Monday, 20 November 2017

Down in Mehico

Love the "Queen of Hearts" 'do

Another week opens, dank and dark - and I feel completely unrefreshed, and in need of a long sleep.

Hey ho - this Tacky Music Monday also happens to be the birthday of the eternally lovely June Christy, so let's shake ourselves out of the "slough of despond" and get going, with this sickeningly cheerful faux-Mexican number featuring the great lady, in the company of the estimable Stan Kenton Orchestra:

Have a good week, dear reader!

June Christy (born Shirley Luster, 20th November 1925 – 21st June 1990)

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Suffer little children

I was jolted from my slumber this morning by the cacophonous noise of screaming, crashing and banging from the "demon spawn" upstairs. It turns out there were visitors up there (on a Sunday morning??); three children in total. I am in a foul mood...

Now that they have finally gone out, I am in need of a little peace and quiet.

What better than the music of one genius (Beethoven) played by another master (Barenboim) to soothe the mood?

Oh, that's better...

Saturday, 18 November 2017

Days may be cloudy or sunny

It's turned wet and downright miserable here in London, which did put a damper on Mother's visit today somewhat. I think she enjoyed it, nonetheless.

It also happens to be the birthday of a prodigious lyricist - the man who wrote [among well over 1400 other songs in the Great American Songbook] One for My Baby, Moon River, I Remember You, Jeepers Creepers, P.S. I Love You, Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah, Hooray for Hollywood, Something's Gotta Give, Girlfriend Of The Whirling Dervish, Blues in the Night, Fools Rush In, Autumn Leaves, The Waiter And The Porter And The Upstairs Maid, How Long Has This Been Going On?, Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive, Tangerine, Strip Polka, And the Angels Sing, That Old Black Magic, I'm Old Fashioned, Lazy Bones, Too Marvellous For Words, Goody Goody, You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby, Day In Day Out, Skylark...

...and this one!

Very appropriate.

The birthday boy in question is, of course, Mr Johnny Mercer (born John Herndon Mercer, 18th November 1909 – 25th June 1976)

Friday, 17 November 2017

Blonde Friday?

The weekend looms at last, after a particularly long and tiresome week...

Mother's in town tomorrow, so there'll be no rest for the wicked. That's not going to stop the party, however! - not when we have a right pair of slappers those awesomely talented party animals, former "Page 3" topless models Miss Nina Carter and (birthday girl) Miss Jilly Johnson, aka Blonde on Blonde - to start the celebrations:

Thank Disco It's Friday!

Read more about the - ahem - musical career of Blonde on Blonde, courtesy of Dangerous Minds

Thursday, 16 November 2017

O come all ye pastries

The bakery chain Greggs has apologised for offending Christians with a nativity scene advert that replaces Jesus with a sausage roll.

Greggs released the image to promote its £24 advent calendar, which goes on sale next Monday. Its decision...sparked criticism from Twitter users and religious groups.
Remarkably, this story is actually true.

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

A word from our sponsor

"Tea, though ridiculed by those who are naturally coarse in their nervous sensibilities, will always be the favourite beverage of the intellectual." - Thomas de Quincey

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Hello, Princess

Heavens to Betsy - Den and Angie's "Little Princess" Sharon (Letitia Dean) is 50 years old!

Now, I am the first to admit I am no fan of the eternal grimness that is BBC 1's "blockbuster" soap EastEnders - haven't actually watched it for years, and am inclined to do so even less now that its original round of "tarts'n'matriarchs" [Angie Watts, Pauline Fowler, Ethel Skinner, Pat Butcher, Peggy Mitchell - of the pantheon, only Dot Cotton is left, and she's 90] have all gone. However, the "curvaceous" Sharon - despite two long absences-of-leave - is still very much centre-stage in Albert Square, so at least there is some continuity of "bitch-slapping"...

But never mind all that. Here is the remarkable pairing of Miss Dean with fellow 80s EastEnders actor Paul Medford ("Kelvin Carpenter") - singing!

This really should have been a Tacky Music Monday. But it's Tuesday. Hey ho.

Letitia Jane Dean (born 14th November 1967)

Monday, 13 November 2017

Banana duro, Banana tieso

As the thermometers continue to drop here in London (it was bearable when we were stood by the Thames for Saturday's fireworks, but yesterday's winds were bitter), so we seek some solace in some uber-camp Calypso-style nonsense from somewhere exotic to divert our attention away from the thick coats, fleeces and paraphernalia that could well be our lot for the next few months...

