spain is still a very young democracy

1994 – Ivan Lendl retired after a 17-year tennis career. He was a pleasure to watch

1995 – An American Airlines Boeing 757 en route to Cali, Colombia, crashed into a mountain, killing all but four of the 163 people aboard.Dreadful

2001 – The U.S. Congress passed a $20 billion package to finance the war against terrorism taking place in Afghanistan.I can’t understand this commitment to Afghanistan

 The Day’s  Music Events 20th December

 1958, John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison appeared as The Quarry Men at the wedding reception of George’s older brother, Harry. The event was held at the Harrison family home at 25 Upton Green, Speke, Liverpool.This was probably a very informal gig and the family would have loved them whatever they did.

1959, Emile Ford and the Checkmates were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘What Do You Want To Make Those Eyes At Me For.’ I am chuffed Emile is a friend.

1962, The Osmonds appeared for the first time on the NBS-TV Andy Williams show. The brothers performed ‘I’m A Ding Dong Daddy From Dumas’. I think they were always going to be good weren’t they?

1967, Folk singer Joan Baez was sentenced to 45 days in prison after being arrested during an anti-war demonstration.She stood up for her principles.

1968, Glen Campbell went to No.1 on the US album chart with ‘Wichita Lineman’. Nice singer.

1969, Peter Paul and Mary went to No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Leavin’ On A Jet Plane’.Gentle stuff

1969, Rolf Harris was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Two Little Boys’, (the song was written in 1902). The Christmas No.1 of 1969 and the last No.1 of the 60s. Not a great song but it did become a classic.

1969, The Rolling Stones went to No.1 on the UK album chart with their 10th release ‘Let It Bleed’, featuring ‘Midnight Rambler’, and ‘You Can’t Always Get What You Want.’
1973, American singer Bobby Darin died aged 37. One of the first teen idols, he had the 1959 No.1 with ‘Dream Lover’ plus 20 other US Top 40 hits during the 60′s including ‘Mack the Knife’-traveled with Robert Kennedy and worked on the latter’s 1968 presidential campaign. I hadn’t realised he was so close to Kennedy

1974, Former James Gang guitarist Joe Walsh officially replaced Bernie Leadon in The Eagles.Good guitarist

1979, The UK Christmas album chart at Our Price Records, Michael Jackson’s ‘Off The Wall’, £3.74. The Police, ‘Regatta De Blanc’, £3.49, and the No.1 album Pink Floyd’s ‘The Wall’, £6.45. Great line-up
1980, Twelve days after John Lennon was shot dead in New York City, (Just Like) Starting Over gave the former Beatle his first ever UK solo No.1 single.Unbelievable….

1986, The Bangles US No.1  with ‘Walk Like An Egyptian’. Good trac

1986, The Housemartins were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with their version of The Isley Brothers ‘Caravan Of Love.’ Good track.

1992, American blues singer and guitarist, Albert King died from a heart attack in Memphis, Tennessee. He recorded dozens of influential songs, such as ‘Crosscut Saw’ and ‘As The Years Go Passing By’, and the 1967 album, ‘Born Under a Bad Sign.’  I had a great STAX singlewith both tracks Born Under a Bad Sign and ‘Crosscut Saw’

1999, Readers of UK Guitar magazine voted Noel Gallagher the most overrated guitarist of the millennium. Jimi Hendrix was voted guitarist of the millennium with Nirvana’s ‘Nevermind’ winning best album.In the light of modern guitarists I could think of tons better
1999, Canadian Country singer Hank Snow died. ‘The Singing Ranger’ released over 100 albums and scored more than seventy singles on the Billboard country charts from 1950 until 1980. A regular at the Grand Ole Opry, in 1954 Snow persuaded the directors to allow a new singer by the name of Elvis Presley to appear at the Grand Ole Opry. 
2006, Matthew Fisher, a founding member of Procol Harum, won a High Court battle over who wrote their song A Whiter Shade of Pale. He played organ on the 1967 hit and argued he wrote the distinctive organ melody.This must have been very difficult to know the real truth

Born on this day

1944, Bobby Colomby, drums, Blood Sweat & Tears

1948 Stevie Wright, The Easybeats

1948, Alan Parsons, British studio audio engineer, musician, and record producer. He was involved with the production of The Beatles’ Abbey Road and Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon for which Pink Floyd credit him as an important contributor. Parsons’ own group, The Alan Parsons Project released several albums.

1957, Anita Ward, singer, (1979 US & UK No.1 single ‘Ring My Bell’).
1957,  Billy Bragg, UK singer, songwriter, wrote ‘New England’ 1985 hit for Kirsty MacColl,


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Friday 19th December 2014 ‘It’s Only Make Believe

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CIMG6891Remember, you can listen to the day’s story of the music whilst reading my blog by clicking this link.   1958, Conway Twitty was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘It’s Only Make Believe’. The first song to reach the UK Top 10 in four different years: Billy Fury (1964), Glen Campbell (1970) and Child (1978)

The weather was beautiful and we had things to do. We needed to go and visit the schools where our grandchildren will be attending next year to make sure everything was ready for their arrival. The secondary school was looking wonderful with the mountains setting a glorious backdrop to the school. You could see the estates in Polop sprawling up the mountainside and everything really looked good. The staff were equally nice to us and we had a really good time chatting about the new life for our grandchildren. I hope Chloe will really enjoy a great secondary education. We went to the primary school but they were busy and we’ll need to call again.

Next, we drove down to Terra Mitica where Anne fancied the challenge of a two hour walk. The weather was wonderful and we had a really nice walk with lots of things to talk about during our two hours in the fresh air. We also had a lovely cup of coffee and piece of tortilla at the Foietes Centre which was very enjoyable and good value for money. Then, refreshed, we completed the walk back up the mountain to drive the car back to our house.

Anne made a really nice meal and by the time I’d eaten this meal our students had arrived. After a really interesting hour’s teaching Neil came round to make the weekly podcast.



The Day’s  Events 19th December

1154 – Henry II became King of England.

1562 – The Battle of Dreux was fought between the Huguenots and the Catholics, beginning the French Wars of Religion.

1843 – Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” was first published in England. I love the traditional pictures with the carol singers etc.

1871 – Corrugated paper was patented by Albert L. Jones. You don’t see as much of this about these days….

1887 – Jake Kilrain and Jim Smith fought in a bare knuckles fight which lasted 106 rounds and 2 hours and 30 minutes. The fight was ruled a draw and was halted due to darkness.They should have eaten more carrots….

1903 – The Williamsburg Bridge opened in New York City. It opened as the largest suspension bridge on Earth and remained the largest until 1924. It was also the first major suspension bridge to use steel towers to support the main cable. Other examples are the Widnes Runcorn swing bridge and the big bridge in Bilbao…

1957 – Air service between London and Moscow was inaugurated.

1972 – Apollo 17 splashed down in the Pacific, ending the Apollo program of manned lunar landings.

1978 – Indira Gandhi was expelled from the Lok Sabha for contempt and imprisoned.

1984 – Ted Hughes was appointed England’s poet laureate. He doesn’t sound like a poet….more like a rep for Saga

1984 – Britain and China signed an accord returning Hong Kong to Chinese sovereignty on July 1, 1997. That’s why there are so many Chinese shops in Benidorm….

1996 – The school board of Oakland, CA, voted to recognize

Black English, also known as “ebonics.” The board later reversed its stance.I should think so too…

1997 – “Titanic” opened in American movie theaters. I wish they wouldn’t show this movie on the Ferry Boatsd between England and the continent.

1998 – A four-day bombing of Iraq by British and American forces ended.

2003 – Images for the new design for the Freedom Tower at the World Trade Center site were released. The building slopes into a spire that reaches 1,776 feet.


The Day’s  Music Events 19th December

1957, Elvis Presley had his draft notice served on him for the US Army. I’ll bet he was pleased…

1958, Conway Twitty was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘It’s Only Make Believe’. The first song to reach the UK Top 10 in four different years: Billy Fury (1964), Glen Campbell (1970) and Child (1978).That’s a bit of pop trivia I hadn’t known…

1964, The Supremes  US No.1 single of the year when ‘Come See About Me’, went to the top of the charts. It made No.27 on the UK chart.They were on a roll..

1969, Mick Jagger was fined £200 plus 50 guineas costs at Marlborough Magistrates Court for illegal possession of cannabis. Why did they bother…was it just a game?

1970, Elton John’s first US hit, ‘Your Song’ entered the Billboard Hot 100, where it went on to reach number eight. The Hollies had been offered the song and Three Dog Night had already recorded a version which was included on their ‘It Ain’t Easy’ album.I remember a friend bringing this on Epic records telling me this guy would be big…

1979, Elvis Presley’s personal physician, George Nichopoulos, was charged with ‘illegally and indiscriminately’ prescribing over 12,000 tablets of uppers, downers, and painkillers for the star during the 20 months preceding his untimely death. Although he was acquitted this time, he was charged again in 1980 and again in 1992 and was stripped of his medical license in July 1995.There would appear to be more to this than met the eye

1981, Abba scored their seventh UK No.1 album with ‘The Visitors’. I wasn’t as big an Abba fan then as I have become now…
1987, The Pet Shop Boys had their third UK No.1 single with their version of ‘Always On My Mind. Good version of this song…

1994, The Manic Street Preachers played the first of three nights at The Astoria, London, the last shows Richie James made with the band before disappearing.This is one of those really weird happenings in pop music…

1998, Irish girl group B*Witched  UK No.1 single ‘To You I Belong’

1999, Irish boyband Westlife UK No.1 with their versions of the Abba song ‘I Have A Dream’ and the Terry Jacks hit (written in French by Belgian, Jacques Brel and English lyrics by poet Rod McKuen), ‘Seasons In The Sun’. It gave the group the Christmas No.1 and the last No.1 of the century.
2000, Songwriter, guitarist and singer and founder member of The Staple Singers, Roebuck ‘pop’ Staples died. Probably helped in the UK by disco play

2001, former Spice Girl Emma Bunton paid £3,000 for a custom built toilet. The singer ordered the hand painted porcelain loo complete with hand crafted toilet roll holder for her new £500,000 seaside apartment. If you’ve got it flaunt it…

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Thursday 18th December 2014 Save Your Love’

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CIMG6891Remember, you can listen to the day’s story of the music whilst reading my blog by clicking this link.   1982, UK-based Italian tenor and English girl Renee And Renato were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Save Your Love’, the duo’s only UK Top 40 hit and this years Christmas No.1

I am furious with what the Taliban has done in India. What have these poor children done to deserve such a fate? Their only crime was to turn up at their school and try to use their brains which have been given to them from whatever greater power we may believe in. Please don’t teach me about forgiveness as this comes nowhere near what I feel in my heart right now. I was already sadenned by the act of terror in Sydney where other innocent victims have suffered.

It wasn’t too cold around 10 am when I started my walk with my friend Roberto. The sun was shining but in the shaded areas it was nippy. We walked and talked for the next two hours and we alternated between English and Spanish which is the object of the exercise. I am now convinced that the only real chance I have of becoming fluent in this language is to immerse myself on a daily basis.

I watch the early morning news and try not to use the subtitles. I normally have a bit of success with the news. The next few programmes can be hit and miss. By all means there are reasonably good programmes but it’s whether or not I learn from them that’s more important. Sometimes it becomes easy to see that you do not learn much from just watching the tv and I have become a bit more selective in the programmes I follow. It also highlights the repitition that we have in our languages. Sometimes this can be very helpful and for everyday phrases this is a benefit. However, repeating rubbish can become boring!

After, another walk down to Poniente I met Anne and we went home for dinner. After a miniscule break it was time to go back to La Nucia for my other Spanish class. In this class we have more Germans and Russians and I have to communicate in Spanish as nobody else speaks English. This is good for me.


My friend, Dave, sent me the following….

Hi Bob,This is Alan next door. I’m sorry buddy, but I have a confession to make to you.  I’ve been riddled with guilt these past few months and have been trying to pluck up the courage to tell you to your face but I am at least now  telling in text as I can’t live with myself a moment longer without you knowing. The truth is, I have been sharing your wife, day and night when you’re not around.  In fact, probably more than you, particularly in the mornings after you’ve left for work. I haven’t been getting it at home recently, but that’s no excuse I know.I can no longer live with the guilt and I hope you will accept my sincerest apologies. My wife has known for some time now and I’ve promised her that it won’t happen again.

Regards, Alan.

Bob, feeling anguished and betrayed, immediately went into his  bedroom, grabbed  his gun, and without a word, shot his wife twice in the head, killing her  instantly. He returned to the lounge where he poured himself a stiff drink and  sat down on the sofa. He took out his phone to respond to the neighbour’s text and saw he  had another message:-

Hi Bob,

This is Alan next door again.
Sorry about the slight typo on my last text, I expect you worked it  out.   Anyway, but as I’m sure you noticed, my predictive text changed ‘WiFi’ To ‘Wife’.  Hope you saw the funny side of that.Regards, Alan.


