Friday, 11 August 2017

Charity Shop Music Finds - July 29, 2017

Two finds in the National Trust Second Hand Bookshop at Tredegar Park for 50p each....

The Princes Trust 10th Anniversary Birthday Party (A&M Records, 1987)
A collective of artists including Big Country, Elton John, Howard Jones and Paul McCartney among others.

A Monument To British Rock - Volume 1
A compilation featuring rock classics from the 60s and 70s including ELO, The Beatles. Johnny Kidd & The Pirates, Chris Farlowe and The Shadows.

Also two CD finds in Cwmbran charity shops...

Going Latin With Geoff Love & His Orchestra
More Geoff Love! For 50p! Actually this was a buy one get one free at Ty Hafan so I picked up a Miley Cyrus CD for my daughter too!

Doctor Who - Pest Control
Not strictly a music CD, this is a 2 CD audiobook read by David Tennant so might come in handy over the holiday period to listen to! £1.99 from British Heart foundation.

Charity Shop Music Finds: August 7, 2017

I paid a visit to the local Tip Shop on Monday which sells recyclable goods in order to help the homeless in the community. I've picked several vinyl albums up from there in the last year usually between 25p - 50p.

Most finds have been exceptionally good, you get the odd duff quality one but at these prices you can't really complain to much!

Anyhow my finds from Monday were seven albums and one extended play all totalling £2!

20 Fabulous No.1's of the 50's (Music For Pleasure, 1984)
Does what it says on the label, some good ones here too, Eddie Calvert, Al Martino, Buddy Holly, Adam Faith, Frankie Lymon and Cliff Richard to name a few! Part of MFP's 50s series released back in 1984).

Burt Bacharach - Portrait In Music (A&M Records, 1971)
Arranged, conducted and produced by Burt Bacharach here are some of the mans finest compositions including I'll Never Fall In Love Again, The Look Of Love and I Say a Little Prayer.

Geoff Love & His Orchestra - Your Hundred Instrumental Favourites Volume 1 (Music For Pleasure, 1980)
14 tracks from Geoff Love and his Orchestra compiled and released at the beginning of the 80s, some then current recordings such as Theme from Elvira Madigan and The Continental sitting alongside well established Love recordings of  Theme from The Big Country and Spanish Harlem

No Volume 2 in this series but there was...

Geoff Love & His Orchestra - Your Hundred Instrumental Favourites Volume 3 (Music For Pleasure, 1982)
Featuring recent hits Chariots of Fire and Chi Mai as well as oldies The Magnificent Seven and The Birthday Cake Walk.

and there was also Geoff Love under a pseudonym...

Manuel and The Music Of The Mountains - Manuel and The Music Of The Movies (EMI, Columbia, 1971)
Featuring Wand'rin Star, Midnight Cowboy, The Windmills of Your Mind and The Love Theme From Romeo & Juliet

then more movie magic...

Norrie Paramor and His Orchestra - Music From The Big Screen (Contour, 1971)
Featuring The Windmills Of Your Mind, The Way To The Stars, Alfie and more...

and on 10 inch LP...

Paul Robeson - The Incomparable Voice Of Paul Robeson (HMV, 1950s)
Compilation album featuring 10 tracks including Ol' Man River, St Louis Blues and Solitude.

and on an EP...

Edith Piaf - Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien (Columbia, 1961)
Featuring the title track and three other songs.

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Charity Shop Music Finds: July 22, 2017

A few 45RPM's found in Newport Charity Shops on Saturday July 22. I love a 60s EP, so it was nice to find two of those on this particular day.


Ken Dodd - Love Is Like A Violin EP
Decca Records, 1961
St David's Foundation, 50p
A few years before signing to EMI and ultimately scoring the biggest hit of the 1960s with the single Tears, Liverpool entertainer Ken Dodd had a hit on Decca Records with Love Is Like A Violin. This 6 track EP was released in 1961.


Eddie Calvert - Eddie Plays Leroy EP
Columbia Records. 1961
St David's Foundation, 50p
Eddie Calvert became known as The Man with The Golden Trumpet during his chart peak in the 1950s. In 1961this EP, recorded with Norrie Paramor and his orchestra featured the musician paying homage to composer Leroy Anderson.

The Singing Nun - Dominique
Philips, 1963
St David's Hospice, 50p
At the height of Beatlemania in 1963, Dominique became one of the most popular singles in the UK charts having already scaled the heights of the American chart. The composition was written and performed by Jeanne-Paule Marie "Jeannine" Deckers better known as Sœur Sourire which translates as "Sister Smile", often credited as The Singing Nun in English-speaking countries. I had only been thinking of this release days before finding it, as its quite an unusual single to appear in the charts of late 1963 when the new Beat sounds were predominant, although to my mind its gentle delivery possibly struck a chord with many still reeling from the shock of the assassination of President John F Kennedy only weeks before (though it’s worth remembering its release predates Kennedy’s death by over a month).
S
œur Sourire own story would unfold as a tragic over the next 20 years but this slice of folk-pop when the world needed a Singing Nun in the charts is a sweet addition to the collection.


