We Have Lost A Very Funny Man – RIP Mel Smith

Mel SmithSad to say I have only just discovered that Mel Smith has passed away. He died of a heart attack on Friday 19th July.

Although probably best known for his partnering with Griff Rhys Jones, in “Alas Smith And Jones”, he was so much more than just part of a double act.
Mel Smith and Griff Rhys Jones
Smith was a founder member of “Not The Nine O’Clock News” along with Griff Rhys Jones, Rowan Atkinson and Pamela Stephenson. Smith and friends became a staple of British television. The humour in the TV shows, a product of the Thatcher era, became unmissable viewing. Comparisons have been made, likening the Smith and Jones partnership to that of a modern-day Abbott and Costello.

Smith, a successful actor appearing on both TV and the big screen, also directed films such as “Bean”, “The Tall Guy”, Radioland Murders and “High Heels and Low Lifes”. He also contributed his writing skills to many TV and live shows.

I have fond memories of those TV shows, especially “Alas Smith & Jones” of which they made 10 series.

Mel, you left us a wonderful legacy and you will be sorely missed.

Heartfelt condolences to your family and friends.

Roger Waters – Happy Birthday

Roger, founder member of one of the best rock bands there has ever been, was born  69 years ago today.

Happy Birthday Roger.

With such a huge catalogue of music it is difficult to choose a representative piece to celebrate with. I am sure you have your own favourites, here is “one” of mine.

RIP Big Mike

The world lost yet another talent following the death of Michael Clarke Duncan yesterday morning.

Probably known best for his role as John Coffey in The Green Mile Duncan was never far from our screens, having appeared in many films and TV series. Duncan was nominated for both Academy and Golden Globe awards.

For my part I am currently enjoying his performances on the “Bones” spin-off “The Finder”, starring alongside Geoff Stults, Mercedes Masohn and Maddie Hasson.

He will be missed.

Hal David Walks On By

Prolific song writer Hal David has died, aged 91.

Oscar and Grammy winner David,along with Burt Bacharach wrote such hits as “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head” and “Walk on By” along with many other songs that have become standards such as “What’s It All About?”, “What’s New, Pussycat?”, “Do You Know the Way to San Jose?” and “What Do You Get When You Fall in Love?”. In all Hal David was credited with writing the lyrics of some 700 songs.

The world has lost a great talent.

I Wanna Tell You A Story

Yes, I wanna tell you a story, about a great entertainer who has sadly passed away.

Max Bygraves has sadly passed at the age of 89.

One of Britain’s best all round variety entertainer.  He wrote a string of comic songs and released a number of albums with his Singalongamax series probably being the most well-known. Max appeared in a number of films, notably Charley Moon in 1956, as well as several TV shows. He also  performed on stage with contemporaries Spike Milligan, Benny Hill, Harry Secombe and Frankie Howerd and in  later years he often appeared at the London Palladium.

For me, probably the fondest memory will be Max singing “Out of Town”. I hope that, wherever Max is, he is enjoying the sentiment of that song.

Say what you will,
The countryside is still
The only place where I could settle down
Troubles there are so much rarer
Out of town


Max Bygraves is most definitely “Out Of Town”

Who hoo – It’s Coming

At last, the wait is over, Series 7 of Dr Who gets underway this Saturday.

For those of us that remember the very first Doctor -William Hartnell, the shaky sets and watching in black and white from the very beginning of this British saga, the latest incarnation is far removed from its roots. The special effects are up there with the very best and the series can still make the cold crinklies run up and down ones spine.

Watch the trailer for the new series…..

Asylum of the Daleks: Saturday, 7.20pm on BBC One!

I Just Had To Let You Have It

Noir – We Just Had To Let You Have It. That is the name of the band and their only album.

I have this on vinyl and right now I have no way to play it. So I was knocked out to find this available on youtube.

Give it a listen. You may be surprised. This is Rain, the opening track of the album.

This does not sound like a 70’s cut.

Track 2 Hard Labour

And here is Track 4, In Memory of Lady X

Track 5, How Long

And finally Track 6, The System

Happy Birthday Woody

Woody Guthrie that is.

Woody died back in 1967. Had he been around today he would have been 100 years old.

He was nicknamed the “Dust Bowl Troubador” and wrote “This Land Is Your Land”, the iconic American folk song. This was just one of the 3000 plus songs and stories that he wrote over a period of about 15 years. Despite his prolific out pourings his commercial career was not to be a long one. He spent most of his latter years in hospital and died of Huntingtons Disease.

Another relatively well known song, written by Guthrie and covered by Lonnie Donegan is “Grand Coulee Dam”.

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