Theme from “The Adventurer” (1972) –
                                                             (Click sound wave image):

One is from the North. Born in Oldham, Greater Manchester and attended the former Our Lady’s Secondary School in Royton. He moved to Blackpool as a teenager and then from the age of 21 further travelled within the Arts & Entertainment industry to several places including Majorca and South Florida and in-between and thereafter settled in Scotland for many years. He held a variety of positions including DJ-Entertainer, Host & Compere and Professional Voice-Over Artist. He is also a writer/poet who has now moved back to his hometown of Blackpool where he tends to his mother as her live-in Carer…

The other one is from the South. Born in Tunbridge Wells, Kent and attended the local grammar school for girls. Later she went to Surrey University for Acting/drama and subsequently London Academy of music and drama. She has undertaken various roles within Film, Television and Theatre and has utilised her voice skills on several occasions. She is also a professional model having undertaken assignments for a number of organizations. She now resides near Elstree with her husband and young son…

This north and south collaboration first teamed-up back in 2008 along with another 7 voice-actors for the independent radio drama entitled “That’ll be the Stardust!” – the online audio spin-off to the classic film “That’ll be the Day” (1973) and its sequel, “Stardust” (1974):

Cosmic Dwellings interviews both Tony G. Marshall and Holly Macdonald in the lead-up to their renewed collaboration for Jim Maclaine’s “Dea Sancta et Gloria” – a lyrical spoken word rock opera expanded from “Stardust”. This interview conveys a welcome camaraderie between the two voice-over artists who still share a sense of professional comradeship through the network of a production that first allowed them to connect on an artistic level. Therefore, we hope you enjoy this unique, fun and very informative interview. Note: Social Distancing rules were adhered to throughout the conducting of this interview. So, without any further ado, please welcome –  Tony G. Marshall and Holly Macdonald

Cosmic Dwellings: First of all, thank you to both of you for taking the time to speak with us this afternoon.

Tony G. Marshall: You’re very welcome.

Holly Macdonald: It’s a pleasure, thank you.

CD: Before the interview, you were both discussing the time when Tony stayed in London for a while during the development of “That’ll be the Stardust!” for the theatre…could you tell us a little about that?

HM: Yes, I was his chauffeur each time he turned up at Borehamwood station! (Laughter)

TGM: In a sense, that’s very true, Holly! (Laughter). Well, at the time several of the cast of “That’ll be the Stardust!” were interested in developing the radio drama for the stage. We were doing hospital radio promo shows, meeting up for rehearsals – but it never materialised for one reason and another. Holly and I used to hang-out and discuss tactics for the next phase of the project. Sadly, it was never to be.

HM (to Tony): But I think at the time you’d already mentioned to me that you had this other project which was “Dea Sancta et Gloria”…

TGM: Yeah, I think we both briefly discussed it with Dominic Connolly. For those reading this interview who aren’t aware of who Dominic Connolly is – he’s the eldest son of screenwriter and author, Ray Connolly – Ray wrote the screenplays for “That’ll be the Day” and “Stardust.” Dominic portrayed the young Jimmy Maclaine jr in “Stardust” – the son of Jim Maclaine (David Essex). Furthermore, Dominic voiced the David Essex role in flashback sequences in our radio drama.

HM: During that time it was usually Tony, Dominic and I who would end up being the last out of the pub after rehearsals, so we went out in style – it was all good fun and merriment! (Laughter).

TGM: Going out in a glorious blaze of “All for one- and sod the rest!” – Three Musketeers style! (Laughter)

CD: So, with the new production, what made you decide to further develop and expand upon Jim Maclaine’s rock opera from the movie “Stardust”(1974)?

TGM: Well, it’s not such a new production because during my writing of the script for the radio drama of “That’ll be the Stardust!” I just happened upon it. It seemed like a good idea to create something with the appropriate themes that Maclaine’s rock opera represented which was initially the ‘glory of woman’. There was only one song which represented it in “Stardust” – that being “Dea Sancta”. However, in the book of the movie it is suggested that the actual telecast of the rock opera ran a total of 1 hour and had an accompanying album of songs. Furthermore, I was inspired enough to roll with the creation of it as it was a lot more closer to the original idea I had back in the eighties which transitioned into the radio drama of “That’ll be the Stardust!” in 2007. Therefore,  it was an important piece to create and it has become a nice tie-in to the concept of the radio drama along with the films of “That’ll be the Day” and “Stardust.” 

CD: How did you approach the expansion of “Dea Sancta et Gloria”?

TGM: The idea came to me via Maclaine’s relationships with the women throughout his life, as depicted in the films, which includes his mother, his ex-wife (the mother of his son), and his girlfriend and even includes the women who had a passing fancy in his life when he was younger throughout his time as a waiter at a holiday camp, a fairground attendant and during his pre-fame rock star days with the Stray Cats band. I knew that I had to create the concept as some kind of biographical prose or poems to tie-in with the musical aspect of the rock opera.

CD: You have adapted and written this project as a voice-over production for spoken word as opposed to creating something for the singing voice. Why did you decide to do this?

TGM: I decided upon this format because it plays to our voice-over and acting skills. I also wanted to be as creative as possible with words, or lyrics, which in turn allowed me to incorporate several themes pertinent to the life of Jim Maclaine. There will be some form of orchestral music mixed into the final recording of the production so that will convey the musical aspect of it in an understated way…

(Click graphic link below to discover more about Jim Maclaine’s “Dea Sancta et Gloria” – this interview continues below…)

CD: Holly, aside from having worked with Tony previously on “That’ll be the Stardust!”, what attracted you to the concept of “Dea Sancta et Gloria”?

Holly Macdonald: What intrigued me was the fact that “Dea Sancta” is closer to Tony’s original ideas as a form of stage play based on events of Jim Maclaine’s life. Plus, I very much wanted to be a part of something in which I was familiar with its characters and story concept. Furthermore, the flow of Tony’s beautiful words holds one spellbound and his intense energy, positivity and passion for creativity still capture the imagination of his audience. 

TGM: Thank you, Holly.

CD: But how do you feel about being a part of something which isn’t actually established but already has an ‘established journey’ behind it?

HM: It’s another aspect of the intrigue of it all. Tony has always been on a journey with most things that he creates as a writer. It’s fascinating.

CD: Tony, what’s it like to be working with your “That’ll be the Stardust!” colleague once again after all these years?

TGM: It’s really reassuring that we’ve both found ourselves in a position in which we can collaborate once again because we work well together. It’s a pleasure to know that Holly’s relentless pursuit of anything creative is still a prominent focus; Mrs Macdonald is an excellent line of support whether in a recording studio or on a theatre stage. We previously mixed our professional chemistry in “That’ll be the Stardust!” radio drama in which her performances are compelling.

HM: Thank you so much, Tony. 

CD: Holly, how did it happen for you to work with Tony on “That’ll be the Stardust!” back in 2008?

HM: Gosh, is it as long ago as that?! (Laughter)...Well, I think I was the first of the Southern members of the cast to apply for a role via StarNow…

TGM (to Holly): You were certainly one of the first…

HM (to Tony): I remember phoning you after I received your email reply to my application…

TGM: Yeah, that was in April 2008. I had just completed filming “The Making of That’ll be the Stardust!” with Madeleine Havell and April Harrison. That was a Documentary Short directed by Mike J. Spicer.

HM: Didn’t we have the Cast get-together soon after that?

TGM: Yeah, the “Cast Meet and Greet” took place near Heathrow in early July that same year…

HM: That was the first time we met, right?

TGM: That’s correct, Holly.

HM: But it was later that year that we actually recorded “That’ll be the Stardust!”…if I remember it was your Birthday?

TGM: Correct again. That was in November 2008.

Cosmic Dwellings: Holly, are there any specific scenes that you performed in “That’ll be the Stardust!” which stand out to you?

HM: Well, I had to go back and listen to the production to refresh my memory of my performances. I voice-acted several characters. I remember a bunch of us recording the ‘Jim Maclaine fantasy sequence’ which is set to Alice Cooper’s “Only Women Bleed”. It features Jim tripping out on a variety of substances in his castle. I provided one of the angelic whispering voices along with Erica Thomas-Lowe. (Turns to Tony) And you are the voice of Jim’s conscience performing all that poetry, and then there is Dominic doing the voice of Jim…

(Click graphic link below to listen to the Jim Maclaine Fantasy Sequence from “That’ll be the Stardust!” – this interview continues below…)

TGM: The ‘Jim fantasy scene’ is really quite beautiful…made even more special for the fact that Dominic is performing his father’s text from “That’ll be the Day” – Ray Connolly writing as Jim Maclaine. I got Ray’s permission to adapt this especially for this sequence. 

HM (to Tony): And then of course our scenes as ‘Cathy’ and ‘Jimmy jr.’ definitely push the envelope between the characters which adds a more racy ingredient to the mix…

TGM (to Holly): The films of “That’ll be the Day” and “Stardust” were always pushing the envelopes between its themes and characterizations. The scenes you mention inspired our producer to create two different approaches and that was down to your performances…

HM: Oh wow! I wasn’t aware of that!

TGM: Yeah, one scene came across as a 1940’s romance epic and he chose this beautiful orchestral piece to underscore it. The other scene, well let’s just say your delivery gave it more of a Tarantino-esque flavour.

HM: It’s probably down to your writing too…one of the opening scenes, which is between Alma Simpson and I as ‘Mrs Maclaine’ and ‘Jean’ respectively, is intense and well-produced. I’m quite proud of my work in it. 

TGM: Yes, that is a very good scene. It’s well-acted and certainly sets a high bar…

(Click the graphic link below to access the ‘Showcase’ links to Tony and Holly’s scenes in “That’ll be the Stardust!” – this interview continues below…)

Cosmic Dwellings: Holly, there is also a familial twist to the whole proceedings of Jim Maclaine’s “Dea Sancta et Gloria” with the addition of your 8-year-old son, Hudson joining the cast – how did this happen?