Trini Lopez - Trini-Trax (Special Dance Party Medley)
RCA, 1981
St David's Hospice, 50p
In the fall of 1963, Texan Trini Lopez scored a huge worldwide hit with the single If I Had A Hammer. Although he would re-enter the UK charts with a few minor hits over the next few years, there was a break until he returned to the UK chartsone last time  in 1981 with this recording of a hits. Medley which reached No.59. Such recordings were the flavour of the day in 1981, popularised by the Stars on 45 craze., although I have to admit I wasn't aware of this until finding it last week. Its great fun however and nice to find Trini was having another crack at the charts with classics like La Bamba, America and If I Had A Hammer.



Thursday, 27 July 2017

Charity Shop Classics : My Listeners Choice

One radio show I love listening to is ALLFM's weekly programme Charity Shop Classics which goes out every Sunday morning at 11am and is also uploaded as a podcast on MixCloud.

I recently had the privilege of been asked to present a Listener's Choice Special by one of the shows regular presenters which went out on Sunday July 16.

I selected several recent charity shop finds, mainly with a Geoff Love theme to commemorate the bandleader and music arranger's forthcoming centenary on September 4,

The programme can be listened to in its entirety here:



The releases played on the show were as follows:


Geoff Love & His Orchestra - The Big Country (Big Western Movie Themes, MFP, 1969)


Russ Conway - China Tea (His Greatest Hits, MFP)

Shirley Bassey - Let There Be Love (In The Still Of The Night, Regal Starline, 1969)


Johnny Kidd & The Pirates - Hungry For Love (Johnny Kidd, HMV, 1963)


Patricia Mills - All My Loving (Patricia Mills, Si Orchestra Esdkil Holten, Electrecord, 1964)

Manuel & The Music Of The Mountans - Rodrigo's Guitar Concerto De Aranjuez (Hit Kaleidoscope, Note Records, 1976)

The Geoff Love Sound - Wedding Of The Painted Doll (Banjo Movie Parade, Columbia 1971)


Geoff Love & His Orchestra - Colonel Bogey (Big War Movie Themes, MFP, 1971)


Geoff Love & His Orchestra - On Her Majesty's Secret Service (Big Bond Movie Themes, MFP, 1975)
Zygmunt Janowski - Help Yourself (Help Yourself To Hammond, Deacon Records, 1970)

Procul Harum - Homburg (Hits of the Sixties, Castle, 1987)

Geoff Love & His Orchestra - Steptoe and Son (Columbia, 1962)

The King Brothers - A White Sport Coat (Kings of Song, Encore!)

Harry Roy - Bugle Call Rag (Shoot That Tiger, Vocalion, 1997)

The Temperance Seven - You're Driving Me Crazy (Parlophone, 1961)


Geoff Love & His Orchestra - Theme from Jaws (MFP, 1976)

I had great fun putting the programme together and special thanks must go to Charity Shop Classics presenter Simon Galloway for editing the show and putting it on the air!

Monday, 19 June 2017

Off Target: Doctor Who and The Pink Dalek


What if that Pink Dalek off the cover of Cy Payne's 1972 Children's TV Themes album really had got his own Doctor Who adventure?

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Bugsy Malone Animated Gif


Next weekend, my daughter will be one of several young performers starring in the Sharon Higgins School of Dance presentation of Bugsy Malone at The Dolman Theatre in Newport.

Set in Prohibition era New York, the show tells the story of rival gangsters Fat Sam and Dandy Dan as they wreak havoc with the help of custard pies and splurge guns. After penniless ex-boxer Bugsy Malone falls for aspiring singer Blousey Brown, will he be able to resist seductive songstress Tallulah and stay out of trouble while helping Fat Sam defend his business?

For the production and to create some online publicity I've created the above animated gif.

Performances will begin at 7:15pm on June 18 and 19.

Call the Dolman Theatre on 01633 263670 or visit dolmantheatre.co.uk for ticket details.


Sunday, 11 June 2017

Off Target: Polystyle Publication's TV Action - 2017 Style!

I wonder if there's an alternate universe where the early 1970s comic TV Action never ended and still goes on till this very day?

Well above is a mock-up Photoshop cover I created featuring Doctor Who as the main cartoon strip Big Story with support from Hawaii Five-O (another 21st Century TV recreation that originally featured  alongside Doctor Who in the pages of TV Action back in the 70s!)

Saturday, 10 June 2017

Off Target: Missy Rewrites Pop History


"Well pop-pickers it looks like Missy from Doctor Who has been busy altering a pop classic in the space/time continuum as this readjusted 1981 releaseof Mickey  by Toni Basil proves!!"

Adam West RIP


Adan West - the original Batman (well for me anyway) and still the best!

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Off Target: Doctor Who Discovers... Brexit

Okay, some more Photoshop fun.

Here's my take on a continuation of Target Books educational Doctor Who Discovers series in the 1970s featuring the Fourth Doctor (Tom Baker) for the fun group Off Target on Facebook.