And, on this Tacky Music Monday, I have found just the thing to get another thrilling week in work off to such a start. Lord knows what to make of this one!

And, just in case you can't get enough of this fabulous number (and its filthy lyrics) - here is the official video, replete with semi-naked Hispanic youths in a swimming pool [thought that might get your attention!]:

Banana duro (banana)
Banana tieso (banana)
Banana perverso (banana)
Banana travieso (banana)
Banana chiquito (banana)
Banana sabroso (banana)

Have a fruity week, dear reader.

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Her heart was warm and gay; no matter how they changed her, I'll remember her that way

We have a centenary to celebrate today! And it's one very close to our hearts... the eternally lovely Miss Jo Stafford.

With her languid vocal style, her impeccable diction and her hugely varied repertoire of songs, Jo was an integral contributor to the American songbook, working closely with the likes of Johnny Mercer.

The beauty of her voice is perfectly illustrated by the following...

Miss Stafford was never afraid of venturing further afield in her musical choices, however, not least by contributing her vocals as "Cinderella G Stump" to this gem:

  • Jo first came to prominence as part of the vocal harmony group the Pied Pipers, who sang backing vocals for Tommy Dorsey, Frank Sinatra and many others.
  • When she finally went solo, it was alongside Margaret Whiting and Peggy Lee at Capitol Records that she cemented her reputation as one of "America's sweethearts", performing concerts for the forces overseas both during and after WW2.
  • Her choices of vocal material ranged from Big Band to American folk, to pop and ballads, to Jazz, before retiring altogether in the mid-1960s.
  • It was also at Capitol that she met and married composer, arranger and bandleader Paul Weston; they worked together professionally throughout her "golden years" in the 50s, and remained together till his death in 1996.
And - of course! - I could not let a tribute to Miss Stafford go by without a mention of her and Mr Weston's ultimate creation - the phenomenon that was Jonathan and Darlene Edwards! Originally a bit of a party-piece for friends, "The Edwards" eventually overtook Jo and Paul's own fame - and indeed won Miss Stafford her only Grammy...

It gets me laughing (and "honking" along) every time...

Jo Elizabeth Stafford (12th November 1917 – 16th July 2008)

Saturday, 11 November 2017

A sparkling debut...

...for London's 690th Lord Mayor Charles Bowman, whose amazing firework display (London's last remaining free one!) our "gang" went to see tonight:

[Camerawork not the author's own, I hasten to add - we were even closer to the action.]

Lord Mayor's Show 2017

Friday, 10 November 2017

Now is the time for you to stride

Another weekend draws nearer and, despite everything, we simply must get ourselves in the mood for a party!

Tomorrow, we have the Lord Mayor's Show fireworks to look forward to, and the weather looks like it will stay dry for the occasion. The autumn/winter season has begun in earnest - and what more joyful way to kick it all off with the eternally chirpy Junior Giscombe?

Thank Disco It's Friday!

Said a small boy once asked, When will I grow up
When will I see what grownups do see
In his fight to come of age, he would have to know the age
To be recognized is when I'm not unmasked

And mama used to say, Take your time, young man
Mama used to say, Don't you rush to get old
Mama used to say, Take it in your stride
Mama used to say, Live your life

As the years went rushin' by he would cut down on his age
He would tell his girl of how it used to be
How his mommy passed away, but these lines she would say
And at the time he couldn't understand

Mama used to say, Take your time, young man
Mama used to say, Don't you rush to get old
Mama used to say, Take it in your stride
Mama used to say, Live your life

You're young, so young, don't hold on back
Do all you want to do
Now is the time for you to stride
For you to get better in what you are doin', oh

Now is the time for you to stride
For you to get better in what you are doin', oh

A small boy once asked, When will I grow up
When will I see what grownups do see
In his fight to come of age, he would have to know the age
To be recognized is when I'm not unmasked

And mama used to say, Take your time, young man
Mama used to say, Don't you rush to get old
Mama used to say, Take it in your stride
Mama used to say, Live your life, live your life, live your life, oh

Have a good one, peeps!

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Everlasting baby

We have a new apprentice in the office starting soon, who was born in... 1999 (!).