HM: Well, I asked Tony if he was looking for any children to undertake any acting or voice-acting roles in any project. Then, later, he came up with the idea of giving Hudson the opportunity to voice the young Jim Maclaine in “Dea Sancta et Gloria.” My son has a great interest in the Arts and I’m trying to assist him in applying for the right opportunities.

CD: Tony, taking into consideration the current climate of the world, have you made a decision for when and where the recording of the production will take place?

TGM: Well, Holly and I have discussed a couple of options. My original idea was to record in my hometown of Blackpool. We’ve also talked about returning to Resident Studios in Willesden, London – this is where we originally recorded “That’ll be the Stardust!” However, due to this current climate, we’ll have to wait and see what 2021 brings further along the line.

CD: On that note, Cosmic Dwellings, would like to bid you both best wishes and safe-keeping throughout your journey in the recording of “Dea Sancta et Gloria”. Thank you for talking to us this afternoon.

HM: Same to you. It’s been a great pleasure, thank you!

TGM: Thanks a lot, guys.

Musical ‘Easter Egg’ links in the Interview – 
Music used for Tony – “Harlem Nocturne”

Music used for Holly – “Airport Source/On The Road” from
“Diamonds Are Forever”:

“THAT’LL BE THE STARDUST!” – the Free, Complete and Uncut radio drama can be accessed at the following link (click the graphic image):

Copyright ©2020-2021 by Cosmic Dwellings. All Rights Reserved. “That’ll be the Stardust!” Radio Play Copyright ©2007, 2008 by Tony G. Marshall. All Rights Reserved.


Posted in Interview, Music, Recording, Rock, writer | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

SHAKIN’ STEVENS / Fire in the Blood: The Definitive Collection

Shakin Stevens / Fire in the Blood: The Definitive Collection 19CD box set

19 CD deluxe set • Signed by Shaky!

BMG will, in November, issue Fire in the Blood: The Definitive Collection, a massive career-spanning box set featuring the work of Welsh singer and songwriter Shakin’ Stevens.

The 19-CD box set features all of Shaky’s albums as a solo artist, from his first signing and album on Track Records, to his latest studio album, Echoes Of Our Times and it also comes with four CDs of rarities.

Shaky was a chart sensation in the UK in the 1980s, in fact, he was the biggest selling singles artist of that decade – no mean feat when you consider how big groups like Wham! and Frankie Goes To Hollywood were. But he just kept going and they didn’t! Stevens enjoyed 15 British top ten hits in the 1980s and four UK number ones.

Fire in the Blood: The Definitive Collection is a 19CD box set

In total, this set contains 266 tracks and notable inclusions are a live concert recorded at the Paris Theatre, London for BBC Radio 1 in 1980 and the four rarities discs are packed with B-sides, 12-inch mixes, two previously unreleased tracks and more.

This CD box set comes packaged in a 12″ x 12″ hardcover book and contains an extended essay by Paul Sexton. It also includes the following:

  • Reproduced promo poster
  • ‘Oh Julie’ sheet music
  • 3 x 12-inch art prints of Shakin’ Stevens
  • 36-page Bespoke Tour Programme
  • Autograph book, personally signed by Shakin’ Stevens

If you prefer your Shaky in bite-sized chunks there will also be a new compilation Singled Out, available on 3-CD or 2-LP. The former contains ALL his UK singles.

Fire in the Blood: The Definitive Collection will be released on 27 November 2020You can pre-order from the official Shaky store, below.

Shakin’ Stevens
1. You Can’t Sit Down (Instrumental)
2. I’m Ready
3. So Glad You’re Mine
4. Let’s Dance
5. Till I Waltz Again With You
6. Such A Night
7. Justine
8. Baby Blue
9. Wait And See
10. Can’t Believe You Wanna Leave
11. a. Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On
b. Jenny Jenny
c. Tutti Frutti

Take One!
1. Lovestruck
2. Hot Dog
3. Is A Bluebird Blue?
4. That’s Alright
5. Without A Love
6. Shame, Shame, Shame
7. Shotgun Boogie
8. I Got Burned
9. I Guess I Was A Fool
10. Ah, Poor Little Baby
11. Little Pigeon
12. Do WhatYouDid

This Ole House
1. Hey Mae
2. Baby If We Touch
3. Marie, Marie
4. Lonely Blue Boy
5. Make It Right Tonight
6. Move
7. Slippin’ And Slidin’
8. Shooting Gallery
9. Revenue Man
10. Make Me Know You’re Mine
11. This Ole House
12. Nobody
13. Two Hearts

1. Mona Lisa
2. You Drive Me Crazy
3. I’m Knockin’
4. It’s Raining
5. Don’t She Look Good
6. Green Door
7. Don’t Bug Me Baby
8. Don’t Tell Me Your Troubles
9. I’m Gonna Sit Write Down And Write Myself A Letter
10. This Time
11. Baby You’re A Child
12. Don’t Turn Your Back
13. Let Me Show You How
14. I’m Lookin’

Give Me Your Heart Tonight
1. Josephine
2. Give Me Your Heart Tonight
3. Sapphire
4. Oh Julie
5. I’ll Be Satisfied
6. Vanessa
7. Boppity Bop
8. Don’t Tell Me We’re Through
9. Shirley
10. You Never Talked About Me
11. Too Too Much
12. (Yeah) You’re Evil
13. Que Sera, Sera

The Bop Won’t Stop
1. The Bop Won’t Stop
2. Why Do You Treat Me This Way?
3. Diddle I
4. Don’t Be Two Faced
5. Livin’ Lovin’ Wreck
6. A Rockin’ Good Way (To Mess Around And Fall In Love)
7. Brand New Man
8. Cry Just A Little Bit
9. As Long As
10. A Love Worth Waiting For
11. Love Me Tonight
12. It’s Late

Lipstick Powder And Paint
1. Lipstick Powder And Paint
2. Bad Reputation
3. Don’t Lie To Me
4. I’m Leaving You
5. The Shape I’m In
6. Don’t Knock Upon My Door
7. Turning Away
8. Love You Out Loud
9. As Long As I Have You
10. With My Heart
11. Ain’t It A Shame (You Win Again)
12. So Long Baby Goodbye

Let’s Boogie
1. Come See About Me
2. Forever You
3. A Little Boogie Woogie (In The Back Of My Mind)
4. Because I Love You
5. What Do You Want To Make Those Eyes At Me For
6. The Hits Keep Coming Live Medley ’86
7. Cry Just A Little Bit
8. You Drive Me Crazy
9. A Rockin’ Good Way
10. Give Me Your Heart Tonight
11. A Love Worth Waiting For
12. Green Door
13. I’ll Be Satisfied
14. A Letter To You
15. Shirley
16. Oh Julie
17. It’s Late
18. Marie, Marie
19. It’s Raining
20. Hot Dog
21. Teardrops
22. This Ole House

Whole Lotta Shaky
1. What Do You Want To Make Those Eyes At Me For
2. How Many Tears Can You Hide
3. Jezebel
4. Sea Of Love
5. True Love
6. Just One Look
7. Oh Julie
8. Do You Really Love Me Too
9. I’m Gonna Sit Right Down And Write Myself A Letter
10. Hello Josephine
11. Woman (What Have You Done To Me)
12. Heartbeat
13. Tired Of Toein’ The Line
14. Mona Lisa

There Are Two Kinds Of Music…Rock ‘n’ Roll!
1. Love Attack
2. I Might
3. Yes I Do
4. You Shake Me Up
5. Tell Me
6. Tear It Up
7. My Cutie Cutie
8. The Night Time Is The Right Time
9. Pink Champagne
10. If I Lose You
11. Queen Of The Hop
12. Rockin’ The Night Away

Merry Christmas Everyone
1. Rockin’ Little Christmas
2. White Christmas
3. Sure Won’t Seem Like Christmas
4. I’ll Be Home This Christmas
5. Merry Christmas Everyone
6. Silent Night
7. It’s Gonna Be A Lonely Christmas
8. The Best Christmas Of Them All
9. Merry Christmas Pretty Baby
10. Christmas Wish
11. Blue Christmas
12. So Long Christmas

13. Merry Christmas Everyone
14. Blue Christmas

Now Listen
1. Now Listen
2. Somewhere In The Night
3. Lonely Too Long
4. Got My Mind Set On You
5. Baby It’s You
6. Fire Down Below
7. How Could It Be Like That
8. It’s A Shame
9. Pump It Up
10. I Hear You Knockin’
11. Trouble
12. Get Together

Echoes Of Our Times
1. Down In The Hole
2. Echoes Of Our Times
3. Behind Those Secrets And Lies
4. To Spread The Word
5. The Fire In Her Blood
6. Down Into Muddy Water
7. Suffer Little Children
8. Train Of Time
9. Love The World
10. Last Man Alive

Shaky Live
1. How Could It Be Like That
2. Turning Away
3. Give Me Your Heart Tonight
4. You Drive Me Crazy
5. I Got My Mind Set On You
6. Now Listen
7. Down Into Muddy Water
8. Cry Just A Little Bit
9. It’s Raining
10. Radio
11. A Letter To You
12. The Fire In Her Blood
13. Suffer Little Children
14. Marie, Marie
15. Oh Julie
16. Green Door
17. Train Of Time
18. Last Man Alive
19. This Old House
20. Fire Down Below

BBC – In Concert
1. a. Slippin’ And Slidin’
b. Make It Right Tonight
2. Don’t Bug Me Baby
3. Baby If We Touch
4. Shooting Gallery
5. Apron Strings
6. Little Pigeon
7. Lonely Blue Boy
8. Don’t Knock Upon My Door
9. Hey Mae
10. Shotgun Boogie
11. Make Me Know You’re Mine
12. Big Hunk Of Love
13. Hot Dog
14. Marie, Marie
15. Move