I'm not saying this is a top notch Photoshop job, I knocked it up in under an hour for a bit of a laugh and just getting an idea on a format..

Also I thought it was only right to keep Tom Baker as The Doctor and its quite nice putting him into a Brexit scenario.

Nigel Farage's inclusion reminds me so much of The Master as portrayed by John Simm, you can imagine him saying "What this country needs right now, is a Doctor!"

Imagine how different things might have been had this book been issued back in 1977?

Happy times and places!

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Off Target: Rare Doctor Who Single by Patrick Troughton


I posted the following to the Off Target group on Facebook earlier, following a surreal dream I had last night! No doubt, its all got tenuous links to Record Store Day - although you won't be finding a copy of this!

On learning of the Third Doctor's attempt to cash in with a Doctor Who related vocal single in 1972 entitled I Am The Doctor,

The Second Doctor managed to steer The TARDIS back to 1967 and release this answer single entitled (Oh, No No, No!) I Am The Doctor! He also decided to do a rather neat answer song to Jamie's Who Is The Doctor? on the B Side, but as neither songs he was responding to were released at the time, both sides fell on deaf ears.

Needless to say, this release is hard to find, although I did locate a copy in a rather surreal dream last night which inspired me to do this post - hope you don't mind!

Happy Record Store Day folks!

Sunday, 19 February 2017

College Years: York In Railway Posters Exhibition (1994)

York in Railway Posters review by Andy Howells (October 1994)
Going to art college in York back in the early 90s was a bit of a tough but enjoyable haul for me. I pretty much used what was left of my savings to get me through the first year of my National Diploma Graphic Design course and held down several part-time jobs in the process.

York in Railway Posters postcard

York was a place I enjoyed living in, but it was difficult at times as I couldn't embrace it fully due to lack of money and having to direct it to pay rent and food costs.

York in Railway Posters Postcard

One of the few things that was great was that I began to get immersed in going to the City art gallery which was usually free to go in. I could sit in there some days, looking at some cool artwork.

York in Railway Posters - Museum Guide Description
As I was an art student, I usually got to see a few exhibitions, here's a college review I had to write about the York in Railway Posters exhibition, along with a couple of pieces of ephemera from the exhibit.

Childhood Memories: Tri-ang Chubby (Circa 1970)

There aren't that many photographs of myself from childhood. My parents would occasionally bring a camera out and take pictures but my father would never get the films developed, hence as far as pictures are concerned, there's a few from the first few years of my life, a couple of school photographs and then huge gaps.

This one was taken in the back yard of my first home in Grove Street, Stockton on Tees around the summer of 1970. I was around the age of two. There was another photo where my Dad hadn't framed the image correctly and you could see my Mum's tummy as she was pregnant with my sister at the time. My sister was born in September, 1970 which makes it easier to date this.

I have four toys pictured with me here including a train, a bus, a three wheeler bike and I'm at the wheel of my Tri-ang Chubby pedal car.

Prior to Christmas, I saw an edition of X-Ray on BBC Wales which did a brief feature on vintage toys, which had a clip of the Tri-ang manufacturing plant in Merthyr Tydfil from the 1960s/70s. It was quite a surreal moment to see a production line featuring hundreds of Tri-ang Chubby's on it which got me thinking about this photograph.

Sketchbook: Madonna Pencil Sketch (1980s)

Madonna, Pencil Sketch, 1980s by Andy Howells
There was a time in my mid-teens when I drew a hell of a lot of pictures. At the time I was really into the current music and Madonna was a big favourite in my record collection.

Not only did I like her sound, I loved her style and the way she constantly changed her look. Books, posters and cuttings always gave me a lot of inspiration and I think the photograph that inspired this image appeared as a poster in Smash Hits

Sketchbook: Doctor Who Video Sleeve


Back in the early 90s when I had a huge video collection it seemed like a good idea to start making covers for all my Doctor Who videos that I'd recorded off the TV.

I didn't get very far with this project,  I think I only created one sleeve, for the video tape that contained The Time Meddler and The Sea Devils both of which were repeated on BBC2 circa 1992.

I have featured the art for The Sea Devils on this blog previously but here it is cut and pasted with Letraset on my video sleeve template.

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Sketchbook - The Directors (The Two Dons) Cartoon


While I was a member of the Zetland Church in Richmond, North Yorkshire back in the early 1990s, a friend, Gary Brookhouse,  and I, performed a few sketches for church services based loosely on comedian's Hale & Pace's The Management.

We were called The Directors and as opposed to been The Two Ron's we were The Two Don's. My memory is a bit cloudy now but I think the initial sketch was from a book and we adapted the characters for a few later sketches which were performed at church meetings and outreach events.

Me as one of The Don's

The Don's popularity started to increase to a point we were featured in the Churches first pantomime, Cinderella, (in a sketch we wrote ourselves). The Two Don's were good fun but we eventually called it a day, but not before I put together a cartoon for the church magazine...

I think the above cartoon was based on the first sketch we did, except we are wearing Santa hats, which indicates to me it was done to tie in with the appearance in the Christmas panto.

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