Friday 31 March 2017

Ooh, ooh!

The weekend looms (although I am actually on leave today). We're off to the Nathan Lane adaptation of Sondheim's The Frogs tonight (its UK première), and tomorrow it's a trip to the wilds of Essex to visit Baby Steve and his houseboy Alex..

Although we are not expecting to see any displays quite as exotic as those at the RHS Orchid Show [above] that we went to on Tuesday evening, we still hope to come back with another load of fuchsias from one of the many nurseries in the vicinity of the boys to add to our burgeoning collection here at Dolores Delargo Towers!

Before any of that, of course, it's time to get the party started in our traditionally glittering manner - and what better than this club classic (newly arrived in our charts this week in - gulp - 1978)? With some of the cheesiest dancers this side of Legs & Co, it's the Michael Zager Band and Let's All Chant...

Thank Disco It's Friday!

Thursday 30 March 2017

A public service announcement...

...on behalf of Lounge Music!

From those lovely people at Soft Tempo Lounge:
"Supporting my friends at Kansas Public Radio helps keep great programmes like the Retro Cocktail Hour around for all to enjoy. They need your support now more than ever. You can pledge at

To listen to the show anytime just visit"
It is an excellent show - I listen to it often, especially while sipping something wicked in the extensive gardens here at Dolores Delargo Towers...

Wednesday 29 March 2017

A Song (NOT) for Europe

The deed is done...

Time to say goodbye
Paesi che no ho mai
Veduto e vissuto con te
Adesso si` li vivro`
Con te partiro`
Su navi per mari
Che io lo so
No, no, non esistono piu

Time to say goodbye
Horizons are never far
Would I have to find them alone
without true light of my own with you
I will go on ships over seas
that I now know
No, they don't exist any more
It's time to say goodbye

Tuesday 28 March 2017

And you say I dress too well

There has been a slew of "significant" birthdays of late - not least the fact that, had he lived, the gorgeous Mr Billy MacKenzie would have been 60 years old yesterday.

I loved him. With his cheekbones-to-die-for, his unique almost-operatic vocals, and the fact that his band The Associates was so utterly cool - emerging as they did in the midst of a cascade of "edgy" post-Punk electronic music in '79/'80 alongside the likes of The Cure, Simple Minds and Joy Division (and of course my fave Gary Numan) - he was the epitome of everything that era represented for me.

I first heard The Associates on the legendary John Peel show on Radio 1 back in 1981. They'd already garnered a flurry of "music meejah" interest, having launched their career with a cheeky cover of Bowie's Boys Keep Swinging mere weeks after The Thin White Duke released the original; but it was White Car in Germany that did it for me:

When, however, it became obvious that the cameras found Billy as appealing as I did, he and the band were rocketed to pop stardom, with a succession of hits, including the fab Club Country:

[See also my recent Burns Night post.]

But it was for this song, his and the band's finest hour, that everyone remembers Mr MacKenzie. I still (try to) sing along to it whenever it's on the radio. Just that ecstatic piano intro is enough to send shivers down my spine...

It is, of course, Party Fears Two:

I'll have a shower and then phone my brother up
Within the hour I'll smash another cup
Please don't start saying that or I'll start believing you
If I start believing you I'll know that this party fears two

And, what if this party fears two
The alcohol loves you while turning you blue
View it from here from closer to near
Awake me

Don't turn around I won't have to look at you
And what's not found is all that I see in you
My manners are failing me I'm left feeling ugly
And you say it's wonderful to live with I never will

So what if this party fears two
The alcohol loves you while turning you blue
View it from here from closer to near
Awake me

I'm standing still and you say I dress too well
Still standing still I might but it's hard to tell
Even a slight remark makes nonsense and turns to shark
Have I done something wrong
What wrongs the wrong that's always in wrong

I'll have a shower
And then phone my brother up
Within the hour
I'll smash another cup...

Billy suffered all his life with depression, and - twenty years ago this year - the world awoke to horrible news that he had taken his own life.