Non LP 1 – Rarities
1. Never (Single)
2. You Always Hurt The One You Love (B-Side)
3. Somebody Touched Me (Single)
4. Way Down Yonder In New Orleans (B-Side)
5. Treat Her Right (Single)
6. I Don’t Want No Other Baby (B-Side “Treat Her Right”)
7. Endless Sleep (Single)
8. Fire (B-Side “Endless Sleep”)
9. Spooky (Single)
10. Hot Dog (Single Version)
11. Apron Strings (B-Side “Hot Dog”)
12. You And I Were Meant To Be (B-Side “It’s Raining”)
13. I’m For You (B-Side “Shirley”)
14. Thinkin’ Of You (B-Side of “Give Me Your Heart”)
15. Josephine (B-Side “Blue Christmas”) (Live)
16. Lawdy Miss Clawdy (B-Side “Blue Christmas”) (Live)
17. Que Sera (B-Side “Blue Christmas”) (Live)
18. Don’t Be Late (Miss Kate) (B-Side ” I’ll Be Satisfied”)
19. It’s Good For You (Baby) (B-Side “It’s Late”)
20. Your Ma Said You Cried In Your Sleep Last Night (B-Side “Cry Just A Little Bit” 12″)
21. The Bop Won’t Stop (B-Side ” A Rockin’ Good Way” 12″) (Live)
22. Why Do You Treat Me This Way (B-Side ” A Rockin’ Good Way”) (Live)
23. Don’t Tell Me We’re Through (B-Side “A Love Worth Waiting For”) (Live)
24. As Long As (B-Side “A Love Worth Waiting For” 12″) (Live)

Non LP 2 – Rarities
1. A Letter To You (Single)
2. Come Back And Love Me (B-Side “A Letter To You”)
3. Cry Just A Little Bit (Luongo’s Remix) (B-Side “A Letter” 12″)
4. Teardrops (Single )
5. You Shake Me Up (B-Side “Teardrops”)
6. Teardrops (Extended Version) (12″)
7. Breakin’ Up My Heart (Single)
8. I’ll Give You My Heart (B-Side “Breaking Up My Heart’’)
9. Break Up My Heart (Extended Remix) (12″)
10. I’ll Give You My Heart (Remix) (B-Side “Lipstick Powder And Paint”)
11. Turning Away (Extended Remix) (12″)
12. Because I Love You (Extended Version) (12″)
13. Tell Me One More Time (B-Side “Because I Love You”)
14. If You’re Gonna Cry (B-Side “A Little Boogie Woogie”)
15. A Little Boogie Woogie (In The Back Of My Mind) (Boogie Mix) (12″)
16. Come See About Me (Extended remix) (12” Single)

Non LP 3 – Rarities
1. Feel The Need In Me (Single)
2. If I Can’t Have You (B-Side “Feel The Need”)
3. Feel The Need In Me (Dance Mix) (12″)
4. If I Really Knew (B-Side “How Many Tears”)
5. How Many Tears Can You Hide (Dance Mix) (12″)
6. True Love (Extended Version) (12″)
7. Come On Little Girl (Chrome Sitar) (B-Side “True Love”)
8. Jezebel (7″ Re-mix) (Single)
9. As Long As I Have You (Live) (B-Side “Jezebel”) (Live)
10. Jezebel (Monster Re-mix) (12”)
11 Love Attack (7″)
12. Love Attack (Extended Version) (12″)
13. I Might (Extended Version) (12″)
14. Love Won’t Stop (B-Side “I Might”)
15. Yes I Do (Extended Version) (12″)
16. Dizzy Miss Lizzy (Live)
17. With My Heart (B-Side “I’ll Be Home For Christmas”) (Live)

Non LP 4 – Rarities
1. You Shake Me Up (Remix)
2. Radio (Single)
3. Oh Baby Don’t (Out-take) (B-Side “Radio”)
4. Radio (Acoustic Version) (B-Side “Radio” CD)
5. I Can Help (Single)
6. Calling You (B-Side)
7. I Need You Now (UNRELEASED)
8. Wild At Heart (UNRELEASED)
9. Now Listen (Acoustic Mix) (B-Side “Now Listen”)
10. Trouble (Live) (B-Side “Now Listen”)
11. Down In The Hole (Radio Mix) (Single)
12. Down Into Muddy Water (Radio Mix) (Single)
13. Last Man Alive (Radio Mix) (Single)
14. Down In The Hole (The Blues Show with Paul Jones – BBC)
15. Down Into Muddy Water (The Blues Show with Paul Jones – BBC)
16. The Fire In Her Blood (The Blues Show with Paul Jones – BBC)
17. Last Man Alive (The Blues Show with Paul Jones – BBC)
18. To Spread The Word (The Blues Show with Paul Jones – BBC)
19. Echoes Of Merry Christmas Everyone (Single)

Shaky’s Official Facebook page (Click image):

And don’t miss “SHAKY & THE SUNSETS: LEGENDS IN THE ROCKHOUSE” by Tony G. Marshall at the following Cosmic link (Click image):

Posted in Album, Album, Blues, CD, CD, Christmas, Concert, Country, Entertainer, Guitar, Instrumental, Live, Music, musician, Performer, Pop, Recording, Recording, Rhythm and Blues, Rock, Rock 'n' Roll, Rockabilly, Singer, Singer-Songwriter, Studio | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“TWELVE THIRTY” – The Poetry…



“Brother Love’s Travelling Salvation Show” – Neil Diamond: 

As I awaken to ‘dulcet’ tones
The ‘Howling-man’ preaches his song
I am unaware of his following
But aware I don’t belong.

Brother Love chanted all around
I listened with great intent
But all didn’t make any sense
As I scrambled to stand, hell-bent.

Gruesome feeling of sunken depth
Begins to confuse my bearings
I arise with wary wanderings
‘Hippies’ abound in the clearings.

This feeling that can’t be shaken
Disturbs my exit from the scene
As the preaching voice fades out
I’m unsure about where I’ve been.

A clock of distance is chiming
Thundering with every number
Turning to face the hands: 
12:30 – the end of my slumber.

Further down the canyon I roam
The heat in the sun so bold
I think of ‘Twelve Thirty’ again
The time of distance unfolds.

I’m reminded of New York City
A cooler climate days on end
The steeple of the past so clear
With its time unable to mend.

Stuck in the past like time
My thoughts curdle my whims
As I empty my pockets, surreal
A smoking joint in mind, swims…

“Mrs. Robinson” – Simon & Garfunkel:

Now basking in lovely scenery
Trees, flowers, blue skies and more
I suddenly stumble upon a road –
Traffic, buildings and old folklore.

Opening my ‘blinds’ to the sunlight
Forever kept drawn in NYC
A Coupe de ville purred stationary
Waiting on colors to set it free.

Then the line of feminine rapture
Paints along the crossing walk
Each one carrying her ‘cradle’
Each one destined to stalk.

“Mrs Robinson” plays from the radio
The harmonies of two conveyed
The walking feminine figures
Eyeball the Coup de ville enslaved.

The last one in line turns around
And winks at me in provocation
Familiarity breeds its contempt
As I dwell in desperation.

The fear that stirs within me now
Bubbling from a boiling pit
The churning sounds of knowing
The face from the past forever lit.

The Coupe de ville’s color appears
The car embarks upon its ride 
The female line has passed now
But thoughts ponder in my stride.

Walking and thinking for miles unknown
My mind obsessed with solving
The female face crossing that road
Burns my soul with no evolving…

“California Dreamin'” – José Feliciano: 

The early evening shadows beckon
Shifting and searching for sanity
The pastel shades of tranquillity
With their truth reflecting humanity.

While I walk this winding road
A sound of engines begin to strive
First, a Coupe De Ville takes a left
Driving up onto the Cielo Drive.

Stopped in its tracks, the second car
Sounding purrs in lesser motion
A Ford Galaxie – the identified model
Driving away, gives me no solution.

Later, a landmark hosts the view
My walking distance now subsides
The Spahn Ranch sprawls in front of me
With the Ford Galaxie and the palisades…

“Twelve Thirty” – The Mamas & The Papas: 

Walking toward an unsettled settling
Figures disembark their speed machine
Five in view, but more to reveal
My feelings en route, now has-been.

Alarmed and shocked, dropped in my path
The known masks from the past prevail
Twelve figures stand poised around me
And each one lifts their darkened veil:

The sound of her words, she intoxicates
Spitting them out like venomous fire
Using her mood to undermine the man –
“The Noise” relishes her dominant desire.

Acting like some saintly angel
She twists upon every factual line
Rallying people for her aching mind –
“The Lucifer” stalks the man to dine.

Napoleon Complex, such small fry
Dressed in black, charmed in light
But moods and stresses spoil her broth –
“The Dark Mist” slithers her sound in flight.

‘Buongiorno Soul,’ becomes the soulless
The Italian Riviera far from hearts
Siphoning poetry, the man is unaware –
“The Word User” steals and soon departs.

The bullying black suit does infest
It seeks and seethes all around
The obnoxious tone demeans the man –
“The Baggage Demon” sells her pound.

The blonde charm stokes the fire
Authority drives the workers’ role
Another selfish cloud of unreason –
“The Philander” eats man’s heart and soul.

Flowing black mane of beauty
Ready to perform at her will
With Class of a steely nature –
“The Masked Voice” unveils her chill.

Her fickle bones of structure
Would cause this one despair
Trust lies in a broken engine –
“The Dumb-Founder” drives to her lair.

This owner of ‘everything’ sulks
Daddy has weathered her clout
The ugliness of challenging wanton –
“The Metallic Mouth” – the cowardly shout.

Painting senses with womanly lib
Obnoxious to the core of extreme
A droning summation of contempt –
“The Artistic Dykestra” in full beam.

Gifting you with a friendly smile
But your back had better beware
The knives of Satan can be sharp –
“The Gossip Monger” does not care.

Male of one with cheeky grin
Partner of one who strives to talk
But still behold your back again –
“The Gossip Stooge” thrives the stalk.

