Back in the sixties, everyone who made a record wanted a big pop star hit and don’t you kid yourself otherwise. Comedians were no exception, and while the primary purpose of their records – though not always – might have been to make people laugh, they were always propped up by songwriters, producers and session musicians with an eye on rotation BBC Light Programme play and a steady stream of income, and a lot of the resulting records turned out far better than they had any right or reason to be.
I’ve written a feature for Shindig! magazine looking at the hidden beat, jazz and psych highlights chortling away in the discographies of everyone from Mike And Bernie Winters to The Goodies, and here’s a complete playlist of the comedy discs that I highlighted in the piece. There’s tape-fiddling from George Martin, unexpected Kinks covers, late-night satire, ahead-of-the-game parodies of psychedelia, a protest song against Mods and Rockers, and a rare chance to hear Professor Stanley Unwin performing with a a full honkity-blow jazzlopper…
You can get Issue #88 of Shindig! both in print and as a Digital Edition from here, so I won’t be posting the full ‘sleevenotes’ for this. You’ll have to buy the magazine instead!
Bernard Cribbins – Ringing On The Engine Bell
Peter Sellers – After The Fox
Peter Cook And Dudley Moore – The L.S. Bumblebee
The Goodies – Taking You Back
Bill Oddie – Nothing Better To Do
Mike And Bernie Winters – Fallout Shelter
Harry H. Corbett – The Green Eye Of The Little Yellow God
Millicent Martin – Gotta Lotta Lovin’
Lance Percival – End Of The Season
Stanley Unwin – Goldilocks
Buy A Book!
You can find a feature on Stanley Unwin’s collaboration with Gerry And Sylvia Anderson The Secret Service in Well At Least It’s Free, a collection of columns and features. Well At Least It’s Free is available in paperback here or from the Kindle Store here.
Auntie Takes A Trip is a playlist showcasing the weird and wonderful corners of the BBC Records And Tapes back catalogue; you can listen to it here.
It’s Not Hard To Find, You’ve Got It In Your Mind is a feature on my lengthy hunt for the music from the early series of The Goodies; you can find it here.
I’ve Heard Of Politics, But This Is Ridiculous takes a look at my obsession with tracking down the That Was The Week That Was albums and singles (and books), and you can find it here.
© Tim Worthington.
Please don’t copy this only with more italics and exclamation marks.