RIP William MacArthur "Billy" MacKenzie (27th March 1957 – 22nd January 1997)

Monday 27 March 2017

That's where it is

Groan. Monday again.

After a lovely sunny weekend, as we try and shake ourselves into consciousness to get back to work, at least we have the Queen of Soul - whose 75th birthday it was on the weekend - to lift our spirits... On this Tacky Music Monday, here she is, shimmying along with the faboo backing singers Darlene Love and The Blossoms, on It's In His Kiss:

Aretha Louise Franklin (born 25th March 1942)

Have a great week, peeps!

Sunday 26 March 2017

Muscle man

Viola Morpho in the window-box here at Dolores Delargo Towers

Having spent a lovely day yesterday with Mother [it is Mother's Day in the UK], it was the turn of the garden to get some TLC today - I've moved our huge clump of Montbretia Lucifer, (finally) planted some of the herbaceous plants that have been languishing in pots awaiting attention, emptied a few more pots of dead stuff, and continued the task of digging out and preparing the biggest planters ready to plant up for summer; and together we managed to get two fence panels covered with new netting for the climbers. Whew!

Knackered as I am, I still find time to pay due deference to today's birthday girl "The Boss" Miss Ross - and here's an appropriate song for the aches and pains I feel at the mo; it's Muscles:

Many happy returns, Diane Ernestine Earle Ross (born 26th March 1944)

Saturday 25 March 2017

There is nothing like a Dame!

"There is nothing wrong with going to bed with someone of your own sex. People should be very free with sex, they should draw the line at goats."

"Music has healing power. It has the ability to take people out of themselves for a few hours."

"The great thing about rock and roll is that someone like me can be a star."

"I think performers are all show-offs anyway, especially musicians. Unless you show off, you're not going to get noticed... I could never go onstage in denims."

"I am the most well-known homosexual in the world."

“Live for each second without hesitation”

One of the biggest-selling artists in the world, ever, Dame Elton Hercules John is seventy years old today!

All hail.

There is really only one song that is appropriate for this milestone occasion, I suppose...

You know I'm still standing better than I ever did
Looking like a true survivor, feeling like a little kid
I'm still standing after all this time
Picking up the pieces of my life without you on my mind

I'm still standing yeah yeah yeah
I'm still standing yeah yeah yeah

Many happy returns, dear Queen...

Friday 24 March 2017

Such a tender fantasy

Thank heavens for that. We've reached another weekend - and we have today's birthday girl Miss Stephanie Mills (who is 60 years old!) to get us in the party mood!

With a panoply of bare-chested "safety gays" and glittery-swimsuit-clad bimbo dancers, a hairdo (don't?) that is evidently some kind of tribute to a 1980s footballer - and coping manfully with being rudely interrupted by "Mr Rex Smith and Miss Marilyn McCoo" - here's the lady herself and her greatest hit.

She Never Knew Love Like This Before. Apparently.

Thank Disco It's Friday!

I never knew love like this before;
Now I'm lonely never more,
Since you came into my life...

You are my love light, this I know,
And I'll never let you go;
You're my all, you're part of me...

Once I was lost, and now I'm found,
Then you turned my world around;
When I need, I call your name...

'Cause I never knew love like this before;
Opened my eyes,
'Cause I never knew love like this before;
What a surprise,
'Cause I never knew love like this before...

This feeling's so deep inside of me,
Such a tender fantasy;
You're the one I'm living for...

You are my sunlight and my rain,
And time could never change
What we share forever more...

Ooh, hoo... I never knew love like this before;
Now I'm lonely never more,
Since you came into my life...

'Cause I never knew love like this before;
Opened my eyes,
'Cause I never knew love like this before;
What a surprise,
'Cause I never knew love like this before...

Stephanie Dorthea Mills (born 22nd March 1957)

Thursday 23 March 2017

Thoughts for the Day

London Pride has been handed down to us,
London Pride is a flower that's free.
London Pride means our own dear town to us,
And our pride it forever will be.
Grey city,
Stubbornly implanted,
Taken so for granted
For a thousand years.
Stay, city,
Smokily enchanted,
Cradle of our memories,
Of our hopes and fears.