With that terrifying news ringing in my ears, I thought it opportune that we should have a little timeslip moment, back to that very year - when Boris Yeltsin handed over to Vladimir Putin, and Bill Clinton was acquitted in his impeachment trial; the year of the Kosovo War, Harold Shipman, The Matrix, Tracey Emin, Bill Gates, the Jonathan Aitken trial, Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, Prince Edward and Sophie Rhys-Jones' wedding, Jill Dando's murder, Family Guy, the Columbine massacre and the Admiral Duncan gay pub bombing, the deaths of Dusty Springfield, Victor Mature, Stanley Kubrick, Madeline Kahn, Ernie Wise, Oliver Reed and Dirk Bogarde, and the births of East Timor, the Euro, MSN Messenger, the Scottish Parliament, the Welsh Assembly and - ahem - SpongeBob SquarePants.

In the news in November 1999: Gary Glitter was jailed for possession of child pornography, Australia voted in favour of retaining HM The Queen as Head of State in a referendum, an inquest began into the crash of EgyptAir Flight 990 off the Massachusetts coast (in which 231 people were killed), International Men's Day (November 19th) was launched in the UN, and the (then) largest corporation in the world ExxonMobil was formed; in the ascendant (literally) were the Millennium Wheel (now the London Eye) and China's first Shenzhou space craft; but we bade a fond farewell to Quentin Crisp, who died (while on a tour of his one-man show across the UK) in the inauspicious town of Chorlton-cum-Hardy. In our cinemas: East Is East, The Sixth Sense and Milk. On telly: Walking with Dinosaurs, DIY SOS and MacIntyre Uncovered, and Julie Goodyear returned as Bet Lynch in a Corrie spin-off After Hours.

And in our charts this week eighteen years ago? There was evidently a flurry of new releases, as Savage Garden, Jennifer Lopez and Another Level crashed into the Top Ten to join the likes of Christina Aguilera, Macy Gray, Westlife, R Kelly and Five. Also leaping into the upper echelons were Tin Tin Out featuring Emma Bunton with What I Am at #2, and this slice of loveliness from Our Geri, straight in at the top slot. Where she belonged:

Like the seasons ever changing
Everlasting baby, like you and I
It's going to be alright
But when my sky clouds over

(Lift Me Up) When the day is over
(Take me up) When the sun is going down
(Show me love) I will be your angel now
(Lift Me Up) When the lights are fading
(Talk me down) When I'm flying way up high
(Show me love) And I'll be your angel for life
Your angel for life

Flap, flap.*

[*Additional lyrics added by moi.]

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Shaken, not stirred

There's enough stress in this world - on the news, in our work - and noisy neighbours, to boot.

Time, methinks, for another sojourn into the lives of gorgeous people in exotic locations, and a soothing musical interlude - courtesy of our chums over at Soft Tempo Lounge!. Of course.

[Music: The First Time by Stanley Myers]

I feel much better now...

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Never lived too long to make right

Sharing her celebrations with a bizarre assortment of famous names including Dame Joan Sutherland, Neil Hannon, Marie Curie, Jean Shrimpton, Joni Mitchell, Billy Graham, David Guetta, Rio Ferdinand and Leon Trotsky, today is the [gulp!] 50th birthday of the lovely Miss Sharleen Spiteri - lead singer of one of the most popular UK bands of the 90s, Texas.

I've loved the band, and the brassy, potty-mouthed, no-nonsense Sharleen, for many years (I've seen her/them live three times!) - from their breakthrough hit I Don't Want A Lover to the all-time classic album White on Blonde, from whence came a slew if hits including Halo, Black Eyed Boy, Summer Son... and this one!

Twenty seconds on the back time
I feel you're on the run
Never lived too long to make right
I see you're doing fine

And when I get that feeling
I can no longer slide
I can no longer run
Ah no no
And when I get that feeling
I can no longer hide
For it's no longer fun
Ah no no

Well, you can say what you want
But it won't change my mind
I'll feel the same
About you
And you can tell me your reasons
But it won't change my feelings
I'll feel the same
About you

What I am is what you want of me
Yeh, now that I'm not there
I took the tables away from you
It's turned that I don't care

And when I get that feeling
I can no longer slide
I can no longer run
Ah no no
And when I get that feeling
I can no longer hide
For it's no longer fun
Ah no no

Well, you can say what you want
But it won't change my mind
I'll feel the same
About you
And you can tell me your reasons
But it won't change my feelings
I'll feel the same
About you

I've said goodnight
Try to sleep tight
Ah just dream of me
Go close your eyes
Cause I've closed mine
The sun will shine from time to time
Oh, when you dream of me, yeh

Well, you can say what you want
But it won't change my mind
I'll feel the same
About you
And you can tell me your reasons
But it won't change my feelings
I'll feel the same
About you

One of my favourite songs, ever.

Texas official website

Monday, 6 November 2017

Slipper or cake?

