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Strangely Groovy

Caroline Jane did an Oliver Twist and asked for more, This is it

By Mike Singleton - MikeydredPublished 5 months ago Updated 5 months ago 3 min read
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Introduction

In the story below Caroline Jane did an Oliver Twist and asked for more. This is it.

I wasn't to sure how to write something new and interesting about music. Caroline and I are fans of Nigel Blackwell and Half Man Half Biscuit, so I will try to include something from them in here but I hope that everyone discovers at least one thing they didn't know when they read this piece.

Monty Python's Matching Tie and Handkerchief

The reason I started with this is that side two consisted of two concentric grooves so that when you put the record on you never knew which track you would actually hear. There is a detailed description here and it is a record that is part of my vinyl collection.

The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band - "I'm the Urban Spaceman"

This was the band's biggest and most famous hit and it was produced by Apollo C Vermouth. That was a pseudonym of Paul McCartney to avoid contractual issues. The band also appeared in The Beatles' "Magical Mystery Tour" film as well.

Half Man Half Biscuit - "All I Want for Chrismas Is a Dukla Prague Away Kit"

When Nigel Blackwell showed the guy at Probe Records the titles of his songs he was signed without hearing the songs. This is from that album and I have my own Dukla-Prague away kit at home.

Chuck Berry - "Maybellene"

Now this is a rock and roll record by Charles Edward Berry that you may or may not know. It is a favourite of mine that I used to play in my first band.

The reason I am bringing this to your attention is that when it was released Chuck Berry was surprised to find the white DJ Alan Freed had been given a writing credit. Black artists were often forced to surrender part of their credit to a white DJ to get the record released.

Berry took the matter to court and got his full writing credit.

In the 1950s, some record companies assigned publishing credits to disc jockeys and others who helped to promote a record, a form of payola by means of composer royalties. For this reason, the disc jockey Alan Freed received credit as a co-writer of "Maybellene". Robert Christgau's October 1972 essay on Berry suggests this was the case for Freed's publishing credit. Leonard Chess, in Christgau's words, "flipped" for Berry's "Maybellene" and "forwarded it to Alan Freed." "Having mysteriously acquired 25 per cent of the writer's credit," Christgau writes, "Freed played 'Maybellene' quite a lot, and it became one of the first nationwide rock and roll hits."

Rolling Stones - "Stoned" composed by Nanker/Phelge

Between 1963-5 some Rolling Stones songs were credited to Nanker/Phelge. This was actually a pseudonym for the whole band so that royalties would be split equally. "Stoned" was one of those songs.

Brian Jones suggested crediting it to Nanker/Phelge. The entire band would share writing royalties. Phelge came from Edith Grove flatmate Jimmy Phelge, while a Nanker was a revolting face that band members, Brian in particular, would pull.

Thus anything credited to Nanker Phelge refers to a Mick Jagger/Brian Jones/Keith Richards/Charlie Watts/Bill Wyman/Andrew Loog Oldham collaborative composition.

Robert Wyatt - "I'm A Believer"

This was a horrible instance of disabled discrimination. Robert is wheelchair-bound after damaging his spine in a serious fall.

This was one of the greatest bands I ever saw on Top of the Pops and I am so pleased that it is available on Youtube. It is an amazing cover of the Neil Diamond composed Monkees hit.

This is what the BBC had to say at the time.

Robert was told to perform in a wicker basket chair by the BBC TOTP producer as the show had a family audience who 'didn't want to see people in wheelchairs'. He told them to eff off and, in return, was later told he'd never appear on the show again. He did - with 'Shipbuilding'.

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Mike Singleton - Mikeydred

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Comments (5)

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  • Caroline Jane5 months ago

    Pretty much all of that I did not know. Fascinating. I cam well imagine half man half biscuit being signed on titles alone. It is why I first bought their stuff. Always so full of interesting shares. I know you do a lot of stuff like this but delighted you did more. I feel honoured too! Thank you ❤️

  • Some fun music here, Mike!

  • Phil Flannery5 months ago

    You always give us a good history lesson Mike. I shouldn't be surprised by the Chuck Berry thing. A good read.

  • Cathy holmes5 months ago

    This is quite interesting. I didn't know about the Chuck Berry thing either. And those pseudonyms for the Stone and McCartney, what??!! Fascinating

  • Babs Iverson5 months ago

    Of course, Chuck Berry's hit, Maybelline, is ingrained to my memory!!! Did not know that he had to go to court over writting credits going to a DJ. I heard word payola before but did not know that it involved royalties. So much musical info and facts that I wasn't aware of. Wonderful story!!!❤️❤️💕

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