Wednesday 22 March 2017



‘Can you tell me the way to the fishmonger?’

A man who keeps saying he sees himself as European is rapidly becoming very annoying, everyone has decided.

Teacher Martin Bishop, from Nottingham, frequently claims to have a strong sense of European identity despite only having been to France three times on holiday.

Friend Nikki Hollis said: “I think Martin imagines he’s a sophisticated European citizen who spends his time at Berlin film festivals when he’s not shagging enigmatic Parisian women.

“I appreciate he doesn’t agree with Brexit, but the only foreign language he knows is weird GCSE French phrases like ‘Can you tell me the way to the fishmonger?’

“It’s totally ridiculous because there’s no way British people think ‘Ah, another day in Europe’ when they’re watching Eastenders or standing in the queue in Greggs.

“Martin needs to shut the fuck up about Europe or move there, but he won’t do that because he’d just end up living in a hostel until his money ran out.”

Bishop said: “We Europeans are more cosmopolitan than your average Briton. That’s why we appreciate unpleasantly strong coffee and films about university professors having doomed lesbian affairs with their students.

“Sadly my friends prefer to stay in their little Anglo-centric bubble and aren’t interested in coming over to eat calves’ liver and watch the European Parliament Channel.”
The Daily Mash

Of course.

Tuesday 21 March 2017

Pop Tarts

Hamantashen = sweet treats for Purim festivities

I have no idea why this may have popped up as a YouTube "recommended for you" suggestion...

...but I am very glad it did!

Billed as a "Purim tribute" [for which I am a little late; it was two weekends ago, sorry] - here's the Offer Nissim remix of Pet Shop Boys' Pop Kids:

That certainly brightened up a dull Tuesday!

Monday 20 March 2017

Keep smiling through just like you always do

Vera Lynn began her estimable career as a young lass in the 1930s, singing with the orchestras of Joe Loss and Charlie Kunz. A true "East End girl" (she was born in East Ham - one of the neighbourhoods that was devastated by the Luftwaffe during the Blitz), and with her crystal-clear vocal talents, her repertoire of sentimental-but-uplifting songs (such as I’ll Be Seeing You, The White Cliffs of Dover, A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square, There’ll Always Be An England, and (of course) We’ll Meet Again) and her radio broadcasts and front-line concerts during the darkest days of WW2, she soon became known as the "Forces Sweetheart" and a truly worthy recipient of the epithet "national treasure"...

Along with her cohorts Gracie Fields and Ann Shelton, she inspired many young artistes who followed in her wake, including Ruby Murray, Petula Clark ...and Dame Julie Andrews:

Her career may have waned commercially during the late 50s and early 60s with the advent of younger, fresher styles of music such as rock'n'roll and The Beatles, but she remained prominent in the collective British consciousness - with her own TV show in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and frequent appearances on other variety shows such as Morecambe and Wise (where she proved that she also had the capacity to poke fun of herself):

Here is the great lady singing the two hits for which she is most revered...

...and in honour of her centenary, images and clips of her singing were beamed on to the White Cliffs of Dover today:

  • Among her many awards and distinctions: the British War Medal 1939-45 and the Burma Star; the OBE in 1969; Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in the 1975 Queen’s Birthday Honours for charitable services; the Freedom of the City of London in 1978; Officer of the Order of Saint John (OStJ) in 1998; Member of the Order of the Companions of Honour in the Birthday Honours 2016.
  • Vera Lynn appeared at the Royal Variety Performance four times - 1960, 1975, 1986 and 1990; she has also performed for HM The Queen on many other occasions including the golden jubilee of VE Day in 1995.
  • In addition to being the oldest living person to release an album (Vera Lynn 100 was released last week), Dame Vera has the unique distinction of having had the longest span in the UK record charts - with three entries on the in the first ever listings in 1952, and still a top-seller today in 2017; her new compilation album of her orchestrated hits is currently outselling the likes of Drake and Zara Larsson by a wide margin.