My friend, Phil Price,  asked me to include this interesting article….

I certainly agree that the off-shore radio stations of the 1960s had a profound effect upon radio in the UK, but up until 1964, the BBC stations had not seen any competition from any other source. Therefore, with the advent of Radio Caroline, listeners had a new choice which had not been available before.

Yes, the off-shore stations were “A breath of fresh air”, as they offered listeners a new and vibrant way of radio, including Radio London, which had been based up American radio stations. However, because of their immense popularity, the “Establishment” of UK radio had to adapt quickly to cater for a more modern style of radio, which lifted broadcasting out of the post-war staid format, which had been the only style of radio for many years. Nevertheless, as witnessed by Simon Dee, the first broadcaster on Radio Caroline in 1964, it remained extremely difficult for the “Establishment” to accept the modern DJs, who had cut their teeth in pirate radio.  Here is some information about Simon’s career:-

Simon Dee was the first voice to be heard on Radio Caroline, and went on to become a true icon of the 60s, with his show “Dee Time” being a key feature of  Saturday night viewing. He also had his own radio show for the BBC in 1966. Despite this, Simon’s success with the BBC was short-lived, and Dee Time was axed in 1969, and Simon moved to LWT, London Weekend Television, to his own show “The Simon Dee Show”, but unfortunately, LWT decided to put the show on late at night, and viewing figures were relatively low. After only a few months, the show was axed in mid 1970, and Simon found himself out of favour with both BBC and ITV, and in the broadcasting wilderness.

This was a great shame for such an accomplished broadcaster, who had begun his career with Radio Caroline, and who rose quickly to become an icon of 1960s television. Simon was never able to regain his position as a popular broadcaster, which I think is a great pity, as he was a professional presenter, and a likeable television personality.  He effectively pioneered the relaxed TV chat show, and his well-spoken, laid-back approach has been a model for many broadcasters since.

Simon also tried his hand at acting in the films “The Italian Job” and “Doctor in Trouble”,and it was a real ambition of Simon’s to become an actor, although this ambition never was realised, and his acting career sadly never progressed past these films.

Simon came from a well-to-do family, and despite his fame in broadcasting, he was immensely proud of his real name, Cyril Nicholas Henty-Dodd. He was known to his friends as Nick Henty-Dodd.  He fell from grace very quickly at the end of the 60s, and unfortunately never regained his status in the media. Richard Wiseman has written a fascinating book about his life called “Whatever happened to Simon Dee?”, and Simon was the subject of a Channel 4 documentary in 2003 called “Dee Construction”. In this programme, he proved he had never lost his flair for chat shows, when he was invited to interview several stars such as Peter Wyngarde.

Simon also had a record released in the 1960s called “Julie”, and proved he could also sing as well as be a competent broadcaster. Simon Dee died of bone cancer in August, 2009, aged 74, and despite his fall from grace with the establishment, will be remembered as a true 1960s pioneering broadcaster, who typified the “Swinging 60s”.

It is clear from reading the Richard Wiseman book that it was extremely difficult for Simon Dee to be accepted by the BBC, and his career came to an abrupt end when he decided to challenge decisions made about his shows.

2009, aged 74, and despite his fall from grace with the establishment, will be remembered as a true 1960s pioneering broadcaster, who typified the “Swinging 60s”.

Having worked in radio myself during the 1960s, first as a presenter of Radio Clatterbridge in 1974, presenting a weekly Saturday music programme, and also as a guest presenter on Radio Merseyside’s Vince Tracy show as well as on Piccadilly Radio’s Roger “Twiggy” Day show in 1975, I understand, to some extent, how fragile a career in radio can be.

As I look back upon Simon’s career, and also the impact which stations like Radio Caroline and Radio London have had upon broadcasting today, it is these pioneers of radio who have been the catalyst within the UK to provide an alternative choice: A network of commercial radio, community radio,  and BBC stations which offer the listener a variety of programmes within a constantly changing competitive UK radio market.

Philip Ronald-Price

The Day’s  Events 18th December

1865 – Slavery was abolished in the United States with the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution being ratified. It took a while for the penny to drop..

1898 – A new automobile speed record was set at 39 mph (63 kph).   …..Granny Clampett?

1903 – The Panama Canal Zone was acquired ‘in perpetuity’ by the U.S. for an annual rent. That was Dickinson’s real deal!

1912 – The U.S. Congress prohibited the immigration of illiterate persons. Yer woh?

1912 – The discovery of the Piltdown Man in East Sussex was announced. It was proved to be a hoax in 1953. It took a few people in on the way

1916 – During World War I, after 10 months of fighting the French defeated the Germans in the Battle of Verdun.

1936 – Su-Lin, the first giant panda to come to the U.S. from China, arrived in San Francisco, CA.

1940 – Adolf Hitler signed a secret directive ordering preparations for a Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union. Operation “Barbarossa” was launched in June 1941. He didn’t take the weather into account..

1944 – The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the wartime relocation of Japanese-Americans, but also stated that undeniably loyal Americans of Japanese ancestry could not be detained.

1950 – NATO foreign ministers approved plans to defend Western Europe, including the use of nuclear weapons, if necessary.

1956 – Japan was admitted to the United Nations.

1963 – Ron Clarke set a world record when he ran six miles in 28 minutes and 15.6 seconds. He was one of the early all-time greats

1969 – Britain’s Parliament abolished the death penalty for murder.Why?

1970 – Divorce became legal in Italy. Why?

1972 – The United States began the heaviest bombing of North Vietnam during the Vietnam War. The attack ended 12 days later.Horrible

1973 – The IRA launched its Christmas bombing campaign in London. Horrible

1979 – The sound barrier was broken on land for the first time by Stanley Barrett when he drove at 739.6 mph.Why?

1987 – Ivan F. Boesky was sentenced to three years in prison for plotting Wall Street’s biggest insider-trading scandal. He only served about two years of the sentence. Why? We’ve been paying for this type of action ever since.

1996 – Despite a U.N. truce, factional fighting in the Somali capital of Mogadishu, broke out in which at least 300 fighters and civilians were killed.

1998 – Russia recalled its U.S. ambassador in protest of the U.S. attacks on Iraq.

2009 – General Motors announced that it would shut down its Saab brand. I bet they regret this

2010 – James Cameron’s movie “Avatar” was released in the United States. On January 26, the movie became the highest-grossing film worldwide.


 The Day’s Music Events  18th December

1961, The Tokens No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight’; it reached No.11 in the UK.

1962, On their fifth visit to West Germany The Beatles played the first night of a two-week engagement at the Star-Club, Hamburg. This was a big part in the Beatles Story

1971, Jerry Lee Lewis and his wife Myra who he married when she was 13 divorced, as he prepared to marry 29-year old Karen Elizabeth Gunn Pate.He certainly was a ladies man….

1982, Hall and Oates No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Maneater’, the duo’s 5th US No.1 and biggest hit in the UK making No.6. This is a  great track

1982, UK-based Italian tenor and English girl Renee And Renato were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Save Your Love’, the duo’s only UK Top 40 hit and this years Christmas No.1.This was a gimmicky hit

1983, American guitarist Jimmy Nolan, died of a heart attack in Atlanta, Georgia, aged 47. Known for his distinctive ‘chicken scratch’ lead guitar playing, he worked with James Brown from 1965 until his death.I loved the James Brown sound and he was a big influence

1993, Take That had their third UK No.1 single with the Gary Barlow penned song ‘Babe’.I like Gary Barlowe’s songs….began warming to Take That

1999, The Spice Girls unveiled their waxwork look-alikes at Madame Tussaud’s, London. Each model had cost £35,000 to make. Marketing their brand…
2000, UK singer, songwriter Kirsty MacColl was killed in a boating accident off the coast of Mexico when a speedboat hit her. MacColl was aged 41. She is still well remembered for her songs

2001, English singer songwriter Clifford T. Ward died aged 57 after suffering from multiple sclerosis since 1984. His first album, Singer Songwriter, was released in 1972 on Dandelion Records (a label formed by the late disc jockey John Peel). He had the 1973 UK No.8 single ‘Gaye’. Working as an English teacher in the late 60’s, one of his pupils was the future wife of Sting, Trudie Styler. I loved Gaye as a song and this talent was vastly undervalued
2003, Out on bail, Michael Jackson was formally charged with seven counts of child molestation and two counts of administering intoxicating liquor to a minor with the intent of committing a crime.

2003, James Brown and country music star Loretta Lynn were honoured for their contributions to US culture. The pair were invited to a gala attended by President George Bush at the Kennedy Arts Centre in Washington.Both deserved their rewards

2005, ‘Fairytale of New York’ was voted the favourite Christmas song ever in a VH1 poll. The song by The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl took the top spot, Mariah Carey’s ‘All I Want for Christmas is You’, was voted into 2nd place and Wham’s ‘Last Christmas’ came third. Other songs voted into the Top 10 were, ’Mistletoe and Wine’, Sir Cliff Richard at No.4, ‘Merry Xmas Everybody’ by Slade at No.5, ‘I Wish it could be Christmas Everyday’, Wizzard, No.6, ‘Christmas Time’, The Darkness, No.7, ‘Saviour’s Day’, Sir Cliff Richard No.8, ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas’ (1984), Band Aid at No.9 and ‘Lonely This Christmas’ by Mud at No.10.

Born on this day

1938, , Chas Chandler, bass, The Animals Chandler became the manager of Jimi Hendrix and Slade, he died on 17th July 1996.
1943,  Keith Richards, ‘The Human Riff’, guitar, vocals, The Rolling Stone
1953, Elliot Easton, The Cars,
 (1978 UK No.3 single ‘My Best Friend’s Girl’, 1985 UK No.4 single ‘Drive’).

Birthday Boys and Girls


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Wednesday 17th December 2014 Mull of Kintyre

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CIMG6891Remember, you can listen to the day’s story of the music whilst reading my blog by clicking this link.   1977, Mr David Ackroyd purchased the one-millionth copy of ‘Mull Of Kintyre’, by Wings in the UK and became the first record buyer to receive a Gold Disc.

It was a different kind of day yesterday. I went off to my Spanish class early and it was bright but a bit nippy. I enjoyed my walk up the hill and then it was time to do battle with the Spanish language. We have four Germans and another Englishman in the class which mans we generally communicate in Spanish and very little English is spoken for two hours.

I got back home around midday and ate a very substantial salad before we went down to see Paco at the Doctor’s surgery. From there we went to see Darren at Labels before going to see Rudi down in Alfaz. It is the embryo stage of a guitar club and I met a couple of guitarists plus a friend we’ve known from Benidorm since we got here. We then went to do a bit of shopping in Mercadona before I walked back up the hill ready to enjoy our evening meal. Also, it was the last episode of The Missing.



In 1919 when the flu killed 40 million people there was this Doctor that visited the many farmers to see if he could help them combat the flu…
Many of the farmers and their families had contracted it and many died.

The doctor came upon this one farmer and to his surprise, everyone was very healthy. When the doctor asked what the farmer was doing that was different the wife replied that she had placed an unpeeled onion in a dish in the rooms of the home, (probably only two rooms back then). The doctor couldn’t believe it and asked if he could have one of the onions and place it under the microscope. She gave him one and when he did this, he did find the flu virus in the onion. It obviously absorbed the bacteria, therefore, keeping the family healthy.

Now, I heard this story from my hairdresser. She said that several years ago, many of her employees were coming down with the flu, and so were many of her customers. The next year she placed several bowls with onions around in her shop. To her surprise, none of her staff got sick. It must work. Try it and see what happens. We did it last year and we never got the flu.

Now there is a P. S. to this for I sent it to a friend in Oregon who regularly contributes material to me on health issues. She replied with this most interesting experience about onions:

Thanks for the reminder. I don’t know about the farmer’s story…but, I do know that I contacted pneumonia, and, needless to say, I was very ill… I came across an article that said to cut both ends off an onion put it into an empty jar, and place the jar next to the sick patient at night. It said the onion would be black in the morning from the germs…sure enough it happened just like that…the onion was a mess and I began to feel better.

Another thing I read in the article was that onions and garlic placed around the room saved many from the black plague years ago. They have powerful antibacterial, antiseptic properties.

This is the other note. Lots of times when we have stomach problems we don’t know what to blame. Maybe it’s the onions that are to blame. Onions absorb bacteria is the reason they are so good at preventing us from getting colds and flu and is the very reason we shouldn’t eat an onion that has been sitting for a time after it has been cut open.


I had the wonderful privilege of touring Mullins Food Products, Makers of mayonnaise. Questions about food poisoning came up, and I wanted to share what I learned from a chemist.

Ed, who was our tour guide, is a food chemistry whiz. During the tour, someone asked if we really needed to worry about mayonnaise. People are always worried that mayonnaise will spoil. Ed’s answer will surprise you. Ed said that all commercially-made mayo is completely safe.

