Saturday, January 30, 2010


Alex Glasgow was born in England but moved to Australia in 1981. He became an Aussie but his famous single was originally recorded in England.

Alex Glasgow was born in 1935 in Gateshead Durham England. He cited one of his greatest influences as Gateshead Public Library. After graduating in Languages from Leeds University, he taught in Germany. On his return to Newcastle-On-Tyne, he joined the BBC. He also began to write topical songs. He composed the music for Alan Plater's play Close The Coalhouse Door. Alex is best known for his recording of "When The Boat Comes In", used in the TV series When The Boat Comes In. He also wrote the scripts for four episodes. Alex emigrated to Australia in 1981 where he died in 2001.

Copy of his obituary:

By Alan Plater - The Guardian, Thursday 17 May 2001.

…Alex moved to Australia because he suffered from arthritis and the climate in Perth was expected to give him some relief - and enable him to continue playing the guitar.

Alex started his career in WW2 forces broadcasting and once had a record in the German charts, an experience echoed when his recording of Dance To Thi Daddy - the theme music of the BBC series, When The Boat Comes In, for which he wrote some memorable episodes - made it to the charts.

This revealed Alex at his most characteristic. He refused resolutely to go on Top of the Pops, or do guest shots on any television variety shows. "I'm not a bloody commodity," he said. Once, prior to an ideologically-acceptable appearance on television with Henry Livings, he was appalled when a make-up girl tried to cut his hair "to match the picture in the Radio Times". "Leave my hair alone," he said. "I do not have a public image."

As a performer, maybe the most accurate description of him was chansonnier. He was multi-lingual and once spent an evening with Jake Thackray trying to work out the joke in a key verse of a Georges Brassens' song before making the triumphant discovery that the tag line was sung in French, but with a Belgian accent.

He figured if he was doing his job properly, he should always be in trouble.

But even his nearest and dearest were shocked when, in 1981, he left his native Gateshead and moved to Fremantle. The year before, he and Henry Livings had appeared at the Perth Festival in their legendary road show, The Northern Drift, and Alex fell in love with the place.

He and wife Paddy celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary in mid-air on their way to a new life. He justified the move with his special brew of unchallengeable assertions. "They're wonderful people. They're all like Geordies. And do you realise, 70% of the world's wild flowers are in Western Australia?" His Letters from a Pom, and Henry Livings's replies, were a regular feature in the Guardian during the early period of his migration.

The last few years of his life were cursed with illness of a particularly cruel nature. He went bravely but not gently. Gentle wasn't his style, except within the family. He lived long enough to take photographs of his first grandchild. He is survived by Paddy, and by his children, Richard, Daniel and Ruth.

The copy here for download was supplied by Jimmy Barnes, many thanks Jim!

Friday, January 15, 2010


Why did I put this song on the blog? Here is a copy of some correspondence from a regular contributor...

...Have you ever thought about putting 'Go Chase Your Rainbow' by Bobby Russell on your blog. I think Australia was the only place it charted. Got to No. 11 in 1974 in N.S.W. Bobby, of course, was a very successful songwriter, having written 'Honey' for Bobby Goldsboro, 'The Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia' and 'Ships In The Night' for Vicki Lawrence (his then wife) and 'Little Green Apples' (hits for both O.C. Smith and Roger Miller) to name a few. He had his own minor turntable hits in the early 70's with 'Saturday Morning Confusion' (although I think it was bigger overseas) and '1432 Franklin Pike Circle Hero' and 'Our Love (Will Rise Up Again)'...'Go Chase Your Rainbow' is a very hard song to find - you very kindly got me a great CD copy to replace my vinyl. I've always loved the song. Anyway I'll leave the thought with you....Al.

Well, yes Al, the single of "Go Chase Your Rainbow" I've only found once on CD, over 2 decades ago and it has never been released by a commercial company since. Here from CD is a copy of "Go Chase Your Rainbow":

Monday, January 4, 2010


The single "However Dark The Night" has a raw edge to it as it was recorded for the soundtrack to the 1980 movie The Idolmaker. The lead singer is credited as Caesare which was the charcter played by actor Peter Gallagher. This was Peter's first role in film. Peter is always popping up in small movies and TV roles. He starred as Sandy Cohen in the TV drama The O.C.

The song was written by legendary muso Jeff Barry who's done everything from writing for Neil Diamond, The Crystals, The Monkees, Carole King to the Archies and more...he co-wrote "I Honestly Love You" with Oz muso Peter Allen...he co-wote "River Deep, Mountain High"....&c

"However Dark The Night" was not a massive hit in Oz but is worthy of being at least realeased on CD as I don't think the movie soundtrack has ever been digitised. The DVD of the movie comes out every so often, if you haven't seen it, you should.


Saturday, January 2, 2010


Johnny Wakelin came from Sussex England and had 2 major hits in the 1970s "Black Superman" and "In Zaire". Both songs were about boxing legend Cassius Clay (Muhammad Ali).

What do you do when you run out of boxing ideas and want a third hit, hmmm? Cash in on the disco craze and go for the lamest lyrics ever!

Johnny decided to take a very catchy unknown instrumental disco riff and get some buddies to write new English lyrics hence "Doctor Frankenstein's Disco Party". The music was originally written by Harold Faltermeier of "Axel-F" fame - the theme for the movie "Beverly Hills Cop".

"Doctor Frankenstein's Disco Party" did get some airplay in Oz and charted in the lower reaches of the Top 100 in some states. It bombed in most parts of the world and I don't think it has ever made it to CD...

Here is an extended Tom Mix version of "Doctor Frankenstein's Disco Party":