So now the team is listed –
The Howling-man’s ‘army’ intact
Not one of them recognise me
And I continue to make no impact.

As I walk and pass them all
And into a dark, open room
A candle is burning brightly
Near a figure slumped in doom.

Looking at the faces all around
The shapes of stares unspoken
I look to the figure once more
Then my heart’s smile is broken.

The horror that strikes before me
Attacking me in fragile state
The body I see before me:
A Doppelganger, a twin – my fate.

My identical features well-masked:
Dripping in blood, so dirty
A clock that sits so silently – 
Its hands the shape of twelve thirty.

As I depart in deathly horror
The twelve now smiling a knowing wink
I stumble and lunge my fatal exit
Into the darkness for all I sink.

My earthly state begins ascending
Then three of the figures show concern
I follow the light unto the heavens
The three faces all bewildered in turn.

And when my guiding light outshines
A sense of faith and relief are apparent
“Noise”, Philander” and Masked Voice” – 
Their tears combine: my leaving present.

Now the clouds roll by and onward
My newfound peace around I thrive
But one concern I hold in mind – 
And that’s 10050 Cielo Drive

“You Keep Me Hangin’ On” – Vanilla Fudge: 

“TWELVE THIRTY” poem inspired by elements of the song of the same name by The Mamas & The Papas as featured in the soundtrack of Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon A Time…In Hollywood” (2019). And also inspired by elements of the said movie with the inclusion of further songs from its soundtrack.

The twelve characters (depicted as part of the Manson Family in the poem) are people who Mr. Marshall has been ‘impressed’ with (for all the wrong reasons!!) sporadically throughout the years between 1987 – 2019, from first entering and then gladly exiting his life. “May the Devil bless them all…but perhaps he already did?” (Quote: Tony G. Marshall, 2020). 

Copyright ©2019/20 Tony G. Marshall/Cosmic Dwellings

Check out “TWELVE THIRTY” – The Interview with Tony G. at the
following link (click image):

Posted in Poem, Poet, Poetry, writer, writing | Leave a comment

“ONCE UPON A TIME…IN HOLLYWOOD”: What Real Movies Inspired Rick Dalton’s Fake Films?

Columbia Pictures

“Bounty Law” and “Tanner” were all inspired by real projects starring Steve McQueen, Vince Edwards, Tab Hunter and more…

Brian Welk | July 26, 2019 @ 4:23 PM

Rick Dalton, the actor played by Leonardo DiCaprio in “Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood,” does not exist. But he feels like he could, because director Quentin Tarantino has mapped out an entire filmography for Dalton that plausibly places him within a changing Hollywood in 1969.

The fake movie scenes and posters Tarantino has created for Dalton are a portrait of a certain type of actor in the ’60s: a handsome, ruggedly masculine type who would soon be replaced as the default Hollywood leading man by a more androgynous aesthetic inspired by the emerging counterculture. Tarantino has said on several occasions that Rick Dalton’s screen persona and his career trajectory are an amalgam of guys like Steve McQueen, George Maharis, Vince Edwards, Edd Byrnes, Ty Hardin and more. And if you have forgotten who some of those actors are, that’s essentially Tarantino’s point.

“What he’s dealing with is even more than the TV and movies transition, as big a deal as that is, especially to him. The culture has changed underneath him, the entire Earth has gone topsy-turvy as far as he’s concerned, as far as a whole era of leading men is concerned,” Tarantino said on the “Pure Cinema Podcast,” which looks at the programming at Tarantino’s New Beverly Cinema in Los Angeles. “They spent their careers running pocket combs through their pompadours. Nobody is putting pomade in their hair anymore, nobody is wearing pompadours any more.”

Also Read: Tarantino’s ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’: How the Stars Compare to Real-Life Characters (Photos)

The roles Dalton takes throughout “Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood” aren’t just for color: they reflect his character and how he looks at himself as an actor. Thankfully, Tarantino has taken most of the guess work out of deciphering the inspirations behind Rick Dalton and his filmography and detailed the inspirations for each of Rick Dalton’s fake movies that appear in the film and in special promotional posters for “Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood.”

Here’s a rundown of each of those fake films and the real movies and shows that Tarantino based them on:

“Bounty Law”Steve McQueen in “Wanted: Dead or Alive” 

Columbia Pictures

Before Steve McQueen was in “Bullitt” and “The Great Escape,” he was a TV cowboy. Tarantino said Rick Dalton’s “Bounty Law” and McQueen’s “Wanted: Dead or Alive” were “pretty much identical shows” and that they even aired at the same time, sparking fan magazine rivalries in his alternate Hollywood universe. But whereas McQueen successfully transitioned from TV to film, Dalton couldn’t do the same, and now he’s stuck guest starring on other people’s TV shows as the bad guy who gets beat up by the new kid on the block.

Here’s a screenshot from the “Wanted: Dead or Alive” opening titles for reference:

CBS/Four Star Entertainment

Also Read: Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Did Bruce Lee Really Teach Sharon Tate How to Fight?

“Tanner” – Tab Hunter in “Gunman’s Walk”

Columbia Pictures

“Tanner” is one of Rick Dalton’s early films, a Western he made during the hiatus of filming “Bounty Law” that he hoped would launch him to movie stardom. And it’s most closely based on the 1958 film “Gunman’s Walk” starring Tab Hunter, another handsome actor that Tarantino said was a loose model for Dalton. Tarantino even included the Western as part of a curated film marathon that’s airing on the Sony Movie Channel in conjunction with “Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood.”

Here’s the 1958 theatrical poster for “Gunman’s Walk” for comparison:

Columbia Pictures

“Nebraska Jim” – Burt Reynolds in “Navajo Joe”

Columbia Pictures

“Nebraska Jim” is a spaghetti western directed by Sergio Corbucci, who Al Pacino’s character in the film refers to as “the second-best director” of the genre (behind Sergio Leone, almost certainly). But of course Corbucci is a real director who Tarantino adores. His 1966 film “Django” helped inspire the title to “Django Unchained,” and a poster for the 1968 film “The Mercenary” appears in the theater visited by Sharon Tate in “Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood.” Corbucci’s “Navajo Joe” however stars a young Burt Reynolds as a Native American warrior who seeks revenge on a group of outlaws who savaged members of his tribe. The title “Nebraska Jim” also veers closely to another 1966 film called “Ringo del Nebraska” starring Ken Clark.

Check out the posters for “Navajo Joe” and “Ringo del Nebraska”:

Dino de Laurentiis

Also Read: ‘Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood’ Premieres to $5.8 Million at Thursday Box Office

“Operazione Dyn-o-Mite!” – Ty Hardin in “Moving Target”
(a.k.a. “Death on the Run”)

Columbia Pictures

In “Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood,” Dalton’s “Operazione Dyn-o-Mite” is described as an Italian, spy movie ripoff of James Bond as directed by Corbucci. And though Corbucci was known for his spaghetti westerns, he took a departure from the genre and make a spy movie called “Bersaglio mobile,” retitled in the U.S. as “Moving Target” and “Death on the Run.” Tarantino on the Pure Cinema podcast said he directly lifted the car chase from “Moving Target” but subbed in DiCaprio’s face over Hardin’s. And in the fake movie poster for “Operazione Dyn-o-Mite,” DiCaprio’s outfit is strikingly similar to what Hardin wore in the film.

Here’s an American “Death on the Run” poster for comparison:

Directed by Sergio Corbucci

“Kill Me Now Ringo, Said the Gringo” – Giuliano Gemma in
“A Pistol for Ringo”

Columbia Pictures

Tarantino has fun with the rhyming title of Dalton’s “Kill Me Now Ringo, Said the Gringo,” also known by its Italian title, “Uccidimi Subito Ringo, Disse il Gringo.” Tarantino’s New Beverly Cinema wrote a blog post that says the title is inspired by two films starring Giuliano Gemma called “A Pistol for Ringo” and the sequel “The Return of Ringo.”

Check out the posters for “A Pistol for Ringo” and “The Return of Ringo” below:

Also Read: Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Roman Polanski Blamed Bruce Lee for Sharon Tate’s Murder

“Red Blood, Red Skin” – George Maharis in “Land Raiders”

Another western in Dalton’s spaghetti western period in Italy, Tarantino said on the “Pure Cinema Podcast” that the fictional plot of “Red Blood, Red Skin” is inspired by “Land Raiders,” which is about an outlaw who commits a string of robberies and then places the blame on a tribe of Apaches, sparking a Native American war. Tarantino imagines that Dalton stars in the film alongside Telly Savalis, who also appears in “Land Raiders,” and Tarantino said he created the fake poster seen in the movie by replacing Maharis with Dalton in the Spanish poster for “Land Raiders.”

Here’s a shot from “The Land Raiders”:

Columbia Pictures

“The 14 Fists of McCluskey” – “Inglourious Basterds”

This movie in Dalton’s filmography isn’t necessarily a direct surrogate of an existing film, though the concept, a war film set across enemy lines during World War II, feels similar to movies like “The Secret Invasion” from Roger Corman and starring Edd Byrnes or “The Dirty Dozen.” However, the scene staged in “Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood” of Dalton torching a room full of Nazis with a flamethrower is eerily similar to the climax of Tarantino’s other revisionist period piece, “Inglourious Basterds,” which saw the Basterds torch a theater filled with Nazi bigwigs and also starred “Once Upon a Time’s” Brad Pitt.

We don’t have an image of the fictional film, but up above you can see shot from that incredible “Inglourious Basterds” scene to tide you over.

Source: Real Movies That Inspired Fake ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood:’ Films?

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“TWELVE THIRTY” – The Interview…

The “TWELVE THIRTY” Interview
Tony G. Marshall

Cosmic Dwellings questions the writer, poet & voice artist about his latest ‘mysterious’ work: a 43-stanza poem project inspired by elements of a song, a film and a segment of his own life all tied-in to the backdrop of a Hollywood tragedy, and crafted as a psychedelic odyssey…

Cosmic Dwellings: You regard “Twelve Thirty” as your “longest piece” and your own “personal masterpiece” – why does it bear these distinctions?