Happy 100th birthday, Dame Vera Margaret Lynn CH DBE OStJ (born 20th March 1917)!

Oh can't you guess, oh yes yes yes, it's Spring Spring Spring!

Anemone blanda in the garden at Dolores Delargo Towers

Today is the Vernal Equinox. From tomorrow, the days will officially be longer than the nights. Yay!!

This is probably my favourite season. I love Spring.

And so - on this Tacky Music Monday - do The Goodies!

Have a good week, dear reader.

Sunday 19 March 2017

Jukebox Jive

Despite the blustery wind today - empty pots a-flying, rickety fence bending, a decapitated hyacinth and all - I've been keeping myself busy again in the extensive gardens here at Dolores Delargo Towers, potting on seedlings and digging out troughs full of old soil, ready to fill with some of the host of fuchsias we collected last year.

It's time to relax with some "proper Sunday music", methinks. What better than another session by the magnificent artistes of Scott Bradlee's Postmodern Jukebox?

They are utterly fab-u-lous!

Saturday 18 March 2017

Pop will eat itself

I despair.

Time was when famous people were famous for something - for their acting, artistic, scientific, sporting or political prowess, perhaps. Genuine "stars" were the people whose talents made them a household name; people of the calibre of Clark Gable, Alfred Hitchcock, Katherine Hepburn, Laurence Olivier or Ingrid Bergman...

Nowadays, such cultural morés appear to be vanishing in the wake of a slew of cheap and nasty, attention-seeking non-entities whose only claim to fame is the fact they have appeared on "reality TV" [whose "reality"?, I'd like to know] or happen to be popular on "social media". These people are now considered worthy of the epithet "celebrity", apparently.

A case in point is the crowing announcement today by none other than the BBC [once itself a proud bastion of culture; no longer predominantly so, especially in the last few decades] that a couple of people-one-should-never-have-heard-of, who seemingly were featured in a television show about people watching television [some prime time excrement called Gogglebox, which is shown on another former culturally significant medium, Channel 4] are going to appear in another "reality television" show Strictly Come Dancing.

It is a sad day when this is the level of entertainment to which the general populace aspires.

"Bread and circuses", indeed.

Friday 17 March 2017

Shillelaghs and Sledges

I think the nearest I get to any kind of Irish blood is that a maternal great-grandmother's maiden name was Shaw. I have, however, had Irish in me before, of course...

But I digress - and although I do love a party, I probably will do my best to avoid any of the apocalyptic "amateur drinkers"/Guinness promotions/people in stupid green hats that tend to accompany Paddy's Day weekend. I prefer my entertainment a bit classier than that.

Speaking of which, this week was a bit of a sad one for aficionados of Disco music - as we bade farewell to Miss Joni Sledge (of the eponymous Sisters), who died at the premature age of 60.

By way of a tribute, here is the lady herself way back in 1975 as guest vocalist with the Detroit Spinners - oh, how I love those outfits...

Ever since I met you
Seems I can't forget you
The thought of you keeps runnin' through
The back of my mind

Indeed. RIP Joni Sledge - and Thank Disco It's (St Patrick's Day) Friday!

Thursday 16 March 2017

You think you're smart - stupid, stupid

Timeslip moment alert...

We're off in Buck Rogers' "Ranger 3" to the wild'n'wacky world of 1982 - a year dominated by E.T., the Falklands War, Michael Jackson's Thriller, tabloid newspaper Bingo games, the SDP, the Israeli war in Lebanon, IRA bombings in London and the births of the compact disc, The Smiths and Prince William.