Despite the lovely weather, winter has started to make itself felt in London - slightly sparkly roofs this morning, and the single-figure night-time temperatures mean that the central heating is now on all the time. To add insult to injury, we have acquired new upstairs neighbours... who have small children! It's only been one day of the incessant running up-and-down across our ceiling, but I am already wound up to the "Nth degree". If it keeps up, we may have to start planning to move. Oh dear.

Never mind, eh? With another lovely and - ahem - rewarding week in work to come, we are definitely in need of some cheering up. What better distraction on this Tacky Music Monday than Miss Leslie Caron and Mr Michael Wilding camping it up performing a lovely bit of ballet, in this glittering scene from The Glass Slipper?

Have a good week, folks!

Sunday, 5 November 2017

I'm the bitch you hated, filth infatuated

Burning Guy Fawkes on your bonfire is so 1600s, but which of 2017’s many hate figures should you burn instead?

Check out our Mash guide:

Donald Trump
The obvious choice, effigies of Trump are easy to make at home because he already looks like clothes irregularly stuffed with newspaper, child’s gloves and a badly-sculpted papier-maché face. However the large amount of hay required to craft his hair could blow away once ignited and prove a fire risk.

Hillary Clinton
Could be considered passé, but still deserves ire for expecting to stroll into the White House like it was the family greengrocery business and then writing a whining, buck-passing book about it.

Jacob Rees-Mogg
Much as you should always check bonfires to ensure that children or hedgehogs are not hiding in them before lighting, always check any effigies of Jacob Rees-Mogg to ensure you are not inadvertently burning the genuine article.

Kim Jong-un
The man who threatens to turn the world into ashes deserves to be burned, despite the high probability that it’s all his dad’s fault for spoiling him. Fun and simple to construct: just pop a pair of glasses and poor man’s Elvis wig on an over-inflated balloon and you’re good to go.

A woman
If you’re holding a bonfire in an area of mixed political views, it can be difficult to choose an effigy that everyone agrees with. But whether you’re far-left or alt-right, everybody blames the ills of the world on women. One side can think it’s Angela Merkel, the other Laura Kuenssberg and everybody’s happy.

Harvey Weinstein
The Hollywood producer turned international sex abuse exposure catalyst should have been sitting atop bonfires for decades. A popular choice, but good luck getting it to the top of your bonfire without it being kicked to bits.

Has a £132 million fortune even though she is only 29. Burn the witch.
The Daily Mash

Of course.

Happy Bonfire Night, everyone!

There is really only one song to play now...

Saturday, 4 November 2017

Strange, indeed

The latest tabloid TV obsession in the UK - with acres of coverage - is yet another of those niche, "kooky", American wannabee-cult shows [cf Twin Peaks, Buffy, Game of Thrones, Twilight, and so on] called Stranger Things. I have never seen it, nor are we ever going to as it requires a subscription to something called Netflix [a members-only club, M'lud]. However, nosey swine that I am, I did go onto the interwebs to find out if I was missing anything...

...and up popped this, courtesy of Miss Vicky Boofont!

*Apparently Barb is a character in the aforementioned Stranger Things - although I never heard anyone mention that Carol Channing or Liza Minnelli were in it!

Stranger Things on Wikipedia

Friday, 3 November 2017

Champagne for Lulu!

Eddie Monsoon: "Lulu! What would you like, Lulu?"
Lulu: "Three courses and a pudding, and don't talk to me."
Eddie: "Champagne for Lulu! Fantastic, isn't it? Like a reunion.
...You know what you need? You need a really good publicity machine. Who does your PR?"

Lulu: "You do."

And here - fresh from The "Edina Monsoon PR agency", sweetie! - is the birthday girl herself:

Many happy returns, Miss Lulu Kennedy-Cairns OBE (born Marie McDonald McLaughlin Lawrie, 3rd November 1948) - and Thank Disco It's Friday!!!!

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Quiz Time!

What links these otherwise disparate tracks?

...the awesome talents of the recently-departed Mr George Young, who was behind them all! [He wrote all of the songs above with the exception of the AC/DC track, which he produced; Angus and Malcolm Young being his brothers - coincidentally, John-Paul was no relation]

RIP George Redburn Young (6th November 1946 – 22nd October 2017)

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

The first man's name was Kiki, he wore such little pants

Just because... I had two intensive days studying the dreaded "management-speak-bollocks", and then straight back in today to a tedious day at work, I felt I needed some cheering up.

Then - along came this!!

Oh, that's better.