Tony G. Marshall: I approached the poetry concept with the outlook of “it ends when it ends.” Therefore, there were no limitations to it’s very own rhythm and flow in conjunction with the ideas and themes I adopted for it. It most certainly is my “longest piece” within my portfolio of poems – it’s massive. It’s my very own “personal masterpiece” simply because of the scope of ideas which became the property of the main character of the concept. Furthermore, I was able to add some personal flourishes throughout his journey.

CD: Which aspects of Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon A Time…In Hollywood” have been the most inspiring for the crafting of “Twelve Thirty”?

TGM: To begin with, some of the music. The title is inspired by the hit song of The Mamas & The Papas, which is used to great dramatic affect in Tarantino’s film but not included on its actual album soundtrack (?!). The story which the song “Twelve Thirty (Young Girls Are Coming To The Canyon)” depicts is a compelling one and I also find it somewhat eerily dramatic to listen to. My concept was built around the story in this song. However, the inspiration from Tarantino’s movie came from its whole psychedelic trip of 1969 surrounding its main protagonists and keeping within the premise of not glorifying the reality of the tragic occurrences surrounding actress, Sharon Tate albeit on a somewhat lesser scale than the movie.

CD: Are we correct in surmising that some sinister elements are at play in your “Twelve Thirty”?

TGM: You could say you have surmised correctly! The main character appears to be embarking upon some kind of ‘trip’. However, it bears the asking of questions such as: How has he ended up on this particular ‘trip’? And, what type of existence does this character have or even pursue??

CD: What kind of realistic elements have you injected into the main character’s life?

TGM: Well, he’s a human being. He’s flesh and blood. He has real surroundings and locations. He is based in Los Angeles and we discover he had ties with New York City. However, he inhabits a world from another time – it’s 1969. A year which heralded the first manned moon landing, Elvis’ return to the live concert circuit, the first test flight of Concorde occurred in France,  and it was 3 days of peace, love and music at Woodstock.

CD: What aspects of your own life are included in the main character’s journey?

TGM: All I can say is that my main character is attempting to seek some kind of truth about his existence in the world he survives along with the people he meets or has met in the past. Therefore, in a sense, I am on that same kind of journey and in turn I am attempting to seek the peace and knowledge that will sustain a more content existence. But, aren’t we all on a similar kind of journey?! Well, perhaps not all of us. It’s not that easy to achieve when there are people out there who simply don’t understand this type of ‘ambition’ and therefore go to considerable lengths to undermine it.

CD: This seeking of truth and peace appears to be a positive aspect of the main character’s journey but what are the negative aspects that creep into the proceedings?

TGM: Well, there’s a considerable amount and I can’t really say too much about those aspects of the proceedings because in a way they are somewhat disguised but gradually become a collective of real individual entities. However, it was extremely therapeutic and liberating to write about those negative ‘demons’ in this way.

CD: It’s interesting to note how the main character refers to the female characters by certain names or expressions which he appears to have specifically created for each individual one. What is the thinking behind this aspect of his character?

TGM: The Main Character has named them according to the type of role or connection they have, or once had, in his life. Whether it’s “The Noise”, “The Word User” or “The Dumb-Founder” – these names, or expressions, are the first words that come to mind whenever he reflects upon each female character. So there is a reason for this and it’s a reason which is personal to him. However, if each female were made aware of these ‘personal’ names for themselves they would know exactly why he chose such expressions for them. Furthermore, in the poem, the Main Character describes each individual female so we become aware of some of their negative values or personality traits in relation to him. Other females/names include “The Baggage Demon”, “The Masked Voice” and “The Lucifer”

To conclude this interview, here’s the song that inspired the title of Tony G. Marshall’s poetry project – it’s The Mamas & The Papas with “Twelve Thirty”

The actual “TWELVE THIRTY” 43-Stanza poetry is now available for your perusal at the following link (click image): 

Interview & content
Copyright ©2019/20 Cosmic Dwellings./Callum Gee
All Rights Reserved.

Posted in Article, Film, Interview, Music, Poem, Poet, Poetry, Short Story, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Tribute to “THE MAN WHO HAUNTED HIMSELF” – Roger Moore’s finest hour | Den of Geek

The late, wonderful Roger Moore will always be remembered for Bond, but The Man Who Haunted Himself might just be his best performance…

Feature by Mark Allison

When Sir Roger Moore sadly passed away earlier this year, accounts of his life and career understandably focused on his seven spectacular outings as James Bond 007. Personally, I rewatched The Spy Who Loved Me for the 75th time, basking once again in his effortless charm and flawlessly tailored leisure suits.

Of his career outside the Bond franchise, many obituaries focused on his early television work in The Saint and The Persuaders!, in which he played similarly suave, elegantly dressed adventurers. But despite his own self-deprecation, Roger Moore’s acting abilities were more varied than one is often led to believe. His career extended far beyond the eyebrow-raising antics of the Bond films, and nowhere is this better illustrated than in The Man Who Haunted Himself, a wonderful psychological thriller from 1970.

This film, one of Moore’s personal favourites, showcases the actor in an entirely different light as Harold Pelham, a dull business executive in the City of London. Following a traumatic car crash on his way home from work, Pelham begins to believe that he is being stalked by his own evil doppelgänger. His suspicions are aroused when friends and colleagues claim to have seen him in two places at once, and they start to recount raucous nights out and extra-marital liaisons of which he has no memory. At first, Pelham assumes the phenomenon to be part of an elaborate practical joke, but he slowly begins to doubt his own sanity as his life crumbles around him.

The Man Who Haunted Himself was adapted from the 1957 novel The Strange Case Of Mr Pelham by Anthony Armstrong, which had previously formed the basis for an episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents. This version was written for the screen and directed by Basil Dearden, a veteran British film-maker of Ealing Studios stock, and was produced on a wafer-thin budget of around £400,000. Upon receiving the screenplay, Moore believed it to be “one of the best scripts I’d ever read”, and duly took a pay cut in exchange for a share of the film’s profits.

The movie plays out much like an episode of The Twilight Zone; Pelham’s seemingly unremarkable life gradually becomes more sinister and surreal as events proceed, eventually descending into a horrific climax. Indeed, the mise-en-scene maintains a sense of everyday realism as the peculiar story unfolds, which only adds to the growing sense of unease. Neither the audience nor Pelham himself are ever sure whether his doppelgänger is a genuinely physical presence, or merely the invention of a deranged mind, and the whole truth is only revealed during the film’s devastating final moments. It makes for a subtle but chillingly effective lesson in cinematic suspense.

Roger Moore claimed that The Man Who Haunted Himself was “one of the few times I was allowed to act”, which he acknowledged was “a terrible admission from someone who has made a living walking in front of cameras”. Looking back over his body of work, it’s difficult to argue with Moore’s appraisal. For anyone used to the sardonic quips and cocked eyebrows of the Bond films, this performance is a revelation. He palpably captures the escalating mania of an ordinary man driven out of his mind by events he cannot comprehend. In a role which could have succumbed to scenery chewing overstatement, Moore moves convincingly from confusion, to frustration, to anger, and finally, to madness. It invokes a tenderness which grounds an otherwise dreamlike narrative, making Pelham’s plight all the more credible.

Of course, the scenes in which Moore plays the evil twin allow him to stretch his legs into more familiar territory. He employs the same devilish charm and icy wit which characterised Simon Templar, Lord Brett Sinclair, and James Bond, but this time he adopts an altogether more menacing quality – as if providing a peak past the debonair exterior and into a malevolent soul. Put together, the two halves of Harold Pelham are utterly compelling, and provide a testament to Moore’s impressive range.

Despite Moore’s personal belief in the project, The Man Who Haunted Himself did not perform well financially, a fact which the actor blamed on an “amateurish” publicity campaign. Nevertheless, it has attained something of a cult status as years have passed, not least thanks to Sir Roger devotedly promoting the film on Twitter whenever it appeared on UK television. Peter Bradshaw of the Guardian, for example, has championed the title as Moore’s best film, and it has certainly aged better than most of his non-Bond filmography.

Much like Harold Pelham and his evil doppelgänger, Roger Moore was never able to shake his enduring identity with the role of James Bond, although this was a fact he came to embrace with characteristic self-awareness. Nevertheless, he continued to advocate The Man Who Haunted Himself as a demonstration of his talents, and a damn good thriller in its own right.

When I was privileged to see Roger Moore during his 2015 live tour, one of the few film clips he screened in its entirety was a scene from this film. His affection was instantly obvious as he introduced the sequence with an enthusiastic preamble, like a child showing off their favourite painting. A few minutes later, once the extract had ended and the audience broke into applause, I noticed a delighted smile break across the actor’s face. There was no follow-up joke or sarcastic comment, as was Roger’s custom; this was merely an actor expressing pride in his work, and with good reason. The Man Who Haunted Himself is a terrific, chilling experience which holds up almost fifty years since its debut, with a career-best performance from one of the screen’s most charismatic presences. Sir Roger Moore may have left us, and the world is poorer for it, but there’s always more to discover about the great man and his legacy.

Source: A tribute to The Man Who Haunted Himself – Roger Moore’s finest hour | Den of Geek

Posted in Actor, Book, Character, DVD, Film, Film, Movie, Story, Thriller | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment



“Still after all these years the chemistry of performances in ‘That’ll be the Stardust!’ highlights a beautiful texture throughout some of the writing. Story-wise, it’s quite a colourful journey which flows in a mysterious way across the audio palette.”

Tony G. Marshall
(“That’ll be the Stardust!” – Lead Voice Actor, Writer, Co-Producer).