“It doesn’t even have to be refrigerated. No harm in refrigerating it, but it’s not really necessary.” He explained that the pH in mayonnaise is set at a point that bacteria could not survive in that environment. He then talked about the summer picnic, with the bowl of potato salad sitting on the table, and how everyone blames the mayonnaise when someone gets sick.

Ed says that, when food poisoning is reported, the first thing the officials look for is when the ‘victim’ last ate ONIONS and where those onions came from (in the potato salad?). Ed says it’s not the mayonnaise (as long as it’s not homemade mayo) that spoils in the outdoors. It’s probably the ONIONS, and if not the onions, it’s the POTATOES.

He explained onions are a huge magnet for bacteria, especially uncooked onions. You should never plan to keep a portion of a sliced onion.. He says it’s not even safe if you put it in a zip-lock bag and put it in your refrigerator.

It’s already contaminated enough just by being cut open and out for a bit, that it can be a danger to you (and doubly watch out for those onions you put in your hotdogs at the baseball park!). Ed says if you take the leftover onion and cook it like crazy you’ll probably be okay, but if you slice that leftover onion and put on your sandwich, you’re asking for trouble. Both the onions and the moist potato in a potato salad, will attract and grow bacteria faster than any commercial mayonnaise will even begin to break down.

Also, dogs should never eat onions. Their stomachs cannot metabolize onions.

Please remember it is dangerous to cut an onion and try to use it to cook the next day, it becomes highly poisonous for even a single night and creates toxic bacteria which may cause adverse stomach infections because of excess bile secretions and even food poisoning.


Why She Changed Hotels

Last week, a 60 plus year old woman checked into the Four Seasons in Palm Beach and was a bit lonely. She thought, “I’ll call one of those men you see advertised in phone books for escorts and sensual massages.”

She looked through the phone book, found a full page ad for a guy calling himself Damon – a very handsome man with assorted
physical skills flexing in the photo. He had all the right muscles in all the right places, thick wavy hair, long powerful legs, dazzling smile, six pack abs and she felt quite certain she could bounce a quarter off his well oiled butt … you get the picture.

She figured, what the heck, she’d give him a call..

“Hello, ma’am, how may I help you?” . . . Oh my, she thought he sounded sooo sexy!

Afraid she would lose her nerve if she hesitated, she said, “Hi, I hear you give a great massage, I’d like you to come to my room number 420 at the Four Seasons Hotel and give me one. No, wait, I should be straight with you I’m in town all alone and what I really want is sex. I want it hard, I want it hot, and I want it now. Bring implements, toys, rubber, leather, whips, everything you’ve got in your bag of tricks. We’ll go hot and heavy all night – tie me up, cover me in chocolate syrup and whipped cream, anything and everything baby. Now how does that sound?”
He said, “Oh my God … that sounds absolutely fantastic, but you need to press 9 for an outside line.”

The Day’s  Events 17th December

1777 – France recognized American independence. The Anglo-French rivalry had extended to the Americas for some time

1791 – A traffic regulation in New York City established the first street to go “One Way.”They do this in Spain at a minute’s notice…. and hope for the best

1830 – South American patriot Simon Bolivar died in Colombia.

1903 – The first successful gasoline-powered airplane flight took place near Kitty Hawk,NC. Orville and Wilbur Wright made the flight.Brave men

1939 – The German pocket battleship Graf Spee was scuttled by its crew, bringing the World War II Battle of the Rio de la Plata off Uruguay to an end.

1944 – The U.S. Army announced the end of its policy of excluding Japanese-Americans from the West Coast which ensured that Japanese-Americans were released from detention camps.

1957 – The United States successfully test-fired the Atlas intercontinental ballistic missile for the first time. What might have started as good news has now brought the horrific spectre of intercontinental nuclear war

1969 – The U.S. Air Force closed its Project “Blue Book” by concluding that there was no evidence of extraterrestrial spaceships behind thousands of UFO sightings. Why?

1969 – Television history was made when Tiny Tim and Miss Vicki Budinger were married on “The Tonight Show” with Johnny Carson.Tiny Tim was a real character and most older Brits will still remember him tip-toeing through the tulips

1973 – Thirty-one people were killed at Rome airport when Arab guerillas hijacked a German airliner.Horrific

1978 – OPEC decided to raise oil prices by 14.5% by the end of 1979. They have us all over a barrel..

1986 – Davina Thompson became the world’s first recipient of a heart, lungs, and liver transplant.What an amazing thing this is….

1992 – Israel deported over 400 Palestinians to Lebanese territory in an unprecedented mass expulsion of suspected militants.

1996 – Peruvian guerrillas took hundreds of people hostage at the Japanese embassy in Lima. The siege ended on April 22, 1997, with a commando raid that resulted in the deaths of all the rebels, two commandos and one hostage. Good riddance

1997 – U.S. President Clinton signed the No Electronic Theft Act. The act removed protection from individuals who claimed that they took no direct financial gains from stealing copyrighted works and downloading them from the Internet.

2002 – McDonald’s Corp. warned that they would report its first quarterly loss in its 47-year history. Were people starting to look more carefully at what they eat?

2004 – U.S. President George W. Bush signed into law the largest overhaul of U.S. intelligence gathering in 50 years. The bill aimed to tighten borders and aviation security. It also created a federal counter terrorism centre and a new intelligence director.

 The Day’s  Music Events 17th December

1960, Returning from Hamburg, The Beatles appeared at the Casbah Coffee Club in Liverpool. Chas Newby joined The Beatles on bass guitar to replace Stuart Sutcliffe, who had remained in Hamburg. When Newby bowed out to return to college, Paul McCartney became The Beatles’ bass player.So guess what Chas Newby’s claim to fame is?

1962, Bob Dylan arrived in England for the first time; first UK date was the next day at the Troubadour Club in London. Exciting times

1963, James Carroll at WWDC in Washington, DC, became the first disc jockey to broadcast a Beatles record on American radio. Carroll played ‘I Want To Hold Your Hand’, which he had obtained from his stewardess girlfriend, who brought the single back from the UK. Due to listener demand, the song was played daily, every hour. Since it hadn’t been released yet in the States, Capitol Records initially considered court action, but instead released the single earlier than planned.This is where commonsense prevailed because Carroll had brought the song to the attention of the public.

1968, The Who played their Xmas party at the Marquee Club, London. Also on the bill was a new group called Yes. Members 15 shillings or £1.A good quid’s worth!
1973, Slade were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Merry Xmas Everybody’ their sixth chart topper. It was Noddy Holder’s voice that was so catchy

1977, Mr David Ackroyd purchased the one-millionth copy of ‘Mull Of Kintyre’, by Wings in the UK and became the first record buyer to receive a Gold Disc.This is weird. Did he resell the stock or what?

1977, deputising for The Sex Pistols on NBC- TVs ‘Saturday Night Live’, Elvis Costello stops his performance of ‘Less Than Zero’, saying ‘ there’s no reason to do this’, and launches into ‘Radio Radio’ which he’d been told not to perform.Good for you Elvis…

1977, George Harrison played an unannounced live set for the regulars at his local pub in Henley-On-Thames.I think this was definitely in the character of the quiet Beatle

1982, American Delta blues musician and songwriter Big Joe Williams died in Macon, Mississippi aged 79. Wrote ‘Baby Please Don’t Go’, a 1965 UK Top 10 for Them, (featuring Van Morrison).This is another unsung hero and I loved this song by both Them and the Animals—-

1984, Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Big Country, Duran Duran, Ultravox, Paul Young and Wham! all appeared on the UK TV show ‘Razzmatazz Solid Gold Christmas Special’. What a good line-up

1988, Featured on the front page of the NME, Bros, interviewed for the paper, a quote from Matt, ‘We’ve got the quickest selling debut LP in the history of CBS Records. You don’t do that if your talentless’.Sorry  to burst the bubble Matt but this is how good marketing has become…..

1999, American jazz-funk, soul-jazz saxophonist Grover Washington Jr died of a heart attack aged 56.  He released over 20 solo albums and featured on the 1981 Bill Withers hit ‘Just The Two of Us.’ This is another guy whose music I played over the years but never knew anything about him.

2000, Bob The Builder started a three-week run at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Can We Fix It’. Taken from the children’s television programme Bob the Builder.I think it will be obvious to most this is hardly a classic!

2004, Elvis Presley’s daughter Lisa Marie Presley agreed to sell 85% of his estate to businessman Robert Sillerman in a deal worth $100m. Sillerman would run Presley’s Memphis home Graceland, and own Elvis’ name and the rights to all revenue from his music and films. In the deal Lisa Marie would retain possession of Graceland and many of her father’s ‘personal effects.’ It had to be done and managed by an expert. Business will still go on after the star has died….
2005, U2 had the top-grossing tour of 2005, according to an end-of-year chart compiled by US magazine Billboard. More than three million people watched the band’s sell-out 90-date Vertigo tour which grossed £146.6m. Good music-good following…
2006, English saxophonist Denis Payton died. Member of Dave Clark Five …a great group with a catalogue of great hits

2006, The first winner of American Idol Leona Lewis started a 4 week run at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘A Moment Like This’, also a US No.1. Great voice


Born on this day

936,Tommy Steele, singer, actor

1939, Eddie Kendricks, vocals, The Temptations…… Died on 5th October 1992.

. 1943,, David Dee, Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich, (1968 UK No.1 single ‘Legend Of Xanadu’). Dee died on 9th Jan 2009 at the age of 65, following a three-year battle with cancer. The singer, whose real name was David Harman, was originally a police officer and as a police cadet was called to the scene of the car crash that killed Eddie Cochrane during a UK tour in 1960.This is an amazing piece of pop trivia


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Tuesday 16th December 2014 Hey Joe

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CIMG6891Remember, you can listen to the day’s story of the music whilst reading my blog by clicking this link.   1966, the first Jimi Hendrix Experience single ‘Hey Joe’, was released in the UK on Polydor records, the track had been rejected by the Decca label. No.6 hit in the UK failed to chart in America

It was grey practically all day yesterday. There were some very menacing clouds coming across the Mediterranean from the direction of Calpe early in the morning and I had things that had to be done. I had to contact the HSBC and I spent over an hour finding their contact numbers don’t seem to connect too easily from Spain. Moreover, it’s almost as if the technology has been designed to deter anyone from making a complaint. The links didn’t work and seemed to throw a hissy fit at the slightest click of a mouse. Before you ask, I wasn’t impressed!

Around 2 pm we had a very nice Ratatouille and then it was time for a quick rest before going up to meet our students who turn up for our English class in La Nucia. Despite the rain and cold 10 hardy souls turned up and it’s always a pleasure to be in their company.

It looks like the extremists are everywhere. You’d think Australia might be just a little too far but our trips to the country last year left me in no doubt that they could well suffer from extremist activity. How sad that these events should happen around Christmas.


Music Saved My Life

Little Noah came into the house with a new harmonica. “Grandpa, do you mind if I play this in here?”

“Of course not, Noah. I love music. In fact, when your grandma and I were young, music saved my life.”

“What happened?”

“Well, it was during the famous Johnstown flood. The dam broke, and when the water hit our house, it knocked it right off the foundation. Grandma got on the dining room table and
floated out safely.”

“How about you?”

“Me? I accompanied her on the piano!”



While shepherds watched their flocks by night all seated on the ground,The Angel of the Lord came down, and Glory shone around.

The Union of Shepherds has complained that it breaches Health & SafetyRegulations to insist the shepherds watch their flocks without appropriate seating arrangements being provided. Therefore, benches, stools and orthopaedic chairs must be available.Shepherds have also requested that, due to inclement weather they should watch their flocks via CCTV cameras behind centrally heated shepherd  observation huts. The Angel of the Lord is reminded that before shining his / her Glory allaround, the shepherds must be issued with glasses capable of filtering out any harmful effects of UVA, UVB and Glory lighting.


Little donkey, little donkey on the dusty road, Got to keep on plodding onwards, with your precious load.

The RSPCA has issued strict guidelines with regard to how heavy a load a donkey of small stature is permitted to carry. Also in the guidelines are permitted feeding breaks, and at least one rest break in a four-hour plodding period. Due to the risk of pollution from the dusty road, Mary and Joseph are required to wear face-masks. The ‘Little Donkey’ has expressed his discomfort as being labelled ‘Little’and would prefer to being simply referred to as ‘Mr Donkey’. Comments upon his height or otherwise are considered to be a breach of his equine rights.


We three Kings of Orient are, Bearing gifts we traverse afar, Field and fountain, Moor and Mountain, Following yonder star.