In the news in March thirty-five years ago: the Argentines raised their flag in the British territory of South Georgia, sparking the political and military drama of Britain's first war in decades; the reprehensible "moral campaigner" Mary Whitehouse was stopped in her tracks from pursuing a lawsuit of "gross indecency" against the National Theatre over the play Romans in Britain (which featured a male rape scene) by the Attorney-General; loony Christians in the USA started burning Iron Maiden albums because of their "satanic lyrics"; HM The Queen opened the Barbican Centre arts complex in the City of London; in the ascendant were Charles Haughey (who became Taoiseach of the Republic of Ireland), Adobe Systems (newly founded, its software - which eventually became Photoshop - sparked the "desktop publishing revolution"), and Canada (which, with the passing of The Canada Act 1982, was able to take over authority for amending its own constitution from the British parliament), but "Blues Brother" John Belushi was found dead (aged just 33) of an overdose of heroin and cocaine. In our cinemas: Made in Britain (with Tim Roth), Death Wish II, and the faboo Evil Under the Sun. On telly: On Safari (with Christopher Biggins), the debut series featuring the fifth Doctor Who (Peter Davison), and Crown Court.

And in our charts this week in 1982? Tight Fit's supremely camp version of The Lion Sleeps Tonight was at #1, with the dreaded Goombay Dance Band Seven Tears snapping at its heels. Also in attendance were Toni Basil, Haircut 100, Fun Boy Three with Bananarama, Bow Wow Wow and J Geils Band. But ascending the scale with an eye on the top slot (ultimately thwarted by the bloody Goombay lot) was that most glamorous of the post-punk revolutionary bands ABC - with the peerless Poison Arrow!

If I were to say to you
"Can you keep a secret?"
Would you know just what to do
Or where to keep it?
Then I say, "I love you"
And foul the situation
Hey, girl, I thought we were
The right combination

Who broke my heart?
You did, you did
Bow to the target
Blame Cupid, Cupid
You think you're smart
Stupid, stupid

Shoot that poison arrow to my heart
Shoot that poison arrow
Shoot that poison arrow to my heart
Shoot that poison arrow

No rhythm in cymbals
No tempo in drums
Love on arrival
She comes when she comes
Right on the target
But wide of the mark
What I thought was fire
Was only the spark
The sweetest melody
Is an unheard refrain
So lower your sights
Yeah, but raise your aim
Raise your aim

Who broke my heart?
You did, you did
Bow to the target
Blame Cupid, Cupid
You think you're smart
Stupid, stupid

Shoot that poison arrow to my heart
Shoot that poison arrow
Shoot that poison arrow to my heart
Shoot that poison arrow

I thought you loved me
But it seems you don't care
I care enough to know
I can never love you

Who broke my heart?
You did, you did
Bow to the target
Blame Cupid
You think you're smart
That's stupid
Right from the start
When you knew we would part

Shoot that poison arrow to my heart
Shoot that poison arrow
Shoot that poison arrow to my heart, heart, heart
Shoot that poison arrow

I love it...

Wednesday 15 March 2017

I know, once a miracle will happen

One hundred and five years ago today, a controversial legend was born...

From WFMU's faboo Beware of the Blog:
When Joseph Goebbels set out to create a Nazi movie studio to rival Hollywood's dream machine, he tried to recruit Germany's and Europe's most glamorous stars, most notably Marlene Dietrich and Greta Garbo. Since both Garbo and Dietrich had already fled war-torn Europe for Hollywood, Goebbels' attention drifted to the singer and actress Zarah Leander. In 1936, Goebbels signed Leander to the recently nationalised film studio UFA, and the Swedish Leander became the highest paid Nazi film star (much to Goebbels' consternation), and one of the most popular actresses and singers in Germany and Europe. She starred in ten propaganda films for the Reich and was a particular favourite of Hitler, who reportedly found the icy, husky-voiced Leander irresistible...