“The Making of ‘THAT’LL BE THE STARDUST!'” – Documentary – Part 1:

“The Making of ‘THAT’LL BE THE STARDUST!'” – Documentary – Part 2:

“The following are a selection of audio links to some of the performance highlights of the radio drama production. I thoroughly enjoyed helping to bring to life the characters with the rest of my Cast. It was a labour of love to eventually get this thing off the ground for a job entertainingly well done. Enjoy the chosen scenes for your perusal!”
Tony G. Marshall


1.MRS MACLAINE (Alma Simpson (Reising)) & JEAN SUTCLIFFE (Holly Macdonald (formerly Magrath)):

A well-acted opening scene by Alma and Holly, specially written for the radio drama. You can certainly feel the tension building between Ray Connolly’s characters (originally played by Rosemary Leach and Beth Morris in ‘That’ll be the Day’) – a great chemistry of angst and pleading…
2018-12-22 (1)

Jim (Dominic Connolly), Poetic echoes & “Big Boys Don’t Cry” whispers/demands (Erica Thomas-Lowe & Holly Macdonald (formerly Magrath)), ‘Moans’, ‘Groans’ and other statements/questions (Madeleine Havell & April Harrison), Poetic Conscience (Tony G. Marshall):

A sequence of artistic beauty with its drug-addled psychedelic mix of poetic sexual overtones set to the music of Alice Cooper’s “Only Women Bleed”. This piece pays homage to Jim Maclaine’s poetry (as written by Ray Connolly for both the film and the novel of ‘That’ll be the Day’) with new additional text from myself. A beautiful performance by 6 of the Cast which features Ray’s son, Dominic as the voice of the hallucinating Jim Maclaine. *Trivia*: Dominic played the young Jimmy Maclaine jr. on screen in ‘Stardust’ (1974)…

3. JIMMY (Tony G. Marshall) & UNCLE TERRY (Richard Ward)

Another scene specially written for the radio drama. It was always a fascinating concept to have Jimmy jr. discussing the legacy of his father with his father’s former best friend, Terry Sutcliffe. Richard Ward delivers a fine performance here as Terry (originally played by Robert Lindsay in ‘That’ll be the Day’) creating an ambience which bites with an undercurrent of reluctance and regret. Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick In The Wall – Part 1” assists with the haunting reflection of the scene… 

4. JIMMY (Tony G. Marshall) & JEANETTE THORPE (Alma Simpson (Reising)):

Another great performance from Alma this time as Jimmy’s mother (originally played by Rosalind Ayres in ‘That’ll be the Day’ and its sequel, ‘Stardust’). Alma captures some of the cynical grit that Jeanette conveyed in the aforementioned sequel movie, but still maintains that certain motherly sweetness when advising her son – a good scene…!

The following six links of performances feature the voice acting talent of MADELEINE HAVELL. Maddie was the first recruit of the production and she is also featured in the ‘Making of…’ Documentary (see 2-part youtube links above at the start of this Showcase). Being one of the youngest members of the Cast at the time, her representation and delivery of approximately 8 characters in the radio drama are a great testament to her natural acting and voice talent – in particular her characterisation of ‘Julie Coleman’ (Jimmy’s girlfriend) and her interpretation of ‘Danielle’ (Jimmy’s father’s girlfriend from ‘Stardust’ originally played by french actress, Ines Des Longchamps). I sincerely hope you like and appreciate what we attempted to define and achieve for our characters in the respective scenes…

5. JIMMY (Tony G. Marshall) & JULIE COLEMAN (Madeleine Havell):

The first meeting between the characters has a unique setting. The chemistry begins to ignite right from the off. Madeleine’s portrayal of ‘Julie’ is perfect foil for Jimmy’s somewhat cheeky nature. She’s nice, approachable and we then discover she can certainly give as good as she gets…!

6. JIMMY (Tony G. Marshall) & JULIE COLEMAN (Madeleine Havell):

Tensions mount between Jimmy and Julie when he takes her to visit his Mother’s and Step-father’s house in Scotland – the place where he grew up – when he reveals his locked bedroom full of memorabilia dedicated to his real father, Jim Maclaine. Alarm bells of concern begin to ring with clarity within Julie’s mind. Another great scene as Jimmy’s adult journey now begins to unfold. Julie’s straight-talking, but caring, nature for her man is well-executed by Madeleine which allows Jimmy’s sensitive and vulnerable disposition to be laced with an undercurrent of anger as he confuses Julie’s concern for a lack of understanding… 

7. JIMMY (Tony G. Marshall) & JULIE COLEMAN (Madeleine Havell):

An opening narrative by Jimmy leads into an explosive scene with Julie as her concern for Jimmy’s mental health and wellbeing reaches its pinnacle. Jimmy is further overwhelmed by what he considers Julie’s lack of knowledge and empathy towards any matter regarding his father. I loved playing out this scene with Madeleine who conveys considerable depth of Julie’s serious concern and frustration. It’s the disturbing aspect of Jimmy’s denial which drives the passions in this scene…

8. JIMMY (Tony G. Marshall) & FRENCH PROSTITUTE (Madeleine Havell):

Jimmy’s narrative commences with the revelation of the confirmation of him being in denial with everything regarding his father. However, it would appear that his statement is merely a close-guarded secret between him and his listening audience. Therefore, he is not likely to admit this to anyone publicly. The scene that follows is tinged with irony in the fact that it is set in a brothel in France – could be interpreted as an homage to the sleazy side of his father’s life as a Rock Star (?). A well-acted scene with the writing/dialogue allowing the fun chemistry to ooze between the characters…

9. JIMMY (Tony G. Marshall) & DANIELLE (Madeleine Havell):

Jimmy’s narrative sets the scene beautifully for a more select region of France. We then cut to the actual scene in which Jimmy meets his father’s former girlfriend, Danielle (from “Stardust”(1974)). It’s a most intriguing meet and the nostalgia factor burns like an eternal candle. A touching, heartfelt scene in many ways as Jimmy continues to grasp for every last morsel of information about his father. Maddie as Danielle injects the scene with the correct balance of empathy and understanding toward Jimmy. If you’re a fan of both films then it’s a fascinating listen…

10. JIMMY (Tony G. Marshall) & JULIE COLEMAN (Madeleine Havell):

Jimmy’s opening narrative conveys his blasé attitude toward his current lifestyle – displaying considerable arrogance especially toward the opposite sex. Then, his demeanour has a change of heart when his thoughts turn to Julie. An achingly beautiful scene unfolds between the two characters even with the added tension of strong language. At this juncture in the story, Jimmy & Julie had spent a considerable amount of time apart. I would say that this is one of my most favourite scenes of the radio drama because everything about it is beautifully played – including the accompanying musical backdrop of Dire Straits with “Romeo & Juliet”Madeleine turns in a most natural and quite vulnerable performance and the spark between both characters rekindles to the highest voltage – love it…!

11. JIMMY (Tony G. Marshall) & CATHY MENARY (Holly Macdonald):

The following two links featuring Holly illustrate two different dynamics of scenes between the characters of Jimmy and Cathy: this first scene (following Jimmy’s cocksure narrative) plays out like something from an old 1930’s or 1940’s romance set to a musical landscape of encapsulating strings and chords. The scene depicts the start of the characters’ affair in which Holly as Cathy demands that Jimmy kiss her again…and again. I never expected Holly’s delivery to lead us into the aforementioned ‘old school’ territory and our Producer obviously heard something in our performances which inspired his choice of instrumental music – Interesting…
12. JIMMY (Tony G. Marshall) & CATHY MENARY (Holly Macdonald):

This next scene flips the coin on the previous scene following on from Jimmy’s narrative which both Cathy and her daughter’s individual affairs with Jimmy are referred to. Playing out almost Tarantino-esque dialogue, Holly as Cathy owns the proceedings once again as she conveys the seedier side of her lifestyle and therefore making Jimmy somewhat more vulnerable to the situation. Another fascinating dynamic between the characters – well-acted with lots of chemistry abound…

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

The complete original independent radio drama of
is now free to listen to online at the following ‘Cosmic’ link:

“DEA SANCTA ET GLORIA” – The Interview
Cosmic Dwellings interviews
Tony G. Marshall & Holly Macdonald

(click the image below…)

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JANIS AND BIG BROTHER: Live at the Carousel Ballroom ’68 | Uncut Magazine

Fly on the psychedelic wall: The Bear’s sonic journals snag a masterpiece…
Somewhere within the sonic depths of this extraordinary concert tape’s opener, “Combination of the Two,” as James Gurley’s distorted guitar angles toward a kind of demented Coltrane-like climax, Janis Joplin gets off a series of whooping, exhortative screams — the kind borne of revelation or epiphany. It’s as if from the get-go she knew that Big Brother and the Holding Company — just two months from splintering into oblivion — was destined for immortality, on this night at least.

It’s the tip of the iceberg for Live At The Carousel Ballroom 1968, a tour de force of such fervor and intensity that it places Big Brother in its rightful perch as, perhaps, psychedelic San Francisco’s fiercest lysergic combo. A combustible group whose expansive sound defied the straitjacket of the studio, Big Brother—in the dumbed-down, Time-Life version of history—were simply a backing group, random bystanders who happened to launch Joplin into superstardom. But deep in the mythology of San Francisco’s psychedelic heyday, they were always a contender, an ensemble, capable of pushing all boundaries as rock grew burly in the late ’60s.

Fortunately for posterity, acid king Owsley “Bear” Stanley had the gumption to roll tape on June 23, 1968. Not just regular old tape, though. The Grateful Dead roadie and confidante had been running the mixing boards at the Carousel most of 1968, experimenting with the technology of best capturing the music via “sonic journals,” recordings made to document the scene and fine-tune the club’s sound.

This tape, in storage and/or legal limbo for decades but finally produced and mixed by Bear himself prior to his untimely death in 2011, is almost pugilistic in presentation. Amplifying every nuance, every kaleidoscopic shade from the roar of the guitars, every electrifying scrap of back-and-forth among the musicians in crystal-clear, full-dimensional fashion, it’s a transcendent, revelatory listen. The recording is so pure, so lively, in fact, that it virtually drops the listener into the Carousel on that summer night.