Whilst the gift of Gold is still considered acceptable – as it may be redeemed at a later date through such organisations such as ‘Cash4Gold’etc., gifts of Frankincense and Myrrh are not appropriate due to the risk of oils and fragrances causing allergic reactions. An acceptable alternative might be a gift voucher. It is not recommended that traversing Kings should rely on star navigation,and would advise the use of AA RouteFinder or sat nav. Both can provide the quickest route and advise on fuel consumption. As in the case of Mr. Donkey, the three camels require regular rest and food  breaks and face masks for the three Kings are obligatory due to the likelihood of desert dust disturbed by the camel hooves.


Little Jesus sweetly sleep, do not stir, We will lend a coat of fur, We will rock you, rock you, rock you, We will rock you, rock you, rock you,

Fur is no longer appropriate wear for small infants due to the risk of allergy and for ethical reasons. Therefore, false fur, a cellular blanket or, perhaps, micro-fleece material should be considered alternatives. Please note that, only persons who have been subject to a Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check and have enhanced clearance will be permitted to rock Baby Jesus. Persons must carry their CRB disclosure at all times and be prepared to provide three forms of identification before any rocking commences.


Dashing through the snow on a one-horse open sleigh, Over fields we go – laughing all the way.

A Risk Assessment must be submitted before an open sleigh is considered safe for members of the public to ride. The Risk Assessment should also consider whether the use of only one horse is appropriate – particularly if passengers are of larger proportions. Permission from landowners must be gained before entering any ‘Open Fields’.
To avoid offending those not participating in the venture, it is required that only ‘moderate’ laughter is used and not at a noise level likely to be of nuisance to others.


Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer, had a very shiny nose, And if you ever saw it, you would even say it glows, All of the other reindeer used to laugh and call him names, They never let poor Rudolph join in any reindeer games.

You are advised that, under the Equal Opportunities Policy, it is inappropriate for persons to make comment upon the rudeness of Mr. R.Reindeer. Name-calling contravenes our Anti-Bullying policy, and further to this, the exclusion of Mr. R. Reindeer from any reindeer games will be considered discriminatory and disciplinary action will be taken against anyone found guilty of this offence. A full investigation will be implemented, leading to imposing sanctions such as a ban from hanging up stockings or enjoying Christmas dinner.

 The Day’s  Events 16th December

1653 – Oliver Cromwell became lord protector of England, Scotland and Ireland. This guy took no prisoners

1773 – Nearly 350 chests of tea were dumped into Boston Harbor off of British ships by Colonial patriots. The patriots were disguised as Indians. The act was to protest taxation without representation and the monopoly the government granted to the East India Company. It was a good protest which is well remembered and certainly they got it off their chest..

1809 – Napoleon Bonaparte was divorced from the Empress Josephine by an act of the French Senate. Not tonight Josephine….

1835 – In New York, 530 buildings were destroyed by fire.

1901 – “The Tale of Peter Rabbit,” by Beatrix Potter, was printed for the first time.

1903 – Women ushers were employed for the first time at the Majestic

1809 – Napoleon Bonaparte was divorced from the Empress Josephine by an act of the French Senate. Not tonight Josephine….

1835 – In New York, 530 buildings were destroyed by fire.

1901 – “The Tale of Peter Rabbit,” by Beatrix Potter, was printed for the first time.

1903 – Women ushers were employed for the first time at the Majestic Theatre in New York City.Did they have torches?

1912 – The first postage stamp to depict an airplane was issued was a 20-cent parcel-post stamp. It was only for air mail…

1916 – Gregory Rasputin, the monk who had wielded powerful influence over the Russian court, was murdered by a group of noblemen.

1940 – French Premier Petain arrested Pierre Laval after learning of a plan for Laval to seize power and set up a new government with German support. Brilliant. After all we’ve done for you..

1944 – During World War II, the Battle of the Bulge began in Belgium. It was the final major German counteroffensive in the war.

1996 – Britain’s agriculture minister announced the slaughter of an additional 100,000 cows thought to be at risk of contracting BSE in an effort to persuade the EU to lift its ban on Britain. These were torrid times for the farmers in Britain….

1998 – The U.S. and Britain fired hundreds of missiles on Iraq in response to Saddam Hussein’s refusal to comply with U.N. weapons inspectors.

2000 – Researchers announced that information from NASA’s Galileo spacecraft indicated that Ganymede appeared to have a liquid saltwater ocean beneath a surface of solid ice. Ganymede, a moon of Jupiter, is the solar system’s largest moon. The discovery is considered important since water is a key ingredient for life.

2001 – In Tora Bora, Afghanistan, tribal fighters announced that they had taken the last al-Quaida positions. More than 200 fighters were killed and 25 captured. They also announced that they had found no sign of Osama Bin Laden. What good has this really done anyone?

2001 – Cuba received the first commercial food shipment from the United States in nearly 40 years. The shipment was sent to help Cuba after Hurricane Michelle hit Cuba on November 4, 2001. Good news

2001 – A British newspaper, The Observer, reported that a notebook had been found at an al-Quaida training camp in southern Afghanistan. The notebook contained a “blue print” for an bomb attack on London’s financial district.


The Day’s Music Events  16th December

1961, The Beatles played a night show at the Cavern Club, Liverpool. I was at the lunchtime session

1965, Released as a double A side The Beatles ‘Day Tripper / We Can Work It Out….I particularly liked John Lennon playing the harmonium

1966, the first Jimi Hendrix Experience single ‘Hey Joe’, was released in the UK on Polydor records, the track had been rejected by the Decca label. No.6 hit in the UK failed to chart in America……and I loved the B side Stone Free

1970, five singles and five albums by Credence Clearwater Revival were certified gold in the US. This is why this band is so revered.

1972, Billy Paul  No.1 with ‘Me and Mrs Jones’, a No.12 hit in the UK.This is a really  classy track

1974, guitarist Mick Taylor announced he was leaving The Rolling Stones
1974, UK group Mott The Hoople announced they had split up.

1983, The Who announced that they were splitting up. Why?  Where?
1988, American soul and disco singer Sylvester James died of complications from AIDS in San Francisco aged 41. -UK No.8 single ‘You Make Me Feel, Mighty Real’.This was a great disco hit

1989, Jive Bunny and The Mastermixes had their third and final UK No.1 single with ‘Let’s Party’. With their first three releases making No.1, they equalled the record set by Gerry & The Pacemakers in 1963 and Frankie Goes To Hollywood in 1984.However, you don’t really think of this as being in the same league of eminence..

1991, Chubby Checker filed a lawsuit against McDonald’s in Canada seeking $14million for it’s alleged use of an imitation of his voice. The song ‘The Twist’ had been used on a French fries commercial.
1993, with stories beginning to surface about Michael Jackson’s alleged improprieties with young boys, St. Louis radio station KEZK announced that it would be no longer playing the singer’s records.What happened to innocent until proven guilty?

1999, A 28 year-old man died after falling more than 80ft at Earls Court, London, while dismantling the set at a Spice Girls concert. It’s easy to overlook all the people who have to set the scene for major concerts

2000, the estranged father and former manager of LeAnn Rimes made embarrassing allegations during a legal battle involving millions of pounds. One fact told in court was that LeAnn paid her mother £6,700 every time she styled her hair before a show. What happened to not washing your dirty linen in public?
2001, Stuart Adamson, lead singer of Big Country was found dead in Hawaii a month after disappearing from his home in the US. The 43-year old Scottish musician had fought a long battle against alcoholism. His body was found in a hotel room.Yet another tragic end to a pop hero

2001, Robbie Williams and Nicole Kidman started a three-week run at No.1 on the UK singles chart with their version of the Frank and Nancy Sinatra 1967 No.1 hit ‘Somethin’ Stupid’. The Christmas No.1 for this year. Classy song

2003, Michael Jackson was out on police bail of $3m after being arrested following allegations of child abuse. The 45-year-old singer strenuously denied the allegations, calling them a big lie. Following the allegations of child abuse a special information web site was set up by the District Attorney’s office because of the level of media interest in the case. Mr Jackson, who was arrested, cited and released after surrendering to police on 20th November, was due to appear in court on 9 January.For my money, the police executive on our TV sets had made his mind up that Michael Jackson was guilty..

2004, Gold and silver Black Sabbath discs were stolen from the Kent home of Ozzy Osbourne’s former manager Patrick Meehan. Police recovered the discs a week later after they were offered for sale on the internet auction site eBay.The power of the internet?

. 2006, Sir Paul McCartney said he left EMI, his record label of 45 years, as it had become “boring” and he had “dreaded going to see” its executives. McCartney told The Times that the company’s handling of his music had become “symbolic of the treadmill”. The ex-Beatle went on to sign a deal with Starbucks’ label, Hear Music.I think most things would have become boring after a continuity of 45 years

2007, American singer songwriter Dan Fogelberg died at his home in Maine at the age of 56.


Born on this day

1934, Karl Denver, UK singer, (1962 UK No.4 single ‘Wimoweh’, Denver died on 21st December 1998.

1945,  Tony Hicks, guitar, The Hollies, (over 25 Top 40 hits since 1963

1946, Benny Anderson, keyboards, vocals, Abba


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Monday 15th December 2014 ‘Another Brick In The Wall

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CIMG6891Remember, you can listen to the day’s story of the music whilst reading my blog by clicking this link.   1979, Pink Floyd started a five week run at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Another Brick In The Wall, (part 2),’ their only UK chart topper.

It was a grey old day yesterday. It wasn’t too cold but I had a lazy morning and watched a bit of TV before I got up. I didn’t really do a lot before putting myself through the stress of watching another Liverpool disaster. I really have to blame the manager. To change the goalkeeper for such a big game was not a good idea. To play midgets against big men isn’t a good idea. Sterling missed a couple of sitters. He can run with the ball. He can dribble. He doesn’t seem to know how to shoot at the goal! There are far too many Liverpool players playing for their bank balances and not enough playing with their heart on their sleeve.

To be fair, Manchester United are hitting some good form but Liverpool could have scored four or five goals if their strikers had not been so inept. The United goalkeeper also gave a good account of himself. Van Persie has got his appetite back and Rooney always tries to give something. I definitely see Manchester United finishing top four this year. Liverpool meet Arsenal next week. That will be another disaster if today is anything to go by.

Do I sound fed up? Do I sound annoyed? There are people finding it difficult to feed their families whilst these Liverpool flops swan around the football field without breaking into a sweat. If they were paid by results they would end up owing the club money. I have supported Liverpool whn they had a great team. This year they will be lucky to finish in the top 12 unless drastic action is taken. If this means we need a new manager then Brendan Rogers has been trated fairly. I think Roy Rogers would have had more success with these cowboys!

We went down to Poniente for a walk and got wet. The rain was still falling around midnight and I was still fuming about that inept Liverpool shower……..The picture below reflects my mood!

… A man was sitting on the edge of the bed, observing his wife, looking at herself in the mirror. Since her birthday was not far off he asked what she’d like to have for her Birthday.

‘I’d like to be twelve again’, she replied, still looking in the mirror.
On the morning of her Birthday, he arose early, made her a nice big bowl of Coco Pops,and then took her to Alton towers theme park.

What a day!He put her on every ride in the park; the Death Slide, the Corkscrew, the Wall of Fear, the Screaming Monster Roller Coaster, everything there was.Five hours later they staggered out of the theme park.Her head was reeling and her stomach felt upside down.
He then took her to a Mc Donald’s where he ordered her a Happy Meal with extra fries and a chocolate shake.Then it was off to the cinema with popcorn, a huge Cola, and her favourite sweets……M&M’s.What a fabulous adventure!

Finally she wobbled home with her husband and collapsed into bed exhausted.
He leaned over his wife with a big smile and lovingly asked,’Well Dear, what was it like being twelve again?’Her eyes slowly opened and her expression suddenly changed.’I meant my dress size, you idiot!!!!’    The moral of the story: Even when a man is listening, he gets it wrong!


The Day’s  Events 15th December

1654 – A meteorological office established in Tuscany began recording daily temperature readings.Tomorrow will be pretty cold

1840 – Napoleon Bonapart’s remains were interred in Les Invalides in Paris, having been brought from St. Helena, where he died in exile. He certainly was a man of substance

1854 – In Philadelphia, the first street cleaning machine was put into use.

1877 – Thomas Edison patented the phonograph. Wow

1890 – American Sioux Indian Chief Sitting Bull and 11 other tribe members were killed in Grand River, SD, during an incident with Indian police working for the U.S. government.

1939 – “Gone With the Wind,” produced by David O. Selznick based on the novel by Margaret Mitchell, premiered at Loew’s Grand Theater in Atlanta. The movie starred Vivien Leigh and Clark Gable.

