You all know this bit in its various forms! If you ever need to get ME back from a coma or similar brain wipe situation – play me these tracks and read me these articles as they are inextricably linked in my head.
The song that is mentioned above came on the radio the other day and, on hearing it, Faith asked me if it was from the 1950s.
I responded that it was indeed almost as old as me and that I clearly recalled hearing it at my Grandmother’s house. From that point onwards I was back there, which is all it takes to qualify it for this series – as I’ve said before I don’t really have to like a song to include it here and this one never has and never will be on my list of personal favourites. I do find it almost embarrassingly “cringy” in fact!
I was born in the front room of my maternal grandmother’s house at 177 Ranelagh (pronounced “ran-lee”) Road, Ipswich in 1953. I was supposed to be born at our house near Bourne Bridge but at the time I was due the 1953 floods were only slowly abating and we had to relocate to somewhere a midwife had a good chance of reaching without a boat!
A bed for my mother was set up in the downstairs front room – my Gran considered that pregnant women should not be allowed to attempt perilous activities such as climbing stairs! I mentioned one of her other strange beliefs here https://littlealfie.wordpress.com/2013/04/09/ .
Later on when I actually remember that room it had the best sofa and the piano in it but most of my visits were spent either in the long, narrow garden that stretched down to the railway sidings, or in the “living room” which contained the dining table, a couple of armchairs, the TV (in later years) and a massive walnut veneered Radiogram.
For the uninitiated a Radiogram was the Music Centre of its day combining (as the name suggests) a large radio using thermionic valves instead of micro circuits and a mains powered record player (to replace the impossibly old-fashioned clockwork gramophone).
It is probably fair to say that my Gran had any number of records, gathered over the years but most would have been scratchy pre-war 78 r.p.m 10 inch objects the content of which would not have interested me in the slightest.
There were, however, two 7 inch, 45 r.p.m. records that I was interested in and I remember asking her to play them at every visit I made either pre-school or in the school holidays up to about 1960 when I would have been 7 years old.
As with “Last Train to San Fernando” the song that properly started this series, I would sing along to this one without really knowing what the words actually were!
Here is my usual YouTube link to it:
As you are probably wondering what the OTHER one of Gran’s two singles was I shall tell you that it was “The Yellow Rose of Texas” by Mitch Miller – a slightly later song than “Feathers” and which was also the title song of a movie. Which came first I don’t know. Here’s a link to that as well:
And when I told that story to Faith and she suggested it should be part of this series I was already leaning over the side of the bed and making notes in the little book I keep for just that purpose!