Former Animals keyboard player and solo artist, Alan Price is celebrating his 80th birthday this week.
The Animals’ only UK number one was The House of the rising Sun which, despite a writing credit, he did not write, but that’s a different story but as a solo act (or with his ‘Set’) whe had 10 UK hit singles between 1966 and 1988. The House that Jack Built and his song, both from 1967, were his joint biggest hits both reaching number four.
This song was first recorded by Tommy Boyce, but Alan made a good job of it. Here he is live at the Beat Club in 1967.
Back in the 80s and 90s Noel Edmonds used to set famous people up and awarded them a Gotcha Oscar. They were clever, innovative and funny. For the younger generation who may not have seen any of them, or the older people who may have forgotten them, let me share this one with you. Noel managing to successfully catch (the late) Richard Whitley on his Countdown programme. Enjoy.
Kenny was a genius and a legend and passed away 26 years ago this week. He was the broadcaster’s broadcaster and everyone in the radio industry did, and still do, hold him in high regards. No one, comes close when it comes to originality and spontaneity and sheer inventiveness. He wrote his own rules and broke many of the real ones thus getting him fired from so many radio stations, but because there was no one like him, and his vast audience, they re-hired him every time.
In 1978, he was offered his own television show, The Kenny Everett Video Show, in which he did what he wanted and was very funny. He was a friend to the stars and Freddie Mercury and David Bowie would make regular appearances on his show.
But, for all his talent, Kenny was never comfortably with his homosexuality and was immensely shy. He was only comfortable when he locked himself away in his home studio to invent a swathe of jingles.
One of his many famous TV sketches was the Do It Yourself Bee Gees Kit which I guess many younger folk won’t have seen, so here it is. Enjoy.
Susan Boyle is 60 this week. I’m not a watcher of any reality TV show, but I was pointed to this when she impressed the judges on Britain’s Got Talent and it’s watching again I think. Can you believe it was 12 years ago? That’ll teach everyone to mock her! Bless her and she deserves all the success she has had.
Russell Tompkins Jr was the lead singer with the Stylistics and he is celebrating his 70th birthday this week.
He was born in Philadelphia and whilst at school he started singing with a group called The Monarchs. They entered a local competition and made it to the final where they were in a head-to-head with the Percussions. The Monarchs won and soon after Tompkins and two other Monarch members James Smith and Airrion Love joined forces with two members of the Percussions, Herbie Murrell and James Dunn to form The Stylistics.
They scored 16 UK hits, nine of them top 10 including the number one Can’t Give You Anything (But My Love).
Let’s remember their third hit Break Up to Make Up from 1973.
He grew up in Los Angeles and in the early sixties became a founding member of the Pendletones which evolved into the Beach Boys. He was heavily involved in all the arrangements on many of the Beach Boys song but wasn’t often credited for it.
He co-wrote, mostly with Brian Wilson, nine of the Beach Boys’ hits the most successful being their two UK number ones Good Vibrations and Do It Again. The only hit he solely wrote was the not-often heard 1979 hit Sumahama which only reached number 45.