1944 – A single-engine plane carrying U.S. Army Major Glenn Miller disappeared in thick fog over the English Channel while en route to Paris. This is one of those sad events

1961 – Former Nazi official Adolf Eichmann was sentenced to death in Jerusalem by an Israeli court. He had been tried on charges for organizing the deportation of Jews to concentration camps. I have no sympathy for this man

1965 – Two U.S. manned spacecraft, Gemini 6 and Gemini 7, maneuvered within 10 feet of each other while in orbit around the Earth. A fantastic feat…

1966 – Walter Elias “Walt” Disney died in Los Angeles at the age of 65. A brilliant mind…

1970 – The Soviet probe Venera 7 became the first spacecraft to land softly on the surface of Venus. The probe only survived the extreme heat and pressure for about 23 minutes and transmitted the first data received on Earth from the surface of another planet. OK. An expensive 23 minutes

1979 – The former shah of Iran, Muhammad Riza Pahlavi, left the United States for Panama. He had gone to the U.S. for medical treatment on October 22, 1979.

1982 – Gibraltar’s frontier with Spain was opened to pedestrian use after 13 years. This is an interesting place to visit…pop into Tescos and you’ll see what I mean…

1993 – The prime ministers of Britain and the Republic of Ireland (John Major and Albert Reynolds respectively) made the “Downing Street Declaration,” stating the basis for trying to achieve peace in Northern Ireland. Good work

1995 – The U.N. Security Council authorized NATO to take over the peacekeeping operations in Bosnia.

1999 – Syria reopened peace talks with Israel in Washington, DC, with the mediation of U.S. President Clinton.

2000 – The Chernobyl atomic power plant in Kiev, Ukraine, was shut down.This mistake impacted on everyone…air knows no frontiers

2001 – It was announced that Siena Heights University would begin offering a class called “Animated Philosophy and Religion.” The two-credit class would cover how religion and philosophy are part of popular culture and is based on the television series “The Simpsons.” Sorry. You’re way off academic course on this one…

 The Day’s Music Events 15th December

1943, American jazz musician, singer and composer, Fats Waller died of pneumonia on a train trip near Kansas City, Missouri. Wrote many songs including ‘Ain’t Misbehavin’, ‘Your Feet’s Too Big’ and ‘The Reefer Song’. In 1926 Waller was kidnapped at gunpoint in Chicago and driven to a club owned by gangster Al Capone. Inside the club he was ordered to perform at what turned out to be a surprise birthday party for the gangster.What a great piece of pop trivia….Al Capone comes don’t argue…

1956, Elvis Presley gave his final performance on Louisiana Hayride…at the end of the show, Horace Logan first made the now legendary phrase ‘Elvis has left the building’.This is probably used somewhere in the world every week of the year

1962, The Beatles played two separate shows at the same venue, the Majestic Ballroom in Birkenhead, Merseyside. First they played a standard Majestic booking then at midnight, the first-ever “Mersey Beat” poll awards show took place. As poll winners, The Beatles closed the show (at 4:00 am).This is the ballroom where Rory Storm jumped over the balcony and killed himself. Ringo had been the drummer in his band

1969, John Lennon played his final gig in the UK  at The Lyceum Ballroom, London, with the Plastic Ono Band in a UNICEF ‘Peace For Christmas’ benefit.

1972, Supertramp appeared at Cardiff High School, Wales.I wonder was it raining again…?

1973, Charlie Rich US  No.1  with ‘The Most Beautiful Girl’, the singers only No.1 single, a No.2 hit in the UK. This was a great hit song

1977, The Sex Pistols were refused entry into the USA two days before a scheduled NBC TV appearance. Johnny Rotten because of a drugs conviction, Paul Cook & Sid Vicious because of ‘moral turpitude’ and Steve Jones because of his criminal record.It’s a pity the UK didn’t refuse them permission to re-enter the UK
1979, Pink Floyd started a five week run at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Another Brick In The Wall, (part 2),’ their only UK chart topper. If you believe in the subliminal influence of music this is a dangerous record…

1984, ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas’ by Band Aid entered the UK chart at No.1 and stayed at the top for five weeks. It became the biggest selling UK single of all time with sales over 3 and a half million. Band Aid was masterminded by former Boomtown Rats singer Bob Geldof, who had been moved by a TV news story of famine in Ethiopia. Geldof had the idea of raising funds with a one-off charity single featuring the cream of the current pop world. Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet, Paul Young, Culture Club, George Michael, Sting, Bono, Phil Collins, Paul Weller, Francis Rossi and Rick Parfitt of Status Quo and Bananarama all appeared on the recording.Please bear in mind that George Harrison had been the first to undertake such a gathering of minds regarding Bangladesh in the 70s. Nevertheless, well done Bob.

1988, soul singer James Brown was sentenced to six years in prison for various offences including possession of weapons and resisting arrest.I loved his music but he was a tearaway…

1990, Rod Stewart married New Zealand model Rachel Hunter in Beverly Hills. Stewart was quoted as saying ‘I Found the Girl that I Want, I won’t be putting my banana in anybody’s fruit bowl from now on’. They split in 1999.Obviously a banana split!

1997, ‘Spice World The Movie’, featuring The Spice Girls premiered at The Empire, Leicester Sq, London. The following year it was nominated for the ‘worst film’ at the Golden Raspberry Awards. Anyone surprised?
1999, Boy George was knocked unconscious when a mirror ball fell on his head during a show in Dorset, England.The damage to the ball was substantial.

1999, former Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren announced that he was running for the Mayor of London. He said he would be campaigning for brothels, pot shops and boozing in libraries. “I changed London with the Sex Pistols, I can change London as Mayor.”He was one bad influence…
1999, Posh Spice Victoria Beckham knocked a crazed fan to the ground after he tried to grab her baby son Brooklyn as she left Harrods in London.Well done..

2001, American funk and soul singer Rufus Thomas died of heart failure aged 84.  ‘Walking The Dog’ and  ‘Do The Funky Chicken’were great disco hits. A street is named in his honor, just off Beale Street in Memphis.

2002, Blue featuring Elton John went to No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word.’ It gave Elton only his 5th No 1 after over 30 years of hits! He is a class act…

2006, the co-founder of Atlantic Records Ahmet Ertegun died, aged 83. Ertegun who founded Atlantic Records with Herb Abramson in 1947 helped make Ray Charles and Aretha Franklin stars and signed the Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin in the early 70s. He suffered a head injury when he fell at a Rolling Stones concert at New York’s Beacon Theatre in October, and died after slipping into a coma.He is one of pop music’s unsung heroes..

1919,  Max Yasgur, owner of the Woodstock farm where the 1969 festival was held. Yasgur died of a heart attack on 8th February 1973 aged 53. He was another unsung hero

Born on this day

1922, Alan Freed, American DJ. The man who gave ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll’ its name. Died 20th January 1965. Another unsung hero

1939, Cindy Birdsong, The Supremes

1942, Dave Clark, Dave Clark Five

1949,  Don Johnson, actor, singer, (Mami Vice)


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Sunday 14th December 2014 ‘Peace For Christmas

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CIMG6891Remember, you can listen to the day’s story of the music whilst reading my blog by clicking this link.    1969, John Lennon played his final gig in the UK  at The Lyceum Ballroom, London, with the Plastic Ono Band in a UNICEF ‘Peace For Christmas’ benefit.

It was sunny but cold when I got up yesterday morning. I had a podcast to make with Don who had sent me two very interesting songs he’d written for Christmas.  Don wrote the following missive……

The two songs I’ve sent you  will put you in the festive mood.  They are both demos I did for a musical I wrote for Radio City back in the day…there were seven songs in all and we brought in local artistes to do the acting and singing (eg Joe Butler,Johnny Kennedy,Carl Chase,Paul Damian and  few kids from The Everyman etc).

The play was about a boy who didn’t believe in Father Xmas and found out he was wrong…the hard way…it was a half hour musical and was broadcast on Xmas day two years on the run.  It was nominated for a Sony Award….it was done by many local schools and the title track was also recorded by Penny Page and Googi. This was the project I was working on when I was too busy to meet The Pope.

As usual there is a hunt for news to fill in the gaps so we are now informed that there are people STARVING in this country and the free food banks are at breaking point…followed by the news that Manchester and Liverpool are spending millions on extending their football stadiums….what is going on?… food banks?…it seems to me that these days computers,cars and huge TVs come before food. …THEN we are told we are all obese.

There is also huge publicity on fake goods…this has been going on for the last 30 years…they obviously can’t catch the perpertrators because they do a runner after selling some sucker an apparent £200 watch for a tenner.  Anyone who honestly believes they are getting a bargain at these prices are beyond help….you cannot legislate for stupidity.

I watched the Royal Command on the tele and was quite impressed…a lot of work went into it and I thought most of the acts did well….top of the bill One Direction?…ah well there you go…Dame Shirl showed them what it’s all about….I thought the royal couple did well.

There seems to be a fad these days of all the established “stars” recording old classics… and I don’t know why…personally I’m not interested in Annie Lennox trying to show how good (or not) she can sing old jazz numbers….if I want to hear that stuff I’ll listen to the original which is far better…Buble does it and Rod Stewart had a go a while back…dreadful…SING NEW STUFF…there’s plenty of it out there….and don’t get me going on Tony Bennett. I watched a concert on the tele featuring Les Paul in New York…it was on his 90th birthday….now THERE is a true legend.


I was in the studio until 2.30 pm and then it was time to come and eat my salad. After a short rest I got a shower before going down to Benidorm for a walk before the evening mass at 5.30 pm. After the mass we wandered around the Old Town where there was a very nice Christmas atmosphere with areas being used for Christmas activities. Near the Town Hall there was a very good stage presentation for the children. The place was packed and it was nice to browse around the various stalls.


Paddy McCoy, an elderly Irish farmer, received a letter from the Department for Work & Pensions stating that they suspected he was not paying his employees the statutory minimum wage and they would send an inspector to interview them.
On the appointed day, the inspector turned up. ”Tell me about your staff,” he asked Paddy.”Well,” said Paddy, “there’s the farm hand, I pay him £240 a week, and he has a free cottage.Then there’s the housekeeper. She gets £190 a week, along with free board and lodging.There’s also the half-wit. He works a 16 hour day, does 90% of the work, earns about £25 a week along with a bottle of whisky and, as a special treat, occasionally gets to sleep with my wife.”

“That’s disgraceful” said the inspector, “I need to interview the half-wit.” ”That’ll be me then,” said Paddy.

Here’s a Spanish gag if you’re Spanish is up to it!



It’s the same in English!


Events 14th December

1503 – Physician, astrologer and clairvoyant Nostradamus was born at St. Remy, Provence, France. His predictions are well worth reading

1798 – David Wilkinson of Rhode Island patented the nut and bolt machine. Brilliant

1896 – Gen. James H. Doolittle, who led the first air raid on Japan during World War II, was born. His surname belied his efforts

1903 – Orville Wright made the first attempt at powered flight. The engine stalled during take-off and the plane was damaged in the attempt. Three days later, after repairs were made, the modern aviation age was born when the plane stayed aloft for 12 seconds and flew 102 feet. This doesn’t sound much now but was a huge event then..

1911 – Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen became the first man to reach the South Pole. He reached the destination 35 days ahead of Captain Robert F. Scott. I would hate to be in that environment..

1918 – For the first time in Britain women (over 30) voted in a General Election. It was a start..

1939 – The Soviet Union was dropped from the League of Nations.

1945 – Josef Kramer, known as “the beast of Belsen,” and 10 others were executed in Hamelin for the crimes they committed at the Belsen and Auschwitz Nazi concentration camps. I have no sympathy for any of them

1946 – The U.N. General Assembly voted to establish the United Nation’s headquarters in New York City.

1959 – Archbishop Makarios was elected Cyprus’ first president.

1962 – The U.S. space probe Mariner II approached Venus. It transmitted information about the planet’s atmosphere and surface temperature. Great. How does that really help us?

1981 – Israel annexed the Golan Heights, seized from Syria in war in 1967.

1983 – The U.S. battleship New Jersey fired on Syrian positions in Lebanon for the first time after American F-14 reconnaissance flights were fired on.

1986 – The experimental aircraft Voyager, piloted by Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager, took off from California on the first non-stop, non-refueled flight around the world. The trip took nine days to complete. It took Phileas Fogg 90 days…

1987 – Chrysler pleaded no contest to federal charges of selling several thousand vehicles as new when Chrysler employees had driven the vehicles with the odometer disconnected….I could see that happening quite innocently

1988 – The first transatlantic underwater fiber-optic cable went into service. This is mind blowing..

1995 – The presidents of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Croatia signed the Dayton Accords to end fighting in Bosnia. Good

1995 – AIDS patient Jeff Getty received the first-ever bone-marrow transplant from a baboon.

1997 – Iran’s newest president, Mohammad Khatami, called for a dialogue with the people of the United States. The preceding Iranian leaders had reviled the U.S. as “The Great Satan.”

1997 – Cuban President Fidel Castro declared Christmas 1997 an official holiday to ensure the success of Pope John Paul II’s upcoming visit to Cuba. Good

1998 – Hundreds of Palestinian leaders renounced a call for the destruction of Israel.Good

1999 – U.S. and German negotiators agreed to establish a $5.2 billion fund for Nazi-era slave and forced laborers.Good

2001 – European Union leaders agreed to dispatch 3,000-4,000 troops to join an international peacekeeping force in Afghanistan.