By 1943, Leander saw the handwriting on the wall and stiffed Goebbels, fleeing Germany for her Nazi-film-financed palace in Sweden. Goebbels was enraged, and branded her an enemy of Germany, but the Swedish people were also outraged by what they saw as her wartime Nazi collaboration and profiteering. Leander always insisted that she never bought into the Nazi philosophy and didn't socialize with Third Reich bigwigs. According to a 2004 book by Anthony Beevor (The Mystery of Olga Chekhova), Leander was in fact working for Soviet intelligence the entire time she was under contract to Goebbels, passing Nazi secrets on to the Russians whenever she visited her home in Stockholm. The Swedes never completely forgave her, but she did enjoy a comeback of sorts in the 1960's, appearing in musicals and concerts throughout Germany and Austria.
Now this is what I call a comeback! Here's the fragrant Miss Leander, replete with safety gays and lots of glitter - in a nightclub that I wouldn't mind visiting...

And here, for your delectation, is a rather unexpected tribute to the great lady - by none other than our beloved Nina Hagen! Here she sings a German classic made famous by Zarah, Ich weiss, es wird einmal ein Wunder geschehen:

Zarah Leander (15th March 1907 – 23rd June 1981)

Tuesday 14 March 2017

Down on the streets

Places that sell ‘street food’ do not have ‘street prices’, it has been confirmed.

The Institute for Studies found that while places selling ‘street food’ are absurdly expensive, pubs that claim to be selling ‘World Class Grub’ are actually very cheap.

Professor Henry Brubaker said: “You’d think it would be the other way round.”

Nikki Hollis, who runs an Indian street food ‘pop-up’ in London, said: “The food we sell is exactly like the food you might buy on the streets of Delhi.

“Obviously there it would cost you pennies but here it costs much, much more. You’re paying the extra to be able to say you’re eating ‘street food’.”

She added: “Idiots think that’s cool. And they have money. It’s just fantastic.”
The Daily Mash

Of course.

Monday 13 March 2017

The great Cuchi Cuchi enigma

"If you believe in what you do, you are immortal. The day that you don't believe it, the day you're taking other people's opinion, you better go to Tijuana."

Some ladies are adamant that they intend to "stay at a certain age". Our beloved Charo - uncrowned "Queen of Tacky Music Mondays" - is one such case in point.

There are so many question marks over the year she was born; IMDB lists her as being born in 1941, but Wikipedia has it as an "adjusted birthdate" of 1951 - and at some stage in her history, even the date upon which she blows out however many (or few) candles on her cake has changed too. Here at Dolores Delargo Towers, we have for many years celebrated her birthday in January (see here, here, here, and here) - yet now she seems to have moved it to March. Baffling!

Actually "baffling" is the perfect epithet for the lady herself, in many respects...

Here she is on the Tonight Show - guest-hosted by Burt Reynolds(!) - back in 1971. If we are to believe the lady herself, she was only just twenty years old in this clip:


Regardless of her many self-created enigmas - ¡Feliz Cumpleaños! and Cuchi, Cuchi!, Señorita María del Rosario Mercedes Pilar Martínez Molina Baeza!

Sunday 12 March 2017

You don't believe me? Ask Helga...

Hyacinth "Delft Blue" in the gardens at Dolores Delargo Towers

Oh, yesterday was a beautiful day! So sunny and warm that if it wasn't for the fact that the only things in flower are the bulbs, one might have been forgiven for thinking it was May. Today, it's gloomy with the threat of rain. Welcome to Britain.

Hey ho - trust those delightful bods over at Soft Tempo Lounge to come up with the perfect solution. What better way to spend a Sunday than wallowing in the lives of impossibly glamorous people wearing beautifully tailored outfits, all of them acting mysteriously, in some glorious location?

Oh, Helga, indeed:

Music: Ti ho sposato per allegria by Piero Piccioni

Oh, that's better.

Saturday 11 March 2017

Totty of the Day

The gorgeous and multi-talented Mr John Barrowman blows out 50 candles on his cake today!

By way of a celebration to mark this milestone, this week he revealed that he is not ashamed of showing off his true hair colour...

John Scot Barrowman, MBE (born 11th March 1967)

Friday 10 March 2017

I've got to find out, I've got to find out

Oh, yes! Another weekend hoves into view - and this time it looks like it's going to be a warm, Spring-like one. Yay! Even more reason to start planning our celebrations.

