Check out a two-part article written by David Parker for The Beat Mag. It's a great magazine which I and many other artists have been happy to support over many years. Visitbeat-magazine.co.uk/ for information on how to subscribe! It's lovely to get it in the post each month!
Click images below to enlarge to read!
Their Ross Revenge Radio Ship is now anchored in the Blackwater River, near Bradwell, Essex and visits to Radio Caroline’s shipboard studios can be arranged by visiting www.radiocaroline.co.uk
It was 1956 and I about 13 years old. Sitting with my friend Sue at Margies Cafe in Runnymead. Probably drinking a Coke and eating some chips...the Jukebox was playing.
Suddenly, the words..."Well, since my baby left me..." resonated through the speaker. The voice was powerful and smooth. I remember all the hairs on my neck standing on end and my friend and I looking at each other as this incredible song played. We were intrigued and had to know 'Who is this?"
That was when I first heard Elvis (or Elvis Pelvis as we called him at the time!) The song, of course, was Heartbreak Hotel. The memory of hearing it has always stayed with me. We all have those moments with music, don't we?
In recent times, whilst recording the 'Elvis where are you?' track, I have been reading about Elvis and his career. Elvis cut Heartbreak Hotel, two days before his 21st birthday and it was released 27th January 1956. It spent six weeks at No.1 in the Pop Charts but also seventeen weeks in the Country and Western Chart. It spent time in the R&B charts. Elvis was always able to transcend across so many genre's, I think this is why he is so loved and such a worldwide, timeless star.
The song was written by Tommy Durden and Mae Boren Axton, with credit also given to Presley. Inspiration for the song, with its ever so Bluesy style, was based a newspaper article about the suicide of a lonely man who jumped from a hotel window. A rather dark concept but I guess it explains the songs 'haunting' vibe.
Though my career has given me the great opportunity to work alongside many legends, unfortunately Elvis Presley was never one of them. Many will know that, incredibly, he never performed in the UK. I read that he did set foot in the UK once though. It was Prestwick Airport, on the way back from Germany and his Military service. I have to simply settle for memories of hearing his music as a young teen and how it inspired me, my peers and our generation.
Do you remember when you first heard the King of Rock n Roll? If so, what is your favourite song?
I will be discussing all things Elvis, later this week on Todd Slaughter's Elvis Hour on the famous Radio Caroline 10th Sept from 8pm GMT Chatting about my single"Elvis where are you" Tune in @radiocaroline on the Flashback channel.
My daughter has been talking to me about 'Blogging' over the years and if I am honest, time has never allowed me to get round to it. Lock-down has changed this predicament, so here it is...my first Blog!
I imagine my past few months have been pretty similar to most people, lot's of being indoors and watching telly! Though I must say that I have been able to amuse myself with a few hobbies too.
As-well as performing and writing music, some of you may be aware that I am a keen lover and breeder of Siamese cats. My last litter of Kittens gave the household lots of joy and amusement, especially as the world went into panic mode. Watching the kitties play and grow into little personalities was such a nice distraction.
My darling Chocolate point girl Xena, named by my daughter may I add, is a wonderful mum. She is also a great escapologist, and can open doors and cupboards...we have now nicknamed her Xeeny Houdini. See her posing, quite un-staged, during one of my daughters photo-shoots, for her Millinery Design!
All the kittens have now found loving homes and I get wonderful photo's and updates from their new families.
A more therapeutic activity has been knitting...in particular scarfs! Whilst watching the news updates each day, in anguish as the pandemic unfolded, I managed to knit 50 of them! A plus side is I have Christmas gifts sorted for this year, ha ha! We are creative household here, music, art and fashion all going on under one roof. This has been a life saver and I am so thankful that we can lend our minds to being creative. My daughter stitched together this chap...named Lock down Larry...and after a request from my granddaughter made another named Harry! As I said...creative household!
We have managed very well as a little family here and lucky that we are able to be together. Even more we have kept safe and healthy. Each day I see a Doctor, who lives in my building, return home and drop his bike off in our blocks bike shed. I would often talk to him from the window, the look on his face showed what he and his front-line colleagues have been dealing with. He at times was candid about the struggles at the hospital he works at. One day, as he returned I dropped a box of chocolates I had bought for him, out the window, to show my appreciation A small token as how can we ever be thankful enough!
During this time we all reflect on the world as we have known it and what it means for the future. It's important to have idea's and projects to look forward too. I am working on archiving my photo's to produce a book...a project in the works. I very much look forward to one day get back to gigging with all my musician friends and performing for audiences again. It's was already a tough time for live music and theatre's, but maybe 'missing' it will bring on a revival...once it is safe for everyone.
Until then, keep safe and keep love and music in your heart