2001 – The first commercial export, since 1963, of U.S. food to Cuba began. The 24,000 metric tons for corn were being sent to replenish what was lost when Hurricane Michelle struck on November 4

The Day’s Music Events 14th December

1963, American blues and jazz singer Dinah Washington died aged 39. Known as the ‘Queen of the Blues’ she scored the 1959 US No.8 Grammy Award wining single ‘What A Diff’rence A Day Makes’ and the 1961 hit ‘September In The Rain’. Wonderful career.

1963, The Beatles played a show for their Southern Area Fan Club at Wimbledon Palais, London. To prevent damage to the stage from fans the management of the Palais constructed a platform for The Beatles to perform on, surrounded by a steel cage.Southerners…a funny lot
1967, Rolling Stones guitarist Brian Jones was rushed to St Georges hospital in London after collapsing. A doctor reported Jones was tired and suffering from over strain and was also recovering from having some teeth out.There was obviously more to this…

1968, Marvin Gaye scored his first US No.1 single when ‘I Heard It Through The Grapevine’ started a five-week run at the top. It was a classic enjoyed these days every bit as it was then

1972, ‘Born To Boogie’ the Ringo Starr directed movie featuring T Rex premiered in London. This never really got off the ground but Ringo did well to direct a film.

1977, The film ‘Saturday Night Fever’ starring John Travolta premiered in New York. I liked this film and I like Travolta as an actor.
1980, Yoko Ono called on fans to observe ten minutes of silence in memory of John Lennon. 30,000 gathered outside St George’s Hall in Liverpool, while nearly 100,000 attend a memorial in New York’s Central Park. Not many of us will be able to command such affection when we passover…

1985, Whitney Houston scored her first UK No.1 single with ‘Saving All My Love For You’.
1996, after presenting this week’s edition of ‘Top Of The Pops’, John Peel was surprised to find he was the subject of the TV show ‘This Is Your Life’. A very successful DJ although I must admit I was never a fan of his.

1996, Boyzone scored their second UK No.1 single when ‘A Different Beat’, the title track of the Irish boy bands second album.

1997, Garth Brooks was at No.1 on the US album chart with ‘Sevens’ his fourth US No.1 album. This is one of my favourite country stars.

1998, Billy Preston pleaded guilty to insurance fraud in a Los Angeles court and agreed to testify against six other defendants who allegedly participated in starting fires, staging thefts and rigging car crashes for which a total of 18 fraudulent insurance claims were filed. Preston received five years of probation and one year in jail to run concurrently with a sentence he was already serving for violating probation on a prior conviction for cocaine possession. I never knew anything of his torrid private life but was always a big fan of his music especially with his Beatle connections.

1999, Sir Paul McCartney appeared at The Cavern Club Liverpool, his last gig at the venue was in 1963. The show was filmed for TV and also went out live on the Internet. I saw the film of this and felt he sang very well
2000, Oasis guitarist Noel Gallagher recorded a cover version of Slade’s 1973 number one ‘Merry Xmas Everybody’ for the Christmas Day edition of the BBC1 comedy show The Royle Family. I never heard it and seemed not to have missed anything.

2003, Ozzy & Kelly Osbourne went to No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Changes’ a remake of a track first sung by Ozzy on the Black Sabbath album Volume IV in 1972. It was the first father and daughter chart topper since Frank & Nancy Sinatra in 1967.This was a great concept record and well worth its number 1 status.. 2005, Philomena Ward the mother of X Factor contestant Shayne Ward was arrested on suspicion of assault after an alleged brawl at Manchester’s Piccadilly Tavern. A bouncer claimed he was punched during the incident. Shayne Ward went on to have the UK Christmas No.1 single with ‘That’s My Goal.’How weird is this story or when is a story not really a story?

Birthday Boys and Girls

1932, Charlie Rich, singer.Rich died on 25th July 1995.

1938, Gary Usher, producer, songwriter. Worked with The Byrds, co-wrote The Beach Boys ‘In My Room’. Died on 25th May 1990.

1943, Frank Allen, The Searchers, (1964 UK No.1 single ‘Needles And Pins’).Been on my show

1946,Jackie McAuley, Them, (1965 UK No.2 single ‘Here Comes The Night’).

1946, Jane Birkin, actress, singer, (1969 UK No.1 single with Serge Gainsbourg ‘Je t’aime…Moi non plus’, the only French language UK chart- topper).

1946, Joyce Vincent Wilson, singer, Dawn, (1971 UK & US No.1 single ‘Knock Three Times’, 1973 US & UK No.1 single ‘Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round The Old Oak Tree’).

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Saturday 13th December 2014 ‘I Hear You Knocking.’

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CIMG6891Remember, you can listen to the day’s story of the music whilst reading my blog by clicking this link.   1970, Dave Edmunds was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with his version of the 1955 Smiley Lewis hit ‘I Hear You Knocking.’ The Welsh singer, songwriter and producers only No.1 hit.

The weather was very sunny but cold yestrday morning. Anne went out early and I had a very good guitar practice followed by my Spanish homework. I really never have a dull moment and can always think of something to do! I had a gig in the afternoon and I always like to go over a few things before going with my guitar.

Phil’s bar was pretty busy and there were plenty of dancers who seemed to last the whole session. It’s quite nice to think the punters like my songs.


These are sentences exactly as typed by NHS medical secretaries in Greater Glasgow.

1. The patient has no previous history of suicide.

2. Patient has left her white blood cells at another hospital.

3. Patient’s medical history has been remarkably insignificant with only a 40 pound weight gain in the past three days.

4. She has no rigors or shaking chills, but her husband states she was very hot in bed last night.

5. Patient has chest pain if she lies on her left side for over a year.

6. On the second day the knee was better and on the third day it disappeared.

7. The patient is tearful and crying constantly. She also appears to be depressed.

8. The patient has been depressed since she began seeing me in 1993.

9.. Discharge status: Alive, but without my permission.

10. Healthy appearing decrepit 69-year old male, mentally alert, but forgetful.

11. Patient had waffles for breakfast and anorexia for lunch.

12.. She is numb from her toes down.

13. While in ER, she was examined, x-rated and sent home.

14. The skin was moist and dry.

15. Occasional, constant infrequent headaches.

16. Patient was alert and unresponsive.

17. Rectal examination revealed a normal size thyroid!

18. She stated that she had been constipated for most of her life until she got a divorce.

19. I saw your patient today, who is still under our care for physical therapy.

20. Both breasts are equal and reactive to light and accommodation.

21. Examination of genitalia reveals that he is circus sized.

22. The lab test indicated abnormal lover function.

23. Skin: somewhat pale, but present.

24. The pelvic exam will be done later on the floor.

25. Large brown stool ambulating in the hall.

26. Patient has two teenage children, but no other abnormalities.

27. When she fainted, her eyes rolled around the room.

28. The patient was in his usual state of good health until his airplane ran out of fuel and crashed.

29. Between you and me, we ought to be able to get this lady pregnant.

30. She slipped on the ice and apparently her legs went in separate directions in early December.

31. Patient was seen in consultation by Dr. Smith, who felt we should sit on the abdomen and I agree.

32. The patient was to have a bowel resection. However, he took a job as a stock broker instead.

33. By the time he was admitted, his rapid heart had stopped, and he was feeling better.


‘I Hope You Dance… ‘
This was written by an 83-year-old woman to her friend.*The last line says it all. *

Dear Bertha,
I’m reading more and dusting less. I’m sitting in the yard and admiring the view without fussing about the weeds in the garden. I’m spending more time with my family and friends and less time working.
Whenever possible, life should be a pattern of experiences to savor, not to endure. I’m trying to recognize these moments now and cherish them.
I’m not “saving” anything; we use our good china and crystal for every special event such as losing a pound, getting the sink unstopped, or the first Amaryllis blossom.
I wear my good blazer to the market. My theory is if I look prosperous, I can shell out $28.49 for one small bag of groceries. I’m not saving my good perfume for special parties, but wearing it for clerks in the hardware store and tellers at the bank.
“Someday” and “one of these days” are losing their grip on my vocabulary. If it’s worth seeing or hearing or doing, I want to see and hear and do it now
I’m not sure what others would’ve done had they known they wouldn’t be here for the tomorrow that we all take for granted. I think they would have called family members and a few close friends. They might have called a few former friends to apologize and mend fences for past squabbles. I like to think they would have gone out for a Chinese dinner or for whatever their favorite food was.
I’m guessing; I’ll never know.
It’s those little things left undone that would make me angry if I knew my hours were limited. Angry because I hadn’t written certain letters that I intended to write one of these days. Angry and sorry that I didn’t tell my husband and parents often enough how much I truly love them. I’m trying very hard not to put off, hold back, or save anything that would add laughter and luster to our lives. And every morning when I open my eyes, tell myself that it is special.
Every day, every minute, every breath truly is a gift from God.


Click Map for Benidorm Weather

Events 13th December

1577 – Five ships under the command of Sir Francis Drake left Plymouth, England, to embark on Drake’s circumnavigation of the globe. The journey took almost three years. These guys were the bravest of the brave….no computers etc

1636 – The United States National Guard was created when militia regiments were organized by the General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

1642 – New Zealand was discovered by Dutch navigator Abel Tasman. ...hence Tasmania..

1809 – The first abdominal surgical procedure was performed in Danville, KY, on Jane Todd Crawford. The operation was performed without an anesthetic.

1816 – John Adamson received a patent for a dry dock. It’s weird how you have to patent everything…this is one I hadn’t thought about

1884 – Percy Everitt received a patent for the first coin-operated weighing machine… above

1913 – It was announced by authorities in Florence, Italy, that the “Mona Lisa” had been recovered. The work was stolen from the Louvre Museum in Paris in 1911. Sorry. I think this painting is totally over-rated…

1918 – U.S. President Wilson arrived in France, becoming the first chief executive to visit a European country while holding office.

1921 – Britain, France, Japan and the United States signed the Pacific Treaty.

1937 – Japanese forces took the Chinese city of Nanking (Nanjing). An estimated 200,000 Chinese were killed over the next six weeks. The event became known as the “Rape of Nanking.” We never really learnt about such atrocities during our education at school…

1961 – Anna Mary Robertson Moses, “Grandma Moses,” passed away at the age of 101.We had an exclamation “crikey Moses” when I was a kid…is there a link?

1964 – In El Paso, TX, President Johnson and Mexican President Gustavo Diaz Ordaz set off an explosion that diverted the Rio Grande River, reshaping the U.S.-Mexican border. This ended a century-old border dispute.

1981 – Authorities in Poland imposed martial law in an attempt to crackdown on the Solidarity labor movement. Martial law ended formally in 1983. These days were well covered by the British media

1987 – U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz told reporters in Copenhagen, Denmark, that the Reagan administration would begin making funding requests for the proposed Star Wars defense system. This was not as extreme as it sounded at the time….

1988 – PLO chairman Yasser Arafat addressed the U.N. General Assembly in Geneva, were it had recovened after the United States had refused to grant Arafat a visa to visit New York.I could never make my mind up about Arafat

1989 – South African President F.W. de Klerk met for the first time with imprisoned African National Congress leader Nelson Mandela, at de Klerk’s office in Cape Town. This was a huge event at the time…

1991 – North Korea and South Korea signed a historic non-aggression agreement. This has recently become a sensitive area

1993 – The European Community ratified a treaty creating the European Economic Area (EEA), to go into effect January 1, 1994. This was the beginning of the enlargement of the original concept and reason for the European Union

2000 – U.S. Vice President Al Gore conceded the 2000 Presidential election to Texas Gov. George W. Bush. The Florida electoral votes were won by only 537 votes, which decided the election. The election had been contested up to the U.S. Supreme Court, which said that the Florida recount (supported by the Florida Supreme Court) was unconstitutional…...seen by many as a dodgy area

2001 – The U.S. government released a video tape that showed Osama bin Laden and others discussing their knowledge of the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001……….interesting

2001 – U.S. President George W. Bush served formal notice to Russia that the United States was withdrawing from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. Bad news for the international community….

2001 – Israel severed all contact with Yasser Arafat. Israel also launched air strikes and sent troops into Palestine in response to a bus ambush that killed 10 Israelis….please let there be peace in this region

2001 – Gunmen stormed the Indian Parliament and killed seven people and injured 18. Security forces killed the attackers during a 90-minute gunbattle.