Big Brother’s roots, in truth, ran deep into American music. Bassist Peter Albin cut his teeth on folk and bluegrass; drummer Dave Getz was an in-demand jazz player; songwriter/guitarist Sam Andrew was well-versed in blues and jazz, a frequent jamming partner with Jerry Garcia, and along with James Gurley, developed a formidable double-lead guitar assault.

Only a year-plus into their brief reign, they had mongrelized their influences—twisting, stretching, and distorting R&B, blues, and folk motifs into a towering, multi-tentacled psychedelic monster. Adept at sustain and release, they were both sonic architects and masters of improv. Case in point is “I Need A Man To Love“, which begins with Andrew and Gurley’s guitars sneaking, curling around Joplin’s yearning, stinging, openly sexual vocal, before threading into a spellbinding, extended bit of call-and-response guitar interplay—a high-wire act pitting inner turmoil against just out-of-reach catharsis.

The aural carnage plays out repeatedly amid Joplin’s otherworldly vocals. Singing with all of hell’s fury, she pulls every last stitch of romantic desperation and deranged dejection out of the songs, pleading with herself, the cosmos, the audience, the coterie of cheats she’s been seeing, bending, torturing the words past literality into treams of pure emotion—exploding then crazily reassembling the blues paradigm.

Their repertoire is fascinating: pop standards, tripped-out and barely recognizable (i.e., Gershwin’s chestnut “Summertime”); ancient folk songs, like English ballad “Coo Coo,” hotwired into a psychedelic wall of sound; and showstoppers “Ball & Chain,” a smash at Monterey, and “Piece Of My Heart“, their most straightforwardly pop number and biggest hit single. “Catch Me Daddy” is the most violent cut, souped-up psycho-rockabilly, while “Down on Me,” amid jagged guitars, is a nod to folk/rock. “Light Is Faster than Sound,” a Peter Albin showpiece from their debut album, is most allegiant to proto-psychedelia—dual guitars making like air-raid sirens, rising up from the scrum, screaming as they go by, only to submerge themselves again. When Joplin’s vocal fades, Gurley’s rampaging guitar emerges with a shattering solo, a marvel of controlled chaos.

No one could’ve known it, but this was one of the last blinding flashes of the original psychedelic era. Ominous changes were afoot, “not better world a-comin’,” as critic Paul Nelson once opined. Like a tunnel into an alien world, Live at the Carousel offers a trenchant if temporary trip back.

Luke Torn


Big Brother’s Sam Andrew

What is your best memory of this show and the Carousel Ballroom? Of Bear?

The Carousel was a large, cavernous space, dark, high ceilings and it seemed as if all my friends were there. Owsley Stanley was cavorting around the sound system and talking to me a mile a minute in a technical language that was quite beyond me. Bear was always an enthusiastic mix of the cerebral and the celebratory.

How much of the Big Brother sound was improv?

In Big Brother we began as pure improvisation and moved steadily toward a scripted music. That’s how I think of it anyway. Janis was a very creative singer, and I can tell what night we are doing “Summertime”, just because it is so different from another night. We took a lot of chances because, (a) that’s who we were, and (b) we often didn’t know any better.

Big Brother broke up soon after this great show. What were y’all thinking?!

We were not thinking. Janis was restless. She wanted to be a soul singer like Tina, Aretha, Gladys, and I was thinking about songwriting ALL the time. We had a lot of discussions about the band and she felt that on some nights, people weren’t trying hard enough. I wish I would have tried harder to talk her out of leaving the band.


Source: Big Brother & The Holding Company – Live At The Carousel Ballroom 1968 – Uncut

Posted in Album, Album, Art Rock, Blues, CD, CD, Concert, Folk, Live, Music, Musician, Performer, Recording, Rhythm and Blues, Rock, Rock 'n' Roll, Singer, Singer, Songwriter | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

THE BEATLES: How ‘Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ Changed The Face Of Music | uDiscover

These days, game-changers are everywhere, in every facet of our society, yet there was a time when people really had no idea what they were. In 1967 along came Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, the eighth studio album by The Beatles… it was the musical game-changer. Prior to 1 June 1967, the day that Sgt. Pepper was released, long-playing records were firmly under the control of record labels, who thought they knew best as to what the fans wanted, and when they wanted it.

The making of The Beatles’ eighth studio album had begun a little over six months earlier, on 20 November 1966, when they began work on two songs in Abbey Road Studio Two which they felt were perfect for their next LP. The songs were ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’, written by John Lennon and inspired by a place in Liverpool, and by way of juxtaposition, Paul McCartneys composition which also referred to a real location close to his childhood home – Penny Lane.

Work continued on ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ during December, as well as recording sessions for ‘When I’m Sixty-Four’ which was also to be included on the new album. Recording for ‘Penny Lane’ began two days before New Year’s Eve and was completed nearly three weeks later. The Beatles’ previous single, ‘Yellow Submarine’/‘Eleanor Rigby’, had been released in early August 1966, and so EMI were anxious for another. ‘Penny Lane’/’Strawberry Fields’ came out on 17 February 1967 after a 196-day wait – the longest time between single releases since the start of their career.                                                

Recording continued on the new album in January, with the first of many sessions for ‘A Day In The Life’, and then on 1 February they began work on one of Paul’s songs, ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’. The new LP had a name and a loose concept, in so far as the band pretended they were giving a show as this fictitious band.

By the time their new single was released they were underway with ‘Good Morning Good Morning’, ‘Fixing a Hole’, ‘Only A Northern Song’ (a George Harrison song that he had originally put forward for inclusion on the album) and ‘Being For The Benefit of Mr Kite’. In the midst of all this recording, The Beatles also filmed their groundbreaking videos for both ‘Penny Lane’ and ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’.

Over the next two months work continued on Sgt. Pepper’s remaining songs – ‘With a Little Help From My Friends’, ‘Lucy In The Sky with Diamonds’, ‘Getting Better’, ‘She’s Leaving Home’, ‘Within You Without You’ and ‘Lovely Rita’ – and the album was completed on 21 April. In all, The Beatles, George Martin and engineer Geoff Emerick spent 700 hours on the making of the record.

Of course, time expended does not guarantee either creativity or a brilliant result, but every second was worth it. And don’t just take our word for it: Professor Kevin J Dettmar, writing in the Oxford Encyclopedia Of British Literature, says Sgt. Pepper is “the most important and influential rock and roll album ever recorded”. We all know that polls don’t matter, but Rolling Stone magazine ranked it No.1 in its list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.

And yet it could all have been so very different. In the early Spring of 1967, the UK press was full of reports with headlines such as “Has the Bubble Burst?” or “Beatles Fail To Reach The Top”, all because ‘Penny Lane’ and ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ had stalled at No.2 in the UK singles chart. At manager Brian Epstein’s insistence neither track was included on the LP, a decision that George Martin later described as “the biggest mistake of my professional life”.

What makes the album a game-changer?

The unprecedented time spent in the studio helped to make it so, as do the recording techniques developed by the Abbey Road technicians to give the Beatles more than just the basic four-track equipment that had been used previously. Add to this “flanging”, the use of vari-speed, the way the record was not mastered with the customary gaps between tracks and the use of crossfades on a couple of tracks. And then there’s Peter Blake’s artwork that is so redolent of the time, not forgetting the fact that a lyric sheet was included with the gatefold sleeve. And, of course, great songs, brilliantly performed

Sgt. Pepper’s was the first Beatles album to be issued simultaneously worldwide, and the first where the tracklistings were exactly the same for both the UK and US versions. It debuted in the UK at No.1 – where it stayed for 22 consecutive weeks and became the soundtrack to The Summer Of Love. Naturally, it was also No.1 in America, as it was in many countries around the world.

Rock and pop has never quite been the same again…

The Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band reissue is out now. Scroll down to read what’s in each version, along with the full tracklisting for the super deluxe box set, and order the reissue here.

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The various versions of the Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band reissue are:

Standard CD:
The new 2017 stereo mix, complete with the original UK album’s “edit for LP end” run-out groove.

Deluxe 2CD (and digital edition):
The new stereo album mix on Disc One, plus a second CD of 18 tracks, including previously unreleased complete takes of the album’s 13 songs, newly mixed in stereo and sequenced in the same order as the album.

Disc Two also includes a new stereo mix and a previously unreleased instrumental take of ‘Penny Lane’, plus the 2015 stereo mix and two previously unreleased complete takes of ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’.

Deluxe 2LP:
The new stereo album mix on Disc One and previously unreleased complete takes of the album’s 13 songs, newly mixed in stereo and sequenced in the same order as the album, on Disc Two.

Super Deluxe 4CD+DVD+Blu-ray:
CD1 features the new 2017 stereo album mix.

CDs 2 and 3 include 33 additional recordings from the studio sessions, most of which are previously unreleased and have been mixed for the first time from the four-track session tapes, sequenced in chronological order of their recording dates, plus the new 2017 stereo mix of ‘Penny Lane’ and the 2015 stereo mix of ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’.

CD4 features a direct transfer of the album’s original mono mix, plus the ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ and ‘Penny Lane’ singles, along with the US promo mono mix of ‘Penny Lane’ and previously unreleased early mono mixes of ‘She’s Leaving Home’, ‘A Day If The Life’ and the once-thought-lost early mono mix of ‘Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds’.

The DVD and Blu-ray discs both include new 5.1 surround sound audio mixes of the album and ‘Penny Lane’ by Giles Martin and Sam Okell, plus their 2015 5.1 surround sound mix of ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’, along with high-resolution audio mixes of the album, ‘Penny Lane’ and the 2015 stereo mix of ‘Strawberry Field Forever’.

