Smorgasbord Music Column – New features for autumn – Request Show and Sally’s Playlist for 1984

As part of the new autumn look to the blog, the music column is undergoing a few changes.

William Price King has been an amazing contributor every week for the last four years, however William is not just a musician, singer and composer, he is also a teacher.  At the moment he is incredibly busy and although he will be sharing new posts again in the future, it will be on a less regular basis.

I love having music as part of the content on the blog and so I will be moving my Friday Drivetime Playlist to the Wednesday slot. I am also taking requests to play each week or in a special request show from time to time.

It is very simple to submit your requests. (If you have sent a request in previously, I am sure you have another piece of music you can share).

  1. Find your favourite track on Youtube and send me the link either in the comments or by email to
  2. If you have featured on the blog before there is no need to send anything else.
  3. If you have not featured on the blog before then please email me with the following:
  4. Blog Link, Amazon link, Three main social media links.

Time now to pick up my playlist series (previously on Friday evening) in 1984 with the events of that year and the music in the charts. 

1984 – A Year of Two Halves – Phil Collins and Queen.

1984 turned out to be a year of two halves. As we headed into 1984 we both were settled into our jobs. I was doing more travelling with responsibility for two more shops in York and Nottingham as well as the retail marketing side of the crystal company in Ulverston. I was away a fair bit of the time, but so was David as his career began to move towards the new entertainment possibilities of cable television. However we did manage to head off to Wales from time to time and headed up some of the amazing tracks on Snowdon.

One of his previous bosses took over the cable TV division and David moved with him. This meant a house move as well and we put our house in Southport on the market. With little equity and higher house prices further south in Tring, Hertfordshire we needed to downsize and bought a small three-bedroomed semi-detached house. We were closer to my family in Portsmouth and so visits home were more frequent. I found myself a part-time job locally with the editor and owner of the Friesian Breeder’s Handbook. A farmer’s ‘must have’ if he kept a dairy herd of these beautiful black and white cows.

As you can imagine quite a change from retail marketing manager for cut class crystal but I soon settled into selling advertising, editing copy and on occasion accompanying my boss to the large agricultural shows around the country.

I really enjoyed these shows but this is where my retail experience took a slight change of direction. As well as running the handbook, my boss was also a broker for bull semen. Whilst he would be around the show taking photographs for the next edition and drumming up advertising, I as set up with a table in a stall between two of the exhibition Friesian dairy cows.

I had a front row seat and insight into the grooming required to prepare a supersized momma ready for the show ring, including liberal baby powdering of already creamy coloured udders. Pristine and pampered they would await their turn to be led away by the proud owner. Unfortunately, from time to time I also had a front row seat when nature took its course and the udders became less than creamy white! I think I prefer the other end!

If that was not educational enough; I also was expected to sell a certain number of straws of bull semen to the farmers that drifted in and out of this fragrant bower. I had some very interesting discussions with prospective buyers as we perused the stud book and discussed the attributes of each of the macho looking specimens pictured. I actually could be quite persuasive and I like to think that 30 odd years later there are some fine herds of Friesians who are the result of my matchmaking!

As you can imagine this led to some very interesting dinner party conversations and included one with my father who asked if I collected the samples myself! Thankfully that was done by more experienced hands than me and the straws were safely frozen and stored in a laboratory awaiting my order to send onto to the new owner. Not sure how impressed the cows were at this rather truncated mating ritual but they probably dreaded seeing he vet arrive with his cool bag and rolling up his sleeves.

As you can imagine I loved my job! However, fate was to take another hand in our lives and the new unit that my husband had moved to join was suddenly closed by the parent company leaving David redundant. With a large mortgage and not much coming in from my part-time job, we were facing a bleak run up to Christmas. One night the phone rang whilst I was in the bath. I heard mumbled talking and David was on the phone for several minutes. He then shouted up the stairs. ‘Do you want to go to Texas?’

His previous boss had offered him two years in Houston selling optical fibre to the telecommunications industry. Of course we said ‘Yes’ in a nanosecond.

We hurriedly put the house on the market, arranged to put our furniture in store for two years, piled both David’s parents, his uncle, my parents, and my brother in to our little house for a last snowy Christmas. We had a ball with two barrels of homemade beer, good wine and a cramped turkey dinner followed by charades.

The first week in January we packed two suitcases each and boarded a flight to Houston. (Letters from America will be resuming in November which picks up our adventures after my parents left after their three week break with us – you can catch up here Letters from America 1985 – 1987 )

Of course throughout 1984 there was some great music that I listened to in the car on my travels around the country and this included Frankie Goes To Hollywood with a couple of songs in the chart with Relax and Two Tribes, Stevie WonderI just Called To Say I Loved You, George Michael and Careless Whisper, WhamFreedom and Wake Me Up Before You Go Go, Queen I Want To Break Free, Nik Kershaw I Won’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me, Cyndi Lauper with Girls Just Want To Have Fun.

A film that year had also produced a hit for Phil Collins – from Against All Odds, which is a great film if you have not watched, and the track Take A Look At Me Now. Available from Phil Collins Amazon

And another of my favourite tracks still on my playlist today is Queen with I Want to Break Free.  Music by Queen on Amazon

I hope you have enjoyed my nostalgic look back at 1984…as you can imagine I have 34 more years to go!  So don’t be shy and let me have your greatest hits so that I can share them along with plugging your talent.


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About Smorgasbord - Variety is the Spice of Life.

My name is Sally Cronin and I am doing what I love.. Writing. Books, short stories, Haiku and blog posts. My previous jobs are only relevant in as much as they have gifted me with a wonderful filing cabinet of memories and experiences which are very useful when putting pen to paper. I move between non-fiction health books and posts and fairy stories, romance and humour. I love variety which is why I called my blog Smorgasbord Invitation and you will find a wide range of subjects. You can find the whole story here. Find out more at

11 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Music Column – New features for autumn – Request Show and Sally’s Playlist for 1984

  1. Pingback: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – New Look – Amazon Shenanigans and Great Guest Writers and Authors | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

  2. Pingback: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Music Column – The Charts 1985 and Darlene Foster’s Request | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

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