The Day’s Music Events 13th December

1955, Dickie Valentine was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Christmas Alphabet’, the first Christmas song to reach the No.1 position.I have absolutely no recollection of this song

1961, The Beatles performed at the Cavern Club, Liverpool playing two shows at lunchtime and then again at night. Decca Records’ Mike Smith attended the night performance with a view to offering The Beatles a recording contract.I bet they would have been so excited if they had known his intentions

1962, Elvis Presley was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Return To Sender’, -13th UK No.1.This was one of the first tracks to appear as mass produced karaoke

1966, Jimi Hendrix made his TV debut on ITV’s ‘Ready Steady Go!’ (Marc Bolan was also on the show).We had no telly so I doubt if I saw this

1970, Dave Edmunds was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with his version of the 1955 Smiley Lewis hit ‘I Hear You Knocking.’ The Welsh singer, songwriter and producers only No.1 hit. I like the original and the updated version changed the tempo and style completely. I loved them both
1986, Bruce Hornsby & The Range went to No.1 on the US singles chart, with ‘The Way It Is’, a No.15 hit in the UK.This was a rather unusual song at the time and I liked it.

1997, Children’s TV characters The Teletubbies went to No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Teletubbies Say-eh-oh’. The single spent a total of 32 weeks on the chart.This is the power of TV and the ability it has to convince its audience that rubbish is quality. This was dreadful. It isn’t even as educational as the Teletubbies claim it to be…

1999, Happy Mondays singer Shaun Ryder was ordered to pay £160,000 to his ex management team over a dispute in his contract. Ryder said he was so high after a ‘joint’ he didn’t bother to read the small print; the court was told the contract had ‘done his nut in’. How can anyone offer a defence that they hadn’t read the small print after having a joint?
2000, it was announced that after 74 years the UK rock weekly Melody Maker was to close down. The Christmas edition would be the last one then it would merge with the NME creating a more sizeable broad-based magazine.I suppose that was an inevitable event…
2000, Sir Paul McCartney held his first-ever London book signing at Waterstone’s in Piccadilly. Sir Paul was in the store to sign copies of his new book, Paul McCartney Paintings. In the light of the speed today’s celebrities publish their life stories this event took its time….

2002, David Sneddon an unemployed busker and former children’s TV presenter won a £1 million pound record deal after winning the BBC TV Fame Academy final. The singer songwriter from Glasgow went on to score a UK Number 1 with his debut single ‘Stop Living The Lie’ the following month. This is a good story although I have to admit I have yet to hear the song
2002, UK music channel Music Choice analysed all the Christmas No.1 singles from the past 30 years and identified criteria for their success. These included the use of sleigh bells, children singing, church bells harmony and references to love. They concluded that Sir Cliff Richards 1988 hit ‘Misletoe and Wine’ was the perfect Christmas hit. Well. As we now have it in black and white can Radio 1 set aside their prejudice of Cliff’s music or, at least, that one at Christmas.
2003, Lauryn Hill launched a blistering attack on the Catholic church, urging religious figures to “repent” whilst speaking on a stage regularly used by the Pope. The former Fugees singer was playing at a Christmas show in Vatican City and took the opportunity to speak her mind about allegations of sexual abuse in America, before an audience that included top Vatican cardinals, bishops and the cream of Italian society.The abuse has to recognised and addressed and, maybe, the world of pop is one good way to address the problem

2005, A cheque signed by John Lennon made out to the Inland Revenue sold for £2,000 at a UK auction. It was sold by former madam Lindi St Clair, (formerly known as Miss Whiplash), after she decided she had no use for it. Clair who now runs a duck farm in Herefordshire had bought the cheque for £4,000 in 1988. It was signed by Lennon on 23rd January 1968 on a District Bank Limited form and made out for £6,946. This is truly an excellent story about nothing. It highlights the fact that pop trivia is big business. The detail is very good considering how inconsequential the information is…

2008, Alexandra Burke was voted the winner of The X Factor, beating four-piece group JLS into second place. The 20-year-old from Islington, London who made an unsuccessful bid to be in the contest three years ago sang with Beyonce, and performed her version of Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah’.Did I read that correctly? She made an unsuccessful attempt to be in the contest. She is amazing and will go from strength to strength…

Birthday Boys and Girls

1940, Tony Gomez, The Foundations

1948,  Andy Peebles, UK radio DJ. The last person to interview John Lennon. 1948, Jeff ‘Skunk’ Baxter, guitar, Doobie Brothers, Steely Dan.
1950, Davy O’List, guitar, The Nice, Roxy Music, (1972 UK No.4 single ‘Virginia Plain’ plus 15 other UK Top 40 singles).

1952,Berton Averre, The Knack, (1979 US No.1 & UK No.6 single ‘My Sharona’). Born on this day, Nick McCarthy, guitar, Franz Ferdinand, (winners of the 2004 Mercury Music Prize for their self-titled debut album).


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Friday 12th December 2014 Come ON!

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CIMG6891Remember, you can listen to the day’s story of the music whilst reading my blog by clicking this link.  1985, Scottish keyboard player Ian Stewart died of a heart attack in his doctor’s Harley Street waiting room in London. Co-founder of The Rolling Stones (Stewart was the first to respond to Brian Jones’s advertisement in Jazz News of 2 May 1962 seeking musicians to form a rhythm & blues group). Stewart was dismissed from the line-up by the band’s manager, Andrew Loog Oldham, in May 1963 but remained as road manager and piano player. He played on all The Rolling Stones albums between 1964 and 1983, except for Beggars Banquet.

The weather wasn’t too bad but I have had a problem with my computer and I am on a very steep learning curve. I ploughed in from mid morning and spent a lot of time wrestling with this problem.  I did achieve a result and feel quite happy with my efforts. It is still warm enough for short pants and I am taking advantage of that fact. However, midway through the afternoon I am getting my jeans on.

We went to view a beautiful flat for Nuria and her family and then it was time to work with our two young Spanish students. They are a pleasure to teach and they are progressing well.


Facebook had a circular advert in which you were invited to share the message that you like Christmas. The thrust of the message is that there are quite a few people who are trying to get the message across to the UK public in particular. We like Christmas and we’re fed up with people and officials trying to stop the Christmas message. The trouble is that Britain is no longer a Christian country. It is multi-faith and it was always intended to be so after Margaret Thatcher copied the policies put in place in the UK by Ronald Reagan.  I cannot really understand why the Thatcher government completely ignored the advice of Enoch Powell, one of their own colleagues, who foresaw much of what has come to pass. I also think the current government do not see the dangers posed by the Muslim extremists.


When my wife quit work to take care of our new baby

daughter, countless hours of peekaboo and other games slowly
took their toll.

One evening she smacked her bare toes on the corner of a
dresser and, grabbing her foot, sank to the floor. I rushed
to her side and asked where it hurt. She looked at me
through tear-filled eyes and managed to moan, “It’s the
piggy that ate roast beef.”


The Day’s  Events 12th December

1792 – In Vienna, 22-year-old Ludwig van Beethoven received one of his first lessons in music composition from Franz Joseph Haydn. Two of the all-time greats. A bit like the Crafty Cockney coaching Phil the Power Taylor

1800 – Washington, DC, was established as the capital of the United States.

1805 – Henry Wells was born in Thetford, VT. He was one of the founders of the American Express Company and he teamed up with William Fargo to form the Wells Fargo Company….and I saw their wagons on cowboy films…

1863 – Norwegian painter Edvard Munch was born. His most known work is “The Scream.” ….wasn’t he chief of a team of painters known as the Munch Bunch…?

1896 – Guglielmo Marconi gave the first public demonstration of radio at Toynbee Hall, London. He uttered the immortal words…”Testing 1-2″

1899 – George Grant patented the wooden golf tee. Remember these?

1901 – The first radio signal to cross the Atlantic was picked up near St. John’s Newfoundland, by inventor Guglielmo Marconi. I think it came from Cornwall but I forget the village…it’s where Cable and Wireless are based…Porthcurno?

1912 – The Mother’s Day International Association was incorporated with the purpose of furthering (or fathering?) meaningful observations of Mother’s Day.

1915 – The first all-metal aircraft, the German Junkers J1, made its first flight. If it was built in Germany it would be reliable

1937 – Japanese aircraft sank the U.S. gunboat “Panay” on China’s Yangtze River. Japan apologized for the attack, and paid $2.2 million in reparations.

1946 – A United Nations committee voted to accept a six-block tract of Manhattan real estate to be the site of the UN’s headquarters. The land was offered as a gift by John D. Rockefeller Jr. Nice one John my old son.

1951 – The U.S. Navy Department announced that the world’s first nuclear powered submarine would become the sixth ship to bear the name Nautilus.

1955 – It was announced that the Ford Foundation gave $500,000,000 to private hospitals, colleges and medical schools.Good work

1955 – British engineer Christopher Cockerell patented the first hovercraft. I remember the first one crossing the Channel

1963 – Kenya gained its independence from Britain. I wish Britain had kept all their long distance runners

1982 – 20,000 women encircled Greenham Common air base in Britain in protest against proposed cite of U.S. Cruise missiles there. There was definitely a Greenham Common look..

1983 – Car bombs were set off in front of the French and U.S. embassies in Kuwait City. Shiite extremists were responsible for the five deaths and 86 wounded. Total of five bombs went off in different locations. The end never justifies these means…

1997 – Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, the international terrorist known as “Carlos the Jackal,” went on trial in Paris on charges of killing two French investigators and a Lebanese national. He was convicted and sentenced to life in prison.

1997 – The U.S. Justice Department ordered Microsoft to sell its Internet browser separately from its Windows operating system to prevent it from building a monopoly of Web access programs.  Fair enough

2000 – The U.S. Supreme Court found that the recount ordered by the Florida Supreme Court in the 2000 U.S. Presidential election was unconstitutional. U.S. Vice President Al Gore conceded the election to Texas Gov. George W. Bush the next day. Let’s face it…..there were some happy Americans…

2000 – Timothy McVeigh, over the objections of his lawyers, abandoned his final round of appeals and asked that his execution be set within 120 days. McVeigh was convicted of the April 1995 truck bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Fedal Building in Oklahoma City, OK, that killed 168 and injured 500. I feel no compassion for someone this wicked..

2001 – In Beverly Hills, CA, actress Winona Ryder was arrested at Saks Fifth Avenue for shoplifting and possessing pharmaceutical drugs without a prescription. The numerous items of clothing and hair accessories were valued at $4,760. This is a form of illness I don’t understand

1957, Still married to his first wife Jane Mitcham, Jerry Lee Lewis secretly married his 13-year old second cousin Myra Gale Brown.This probably wouldn’t be the outrage today it was then

1957, Al Priddy a DJ on US radio station KEX in Portland was fired after playing Elvis Presley’s version of ‘White Christmas’ The station management said, ‘it’s not in the spirit we associate with Christmas’. This would be ridiculed today almost as bad as Radio 1 not playing Cliff Richard

1962, The Beatles played two shows at the Cavern Club, Liverpool at lunchtime and then again that night.Making the pennies

1963, The Beatles were UK No.1  with ‘I Want To Hold Your Hand’, the group’s third No.1 -first US No.1 and this year’s UK Christmas No.1.Good song

1967, Rolling Stone Brian Jones was given 3 years probation and a £1,000 fine for drug offences. Three psychiatrists agreed that Jones was an extremely frightened young man with suicidal tendencies. Sadly, they would be proven correct
1970, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles started a two week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Tears Of A Clown’…..also a No.1 hit in the UK.Great intro..

1981, The Human League had their only UK No.1 single with ‘Don’t You Want Me.’ The Christmas hit of 81, the biggest seller of 1981 and Virgin Records first No.1 UK single. The group’s singer Phil Oakey disliked the song so much that it was relegated to the last track on their latest album’ Dare’.Phil, I cannot understand why you disliked the song

1985, Dionne Warwick received a star on ‘Hollywood’s Walk Of Fame’.She deserved this

1985, Scottish keyboard player Ian Stewart died of a heart attack in his doctor’s Harley Street waiting room in London. Co-founder of The Rolling Stones (Stewart was the first to respond to Brian Jones’s advertisement in Jazz News of 2 May 1962 seeking musicians to form a rhythm & blues group). Stewart was dismissed from the line-up by the band’s manager, Andrew Loog Oldham, in May 1963 but remained as road manager and piano player. He played on all The Rolling Stones albums between 1964 and 1983, except for Beggars Banquet.He was one of the truly unsung heroes of the pop world

1987, George Michael US No.1 with ‘Faith’. Good song
1998, A seven inch single by the Quarry Men featuring John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison was named as the rarest record of all time, only 50 copies were made with each copy being valued at £10,000-I wish I’d had one…’ ‘

2003, Mick Jagger became a Sir after being knighted by Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace. Jagger’s 92-year-old father was at the Palace to see his son receive the award. His dad was a fitness fanatic and schoolteacher which helped form Mick’s uniqueness
2007, Ike Turner, the former husband of Tina Turner died at the age of 76 at his home near San Diego, California.- is credited by many music historians with making the first rock ‘n’ roll record in 1951. He didn’t come over too well in his relationship with Tina as portrayed in the relevant films
2007, A copy of John Lennon’s book, A Spaniard in the Works, which contained a lock of Lennon’s hair, sold at Gorringes Auction House for £24,000. Lennon gave the book and the hair to Betty Glasow, the Fab Four’s hairdresser during their heyday. He wrote in the book, “To Betty, Lots of Love and Hair, John Lennon xx.” The strands of hair and book had been expected to sell for between £2,000 and £4,000.