Additionally, these discs will include 4K restored promo clips for ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’, ‘Penny Lane’ and ‘A Day In The Life’, plus The Making Of Sgt Pepper, a restored, previously unreleased documentary film originally broadcast in 1992.

The full tracklist for the super deluxe edition box set is:

  • CD1: St Pepper’s 2017 stereo mix
    ‘Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’
    ‘With A Little Help From My Friends’
    ‘Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds’
    ‘Getting Better’
    ‘Fixing A Hole’
    ‘She’s Leaving Home’
    ‘Being For The Benefit Of Mr Kite!’
    ‘Within You Without You’
    ‘When I’m Sixty-Four’
    ‘Lovely Rita’
    ‘Good Morning Good Morning’
    ‘Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)’
    ‘A Day In The Life’ 
  • CD2: Outtakes
    ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ [Take 1]
    ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ [Take 4]
    ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ [Take 7]
    ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ [Take 26]
    ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ [2015 stereo mix]
    ‘When I’m Sixty-Four’ [Take 2]
    ‘Penny Lane’ [Take 6: instrumental]
    ‘Penny Lane’ [Vocal overdubs and speech]
    ‘Penny Lane’ [2017 stereo mix]
    ‘A Day In The Life’ [Take 1]
    ‘A Day In The Life’ [Take 2]
    ‘A Day In The Life’ [Orchestra overdub]
    ‘A Day In The Life (Hummed Last Chord)’ [Takes 8, 9, 10 and 11]
    ‘A Day In The Life (The Last Chord)’
    ‘Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ [Take 1: instrumental]
    ‘Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ [Take 9 and speech]
    ‘Good Morning Good Morning’ [Take 1: instrumental, breakdown]
    ‘Good Morning Good Morning’ [Take 8] 
  • CD3: Outtakes
    ‘Fixing A Hole’ [Take 1]
    ‘Fixing A Hole’ [Speech and Take 3]
    ‘Being For The Benefit Of Mr Kite!’ [Speech from before Take 1; Take 4 and speech at end]
    ‘Being For The Benefit Of Mr Kite!’ [Take 7]
    ‘Lovely Rita’ [Speech and Take 9]
    ‘Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds’ [Take 1 and speech at the end]
    ‘Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds’ [Speech, false start and Take 5]
    ‘Getting Better’ [Take 1: instrumental and speech at the end]
    ‘Getting Better’ [Take 12]
    ‘Within You Without You’ [Take 1: Indian Instruments Only]
    ‘Within You Without You’ [George coaching the musicians]
    ‘She’s Leaving Home’ [Take 1: instrumental]
    ‘She’s Leaving Home’ [Take 6: ynstrumental]
    ‘With A Little Help From My Friends’ [Take 1: false start; Take 2: instrumental]
    ‘Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)’ [Speech and Take 8] 
  • CD4: Sgt Pepper’s and bonus tracks in mono
    Tracks 1-13: 2017 direct transfer of Sgt Pepper’s original mono mix)
    ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ [Original mono mix]
    ‘Penny Lane’ [Original mono mix]
    ‘A Day In The Life’ [Unreleased first mono mix]
    ‘Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds’ [Unreleased mono mix: No.11]
    ‘She’s Leaving Home’ [Unreleased first mono mix]
    ‘Penny Lane’ [Capitol Records US promo single: mono mix] 
  • DVD and Blu-ray:
    Audio Features (both discs):
    New 5.1 surround sound audio mixes of Sgt Pepper’s and ‘Penny Lane’, plus 2015 5.1 surround sound mix of ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ (Blu-ray: DTS HD Master Audio 5.1, Dolby True HD 5.1; DVD: DTS Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • High-resolution audio versions of 2017 Sgt Pepper’s stereo mix and 2017 ‘Penny Lane’ stereo mix, plus 2015 ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ hi-res stereo mix (Blu-ray: LPCM Stereo 96KHz/24bit; DVD: LPCM Stereo)
  • Video Features (both discs):
    The Making Of Sgt Pepper [restored 1992 documentary film, previously unreleased]
  • Promotional films: ‘A Day In The Life’; ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’, ‘Penny Lane’ [4K restored]

Source: How The Beatles’ ‘Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ Changed The Face Of Music | uDiscover

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ENGELBERT: Tin Pan Alley, Country Pop & The Indestructible ‘Release Me’ – uDiscover

Vocal stylist Engelbert Humperdinck has been talking to uDiscover about the remarkable body of work that’s celebrated by today’s (19 May) release of the compilation Engelbert Humperdinck: 50 and the simultaneous The Complete Decca Studio Albums Collection. He discusses how he used to search for new material, how he crossed country music into the pop charts — and how there might be a new Engelbert studio album in the pipeline. The 50 compilation, which you can order here, is a two-CD, 39-track retrospective featuring all of the Grammy-winning singer’s biggest hits, in a career that has realised 150 million record sales worldwide. It also includes a new DBU Disco Remix of ‘Release Me’ and two brand new songs, ‘I Don’t Want To Call It Goodbye’ and ‘I Followed My Heart’. “It’s an amazing presentation, I think,” says Humperdinck. “I can’t believe how well it’s been done, and we’ve got a couple of new songs on there, plus the remix of ‘Release Me.’ The new songs were just both a propos, so we put them both on the album, and they’re great songs, well-written.”

The 11-album box set (click here to order) is available physically but also makes these albums available digitally for the first time. “I like the idea of the vinyl covers remaining the same in digital form now,” he observes. “Not giving it a different face, giving it the same face, only packaging it in a very contemporary way. It’s wonderful.”

Musing on the remarkable history of ‘Release Me,’ he recalls the long history of the Eddie Miller/Robert Yount composition even before he got near it. Written in 1949, the song was successful for a number of artists before it transformed Engelbert’s career in 1967. It became the UK’s bestselling single of that year, famously preventing The Beatles‘ ‘Penny Lane’ and ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ double A-side from reaching No. 1.

“It was a big hit before I got it, a country hit by Ray Price,” says the vocalist. “On stage he said ‘This was my song until Engelbert Humperdinck came along and made it a hit around the world.’ I heard it as an instrumental by a gentleman called Frank Weir. I just heard the melody and I said to Gordon Mills, who was my manager at that time, ‘That’s a hit song.'”

“When it was given to Charles Blackwell and he did that amazing arrangement that is so recognisable, even that introduction gives it meaning. Everybody knows it’s ‘Release Me’ before it starts.”

“My early years were very exciting for me,” he continues. “Fortunately, I had Gordon beside me, guiding my career. He was a manager that was very musically-minded. He also wrote a lot of my b-sides. He was a great manager.”

The album collection affords the opportunity to recall the wide range of material that Engelbert recorded beyond his well-known hits,. He would often interpret existing material, put his stamp on recent chart successes for others (from ‘Wand’rin’ Star’ to ‘Aquarius’), and put the spotlight on some songs of historical importance.

“We all hung out in Tin Pan Alley, many times, looking for material for new albums,” he recalls. “But then once you have a hit record, it changes the picture and people start to send you a lot of songs. You don’t have to go looking anymore. That was one of the great things about having hit songs,” he laughs. “It makes life a little bit easier.”

His first Decca album of 1967, also called Release Me, featured a version of ‘Misty Blue,’ which had recently been a country hit for Wilma Burgess but became better-known to later audiences from Dorothy Moore’s soulful interpretation of 1976. “I love that song, it’s a real Nashville song,” enthuses Humperdinck.

“We didn’t go totally country, we went country pop, which is the best way to go, if you’re not a country singer yourself. Some of my hits, like ‘Am I That Easy To Forget’ and ‘There Goes My Everything,’ they were country material which was used before, but I took it and made them hits.” Another fascinating country entry is his reading of the Bee Gees‘ song ‘Sweetheart,’ which became the title song of his 1971 Decca album.

Humperdinck has fond memories of the recording techniques of this album era. “I like the method we used, because the arranger would come, you would routine it, then he’d take it away and the next time you see it, it’s in the studio with all these wonderful musicians and singers.”

“Then they went to another method where they just gave you a rhythm track, and you’d put your voice on that, but I never liked that method. I always liked the entire arrangement, the bed of music, to lie on, because it lends your voice to going in so many different directions, and I think that’s one of the reasons that brought success to these albums in the early years.”

Arrangers were, and remain, key to his distinctively luxuriant sound. “Arrangers of the past, they were just brilliant musicians themselves,” he says. “People like Les Reed, he wrote great songs for me like ‘The Last Waltz,’ ‘Les Bicyclettes de Belsize,’ ‘Winter World Of Love,’ some massive hits that came from him.”

“I’ve started to work with an arranger I worked with about 50 years ago, his name is Johnny Harris. He did great stuff for me like ‘Quando Quando Quando,’ that’s his arrangement. And he did the track for ‘I Follow My Heart,’ one of the new songs on the CD. It is harder to come by great songs [now], but I can honestly say that the two new ones are in this fashion.”

At 81, Engelbert’s diary continues to be packed. “A whole new album is in store, of new songs,” he reveals, but before that, there are many more shows to fulfill in his datebook, starting in June in Bucharest, Romania. “I love it. There’s not many places in the world I haven’t been, but I’m going to Iceland, I haven’t been there before, or Romania. But I’ve been everywhere else. ‘I’ve been everywhere, man…’” he sings with a chuckle.

“You do get that little nervousness when you play countries like Russia, but the funny part — although I have to have an interpreter on stage to do my talking for me — but the songs themselves, they tend to sing them in some phonetical fashion, and they sing along with you, it’s amazing.”

Of the double CD and box set packages, he concludes: “For the people that haven’t heard my music before, it’s going to be quite an eye-opener, because it does lend itself to great compositions and great arrangements. The entire package is so well done.”

Click here to order Engelbert Humperdinck: 50.

Click here to order The Complete Decca Studio Albums Collection.  


Source: Tin Pan Alley, Country Pop & The Indestructible ‘Release Me’: Engelbert Humperdinck Talks To uDiscover – uDiscover

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