Let's gather our best platform sole knee-boots, headscarves and rictus grins out of the closet - and get the party started with (possibly) the most famous porn-star-turned-singer in chart history, the late, great Miss Andrea True... and Thank Disco It's Friday!

Have a good one!

Thursday 9 March 2017

How else can I explain those rainbows, when there is no rain?

From SFGate:
She was the hippest doll in America, a real cool cat before they called it that. While live wire Louis Prima put everything he had into his mad, frantic style, his taciturn counterpart never batted an eyelash, just stood around, her ankles crossed, waiting for her turn to sing. It was heat and ice, yin and yang, thrust and parry, an age-old give and take dressed up in the swinging style of '50s jive, when Prima and Smith ruled the scene from the lounge at the Sahara.

"I was far from hip and cool," she says. "I'm basically a square. I've led a very normal life."
The marvellous Miss Keely Smith is eighty-five years old today.

Why not kick off your heels, settle down and enjoy the great lady herself singing a superb medley of her hits (including I Got a Right to Sing the Blues, I Wish You Love, That Old Black Magic, I'll Walk Alone, and It's Magic), by way of a celebration?

That voice...

We love her.

Read my tribute to Miss Smith on the occasion of her 80th.

Fifty frogs of Finchley

This must be the news story of the day, courtesy of the BBC...
Dozens of frogs were found "hopping around" a supermarket car park after being dumped there inside a plastic bag, the RSPCA has said.

At least 50 of the amphibians were left outside a branch of Aldi in Finchley, north London.

Rescuers said they arrived to find a number of frogs had escaped the soil-filled bag and were roaming around the "completely hazardous environment".

The surviving frogs were released back into the wild.

RSPCA inspector Lauren Evans said two frogs died after being run over, but 48 were saved.

She said she arrived at the "dark car park" at about 21:30 GMT on Saturday to find it overrun with frogs.

"I had to run around scooping them all up with my hands and a bag before placing them into a secure tank," she said.

"Some were still in the plastic bag, which had clearly been tied up intentionally.

"They would not have been able to escape if there had not been the hole, but equally they would not have been able to breathe without it."

She said the animal charity had "no idea" where the frogs came from, nor why they were left inside a plastic bag in a car park.

"None of them would have survived if they had been left that way," she added.

Wednesday 8 March 2017

Can't help it, the girl can't help it

Among the many, many hits for which she was responsible are Groovy Kind of Love, Everything Old Is New Again, That's What Friends Are For, Nobody Does It Better (the theme from the Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me), I'd Rather Leave While I'm in Love, Best That You Can Do (the theme from Arthur), Patti Labelle and Michael McDonald's On My Own, Leo Sayer's When I Need You, and the emotional rollercoaster that is Don't Cry Out Loud, a hit for Elkie Brooks, Melissa Manchester, and... "Kylie" and "Simon" in one of my favourite telly programmes of all time, Beautiful People!

She worked with and wrote for a host of mega-stars including Bette Midler, Aretha Franklin, Dionne Warwick, Carly Simon, Diana Ross, Liza Minnelli, Neil Diamond, Judy Collins, Rita Coolidge, Dolly Parton, Barbra Streisand and Dusty Springfield. She married Burt Bacharach and Marvin Hamlisch, and counted among her friends Miss Midler, Michael Jackson, Peter Allen, David Geffen and Elizabeth Taylor [from whom I think she inherited that wig].

The sublimely-talented Miss Carol Bayer Sager celebrates her seventieth birthday today!

And what more appropriate way to wish the lady many happy returns (on this, International Women's Day) than with her biggest (in fact, her only) solo song..?

So pack your toys away
Your pretty boys away
Your 45's away
Your alibis away
Your Spanish flies away
Your one-more-tries away
Your old tie-dyes away
You're moving out today

Pack up your dirty looks
Your songs that have no hooks
Your stacks of Modern Screen
Your portrait of the Queen
Your mangy cat away
Your baby fat away
You're headed that-away
You're moving out today

Carole Bayer Sager (born 8th March 1947)