Sally’s Drive Time Playlist – #Music to get your Weekend Started -1981 – Shakin’ Stevens and Diana Ross


It is January 1981 and David and I have been married for six weeks. Winter had settled in for the duration in our Welsh home of Dolgellau and we moved from our first holiday flat downstairs to a small cottage attached to the farmhouse. Cold is not a word that I would use to describe the inside of our little stone love-nest! David was out all day as he was conducting trials on optical fibres underwater at the time and spent his time up at Lake Tal-ly-llyn. He would arrive home hungry and I did my best with our limited budget to keep him fed sufficiently.

I would start the week with a big pot of stew with steak and kidney in it and then by Wednesday I would throw in some extra veg and it saw us through to Friday when it was Fish ‘n’ chips and a couple of half pints in the Red Lion. We would then walk up the steep road leading to the farm and snuggle down under piles of blankets to watch our black and white television with a metal coat hanger stuck in the socket as an aerial.

I was not working and money was tight so I had approached our landlady, at the beginning of December, who ran the farm with her husband. This lovely lady had only known me in my role as assistant manager, wearing my long skirts and high heels whilst I swished around the dining room at the hotel.

She was duly taken aback when I asked if there was any work on the farm that I might do in exchange for part of the rent on the cottage. But, she kindly offered me a few hours a day to help out with the flock of sheep on Cader Idris currently being given TLC by several lusty rams. This was in lieu of paying rent enabling us to save.

Each day we would head over to the hill farm and take feed up the mountain as far as we could by landrover. Locating the flock was easy in the snow as they had a very old and very effective beacon… The black sheep was the matriach and the flock seldom drifted far from her. Ever since then I have outmost respect for those who are labelled the black sheep in the family.. They have a very important role to play.

This led to a very interesting few months including through the lambing season and I have plenty of stories about my experiences that I have included in the background to the novel Just an Odd Job Girl

Following the optical fibre trials, David was ready to return to Liverpool and we had some bad news about his current flat. Despite being a terrific tenant, his landlady decided that she did not want a married couple living there and gave him notice to quit. Probably thought we would produce children in rapid succession. This meant a couple of weekends driving up from Wales to look at alternatives. Money was still tight and we wanted to save for our own house. This led us to a flat in a slightly worn part of Liverpool called Tuebrook. The Chinese landlady met us at a three storey Victorian property and led us up rather tacky flights of stairs to the ‘penthouse’. An astute business woman, she owned a number of properties in the area and was very persuasive.

She also had a hands on approach to her business and collected the rents herself every Friday in the evening; when she also emptied the ravenous electric metre that swallowed coins at an alarming rate! We always knew she was on her way up the stairs because, bless her heart, she had a wooden leg!

Having hung up my wellies, I applied for and got the job as manager of the Eastex and Dereta department (still going strong, fashion for the more mature, shorter lady) in Owen & Owen department store in the centre of Liverpool. As those of you who have read my memories to date, I had spent some time working in a store in Portsmouth and my management training since then qualified me for the post.

Again there would be various adventures in my position which you will find in the posts Department Store Manager, of which there were a number of. However, this job came with a significant management discount throughout the store which came in very useful the following January when we bought our first home in Southport.. More about that next week.

That leads me to the music of 1981. Especially when David was away and when not watching our small television, I would listen to the radio. I was a fan of most of those bands and solo artists in the top twenty and I was not disappointed in 1981 with their music. I loved dancing so enjoyed most of Shakin’ Stevens records and it was a good year for him with three top chart hits including This Ole House, Green Door and You Drive Me Crazy. Adam & the Ants with Stand and Deliver and Prince Charming. John Lennon with Imagine and Woman, Bucks Fizz of course had won the Eurovision Song contest with Making Your Mind Up, Queen joined forces with David Bowie for Under Pressure and Diana Ross with Why Do Fools Fall in Love. If I was going to be particularly irritating I would have chosen The Tweets with The Birdie Song as my featured track but I chose . Green Door by Shakin’ Stevens for you to bop to and for dessert Diana Ross.

Buy Shakin’ Stevens music: Amazon

Buy music by Diana Ross: Amazon

I have hope you have enjoyed today’s selection…. have a good weekend.. Sally

A Man and his Music – William Price King meets Quincy Jones Part Three


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Still under thirty, Quincy Jones has been making a name for himself in the music industry as a soloist, composer and arranging music for some of the top stars in the business. Quincy had huge success on the silver screen and his work on the emerging television top shows was to follow.

For those of you who watched television in the 70s, the show Ironside was one of the most popular dramas on both sides of the Atlantic. Running from 1967 to 1975 its distinctive theme music is still very recognisable today. This was the first time that a theme song was synthesizer based.

