Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Memories, Music and Movies – 1974/1975 – Married Quarters, Barry White, The Towering Inferno by Sally Cronin

I cannot remember a time when music and movies where not a part of my life.

1974: RAF Married Quarters, Barry White, The Towering Inferno

I began married life in late 1973 in a large, dark and chilling married quarter based at RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire. The houses were built during the war and had not been updated since. The walls were painted a regulation mud colour and all the wood work was dark brown gloss. It came fully furnished with mismatched sofas and chairs, old oak dining room table and beds that had seen a lot of traffic.

However, I was in full new bride mode and added framed prints to the walls and colourful cushions to the mottled beige sofas.

I did not drive so was more or less restricted to base during the week. There was a food shop for residents of the station and I would walk over daily to buy essentials, more for the exercise and the chance to meet another person.

XH558 (G-VLCN) Avro Vulcan - Last Flight over Farnborough (cropped).jpg

Alastair Barbourcommons.wikimedia

My husband was a co-pilot on the iconic RAF bomber the Vulcan. The squadron would be away for ten days at a time on training exercises in places such as Goose Bay in Canada, so until I met a few of the other wives it was quite lonely. Social life was good with a function on in the mess most weekends and that was fine when my husband was home. Many of the wives already had young children and were busy, but I eventually met up with a handful who like me found themselves stuck in the wilds with time on their hands.

What I did have was a radio, a gramophone player and my Wilbur Smith books. Radio One by now was hugely popular and the Breakfast Show was switched on first thing and music would be playing in the background all day. The DJs were the media stars of the time and included John Peel, Tony Blackburn, and believe it or not… Terry Wogan.

The top hits of 1874 were mixed and probably one of the most popular was David Essex with “Gonna Make You A Star”, The Three Degrees with “When Will I See You Again“, Terry Jacks and “Seasons in the Sun“, Mud with “Tiger Feet” (great hit in the mess on Saturday night) and the song that used to end the evening’s entertainment, the deep and sexy voice of Mr. Barry White with “You’re My First, My Last, My Everything”. And here he is……

I seem to remember that visits to the cinema in 1974 were not that frequent. However, I did enjoy The Godfather Part Two and the Taking of Pelham One Two Three as I enjoyed the action films best.. The film that I probably remember most from 1974 and have watched a number of times since was The Towering Inferno with Steve McQueen, Paul Newman, Faye Dunaway and William Holden.

Here is Maureen McGovern singing the theme song from “The Towering Inferno” courtesy Robert Patterson

In the spring of 1974 my husband was posted to RAF Marham in Norfolk and this was actually a much more vibrant station for us wives and also we were closer to towns such as Downham Market and Norwich too.

Our address caused a bit of a stir. I was rather naive I am afraid and sent out change of address cards to all our friends and family.. It was 69 Windy Ridge, RAF Marham. Certain wits amongst our friends sent any mail addressed to us at Soixante Neuf, Windy Ridge…I was horrified when informed by my husband what this referred to and hated the smirk on the postman’s face when delivering parcels.

I celebrated by 21st birthday in the February and also began work for Savills Estate Agents in King’s Lynn. I travelled back and forth by bus each day as I still had not passed my test.. My husband being a pilot was convinced he could teach me to drive and I would practice in our morris minor on Sundays on a deserted part of the runway.

You can imagine the shock to my system when after driving on runways capable of accommodating Victor bombers, I hit the narrow lanes of Norfolk and busy traffic!

By the end of 1974 there were a series of voluntary redundancy programmes for RAF personnel. We were in a period of peace and also austerity. The country was still in the grips of industrial action and defence cuts were part of the downturn.

My husband felt that his future prospects in the shrinking service were not as bright as when he first joined and after discussion he took advantage of one of the packages.

This was a tough decision as he loved flying and had not worked in a civilian environment. Jobs were tough to get in 1974 so we fell back on my experience in the hospitality industry. We applied to and was accepted by Schooner Inns as trainee managers for their chain of steak houses.

We packed up our belongings and put them in storage and after the paperwork was signed in early 1975 we began our new careers in Gravesend, Kent.

 Thanks for joining me today and more tomorrow as we get settled into our new accommodation and begin our training as assistant managers of a Schooner Inn.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Music Column – The Breakfast Show with William Price King and Sally Cronin – Chart Hits 1974 Part One – Barbra Streisand, Barry White, The Three Degrees, ABBA-

Each week William and I will select two top hits from the charts in the US and UK starting with 1960 for two weeks followed by 1961 etc..through to 1985. We will also include some of the notable events in those years for the up and coming stars who were centre stage at the time.

Welcome to our show and we are excited to share decades of music with you in 2021. Here is my first selection of top 1974 hits which I hope you will enjoy. William.

News EventFebruary 2nd Barbra Streisand’s 1st #1 hit, “The Way We Were”

Barbra Streisand  –  The way we were  

“The way we were” was 1974’s most successful record in the US, and reached #1 on the Billboard Year-End Hot 100 singles list. It topped the charts in Canada, and peaked in the top 40 in Australia and the UK. “The way we were” won two Academy Awards. The lyrics detail the melancholic relationship between the two main characters in the film of the same name

News Event:  February 19th 1st American Music Awards: Helen Reddy & Jim Croce win

Barry White and The Love Unlimited Orchestra – Love’s Theme  

“Love’s Theme,” penned by Barry White, is one of the few instrumentals and probably the first disco instrumental to reach the #1 spot on Billboard’s Hot 100. Billboard ranked it as the #3 song for 1974 and it peaked at #10 in the U K and #1 in Canada.