2008, the town where Mick Jagger and Keith Richards grew up announced it was to name streets in a new estate after Rolling Stones hits- police were concerned the street signs might be stolen by fans.Sounded like a good idea…did it go ahead?



Born on this day

1915,Frank Albert Sinatra, US singer, actor, made his first record in 1939. First singer to encounter ‘pop hysteria’. Sinatra died on 14th May 1998.
1938,  Connie Francis

1940,  Dionne Warwick

1942,  Declan Clusky, The Bachelorshe’s been on my show and the podcast is on my website
1943, Grover Washington Jr

1943, Mike Smith, Dave Clark Five-died on 29th Feb 2008 from pneumonia at Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Buckinghamshire, England at the age of 64

  Birthday Boys and Girls

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Thursday 11th December 2014 Lily The Pink’

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CIMG6891Remember, you can listen to the day’s story of the music whilst reading my blog by clicking this link.   1968, Liverpool folk group The Scaffold were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Lily The Pink’, this year’s Christmas No.1. Graham Nash sang backing vocals on the track.

It was another bright but nippy start to the day. We went down to Benidorm for a nice walk and we had something we were trying to locate for Mike in Australia. The town was not too crowded and we enjoyed a coffee along the front of Levante. Then it was time to finish the walk and find the present. This was successful and not too costly.

We had prepared our food before we had left the house and it was nice to get in and have our salads before I had to rush off to Merche’s Spanish class in La Nucia. There were two Russians, two Germans and myself and we had to speak Spanish and nothing else. This was good for me! Next, when I go back home I spent an hour trying to fix one of my computers. This was a good learning hour but without achieving my objectives.


One of the best things I ever did was to start podcasting.  You can now download my podcasts onto your phone or play them on your car radio.  I felt the need to try and run something alongside my radio work to prepare for the day when the radio job might finish. Sure enough, and out of the blue, the announcement came that we were being made redundant.


This was despite the fact that nobody from the head office at the radio company acknowledged the fact that I had been getting celebrity  interviews with some of the best household names in the world. I think this is one thing that disappointed me as the parent company is Spanish and it broadcasts across the nation.

We were an adjunct with little or no support and the presenting team performed a great job working for the expat community here in Spain. The real point I am making is that anyone can create podcasts with a computer and a bit of appropriate software. I would love to think somebody might be inspired to try it for themselves as I can assure you it will be very time consuming and the sky is your limit. I never believed for a moment I would have had the good fortune to meet so many people around the world with so many different interests and successes to share with those who want to listen. Come and join the world of podcasting!




Tim and Janice met on a singles cruise and Tim fell head over heels for her.

When they discovered they lived in neighbouring cities only a few miles apart
Tim was ecstatic. He immediately started asking her out when they got home.

Within a couple of weeks, Tim had taken Janice to dance clubs, restaurants,
concerts, movies and museums. Tim became convinced that Janice was indeed his
soul mate and true love. Every date seemed better than the last.

On the one-month anniversary of their first dinner on the cruise ship, Tim took
Janice to a fine restaurant. While having cocktails and waiting for their salad,
Tim said, “I guess you can tell I’m very much in love with you. I’d like a
little serious talk before our relationship continues to the next stage”.

“So, before I get a box out of my jacket and ask you a life-changing question,
it’s only fair to warn you, I’m a total golf nut. I play golf, I read about golf,
I watch golf on TV. In short, I eat, sleep, and breathe golf. If that’s going to
be a problem for us, you’d better say so now!”

Janice took a deep breath and responded, “Tim, that certainly won’t be a problem.
I love you as you are and I love golf too; but, since we’re being totally honest
with each other, you need to know that for the last five years I’ve been a hooker”.

“Oh wow! I see,” Tim replied. He looked down at the table, was quiet for a moment.
Deep in serious thought he added, “You know, it’s probably because you’re not
keeping your wrists straight when you hit the ball”.

World Events 11th December

1282 – Llywelyn (Llewelyn ap Gruffydd) was killed in Cilmeri, central Wales.

1719 – The first recorded sighting of the Aurora Borealis was in New England. I bet this was quite a worry at the time.

1769 – Edward Beran of London patented venetian blinds. Not a lot of people know this

1792 – France’s King Louis XVI went before the Convention, which had replaced the National Assembly, to face charges of treason. He was convicted and condemned and was sent to the guillotine the following January. They didn’t muck about in those days..

1844 – Dr. Horace Wells became the first person to have a tooth extracted after receiving an anesthetic for the dental procedure. Nitrous Oxide, or laughing gas, was the anesthetic.I doubt if I would have been laughing

1894 – The world’s first motor show opened in Paris with nine exhibitors. I wonder how long it took to look around the exhibits…

1930 – The Bank of the United States in New York failed. This is why the world is worrying so much about finance and banks failing. History tells us how disastrous that would be…

1936 – Britain’s King Edward VIII abdicated in order to marry American Wallis Warfield Simpson. He became the Duke of Windsor. This was a big event and they were obviously deeply in love.

1937 – The Fascist Council in Rome, withdrew Italy from the League of Nations.

1941 – Germany and Italy declared war on the United States. The U.S in turn declared war on the two countries. Bad news.

1946 – The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) was established by the U.N. General Assembly. The fund provides relief to children in countries devastated by war. Great work.

1961 – The first direct American military support for South Vietnam occurred when a U.S. aircraft carrier carrying Army helicopters arrived in Saigon.

1967 – The prototype of the Concorde was shown for the first time in Toulouse, France. I remember it well with its pilot Mr Trubshaw, Fabulous plane.

1973 – West German Chancellor Willy Brandt and Czech Prime Minister Lubomir Strougal formally nullified the 1938 Munich pact when they signed a treaty sanctioning Hitler’s seizure of Czechoslovakia’s Sudetenland.

1980 – U.S. President Jimmy Carter signed into law legislation creating $1.6 billion environmental “superfund” that would be used to pay for cleaning up chemical spills and toxic waste dumps. They were sure to need it…

1981 – Muhammad Ali fought his last fight. He lost his 61st fight to Trevor Berbick.

1987 – Charlie Chaplin’s trademark cane and bowler hat were sold at Christie’s for £82,500. Who has this sort of money to waste?

1988 – 62 people were killed in a Mexico City marketplace when tons of illegal fireworks exploded.

1990 – Ivana Trump was divorced from Donald Trump after 12 years of marriage.Trumped!

1991 – Salman Rushdie, under an Islamic death sentence for blasphemy, made his first public appearance since 1989 in New York, at a dinner marking the 200th anniversary of the First Amendment (which guarantees freedom of speech in the U.S.). What a to do…

1997 – Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams became the first political ally of the IRA to meet a British leader in 76 years. He conferred with Prime Minister Tony Blair in London. You eventuially have to talk or you get nowhere…

1997 – More than 270 Tutsi refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo were killed by Juto guerillas in Mudende, Rwanda.Dreadful

1997 – More than 150 countries agreed at a global warming conference in Kyoto, Japan, to control the Earth’s “greenhouse gases.” How far have they gone with this agreement? The weather is getting more bizarre every day

1998 – Scientists announced that they had deciphered the entire genetic blueprint of a tiny worm. Mind boggling…

1998 – The Mars Climate Orbiter blasted off on a nine-month journey to the Red Planet. However, the probe disappeared in September of 1999, apparently destroyed because scientists had failed to convert English measures to metric values. I don’t know whether I believe this….

2001 – It was announced that U.S. President George W. Bush would withdraw the U.S. from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty with Russia. Bad news

2001 – Federal agents seized computers in 27 U.S. cities as part of “Operation Buccaneer.” The raids were used to gain evidence against an international software piracy ring.

 The Day’s Music Events   11th December

1961, Elvis Presley No.1 on the US album chart with ‘Blue Hawaii’, his seventh US No.1 album.Not my favourite Elvis stuff

1961, The Marvelettes went to No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Please Mr Postman’. The session musicians on the track included 22 year old Marvin Gaye on drums. The song gave the Carpenters a US No.1 and UK No.2 single in 1975. This has always been a favourite with the Beatles doing a nice version. I hadn’t realised Marvin Gaye was on the drums.

1964, Soul singer Sam Cooke was shot dead by his manager Bertha Franklin, who claimed to have been assaulted by Cooke while staying at the Hacienda Hotel, Los Angeles. Cooke was 33 years old.Mysterious stuff…

1968, Liverpool folk group The Scaffold were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Lily The Pink’, this year’s Christmas No.1. Graham Nash sang backing vocals on the track. All three have been on my radio show and we have three great podcasts with Roger McGough, Mike McGear and John Gorman. Just put the names into the site’s search engine.

1968, filming began for The Rolling Stones ‘Rock & Roll Circus.’ As well as clowns and acrobats, John & Yoko, The Who, Eric Clapton and Jethro Tull all took part. The film was eventually released in 1996……and there’s me thinking Take That had a new idea…
1971, UK comedian Benny Hill was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Ernie (The Fastest Milkman In The West)’, giving Hill his only No.1 and the Christmas No.1 hit of 1971.I didn’t like this song much but Benny Hill was a genius.

1973, Kiss guitarist Ace Frehley was nearly electrocuted during a concert in Florida when he touched a short-circuited light. The guitarist was carried from the stage but returned 10 minutes later to finish the show. His performance was electrifying….

1982, Singer, TV actress and dancer Toni Basil went to No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Mickey’, making her a US one hit wonder. It made No.2 hit in the UK.

1983, The Flying Pickets were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with their version of the Yazoo song ‘Only You’. Also this years Christmas No.1 and the first a cappella chart-topper in the UK. Great song and I remember it well
1989, The Recording Industry Association of America certified four Led Zeppelin albums as multi-platinum: ‘Presence’ (2 million), ‘Led Zeppelin’ (4 million), ‘Physical Graffiti’ (4 million) and ‘In Through The Out Door’ (5 million).How cool is this?

1992, Manic Street Preacher Nicky Wire was quoted as saying ‘I hope Michael Stipe goes the same way as Freddie Mercury’.I bet he regretted that comment if it was made.

1993, The character Mr Blobby as featured on UK TV’s ‘The Noel Edmunds House Party’, started a one-week run as the UK No.1 single with the novelty song ‘Mr Blobby’. The single later received the dubious honour of being voted the most irritating Christmas No.1 single in a HMV poll.It really was awful but the character made us laugh

2001, Brian Harvey underwent surgery after suffering a serious head injury in an attack. The former East 17 singer was attacked by a group of youths as he left the Works nightclub in Nottingham, having appeared at a promotional event. This is never a nice happening…
2001, David Soul won a lawsuit against Matthew Wright, a London theatre critic who criticised Soul’s stage performance without even seeing it. Wright’s column had made reference to the Monday performance, when in fact, the play did not run on Mondays. I’m glad he won this case against pomposity ...

2008, Simon Cowell said he was “very embarrassed” after contracts signed by this year’s X Factor contestants were leaked to the Daily Mirror newspaper. The 80-page document, which is enforceable “anywhere in the world or the solar system” was signed by all 12 finalists before the live shows began. It included a clause that prevents them from saying anything “unduly negative, critical or derogatory” about Cowell. Also the show claimed the prize as a “£1m recording contract”, but the contestants’ contract said the prize money was £150,000.The whole thing is about money but it is a bit naive to think Simon Cowell would not cover his own back…

Born on this day

1916, Perez Prado, (1955 US & UK No.1 single ‘Cherry Pink & Apple Blossom White’). He died on 14th September 1989.

1926, Big Mama Thornton, singer, songwriter, Janis Joplin cover her song ‘Ball And Chain’, had the 1953 version of ‘Hound Dog’ before Elvis Presley. She died in 1984.

1940, David Gates,  Bread, (1970 US No.1 & UK No.5 single ‘Make It With You’).

1944,  Brenda Lee, singer, (1960 US No.1 single ‘I’m Sorry’, UK No.4 single ‘Sweet Nothin’s’, plus 27 US & 18 other UK Top 40 singles).

1951,, Philip ‘Spike’ Edney, keyboard player, was known as the fifth member of Queen. Also worked with Duran Duran, Boomtown Rats, Dexy’s Midnight Runners, Haircut 100, The Cross, Brian May and the Rolling Stones.

1954, Jermaine Jackson, The Jackson Five

1961, Darryl Jones also known as “The Munch.” American bassist who has played with the Rolling Stones since Bill Wyman’s departure in 1993. Also worked with Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, Sting, Peter Gabriel, Madonna, Eric Clapton and Joan Armatrading.


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