The Man in Black passed away 18 years ago this week. He made sos many great and humerous records, but here’s one you may not know of. First played to me by the ex-BBC DJ Keith Skues, it’s called Chicken in Black and come with an amusing video. Check it out.
This week Freddie Mercury would have celebrated his 75th birthday. Hard to believe it’s almost 30 years since he passed away but what a performer and I had the privilege of meeting him twice.
His solo career began in 1984 and ran concurrently alongside Queen for a few years. Prior to the re-issue of Barcelona which tied in with the Olympic Games that year and the re-mix of Living on My Own the following year, Freddie’s cover of the Platters’ The Great Pretender was his biggest solo hit single which peaked at number four in March 1987.
Let’s remember the greatest showman and his hit that could almost be biographical.
Dana is 70th week.
She was born Rosemary Brown and her family origins are from Derry in Northern Ireland. Her father came to London and got a job as a porter at Kings Cross Station. They were living in nearby Islington which is where Rosemary was born.
She loved singing and entered her first talent contest when she was just six. It was at this time that other talent show contestants started calling her Dana which was Irish for bold. When she was 16 she met music promoter Tony Johnston and got her a deal with a Decca records subsidiary label called Rex.
In 1970, she was invited to represent Ireland at the Eurovision Song Contest which she won and went on the top the UK singles chart and the Irish singles chart for nine weeks. Eight years later she married a hotel owner called Damien Scallon and changed her name to Dana Rosemary Scallon and the pair moved to County Down.
In 1997, she tried her hand at politics and served as Member of the European Parliament from 1999 to 2004.
She charted eight song in the UK, so let’s remember her second top 10 hit, after All Kinds of Everything from 1975.
Birdy was born Jasmine Van den Bogaerde in 1996 and is the great niece of Dirk Bogarde. Her most well known song is Skinny Love which has spent just under a year on the UK singles chart in no less than 14 separate chart runs.
Surrender is her brand new song and one of my favourite of 2021 so far, what do you think?
Marvin Lee Aday is 72 this week.
He was born in Dallas, Texas and when he was 22 headed to Los Angeles where he formed his first band Meat Loaf Soul, a name coined by Meat’s football coach because if his size. He released a few singles, but struggled because, as he claimed on an interview with a New Zealand radio interview, no one took him seriously in the music industry.
He went on to appear in the L.A stage production of Hair, he broke off for a U.S tour and then returned to the same show but this time on Broadway in New York. In 1973, he was invited to join the cast in the original production of the Rocky Horror Show where he portrayed Eddie and Dr. Everett Scott, the how was a success and it led to him being cast as Eddie in the film version, The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
In 1975, he and Jim Steinman began work on what was to become one of the biggest selling albums of all time, Bat Out of Hell. Two years in the making, it finally surfaced in 1977. To date, it has sold approx. 44 million copies worldwide.
He continued to appear in many film and TV productions as well as releasing the albums Dead Ringer (1981), Midnight at the Lost and Found (1983), Bad Attitude (1984) and Bat Out of Hell II: Back into Hell (1993) – the latter containing his only UK number one hit I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That).
In 1997, he had a cameo appearance as a bus driver in the film Spiceworld.
Let’s remember and enjoy one of the singles released from Bat Out of Hell which, astonishingly only reached number 32 in the UK singles chart.
It was 40 years ago this week that Marc Bolan died in a car crash in Barnes. The car was driven by his girlfriend, the singer Gloria Jones who recorded the original version of Tainted Love and also write the 1979 disco hit Haven’t Stopped Dancing Yet for Gonzalez.
T.Rex first hit the UK chart in 1968, under the name Tyrannosaurus Rex, with Debora. After three hits they shortened the name to T.Rex and chart 20 hit singles including the four chart toopers; Hot Love, Get It On, Telegram Sam and Metal Guru.
Let’s enjoy his last top 20 hit, from 1976.