News Event: March 2nd 16th Grammy Awards: Roberta Flack Best Record – “Killing Me Softly”, Stevie Wonder Best Album – “Innervisions”

Now time for my first top chart picks from 1974 and I hope you will enjoy my selection

The Three Degrees – When Will I See You Again

“When Will I See You Again” is a song released in 1974 by American soul group The Three Degrees, from their third album The Three Degrees. The song was written and produced by Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff. The strings were arranged by Belford “Sinky” Hendricks, who also arranged songs for many top-flight groups and recording artists. Sheila Ferguson sang the lead, accompanied by Fayette Pinkney and Valerie Holiday. Billboard named named the song #67 on their list of 100 Greatest Girl Group Songs of All Time. The Three Degrees

News Event: May 11th Steely Dan releases “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number”

ABBA – Waterloo

“Waterloo” is the first single from the Swedish pop group ABBA’s second album, Waterloo, and their first under the Epic and Atlantic labels. This was also the first single to be credited to the group performing under the name ABBA.

On 6 April 1974, the song was the winning entry for Sweden in the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest. The victory began ABBA’s path to worldwide fame. The single became a No. 1 hit in several countries. It reached the U.S. Top 10 and went on to sell nearly six million copies, making it one of the best-selling singles in history. At the 50th anniversary celebration of the Eurovision Song Contest in 2005, it was chosen as the best song in the competition’s history. ABBA

Additional sources: On This Day – Music – Hits of the 70s: Playback FMWikipedia

Your Hosts for The Breakfast Show

William Price King is an American jazz singer, crooner, and composer.

His interest in music began at an early age when he studied piano and clarinet in high school. At Morehouse College in Atlanta where he grew up, he sang in the Glee Club and studied classical music. After graduation he went off to the Yale School of Music where he earned a Masters degree. From there he journeyed to New York where he created a jazz trio ‘Au Naturel’ which performed in some of the hottest venues in Manhattan including gigs on Broadway and the famous ‘Rainbow Room.’ These gigs opened doors for performances in Montreal and a European tour.

While touring Europe he met a lovely French lady, Jeanne Maïstre, who, a year later became his wife. King left the group ‘Au Naturel’ and settled in the south of France where he started a new life on the French Riviera, opening his own music school – the “Price King Ecole Internationale de Chant.” He has had the pleasure over the years of seeing many of his students excel as singers on a professional level, and some going on to become national celebrities. He continues to coach young singers today, in his spare time.

Blog– IMPROVISATION William Price King on Tumblr – Buy William’s music: William Price King iTunes – FacebookWilliam Price King – Twitter@wpkofficial
Regular Venue – Cave Wilson

Sally Cronin is an author, blogger and broadcaster who enjoyed four years as part of the team on Onda Cero International’s English speaking morning show in Marbella and then for two years as a presenter on Expressfm the local radio station in Portsmouth. She co-presented two ‘Drive Time’ shows a week with Adrian Knight, hosted the live Thursday Afternoon Show and The Sunday Morning Show guests including musicians and authors. Following this she became Station Director for a local internet television station for two years, producing and presenting the daily news segment, outside broadcasts and co-presenting the Adrian and Sally chat show live on Friday evenings.

She and her husband David have now returned to Ireland where they live on the Wexford Coast where she blogs and continues to write books.

Books :Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – More reviews: Goodreads – blog: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Twitter: @sgc58 – Facebook: Sally Cronin – LinkedIn: Sally Cronin

Next week 1974 Part Two. We hope you will tune in.. as always we love to hear from you.. thanks William and Sally.



Smorgasbord Music Column – The Romantic Ballad Request Show – Part One – Becky Ross Michael, D.G. Kaye, Abbie Taylor, Cindy Knoke, Sue Vincent.

Last week I featured some of my most played romantic songs through the decades for a Valentine Special and I asked you for your favourite tracks to dance to. Here they are now, so grab the one that you love… or a friend and have a twirl around the room.

The first requests is for Becky Ross Michael originally from Michigan and now living in Texas, Becky’s writing has appeared in the Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, U.P. Reader, and Mystery Readers Journal. Becky has requested Sky Blue and Black by Jackson Browne – Amazon

The next request is from non-fiction author D.G. Kaye.. Debby Gies

Debby’s books are available:

Debby has asked for Barry White and Can’t Get Enough Of Your Love…Amazon

Now for a request from author Abbie Taylor who is the author of a romance novel, two poetry collections, and a memoir and is working on another novel. Her poems, short stories, and essays have been published in various journals and anthologies.

Abbie’s books are available:

Abbie has requested I Want To Spend My Lifetime Loving You from the film The Mask of Zorro.

Cindy Knoke is the most stunning wildlife and scenic photographer who has travelled the world, capturing sights most of us will never experience. I highly recommend that you head over to spend time in her archives, but be warned, take supplies as you will be there for some time.

Cindy has requested Bryan Adams and Have You Ever Loved A Woman. – Amazon

The next track has been requested by Sue Vincent. “I am a Yorkshire born painter and writer, living in the south of England. I paint the strange things that come as images in dreams and fantasies and write about life as it happens.”

You can buy all of Sue’s books:

Sue has asked for Billy Joel, Just The Way You Are – Amazon

Thank you for dropping in today and there will be more requests next week.. If you would like to share your most romantic track ever… please add into the comments.