Quincy also composed the theme tunes for Sanford and Son, and The Bill Cosby Show.

Behind the scenes Quincy was also beginning to make his mark as a social activist and was a firm supporter of Dr. Martin Luther King Jnr. In particular Operation Breadbasket which was aimed at promoting economic development in the inner cities. After Dr. King’s death in Memphis on April 4th 1968, Quincy served on the board of Reverend Jesse Jackson’s People United to Save Humanity.

In 1969 at age 36, he signed a contract as a recording artist with A&M records and won a Grammy for best jazz instrumental on his first album with the label, Walking in Space.

Whilst he may have been up there with the stars of the music industry, Quincy Jones was also on his way to the moon. In the July of 1969 his arrangement of Frank Sinatra’s recording of Fly Me to the Moon with the Count Basie orchestra was the first music played by Buzz Aldrin on the first lunar landing mission.

The Grammy nominations continued with Quincy being nominated in 1970 for Best Original Score for The Lost Man and MacKenna’s Gold, in 1971 for Best instrumental arrangement, composition and Jazz performance for the album Gula Matari. In 1972 Quincy was nominated and won the award for Best Pop Instrumental performance for the album Smackwater Jack.

In 1971 Quincy was the first African American to be named as musical director and conductor of the Academy Awards ceremony. This appointment illustrated the impact his promotion of appreciation of African-American music and culture was having on the industry. He helped establish the IBAM (Institute for Black American Music and proceeds from events were donated toward the establishment of the Annual Black Arts Festival in Chicago.

One of the major projects of the IBAM was the CBS television special co-produced by Quincy in 1973. Duke Ellington, We Love You Madly featured performers such as Aretha Franklin, Peggy Lee and Count Basie with Quincy Jones leading the 48 strong orchestra.

His next Grammy win was for the best instrumental arrangement for the track Summer In The City in 1973.

His career had been intense and also very exhausting and in 1973 Quincy decided to take a break from producing sound tracks for Hollywood and take explore a new direction in his music.

One of the areas that Quincy had not yet showcased his talent was as a vocalist, and in 1973 he debuted his voice on You’ve Got it Bad with Valerie Simpson. The song stayed at the top of the charts for most of the summer

The follow up album in 1974, Body Heat sold over a million copies, staying in the top five in the charts for over six months. Hit songs from the album included Everything Must Change and If I Ever Lose This Heaven.

This title was a little too prophetic as in the August of 1974 Quincy Jones at just 41 years old suffered a near-fatal cerebral aneurysm. Over the next six months he underwent two very delicate operations to repair the blood vessels in his brain and recuperation.

Thankfully following this, Quincy was back at work and concluded his contract with A & M records with the albums Mellow Madness, I Heard That and The Dude.

Taking more control of his recording commitments was achieved by the founding of Qwest Productions in 1975. He continued to arrange and produce with singers such as Frank Sinatra and in 1977 wrote the score for the iconic mini-series Roots.

In 1978 he produced the soundtrack for The Wiz, the musical adaptation of The Wizard of Oz starring Michael Jackson and Diana Ross. Here is Everybody Rejoice to end this part of the Quincy Jones story and his return to full recovery.

BUY THE MOVIE: http://amzn.to/sBeUfl

My thanks to those who have uploaded videos to YouTube.

Buy Quincy Jones Music.

http://www.amazon.com/Quincy-Jones/e/B000AQ0MV6

Sources and information on tours and news for Quincy Jones.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quincy_Jones
http://www.biography.com/people/quincy-jones-9357524
http://www.quincyjones.com/

Next time… Quincy Jones and the 1980s

About William Price King

cover of Home by William Price King

William Price King is an American jazz singer, musician and composer. Originally he studied classical music and opera but over the years his style has evolved to what many refer to as the ‘sweet point’ where music and voice come together so beautifully.

His vocal mentors are two of the greatest giants in jazz, Nat King Cole and Mel Torme. His debut jazz album is called ‘Home,’ a collection of contemporary songs and whilst clearly a homage to their wonderful legacy it brings a new and refreshing complexity to the vocals that is entrancing.

William is currently in France where he performs in popular Jazz Venues in Nice and surrounding area. His album ‘Home’ is available to download and he is currently working on his new album available later in 2015.

LINKS
Links to website – http://www.williampriceking.com/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/WilliamPriceKing
Twitter – @wpkofficial
Regular Venue – http://cave-wilson.com/
ITunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/william-price-king/id788678484

You can find the previous post for Quincy Jones and the other series including Nat King Cole, Mel Torme, Roberta Flack, Nina Simone, Ella Fitzgerald and Sir George Shearing in this directory.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/william-price-king/

We both would be very appreciative if you could leave a comment and share this new series on social media – Twitter and FB in particular. Many thanks Sally and William.